Southern Social has been one of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings in Vero since I started writing my restaurant reviews last November. I’ve heard people around town talking about it, curious about when they will open, but I could not find much information about it on the internet. I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to a soft opening this past Saturday night to get a closer look. Nick and Angela Novak, owners of Filthy’s Fine Cocktails & Beer, are teaming up with a former Riverside Cafe employee John Scarr and Chef Mike Van Buskirk, of Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club and Cobalt. They believe they have created something unique to the local restaurant scene. Do they have what it takes to survive in the crowded, yet impressive restaurant space in Vero? Let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer.
They are located on 14th avenue, a little bit north of Baci Trattoria on the east side of the street. They occupy the space that once housed Avanzare. Street parking is available along 14th Ave, unfortunately, do not have space for their own parking lot. The building has gone through extensive renovations, so much that you would not recognize it if you dined at Avanzare previously. The outside has been painted black and they added a large Southern Social sign in white on the front of the building. Since I never had an opportunity to dine at Avanzare, I don’t know what the interior looked like, but it does appear that it got a complete makeover. The interior design is what I like to call “gastro pub’ style, with the black ceilings, exposed air ducts, stained concrete floors, wood and metal chairs, rustic light fixtures with Edison bulbs, and reclaimed pallet wood on the walls with a large Southern Social. sign hung on it. They have one wall with a leather booth and a communal high-top table in the middle of the main dining room