The street theme at Diamond Street Grub & Hops, which will open June 28, extends to wall murals depicting food trucks and even the menu fonts.
The restaurant, a new concept by the owners of Diamond Pub & Billiards, replaces the Mellow Mushroom in St. Matthews, which closed in late April.
In addition to the street scene mural, which takes up an entire wall in the main dining area, there are a pair of graffiti-style murals, one just inside the entrance and another down a hallway leading to the restrooms. At first glance, even the menus look hand-written, thanks to a font called Bad Handwriting.
Co-owner Jared Matthews, who also is a partner in Lou Lou Food & Drink and Equus and Jack’s Lounge, said the font was chosen because it reflects handwritten chalkboards and whiteboards many street food vendors employ for their makeshift menus.
The menu continues the theme with subheads like First Street (appetizers), Main Street (main entrees and sandwiches), Street Lite (salads), Street Tacos and End of the Road (desserts).
The food selection is, almost literally, all over the map. First Street items include elotes, or Mexican street corn, as well as Korean meatballs, German-style currywurst, Canadian-style poutine and gyoza. Whole wings come in a variety of sauces, from Bangkok to Buffalo.
Main Street selections include everything from Banh Mi to chicken bulgogi, a Chicago street dog, Memphis barbecue, a Cuban sandwich and London fish and chips.
Salads range from a basic house salad to a tuna poke salad, while tacos run the gamut from fried cod to honey ginger miso tuna. And the End of the Road menu will include not only chocolate and caramel drizzled churros, but also a bag of hot mini donuts, as a tribute to the Baker Boy Donuts sign on the front of the building.
The exterior retains the brick columns but with a new light green theme and rainbow Diamond Street Grub logo banner. Inside, the 6,500-square-foot restaurant remains structurally the same, save for a new paint job and the murals.
Added features include a shuffleboard table and a corner in the dining room for live acoustic music most nights. Matthews also said two booths near the bar will be transformed into dedicated gaming system tables. In addition, some arcade games will be added.
Eighteen flatscreen TVs will broadcast sports, and the NFL Sunday Ticket will be a mainstay when fall rolls around. Two chefs, Jess Inman and Dustin Stevens, will head up the kitchen, and the business will staff roughly 35 to 40 people, Matthews said.
Samples of some menu items reveal a cheesy-meets-spicy elote topped with sweet and hot peppers that is fit for a party of two. Chicken bulgogi brings a nice kick and big flavor with Korean fire sauce, pineapple, soy and garlic over basmati rice. And the churros number four to an order and are decadent, to say the least.
Most food items are around the $10-$14 range. A kids’ menu also is available. Generally, Matthew said, the goal is to provide something for everyone at varying times of the day. Workers in the area can come in for lunch, families can eat sharables for dinner, and revelers – Diamond Street Grub will be open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday – can catch a late-night bite.
“The concept is to kind of hit everybody,” he said
Of course, it doesn’t stop with the food. The 40-tap draft system will be another focus, along with a craft cocktail program, combining a laid-back lounge theme in the bar area, where the U-shaped bar remains from Mellow Mushroom.
“I’ve had this concept in my mind for a couple of years,” Matthews said. “I love all kinds of street food. I just thought it would be really cool to combine street food and beer together.”
Diamond Street Food & Hops, located at 3922 Shelbyville Road, opens Friday, June 28, at 5 p.m. Going forward, hours will be Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 a.m.