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Chevy’s in McDonough changing name, menu

Photo by Jason A. Smith
Vintage photographs depicting celebrities of yesteryear line the walls at Chevy’s Diner & Pub in McDonough. The restaurant has developed a loyal customer base in recent years.

Photo by Jason A. Smith Vintage photographs depicting celebrities of yesteryear line the walls at Chevy’s Diner & Pub in McDonough. The restaurant has developed a loyal customer base in recent years.

McDONOUGH — Changes are coming to one of the downtown area’s most popular restaurants and area residents are invited to be a part of that process.

Chevy’s Diner & Pub at 45 Macon St. is changing its name. A contest is ongoing until Oct. 31 to determine what the new name will be. The new name will go into effect Jan. 1.

Co-owner Neil Daniell and wife Erica opened the restaurant in April 2008. He said the name change is part of an endeavor to accommodate growth at Chevy’s.

“We have managed to survive a pretty tough economy,” he said. “Quite frankly, we’re outpacing the industry right now. Because the economy has been down, most restaurants weren’t seeing growth. We’ve been consistently seeing 10 to 15 percent growth. Coming into the springtime of next year we will have, in effect, outgrown our kitchen in the back. I have to do something with that kitchen.”

Daniell wants to trademark his restaurant to create future growth. The only way to do that, he said, is to change the name since other restaurants in Georgia carry the Chevy’s moniker.

“Because we are growing, I have people coming in from Athens, Peachtree City, Macon, Marietta, Smyrna and Lawrenceville to dine with us,” said Daniell. “We’ve been approached to open other locations.”

He also plans to introduce a new lunch menu and install a walk-in freezer.

“People won’t notice it as much as they think they will,” he said. “Our menu is quirky, has always been quirky and will continue to be quirky. That’s not to say we won’t streamline it so it’s easier to read, but it will always be that way.”

Daniell said the restaurant’s new menu will feature more vegetables, and booths will be installed in the next six months.

He was quick to point out, however, that the changes don’t equate to a complete overhaul at Chevy’s.

“We’re not going to change the ambience,” he said. “We’re always going to be a 50s diner.”

Daniell said he has received positive feedback from regular customers since word got out about the changes.

“People are glad to see us grow,” he said.

The winner of the naming contest will receive either $500 in cash or $500 in food coupons to use at the diner. Entries in the contest must be no longer than four words and reflect a 1950s theme. They also must include the entrant’s contact information and the time and date of the entry.

Chevy’s owners will select the new name. If two high-ranking entries are submitted with the same or substantially similar names, the first one submitted will be the winner.