Redbird will close later this month on the Westside

Co-owner cites ‘unsustainable business model’ as reason for closure
Redbird’s interior is filled with natural light. CONTRIBUTED BY MIA YAKEL

Redbird’s interior is filled with natural light. CONTRIBUTED BY MIA YAKEL

Acclaimed Atlanta restaurant Redbird will close later this month after nearly four years in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood.

The restaurant, located at 1198 Howell Mill Road in the Westside Provisions District, announced the closure on its Instagram account over the weekend. The last day of service will be Feb. 19.

“For restaurants like Redbird, independent restaurants of exceptional quality,” the statement read in part, “the business model is becoming increasingly unsustainable. As the costs of running upscale full-service restaurants continue to rise, all operators are forced to examine their values closely and to act accordingly. That is what we have done.

“We have always stood for using exceptional products, hiring the best people and operating with the highest level of consistency. We hold our heads high, knowing that we have held onto those values even in the face of dire consequences. I am proud of our team, and credit them with all of our successes.”

Redbird chef Zeb Stevenson (left) and owner Ross Jones (right). Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Credit: Mia Yakel

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Credit: Mia Yakel

Chef Zeb Stevenson and his business partner Ross Jones opened Redbird in August 2019 in the former Bacchanalia space. In a December 2018 interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Stevenson, who previously served as the executive chef at the now-shuttered Watershed, described Redbird as having “free-spirited cuisine,” with a menu that highlighted local and seasonal ingredients “with a touch of international flare.”

The current iteration of the menu included dishes like crispy fried mushrooms, roasted beet tartare, chili-rubbed chicken, New Orleans barbecue shrimp and chocolate ganache cake. During the pandemic, Redbird launched a Birdy Biscuit window offering a variety of biscuit sandwiches.

Redbird patio and entrance at the Westside Provisions District. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

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Stevenson told the AJC in September 2020 that the pandemic changed the way he approached running a restaurant.

“I’m a better boss,” said Stevenson. “My crew is much smaller, but they are working together so well. ... Everybody who came back to work came back because they truly wanted to, and it shows. The guests coming to the restaurant are so awesome right now. I’ve learned a lot about being patient and putting our efforts into the things that really matter.”

Stevenson has been in kitchens for more than two decades, starting at a Waffle House in his home state of Indiana, where he washed dishes for a week before switching to a role as a line cook. He arrived in Atlanta in 2001, taking a job at Little Gardens Restaurant and Lounge, an eatery in Lawrenceville that has since become a reception venue.

In 2004, he took a position at the now-defunct Dick & Harry’s in Roswell, where he met his mentor, Harold Marmulstein. He went on to work at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market Atlanta, The Livingston at the Georgia Terrace Hotel and Parish, before coming aboard at Watershed in 2014.

Stevenson declined to comment for this story.

Other food and beverage concepts in the Westside Provisions District include Aziza, Falafel Nation, Flower Child, Forza Storico, Little Trouble and Marcel.

JCT Kitchen closed in the development in late 2021 after nearly 15 years, with owner Ford Fry planning to open Little Sparrow and Bar Blanc in the space. Yeah Burger closed in 2022 after 12 years, with Shake Shack taking over the space.

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