CINCINNATI – A one-of-a-kind restaurant is opening its doors to the public this Thursday in Over-the-Rhine.
Social O.T.R. located at 1819 Elm St., will host its grand opening starting at 4 p.m. with a "5-1-3 happy hour." The happy hour includes $5 house wines, $1 oysters and $3 drafts. The restaurant's dinner service will then begin at 5 p.m.
What makes Social O.T.R. unique is the socially-minded mission that drives it. The restaurant is a nonprofit partnership operated by the Corporation for Findlay Market and CityLink Center.
The mission of CityLink is to help local families become more self-sufficient through a series of programs. As part of that mission, the West End organization launched its Findlay Culinary Program late last year.
The initial four-week program teaches participants personal finance, healthy communication, conflict resolution and culinary skills. Those students then spend three months interning in Social O.T.R.'s kitchen and receive help finding restaurant industry jobs in Cincinnati.
The CityLink and Findlay partnership program in turn hopes to bolster Cincinnati's growing restaurant scene with a well-trained workforce.
Local firm Platte Architecture + Design handled architectural and interior design, branding and built the custom light fixtures for Social O.T.R.
The restaurant's interior includes a main dining room containing two large communal tables, small tables made by the Cincinnati Wood Collaborative and a full bar in the front. There are also large windows looking into the kitchen and a back lounge area called The Alley at Social that has another communal table and bar.
The restaurant's menu consists of an offering of snacks, small plates and two large plates. The snack menu includes oysters, a cheese board, charcuterie, house pickles, duck fat fingerlings, goat hand pies, lamb liver mouse and bacalao croquettes. Small plates include items such as mussels and clams, pot pie, fish, short rib raviolo, pork belly and roasted roots.
Large plate offerings include a Reserve Run steak and duck confit.
Social O.T.R. will open 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday for its happy hour, with dinner service beginning each day at 5 p.m. The Alley at Social will remain open until midnight.