First Look: Shoney’s, Sugarloaf Mills


9 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Starters and salads, $3.99-$9.99; burgers and sandwiches, $6.99-$8.99; skillets and pastas, $8.99-$9.99; entrees, $7.99-$16.99; sides, $1.99; desserts, $2.99-$3.99; buffet, $6.99-$8.99; breakfast, $6.99-$11.99.

5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite R2, Lawrenceville. 678-847-6175,

Recently, Shoney’s opened a new prototype restaurant at Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville that revealed several firsts for the Nashville, Tenn.-based chain. It’s the first inside-a-mall concept for the brand. Also, it’s the first location in 16 states, including five restaurants in metro Atlanta, to offer cooked-to-order entrees, seasonal buffets, and “On the Go” quick service dining under one roof.

The look: Situated in the same mall quadrant as Dave and Buster's and Medieval Times, Shoney's angled corner space looks a lot like a contemporary airport restaurant. Past the host stand, booths with sidewalk-like views of the passing parade heading to Forever 21 are the prime real estate. Cafe tables and a compact three-sided bar offer other seating options.

The scene: One Friday afternoon, the busy lunch crowd included shoppers, workers from nearby stores, and a couple of delivery guys who seemed to be having a good time blowing up each other's cellphones. At the bar, a middle-age couple had very different approaches to the menu — she hit the soup and salad bar, while he ordered a basket of sliders and fries.

The food: The expanded menu still retains signature items such as the "All-American Burger," the hand-breaded and fried "Pile O' Shrimp" with cocktail sauce and slaw ($8.99), and the "Slim Jim" hoagie with grilled smoked ham, melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and special sauce ($7.99). Entrees, served with a side and soup and salad bar, include a half fried chicken platter ($8.99) and steaks such as a 10-ounce rib-eye ($15.99) and a 7-ounce filet ($16.99).

The drinks: The cocktail list includes several types of margaritas ($4.99-$6.99), Southern Son vodka with sweet tea and lemon ($5.99), and Jack Daniel's Lynchburg Lemonade ($5.99). Wines by the glass ($4.99-$7.99) or bottle ($18.99-$30.99) include selections from Yellow Tail, La Crema, Hob Nob and 14 Hands. The recent draft beer list ($3.49/$4.49) featured Shock Top and Goose Island IPA.

The extras: Breakfast is available every day until 2 p.m. with build-your-own sandwiches ($6.99), pancake platters ($5.99-$7.99), omelets ($6.99) and steak and eggs ($11.99).