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Shaun’s to close

Shaun Doty (AJC staff)

Shaun Doty (AJC staff)

The Atlanta Magazine dining blog, Covered Dish, is reporting that chef  Shaun Doty (left) will close his eponymous Inman Park restaurant after dinner December 18.

Doty, who trained under chef Guenter Seeger and was chef at Mumbo Jumbo, MidCity Cuisine and Table 1280 — opened Shaun’s four years ago in the space that was the longtime home of Deacon Burton’s – a soul food favorite.

Shaun’s was highly acclaimed, and it carried a four-star rating from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“This was a hard decision in many ways,” Doty said in a prepared statement.  “But I believe it is better to focus my energy right now.”

That focus would be on Yeah! Burger — the upscale burger bar that is going gangbusters in its original Westside location. Doty and partner Erik Maier plan to open a second location in Virginia Highland this fall.

Look for Jon Watson’s review of Yeah! Burger next Friday.

63 comments Add your comment

songbird

October 20th, 2010
3:19 pm

I’ve been to Shaun’s many times, mostly for wine tastings for Highland Wine & Crystal in VA/HI. I thought the food was mostly too heavy and rich for my taste. I live near the location in VA/HI where he plans to open Yeah! Burger. So Yeah!

Frank

October 20th, 2010
3:23 pm

Too bad, it is (was) a good restaurant. Yeah! is hardly “gangbusters”, drive by it everyday and it’s barely packed. Va Hi location may prove better traffic but I doubt it. The burger craze is nearing its end. Good luck nonetheless.

Joseph. H.

October 20th, 2010
3:24 pm

That’s extremely , extremely disappointing. Shaun’s was one of my favorites. A great bistro.

Yeah! Burger is OK, but the prices have left me a little cold. (with add-ons etc. a bacon cheeseburger, fries and coke is almost $15).

Shaun’s will be missed though.

Steve

October 20th, 2010
3:26 pm

Such a shame. I really enjoyed Shaun’s. Sad to see a great chef give up the craft of fine food for a burger fad. I’ve eaten at both and I’ll take Shaun’s over Meh! Burger any day.

John Kessler

October 20th, 2010
3:27 pm

I’ve found there’s always a line at Yeah, but maybe I go during peak times.

Nancy Bauer

October 20th, 2010
3:35 pm

I am so disappointed. Shaun’s has been one of my favorite restaurants for several years…

ziza

October 20th, 2010
3:37 pm

really sad that a good bistro and excellent addition to inman park is closing to concentrate on burgers in oversaturated va-hi. what the heck?

joe

October 20th, 2010
3:40 pm

Yeah was ok, but flip burger down the street is better, for trendy burger joints. But the best is still Vortex!!!

Shawn G

October 20th, 2010
3:42 pm

Went to Yeah! Burger Sunday about 2:30-maybe 10-12 customers and no line at all…Service was pretty fast and food was great-just very expensive–Our bill for 3 adults and 1 child was $62 and that was with no alcohol.

Too Easy

October 20th, 2010
3:42 pm

“Barely packed”? Still sounds kinda busy, Frank.

Smoke Monster

October 20th, 2010
3:50 pm

I like Krusty Burgers perosnaly.

Steve

October 20th, 2010
3:55 pm

John, I think the reason for the line is because they have a very inefficient ordering process. It takes like 5 minutes per person to order.

Mike in Marietta

October 20th, 2010
4:04 pm

Yeah Burger was a decent burger but certainly not worth the wait I had. The line was out the door. Definitely not worth the price. I was very disappointed.

Slowmo

October 20th, 2010
4:08 pm

Has anyone tried this 5-Guys burger joint? I have to say they make one damn good burger.

Andrew H

October 20th, 2010
4:10 pm

I am VERY sad to see Shauns go. It was my wife and my favorite spot in the city for a romantic night. The food and coctails were equally amazing.

WM

October 20th, 2010
4:11 pm

While I’m sure its good, I refuse to pay for presentation. I’ll save $58 and go to Hardee’s.

Nazan Yar

October 20th, 2010
4:16 pm

Interesting comments – I went to Shaun’s and was really disappointed in the food and seating situation. Not worth the drive for me, but glad you all enjoyed it while it lasted.

Bill

October 20th, 2010
4:18 pm

I will miss Shaun’s.

For a really good, reasonably priced burger, try Gato Bizco in Candler Park.

Really?

October 20th, 2010
4:34 pm

I love when ppl say go to 5 guys or Steak n Shake… Seriously!?! Do you know what you’re eating? Ingredients matter. There’s a reason its $15 and not $5 for a full meal.

jack trent

October 20th, 2010
4:35 pm

I can’t blame a guy for trying to make a quick buck. All this talk about sustainablity, local grass fed beef -blah blah blah, its all PR talk for more money. I root for great restaurants that serve local and seasonal, but without touting it everywhere.

What’s he going to do once all this burger trend passes? Two locations of the same concept within one year..that’s balls. Ever heard of Mama Fu’s or Dressed? Where are they now?

jack trent

October 20th, 2010
4:39 pm

One the subject of local and organic, we should get some chefs together and try this:

http://www.nrn.com/article/picking-out-local-food-not-so-easy

Now tell me if it isn’t just PR mumbo jumbo trying squeeze money out of our pockets.

Bill

October 20th, 2010
4:39 pm

I’ve been a fan everywhere Shaun has cooked. He is a great talent.

Sad to think that all that talent is going into burgers rather than all the great dishes that he has done over the years.

RK

October 20th, 2010
4:42 pm

I don’t know why, but this restaurant had never been on my radar. As for Yeah, there’s no chance I ever go, with Flip down the street.

KT

October 20th, 2010
4:45 pm

What a bummer – such a great place. But he is only one man. You nay sayers – stay in the suburbs and eat at your nasty chain restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen & PF Chang and think its “fancy”

Lynn

October 20th, 2010
4:51 pm

Sad news. Thought Shaun’s had several things going for it – pleasant neighborhood space, bistro feel (that wasn’t forced or from the box), top-notch kitchen and skilled chef. Hope that once the burger phase passes he’ll return to the kitchen to whip up a meal.

Pondering the need in Atlanta for farm/table/sustainable dining at approachable price points…
streamline the menu, move from the $25+/entree….

Horsefeathers

October 20th, 2010
5:21 pm

Frank, you must be mighty young. There is no such thing as a ‘burger craze’. Burgers have been popular for many years and will for many years to come. Delmonicos in New York City had hamburger on its menu in 1826. You need to come up for some fresh air. LOL

Scott

October 20th, 2010
5:23 pm

I love Shaun’s, once I figured out how to get there. I also loved MidCity Cuisine and Mumbo Jumbo. The key is not to get too attached to a Shaun Doty enterprise. What a shame he is putting all of his effort into an overpriced, faddish burger joint…which will ultimately meet the same fate as the others. A real loss for Atlanta.

Rick

October 20th, 2010
5:40 pm

This is a huge bummer. Best shrimp and grits I’ve had so far.

Paul From Milton

October 20th, 2010
5:41 pm

My wife and I have followed him from restaurant to restaurant and we are so sad to hear of this. Shaun’s is one of our favorite restaurants and worth the 25 mile drive that it takes us to get there.

Will Miss That Schnitzel

October 20th, 2010
5:47 pm

What a shame. Unfortunately another sign of these difficult times as fewer and fewer people can afford to eat at the finer places in town as often as they once did. Shaun’s was our favorite. This news makes me also worry for Bacchanalia, Eugene’s, and all the finer places in town. The burger joints are there for pretty much one reason — the business model. Less expensive to start up, keep running, and the lower priced menu has better chance to draw people in more consistently. Best of luck to you Shaun!

Bride of Puerquito

October 20th, 2010
5:49 pm

This is bad news for Atlanta. Instead of becoming a true culinary destination on par with New York, Chicago, etc It keeps loosing great restaurants and gaining trendy burger places… LAME.

rod

October 20th, 2010
6:00 pm

Bride of Puerquito, Airtran is $89 to Chicago Midway and $89 to Newark. Who gives a *&$%&^ about them.

Sad to see it go

October 20th, 2010
6:20 pm

I am sorry to hear that, we had a lovely dinner there on my birthday during restaurant week. But Yeah! Burger is good too, as my mom and I just ate there today in a late birthday celebration. I enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, and while a little high in price, a gourmet burger in many sit-down restaurants would cost the same. I especially liked the Westside Provisions complex, and had fun catching a glimpse of crew filming the movie Change-Up while exploring the area.

AC in EP

October 20th, 2010
6:23 pm

What a sad piece of news. Shaun’s is by far our favorite restaurant and will be greatly missed. Yeah! Burger, on the other hand? Well, if I am going to pay $15 for a burger I would like to be able have it cooked to order (i.e. medium or medium rare etc.) but maybe that’s just me. Yes, I understand the whole grass fed beef, sustainability deal but the bottom line is I am going to eat it and I want that beautiful beef to be cooked properly and not overcooked like I am at 5 Guys. I am a burger nut and love that there are all these burger places but based on my meal there I would say that Yeah! Burger is just ok……maybe w/ Shaun focusing on that chain exclusively that will change and I will certainly give them another chance once that happens. All that sad…..man, I can’t believe that Shaun’s is going away!!! That is our “go to” restaurant when we want to go out for a great meal. Sunday Pasta Night gone?????? That sucks so bad….no more chicken liver app??? Say it ain’t so! Best of luck Shaun……maybe I can finally drop this last 10 lbs now.

BehindEnemyLines

October 20th, 2010
6:30 pm

re: “There’s a reason its $15 and not $5 for a full meal” Yes there is, a combination of an excess of pretentious diners & the reality that there really is (at least) one sucker born every minute.

Paul from Buckhead

October 20th, 2010
6:35 pm

It is no surprise to me that Shaun’s restaurant is closing. However, I am surprised that it has not already closed. The prices were outrageously high, the menu was limited, the portions too small, and the seating arrangements awkward, to put it mildly. It was a noble effort that just did not work on any level. Babette’s is looking better everyday!

bakingrrl

October 20th, 2010
6:48 pm

That’s unfortunate. Shaun is extremely talented and I’m sure he’s disappointed that he’s not able to keep Shaun’s open. Understand though, that he also has to be a businessman. Restaurants are a tough business and owners also have to think about financial sustainability. He has to provide for his family, and despite the trendiness of burger joints at the moment, he clearly can make money with that concept. More power to him. I bet we haven’t seen the last of Shaun Doty in the creative bistro arena.

meaty

October 20th, 2010
6:50 pm

I’ve always wondered what everyone found so good at Shaun’s? The service was consistently poor, and the food just not good enough to make up for the crappy service. I expected more from shawn.

atlmom

October 20th, 2010
6:52 pm

I read somewhere that Bacchanalia has a different business model than many other restaurants, and it is the baby of the owners, and they aren’t going to let it close, no matter what. apparently, the owners really love the restaurant..

Shaun’s to close | CookingPlanet

October 20th, 2010
6:54 pm

[...] Restaurants : Shaun’s to close [...]

John Kessler

October 20th, 2010
7:38 pm

Lynn – I think you said it just right: a bistro feel that wasn’t forced or from the box…it was the singer/songwriter kind of place — small scale, individual expression. There are fewer and fewer of these in Atlanta with chefs of Doty’s talent.

ted

October 20th, 2010
7:54 pm

We’ve enjoyed Shaun’s when we’ve been. I don’t get his insistence on not providing a “poached” egg with a runny yolk, a medium/medium-rare burger and the like. I expect big corporations to be risk averse but don’t serve the stuff if you aren’t going to cook it as intended.

It’s going to be interesting to see how long this burger thing lasts.

Mary J

October 20th, 2010
7:55 pm

I am practically speechless! We will miss Shaun’s food so much.

Steven

October 20th, 2010
8:29 pm

first repast now shaun’s. I think it is sad for the independent restaurant. These form the fabric of good dining in ATL. At least we have gained a few like empire south and miller union.

John

October 20th, 2010
10:17 pm

Have any of you not seen Food Inc? Or, maybe you just LIKE your burger full of amonia, pesticides and antibiotics? Not me. It’s sad but true, organic food costs more money and it will continue to unless there are more places like Yeah! Burger. Preach your organic gospel Shaun and best of luck to you. Shaun’s will be missed, but I hope YB gets as big as Five Guys some day – fast food needs you.

kmb

October 21st, 2010
12:47 am

Isn’t it ironic. Within a week of John Kessler’s raving about the cuisine of New Orleans, another non-burger restaurant bites the dust in Atlanta. What is the point of more restaurant reviewers for the AJC, to tell us what is the best burger in Atlanta? Except for ethnic restaurants, Atlanta is rapidly becoming an unimportant restaurant city. This will affect Atlanta economically. Conventions and corporations will notice the lack of nationally ranked or world class restaurants here.

Steven Josovitz

October 21st, 2010
1:06 am

bummer… it was a great neighborhood joint for top notch cuisine.

RonC

October 21st, 2010
1:20 am

I love the “prepared statement.” Regarless of what it says or implies, it seems obvious to me that the decision was largely or entirely based on economics. You make can make a lot more money peddling burgers at a “stand in line to order and get ‘em in and out quick” restaurant than cooking interesting bistro food at a finer dining restaurant – which is the very reason that Sundown Cafe on Cheshire Bridge was converted to a Taqeria del Sol a number of years ago. And I get the fact that any chef has limited time and limited capital, and they can’t be expected to deploy those assets in an economically irrational manner.

As a hard core capitalist, I applaud his decision. As a foodie, I deplore it. As a seeker of the TRUTH I wish for a bit more honesty. Instead of acting like he was touched by THE HAND OF JESUS and shown his true calling – to run the 8th best burger restaurant in Atlanta – he coulda just said “Guys, I got kids now. I gotta make some money.”

mbt

October 21st, 2010
7:48 am

Shaun’s fries cooked in Duck Fat are worth the trip

ATLien

October 21st, 2010
10:00 am

Amen, mbt. Amen.

RK

October 21st, 2010
10:39 am

Fries cooked in duck fat are so overrated.

John D

October 21st, 2010
11:10 am

Shaun’s duck-fat fries are fantastic. Have you actually tried them, RK?
Sorry he’s closing; still missing the old Joel, too.

Chris

October 21st, 2010
11:15 am

Rick, if you want really good Shrimp ‘n’ Grits take trip down to Savannah and go to Lady and Sons. It’s awesome low country cuisine and the Shrimp ‘n’ Grits is one of their specialties.

sososouthern

October 21st, 2010
12:37 pm

i am not surprised it was never any good

Richard

October 21st, 2010
2:19 pm

We ate there last night, just after returning from summer in France. Nice to come back to chef-driven restaurants like Shaun’s Ordered the chicken livers (of course), shared. Then heritage pork cutlet like you wish your mother used to make; and fresh salmon sauteed crisp outside, melting inside. Fine ingredients, cooked simply but with respect.

RK

October 21st, 2010
2:27 pm

Nope, I’ve had fries cooked in duck fat in a few places…nothing extraordinary about them.

Allison

October 21st, 2010
3:32 pm

A sad day. We love Shaun’s and were just there on Sunday — it’s our go-to place when we want a great night out. Steak tartare, chopped liver (leftovers for lunch today!), pork schnitzel, fries in duck fat, we love it all. I’ve loved Shaun’s food since Mumbo Jumbo and, while I enjoy Yeah! Burger, it’s no substitute for a great bistro meal. Sad sad sad.

Frank

October 21st, 2010
3:42 pm

These comments only proves why Atlanta has no identity in the culinary scene (its a shame this is the majority voice of the population). It’s a burger, show me a menu in Atlanta that doesn’t have one. As a chef, there’s really not any incentive to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into a place with innovative food in a city that will not support it.

People say they will miss Shaun’s but how many of you really support local restaurants on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? Going there on a special occasion once a year doesn’t help pay the bills. And don’t bring up the economy this and that and you don’t have any money. I spent over $16,500 (which is not a lot) so far this year just eating out and supporting local businesses and only local businesses. While most of you are going to franchises and chains because it’s cheap and safe.

What have you done on your part to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for global cuisine?

RK

October 21st, 2010
3:51 pm

It sounds like Frank will be dining on high horse tonight. Local, of course.

You are probably barking up the wrong tree with the posters here.

Matt

October 21st, 2010
5:31 pm

Frank, your definition of “not a lot” is just mind boggling.

Bride of Puerquito

October 21st, 2010
5:39 pm

wether you like it or not, Frank is right.

smc

October 23rd, 2010
10:21 am

Sorry to hear Shaun’s will close. We just tried Yeah Burger last night for the first time, and although my partner enjoyed his lamb burger my beef burger reminded me of a Steak n Shake double steak burger that can be had for $4! I was looking forward to the chipotle mayo (Yeah sauce) but I couldn’t even taste it. As one other comment stated, I much prefer Flip down the street.

amy

October 25th, 2010
12:26 pm

The burger at Yeah! is dry, salty and overcooked. If you think a grass fed burger has to be cooked in that fashion, then you all need to visit Farmburger in Decatur. Practically the same concept and by far the best burger in the ATL, cooked to order (med rare if desired) and better priced. Not to mention his sides including the sweet potato fries and garlic parm fries are excellent. Yeah! Burger’s fries were soggy and the onion rings tasted like the onions were an afterthought from the salty batter. Additionally, there are some great burgers in the VA HI including Highland Tap and Georges and no need for an additional below average burger in the mix.

Shaun’s was one of our fave restaurants for the first 3 years of existence and it did start to go downhill in the last 6-9 months. Our last meal there on July 2nd was less then favorable and the restaurant was empty. Great space and great chef – really wish Shaun had stayed with Shaun’s and worked to improve it there – maybe enter some lower priced items and not move forward with the Yeah! concept. BTW, his burger at Shaun’s is far better then Yeah!.