Imagine ordering a gourmet meal at a restaurant through the iPad on your table.
At do (pronounced “dough” and spelled with a lowercase “d”) you can do just that, along with using your device to request songs and control your valet parking. You also can enjoy “video mapping” — the projection of visually arresting images, changing every 25 minutes, on the surrounding walls. With this applied scenery, you can pretend you’re at Times Square or on the beaches of St. Lucia. The sprawling, 30,000-foot restaurant and event venue will open this spring on Northside Drive in Atlanta.
do is the visionary brain child of Christian and Nacasha Ruffin, who wanted to translate their successful entertainment company, One Stop Productions, into a new Atlanta dining staple and event space.
“There’s nothing like it in the city — we’re the first iPad-driven restaurant,” says Christian, who concedes he is a “nerd.” “What you order will look just like the picture you’re seeing on your device. And we’re totally green in part because we don’t use paper menus.”
On the advice of a financial adviser, the Ruffins sought help from ACE.
“The people at ACE really understood and shared the passion behind our dream,” he says.
“Thanks to their help, we were able to concentrate on the concept of do without worrying about draining our own savings.”
ACE loaned the couple $800,000, which they applied to construction, equipment, and video elements.
The Ruffins bring a distinguished track record to their work. Christian is an Atlanta native and Morehouse graduate, and he studied sound engineering at Julliard. He has worked in recording studios with luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis and Leontyne Price.
Nacasha, meanwhile, studied biology and chemistry at Florida International University. She will oversee the kitchen, devising “savory concoctions,” as Christian says, of Italian and Southern cuisine. By fusing Christian’s production experience and love of technology with Nacasha’s culinary passion, do has positioned itself as an innovator in the city’s burgeoning restaurant scene.
The couple also have two children, a two-year-old and a five-month-old. “To say our plate is full is an understatement,” Christian says with a laugh. “But it’s all totally worth it.”