The Chick-fil-A in North Druid Hills which opened as the first stand-alone restaurant in 1986, has been rebuilt and will re-open on Jan. 11.
Photo: Image provided by Chick-fil-A
Photo: Image provided by Chick-fil-A

Historic Chick-fil-A location reopens in North Druid Hills

First stand-alone Chick-fil-A  location in metro Atlanta gets an update after 32 years

Chick-fil-A is starting off  2018 with a historic event.

Thursday, Jan. 11, marks the re-opening of the Chick-fil-A in North Druid Hills.

The location, at 2530 N. Druid Hills Road NE, opened in April 1986 and was the chain’s first stand-alone restaurant. Prior to that, all Chick-fil-A locations were located inside of shopping malls.

As always, the opening will kick-off with a First 100 Campout event which rewards the first 100 eligible adults over age 18 with a free, one-year supply of Chick-fil-A meals. Each event is open to specific zip codes in the vicinity of the restaurant and there are specific rules for camping out.

When the North Druid Hills location opened 32 years ago, it was designed to meet the needs of a growing customer base that increasingly demanded fast food options.

For two years, it was operated by the corporate office to help the company gain insight into how to customize the design and customer experience to a stand-alone location. At the time, Chick-fil-A wanted to move its growth from malls to stand-alone locations which would allow for more flexibility in operating hours, drive-thru services and a better dining room experience.

In 1988, Atlanta native Greg Mapoles, took over the location from corporate and has served as its operator since that time. Mapoles, who has worked with the chain for almost 40 years, said he was a bit conflicted about updating the historic building.

The Chick-fil-A on North Druid Hills Road NE opened in 1986. It was the chain's first stand-alone location.
Photo: Image provided by Chick-fil-A

“I had mixed emotions seeing our historic restaurant torn down five months ago but it helped knowing that our guests would now have a restaurant with our most modern design for enhancing our efforts around providing an even more remarkable service and experience,” he said.

The new restaurant has been completely rebuilt to feature upgrades including an increased drive-thru capacity; a vintage-inspired interior with a large gathering table made from reclaimed wood and light fixtures from recycled Coca-Cola bottles and peach baskets; a two-story, indoor playground area and Chick-fil-A One mobile ordering pickup available through dual drive-thru or inside the restaurant.

Though much has changed over the years, Mapoles remains committed to helping his team members achieve their goals in life just as mentors helped him decades ago. Before becoming a Chick-fil-A operator at age 23, Mapoles received one of the company’s Leadership Scholarships which he used to graduate from Georgia State University. As of 2016, Mapoles had awarded nearly $50,000 in scholarships to his team members.

The reopening of the North Druid Hills location is one of two Chick-fil-A openings taking place in the area on Jan. 11. Another location will open the same day in Braselton. January also brings the anticipated opening of new restaurant locations in Vine City and North Decatur, followed by the February re-opening of a the location in Northridge.

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone
Nedra Rhone
Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.