Randy Pechin, owner of Little Spirit cocktail bar in Inman Park, is turning the former Virginia-Highland bar/restaurant Diesel Filling Station into a nostalgic bar called Dad’s. Opening in mid-November, Dad’s will throw it back to the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s with spins on classic drinks and elevated comfort food.
Little Spirit’s beverage director Ryan Dickey will be slinging the cocktails, with New York City barman Evan Hawkins consulting on the drink menu, keeping in mind that Dad’s inherited Diesel’s 20-tap system. They’ll make use of it with three draft cocktails, five wines, and 12 craft beers. Another six to nine cocktails will be made to order, featuring a twist on an Old Fashioned, Last Word with mezcal, and an espresso martini made nitro.
Pechin is renovating the space to give it more kitsch. He’s removing the TVs and populating the walls with antique pop culture knickknacks and movie posters from the past (think Enter the Dragon, True Romance, and New Jack City). Dad’s will have a projector to show old movies, and a juke box will play music to match (rock, old school hip-hop, and early emo).
“I love nostalgia. There’s a certain warmth in experiencing something that calls back to something in your childhood,” Pechin says. “It’s that warm hug you get from something with an emotional response.”
Unlike Little Spirit, which primarily focuses on drinks, Dad’s will offer a full food menu designed by Jason McClure (Wade’s) and Maximilian Hines (the Lawrence). Chef Izzy Grier will be in the kitchen. Expect fried deviled eggs, handmade pizza rolls, salads, sandwiches, French toast sticks, bacon egg and cheese, and fried bologna. Dad’s will serve the same menu for dinner and late at night; weekend brunch will begin next year.
“It’s a community cocktail bar focusing on hospitality,” Pechin says.