The restaurant at 5760 State Highway continues its dance to please Plano natives. It first opened as Loft 610 with superstar Tre Wilcox at the helm, cooking Top Chef plates intended for fancy palates. Then Wilcox left for the Marquee Grill and Scott Siers bought the space. He renamed the restaurant Social 121 and promoted Wilcox's former sous, Jason Skinner, to executive chef.
Skinner got to work turning out fine-dining plates in a concept Siers referred to as a restaurant first, night club second, serving pan-seared halibut plated with piped potatoes alongside $300 bottle service. Despite a positive review in the Dallas Morning News the place wasn't generating enough sales. Now the restaurant has issued a release that announces a new menu and a new chef.
Skinner is out and Christopher Short is in. The new chef has recast Social 121's menu as an upscale casual offering, according to Siers' publicist. Mussels braised in Shiner Bock and a lamb burger have replaced more elegant plates in an attempt to court a more casual Plano crowd. Prices have come down, too, as Siers admits that the fine dining business is competitive. He hopes the new menu concept works better with the Plano locals. Pastry chef Kara Blair has been replaced as well.
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Shifts like this don't typically occur in restaurants that are thriving; the adjustments signal a restaurant with sales below an owner's expectations. The dual purpose of the space -- restaurant by day and club by night -- is another model that's difficult to execute. Siers says that casual restaurants have been doing very well in the Plano area. Nearby Whiskey Cake has garnered consistent praise by mixing top-end mixology with affordable eats. I'm making a note to check on Social 121 soon.