A Pre-Preview Dinner With the Folks Opening Up the new Restaurant, Social, at 14th and Meridian


This is by far one of the cooler experiences I’ve had while running this blog. Ever since I posted this note from the owners, I’ve been super curious about this project. A quick reminder – this is the spot at 3466 14th Street that used to be an old Christian bookstore.


Above is an old picture and construction has moved along nicely. The owners are planning on opening up in June with a number of soft openings. But back to the dinner. I was pretty psyched to have received an email from Gabbie Lenzi, Social’s PR rep, inviting me to dinner at one of the owner’s lofts in the O Street (unit block of O Street, NW) artist quarters. The following folks attended the dinner:

AJ Guy: Partner, Operations Manager
Scott Hammons: Partner
Tim Korzep: Partner
Joseph Norton: Restaurant Manager
Larry Miller: Bar Manager/ Mixologist
Michael Clements: Executive Chef
Julie Cole (First Lady of Social)


So basically, we all hung out in the living room of the loft (which was killer by the by) and Mike would bring out course after course all while drinking the occasional glass of wine… It was super casual and I enjoyed learning about the background of this project. It has been in the planning process for 2 years though those involved have been friends far longer that. It was interesting to learn that they considered opening up in Logan Circle, H Street, NE and other spots before choosing the Columbia Heights location. Since choosing their location they have grown to love the neighborhood though if they are successful it’s certainly possible they could open a second location.

The courses we tasted we’re prepared in a tiny kitchen which I thought was rather impressive:


As I’ve said before I’m no food critic but to this simple lad from Petworth many of the courses were fantastic. I particularly liked the Calimari Ripieni and the Crispy Chicken. But all of the courses have not been finalized as yet. What is super cool about these folks is that they are such an interesting mix. Yet they all were super friendly. They have an interesting vision for the spot. You can read their vision previously posted here. But basically on the first floor (actually half a floor down) you’ll have the “cellar” where you can hang out and have some drinks (by the by the Mixologist/bar manager was one of the most enthusiastic folks I have ever met) and either stay there or then head upstairs for dinner. On the second floor will be what they call the “living room”. In the living room you will be taken care of by a “guide” who will be available for any questions you may have about the dining experience or really any questions at all. The owners would like to see the “guides” build the type of relationships that many good bartenders have with their patrons around town.

The dining vision includes a sharing experience. So you can get big plate and share with your dining companions. Because the place will be set up as a “living room” plus the existence of the “cellar”, the owners imagine the restaurant as a destination spot. You can eat a casual dinner here and then hang out in the “cellar” or vice versa. Plus there will be a sidewalk cafe area as well as a veranda on the second floor (both spots can seat 25). In the future it is highly likely that Social will offer brunch and late night options as well.

All I can say is that if the food, the drinks and the atmosphere are nearly as good as they were at this pre-preview dinner this place is going to be a huge success.

See some more photos of the dishes as well as a look at the cocktail menu after the jump.

Crispy Chicken:


Cheese plate:


Fish tacos:


The loft:


Social’s specialty cocktails

Hanger 1 Vodka, ginger basil simple syrup muddled with strawberry & fresh oj & lime juice Served on the rocks

Rhett Butler
Makers Mark, lime juice, simple syrup & a drizzle of sour cherry juice served on the rocks

The Rapture
10 Cane rum, Passion fruit puree, mint, topped with a dash of champagne garnished with a mint sprig. Served in a martini glass

The French twist
Lillet, Grand Mariner, champagne & anorange twist served in a martini glass

El Diablo
Patron silver, Creme de cassis, ginger ale, lime wedge garnish.Served on the rocks

The Jimmy
Cucumber & chili pepper infused Hendricks gin with mango puree muddled with. Served on the rocks

23 Comment

  • Sounds great- glad they’re investing in the neighborhood. That stretch is looking a lot better than it was even a year ago.

  • June – been wondering when it will open. I wonder if Social will give its neighbors on meridian an advanced look, allegro shafted us on their party.

  • Sounds fantastic. With Pho 14, Room 11, and now Social opening in quick succession this spring, the quality drinking / dining options in the area have really multiplied. Some of the old stand-byes that have survived on lack of alternative options are really going to have to raise their games to compete … CH may finally become a dining destination if these places are as good as they look.

  • I like the look of the specialty cocktails. Agree that Social should have one of its soft opening events just for the close neighbors. And maybe the PoP community. Maybe we could bring paint, to fix that graffiti problem they have in their dining room (as seen in a previous post).

  • Hooray!! Can’t wait for the opening. Welcome to the neighborhood!!!

  • Anon 11:45, I’m curious, which places do you think will need to raise their game to compete? I’m thinking maybe the Heights & Gastropub (the latter mostly on price) …

  • Too bad they didn’t open something closer to their loft. We’re dying for a sit-down restaurant off north cap

  • Fantastic. It’s about time the CH/MP area got a multi-faceted establishment. The area’s been too niche for too long. The owners sound like they’ll be the best addition to the hood. Kudos!

  • awesome. Can’t wait to come by!! Looks great.

  • super duper excited! can’t wait for more options in the neighborhood 🙂

  • I actually like the Gastropub food quite a bit, and I’m not sure if lowering price if feasible given the rent they have to pay at Highland. I was more thinking of (1) Rumberos — amazing atmosphere, but food quality and service are both way too inconsistent — huge space that almost always seems mostly empty; could really use a revamped menu and a new chef; (2) Nori — again, a huge space that is hard to fill, I think it would benefit from a smaller, more focused menu and better quality sushi; (3) The Heights — convenient and fine, but may need to be better than merely adequate to compete with higher caliber food.

  • So exciting!! Can’t wait to try it. With Dave’s Tavern opening up across the street and Thai Tanic and others at the Allegro, this is turning into a really great stretch of 14th. Wishing the owners much success!! Great job on the building, by the way.

  • This is so good to read. The updates are appreciated and welcomed. I can’t wait to eat at the new “Social” !!! Congratulations to you all and come on now, Hurry up and get those doors open. !!!

  • Speaking of Dave’s Tavern, does anyone know “Dave” or have any update — I think those plans were first announced around a year ago now …

  • Well, it’s no Arby’s but I guess it will have to do. I only hope they make that food from another part of the country that I crave and can’t find in DC so that I can complain about it since that is the only satisfaction I get out of life. That, and blaming my farts on the dog.

  • That looks like a sweet place!

  • Sweet… Now IHOP will be less crowded.

  • This looks great. I can’t wait for it to open!

  • It will be miraculous if it opens in June, by the way (I’m guessing more like September based on all the work that still has to be done and the notoriously difficult DC permitting process) but it would be amazing if it opens this summer.

  • It will be miraculous if it opens in June, by the way (I’m guessing more like September based on all the work that still has to be done and the notoriously difficult DC permitting process) but it would be amazing if it opens this summer.

    And Monkey, as one of the people doing the bitching, believe me, it brings me no satisfaction — I’d gladly trade in the bitching for some better food options in this town.

  • Restaurant looks great. Love Maker’s Mark so would love the Rhett Butler. Come visit the distillery and take a free tour. It’s terrific. Maker’s Mark Distillery is located just outside historic downtown Lebanon, the geographic center of the state and true Heart of Kentucky. Come feel the beat! Learn more about Maker’s Mark and get easy, detailed directions to the distillery at http://www.HeartOfKentucky.com.

  • So why is there still a “For Lease” sign on the building?

  • This place looks amazing! I can’t wait to eat the food and hang out at Social. Even though I live on the other side of the country, this place gives me another reason to come to DC!

    Could the chef put some more cowbell on the menu? I’ve got a fever….

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