Moreland and East Confederate

1181 E. Confederate Ave., Atlanta

Little Five Points

377 Moreland Ave. N.E., Atlanta

Forest Park

151 Forest Parkway, Forest Park

Piedmont Road-Buckhead

2469 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta


22 Carriage Oaks Drive, Tyrone

Zesto Drive-In, a part of life on Ponce de Leon Avenue for 60 years, will close this Saturday, leaving the chain with five locations in metro Atlanta.

The owners of Zesto Drive-In announced the closing Monday. The property at 544 Ponce de Leon Ave. was sold to North Carolina-based Cook Out. The restaurant has a similar concept to Zesto, with burgers, barbecue, hot dogs and shakes. Although the design is a similar diner concept, the restaurant will make renovations to the building to mirror Cook Out’s popular double drive-in, outdoor “cook out” style.

Zesto’s Ponce de Leon location cemented its place in Atlanta 60 years ago, as the city’s second location. It started as a walk-up stand selling ice cream in 1954. The owner, John Livaditis, franchised the original Zesto location, on Peachtree Road across from Brookwood Station, in 1949 from Taylor Freeze Corp. However, the company abandoned the franchises in the early 1950s, and that led Livaditis to expand menu offerings beyond solely ice cream. That first location is closed.

The small walk-up on Ponce de Leon was renovated in 1991 and became a hallmark of design for the chain. The new look mirrored a classic diner in a varied visual display of neon lights, porcelain, chromatic interiors and tile floors. The iconic building has been featured in several movies and photos and even earned the Atlanta Urban Design Commission's Award for Architectural Excellence in 1991.

Customers leave the Ponce de Leon location of Zesto on Monday evening. The owners announced that the location will close its doors for good on Saturday because they sold the property. BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM

Credit: BEN GRAY / AJC

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Credit: BEN GRAY / AJC

Out of the five Zestos that operated in 1955, the only remaining drive-in still open is the Buckhead location on Piedmont Road.

The sons of John — Lee and Jimbo Livaditis — are the sole stockholders in the company, and they assure that the drive-in still remains a family business. According to the website, “The other five Zesto locations around metro Atlanta remain alive and well and customers will find the same ice cream treats and hot menu items, friendly service and truly original Zesto experience at the remaining locations.”