Karen's Diner to bring attitude and American comfort food to World Square

Viral Ventures co-founders Aden Levin (left) and James Farrell will add Karen's Diner to their portfolio.
Viral Ventures co-founders Aden Levin (left) and James Farrell will add Karen's Diner to their portfolio. Photo: Supplied

With Margaret, Lola's and Roxy's among the Sydney restaurants with COVID-delayed opening dates, 2021 is turning out to be a bumper year for girls' names. While Karen isn't Margaret, Lola or even Roxy, she'll join the post-lockdown launches.

Karen's Diner will open at Sydney's World Square as a six-month pop-up. The selling point is American comfort food and deliberately rude staff.

If that sounds like it has all been done before, you'd be correct. You can find a burger or a wing in just about every city in the world, and centuries after rude service arrived on the planet, it was squeezed into a restaurant formula at places such as Dick's Last Resort and Ed Debevic's in the US.

The concept possibly had its breakthrough moment at a Chicago diner in the early 1990s, where reviewers at the time were unsure if the waitress was an actress.

According to the blurb for Karen's Diner, it taps "the notorious complaining Karens in today's society". Apologies to all you Karens out there, and the "not happy" Jans while we're at it.

It'll be interesting to see if Sydneysiders are in the mood for an "angry" Karen after a decent spell stuck at home. She might get a bit of her own back.