It is a concept that has been a few years in development, but one owner Neeley Hacker felt Elizabethtown needed.
Called Social on Main, which is part of The Assembly at 110 S. Main St., the final concept will include self-pour taps, food service, duckpin bowling, an electronic gaming lounge and, eventually, a speakeasy-style bar with rooftop seating.
“I knew the goal here was to create a community atmosphere and a family-friendly situation,” she said. “I feel it’s always been in me to be mindful of what could I bring to the community. I knew the combination of the self-pour tap and bowling was kind of, not a no-brainer, but E’town’s ready.”
What started as the self-pour concept with maybe a couple lanes has grown and evolved into a multi-faceted concept, Hacker said.
“I was researching that, and several of the self-pour tap walls have duckpin,” she said. “My plan was to do 20 taps and a pair of lanes and maybe food.”
While she was looking for the right space in downtown Elizabethtown, the pandemic hit and all plans were put on hold.
After pandemic restrictions ended, Hacker renewed her search for a space and was connected with Todd and Cameron Davis who had just purchased the South Main Street property to try and give it new life.
“This is a massive undertaking, and clearly not just for me but for Todd and Cameron and all involved,” she said. “What they’ve done to this building is incredible. … The mindfulness of it being done right.”
Hacker said she was thankful the couple thought her concept was the right fit for The Assembly.
“That being said, it went from 20 taps to 40 taps and two lanes to eight lanes and maybe food went to three food stalls,” she said. “I bit off a lot. But at the same time, I think the courage for me to do this and put myself out there and do it full-force, it comes from a place of gratitude more than anything.”
The Social on Main joins other offerings, such as a med-spa, a soda fountain and a retail shop, in The Assembly.
“I feel it’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s something E’town hasn’t really seen something like this before as something as a mixed-use space.”
Loving the concept of self-pour taps, in her research Hacker learned that could go beyond beer. Social will offer 28 beers, eight wines and four cocktails drafted that patrons can serve themselves.
“It’s nice to be able to try something before you commit to it,” she said. “So you don’t have to necessarily commit to purchasing an $8 craft beer if you don’t know if you’ll like it. It will also opens up that to make it a more communal experience.”
Described as smaller-scaled bowling, duckpin lanes aren’t nearly as long and wide and regulation lanes and the balls don’t have holes and can be held in the palm of a player’s hand.
Calling the dining experience fast-casual, Social will have three food stalls where local restaurateurs, including some food truck operators, will have a permanent home.
“It lends itself to lunch and dinner,” she said. “And I wanted to curate it. I wanted to be mindful of what was coming, because we have great tacos on the square and we have a great burger place. I was really trying to be mindful of what we could really add.”
The stalls are going to be occupied by Taglish with Filipino cuisine, Maillard Wood Fired Kitchen, which serves pizza, and Reuben’s Downtown Delicatessen, formerly Rueben’s Classic Deli.
“It’s neat to give people an opportunity, because I am taking kind of the barrier away of having to open a full-blown restaurant,” she said. “It’s a win-win for me because that was not in my wheelhouse to do that.”
The plan is for The Social on Main to open in November, but Hacker said they’ve taken the time to purposefully reconstruct the building properly and won’t cut corners just to open on a set date.
“November is most definitely a realistic expectation,” she said. “We want to do it the right way. To hurry, hurry, hurry doesn’t feel like it’s the right way.”