Chick-fil-a has confirmed it will build two restaurants on Ponce de Leon Avenue less than a mile from each other.
The Atlanta-based fast-food chain had already announced it would build a new location at the corner of Ponce and Boulevard, the site of a former Texaco gas station and convenience store.
Chick-fil-a has now confirmed to What Now Atlanta? that it will build a dine-in-only restaurant with 40 parking spaces on the site of Dugan’s bar on Ponce – a 10-minute walk from the other location.
Dugan’s, a fixture at 777 Ponce for nearly 37 years, announced earlier this year it would be moving to Northlake Mall, but denied rumors that Chick-fil-a was buying the property, which sits adjacent to Hotel Clermont.
The confirmation of two Chick-fil-a restaurants on either side of the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail fueled more speculation and rumors that a stretch of Ponce that includes MJQ Concourse, Bookhouse Pub, Java Jive, and The Local was being gobbled up by a developer.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday that at least part of that rumor is true.
Charles Kerns, who owns the popular wings and karaoke joint The Local and an adjacent property, said he is finalizing an agreement with an unnamed developer to build a mixed-use development on the land.
The AJC also reached out to a number of other developers who own property along the stretch. Selig Development said it had no development plans on the block, but longtime developer Portman Holdings said “We are not commenting on things related to projects at this time.”
The redevelopment rumors gained traction after 8ARM restaurant announced that it would be closing in October after its BeltLine-adjcent property was sold to developer Cartel Properties.
Then, VESTA Fitboxing posted on Instagram that it was seeking a new location after the entire block of Ponce from its location to the 8ARM and former Paris on Ponce building had also been gobbled up, presumably by Cartel.
A map circulating on Reddit and Twitter showed the entire north side of Ponce from the BeltLine to the Honey Bubble property would be razed to make way for new development.
Virginia-Highland Civic Association President David Brandenberger, told Urbanize Atlanta that it was all “conjecture at this point,” while the website noted that five parcels on the block are currently owned by five different individuals or corporations.