THE FIRST MAD ITALIAN, PEACHTREE ROAD, ATLANTA GEORGIA. THE BUILDING NO LONGER STANDS. IN ITS PLACE IS ANOTHER HIGH RISE CONDO.
The idea for the Mad Italian was conceived during the Spring of 1973. The originators thought that a northern style sandwich shop serving submarine sandwiches would prosper in Atlanta since there were so few in the city at that time. The idea for the cheese steak and the hoagie came from the Philadelphia area. The Italian sausage and meatball were New York style sandwiches. This blend of New York and Philadelphia specialties, coupled with fast service, a casual atmosphere and the serving of beer and wine formed the basic ideas for the first Mad Italian. Throughout our history, The Mad Italian has come to be known as the home of "Atlanta's Best Cheese Steak" and this one item has accounted for over 50% of our total sales. After some two months of planning and construction, The Mad Italian restaurant began operations on Peachtree Road, July 23, 1973. This has henceforth come to be celebrated as the Anniversary date for The Mad Italian. The company operated as a partnership for several months but was incorporated as a Georgia corporation in November of 1973. During those early months, much trial and error with food, service and operations produced only moderate sales and minimal success. In spite of these growth pains, however, a spirit of friendly courteous service and the ability to serve good food was established. The second year brought refinements in food preparation with the addition of a kitchen manager. There was also increased sales volume with the addition of menu items (salads, desserts) and expanded business hours (Sundays). The sales growth during 1974 75 was 55%. Late in 1975, plans were made to open a second location.
The Windy Hill Road area seemed to incorporate the right mixture of business and residential population with growth potential and on January 17, 1976, the second Mad Italian opened for business. Again, sales growth came very slowly. By 1977, the Mad Italian was again ready for further growth and opened the Coastal States Building, day-time only, location on October 14, 1977. Although sales here were always adaquate, at the expiration of the five year lease it was felt the lack of night business would always be a detriment to corporate sales so the option to renew was not exercised. The Coastal States Building location closed in December, 1982. In the meantime, a free standing location was secured on Savoy Drive in Chamblee in a building which had once been a Dairy Queen. This store experienced the most successful opening in our history in December, 1981 and has continued to be a great performer over the years.