Fancy cocktails. Strong coffee. Diner classics. That’s how Wonderkid is described on its website. The Memorial Drive diner collaboration between the King of Pops crew and Big Citizen restaurant group’s Darren Carr and Eric Simpkins (Bon Ton, The Lawrence, Miracle Atlanta) officially opens at Atlanta Dairies on Saturday, December 21.
Ahead of Saturday’s opening, the public is welcome to participate in Wonderkid’s final set of “staff training,” which begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
For those who grew up eating regularly at classic diners, Wonderkid’s layout should be quite familiar — from the row of big red booths along the windows to the step-up counter lined with olive green bar seats against subway tiles overlooking the galley kitchen. There’s also a small lounge area before entering the main portion of restaurant and a dining room just beyond the counter and booths.
Like any good diner, a burger is always available (even in the morning.) It’s listed on Wonderkid’s “Always Wonderful” menu that also includes steak and eggs served with a biscuit and gravy and a $12 breakfast platter that comes with eggs, bacon, hash browns, and a biscuit. For those in need of a B.E.C (bacon, egg, cheese) to kick off the day, that’s listed under the “Just the A.M.” menu. It’s served on ciabatta bread.
Beginning at 11 a.m., the “Basically All-day” menu offers other diner standards like a daily soup, chili, and a roast turkey sandwich served alongside dishes such as red eye deviled eggs topped with bacon and pickled okra, beef tartare, and a falafel waffle served with tabouleh and roasted eggplant.
Food is under the direction of executive chef Justin Dixon, previously of the Shed at Glenwood and Bully Boy.
Dessert sees classic cakes and pies from pastry chef Sarah Simpkins as well as the debut of King of Pops’ soft serve ice cream. The soft serve comes topped with everything from Nutella and toasted pecans to cinnamon crunch and maple and espresso syrups.
Longtime Big Citizen beverage director, Taylor Blackgrave, has created several cocktails befitting the diner theme at Wonderkid, including a frozen egg cream with bourbon and soft serve ice cream, a clarified milk punch, and the bourbon and cognac-based “White Flowers on the Russian Wall” incorporating cold brew coffee and crunch batter.
Beyond coffee, cold brew, and kombucha, wines by the glass and bottle as well as beer and a selection of zero-proof cocktails are also available.
Wonderkid is currently BYOB. A restaurant representative tells Eater Atlanta the liquor license should arrive soon, possibly right after the new year.
The diner joins Dairies Coffeehouse and Cold Brew Bar from Thrive Farmers coffee already open at Atlanta Dairies.
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.
Decatur-based brewery Three Taverns is opening its second location at the complex next year with an experimental lab and a brewery with a tasting room just off the green space known as “the Yard”. A yet-named barbecue restaurant and a concert hall with a rooftop bar from the owners of Variety Playhouse are also expected to open at Atlanta Dairies some time next year.
Take a look at the menu for Wonderkid:
Current hours: open daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Regular hours after the new year: Sunday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
777 Memorial Drive, Atlanta. Wonderkidatl.com.