EXCLUSIVE: King Barbecue set to open in Bantam + Biddy Avalon space

King pit master and managing partner, Carey Wise / Photo credit: Bob Townsend

Chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere will soon open King Barbecue. The new concept is set to debut in late March or early April, and it will replace the Avalon location of Bantam + Biddy, one of the business partner’s casual Southern chicken restaurants.

The move follows the similar fate of Bantam + Biddy at Lenox Square, which Doty and Gummere quietly transformed in January with another new concept, ATL Taco.

Carey Wise, a longtime Atlanta chef and veteran of the kitchens at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and Grand Champion BBQ, will serve as managing partner and pit master of the new venture.

“I’m excited to be a part of this,” Wise said during a recent interview, where he sat down with Doty at ATL Taco to talk about King Barbecue.

“I still have my Southern Links BBQ sauce and blended spice business, which is in around 400 stores in the Southeast. But it’s kind of crazy that Shaun and I have been in this business in Atlanta for 20 years and we never worked together before. That’s surprising.”

“I love the fact that Carey has a fine dining background,” Doty said. “Because if someone’s worked in a fine dining environment, they know quality. And they’ll do things like better sides, or they can do a whole-hog dinner one night. He has the kind background and expertise to do the next level stuff.”

“That’s going to go great with Avalon,” Wise said. “The fresh sides and everything the Bantam + Biddy clientele expects, were going to be able to do. We’ll have all the staples, but when spring comes around, we’re going to have a lot of garden-fresh vegetables. And you’ll have salad options you can’t get in any other barbecue restaurant.”

Another part of King Barbecue that will connect it to Bantam + Biddy is the brunch menu.

“Brunch has been the lynchpin of our success at some locations, and it’s been big at ATL Taco, too,” Doty said.

“When you take our smoked meats and combine them with Shaun’s biscuits, we’re just going to blow everyone away,” Wise said.

“I consider myself a connoisseur of biscuits. I’ve eaten a lot in my day, and the recipe Shaun and Lance created, I’ll put it in the top that I’ve ever had in my life. Add some brisket and fresh jalapeño jelly or pork with fresh apple butter, those are the combinations we’re going to be able to create that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Of course, when it comes to the concerns of barbecue aficionados, it is all about the smoked meats. And Wise said that’s something that will be well taken care of, though the style will be decidedly eclectic.

“If I have to call it anything, I call it a Georgia style,” Wise said. “Because Georgia is a blend of different styles. The brisket will be Texas influenced. The ribs will be doing are St. Louis cut, dry-rubbed spare ribs. We’ll do baby backs probably one night a week as a special.

“When we do our whole hog dinners we’ll do a North Carolina style sauce. We’ll probably do a Carolina style pork sandwich with mustard sauce sometimes. I don’t one type of barbecue. I do a different style depending on the meat. The emphasis will be on the meat. The seasonings are going to be specific to the meat. And the sauces will be on the table.”

“It’s going to be pretty regionally specific, though,” Doty said. “Carey is a real Southerner, born and raised here. What he’s going to bring is his experiences of the South. And his perspective is genuine.”

Asked about the name, King Barbecue, Wise had a concise answer. “Barbecue in the South is king,” he said.

Scroll down to see renderings of King Barbecue:

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