ATLANTA — While owner Shaq promises "we will be back better than ever," the sight of a burned-out Atlanta icon early Wednesday morning was tough to take for many locals who have fond memories at the famous Ponce Krispy Kreme.
Fortunately, there were no injuries in the fire, as two employees escaped. But it will be some time before it's in operation again after the fire gutted most of the back half of the building, which first went up in Midtown in the spring of 1965.
As 11Alive Anchor Jeff Hullinger noted, its origins linked it with another noteworthy landmark that went up that year: Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.
“The end of an Atlanta era for all of us. The beloved Krispy Kreme off Ponce is gone. Destroyed by fire this morning," Jeff wrote on Twitter early this morning.
He was not alone among those mourning the donut shop.
One Atlanta medical professional wrote on Twitter: "This is heartbreaking... I'd stop by on the way home after doing thesis work... so many memories of stopping by this Krispy Kreme location."
Another Twitter user wrote: "I know we have all been dancing with our personal 'breaking points' for several months now, but the Ponce Krispy Kreme burning down overnight might really, actually be mine."
Public figures were distraught, as well. State Rep. Teri Anulewicz reacted on Twitter with "Nooooooo!"
"I will *never* forget the 1st time I went there & had my first Hot Donut Now sometime in the mid ‘80s on the way back to my aunt’s house in Stone Mtn after riding the Pink Pig on the roof of the downtown Rich’s," the House District 42 representative said.
11Alive's own Joe Ripley shared his cherished family memories of trips to the Krispy Kreme:
Georgia State Law professor Anthony Michael Kreis summed it up: "2021 sucks."