COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus Chick-fil-A restaurant that has become a landmark on Wynnton Road will be temporarily closing later this week for a major renovation.
Owner-operator Alex Vann tells News 3 that the restaurant will close Thursday evening and begin renovations shortly after that. Vann won’t put a timetable on the work, but says that large renovations to the inside and outside like this one can take 10-12 weeks.
“The Chick-fil-A on Wynnton Road is a destination Chick-fil-A,” Van said Wednesday morning. “You are not going to drive by and say, ‘Let me pull into Chick-fil-A.’ When you come to the Chick-fil-A on Wynnton Road in Midtown you are intending to come here. For the past 17 years, it’s become that destination for those in Uptown and those in Midtown, those in South Columbus and Fort Benning. It is an intentional act to come to this Chick-fil-A.”
Vann says it’s time to freshen up the property. It is the second oldest stand-alone Chick-fil-A in Columbus, and the oldest not to have a renovation. The Chick-fil-A opened in the old Columbus Square Mall in the early 1970s.
“Knowing that the building is tired,” Vann said. “After 17 years and thousands and thousands of customers, six days a week, the building is tired. It is time to not only give the building a facelift but a whole, entire refresher.”
The kitchen area will be expanded to allow more room in the drive-through area.
“That should allow us to get people through even quicker,” Vann said.
During COVID-19, the Wynnton Chick-fil-A went to a two-wide drive-through. A new structure, like the one at the Manchester Expressway Chick-fil-A will be constructed to keep employees and customers out of the weather as much as possible.
When the Wynnton Chick-fil-A closes on Thursday the roughly 60 employees will be shifted to the Manchester Expressway, which Vann also owns and operates. Because of staffing issues, that store is currently drive-through only.
The two restaurants are 2 and a half miles apart.
“Having a second restaurant in our organization so close – it’s just one organization, two different locations – enables us that we can keep our team members secure,” Vann said. “They are not worried about what they are going to do. … But we can really keep everybody in this family business together.”
The other benefit is the Manchester Expressway dining room will reopen on Monday, Vann said.