Thursday, May 10, 2012
Social 121 in Plano loses chef, general manager, kitchen staff
Functioning as more of a bar these days.
PLANO Social 121, the restaurant-bar in Plano that used to be Loft 610, has dismissed its kitchen staff, including recent hire chef Christopher Short, and is now
spiraling functioning as a bar with a "lounge menu." In order to stay in business in Plano, a bar-restaurant must have a certain proportion of its sales go to food.
Owner Scott Siers dismissed manager Abe Aguirre and chef Jason Skinner, two long-time employees who'd been with the restaurant almost since it opened.
"We were let go back in the first week of March," said Skinner, who'd worked there since the heady days when Top Chef contestant Tre Wilcox was in the kitchen.
Aguirre said that the restaurant side of Social 121 had been struggling. "The bar side took over the restaurant side," he said.
But the place has been in mild freefall for a while. Initially opened in 2008 as Loft 610, it was a first gambit by restaurateur Brian Toomey, who has since gone on to open Marquee Grill and renovate the Regent Theater at Highland Park Village. Toomey sold the restaurant to Siers in 2010.
The restaurant's Facebook page touts "Happy Hour every day" and calls Social 121 a spot for "Happy Hour food and drinks!"
"We have a revamped lounge menu for Happy Hour so all of our great customers can grab a bite to eat while enjoying some delicious drinks!" says another post.
Its Facebook page also shows contributions from one Matt Jahnel, who also has an interesting page dedicated to him on a gossip website called "The Dirty," which says that he was arrested for being a "knee toucher" and has been hired by Social 121 as a promoter.
Diners who tried to eat there last Saturday night faced a dining room that was closed and empty. No one's answering the phone. A call placed to Social 121's special booking agent went unanswered, as did an email to Siers.
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