Why visit one of London’s myriad middle-of-the-road diner facsimiles when there’s a middle-of-the-road diner facsimile that also pays its staff to subject customers to abuse? That’s the question no-one asked but Karen’s Diner decided to answer, with the news that it will arrive in the capital in the coming months.
A “secret location” pop-up has been bookable for some time, but the brand’s head of U.K., Ireland, and European operations Paul Levin says “one or two sites in London [will] open in the next 16 weeks,” according to MyLondon. They will join fully fledged locations in Manchester and Sheffield.
Levin maintains that the aim is to be “rude and funny,” rather than abusive; a line the group crossed in its original market of Australia only a couple of months ago: A staff member at a Brisbane branch asked a 14 year-old girl if she was filming for her OnlyFans.
The more regular diet at Karen’s is one of insults, sarcastic clapbacks, and burgers and wings: a theatrical inversion of the “customer is always right” attitude to hospitality. And mystifying as the appeal may be, the social media numbers say this is an unstoppable viral hit. London, then, will have to get ready.