Chicken Salad Chick, a longtime fixture at Seventh and Market, is taking steps to reduce that operation to a kiosk, owner Josh Patton said.
He said, "Downtown has never performed to expectations. We are working to potentially drastically reduce the footprint and operate it as a kiosk like our Erlanger location."
Mr. Patton said, "The downtown market doesn’t have enough dinner and weekend business to offset our fixed costs of operating as a full-blown store.
"We are negotiating deals in Hixson and Fort Oglethorpe. We would coordinate those with the conversion of downtown. It would likely be converted back to office space."
Mr. Patton said the imposition of a Business Improvement District downtown was not a main factor in the decision.
He said, "I think there are positive and negative points to the BID, but it really doesn’t address our top customer complaint - parking. Our annual share for the BID isn’t meaningful enough to negatively affect us to base moving out solely on that.
"The real problem is the many issues downtown that don’t attract retailers, residents, etc. They can’t even fill up half of any new apartment development."
Mr. Patton said the change will likely come after the first of the year and is dependent on closing on the Hixson and Fort Oglethorpe deals.