The team behind viral freakshake sensation Patissez are part of a group that will on Thursday open Social & Co, a bright and leafy restaurant/bar on the ex-Tosolini’s site at Baileys Corner … and last night RiotACT was invited in for an exclusive sneak peek.
In the works since November 2015, Social & Co will serve breakfast and lunch seven days a week and dinner Monday to Saturday (they will close at 4pm on Sundays). The restaurant will take bookings, and bar food will be available till 12.30am on Friday and Saturday nights to keep weekend crowd fed as well as watered. They’re licensed to open till 2am, but plan to offer an alternative to the rowdy offerings elsewhere late at night.
General manager Ashleigh Wood, who joins from Patissez, said the concept is, as the establishment’s name suggests, social. Tables are designed to encourage groups to congregate over shared plates, which will vary from small to large plates with pizzas just one of the options on offer.
“It’s that whole social side of dining, of getting together, not just a quick meal, a more European style of dining,” she said.
“Hence the big tables, everyone sitting around, sharing food, sharing drinks and everyone having a social time, enjoying that whole experience.”
Ms Wood said pizzas were just one component of the menu.
“[The chefs] do [also] cook beautiful lamb shoulders and kilo steaks and stuff like that, which is all designed to share,” she said.
The interior was completely gutted before a refit commenced, and is now filled with aged timber, black metal and lush garden foliage.
When we visited last night, children were sitting at the pizza bar, watching the chef at work sliding pizzas around in the pizza oven, while tucking into a slice or two themselves. Older family members and friends of the owners and staff were congregated around mezze plates on long tables or chatting with the friendly staff behind the bar over a beer or wine.
Signage for the restaurant was still to come last night, but RiotACT was pleased to see that the outdoor seating will once again spill out onto the pavement outside, and that light will stream inside via the floor to ceiling windows.
We’ve missed Tosolini’s. Yes, Carlo Tosolini is back serving great Italian food with his typical pizzazz on the other side of the lake at Molto Italian, but the al fresco seating outside his former cafe was perhaps the best in the CBD for people-watching, and we’re looking forward to settling back in there for a social break from city life.