Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Sneak Peek at Pinewood Social, the Goldbergs' Eclectic New Spot

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

  • Photo: Matt Harrington
If there’s one thing you can say about Strategic Hospitality, the company owned by local brothers Benjamin and Max Goldberg, it's that it knows diversity. After all, somehow the same minds here are behind the exclusive Catbird Seat, the lowbrow Paradise Park, the staid Merchants and the swanky Patterson House.

All that eclectic brain power is on display at Pinewood Social, the team’s newest project, which is scheduled to open tomorrow morning (Dec. 4). When you first hear this is a spot in the historic Trolley Barns that is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and late night, has a bowling alley, free WiFi, private karaoke rooms, a copper-topped bar, and, yes, an outdoor swimming pool come spring, you might think, “That’s too many different things that don’t go together.”

Add to that, an awesome paint can mural from the Isle of Printing (the same said paint cans are used to bring you your check). There’s not just bowling, but six restored wooden bowling lanes from a Bowl-O-Rama in Indiana. They don’t just put ice in your cocktail. There’s a “geeky ice program,” as Max proudly calls it, where the staff hand chisels individual servings for each tasty cocktail. You won’t just order a cup of coffee. You’ll belly up to the coffee bar, which is an extension of Pinewood’s neighbor, local coffee shop Crema.

But based on the friends-and-family preview yesterday, all these things work in Strategic Hospitality-style, which is to say they make odd sense together. Pinewood Social has the vibe of a modern Wisconsin Supper Club: a place that somehow seems both new and familiar.

Friends-and-family nights aren’t the time to review food or service; kinks are still being worked out. But yesterday’s preview of the lunch and dinner menus, created by former Catbird Seat chef Josh Habiger, offered a number of dishes worth trying again. The fried broccoli appetizer with almond garlic appetizer, a cold cauliflower salad, a mushroom pot pie and the pork chop were all hits. A number of dishes, including pot roast and fried chicken, can be ordered in large portions for your whole ragtag bowling team. The cocktail menu has a cross-section of classics and proprietary concoctions; I particularly liked the District 9 (Old Overholt Rye, Maurin Quina, St. George Absinthe, lemon and orange).

Pinewood Social is at 33 Peabody St. (in the historic Trolley Barns south of downtown on Rolling Mill Hill). Doors are expected to open at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.

After that, hours will be 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Reservations accepted, and valet or off-street parking is available. 615-751-8111, pinewoodsocial.com

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