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Legoland forces Chick-fil-A and other food court tenants to close at Phipps Plaza

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Legoland forces Chick-fil-A and other food court tenants to close at Phipps Plaza

legoland discovery center ~ what now, atlanta?

New Legoland Discovery Center hijacks mall's third level

Many tenants in the Phipps Plaza food court are closing "in the near future," except Moe’s, Subway and Nori Sushi, according to mall spokeswoman Jordan Worrall.

Worrall, on Monday, told What Now Atlanta exact closing dates were not available.

"The three [tenants] mentioned here will stay open at their current locations at least until the end of May," Worrall said. "I can’t offer a list of closing dates. They vary with each tenant."

Legoland Discovery Center, a 32,000-square-foot indoor attraction and retail store of the iconic plastic brick, is slated to open at Phipps Plaza spring 2012 (story here).

According to Tewelve Araya, who works at AMC Theatres, Chick-fil-A, Johnny Rockets, Great Wraps, Mandarin Express and Sbarro Pizza closed a "few days ago."

Araya said he is upset about the closings.

"I need somewhere to eat while I'm working," he said. "I can't eat the [legos] over there."

Araya said Legoland doesn't fit in at Phipps Plaza. "They took out a lot of jobs around here to open Legoland and it doesn't make sense. This is a high-end mall and we have all these expensive retailers."

But don't worry AMC ticket-taker! Phipps Plaza has a remedy-- a restaurant zone!

"We are currently working with the tenants and available lease space to create a fast casual/quick service restaurant zone on the third floor to support the movie theatre and Legoland Discovery Center traffic," Worrall said.

She said details about the restaurant zone weren't finalized.


Caleb J. Spivak
Caleb Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Atlanta (WNA). He was featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA has been named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing, and Atlanta and Jezebel Magazines.

19 responses to “Legoland forces Chick-fil-A and other food court tenants to close at Phipps Plaza

  1. Have a lot of friends at the nearby office buildings who lunch there daily and are pissed. I used to office at Pinnacle building and did the same. Even though I don't work in Buckhead now, I met people for lunch there twice this year and as always, it was packed.

  2. LegoLand simply doesn't fit in THAT mall. This might just be the oddest and most grim leasing news in decades. Simply strange!

  3. As a former owner of a franchise in Phipps' food court.. that place is a disaster! Johnny Rockets and Chick-fil-A always did well, but not enough to make up for the enormous rent bill. The other restaurants all survived on reduced rents and the hope that a huge blockbuster movie would arrive to save the day on weekends. The office building lunch crowd was significant however, and I just don't see Legoland picking up the economic slack. What is Simon thinking?

  4. I'm in agreement with Jef - re: grim. I think Phipps is heading down the tube. Numerous retailers (Fendi, Facconable, etc.) that would have opened up in Phipps 5 years ago have chosen Lenox because the foot traffic is that much better. Granted, a lot of the foot traffic is a lot of punk kids and loiterers, but a lot of it is also the entourages of a lot of Atlanta wealth. I can guarantee you that if Lenox had the space, Tiffany's, and a lot of the other larger Phipps tenants would high-tail it out of there as well.

    Maybe when Lenox expands, and Phipps falls apart, they can turn it into the Atlanta Museum of Thoughtless Planning and Development...I don't know if Phipps is big enough to house all the exhibits though.

  5. Phipps went down hill for me when they added Belks. Since when did Belks become a high end store? Leggo land should have opened on its own somewhere else.

  6. Legoland should be either at Atlantic Station or OTP like Northpoint. OTP is better since a lot of families live there, but I for one would be willing to drive to Midtown or even downtown for this. Phipps and its nightmare traffic make no sense for this attraction.

  7. Maybe Phipps is trying to get more foot traffic with Legoland???

    If the Streets of Buckhead ever gets going again, Phipps might be in trouble. I could see a lot of their retailers moving there... so maybe they are preparing with Legoland?

  8. At one time I thought Phipps was headed for the kind of elegance that you would find at Bal Harbor in Miami, Fl. Simon properties has demonstrated time and time again that they do not understand that kind of elegance-and are throwing away great potential for easy rugrat money. No more shopping with elegance and dignity, I will have to dodge strollers, screaming children and offending baby mama dramas.

  9. I can't believe they think Legoland justifies taking the foodcourt away. I work in the area and went there a few times a week. It was a nice place for lunch and some shopping. If Legoland is successful where are all the kids going to eat?

  10. For everyone so concerned about the food court at Phipps, Lenox Mall across the street has one...

    There's also lots of great restaurants NOT in a food court in Buckhead...

  11. What a shock to run over to the Phipps Food Court today hankering for a gyro from Great Wraps. Instead I got very crappy Chinese at Nori Sushi. The food court was a saving grace for nearby office workers, and mall workers, looking for a fast, inexpensive meal. Very sad that LegoLand is taking over so much of the 3rd floor. Phipps does seem an odd place for such a thing, but I am sure they were eager for anyone who was willing to foot the rent and be a major draw of potential customers for the stores.


    Which is exactly why people will choose Lenox over Phipps if they have a choice.


    Also if you are shopping in the mall and want a quick meal you aren't going to go across the street, and then walk clear to the other end of Lenox Mall and down two escalators to eat, and then come back and finish shopping.

  14. "This is a high-end mall and we have all these expensive retailers.”

    Not for much longer. They see the changes on the way.

  15. Well, I may need to change my screen name. I think Atlantic station would have been a better choice for lego land. Maybe the shops will move the Midtown Mile or buckhead ave. over the next six years.


    Simon owns Lenox and Phipps, some comments hint that some are unaware of this.

    Oh i stopped going to AMC when they stopped patrons from bringing in food from the food court several months ago.

  16. Sounds to me that the average Phipps worker will lose around 20 pounds and an inch or two off their waist now that these high fat eateries are no longer available.

  17. yeah buttercup, cause working in retail requires you to just sit on your ass instead of stand and move around the majority of the time. you're totally right.

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