• Alexis Kwan

Cinco de Social

Updated: May 19

It’s Cinco De Mayo and we’re all celebrating a little bit differently than usual in the US. This morning I stopped by Social Hall in Tempe to take some photos of their current menu offerings and to learn about their COVID-19 efforts. 

Social Hall is a go-to spot for my friends, known for their daily drink specials, Southwest-inspired menu, and entertaining atmosphere. On the corner of University and McClintock, Social Hall is home to an outdoor space that’s usually filled with live music, cornhole, and pool. Inside, there are the classic bar games like darts but also more retro arcade games. Social Hall is a beloved spot by ASU students and homeowners alike, but at the moment, the business is quiet.

The owner, Mike Kenny, allowed me to shoot at his restaurant space, where only he and his Executive Chef, Jason Diaz, have been working to-go and delivery orders for the past month. Mike greeted me with an air fist-bump and shared with me his experience and thoughts on Social Hall and the Phoenix restaurant industry. 

I asked Mike if he was planning on opening Social Hall up on May 11th and he responded that he would not feel comfortable bringing back his employees until their safety is more certain. The little business that may or may not come in if the restaurant were to open up would not be worth the risk of his employees’ health. As for now, he has been sure to keep connected with his employees and offer his support however possible. 

I asked if he has been trying to market more to-go sales in the past month and his answer was different than I expected.

“It doesn’t seem to make too much sense to ask our customers to order to-go when there is a stay at home order,” Mike explained. Instead of focusing on marketing Social Hall’s to-go sales, he has decided to put his efforts into helping Phoenix’s frontline workers. 

Along with a few other partners in the valley, Social Hall has started selling t-shirts from which all the proceeds go to buying meals for frontline workers. From these sales, he’s been able to deliver meals to hospital workers, firefighters, and grocery stores, and he hopes to be able to deliver more.

While Social Hall’s vibrance is missed dearly, we appreciate their dedication to their employees’ safety and the Phoenix community.

Follow @azsocialhall for more updates!

Mike’s favorite item on the menu right now: The Bougie Burrito + Carne Asada

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