Restaurant News

American Restaurant with Latin Flare — and Pool Tables! — Opening in Tempe

The Social Hall's food will be a mixture of classic American and pan-Latin.
The Social Hall's food will be a mixture of classic American and pan-Latin. Cool Again Productions
This Friday, Tempe will be getting a new restaurant serving American food with pan-Latin influences and lots of Caribbean flavor. The Social Hall, opening in the former Minder Binder space, describes its food as "American cuisine with a Latin flare." The spot will be throwing an opening bash.

The grand opening is this Friday and Saturday (11 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day). There will be happy hours, some free food, bands, and DJs.

The Social Hall comes to Tempe from Seattle. Owner Michael Kenny started the original Seattle location in early 2015. Chef Richard Dwyer developed the menu. Dwyer is part Jamaican and has an affinity for the flavors of the sea below the American South.

click to enlarge The restaurant's interior - COOL AGAIN PRODUCTIONS
The restaurant's interior
Cool Again Productions
Dwyer has come down from Seattle to train the staff at the Tempe location. Jason Diaz, who will take over as chef when Dwyer departs, recently cooked at Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill in Sedona.

There is a strong Caribbean influence on the menu. Jamaica can be seen in chicken and burgers that get the jerk treatment. Cuba appears in mojo sauce and a ribeye. The menu extends to Mexico (posole) and pan-Latin dishes like tostones (fried plantains) and empanadas. At the same time, though, The Social Hall serves burgers and chopped salads, a seafood gumbo and a Caprese salad with peaches.

The Social Hall will have TVs, pool tables, and shuffleboard.

Lunch and dinner will be served beginning Friday.

The Social Hall. 715 South McClintock Drive, Tempe; 480-747-3851.
Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
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Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy