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Former pro football players to open 20 Denny's restaurants in Atlanta area, including Gwinnett

SNELLVILLE — The all-night diner chain Denny’s could open a location in Snellville within the next several months.

Former pro football players Donnell Thompson and Ronald Wooten have signed a development agreement with Denny’s Corp. for 20 new restaurants in metro Atlanta, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.

Locations in Snellville, Douglasville, Hapeville and intown Atlanta (North Druid Hills Road and Buford Highway) are in the works, as Spartanburg, S.C.-based Denny’s is trying to make a comeback in Atlanta, the hometown of rivals Waffle House and Huddle House, the report said. The chain had a larger presence in the market 20 years ago, but today only six restaurants remain.

According to the report, the planned expansion could bring about 1,500 new jobs to metro Atlanta. The intown location could open in the next four months, Thompson said. The Snellville restaurant would likely come next, and the company hopes for a pace of four or five new restaurants per year.

“We’re excited about being able to grow the Denny’s brand,” said Thompson, who played for the Indianapolis Colts for 12 years. His business partner, Wooten, spent 10 years with the New England Patriots. “We think we will have quite a bit of success.”