Three alumni of Matador are opening a craft cocktail lounge and small plates restaurant on the Foss waterway. Social Bar and Grill will open in the space that formerly housed Woody’s On The Water until its January closure. Look for a July-ish opening for Social, said co-owner Philip Panagos, who most recently worked as the general manager of Tacoma’s Matador.
Opening the restaurant with Panagos is Jason Bailey, who was the manager of Paddy Coyne’s until April this year; before that, he worked for Matador for five years on the opening crew for five of the chain’s restaurants. Panagos and Bailey will own and operate the restaurant with Rodel Borromeo, who until recently was Matador’s corporate executive chef.
Social intends to be just that. Shareable pitchers of sangria and mojitos, and shareable appetizer plates will create the convivial vibe the restaurant owners have in mind. And in keeping with that theme, here’s something new for Tacoma: communal seating. While Social may not open with communal seating, “we’ll be growing into it,” said Panagos by phone. Panagos said diners ultimately will dictate the seating configuration, but if it’s welcomed, seating that encourages strangers to dine together will become a fixture.
Panagos described the menu at Social Bar and Grill as eclectic with an emphasis on value dining. Look for small plates starting in the $5 range, with happy hour specials to match. There will be large plates, too, and those will top out at $20. Panagos and Borromeo described the menu as painted by their travels to Mexico, Italy, The Mediterranean and South Pacific. Said Panagos, “It will be an eclectic menu, more than Tacoma’s used to.”
Panagos was quiet about menu specifics, but promised an advance look in two weeks. Check back here for that. He did say that the restaurant will serve hand-crafted cocktails. Expect to see the “natural margarita,” a combination of agave nectar, fresh squeezed citrus and tequila. Panagos also said a house specialty will be the Bee’s Knee cocktail - gin, lemon and honey.
Expect an update in the décor and minor changes in the layout of the waterfront view restaurant located adjacent to the Museum of Glass. The circular bar will see some changes, and some walls will be reworked. Panagos described the décor shift as “rustic industrial.” Sounds curious. I wanted to know what that meant exactly and Panagos said materials used to give the décor a facelift include steel and reclaimed wood.
Watch here in two weeks for an update on the restaurant’s progress.
Social Bar and GrillWhere: 1715 Dock St., TacomaServing: Lunch and dinner daily, but opening with a limited schedule. Check back here for more detailsPhone: Coming soonWebsite: http://thesocialbarandgrill.com/ (under construction)Facebook here.