Restaurateur Zack Sklar Opens Sixth Restaurant in Michigan
Peas & Carrots Hospitality will open Social Kitchen & Bar later this month in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market’s indoor Market Hall. The concept was first made popular in Birmingham, Michigan, in 2012 and features refined comfort food. The restaurant will initially offer dinner service prior to beginning brunch and lunch the following week.
Social is the restaurant group’s first location in west Michigan. “Grand Rapids has a really cool vibe with so much to offer in terms of arts and culture,” says Zack Sklar, chef and owner of Peas & Carrots Hospitality. “We are excited to open our second location of Social Kitchen & Bar in this great city, and partner with local businesses, artisans, and farmers.”
Executive Chef Matt Frankum and General Manager and Partner Sherie Ritzler will be at the helm of the casual-ambiance restaurant that seats 175 people, including 20 at the bar, 40 at high-top tables, and 30 on the seasonal patio. Social will donate a portion of the proceeds from the opening evening’s food and beverage sales to the Downtown Market Education Foundation, Bissel Pet Foundation, and the Kent County Humane Society.
The menu will feature favorite dishes from the Birmingham location, including Crispy Brussels Sprouts; Chicken & Waffles; Falafel Lettuce Wrap; House Grind Turkey Burger; Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies; and specialty cocktails, Social Sangria and Slice of Life. Guests at Social in Grand Rapids also will be able to enjoy popular dishes from other Peas & Carrots restaurants, such as Beau's Hummus & Spiced Lamb, Bernie's Tomato & Burrata, Au Cochon's Vanilla Bourbon Glazed Bacon, and MEX’s Ghostbuster Margarita.
Social will offer pizzas made in a Wood Stone oven with four different toppings: Margarita; Clam, Sausage & Oregano; Spicy Pepperoni; and Caesar Salad. The restaurant also will have an extensive cocktail menu, including the Patio Sipper, a delicious combination of Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Prosecco. Social will be partnering with two Downtown Market bakeries, Field & Fire Bakery and Sweetie-Licious Bakery Café, to produce several breads and desserts.
Chef Sklar also is expanding his Bloomfield Hills–based catering company, Cutting Edge Cuisine, to the Downtown Market, focusing on events in the Greenhouse and other spaces.
Designed by Birmingham, Michigan–based Ron & Roman LLC, the 5,500-square-foot restaurant combines vintage and industrial aspects reminiscent of the original Social Kitchen & Bar. The space features worn stained concrete flooring, custom lighting, rusted metal trough chandeliers contrasted with butter yellow penny tiles, walls made out of antique doors, collages of black and white photos, a mixture of tables, and a Social staple: orange and white café chairs on the outdoor patio. A total of $1.5 million was invested into the development of the Grand Rapids restaurant.
Social will employ 50 to 75 people, many of whom were recently hired at a job fair. Since last summer, the restaurant company has more than doubled in size with the August opening of Bernie’s Lunch & Supper in Chicago; the September debut of Au Cochon in Birmingham, Michigan; the November opening of Gus’s Famous Fried Chicken in Chicago; and December’s opening of Arthur Avenue, also in Birmingham.