Chef Shaun Doty and partner Lance Gummere are flipping the Lenox Square Mall Bantam + Biddy into the duo’s latest restaurant concoction—ATL Taco.
“Mall culture is considered to be dying but that’s not the case at Lenox,” Doty Saturday told What Now Atlanta in a telephone interview.
“I still remain very proud of what we accomplished with Bantam, but that concept requires a certain ecosystem to survive and that ecosystem doesn’t exist at Lenox.”
Bantam + Biddy—which operates successful locations in Ansley Mall and Avalon—over the next few weeks will be transformed into ATL Taco at the Buckhead mall.
The restaurant will stay open during the day while crews work overnight to convert the space into ATL Taco.
The taqueria will be the first spot for Mexican eats in Lenox, according to Doty, serving everything “from the expected to the unexpected.”
“You know the formula,” Doty said.
ATL Taco will offer all of the usual suspects—chips, salsa, guacamole, Margaritas—but with a “creative twist.”
“We’re going to do things like take a traditional salsa recipe, and make it southern. Maybe we’ll serve a hot chicken taco with slaw inspired by Chick-fil-A.”
While the menu hasn’t fully formed yet, ATL Taco won’t be “traditional like Nuevo Laredo, rather more contemporary.”
“Not to disparage Nuevo Laredo because we all know they kill it,” Doty said.
Inside, the 2,300-square-foot space will get new hardwood flooring and “really interesting” wallpaper will adorn the walls.
Signage will be hand-painted and the current “bright diner-like interior” will become “something darker and indicative of a hacienda.”
The patio will see the most extensive overhaul including a giant mural from a local muralist, new seating by local woodworker Stephen Evans, market lights, and even some cactus landscaping.
“It’s a village effort by a lot of Atlanta craftsman,” Doty said, aiming to honor Atlanta’s “emerging civic pride and culture” in the space.
“I don’t want to sound like a booster, but the civic pride from the success of Atlanta in terms of marketing itself, bringing in new energy, and new developments, is undeniable.”
Whether it’s through the Atlanta-centric mural in the space or in the restaurant’s name itself, the concept seeks to honor the city.
“Sports and civic pride have emerged and I kinda like it. Our cool restaurants, our amazing parks, our teams. It’s raised the standard of living and the quality of our lives, traffic excluded,” Doty said.
ATL Taco is expected to open January 15, 2018.