East Ridge Wally's Restaurant Closing After 34 Years

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Wally's Restaurant in East Ridge is closing after 34 years.

Owners Glen and Sharon Meadows said the property near the I-75 Exit 1 is under contract.

The Wally's on McCallie Avenue will remain open.

The couple said:

To our loyal customers - this is a message from Glen and Sharon Meadows. After 34 years in the day to day operation as Wally’s Restaurant in East Ridge … Saturday March 18th will be our last day of operation. We are retiring from the restaurant business.

Words cannot express our appreciation for many many years of support from the East Ridge and North Georgia communities. We also want to thank our hundreds of employees throughout the 34 years who worked side by side with us serving our community. Thank you to the ones that remained with us in coming back after the pandemic. A very special thanks to those who will walk out the door with me on our last day.

Thank you to my adult children that literally grew up in the restaurant. David was 2 when we started in 1989. He put in many hours in all areas of the business. He has since made a career in the logistics business. Allison was born in 1997, 8 years after opening in East Ridge. She worked several years with us and now lives in another state supporting her husband in his pursuit of becoming a physician. Special thanks to my wife of 40 years that has listened to all of my restaurant stories. She retired from Southern Champion Tray almost 23 years ago to help with office administration.

Several years back I began learning residential development and home building. As a result, I worked to achieve a residential and commercial construction licenses in both Tennessee and Georgia. I will now focus full time on my building and development projects.

What will happen on my corner is to be determined, the property is under contact. Several development options are being considered. Rumors have been going around since 2019 about what is happening with the property. It has been a great place to raise a family and run a business. But it is time for something new, bright and shiny at corner of I-75 and Ringgold Road.

My original partner in the business was the late Tony Kennedy. He bought Wally’s on McCallie Avenue in 1975. He was close friends with my mom and dad. He taught me so much and gave me the opportunity to grow in both the restaurant and the real estate business. I started my restaurant career at age 12 working at Wally’s on McCallie Avenue. I worked there until age 25 working through college to earn my BS degree in finance. I thought briefly about going into the banking world and was offered a job at American National Bank but through some twist and turns, I ended up becoming a partner with Mr. Kennedy at our East Ridge location. My youngest brother Gary owns and operates Wally’s on McCallie Avenue. It will continue to operate as normal.

After working 45 plus years in the restaurant business, I am ready to retire from that and move onto my next venture.

I am blessed and it has been a pleasure working alongside many great people and serving our community.

Thank you all,

Glen and Sharon Meadows

Mr. Meadows said when Wally's East Ridge first started in 1989 it had about 60-65 employees.

It stayed around 60 until dropping to around 50-55 at the time of the 2008 recession.
Wally's East Ridge in 2013 went from seven days a week to six days dropping to 45-50 workers.
The restaurant in March of 2020 at the time of the pandemic shut down until June when it reopened with limited hours and no more buffet. Employment then was about 25.
With labor shortage issues last Nov 22 the restaurant adjusted hours again to lunch only .

It is currently at about 15 employees.

Mr. Meadows said several will continue their careers at Wally’s on McCallie Avenue. Several are ready for retirement. He said he is working with several in helping place them.

Breaking News
Police Blotter: Man Dodges Scam From "Covid Relief" Worker; Unknown Person Causes $15,000 Damage To Fence And Light Pole
  • 4/1/2023

A man on Blackford Street told police an unknown person tried to get him to give personal information and gift cards under the guise of being with Covid Relief. The man said he did not comply ... more

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report
  • 4/1/2023

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALLEN, JAYLEN WILLIAM 7949 TROUT LILY DRIVE OOLTEWAH, 37363 Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PD TINTED WINDOWS ... more

Collegedale Police Arrest Man Wanted In 2 Police Pursuits
Collegedale Police Arrest Man Wanted In 2 Police Pursuits
  • 4/1/2023

Jeremy Lee Logan was taken into custody by Collegedale Police on Thursday. Logan was involved in two police pursuits in Collegedale in 2022. The most recent was when the Bradley County native ... more