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Shaun Doty has pulled the plug on The Federal in Midtown, the longtime Atlanta chef and restauranteur in a telephone interview Tuesday told What Now Atlanta.
“The Federal is a unique environment,” Doty said. “It’s not engineered for social distancing or takeout, and pivoting the concept amid the pandemic didn’t make sense as I only have a certain amount of bandwidth.”
That bandwidth is being fully utilized on Doty’s Bantam & Biddy chain which is thriving in a COVID-19 world, especially at the restaurant’s Ansley Mall location.
“Bantam & Biddy was already positioned for a pandemic-type of event,” Doty said. “It was designed with takeout in mind. I decided to focus on what was already well-positioned versus trying to reinvent The Federal which was created around a true dine-in experience.”
The quick-service chicken joint has four locations, two of which are local, and Doty plans on transitioning the Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station into a Bantam & Biddy by September 2020.
“I launched both Chick-a-Biddy and Bantam & Biddy at the same time to see which brand would better resonate with people.”
As for The Federal, Doty isn’t quite ready to part from the eatery which the chef says is a more “mature” version of Shaun’s Restaurant which closed in 2010.
“I’m optimistic about the future,” Doty said. “There will be a vaccine, life will resume, and next year I will be in the market for a new restaurant space.”
Doty could revisit The Federal or a concept like it, in 2021, considering places like Ponce City Market, Buckhead, or even Ansley Mall.
“I’d like to be around the audience that has supported me for years and I will consider buying versus leasing next time around.”