Atlanta Orders In: Legacy Ventures reopening its downtown restaurants slowly

Stats Brewpub's Dirty Bird crispy chicken sandwich comes with vinegar slaw and spicy mayonnaise, and is served here with a side of fries. Bob Townsend for The AJC
Stats Brewpub's Dirty Bird crispy chicken sandwich comes with vinegar slaw and spicy mayonnaise, and is served here with a side of fries. Bob Townsend for The AJC

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Situated close to Centennial Olympic Park, State Farm Arena and the Georgia Aquarium, Legacy Ventures' hotels, restaurants and event spaces have become a vital part of downtown Atlanta’s tourism and convention business.

But, in addition to being hobbled by the pandemic, Legacy’s four Restaurant Row spots at 300 Marietta St. were forced to close after sustaining major damage during protests downtown.

Currently, Stats Brewpub is open Thursdays-Mondays for dine-in and takeout, and Der Biergarten is open Fridays-Sundays for dine-in, but Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria and Twin Smokers BBQ remain closed. The newish Dos Bocas, nearby on Baker Street, is open Tuesdays-Saturdays for dine-in.

Legacy’s chief operating officer for restaurants, Brian Bullock, explained recently why the restaurants have been slow to reopen.

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Stats Brewpub's lemon and herb hummus is served with pickled cherry peppers and warm pita bread. Bob Townsend for The AJC
Stats Brewpub's lemon and herb hummus is served with pickled cherry peppers and warm pita bread. Bob Townsend for The AJC

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

He said Legacy originally was going to reopen all its restaurants around the first of June, when downtown attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke and College Football Hall of Fame were coming back, but damage from the May 29 protests “closed us down. We had no windows left. The insides were really damaged. The lighting and the TVs were gone. And, we continued to have damage from the protests after that.”

It wasn’t until the end of August that repairs were finished on the building, and the flooring, windows and furniture were replaced, Bullock said. Stats opened with the start of the NFL football season, and Der Biergarten opened for Oktoberfest celebrations.

“Most of the office complexes in downtown are closed indefinitely, so we haven’t really opened much during the week,” Bullock said. “Twin Smokers and Max’s are still closed, because, unfortunately, the business is not here right now for more restaurants than are currently open. We’re just waiting until we see a little bit more uptick. And, I’m not sure when that’s going to be. It could be the middle of next year.”

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The Buffalo wings at Stats are served with celery, ranch dressing and hot sauce. Bob Townsend for The AJC
The Buffalo wings at Stats are served with celery, ranch dressing and hot sauce. Bob Townsend for The AJC

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Stats has been a modest success story so far, due, in part, to its sheer size, which easily allows for social distancing among sports fans.

The crowd-pleasing menu reads like a greatest hits of pub grub, with nachos, wings, a double cheeseburger, a veggie burger, and a crave-worthy hot and crispy chicken sandwich dubbed the Dirty Bird.

“It’s 15,000 square feet, and, fortunately by design, a lot of our booths are 6 feet tall,” Bullock said. “Stats has been great, Saturdays and Sundays. The patio and the deck have been really busy, day and night. Monday night and Thursday night football has been hit or miss, but we honestly believe voting at State Farm Arena is helping us a lot. People are hanging out downtown after they vote.”

As for the future, Bullock said Legacy’s outlook is “slightly optimistic.”

“We’re obviously analyzing our business day by day,” he said. "We’re just trying to understand it. We do feel the conventions will come back. We do feel sports will come back. We think business travel will come back.

“Having a hospitality company in downtown Atlanta, I don’t know if there are many businesses in the United States that have been hit as hard as this," he said. "But, as we say, we’ve been through tornadoes, we’ve been through recessions and other things, and we’ll get through this.”

STATS

Menu: sports bar pub grub

Alcohol: beer, wine and cocktails, including beer to go

What I ordered: nachos, with chicken, black beans, cheese dip, pico, sour cream and pickled jalapenos; Buffalo wings, with ranch dressing and celery; lemon and herb hummus, with pickled cherry peppers and pita bread; Dirty Bird chicken sandwich, with vinegar slaw, spicy Dukes mayonnaise, and a side of fries. Everything except the soggy nachos traveled well. Served on a brioche bun, the crispy-spicy Dirty Bird is a favorite.

Service options: dine-in or takeout; order online

Outdoor dining: deck and patio seating

Mask policy: required for employees and guests

Address, phone: 300 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta; 404-885-1472

Hours: opens 5 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays; opens noon Saturdays and Sundays; closing times subject to change, based on when games end

Website: statsatl.com

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