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Popular eatery remodels, reopens
Chick-fil-A sports dual drive-through
chick fil a 1 employee jd
Employee Robin Millwood puts out fresh flowers at the newly remodeled Chick-fil-A at Lanier Crossing. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)
Mike Ridzon has made no secrets about a recent facelift.

The owner of Lanier Crossing Chick-fil-A said his restaurant needed to have some work done.

Among the changes at the two-decades-old eatery are an additional drive-through lane, upgraded restrooms and new tile flooring and furniture.  

“We shut down quietly and early ... and they were ripping and roaring here come Monday, the fifth of April,” Ridzon said. “We finished and reopened the third of May.”

But that was nearly too long to wait for Andrea Schaefer.

“I tried to come here a couple of times and I’m like, I’m still going to Chick-fil-A. You’re not stopping me,” joked Schaefer, who visits the Lanier Crossing location several times a week.

Like many regulars, Schaefer has many memories of the eatery.

“I used to come here when my son was young, like 10 years ago,’” she said. “This was always our spot. Every Friday we’d come here and he would come in and play.”

Betty Crocker and her husband, Don, have been going to the location for about 17 years. The two were surprised to see the construction.

“I thought it was wonderful before he made the change,” she said.

The two drove to Chick-fil-A locations in south Forsyth and Alpharetta, but she said the couple “had a hard time.”

“We missed it very much. We really did,” she said. “I do like the change though.”

Schaefer said she also likes the new look, noting that “it seems more open and there’s more seating.”

Ridzon said the remodeling is typical for most stores that have been around as long.

The upgrades — including high-top tables, earth tones and stone tiling — lend a more modern look to the interior, he said.

The speed of service has increased with the dual entrance drive-through, but so has the pressure inside the eatery.

Ridzon has hired about five new staff members and may eventually add more.

Staff had to adjust to the kitchen improvements and new shelving behind the counter, but after some practice everyone’s “gotten used to the new digs,” Ridzon said.

With nearly a month of no customers, Ridzon said he knew the business would take a hit financially. Still, he views the remodeling as an investment in the future.

“We’re taking a long-term approach to it,” he said. “We think in the long run, it’s the right thing to do.

“We’re going to be here for many, many more years and that’s where we think we’re going to see the results of what we’re striving for.”