Located on the corner of 6th and F, the former EXY venue is one slice of downtown real estate with endless potential. It’s been painful to watch the vacant space sit stagnant for many months, yet now I can stroll down 6th in peace, knowing that an unprecedented restaurant and bar concept is slated to open in the corner spot mid-February, 2010.
Quality Social is a simple concept that will appeal to locals who love the comforts of neighborhood dive bars, yet are drawn to the sophisticated appeal of luxury nightlife. The first “next generation” dive bar of its kind in San Diego, Quality Social pays tribute to the most iconic dive elements while providing a Quality experience for working-class locals who deserve and demand it.
An urban live art showcase is staged next to a former glass wine cellar now filled with the cheapest of cheap liquor bottles. Blue-collar grub, including wings, hot dogs and all the fixings, is hand-crafted in-house by highly praised Executive Chef Jared Van Camp. Bold cocktails named “The Little Blue Pill” and “The Douche Bag” will be served straight-up next to tall cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and the no name-dropping rule must be strictly obeyed. Hip-hop and house music will only be heard from the Ivy Hotel’s party across the street, and patrons can chill in oversize red vinyl booths (picture: NuNu’s) or gather around tall tables throughout the bar as the Indie sound transforms to fit the crowd with time.
Quality Social isn’t trying to be a dive bar – it’s a playful juxtaposition of all that we love about neighborhood dives, presented in a new Quality light with no detail spared. With Boones Farm on the menu, a speakeasy in the back, a menu created by a Top Chef recruit who travels with salami in his suit case, a vintage photo booth on display and a champagne parlor in the see-through ladies bathroom, Quality Social invites you to embrace the deliberate contradictions and create your own experience.
The Quality Men
Principal, Christopher Dexter, is an industry veteran who spent five years opening high profile properties for the acclaimed Gerber Group before launching several critically admired concepts of his own. Principal, Christopher Guimond, is an East Coast native who has used the past decade to build his reputation as a leading hospitality entrepreneur in San Diego. And arriving from Chicago—one of the Mid-West’s most highly praised culinary experts, Executive Chef, Jared Van Camp. Van Camp will focus on upscale comfort fare and a dedicated housemade charcuterie bar.
Old Town Social, the first U.S. venue from the Social brand, opened in Chicago late 2009, and our Quality Social is slated to open on the corner of 6th and F in downtown San Diego February, 2010. Until then … nostalgic round of Popov, anyone?
Pictured: Old Town Social in Chicago