Has anyone out there tried Social:a Gastropub yet? It's the former Arnie's in Perrysburg. Yelp hasn't been kind, but they've only been open for a couple of weeks.
Now, I have to say, the term gastropub is really obnoxious. I see this quite a bit out there, and it's a bit maddening. Gastropub is an English term that is only about 20 years old, used to distinguish a pub, where you drink, from one where you drink, but secondarily, have great food. This distinction in England is important, well, I guess if you know the pub thing, you know why they need it. Pickled foods seem to be the only choices in a real pub.
In the U.S., there has been this category created that has basically an upscale bar, with interesting, but not always good food. It is the domain of the faux creative, with inventive dishes such as deviled eggs, but deep fried and mac and cheese but with duck! There are so many crappy versions of this floating around out there, and yet, there are several doing this right, most notably, Bar Cento and Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, The Spotted Pig in NYC,Publican and Girl & the Goat in CHI, Father's Office in L.A.. None of these places use that term, but they are leaders in that sort of category. By the way, each take the beer and wine thing very seriously. They also take what is historically low brow food, and truly improve it. They bring finesse to thing that have lacked it before. Back in Toledo, err, Perrysburg, Swig nails their version (each need sit's own personality) of it. But that's about it. Social: a gastropub, is no less than the 5th place I seen open in the last 5 years or so that claims that it's a gastropub. I'd like it to be a good version, but calling yourself a gastropub is a step in the wrong direction. Their menu looks vaguely interesting, but also shows the dexterity of any mash up, which is to say clumsy. The best gastropub food is always the simplest.
I hear positive things about Gradkowski's and I know it's the same team. Fingers crossed that they deliver, and maybe shorten their name too.
the gastropub craze reminds me of the recent wave of hibachi / japanese restaurants that swept the country. i agree that calling a place a gastropub kind of sets the audience up for disappointment unless you really deliver. i think going as a "bar with really good snacks & tapas" is a better direction.
i remember when Swig first opened, and I saw they were calling themselves a charcuterie and it built up my expectations WAY too high. Sure, they make their own sausages / hotdogs, but I was expecting WAY more cured meats.
I'm looking forward to checking out social. I really enjoy Gradkowski's, so if the menu is being done by the same people it should be good. That said, they really aren't getting good reviews on yelp at the moment. 11 reviews in as of today, and only averaging 2.5 stars. http://www.yelp.com/biz/social-perrysburg
I dislike the term Gastropub as it is too much of a catch-all. By definition it covers both of our fancypants burger bars, nearly every brewpub, beer bars like Swig, charcuteries like Publican and many pizza places around the country.
I agree with Upso regarding Swig's use of the term charcuterie. That said it is still one of my favorite places around here.
Yeah-100% agree-charcuterie is a somewhat misleading term. Digging into semantics though, charcuterie is just a variety of meats. That is something they certainly accomplish. The term has really come to regard a cold variety of all types of preserved meats including pâté, terrine, rillettes, etc, in addition to sausages. I would love, more than anything, to walk into a true charcuterie spot. Swig isn't that, but it damn good at everything else they so.
Recently had a conversation about this with a bar owner. He bought his place, an already established neighborhood bar that serves typical bar food, about 5 months ago. Said September would bring some menu and price changes along with a kind of rebranding for the place. For the first time he would do some advertising and would insist in his advertising that his establishment is NOT a gastro-pub.
ha! that makes me want to visit!
I don't like the name Gastro-pub just because it sounds gross. I always think 'gastro-intestinal' and more nasty stuff along that line. Yuck.
Sorry, I don't have anything relevant to say about this string as I haven't tried any of the named spots...I just noticed no one commented on the term sounding disgusting.