Dining: What’s next for The Varsity planned for Rome: Hearing on site plan Jan. 20; Dairy Queen closing in February. Engineering company also worked on Shannon’s Ball Corp. campus. Rome/Floyd Planning Department.  What to know.

Dining: What’s next for The Varsity planned for Rome: Hearing on site plan Jan. 20; Dairy Queen closing in February. Engineering company also worked on Shannon’s Ball Corp. campus. Rome/Floyd Planning Department. What to know.


So what’s next in Rome with The Varsity?

  • The plan is to have a 4,358-square-foot building on the Dairy Queen site, with a drive-through. Compare that to the Buffalo Wild Wings/former O ‘Charley’s at 7,700 square feet.
  • The site is approximately 1 acre; the current campus — property and building — were appraised at $1,073,800 in November 2020, a signficant jump from the previous year.
  • The Varsity is building two new sites in Athens to replace the now-closed landmark location. According to initial bids from July, each building will cost between $1 million and $3 million. We do not have the design plans on those as yet.
  • The variances sought on the Rome restaurant are up for review Jan. 20.
  • Dairy Queen is scheduled to remain open off Spider Webb, at least until February.

About W & A Engineering, Athens. The company might sound familiar to some, thanks to its work on one of the largest projects in Floyd County in recent years: Ball Corp. From the company website:

“Ball Corporation, a provider of aluminum packaging for beverages, personal care, and household products, contracted with W&A
Engineering to provide civil engineering and land surveying services to assist with their expansion in Rome- Floyd County,
Georgia. The company is currently building a new recyclable aluminum cups manufacturing plant on a 52.5-acre parcel,
creating more than 180 new jobs and investing more than $200 million in the project. W&A was brought in early to the project to
perform an ALTA Survey with topography and as-built surveys as well as preliminary concept plans and the master site plan, which
includes grading plans and utility easement plans, and entitlement coordination and construction administration services.”


The Dairy Queen off Spider Webb Drive will give way to Rome’s first Varsity restaurant based on these images submitted to the Rome-Floyd Planning Department for review by the Board of Adjustments in January.
Another view of the site (above) and a drawing of what to expect below.


>Have Varsity memories? Please share them here.


So here’s the official word: The Varsity would take the spot of the East Rome Dairy Queen with a new restaurant provided developers can get some variances on landscaping and parking. The site is off East First as it becomes North Broad south of the Broad/Martin Luther King Jr. intersection off Spider Webb in Five Points. Or easier to say: the existing Dairy Queen site. The plan is for Dairy Queen to remain open until at least February.

The package delivered to the city electronically on Tuesday morning shows the above images and includes this narrative below:

Board of Zoning Appeals – Rome, Ga.,

The purpose of this document is to list the scope of work that we are planning to execute provided we are granted a variance during the hearing set to be held on 01/20/2022. The scope of work is summarized but may not be limited to the following tasks:

  1. There is currently no existing landscape buffer along the street frontages. IF granted the variance,our clientproposes an increase this – up to a minimum of 4.5 Feet (approx.), rather than the 20-foot landscape buffers prescribed by the code. Due to the unique shape and placement of the property,we feel this would be a definite improvement to the aesthetic beauty of the property.
  2. Creating new one-way traffic lane but with a minor reduction in size from 18 Feet to 13 feet of the existing one-way traffic isles. It shall be a clearly marked one way traffic aisle, there exists the potential fortwo lanes of traffic; one for queuing (11’) and one for by-pass (13’) which produces a 24-foot width total.

Thank you for your consideration. If there is any further explanation or documentation that the board of Zoning appeals would like to see, please do not hesitate to communicate this with us. We are eager to provide any assistance possible.

Kind Regards, Malcolm D. Young III, W&A Engineering

On Saturday, area media was provided with this announcement:

“Toles, Temple & Wright, Inc. Real Estate is assisting The Varsity Restaurants in securing a location in Rome and have identified a preliminary location. Bill Temple, vice president of Toles, Temple & Wright Inc. Real Estate worked to bring the group to Rome and Craig McDaniel, TTW Agent, has secured a location.”
But the scoop goes to Hometown regular contributor BH who shared a conversation Dec. 2 as follows:
  • The Varsity also is planning a Cartersville location in front of the Tractor Supply Store off Tennessee Street across from the Savoy car museum.
  • A check of the website shows The Varsity has four locations — Atlanta, Kennesaw, Norcross and Dawsonville — as well as two spots at the Atlanta airport. The Athens location closed earlier this year and will be replaced by two restaurants — another near Athens and in Bethlehem.
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