King of Pops is going off script in more than one way next spring when they help open Big Citizen restaurant group’s (Bon Ton, The Lawrence, Miracle on Monroe) yet-named classic, American diner at the Atlanta Dairies in Reynoldstown and begin making ice cream. The collaboration between Atlanta’s original popsicle purveyor and Big Citizen’s partners Darren Carr and Eric Simpkins will be located in the front corner of the Dairies facing Memorial Drive.
Not much is known about the menu, beyond the fact that King of Pops will provide the ice cream and desserts for the diner and Simpkins will likely be creating drinks and cocktails.
“Ice cream has been on our mind for quite a while. Years ago, we went to Ice Cream School at Penn State, but the time just didn’t seem right,” King of Pops co-owner Steven Carse says in the press release. “When the Atlanta Dairies project popped up less than a mile from our headquarters, it seemed like a sign.”
The partnership between King of Pops and Big Citizen isn’t entirely surprising. Both are known for making slightly risky, next-level moves. In addition to its mobile carts and Ponce City Market stall, King of Pops recently opened a summer beach bar in the market’s courtyard offering boozy slushies (with popsicles) served in hollowed out pineapples. Big Citizen’s Viet-Cajun seafood restaurant, Bon Ton in Midtown, isn’t shy about being wonderfully weird. Its Instagram account won an Eater Award last year due, in part, to a series of oddly compelling, stream-of-consciousness videos.
The live-work-play project is under the direction of Paces Properties — the developer behind Krog Street Market before it was sold, Larkin on Memorial a half-mile away, and Stove Works on the Beltline at Krog Street.
Decatur-based brewery Three Taverns is opening a second, more expansive location in the Atlanta Dairies. Three Taverns Imaginarium opens next year and will include an experimental lab and a brewery with a tasting room just off the complex’s green space known as the Yard. The brewery and the diner join Thrive Farmers coffee cafe, a yet-named barbecue restaurant, and a concert hall with a rooftop bar from the owners of Variety Playhouse.
The old Atlanta Dairies is the latest mixed-reuse complex part of a multi-million dollar metamorphosis currently transforming Memorial Drive from Boulevard in Cabbagetown to Stoval Street in Reynoldstown into a somewhat sterilized interpretation of the area’s blue collar, industrial past.