Wednesday, February 6, 2013
24-hour Pop Diner opens, softly, this weekend in West Village
You don't have to go home, but you actually can stay here.
DALLAS Picture this: It’s last call at The Loon, and you are in dire need of sustenance. Traditionally, this West Village scenario had a few possible endings, like piling into someone's car and driving in aimless search of a dingy drive-thru. Enter Pop Diner, a new 24-hour joint with a full bar and all-night kitchen, which opens this weekend in the spot next to Max’s Wine Dive.
“The crowd in this area is incredibly under-served when it comes to late-night food options,” said Mark Schectman of Hypeworthy, a digital media marketing company. “This is walkable. It has a full bar. It’s perfect any time of day, but especially when you’re just not ready to head home after hours.”
Slated for a not-yet-announced, very soft opening this weekend, Pop Diner was conceived by Detroit’s Nick Gjonaj, who owns steakhouses and Italian restaurants in his native Michigan. Gjonaj chose Dallas specifically for his newest fast-casual endeavor – the first of its kind in his restaurant repertoire – because of our reputation as the City that Always Eats.
“Nick handpicked Dallas and wanted to bring something totally different,” said Schectman. Gjonaj wants to "spread the word" about foods Dallas' hasn't yet seen, prepared in another region's hometown style, he said.
Style is right. From the '80s-themed pop art referenced in its name to its otherwise '50s-style diner quality, Pop Diner is a burst of color in West Village. Equally colorful is the menu, which looks like it was designed by a 10-year-old – in a great way.
From Wing Dings to a classic grilled cheese and eight different varieties of hot dogs – excuse us, coneys – Pop Diner serves comfort food that seems ideal for 3 a.m. In keeping with the diner theme, breakfast items like chocolate chip pancakes will be served all day, and Gjonaj has created a wild spin on the traditional Indian naan sandwich by creating panini-style hybrids called Naanis.
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