West Chester's Social Club Review

With a Cajun/Creole flavor and relaxed vibe, the Social Club just may be the perfect place to shake the early autumn chills.

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Social Club

Location: 29-31 E. Gay St., West Chester
Contact: (610) 738-3948, thesocialwc.com
Cuisine: Modern American cuisine with traditional comforts and a Cajun/Creole twist. 
Cost: Appetizers $4.99-$11.99, entrées $6.99-$19.99.
Atmosphere: Jazz club meets college bar.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Sunday. 
Extras: Live music Wednesday-Saturday, Tuesday-night poker tournaments, and Monday-night country line dancing.

The Social Lounge’s double-cut pork chop stuffed with apples and smoked bacon, served with Vermont cheddar bread pudding. (Photo by Steve Legato)On a main street overrun with restaurants, bars and collegiate hangouts, a new eatery can go unnoticed. And the Social Lounge hasn’t done itself any favors, with its nonexistent marketing campaign and seemingly unfinished website. In the thick of the hustle and bustle on West Chester’s East Gay Street, the space has been through a series of new owners and concepts since Spence Café moved out a few years ago.

Enter top-notch local chef Dan Funk. At the Social Lounge, he’s assembled a solid, made-from-scratch menu of modern American cuisine with a Cajun/Creole slant. The Crescent City influence shouldn’t come as a surprise. Funk’s background includes stints at West Chester’s still-thriving High Street Caffe and Media’s now-defunct New Orleans Café. His passion for the culinary style comes across in spicy, well-seasoned entrées and blackened preparations, not to mention the hints of slow-smoked richness in the grilled meats and creamy grits.

Dimly lit with a jazz-clubby feel, the Social Lounge tenuously straddles the line between student hangout and gastropub. We found the service friendly, if a little inconsistent. Seasonal sidewalk seating is becoming increasingly popular. Inside, tables are sparse, and the central focus is the wraparound bar. A stairwell and a small stage effectively split the space in two, the other side offering tables and a few couches for lounging.

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