You can call me Earl 

Two summers ago, the East Atlanta Restaurant & Lounge, better known as The Earl, was a place to go if you didn't want to be seen. More times than I can count, I both said and heard some variation of "I'm not really in the mood to go out, let's go to The Earl."

But times have changed.

As word spread that The Earl had the charm and unpretentiousness of a neighborhood dive bar without actually being one, it quickly began pulling patrons from all over town, not just East Atlanta locals. On any given night you'll find genuine blue-collar types, hipsters affecting blue-collarness, yuppies, new urban gentry, and at least one Creative Loafing employee. The attractions: great local and touring rock bands playing the back room, great bar food (including many vegetarian selections and the best onion rings in town according to CL critics), chairs and a table in front of the bar where patrons are welcome to sit with their dogs, and an endless supply of cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, the de facto official beverage of East Atlanta.

The Earl is open for lunch every day except Monday. On Sundays, The Earl hosts Dunch, a late brunch accompanied by mellow, often twangy music.

The Earl, East Atlanta Restaurant & Lounge, 488 Flat Shoals Road, East Atlanta. Mon. 5 p.m.-4 a.m., Tues.-Sat., noon to 4 a.m.; Sun., 12:30 p.m. to midnight. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.

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