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Ron Eyester Shares the Details on Diner, His Forthcoming Atlantic Station Concept

Local chef and restaurateur Ron Eyester has a diner in the works. He's calling it Diner, and it's set to open in Atlantic Station in February 2014. Below, as a Greasy Spoons Week special, we talk with Eyester about his plans for the restaurant, which will be open from breakfast to late-night seven days a week once it opens this winter. Stay tuned for more updates, and do check out Eyester's Morningside restaurants,Rosebud, the Family Dog, and the forthcoming (soon!) Timone's in the meantime.

Why Diner? Why Atlantic Station?
The whole Diner idea has been in my mind for a while. Honestly, I actually came very close to naming Rosebud "Diner." The whole idea is not to do a replica of a 50's diner with jukeboxes and stainless steel, it's hopefully to introduce Atlanta to what the next version of a diner is. Taking some classic, timeless parts and updating those parts to make something today's demographic will get and enjoy. I think Atlantic Station's going to work really well for it, because Atlantic Station has such a diverse demographic.

What will the menu be like?
The food will be diner reminiscent— diner food is absolutely comfort food to me. We're going to make our own corned beef for a reuben, we'll do a corned beef hash, make our own version of a pot roast. We'll serve a breakfast menu from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and then at 11, we'll transition into a menu that has ten breakfast items, ten lunch items, and ten dinner items, so you'll be able to get breakfast all day, like you should in a diner. Our plan right now is to be open until midnight during the week and two a.m. on the weekends.

Diner is going to have a menu that's a critic's nightmare, because it's not going to be very focused. That's the whole thing about a diner: You can get whatever you want.

Whatever you want?
Well maybe not in my diner, although I might let people build their own omelets. But you know what I mean— I like to think that the menu at Rosebud is pretty focused. There's emphasis on supporting local, there's an emphasis on wanting to cook approachable food. Diner will have Northern diner staples, some Southern food, a little of everything.

Will the space look like a traditional diner?
There will definitely be a couple elements of tradition. The space is a corner. We're not taking all of the Fox Sports space, but we're taking a lot. We may do a revolving door or we may do a door where you pull it open and there's a vestibule where you can wait. When you walk into the space, the first part seems very detached from the rest of the restaurant, so my idea for it is to make it into a small retail area. We can sell non-perishable items, kind of like the general store at Cracker Barrel.

There will also be a dessert and coffee area for people who want to come in but don't want to eat a whole meal. They can come in and get a pastry, there will be place to sit down and work, plug in your computer. And then there will be a main dining area. It'll have a bar, from which you should be able to see the skyline, and we'll also have a diner counter, which will be probably the most traditional part of the restaurant. We'll have housemade sodas in soda arms, stationary stools— it'll probably have close to 20 seats. That will be the traditionally "diner" element. It'll be in the center so it will kind of evoke its energy to the remainder of the space, and the rest of the space will be more updated.
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