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Pizza Rolls and Dirty Martinis, Dad’s Is a Trip Down Nostalgia Lane in Virginia-Highland

Opening December 12 in the former Diesel Filling Station space, Dad’s dials up the nostalgia on the menu and in its design

Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Opening Monday, December 12, in the former Diesel Filling Station space, Dad’s dials up the nostalgia on the menu and in its design.

Backed by Randy Pechin, the owner of Inman Park bar Little Spirit, Dad’s serves old-school cocktails and comfort food in a space filled with kitschy knickknacks and a design inspired by “cool dads” and their dens from last four decades of the 20th century. This includes nearly 200 photos of famous dads hanging in the restrooms, old movie posters, and a jukebox offering tracks from Johnny Cash and Guns and Roses to Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar. There’s even movies from the 1980s and 1990s projected onto the walls in the dining room.

Led by Little Spirit beverage director Ryan Dickey and Evan Hawkins (formerly of Broken Shaker in New York), the bar at Dad’s features classic and original takes on cocktails like the Mai Tai, Gold Rush, and an Appletini. A Manhattan on the current menu features rye and cherry cola vermouth, while a mezcal Last Word comes mixed with cloosterbitter and piña colada liqueur. Hawkins, who first met Pechin at Opera nightclub in Midtown, also worked behind the bars at Mother’s Ruin in New York and Bodega South Beach and Craft Social Club in Miami.

Atlanta chefs Maximilian Hines (the Lawrence) and Jason McClure (formerly of Wade’s) consulted on the food menu for Dad’s, which includes pizza rolls, disco waffle fries, a meatloaf sandwich, and their spin on a White Castle burger sold in trios. Brunch should begin in the coming weeks. Chef Izzy Grier, who previously collaborated with Hines on his pop-up dinner series Stolen Goods, runs the kitchen at Dad’s.

Dad’s opens this summer in the building once home to sports bar and restaurant Diesel Filling Station.
Dad’s takes over the building once home to sports bar and restaurant Diesel Filling Station.
Diesel Filling Station

With seating for around 100 people between the dining room, bar, and patio, Pechin says he wanted to create a place that not only catered to Atlanta cocktail drinkers, but to the neighborhood that supported Diesel Filling Station for over a decade.

The divey sports bar, known for its cheeseburger, loaded fries, and “Death Muffin”, closed last December after 13 years in Virginia-Highland. Pechin purchased the building in February of this year. Once home to a gas station, the distinctive building appeared on an episode of the The Walking Dead, which was shot at locations throughout Atlanta during the series.

Check out the cocktail and food menus for Dad’s below:

Dad’s cocktail menu in Atlanta. Dad’s
Dad’s food menu in Atlanta that includes fried deviled eggs, pizza rolls, meatloaf sandwiches, BEC, and French toast sticks. Dad’s

Monday - Saturday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

870 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta.

Little Spirit

299 North Highland Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 600-5895 Visit Website

Diesel Filling Station

870 North Highland Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 815-1820 Visit Website

The Lawrence

905 Juniper Street Northeast, , GA 30309 (404) 961-7178 Visit Website