Editor's note: This story has been updated
When the new Newnan Chick-fil-A opens, it will no longer be a Dwarf House. But the change has nothing to do with The Walt Disney Company.
There have been comments on social media stating that Chick-fil-A has to pay royalties to Disney for using the word “dwarf” – allegedly because of an apparent copyright issue related to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”
“That is a myth,” said Julie Lindeman, senior project coordinator in the operations division at Chick-fil-A’s corporate office. Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy called his Hapeville restaurant “The Dwarf Grill” because the building was so tiny.
“It has nothing to do with Disney,” Lindeman said Friday.
Newnan’s Chick-fil-A Dwarf House is being demolished to make way for a new restaurant that will be called “Truett’s Chick-fil-A.”
The heart of the Dwarf House group is carrying on Cathy’s legacy, Lindeman said. The company already has Truett's Grill, Truett's Luau, and even Truett's Pizza.
Though the Newnan store is being changed, there are no plans to alter the original Dwarf House, located on Central Avenue in Hapeville.
Truett’s Chick-Fil-A is a new restaurant concept, and the Newnan location will be the first one built. “We hope for it to be the first of many,” Lindeman said. It’s set to open in late summer.
The new restaurant will continue to have full-service tables, a self-service area and a drive through. The self-service and full-service areas will be roughly the same size in the new restaurant, Lindeman said, instead of the full-service area being significantly larger, as it was at the Newnan Dwarf House.
The little red dwarf door – which was removed before the demolition – will be installed at the new restaurant and will be fully operational.
There will still be the vegetables that aren’t offered at a standard Chick-Fil-A, including cole slaw, as well as some new items.
“The menu is going to stay very much the same. We’ll still have sides and all the favorite items, but we will be introducing some new, kind of exciting, items,” she said. Don’t worry, Hot Brown fans. That bacon-covered tub of creamy deliciousness isn’t going anywhere.
There are plans to try out appetizers and perhaps a new dessert or different take on something that is already offered, she said.
When asked if there will still be all-you-can-eat buffets offered, Lindeman said that hadn’t yet been determined.
The current store was getting old and was at capacity, Lindeman said. “There is a capacity you hit where you physically can’t make chicken any faster. We were hitting that. There was no more room to go,” she said.
A decision had to be made: remodel and expand the 25-year-old building, or tear it down and start fresh. “The life of a building is about 30 years,” Lindeman said. “We felt it was best to just go ahead and scrap the whole building. We’re going to offer a better experience for our guests.”
The new restaurant will be built near the corner of Bullsboro and the Newnan Crossing Bypass, near where the current sign is located, and parking will be in the rear.
Improving traffic flow around the restaurant is a huge part of the redesign, she said. The drive through will be separated from the parking lot. “You will park and not have to walk through the drive-through line,” she said. There will still be two drive-through lanes, and there will be a canopy. Additionally, if someone’s order is taking longer, staff can walk food out to the vehicle behind, which can then drive away while the first vehicle stays at the window.
The temporary drive-through restaurant, with a limited menu, opened Friday afternoon.
Having temporary restaurants built of shipping containers is a new concept and has never been tried at Chick-fil-A before, she said.
Roughly 100 of the store’s 150 employees are still employed. Many will be working at the temporary location, and others have been transferred to other stores. Some of the employees have retired, she said.
Lindeman was asked if the laid-off employees would be given priority for rehire when the new restaurant opens. “We can’t guarantee that legally, but it’s always taken into consideration,” she said.