“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.
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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