Social 121 Might Look Like It's Sinking, But It's Just Getting Started

Categories: Food News

social121.jpg
Social 121: part restaurant, part lounge, part gallery.
My email inbox has received a steady stream of special offers from the Social 121 public relations team. I'm beginning to think the correspondences might be pleas of desperation and that the newly opened restaurant-club in the old Loft 610 space is floundering after being opened for one month.

The most recent notice is an advertisement for an Administrative Professionals Day deal. If customers make advance reservations for April 27, they will receive one free dessert for the table.

Another offer announced a buy-one-get-one-free deal valid between Tuesday and Friday of that week. A free bottle of wine would be yours with an order of two dinner entrées during the same period.

Owner Scott Siers, an investor in craft-beer bar The Common Table, operated by Twomey Concepts, the hospitality company that also owned Loft 610, had no previous experience running a restaurant when he opened Social 121. Siers, a former executive at PepsiCo, and Social 121 executive chef Jason Skinner have designed an urbane-industrial space with neon backlighting and exposed brick that does double duty as restaurant during lunch and dinner and a lounge as the evening turns into night. The restaurant also contains a separate bottle-service VIP area called Club 121.

Siers says he wants to use the Club 121 loft space as an occasional forum where local artists, what he called "truly starving artists," to show their work and introduce the public to it. The pieces won't be for sale, though. "These events will have wine and hors d'oeuvres, but it won't be a real art gallery in the sense that the pieces are for sale. Nothing will be for sale," explains Siers. All of this is centered on the owner's passions: music, art and food.

The email blasts are simply a way to drive awareness. "There isn't a lot of foot traffic where we're located," Siers says. "Our sign isn't up yet." Still, he says, regulars have already been created, encouraged by price points lowered from those of Loft 610, prices that made the former restaurant an event destination. With Social 121's lower prices, Siers hopes to compete directly with the abundance of fast-casual chains in the vicinity. "Why go to Chipotle and Five Guys for a nine-dollar lunch that's the same everywhere, when I can go to Social 121, spend $14 and have a unique experience with uncompromised quality?"

That experience will shed its soft-opening status May 6 and 7 during the restaurant's grand-opening celebration. During that weekend, Siers will bring in painter-performance artist CHADWICK from Chicago. He will be working his palette into a fury over three services. The finished pieces will then be hung in Social 121. "There will be art on the walls, art in the nightclub's music and art in the food," Siers says.

With Frisco among the fastest growing areas in the region, new residents want businesses with a downtown Dallas feel without having to drive into town. Social 121 might be the answer, but its highly conceptual nature might also drive patrons away, regardless of the menu's affordability. The grand opening will be the first indicator of future success. If Siers and Skinner can subsequently bring in lunch customers from the many corporate headquarters nearby and get them to return later for the lounge, Social 121 won't sink.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

Location Info

Social 121

5760 State Highway 121, Plano, TX

Category: Restaurant

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3 comments
tic_tac_toe
tic_tac_toe

I visited this place after hearing good things about it.  I had a bad experience during my first visit and I will NOT be returning and neither will the 7 other people who were with me.  I didn't like the music or the service.  One of my friends who drove over to join us was permitted from entering because of his shoes.  He has been in this club before with those same shoes on.  For the first time in my life I left without closing my bar tab.  I remembered and called to leave a message on my way home since the bar was already closing on Sat night, July 2nd.  I called Sunday July 3rd and go the machine agian.  I checked out their website and they showed to be open, so I drove George Bush and the Tollway paying tolls on both roads only to find the website was incorrect and their voicemail didn't say they were closed Sunday for the holiday.  I was furious that I had wasted over an hour driving and paying tolls only to find them closed.  I went back on Tuesday July 5th when they opened to retrieve my card.  I found out they charged me a 20% tip and had already submitted it to my bank, although I didn't close out the tab when I left on Saturday.  The manager refused to take it off, although no where its stated that if you leave a tab open you will be automatically charged a 20% tip.  I complained about the voicemail message and the website and she dismissed them both as someone else is responsible for the website, having never taken responsibility for the phone message.  She gave me 2 free drink cards, but I told her to keep them I wouldn't be coming back because I got screwed over on my first visit.  Also I mentioned to her that another waitress reminded someone one table over from my party to close out their tab, but they never reminded my large group.  I don't recommend this place for anyone, especially single women.  There weren't enough single guys there to dance with, service was slow and you don't get a dedicated waiter or waitress.  No one started dancing until really late anyway.  The whole experience was costly in time, energy, and effort and I will NEVER go back there again or recommend it to anyone.

dalcoamod
dalcoamod

Thanks, JG. It's fixed now.

Patrick Williams

JG
JG

It's actually was Loft 610, not Loft 161 (aka Western Extension of PGBT).

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