The restaurant, in the Woodlawn Commons shopping center behind the Chick-fil-A, underwent a $200,000 remodel, one of the biggest in the casual-dining chain’s history, according to owner Jeff McCann.
The project took four months to complete but customers should find it well worth the wait, he said.
It is the restaurant’s biggest renovation since opening in January 1997, and its first since expanding into the former Domino’s Pizza space next door almost 10 years ago.
“The goal was to reduce noise levels while providing added coziness to our diners,” McCann said. “The restaurant has a new, warmer American-themed color scheme, featuring new paint, fabrics and flooring, as well as many other additions that make this one of the most state-of-the-art restaurants in the J. Christopher’s family.”
J. Christopher’s operates four restaurants in Cobb County and two in east Cobb, with the other on Roswell Road at East Lake Shopping Center. Rounding out the company’s Cobb portfolio are restaurants at Town Center in Kennesaw and on Powers Ferry Road in Marietta.
But the Johnson Ferry Road site is the original J. Christopher’s, a concept hatched in 1996 and made a reality in January 1997 at this site.
This particular restaurant is special to McCann, because he lives nearby in east Cobb.
“It’s close to his house so he pops in all the time and actually goes into the kitchen and cooks,” said Cheryl Monkhouse, a spokeswoman for the company. “He’s very hands-on there. It’s his way of keeping the menu fresh.”
McCann owns the 21-restaurant chain with partner Chris Brogdon “but this location really is his baby,” Monkhouse said of the Johnson Ferry Road site.
“There are 21 restaurants and between McCann and Chris they roll their ownership over different ones,” she said. “There’s this interesting push and pull between the two, which is why there’s always something new happening on the menu between the stores.”
The restaurant on Johnson Ferry employs 25 people, Monkhouse said.
Renovation improvements include removing the tongue-and-groove ceiling and replacing it with an open air, insulated ceiling, and installing new seating with higher-backed booths and cushioned chairs. Sound-absorbing flooring was added throughout the dining areas. The sit-down counter was raised to give diners a better view, and crinkled glass partitions were added to knee walls for additional dining privacy.
The open-kitchen design was closed off to further reduce noise levels. A kitchen display screen was also added to help monitor and control cooking times, to ensure food is delivered to guests more efficiently. Coolers and cooking equipment were upgraded to more energy-efficient, heat-saving models.
The restaurant also updated exterior signage to reflect the current J. Christopher’s logo.
“Everything we did was designed to enhance the dining experience based on feedback we have received from our customers,” said McCann.
J. Christopher’s in October is supporting breast cancer research with $1 per order of Pumpkin Pancakes and 50 cents per Pumpkin Spice Latte ordered going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Military, fire and police personnel receive 50 percent off of their meal when they show their Military ID.
J. Christopher’s menu features traditional favorites along with signature items for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Breakfast and brunch favorites, include Eggs Christopher (think eggs Benedict), hot off the griddle Blueberry Crunchcakes and Chocolate Chipcakes, and delicious skillet creations like Turkey & Avocado. Lunch entrees include salads, sandwiches and warm selections like burgers and grilled quesadillas. J. Christopher’s also offers an array of specialty, gourmet coffee drinks.
J. Christopher’s now operates restaurants throughout metro Atlanta and in Franklin, Tenn., as well as in Savannah and Macon, according to its website, with an eye toward expansion into new neighborhoods throughout Atlanta and the Southeast.