Social (Abruptly and Possibly Temporarily) Closes at 14th and Meridian Pl, NW in Columbia Heights

by Prince Of Petworth November 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm 112 Comments

Many people have heard by now that Social, open since Aug. ’09, had closed yesterday. The question I have are why did they close and when will they reopen? I just got off the phone with one of the owners, AJ Guy, and while he couldn’t completely clear up the picture for me he was able to share a few more details.

Yesterday I was sent a number of emails (sorry for the delay I’ve been away from a computer) mostly seen on facebook saying that they closed due to “a dispute regarding taxes and the ownership group.” AJ said in no uncertain terms that they were not closed as a result of tax problems. They have closed because they “are doing a reassessment from top to bottom of our organization”. He continues, “We have every intention to re-open”.

I pressed him for a timeframe on when they may reopen but he was unable to give me one. If I were a betting man I’d say it will be closed closer to weeks rather than days and a possibility of months. To me it seems to depend whether the space will reopen with the same concept or completely new brand/concept. If they completely rebrand including new investors, this will obviously take more time. There are clearly a lot of decisions that need to be made by a lot of different people and all these variables are being discussed at this time. I have been promised to be kept in the loop on potential reopening dates, whether or not a new ownership team is put together, and whether or not a new concept emerges etc.

But the bottom line is that they have closed for the moment. And unfortunately it is not clear when they will reopen. I promise to update as more info becomes available. Personally, I was a big fan of the space and the people (including a great mix of patrons). I also like how their outdoor space developed (see photo above) and I think overall they were/are great members of the community. I hope they will soon return, as Social or another concept, to contribute to the progress being made on 14th St, NW north of Spring Road and to Columbia Heights in general.

  • ann onomous

    I found that the food drastically went down hill between aug. 09 and aug.10. Maybe if they can change chefs or change the items, they might be able to get back to the quality i got from them earlier on. Just a thought.

  • Kalorini

    Agreed! Their food menu was severely lacking (especially in the vegetarian department), but their drinks/space/people were top-notch. Sending them good karma vibes to open up sooner rather than later!

  • Nestum

    What should i do with my Groupon?!?!?

    • Anonymous

      Contact Groupon–they should give you a refund. I had a similar thing happen when I bought a Groupon for a place that went out of business, and they were very easy to work with.

      • p’worth

        thanks, I was gonna say the same thing!

        • Ace in DC

          Random note – Groupon has the most ridiculously awesome customer service. They have already redeemed my Social coupon.

  • This sounds like a dispute amongst the owners of the restaurant. If that’s the case, I have a feeling it will be drawn out for months.

    I haven’t heard anyone who was terribly impressed with the restaurant itself. I personally have eaten there a few times, and found it OK but overpriced. As a concept I think it struggles…there’s no cohesive identity…American small plates is frankly a bit generic.

    The location is desirable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another restauranteur jump on the lease if Social closes for good.

  • Anonymous

    I live right next to Social and wanted it to survive. I ate there three times, each time hoping the next time would be better. I knew this place would close; lousy food for the price, weird seating arrangments upstairs, service was questionable. This owner AJ used this place as his own bar for his buddies in the beginning, parked his fat ass right at the bar even when customers tried to get drinks. This place needs new life, new ideas. It turned out to be such a disappointment.

  • Broomcrash

    I really like Social! They had some good food, just needed more new additions. I did feel when thet got rid of the small/medium/large it wasn’t as good. I hope it reopens and I have a groupon for it to!

  • RAD

    IT was a shitty restaurant with horrible service anyways…. PEACE OUT!

    • David Magee

      boooo. I loved it…

  • sc

    I also live next door to Social and am amazed at how popular it is. The space is nice, but as others have noted, the food is really disappointing and overpriced and service is pretty weak. I hope when they re-open they improve in those departments.

  • cdubs

    yep. the food got bad and service was pretty weak. too bad because it had all the trappings of being a cool place. even if it was a ripoff of nyc.

  • Yummy

    Social, Tonic, Meridian Pint… it seems like any non pizza place in the area has a hard time in the kitchen. All three of these places have been more misses than hits, and, if nothing else, inconsistent. Why is this? Is it because it is hard to find good kitchen help? is it because these places look to cut corners by changing the quality of their food? I’m not looking to these places to be the Heights or Commonwealth, but I don’t want to walk out the door feeling ripped off. how hard is it to make a burger/french toast/sandwiches?
    I”m not bitching; I’m looking for theories.

    • MSF

      I’ve eaten at Meridian Pint at least 3 times now and have never had any complaints. Tonic was fine, nothing special. On the other hand, I didn’t like Commonwealth’s food at all. So, to each their own. I’ll be going back to MP repeatedly but not CW by choice.

    • Anonymous

      Good lord, let’s hope nobody is out there striving to be “the heights” in terms of food or service. That place, and its sister restaurants are the worst. Over priced TGI Fridays food.

      Commonwealth and Meridian Pint are miles better.

      • Anonymous


      • w00t

        couldn’t agree more.

      • christian

        +1. I thought the Heights comment was a joke, but apparently not.

      • Ken

        I totally agree ….. The Heights just plains sucks … I have lived in CH for 2 years and have eaten there only 3 times …. there is nothing on the menu worth eating

    • While I can agree that we were inconsistent in the first couple of months, we’ve worked out our kinks and are significantly improved. Next week we roll out new menu with great improvements. After all, we’ve only been open 4 months. As for Social, I’ve got only 1 suggestion which I think will drastically help…add a stylish and spacious bar to the upstairs dining area. -John

      • saf

        Your beer is great, your staff is great, your apps are great, and we’re looking forward to the entrees going from fine to great.

      • Anonymous

        Hey I have a suggestion.

        Give me back the $25 that was extorted from me for shuffleboard. Seriously, you can’t just give people the equipment without telling them it costs an arm and a leg. Never had to pay for it anywhere else, but I guess I may have just been lucky

        • Tres

          It doesn’t sound like you’ve been to a bar in DC before. Now you know how it works. Meridian’s prices for games are average.

          If you can’t afford that, I think Asylum still has a pool table that accepts quarters.

          • x

            $6 / hour for shuffleboard at Atomic in Cleveland Park.

            Is there another shuffleboard bar charging $44/hr so that that average makes sense?

      • AB

        You guys are fantastic. Never had a bad time there. Keep up the good work!

      • victoria

        Please don’t change the trout – my favorite!

  • ShermanAveGuy

    The service was incredibly slow. I liked the food, but both times I ate there it took more than an hour to be served my meal.

  • rooty tooty

    food was so-so, but i LOVE the space and the decor. if they got a halfway decent chef in there, they could be killin it.

  • David

    The only good sit-down place to eat or drink in Columbia Heights is Red Rock. Everything else in the area (and, generally, in all of DC) has incredibly spotty quality and service.

    I have no idea why this is. I understand intellectually why your local, low-income workers at CVS or Giant or wherever are surly and incompetent – they’re generally products of DCPS and have no skills. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why most upscale (dare I say, overpriced) restaurants and bars in DC suck so much. I’ve had to return more food here – for being cold, for being tasteless, because my allegedly medium-well hamburger was pink and barely cooked) than I’ve ever had to, cumulatively, in my entire life before moving to DC four years ago. And I’m 40.

    All I can think of is that most DC restaurant and bar staff are law-student types who are only doing the job to earn some extra cash, and they think the work is beneath them because they’re all going to be senators or in BIGLAW sometime soon.

    If the neighborhood diner in New York or Chicago had food/service issues like the ones that habitually occur in DC’s $25/entree restaurants, they’d close down lickety-split.

    If anyone can explain why most things in DC suck so bad, please – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • Eric

      Wow. I’m sorry you’re such an unhappy person.

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s a lot easier to find a place with good service in DC than it is to find a place with good food or a good ambiance.

    • mark

      I call BS on returning food for being “tasteless.”

      It genuinely sounds like you don’t belong here. I hope you’ll consider a life change.

      • So, Just Sayin’

        You mean you eat tasteless food?

        Listen, the poster hated this restaurant and has found the DC restaurant scene lacking. It’s hard to say he’s wrong.

        If I were to make a comparison, I would say DC is lacking what San Francisco has in spades: a large number of restaurants in which you can enjoy excellent food at a medium price point.

        DC has some great food at very high prices. (Not that high prices are a guarantee of quality — DC suffered for a long time from a glut of high-price steakhouses, that sort of thing.) And DC has some tasty low-price, hole-in-the-wall fare. You have to hunt for both.

        As for offerings in between — well, we don’t have it. And Social didn’t cut it.

        Doesn’t mean the poster needs to leave. He pretty correctly diagnosed the culinary condition of the city, and of this restaurant. It means restaurant owners and chefs need to do a better job of stepping up to the plate.

        • HolmeadHomey

          +1. Social has been a big disappoint for me. I have always wished it would be a more casual place, where you could hang out and eat smaller plates at a mendium price point. Sort of a Tryst meets Meridian Pint, but with lower prices and more of Red Derby vibe.

          It seems to me in its current state, it’s a club-esk restaurant that’s trying too hard to cater to the “bridge and tunnel” crowd that shows up all decked out and ready to go big since they’re in the city.

    • Dux

      I Agree, I’ve been to places in the DC area where the waiters spend time letting customers know they’re not waiters but something above that. I wish POP could have a rating of the restaurants in our area based on common concerns of the web readers.

    • Eric in Ledroit

      …..and the usual annoying comparison with New York and Chicago.

      Which $25/entree restaurants in CoHi or Petworth are you thinking of?

      Let me guess – there is better Mexican food in LA right? Did I guess correctly?

    • Agreed.

      Your theory is something I hadn’t thought of, and has some merit. I have similarly long wondered at the state of dining in this city. My only conclusion is that most of the people who live here come from smaller towns and cities that never had real, delicious local restaurants, and so don’t know any better.

      I’m glad there’s a potentially less snobby explanation out there.

      • Steven

        I think this is part of the problem. Half of DC seems to be post-frat, post-sorority people from (ick) Middle America, and they have no idea what a real city is like. And they’re just so thrilled that they can go out and get wasted on 18th St with all their other frat brothers, friends from their last internship, etc. They’re not exactly out looking for authentic, tasty dim sum.

        We have to remember that most of America is a vast, soulless wasteland populated by marginally educated, ignorant people who distrust anything outside their comfort bubble. Hell, I’m from the Midwest – even in cities where people have amazing, authentic (and cheap!) Mexican restaurants, the whites will still go to Chi-Chi’s because they don’t have to interact with the scary brown people and eat the weird food they don’t recognize. So yeah, most of the transplants to DC have no idea whatsoever what constitutes good food – all they care about is getting blitzed so they can hook up with that vaguely-but-not-really hot chick from the Heritage Foundation.

        • Anonymous

          another fantastic theory.
          you guys are a riot.

        • Tres

          At least she’s doesn’t work for the Chamber of Commerce. Count that as a saving grace.

        • saf

          Wow, I’m glad I don’t live in the same DC you seem to live in.

        • Jay

          This kind of NY-SF provincial elitism is why the Tea Party is going to be running the country.

          • Anonymous

            do not insult steven, authentic non-transplant urban knower of fine and weird foods and sleeper with fine womens, educated beyond the margins, and living beyond the bubble. he doesn’t eat at chi chis and he’s not even scared of brown people.

      • Um, yeah. That was actually pretty snobby.

    • Anonymous

      I share David’s frustration.
      It seems that most DC restaurants are focused more on ambience than the culinary quality/creativity of the actual food.

      • A.S.

        income gap might explain the lack of mid-priced restaurants in the city (?)

    • David is not an angry person — he is soooo right …. the restaurant scene in DC sucks. I have been to NYC and SF this year — much better places for restaurants …. DC is so incredible plain and generic when it comes to restaurants

      • A.S.

        DC has great stuff, but the best restaurants are in the suburbs and strip malls. wack.

      • Ben

        I have to disagree–as someone who has traveled to both NYC and SF. Are both of those places generally better than DC? Yes, but then again you’re talking about the likely two top culinary destinations in the country there. It doesn’t really bother me that DC doesn’t top them.

        But I have more wonderful meals at DC establishments than I could possibly list here. My 2¢ is that, much like the oft-repeated refrain that DC is full of ugly boring people, the stigma attached to our dining scene is a holdover from that period in the city’s history when there truly was a dearth of quality dining establishments in the city. That isn’t the case anymore.

        I would put DC’s dining scene on par with cities such as Boston, Seattle, and Chicago. For most of us DC-dwellers, that is more than sufficient. And for those of you who yearn for the restaurant scene of a NYC or San Fran, well, you’re just going to continue to be disappointed. But then again, you’d be disappoitned pretty much anywhere.

        • Anonymous

          seattle and chicago have pretty exceptional restaurant scenes.
          i’d put dc in the top 10 cities though. not too shabby.

        • Tami


    • Marcus Aurelius

      “All I can think of is that most DC restaurant and bar staff are law-student types who are only doing the job to earn some extra cash ”

      Really? You must be talking about waitstaff and barstaff because you won’t find any “law-student” types in the kitchens, which are the source of the food you find to be so crappy.
      As for explaining why things in DC suck so bad, I suggest looking in the mirror because your problem seems to be more about your attitude than the restaurant’s execution.

    • Other K

      Man, you definitely don’t live in the same Columbia Heights that I do. The Derby, Pho Viet, Taqueria Distrito Federal, Room 11, I could go on forever about the variety of tasty, affordable food and the friendly staff of Columbia Heights restaurants. One of my favorite things about the neighborhood by far.

      • Anonymous


  • anon

    So let me get this right…bad food, bad service, high prices. What else is left for a restaurant to build success upon…their space? That ain’t gonna pay the bills…even when all your friends show up for the drink specials.

    BTW, I totally agree with everyone’s luke warm assessment. Gave this place two or three tries to support something that seemed great for the neighborhood…but it never cut it.

    Time to step aside I say…

  • Mr. Poon

    This whining chorus is painful. This was a restaurant in my neighborhood that is now potentially an empty building. I didn’t go there often because I thought the place seemed a bit pretentious with its tiny plates and lamb lollipops, but I certainly welcome any business in the neighborhood.

    Time for them to step aside? Please. Just don’t eat there and be humble and wish them luck. Does anyone really believe that upper 14th Street is a better place without Social?

    • CM

      But you just said yourself you didn’t go there often because of X,Y,Z. I never went there because I consistently heard that the quality was low for the price. So what does that say for Social’s ability to stay in business? They should step aside for a place that you and/or I want to spend our money at or re-brand to actually you know attract customers.

      • Ben

        I think he’s referring to people who appear happy that they have closed. That mentality doesn’t make sense to me.

        it’s all well and good not to eat at a restaurant–there are plenty that I avoid. But I don’t wish that any of them close, unless they are a nuisance or some such.

  • TG

    I think it is this place suffered from a lot of the arrogance of new dc restaurants. They want to act like they have “arrived” before they have built any kind of a reputation, clientele etc. You just can’t charge what they were charging in columbia heights with the product they were putting out. Going out of business, which they eventually will, is inevitable.

    • w00t

      +1, well said.

  • ColHe

    I agree on a lot of the food comments but I really liked Social because it was, well, Social. This is one the few places where people around the bar would all chat. There were a lot of interesting people from around the neighborhood. The downstairs bar and outside was a fun place to go and mix it up with friends and neighbors. I’ve met a bunch of new and interesting people there that I might not talk to otherwise. I hope they come back.

  • mark

    I like the menu and their wine selection. I liked that they were very close to me. On the worst night of last winter’s snows, when Commonwealth had closed and the Thai place hadn’t bothered to open, we were at the bar having drinks and feeling lucky. In May we took ancestors there for Mother’s Day brunch. I like their brunches.

    The service could be slow and, last time we were there, the portions seemed small. I’m easily annoyed by bad restaurants but Social has never done that to me. I hope they work it out.

    • jt$


  • Living on Mt P

    wow, this is a bummer. personally i thought the lamb lollipops were AWESOME! glad i used my groupon!

  • Hams

    I disliked Social so much that I feel compelled to add to the chorus.

    I once told one of the owners how much their vegetarian options sucked. He was aggressive and defensive rather than listening to me. Then they served me warm wine. Really, it was warm.

    It IS a great space. I just hope a decent restaurant goes in there. Social was terrible and despite it being a local effort in an up and coming area… I’m glad to see it gone.

    • Tami

      Restaurants shouldn’t be required to serve vegetarian items if that’s not their deal. Tony Bourdain would’ve kicked you out so at least the guy talked to you.

  • Retirement Community President

    That building would make an awesome Bucca Di Bepo!

  • anonymous

    people are being overly critical here. There initial problem was going exclusively the small plates route, but they had been making strides in providing some more basic grub and getting a happy hour menu together. If they do re-rebrand, I would suggest going a little more down market. Also, more beers on tap would be a huge plus.

  • Sounds bad. Hope they open again

  • Anonymous

    Places in DC have bad food because they cut corners on the food to save money. They do this because of the cost of space in this city. Renting or owning enough commercial space to run an eatery takes a small or not so small fortune, so food costs have to make up the ground.

    I’ve been told this by several restaurant owners in town.

    Maybe you’ve noticed that when a new place opens, the food is usually very good for about 3 months to a year, after that, the corner cutting begins, because it has to for the places to stay above water.

    It’s also why you don’t see as many mom and pop or independent restaurants in DC, most are owned by conglomerates. It’s the only way to get enough money together.

    • Tres

      Rent for commercial space like restaurant is twice as much in NYC, and yet NYC doesn’t have the same problem.

      • Anonymous

        incorrect, nyc rents are actually cheaper, the spaces are smaller, but they’re less expensive. restaurant folks in nyc are much smarter with use of space than here.

        • Ben

          Well, that depends on the neighborhood. I would find it highly suspect if rents in the Village were outpacing Columbia Heights.

          As far as NYC restaurants being “smarter” with their use of space, I’m not really sure where that’s coming from. As but one example, the Mrs. and I dined at the Bourgeois Pig in the LES. no complaints about the food, but there had to have been at least twice as many people inside that tiny space as should have been there. It was a very uncomfortable dining experience.

    • MSF

      Don’t forget the obscene permitting process here in DC that sucks through your available cash while your restaurant sits empty for months on end. Everyone seems to forget that part of the process. It’s why you often see chain restaurants or restaurant group fare and few mom and pop options. Too hard for an individual to open a place on their own. I believe that’s what happened to the Mediterranean place that tried to open in CoHi when I first moved here 2+ years ago. Can’t remember the name. Blue something I think.

      It’s exactly the opposite in NYC where it’s comparatively easy to open a place (I think anyway). Also, to respond to others who try to compare the DC scene to NYC, one of the main differences is population density. NYC has so many people that rarely do you see empty main streets. Between the tourists and the locals, there is enough people to support many of the restaurants. The amount of times I’ve walked down a street in downtown DC, day or night, seeing barely a dozen people on a given block is too many to count. It’s just a lot harder to have a successful restaurant with the relatively low population density in NW, gentrifying DC.

      And, as a final point, just like what we’re seeing with Social and many others, the relative life span of a restaurant in NYC is something like 2-3 years. It’s not like every restaurant works there. The restaurants that are around for years on end are rare whichever city you are in.

  • Park&Park

    I also went to this place twice and had horrible service both times. There are too many other options to go to a place with bad service. The space and location are good. I hope something with better management replaces it.

  • Anonymous

    i’m mostly amused by the bizarre theories people come up with.

  • sunsquashed

    Wait, there are two people on here that claim to live “next door” to Social. Unless one of you is the guy living in my basement, get your geography right! I have never been to Social, but my girlfriend has a couple of times. She thought it was ok, but overpriced. She has also remarked that the one owner she has met was really nice. The only time I have ever attempted to go there, we went in for brunch, sat waiting for someone to take our order for >10min. then left due to the shitty service. I’m not sure why the place was in disarray, but something was going majorly wrong. I was also really impressed by the 13yo kid working there. This kid was way too young to be working legit. I hope this place rebrands, lowers their prices, gets more veggie options (a chief reason I’ve never eaten there), and gets some better beer selections!

    • sc

      I think it’s fair to say that the couple hundred people who live in the Allegro live “next door” to Social.

    • Tami

      Never Went but Attempted to go one time….hmm?

  • Anonymous

    I share David’s frustration.
    It seems that most DC restaurants are focused more on ambience than the culinary quality/creativity of the actual food.

    • Eric in Ledroit

      you definitely need to keep repeating that

  • Happy Pilgrim

    I’ve been 5+ times and thought it was good (and fairly cheap)and a relaxing place. Favorites included the mushrooms, meatballs, fries and mini burgers. For people complaining it’s “too expensive” where are you going that is good and cheaper? Really? Atmosphere was nice, bottles of wine under $30, and there nothing like it nearby. I hope it comes back in its form,or something similar.

    Bought two Groupons and still have one left….

    PoP — thanks for being on top of things important to us in the ‘hood!

  • Lester

    Just got an e-mail from Groupon with instructions for reimbursement of unused groupons for Social. Stated that they were not able to contact management and are reimbursing unused groupons. I took friends there for drinks. Lovely outdoor seating, but there was a bachelor party with several sloppy drunk people there. Curious to see what happens.

  • Nonnamiss

    @Lester, is there any way to get a copy that Groupon email. I bought some vouchers for Social through OpenTable, and want to cite it to try to get my unused vouchers credited.

    Aside from that, I’ve had really good experience at Social. A lot is based on what you order and when you go (ie: Tuesday was half-off on wine). I hope they can owners can reconcile the situatiton.

  • 619

    I went a number of times and agree with the commentary – food declined dramatically from opening date to now and service was completely awlful. My last brunch, the biscuits were inedible, our table service was poor, and the dirty table next to me remained dirty for the entire length of my visit – and it was by no means a busy day. I thought the pricepoints were fine and really enjoyed the place when it opened. If they can resolve the service and food issues – I would return – loved the location and the atmosphere.

    • El Gringo


      Food used to be awesome – but that was 6 months ago at least. Waitstaff has pretty much always sucked.

      The Owners/Managers and Derek behind the bar were always good to me, and the crowd downstairs was always very “neighborly” which I liked a lot…

      Sad to see this endeavor fall on hard times.

  • anon

    i am surprised they stayed open this long. the place truly sucked in all ways that a restaurant can suck.

  • photodork

    Never ate at Social, so can’t comment on the food. Downstairs bartenders were always generous with the portions though. My main question is this:

    Why can’t we get a few more premium burger options in the district?

    • El Gringo

      That’s a joke right?

      • photodork

        Do you really expect me to believe that you think 5 Guys, The Burger Joint, Rogue States, Good Stuff Eatery and Z Burger are enough to choose from?

        • saf

          Palena has a great burger.

        • Ben

          Yes. If not, move to NYC.

          • Anonymous

            i hope you get a sense of humor for christmas.

          • Ben

            I hope you get a screen name.

  • ZHeights

    Social was my favorite HH spot. $1 PBRs, $3 rails, $4 for a heck of a burger and HH prices on Sundays. The best deal was $18 for the strongest pitcher of margaritas I’ve ever had. Luckily I am one of the hundreds of Allegro kids next door, so I could easily stumble home. Anyone calling this place expensive just wasn’t going at the right time…I really hope Social comes back soon.

  • Pedro – MW Frat Boy

    I am with all of the other snobby a** holes on this thread. I would rather see yet another abandoned space in CH in place of one of the handful of options in the neighborhood that once made me wait more than 15 min to order food (the horror). The pain of having to spend that much more time with my wife was nearly unbearable.

    If DC is so bad why are you here? Lighten up or leave please and spare the rest of us from your being a drag.

  • Anonymous

    Put in a beer garden!

  • Sleepy

    Good riddance, the food sucked anyway.

  • Fish

    I loved this place. Hope it opens soon.


  • nicole

    I think it’s sad news — I really like Social!

  • anon.

    I bought 2 Groupons for Social and used one several months ago. I hadn’t been before. Not my kind of place so I am not sorry to have Groupon redeem my unused coupon.
    i don’t eat out often finding the food at home better than any restaurant (I live with a world class chef)so we only eat out when cooking and eating at home is not possible due to schedules, etc. For convenience and value for money one cannot beat Ruby Tuesday’s. I cannot emphasize enough convenience and value for money.

  • Ben

    Really am not understanding those of you who are happy to see this place close. What possible sense does that make? If the place was so bad, just don’t patronize it. If it closes, it closes. But doing a happy dance because there is now yet another vacant property in Columbia Heights? That’s simply idiotic. We should be encouraging competition and improvement, not the closure of places we don’t like. There are a slew of restaurants in this city that I have not patronized, and likely never will. But I wouldn’t be happy if any of them shut down.

    • Cheese curls and maybe hot dogs

      Encouraging competition and improvement = closure of places we don’t like. Not to hard to figure there.

      I was a hopeful supporter of the idea of Social, live a few blocks away and was eager for it’s success. But found it pricey and not at all appealing on the first few walk-bys. Finally got there because of groupon – but huge disapointment.

      Long wait for uninspired food. That will never work. Opening a restaurant is always a chance, but really, there are 10,000 people who have done it so far in your lifetime, so why not look around and learn before you invest your life?

  • Ben

    “Encouraging competition and improvement = closure of places we don’t like. Not to hard to figure there.”

    Actually, you haven’t addressed my point. I was not simply addressing the closing of a restaurant you don’t like–which happens all of the time–but rather the bizarre response this closure has elicited from people who seem to be happier with another vacant building along 14th street than having a restaurant in operation that they think serves mediocre food. You see, Columbia Heights isn’t one of those neighborhoods where it can immediately be assumed that a new restaurant will step in to fill a recently vacated space. In fact, closures impact more than simply the vacant space left behind–it gives pause to every potential entrepreneur who is considering opening a business there. Being happy about the failure of a business, particularly in a transitioning neighborhood, strikes me as strange. Not too hard to figure there.

    • cheese curls and maybe hot dogs

      Learn to ignore the sillies here and take time to read the thoughtful posts and you won’t get so overwrought. Your “point” appears to be that you are offended by what you perceive as people doing a “happy dance” over a failed business. Well yeah, some idiots always do that to declare how sophisticated/superior they are. So what – ignore them.

      My point is that restaurants or any businesses that don’t satisfy the needs/desires of the patrons will inevitably fail. Not gloating or rejoicing, just a fact. As I said, I wanted Social to succeed. It didn’t, for legitimate reasons. Sad but true. But it would be ten times sadder for another restaurant to come into the space, ignore all the criticisms of Social and also fail.

      “Giving pause” to potential entrepreneurs is the most helpful thing we can do for them, for it would hopefully show them exactly how not to fail – which would mean no empty spaces and a thriving business for them – (which I wish to god would serve a great meatloaf.)

      • Ben

        LOL–“overwrought”? All I said was that such reactions didn’t make sense to me. Which they don’t.

        I remember a group of people in Penn Quarter a year or so ago dancing with glee at the prospects that Madame Toussaud’s might close. Now, Madame Toussaud’s isn’t a place I’ve ever been to, and nor do I care to visit–I’ve got better things to do. But I wish them success nonetheless, because their vacating of that space would have left a massive corner vacancy in that neighborhood–one that had no immediate prospects of being filled, either. What was to celebrate about that?

        For the record, I never ate at Social, but my wife did, and her response was pretty much in line with what others have said here–medicore food, high prices, pleasant surroundings. So I can’t say that I am surprised that they closed. But I also think it’s unfortunate that there is no longer an operating business at that location, particularly one in the “northern section” of Columbia Heights, where vacant storefronts are much higher than they are down around the Metro.

  • Kenyon

    I am rooting for a new/restructured place in the same space. Social had so much potential and was a complete letdown. Went there once after being drawn in by their bangin’ cocktail menu. A foodie I am not, but I take my cocktails seriously. The menu online was not the same as the menu at the bar, but I inquired about the drink that looked so great and was told it wasn’t on the menu anymore. Well, no shit, but it would have been great to whip one up anyway. Instead we ordered two different less exciting things which were subpar and one which my friend sent back which was then replaced by, I swear to god a Malibu and OJ. I had no words. We sat disgruntled for a while and then after being ignored threw cash on the table and left with unfinished drinks on the table. The bartender (who had ignored us for almost 30 minutes) ran out the door after us yelling that we had to pay for the drinks. I told him there was (more than enough) money on the table and where to stick it. Unbelieveable. Here’s hoping they get it together and I can give it a 2nd chance.

  • i really liked the place.. i hope they back up soon!
    :-) xoxo

  • Akeem

    They went bankrupt. & will not be reopening

    • WDC

      Source, please?


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