To get in on the action of the 11th annual Berkley Art Bash on Saturday, the new Atomic Dawg restaurant is opening its doors for locals to get a sneak peek inside.
From noon to 6 p.m., stop by and check out Atomic Dawg, located in the old but renovated house at 2705 Coolidge Hwy., for a free lunch.
It will be giving away free hot dogs and meeting members of the community. On Tuesday, the restaurant will have its official grand opening.
7 things to know about Berkley’s newest restaurant:
- The name comes from the song "Atomic Dawg” by George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. Owner Joel Bacow works full time in the music industry and did business with Clinton. “Music is the seed (of Atomic Dawg),” manager Kristy Leby explained.
- Atomic Dawg walks the walk, too. Playing on the vibe of its inspiration, the old-school diner will be fashioned with chrome and steel fixtures, and bumping with '60s and '70s-era funk and soul. “You won’t find a TV in here anywhere,” Chef Gary Brunner promised.
- Atomic Dawg wants to be Berkley’s next top lunch spot – on the go. Leby said the restaurant hopes to have a steady flow of carry-out traffic, too. Inside, there is capacity for 46 diners, set at steel top bars. There’s also a room for private parties.
- It will feature a Dawg of the Week. To get started, Brunner said the Kingston Dog will be introduced first. It’s his take on a Jamaican-style gourmet dog that includes pineapple and mango salsa, with jalapeno drizzle.
- Everything is homemade. The only thing you’ll find in a bottle here it soda, served in vintage glass bottles. Brunner is armed with his grandma’s marinara recipe for dishes such as the Italian Stallion, and doesn’t back down to any recipe. “I’d challenge anyone to make a better grilled cheese sandwich than me,” he said. Brunner plans for everything from homemade condiments to milkshakes at the diner.
- It’s vegetarian friendly. With his mean grilled cheese sandwich skills and a homemade veggie burger he makes from beans, herbs and spices, Atomic Dawg is an old-school diner keeping up with new-age trends.
- It is testing the waters and making plans to go full-speed soon. Atomic Dawg will open with limited hours (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday) and a smaller menu to start. Leby and Brunner said everything from the recipes to the staff of around seven will be growing as they get in the groove of being Berkley’s new hot dog joint.