First Chick-fil-A restaurant at Greenbriar Mall serves last meal as it closes its doors
There is a saying that all good things must come to an end and that is what many were thinking yesterday as Chick-Fil-A at Greenbriar Mall served its last chicken sandwich before closing its doors permanently in that location that launched the business we all flock to for a good sandwich, waffle fries, ice tea and an ice cream cone.
The Chick-fil-A at Greenbriar opened on November 24, 1967 and was the first of what would become a chicken sandwich empire for founder Truett Cathy. The name Chick-fil-A now encompasses about 3,000 restaurants across the United States and beyond.
Back in 1967, adding a restaurant to a shopping mall was considered groundbreaking. But for Cathy, he saw the indoor mall – one of the first in the Southeast – as a fitting location for his restaurant. This followed the Dwarf House, originally called the Dwarf Grill, which opened in Hapeville in 1946. In 1964, Cathy created the recipe for his famous chicken sandwich and the rest is history.
What started as a small space, grew into a huge impact for the South Atlanta community who shopped at Greenbriar mall. This became a mighty step forward for Cathy who used this as a stepping stone to grow his business. In addition to Cathy pioneering the modern-day food court, it led to exponential growth of his company that now serves customers in 47 states and Washington, DC. The menu started out small with items including the Original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich (which was just 59 cents), coleslaw, lemon pie and lemonade. It now boasts over 50 items on its menu.
Many came to Greenbriar on Saturday to place one last order for a chicken sandwich, which now costs $5.59, before the restaurant closed its doors for the last time. They came alone or gathered with friends to reminisce about the good old days andshare stories of the first time they ate at the Chick-fil-A in Greenbriar Mall. For some, it was a rite of passage that they got to eat there, for others, a destination for their families and friends to grab a good meal.
Since opening in 1967, Greenbriar Chick-fil-A has seen a lot as businesses come and go. Now it is their turn to turn out the lights one last time, which they did after serving every customer that stopped by one last time.
Greenbriar Mall has seen better days. The former shopping haven for the South Atlanta community struggles to stay open and remain relevant. Greenbriar Mall lost well-known retailers such as Macy’s in 2021. Before that, J.C. Penney bailed back in 1985 and was eventually replaced by Burlington Coat Factory, but it has since left as well. Unfortunately for the area, no major tenants have stepped forward to take their places.
Many on Saturday reflected on their childhood eatery and felt bittersweet about its closing.
One customer commented, “…it’s like part of your history going away.”
Chick-fil-A has not commented on why they are closing the location, but in a statement from Greenbriar Mall they said it “will be forever grateful for the partnership fostered and legacy built with Chick-fil-A and the Cathy Family.”
Leave a Comment