The Zesto on Piedmont Road. (Courtesy Zesto)

Atlanta will lose another landmark restaurant when the Zesto on Piedmont Road in Buckhead closes on Sept. 18 after more than 50 years in business. The restaurant is well known for its ice cream, hot dogs, and burgers.

Owners Jimbo and Leigh Ann Livaditis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the property at 2469 Piedmont Road had been sold to an undisclosed buyer, as well as the adjacent Splash laundromat and Fiesta Foods grocery store.

Leigh Ann Livaditis said they had been struggling to keep the restaurant afloat when the buyer made an offer. She said labor shortages and continued loitering issues had deterred customers.

“I don’t think it was feasible for us to sustain the business there with the challenges we have faced for a while,” she told the AJC.

The owners closed the Little Five Points Zesto late last year after a tree fell and damaged the building.

The Piedmont closure means only two Livaditis family-owned Zesto locations are still in business: East Atlanta and Forest Park. A franchisee operates a third location in Tyrone, GA.

Jimbo’s father, John Livaditis, founded Zesto in 1949.

Jimbo selling the Piedmont Road property was an especially difficult decision because of the family’s roots in the neighborhood. The family lived in an apartment near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Lindbergh Drive, the original site of the Zesto on Piedmont that opened in 1971.

“We were probably one of the longest continuous businesses on Piedmont. I am on Piedmont every freaking day. It’s my street,” Jimbo told the AJC. “It pains me. We like to think we fought the hard fight.”

Read contributor Annie Kinnett Nichols’ 70th anniversary tribute to Zesto from 2019 at this link.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.