Dugan’s, a popular Poncey-Highland sports bar known for its wings, is relocating by the end of the year from its present location on Ponce to what was formerly Northlake Mall, currently undergoing redevelopment in DeKalb County.
Steve Webb of commercial real estate firm Ackerman and Co., the company representing the Northlake complex, says the closure of Dugan’s on Ponce is expected to take place later this fall. The original Dugan’s opened in 1985 next to what is now Hotel Clermont on Ponce.
Once open at the new Northlake complex, Dugan’s will occupy a large space toward the front entrance of the property on Briarcliff Road. The menu should be similar to the Ponce location, serving a variety of pub grub, including ten wing flavors, burgers, and loaded nachos.
Plans for the redeveloping Northlake complex call for a mix of restaurants, a coffee shop, brewpub, retail businesses, and offices, along with locations of Emory Healthcare and the CDC Credit Union.
In 2016, rumors were circulating around town that Dugan’s would soon be replaced by a Chick-fil-A, when a listing advertising the Ponce property for sale appeared on commercial real estate website LoopNet. Employees of the restaurant and the property’s owner, Louis Chambers, firmly denied the rumors, blaming a “very aggressive broker.” However, Chambers did say at the time he would consider selling the property “if the [right] price came along.”
According to Urbanize ATL last August, Chick-fil-A went on to propose replacing a Texaco station just up the road at the corner of Ponce and Boulevard with a restaurant featuring a drive-thru and large parking lot. The proposal again sparked controversy, with area residents citing traffic concerns and accusing Chick-fil-A and City of Atlanta officials of prioritizing cars over pedestrians.
Then, in October 2021, Urbanize ATL uncovered plans for what appears to be a second Chick-fil-A four blocks east of the proposed restaurant, placing it on the site where Dugan’s currently resides. It would include parking, but no drive-thru window.
As of February 2022, the property at 777 Ponce De Leon Avenue is still listed for sale on LoopNet for the suggested price of $7 million, with renderings indicating a possible Chick-fil-A taking over the site.
The opening of Dugan’s at Northlake also marks another milestone moment for the longtime Atlanta sports bar: the launch of franchise opportunities.
4800 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta. dugansbar.com.