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The Varisty, Atlanta's Chili Dog Icon, Eyes Statewide Expansion

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The brand may be planning big moves in the not-too-distant future.

The Varsity's original Midtown restaurant.
The Varsity's original Midtown restaurant.
Flickr/Bryce Edwards

The Varsity, which has been the standard-bearer for Atlanta hot dogs since opening on North Avenue in 1928, recently closed its Alpharetta outpost. That could be considered a sign of trouble, but president Gordon Muir tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution otherwise. In fact, The Varsity may be on the verge of a major expansion.

"Now, in fact, Muir and his brother-in-law, John Browne, the chain's vice president, want to spread small Varsity restaurants across Georgia," AJC columnist Matt Kempner writes. "But first they have to convince Muir's mom, Nancy Simms, who is most focused on ensuring the legacy of the restaurants they already have."

When he announced the Alpharetta shutter, Muir said he and his team "came to the conclusion that our three other stores north of the perimeter —€”€” Town Center (Kennesaw), Dawsonville, and Gwinnett (Norcross) —€”€” can effectively serve our customers in this area." He told the AJC the restaurant was in a poor location, too big, and too expensive, but its shutter isn't indicative of the brand's overall health.

Muir, Browne, and the rest of the family behind The Varsity reportedly will meet on March 1 to make a decision on potential growth, and a consultant will "present results of customer surveys and a ranked list of the 10 best Georgia locations" for new restaurants. Muir and Brown are already looking at a potential opening in Winder, and Kempner reports three more could come in the next five years.

The Varsity

61 North Avenue Northwest, , GA 30308 (404) 881-1706 Visit Website