Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders is remodeling the old Steak ‘n Shake in Oakwood, with an eye toward opening by late May.
“The entire building is going to look completely different,” said Alex Larson, part of an ownership team bringing the Florida-based restaurant chain to the Atlanta area. ““We’re basically going to take out the entire storefront, redo most of the siding, and the interior will be completely changed around.”
Work is underway at what will be the 3,500-square-foot store with 50-60 employees at 3525 Thurmon Tanner Parkway, just south of Mundy Mill Road.
A large Steak ‘n Shake sign with a stacked stone base still faces Thurmon Tanner, but that could be gone in the next three to five weeks, Larson said Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Steak ‘n Shake was at the location from 2013 until the fall of 2020, when the diner-style restaurant, known for its steakburgers and “hand-dipped” milkshakes, put a handwritten sign on the front door that said, “Permanently closed.” Nationally, the chain has struggled financially in recent years, according to media reports.
As for Huey Magoo’s, the location fit its geographic needs.
“Oakwood seemed to line up very well to where we were looking,” Larson said. “We have several Papa John’s restaurants in Gainesville, so we’re familiar with the Gainesville market. When that (Steak ‘n Shake) site became available, and Mundy Mill Road is a heavily trafficked area, we felt like it was a great site.”
Huey Magoo’s is also developing a site off Spout Springs Road in Braselton in South Hall, as part of a new, two-building development near Friendship Springs Boulevard and a Publix-anchored shopping center.
“We think that’s an extremely powerful intersection,” Huey Magoo’s franchisee Dean Thompson said in September 2020 of Spout Springs Road at nearby Friendship Road. “It’s definitely a destination for grocery stores, but we also feel that the amount of food options in that area is to our benefit. We’re going to be a very good fit there.”
The Braselton location could open “in the second half of this year,” Larson said Wednesday. “It will be coming out of the summer months, most likely.”