The inevitable death of Chick-fil-A will be more momentous than previous fast-food franchise closures. The original Chick-fil-A restaurant will close after 50 years.
Truett Cathy opened this Chick-fil-A location in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in November 1967. Cathy's first restaurant was not the original Chick-fil-A. In 1946, he and his brother opened The Dwarf Grill, later renamed The Dwarf House.
"Through the course of time, that restaurant prospered and led Jimmy to further the success of his business," Chick-fil-A writes on its website.
The 384-square-foot Greenbriar Mall Chick-fil-A contributed to the national brand's success. According to local reports, the facility will close forever on Saturday, May 20. The restaurant's Facebook page states that it is "permanently closed."
The Greenbriar Mall has had issues with store tenants and consumer traffic. Macy's will shutter its largest store in 2021. Chick-fil-A did not respond to our inquiries about the closure.
Chick-fil-A describes the closure as "groundbreaking" because it was one of the first mall eateries. The Greenbriar, the Southeast's first indoor mall, housed the original Chick-fil-A.
In 1967, the Greenbriar Chick-fil-A experience was unique. Lemonade, lemon pie, coleslaw, salads featuring boneless chicken breast, and the 59-cent classic fried chicken sandwich were on the menu.
Chick-fil-A's Waffle Fries did not debut until the mid-1980s. The mall restaurant's plaque commemorates the beginning of Chick-fil-A.
From this particular location, Chick-fil-A has grown into one of the largest privately owned chain restaurants in the nation.
More positively, Chick-fil-A is incorporating smartphone technology to reduce wait times and guarantee food is hot and fresh. Chick-fil-A tried their first Cauliflower Sandwich and brought reintroduced its Watermelon Mint beverages in February and March.