Robert Lupo, who was set to serve as executive chef at forthcoming BeltLine-adjacent restaurant Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, has resigned his position. Lupo confirmed the news in a phone conversation with Eater Saturday afternoon. Sous chef Kyle Schmidt, formerly of King + Duke and No. 246, will take over the kitchen, said Ladybird owner Michael Lennox.
"We have full faith and confidence in Kyle," Lennox said Saturday at the restaurant's pre-opening party. "We feel like he's ready to make that move."
Lupo said he told Lennox his decision to part ways with the restaurant "about 10 days ago." He said "it was a hard conversation."
"I resigned. It wasn't a good fit, I guess," Lupo said.
"When we planned to do this back in the spring, I thought we had a common vision, and it turns out that we didn't. That's a tough situation for both parties. I didn't take the job to resign a week before opening, and he didn't give me the job to do that either.
"All I can really say is it sucks for both parties, but I wish him the best and I hope he succeeds there, just not with me."
Lupo, who most recently worked as sous chef at Decatur's Leon's Full Service before agreeing to take the Ladybird job, said he is not yet sure of his future plans.
"I'm still kind of thinking about different things. I guess I'm still trying to wrap my head around resigning from that job, more or less. It was a really hard decision. It was one of the hardest ones I've ever had to make, but I feel like I made the right one."
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall is scheduled to open on Monday, September 15.