You Won’t Believe What’s Going To Replace Zesto On Ponce

It's a fast food chain you've probably never heard of: The Cookout.

It’s another burger fast food chain you’ve probably never heard of: Cookout.

The Zesto Drive-In restaurant at 544 Ponce de Leon Avenue announced over the weekend it will close its doors Sept. 20 after 60 years in business.

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Tuesday, the privately owned fast food restaurant chain Cookout, submitted a building permit application to City of Atlanta to make commercial alterations to the iconic dive-in on Ponce, and open in Zesto’s place.

The scope of work mostly calls for interior renovations including a new layout, walls, doors, electrical systems, lighting, plumbing, mechanical, chicken equipment, flooring, ceiling finishes, and paint. The exterior, however, “will remain the same,” according to the application.

The North Carolina-based chain that serves grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, chicken sandwiches, “North Carolina barbecue,” and milkshakes, is expected to spend an estimated $85,000 in upgrades.

Are you satisfied with Zesto’s replacement? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

37 Responses

  1. This isn’t Buzzfeed, can you politely refrain from doing crap like YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT… in your headlines and stick to providing informative copy and not subjecting your readers to clickbait.

    Let’s nip this behavior in the bud before it becomes a habit.


  2. Never been to one, but I see their signs on billboards when driving through the Carolinas. Looks like they’re famous for…….burgers and shakes. Not exactly a new concept in that building, which may be OK for the Zesto lovers.

  3. After eating a few times at the Cookout in EAV, I can honestly say that I wish this location was staying a Zesto. Cookout does not live up to the hype.

  4. While I love Cookout, I am disappointed to see such a historical place go away for it. It’s too bad we don’t cherish the history of this city.

  5. Regarding your headline: I don’t understand what is so unbelievable about another burger joint replacing Zesto. To me, that is quite easy to accept — in fact, I totally believe you! Had it been, say, a space rocket launch pad or a legal medical Crystal Meth dispensary, I wouldn’t have believed it.

  6. It’s a wash! They’re basically the same type of fast food joint. Cookout is an amazing deal, the food is good, and they have a great selection of shakes. Zesto is great of course—their soft serve is top-notch, chubby deckers are tasty, etc. My only gripe would be that the retro design of the space doesn’t mix well with Cookout’s brand. All in all, not a big deal imo.

  7. The thing about Cookout seems to be that the food is cheap and plentiful, but not very good. (Great selection of OK shakes, though.) All things considered, I’d rather keep Zesto.

  8. I just thought this needed to be said again:

    “This isn’t Buzzfeed, can you politely refrain from doing crap like YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT… in your headlines and stick to providing informative copy and not subjecting your readers to clickbait.

    Let’s nip this behavior in the bud before it becomes a habit.



  9. Hate to see Zestos go because of the tradition and the employees that have been there for years. But, Cookout’s burgers whip Zestos burgers hands down. They’re just better. And the shakes are too. Sorry- I’m just sayin.

  10. I really can’t believe this. It’s very shocking new information that has taken me by complete surprise. In fact the biggest surprise is that this article doesn’t end with the words “Developing….”. Since most of your articles covering new restaurant openings in Atlanta are worthy of being treated like breaking news and this site is just like Reuters, I expect nothing less.

    I am still in disbelief about cookout though. I may have to drive out to Ponce once it supposedly opens to check with my own eyes that it is indeed, there.

  11. There’s a Cookout on Moreland. It’s not like it’s not in Atlanta. All this “probably something you’ve never heard of!!!!!11!1!” is stupid.

  12. Sad to see that Zesto is closing! Being a native Atlantian, I ate there quite a bit, as did my father decades before me when he worked downtown. – #bestmilkshakesever

  13. You will like Cookout if quantity is more important to you than quality. You get a lot of food for your money, but the food is mediocre.

  14. It seems like the people in your comments don’t understand how good Cookout is. Open 24 hours. Fresh made burgers. A full platter for $4.99 which includes a burger and 2 sides (such as a corn dog and onion rings?!) Amazing shakes?! It’s a drunk person’s dream. Ponce is the perfect location. I’m a happy girl 🙂

  15. well slap me on the ass and tickle me silly! cookout appears to be a well run operation. i shall only wonder about the traffic/congestion that seems to go along with cookout…time will tell.

    and quit picking on caleb for his titles…..jeez! tough crowd

  16. Meh. They have one on Moreland and the traffic for it is ridiculous. While the food is alright, it’s hardly a replacement for Zesto.

  17. COOKOUT IS AMAZING!!!!! I am from N.C. and grew up on this chain. Literally, ask anyone from North Carolina, and they will tell you the same. Zesto, see you later. Welcome to affordable, culinary bliss.

  18. I really hate to see Zesto go, but Cookout is 1000% better than the rumored Chick-fil-a option. The Cookout in EAV is above average fast food and they are happy to serve everyone. Cookout does not fund hate groups, spout off hate speech, or discriminate like Chick-fil-a does. Cookout will be a welcome addition to the Ponce and Midtown neighborhoods.

  19. I will miss Zestos..and the iconic affiliation for so many years..but
    I have to say ..since my recent visits in Charlotte and raleigh Durham. .I love the quality and taste of the food …and service is great..very well managed..try one
    nearby..I think one opened on memorial near grant park?
    The spicy chicken sandwich and the banana walnut milkshake will make your right leg quiver

  20. I don’t understand how the city plans to deal with the traffic. The location is directly next door to McDonalds and the traffic is already so bad at certain times of the day that a police officer has to be stationed at the driveway to direct traffic in and out. I’ve seen lines of cars out into the street at the Cook Out on Moreland, so this is going to further enhance an already overly congested area.

  21. Wow great news cookout will do wonderful there and fits in well with midtown instead of some cookie cutter national chain there food is leagues above in quality and freshness

  22. Chick Filet is good and a supporter for years…but this new ATL entry is so much better….I only used to visit CO in Charlotte and Durham when in NC…..

  23. Okay, First off…That Zestos Location sucked. And I an talking about their food, not the homeless prostitutes sucking people off in the bushes and smoking crack in the back parking lot. They didn’t even sell the famous Broasted chicken anymore, but they did sell nasty tacos and burritos, with Green salsa verde that was so old that it became coagulated like jello. If you truly love Zestos, their roach infested food, rude service, and homeless peeps hanging out, Try the Little 5 Points location, or go further down Memorial to the other location.
    As for Cookout, the location in East Atl. rocks! I wouldn’t recommend it to vegans. I will be trying the Ponce location today!

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