Thursday, August 21, 2014

Old Hickory House For Sale

An alert DunwoodyTalk reader sent us a photo of a 'for sale' sign posted on the front door of the Old Hickory House. Rumor on the street says a bank is interested in the property and is already in negotiations.  

But expect a bidding war for the coveted spot.  A local cyclist is spearheading a group of investors to put in a Petals and Pedals franchise.  Petals and Pedals, with its corporate headquarters in Ashvile, NC (and its franchise arm based in Berkeley, CA) is a new concept sweeping suburbia.  The stores are half bike shop, half organic/locally farmed & grown green cafe. "We are seeing great franchise growth since UN Agenda 21 was signed into law by Executive Order by Obama," said Penelope Burkinstalk. "Our citizens of the World should know we offer only resting spots for bicycles and electric cars here. One can get her bike chain and bike seat lubed in the 'pedal' zone while enjoying a piece of toasted pine bark and butterfly mucus dip in the 'petal' zone.

"We're interested in a financial institution of some sort, either a traditional bank or an investment house arm location," said Katie Wescaught, a representative of the Dunwoody Chamber. "Dunwoody is proud to offer first-class banking options for metro Atlanta.

But Yvonne Sprinkle, a spokesperson for the CVB disagreed.  "The CVB anticipates a more traditional retail offering such as a pet store or a check cashing store. Everyone knows we have plenty of banks here."

Bill Robsman of the DHA disagreed with both the CVB and Chamber. "As long as it's Williamsburg traditional design in nature, we support the steam car wash moving to this location, or possibly a pawn shop, massage parlor, or methadone clinic. Dunwoody lacks all those amenities but they are all in demand."

Other rumors suggest the Georgia Music Hall of Fame may be eyeing the location as is the Dunwoody Dog Park Association.

Local breakfast seekers are having a tough go of it this week.  "I tried getting a seat over at the BP this morning, but those old guys wouldn't budge. They show up at like 6 AM and hang out until noon. What's up with that?" asked Bob Lunger.  Terri Knawl, a frequent Hick House visitor commented, "I'm a basic eggs and toast guy. Quinos bowls and Crepes? What the hell? I can't go there," as he pointed across the street.

Eric Monahan Spruill said he is at his last straw. "You really think I want to sit down every morning at home for breakfast and have my wife tell me about the kids' school work and hear about her Alta team? I'm headed to the Waffle House over there in Georgetown until,this gets sorted out."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Old Hickory House, The Manuel's Tavern of Dunwoody, Closed

The Old Hickory House, a favorite of many locals, has closed its doors.  Most folks visited HH for breakfast. The evening crowd was light.  Local social groups, Old Men posses, bloggers, Red Shirts, and politicians all shared the counter, booths, and tables at Hickory House.  At the HH, all Men were equal, all treated with great care and respect, regardless of your order.  Guys like Farmer Bob would get a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal, while DunwoodyTalk staffers would get Country Chicken with Gravy, a side of bacon, and  a Diet Coke in a to-go cup.

Old Hickory House
Lot size is .8 acres and building approx 4200 sq feet. Valued at $1.1 million, up from $870,000 last year

DunwoodyTalk staffers had many great meetings at the Old Hickory House.  It was here I met the legendary Nancy, on her first trip to Dunwoody during her local school board campaign.  Local political folks known only by first name dined here.  The likes of Fran, Dan, Tom, Danny, Terry, and Mike all broke bread toast at HH.

I think the Dunwoody Preservation Trust should buy one of the booths from HH and put it on display at the FarmHouse or FarmHouse 2 for future generations to see.  It can have a temporary display at Lemonade Days so our youth can learn to appreciate a part of Dunwoody's past.  Me, I want that sign advertising Smoked Turkeys For Sale that dangled from the back. I remember when HH sold bottles of Budweiser.  The manager at the time joked that the employees drank more beer than they sold, so they discontinued selling beer.  I thought that he was funny and honest when he told me that.

Old Hickory House joins a few other restaurants that have closed.  Firkin Gryphon, Allison's, Macaroni Grill, and China Garden II all gone.  But when one door closes, another opens.  Replacing Firkin Gryphon is the new Memphis Barbecue Company.  Wild Wing Cafe is replacing Macaroni Grill, and something is replacing China Garden II

Did a new BBQ joint opening a few miles away contribute to the closing of Old Hickory House?  I doubt it.  Hickory House was  responsible for its own demise.  The place was not known for 90+ health scores and a bright, clean facility.  Good breakfast food and decent service, but apparently not enough customers?  Or, do they plan to sell the hot-spot for a profit?  Dunwoody has changed the past two decades, and there are many more places to enjoy prepared food. (Note: Slope's BBQ in Sandy Springs is a great BBQ joint.  Check out Scout Mob for a $10 off coupon).  FirstWatch took some breakfast and lunch clients from HH.  HH did not change with Dunwoody.

I'll probably be asked to resign from the DHA (Dunwoody Homeowners Association) when I say that HH's location is perfect for a Waffle House, but it is a perfect spot for a Waffle House.  I know, it's not off a major interstate, but the traffic count on Dunwoody's Main Street (aka Chamblee Dunwoody Road) would support it.  The local teens love WH and the Dunwoody Tavern faithful can fill it late night.  With State Farm bringing hundreds of 24/7 reps to work in Perimeter, these folks will want a place to go at 5 AM for a bite to eat.  Would a Zaxby's make it at that location?  I am not alone when I say that I hope another bank does not take that spot, but it wouldn't surprise me.  A pizza place?  Doubtful. A burger place?  Nope.

Possible Options for the HH spot:

Pollo Tropical,  Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Grub, Newk's, A Chinese place? A bar?