A Historic Chick-fil-A Location Is Closing After 56 Years

The chain’s first-ever store opened at the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta on November 24, 1967.

First Chick-fil-A Location in Greenbriar Mall


Truett Cathy’s first official Chick-fil-A location was about the size of a two-car garage—just 384 square feet. He had reimagined the fried chicken sandwich twenty years earlier at his restaurant, The Dwarf Grill in Hapeville (now The Dwarf House) and licensed his revolutionary flash-fried creation to other vendors in the area. When he decided to branch out for the first Chick-fil-A-specific restaurant in the Greenbriar Mall, those licenses were terminated; Truett had big plans for the increasingly popular, ever-crispy chicken sandwich.

Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta, Georgia was itself a novel concept—one of the first indoor malls in the Southeast. Truett’s decision to open a Chick-fil-A stall to serve patrons “changed the fast-food landscape forever,” Chick-fil-A’s website says. The menu looked much smaller than it does today, however, with only a few staple fixtures—a 59-cent Original Chicken Sandwich, for instance. The Chick-fil-A location also offered coleslaw, regular fries (Waffle Fries weren’t introduced until two decades later), salads, lemonade, and lemon pie.

The Chick-fil-A team member garb was also reminiscent of years past. Chick-fil-A says that employees at the original Greenbriar location “donned uniforms…including candy-striped aprons, ascots, “soda jerk” hats and ties.” The restaurant later moved across the hall from their cramped space, expanding to keep up with the growing demand.

The Greenbriar Mall location was operated by Doris Williams, a small business owner. Doris and her team slung chicken sandwiches Monday through Saturday (closed on Sundays, of course)—the concept of a female-operated business quite as original for the age as Truett’s chicken sandwich. (The Women’s Business Ownership Act, which created government support for female business owners, wasn’t passed into law until 1988 by President Reagan.)

That little location in the mall was the birthplace of what would become nearly 3,000 Chick-fil-A locations across the nation.

Many are sad to see the historic, beloved Chick-fil-A close—and patrons are shocked by the decision, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, which was announced with printer-paper flyers posted around the Chick-fil-A food court stall. The location’s last day is Saturday, May 20, closing at 4 p.m. The store signed their flyers with a bittersweet message: “It has been our pleasure to serve you.”

On the location’s fortieth anniversary in 2007, a plaque was installed: “In 1967, Truett Cathy pioneered in-mall dining with the first Chick-fil-A restaurant located here at Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall… Thank you to all Greenbriar Mall patrons of the past, present, and future.” Their Facebook page now reads “Permanently closed.”

Chick-fil-A Greenbriar Mall 40th Anniversary Plaque


Chick-fil-A has yet to respond about the reason for the Greenbriar closure. Thankfully, chicken sandwich lovers in Atlanta can still fulfill their cravings at over two dozen locations in the surrounding area—257 in Georgia, alone.

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