published Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Developers buy Roy's Grill from Rossville

by Andy Johns

For years, Troy Potter and his father talked about buying and restoring Roy's Grill in Rossville, where Potter remembers eating with his grandfather as a child.

After signing a contract with the city Tuesday, the Potters will get their chance.

"It's always been something we've been to and had an eye on it," said Potter, a developer who now lives on Signal Mountain. "We're going to put it back as close as possible as it was in the '40s and '50s and '60s."

Roy's, located a few feet south of the Tennessee line on U.S. 27, was built in 1949 after the original building was torn down for a highway widening project. The restaurant served as a Friday-night hangout and lunchtime favorite for generations of Rossville residents.

Rossville leaders announced Sept. 21 that the city had bought the building and 1.2 acres of land around it for $110,000, pulling money from its reserves.

The city then deeded the property to the Downtown Development Authority, which sold the building to the Potters for $50,000. The city will keep a triangle-shaped plot next to Roy's for a park and use the rest of the land as a parking lot.

Potter said he expected to put $275,000 into the project before it's done.

"To the city of Rossville, it's worth a heck of a lot more," said Bobby McNabb, executive director of the development authority. "Roy's has got a big history in the city there. There's a lot of people who have been asking for it to be restored as it was."

McNabb said this is the beginning of "making Rossville a destination" and said he could foresee a bustling hub of hamburgers like the Varsity restaurant in Atlanta.

Potter said the family plans to expand the seating area in the restaurant by knocking down walls that have separated the building into three businesses, including a pizza shop.

He also said they would like to find an old menu for the restaurant, which at one point was the first Krystal in Georgia, and build off that with hot dogs, hamburgers and fries.

"Basically, we're going to put the grill back just like it was," Potter said.

In a news release, development authority Chairman Ron Wade said the new Roy's is expected to open in late winter or early spring 2011.

McNabb said crews already have begun working, and he wouldn't be surprised if it was selling hamburgers before Christmas.

Contact Andy Johns at or call 423-757-6324.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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lcoffey1 said...

The city bought this property in September for 110,000 and spent tens of thousands on it. They are now selling it for 50,000. I say there is a rat in this pile.

The tax assesmenmt on the small building everyone knows as Roy's is 71,850.00

October 27, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.
isthatright said...

Ding...Ding...Ding...Icoffey1 wins the prize....I believe there is indeed at least one rat in the pile (and that is being kind). It offends me personally for the new owner to say that they are "attempting to make Roy's as close to the original state it was back in the 40's, 50's and 60's" as I personally believe that it was exactly that as it was with the previous owners. The problem is not the menu, it is the dying downtown Rossville area. Why travel to Chicamauga Avenue to eat, when all the shopping areas(and many other food options)are in Fort Oglethorpe???? I wish Mr. Potter and his family the best of success in the re-opening of Roy's Grill and I hope that it leaves as good of memories in his family as it has in mine

June 23, 2011 at 4:57 a.m.
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