Tang says the 2,500-square-foot restaurant, which seats approximately 100 people, centers around Asian seafood boils and includes a 500-square-foot patio.
The name Girl Diver refers, in part, to the nearly 2,000-year-old tradition of Japanese and Korean women divers or ama and haenyeo — “sea woman” — who collect pearls, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and abalone from the bottom of the ocean. Ama and haenyeo are free divers, meaning they dive without the use of scuba gear and tanks. Some begin diving as young as 12 years old, with women still diving into their 80s.
Girl Diver also pays tribute to the work “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife” by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.
“Given that the restaurant is an Asian seafood concept, the name Girl Diver serves as an homage to the ama [Japanese] and the haenyeo [Korean], the famous Japanese/Korean female pearl divers who dive without equipment,” Tang tells Eater Atlanta of the name. “We also drew inspiration from the work of Katsushika Hokusai, the famous Japanese artist most well known for “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”, who also is one of the early influences on manga through pieces like “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”.”
Hokusai, who painted during Japan’s Edo period in the latter half of the 18th into the 19th centuries, may be best known for his series of woodblock prints called “the Great Wave of Kanagawa”. Prints can be viewed at museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the British Museum in London, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Yang, whose official title is director of culinary arts for Char and Girl Diver, has been in talks with Tang for some time regarding opening a seafood restaurant in the city. Yang has worked previously at New York City’s Per Se, L’atelier, and Craft as well as Bouchon in Asheville. He currently oversees the menu at Char in Inman Park.
Girl Diver joins AMC theatre, Publix, Taqueria Tsunami, Marlow’s Tavern, a second location of Steel City Pops, and Hoots wing shop at Madison Yards, located at the corner of Bill Kennedy Way and Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown, across from Golden Eagle.