The pandemic has left empty spaces in once-busy city centers as many restaurants have closed temporarily and then closed permanently.
For example, in Carlisle, Brick Kitchen and Bar closed at the end of 2020, leaving a big hole on W. High Street.
Owners Chris Rice, Steve Capone and Kevin Rockwood have stepped in to fill that gap, recently launching One13 Social, an upscale casual restaurant specializing in dishes created with locally sourced ingredients.
But they didn’t just replace one restaurant with another. They purchased an adjacent photography studio to double the square footage of the restaurant, while adding an upscale casual option to the downtown dining scene.
The restaurant now seats around 125 customers, the interior was designed with the help of Julie Estes, owner of Carlisle Design Interiors & Consulting Group, who worked with the Carlisle Arts Center to bring in original artwork. A painting depicts a person riding a bicycle on a highwire.
“It sounds like us sometimes when it comes to opening a restaurant,” Rockwood joked.
A mid-century modern aesthetic is achieved through lighting comprised of Sputnik pendants, sconces, and chandeliers. Perhaps that’s what the owners had in mind when they named “The Draper,” a cocktail made with Bulleit rye, Averna amaro, orange bitters, and a Luxardo cherry.
Some may also remember the wall of windows at the rear of the building. These days, the scene is made even more dramatic with the addition of light fixtures that look like twinkling sunbeams.
Guests may also be curious about the imposing painting of a gentleman overseeing the wooden bar out front. Estes explained that this is a rendering of his grandfather, painted by his grandmother.
According to the owners, the noisy atmosphere of the old restaurant was a problem, so soundproofing became a priority. The space was expanded, chair glides were added to the table legs to prevent them from squeaking on the wooden floors, and padded booths were installed. Most ingenious, however, was the addition of eye-catching art that not only decorates but acts as sound panels.
One13 Social’s globally-inspired, one-page menu features small plates like Korean BBQ ribs and grilled oysters, a selection of salads like Caesar kale and poached pear, and sandwiches like softshell crab po’ boy and the Carwood smash burger, which is made with locally raised beef, roasted garlic aioli, cooper cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and bacon, served on a brioche bun.
A selection of six starters completes the menu and includes scampi gnocchi, salmon with pepper and Argentinian flank steak. Sourcing also remains local, with suppliers like Talking Breads in Mechanicsburg and Carwood Farms in Boiling Springs.
Rockwood said their house cocktails have been well received. These include the Carlisle sour, the Jalisco margarita, the aforementioned Draper, the Bella and the Lemontini. Beer is served on tap, canned and bottled, and wine selections come from places like Italy, France, Spain and, of course, California.
Boss Margaret Naguski warmly welcomed the new venture.
“Carlisle desperately needed a place like this,” the Boiling Springs resident said. “It’s upscale, yet comfortable, and they make you feel welcome.”
Naguski recommended the Carwood smash burger.
“I like that the beef is local,” she says, adding that she also enjoyed the pepper salmon. “It was delicious and beautifully presented.”
The biggest hit for her so far has been the appetizer of grilled oysters, with chipotle, garlic butter, wild boar bacon lardons and Oaxacan cheese crisp.
“Now that was just delicious,” she said.
Melissa Foreman frequents the place about twice a week and says the Korean barbecue ribs are her favorite.
“The meat falls off the bone,” she said.
As for drinks, the Carlisle resident recommends the Lemontini and the old fashioned.
“Bartenders are experts, so their cocktails are always on point,” she said.
Rockwood said it’s been great to walk to work these days. It’s obvious he’s enjoying his new venture as he walks around the restaurant greeting people. He reiterated that he and his partners were happy to invest in Carlisle.
“They own the building, and I was born and raised here in Carlisle,” he said. “They both have children who go to school here. So we want to do our part to make it a positive part of the Carlisle community.
One13 Social is located at 113 W. High St, Carlisle. For more information, visit www.one13social.com or their Facebook page.
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