Flavorful fried chicken, family-style sides, and a dash of silliness is part of the recipe for success that Mothers Best is cooking up in downtown Decatur.
“We’re gonna have a lot of fun with this project,” chef and co-owner Ean Bancroft told What Now Atlanta. “You’re gonna see a lot of laughs and smiles all over the restaurant.”
But the culinary prowess of Mothers Best is no joke. Bancroft is a long-time chef, with experience at Lloyd’s and The S.O.S. Tiki Bar. Bancroft and Mothers Best co-owner and chef Ross Winecoff met their partners on the project, Donald Durant and Armando Celentano, at Sceptre Brewing Arts. (Durant and Celentano are part of the team behind Argosy in East Atlanta Village.)
Fried chicken lovers around Atlanta might be familiar with Mothers Best, as the concept has long been doing pop-ups (and still does) around Atlanta.
“It’s a pick-up counter type of situation, a place to grab a pitcher of beer and hang out with a couple of friends and chow down on fried chicken,” Bancroft said of the upcoming restaurant.
Fried chicken buckets will be the star of the show, but they also plan to have chicken tenders and sides like velvet potatoes, red beans and rice.
It is expected to open in November, late October at the earliest. Mothers Best is taking over the space at 406 Church Street from Calle Latina, a Latin American restaurant that relocated this summer.
Changes to the space are mostly cosmetic, with updated fixtures and a transformation into the Mothers Best vibe, which Bancroft describes as a “mid-90s Atlanta aesthetic.” Think Georgia folk art and nods to the Atlanta Braves, and expect lots of yellow, brown and red (a fried-chicken color palette, naturally), with colorful pops like pink and turquoise.
“We’re starting to gain some really positive momentum in the buildout,” he said.
Mothers Best’s first brick-and-mortar almost didn’t land in the Peach State. They were considering moving it to Virginia, but ended up taking the concept back to its birthplace of Georgia.
And the location is perfect for Mothers Best to get its brick-and-mortar start.
“Being in downtown Decatur is a unicorn for us,” Bancroft said. “It’s the perfect place to poise ourselves. I love what’s happening in downtown Decatur… I’m just happy to be in the mix.”
Don’t expect Mothers Best to slow down anytime soon. They plan to continue to have a pop-up presence at events in the area, and eventually open more locations in other neighborhoods.
“I grew up in restaurants,” Bancroft said. “I have menus in my head from 10 years ago I still think about. I want to continue to explore what people want, what I can give to them… Ross, he’s a very talented chef. He’s got ideas on what he wants to do. Mothers Best is our first time owning a restaurant. We believe firmly that we’re gonna hit it.”