By Christine Gritmon | Photos by Joe Larese
Local boy goes off to run a resort in the Bahamas, comes back home, purchases a former strip club, and turns it into a family-friendly bar and restaurant. It’s a strange sitcom premise come to life at Social On 6, but the result has been a much-welcome addition to the Mahopac community.
Owner Bobby Epstein operated the Scuba Bimini dive resort in the Bahamas for 15 years before creating Social On 6. So what possessed him to leave paradise? “I got a great offer on the hotel, plus I wanted to be near family — it was the right time and place,” he explains. “I grew up in Bedford, and always spent time in Mahopac; it’s a nice, close-knit town.”
The hamlet of Mahopac was thrilled to have him; the building had previously housed an adult entertainment venue, Club Teasers, and had remained mostly empty since, aside from a short-lived pizza restaurant. “We did a lot of work re-creating the image of this place,” says Epstein. “A lot of people would come by and peek their heads in to see what we were doing in here!” Much to their delighted relief, Epstein has completely revamped the space and turned it into what he describes as an “upscale American restaurant” with delicious food, friendly service, affordable prices, and a vibrant bar scene.
The menu is varied, and reflects Epstein and executive chef Marvin Castillo’s dedication both to high-quality food and to accessibility — more sophisticated items such as sautéed calamari in white wine, New York strip steak, and seafood risotto are listed alongside classic favorites like wings, sliders, chili, and a sizable burger menu. “We’re starting to be known for burgers,” says Epstein. “It’s a proprietary blend.” Other customer favorites include the risotto and items from the rotating specials menu.
The space is certainly a far cry from its nightclub past. A vaulted ceiling with exposed beams soars over burgundy walls, accented by wood paneled wainscoting. Bar shelves and step risers are highlighted with blue neon beneath. The bar, which hosts a happy hour from 4-6 p.m. every day, features beer towers that use the humidity in the air to create a frosty coating of ice on the outside of the tower.
Social On 6 features 18 draft beers and 16 beers by the bottle, all of which change seasonally. “We don’t like offering the same old thing,” says manager Melissa Sposato. Local beers from Newburgh and Captain Lawrence are frequently part of the draft lineup. The daily happy hour menu includes drink specials and $5 appetizers. A full wine list is joined by an inventive list of martinis and cocktails, including some seasonal offerings.
As for the name, the story’s pretty simple: a former bartender came up with it as they were putting the restaurant together. Epstein liked it so much that it stuck. “It’s welcoming, comfortable — the name hit it on the head!” says Epstein. “We specialize in great food and a welcoming environment.”
If you go …
Social On 6, 944 Route 6, Mahopac. 845-803-8193, http://socialon6.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-close Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Great for: Date Night, Solo Dining, Craft Beer, Cocktails, Girls’ Night Out, Kid Friendly, Late Night Eats, Meeting for a Drink, Going Out on Mondays, Dinner with Grandparents, Small Plates, Vegetarians.