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The Federal closes permanently in Midtown

A dish offered as part of the Plat do Jour menu at The Federal in Midtown.
A dish offered as part of the Plat do Jour menu at The Federal in Midtown.

The Federal, located in the heart of Midtown for the past four years, has closed for good.

The restaurant, owned by chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere, is the latest food and beverage concept to close due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Eater Atlanta first reported.

The closure is bittersweet for Doty.

"The Federal was like a labor of love as much as an economic opportunity. That was for me like an evolution of what I was doing at Shaun's," he told the AJC.
Multiple factors went into the decision to close The Federal.

"It's a small restaurant. There's no way to social distance there. We have to be concerned about our staff's wellbeing," he said.
In addition, he noted that the overall business model didn't bode well for the current times.

“It’s not engineered for this type of economy,” Doty said, comparing it to Bantam + Biddy whose menu is “both affordable and suited to takeout and delivery.”

The Federal opened in late 2016 at 1050 Crescent Ave., taking the place of Doty's fast-casual chicken eatery Bantam + Biddy. 

It went from a “bright, order-at-the-counter cafe to a glossy, dimly lit bistro, where servers glide between tables to a jazz soundtrack,” according to an AJC first look at the restaurant.

Oxtail french onion soup with cave-aged Gruyere cheese at The Federal. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Oxtail french onion soup with cave-aged Gruyere cheese at The Federal. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

The menu was variously described as inspired by "French cuisine" and "the traditional American steakhouse", featuring dishes including steak frites and nationally-recognized oxtail soup.

Doty said while the doors to The Federal are closed, he plans to revisit the concept in 2021.

"I think there will be opportunities next year that will be too hard to resist for a compulsive restaurateur like me," he said. "Maybe someone will call and give me a good deal on a space."
In the meantime, he's optimistic about the state of Bantam + Biddy. Although the airport location is currently closed, sales at Ansley Mall are up to 85% pre-coronavirus numbers, and locations in Chattanooga and Amelia Island are also operating. He has plans to change Chick-a-Biddy at Atlantic Station into a Bantam + Biddy later this year.

“I’m impassioned about Bantam in this current clime. It made sense to lean into them,” he said.

Former AJC food writer Wyatt Williams gave The Federal a three-star review in 2017.

“Doty and Gummere know their dishes are just classic style, finally come back around again,” he wrote. “I hope they stay for a while this time.”

Gummere and Doty previously operated the now-shuttered ATL Taco in Lenox Square and King Barbecue, which moved from Avalon in Alpharetta to Savi Provisions in Buckhead.

The Federal is the most recent metro Atlanta restaurant closure. Other recent closures include Noble Fin in Peachtree Corners, Amelie's French Bakery in West Midtown, Dantanna's in downtown Atlanta and Mother Bar + Kitchen in Old Fourth Ward.

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