Why the chef behind Bantam + Biddy is opening a bistro in Midtown

Shaun Doty / Photo credit: Sarah Dorio

Shaun Doty / Photo credit: Sarah Dorio

Chef and restaurateur Shaun Doty has closed the Midtown location of his chicken-centric chain Bantam + Biddy to make way for a new eatery, The Federal.

Anticipated to open in November, The Federal will focus on what Doty called “bistro cuisine” and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The other three Bantam + Biddy spots at Ansley Mall, Avalon in Alpharetta and Lenox Square, as well as Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station, all remain open.

Doty decided to make the change because a Bantam + Biddy at 1050 Crescent Ave. NE, in Midtown “doesn’t necessarily work.”

“That’s not what the neighborhood is asking for,” Doty said.

Taking into account Crescent Avenue’s central location and “history of being an entertainment area” with robust dining traffic, Doty opted to change the concept at the 45-seat, 1,800-square-foot space into a place where he would once again be working the line.

 

“I loved bridging the gap between fast-food dining and fast-fine dining – the convenience, quick service but better quality ingredients,” said the restaurateur of Yeah! Burger, which he opened in 2010 and later sold, as well as Bantam + Biddy. “But my fondness for being a chef … It is time for me to revisit the thing I was doing: cooking. It completes the circle.” His first restaurant, the now shuttered Shaun’s in Inman Park, garnered him attention when it opened in 2006.

With Doty at the helm, The Federal will offer fare that he has a fondness for. His Oklahoma upbringing, his time spent in Belgium enjoying steak frites with gose beer, even his early days in the kitchen working under the tutelage of former Atlanta chef Gunter Seeger (who recently opened an eatery in New York) will all factor into a bistro menu that will include steaks, game and even crowd favorites from Shaun’s, among others.

The restaurant’s name is inspired by its proximity to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Doty considers the building one of the defining structures of Midtown.

While Doty looks forward to returning to the kitchen, he said that, as the parent of two children, he is especially pleased to do that now. “My sons have never seen me in the kitchen with a chef’s jacket on. That’s the real me. I want my kids to see me working with my hands.”

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