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Bar Diver Is Where Cocktails and Dim Sum Meet the Concrete Jungle on Atlanta’s Westside

Check out the menu and five things to know about Bar Diver opening at Westside Paper in September

A wooden tray holds an assemblage of dim sum, including shumai, spring rolls, har gau, and three bao with chili sauce from Girl Diver in Atlanta.
Dim sum will be heavily featured on the menu at Bar Diver.
Bar Diver
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Richard Tang, the man behind Char Korean in Inman Quarter and Girl Diver in Reynoldstown, opens Bar Diver later this month on the city’s westside, adding to his growing collection of restaurants in Atlanta.

Opening at Westside Paper on West Marietta Street, think of Bar Diver as the laidback little sister of Girl Diver, focusing on Asian small plates, dim sum, and cocktails, with a vibe Tang says fits the younger crowd living in the neighborhoods and apartments surrounding the complex. He wants Bar Diver to be the kind of place people can simply hang out at for dinner and drinks, but without pretense involved or lines to get in, like “a cool lounge restaurant.”

Here are five things to know about Bar Diver (plus the menu), opening in late-September at Westside Paper.

An assemblage of Asian small plates, glass of wine, a cocktail in a coconut, and a purple cocktail in a glass shaped like a bird sit atop a table at Girl Diver in Atlanta. Bar Diver

It’s not Girl Diver

Despite sharing similar DNA in terms of the menu and name, Tang says Bar Diver isn’t another Girl Diver.

“I originally wanted to open Girl Diver at Westside Paper, and that was the plan. But times have changed and so has the neighborhood,” Tang says. “The pandemic shifted things on the westside, which is now younger, much more clubby, and less pretentious. We want to capture that vibe as a hang out, but also offer an alternative to the club.”

Tang makes it clear, however, that Bar Diver isn’t another Atlanta clubstaurant.

Dim sum and value for money are both key to the menu

The majority of the dishes at Bar Diver range between $7 and $19, for everything from dim sum selections of har gow, shumai, and bao to salt and pepper calamari, crying tiger steak, and scallion pancakes. Tang describes Bar Diver’s menu as “choose your own adventure.” For $39, people can order a platter of chef’s choice dim sum to share. The priciest dish at Bar Diver is the three-ounce A5 wagyu beef cooked over an ishiyaki (Japanese hot stone) and served with Himalayan sea salt.

“I think people have become more value conscious since the pandemic. Rent is up. Food prices are up. People just aren’t splurging like they used to or eating out the way they used to,” says Tang. “Part of that shift to Bar Diver at Westside Paper is to offer a more affordable option in the area to the pricier restaurants.”

Bar Diver features a unique all-weather patio

Spread out over two floors, Bar Diver features a large enclosed patio with a retractable roof and 12-foot glass panels that shoot up from the floor. The patio seats around 120 people and includes both air conditioning and heat.

There’s a private lounge upstairs

The top floor at Bar Diver will eventually house a private cocktail lounge, similar to Tang’s new cocktail bar Three Branches hidden away at Girl Diver.

The design has a cyper-punk feel

The design features neon lights, flowers, graffiti, and greenery coming out of the ceiling and walls.

“Think New York and Tokyo skylines and nightlife meets the Amazon, kind of a concrete jungle. It’s very cyber punkish,” Tang says, “It’s like the “Matrix” or “Blade Runner”, where there’s the brightness from the neon lights in the city, but also darkness and nature taking back some of the buildings.”

Check out the menu for Bar Diver below:

Look for Tang to open another restaurant next year in Boulevard Heights along the Southside Beltline trail, joining Finca to Filter coffee shop and frozen dessert and wine bar Side Saddle Wine Saloon at the Penman. For his next restaurant, Tang wants it to be more of a local neighborhood joint rather than just another Beltline attraction. Think New York City deli and sandwich shop meets cocktail bar. As with Westside Paper, he’s open to shifting concepts there if necessary.

“I want to do something a little bit more fun in Boulevard Heights, something the neighborhood can enjoy any day of the week, like a local hangout,” Tang says. “This new restaurant will really be for the neighborhood, but will still obviously capture Beltline traffic on the weekends.”

Bar Diver, 950 West Marietta Street, Atlanta. Opening late-September for dinner, dim sum, and cocktails.