The Latest on the Closing of Social in Columbia Heights
The doors had barely been locked at Social when a local restaurateur sent me an e-mail yesterday, wondering what the place looked like. Said restaurateur has been prowling around for another location for awhile and thought the Columbia Heights spot might be appropriate.
Well, he decided to make a spot check to Social last night. He related his tale to me this afternoon. I tried to verify it with Social but couldn't reach anyone.
The restaurateur said he found the space locked up tight. He started to walk around the property and look in the windows. The downstairs bar was dark and empty. He couldn't tell if there was any action in the main dining room, but there didn't appear to be.
Suddenly a large man popped out of the front door. He was wearing a t-shirt that read, "Everything is on camera." He gave off the appearance of a security guard. He wanted to know what the peeping tom/restaurateur wanted. The restaurateur lied to the security man and said he just came there for a drink.
"We're closed for a private party," the large man responded, probably lying himself.
The restaurateur then got a phone call and started talking to a manager back at his place. The security guard was not happy. He wanted to know who the restaurateur was talking to.
"It's none of your business," the restaurateur said.
The security man asked again.
"I have a First Amendment right to talk to whoever I want," the restaurateur responded.
"I've got a First Amendment right to punch you in the fucking face," the security man retorted.
The restaurateur laughed and walked away.
The restaurateur's theory about the aggressive tactics at Social? Fear that he was talking to the press. (It was obviously a legitimate fear, but just time-delayed.)
Meanwhile, Social has updated its answering machine. It no longer rolls into a feature that asks for a remote access code. Instead it now has a greeting that says, in part:
"Social is closed temporarily as we reassess the needs of the organization. The outpouring of concern and support from our patrons is greatly appreciated. We're looking forward to serving the community again soon."