Chef Richard Tang, owner of Char Korean in Inman Park, is opening an Asian seafood spot called Girl Diver in Reynoldstown in early October. Located in the Madison Yards development (955 Memorial Drive), Girl Diver has Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai roots.
“My dad is Chinese; my mom is Vietnamese. Girl Diver is based on the food I grew up eating,” Tang says. “It’s comfort food to me, and what’s more American than a blend?”
Mike Yang, former director of culinary arts for Char, was originally slated to lead the kitchen. But when family issues took him away from the project, Tang brought in Karl Gorline—previously of Watershed on Peachtree—as chef de cuisine. He’ll carry out the menus Tang wrote.
These include crawfish, crab legs, and king crab by the pound, as well as shaking beef, thit kho (slow-braised pork belly), shrimp papaya salad, mussels in green curry, and Fisherman’s Egg made with Asian flavors. Hot and sour soup, fried egg rolls, vegetarian dumplings, and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese will be available, too.
“It all depends on people’s [preferred] flavor profile and what they really want,” Tang says.
Cam Burke, formerly of Foxtrot Liquor Bar, will lead the bar program, serving craft cocktails, Sapporo on tap, and 10 other bottled or canned beers. Expect wines by the glass, as well as the bottle.
When it opens, Girl Diver will only serve dinner—including curbside takeout and delivery options. Later, brunch and lunch service will be added.
The space, which features both indoor and outdoor seating, is designed to reflect the work of well-known Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. The name Girl Diver, too, alludes to his work and the ancient tradition of pearl-collecting deep-sea divers in Asia.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tang says all restaurant staff will wear face coverings, and the space will be sprayed weekly with an electrostatic solution that kills bacteria. Tang says the air filtration system will utilize ozone filters to purify the air.