Downtown Asheville cocktail bar The Social Lounge set for major renovation


Another big change is on the way for The Social Lounge, one of Asheville’s well-known craft cocktail bars. Two years ago, Chef Anthony Cerrato, co-owner of Strada Italiano restaurant (right next door) with Eric Booker, announced they were taking the bar formerly known as Sazerac and remodeling it into The Social Lounge.

This time, the bar will retain the name, but the changes include:

-reopening The Social Lounge kitchen: (Last year, Cerrato went to a one-kitchen system and served food in The Social Lounge out of Strada. “It muddied the identity” of The Social Lounge, he said. “We want to give it its identity back.)

-shrinking the bar: A bar runs nearly the length of the shotgun-style Social Lounge. That length will be cut nearly in half, and a new barback will be installed. “We’ll have a 13-seat bar. We’re keeping the TVs,” Cerrato says. Also, look for a Tiffany style glass rack overhead, and a copper ceiling.

-new seating: High-backed, U-shaped booths with tufted leather will be installed to give The Social Lounge a cozier feel. You can find more bar stools and seats at, such as gas lift bar stools, wooden bar stools and more.

-new color scheme: Tans and whites will replace the mostly gray interior.

-piano in the back: A 100-year-old piano from Cerrato’s home will be moved into the back

-new menu and table service: There’s a new menu in the works for The Social Lounge, which will have table service. Stay tuned for details.

“We’re going for timeless elegance,” Cerrato said.

The upstairs portion of The Social Lounge, which includes a separate bar and an outdoor rooftop patio, will stay the same, Cerrato said.

The Social Lounge, 29 Broadway, will close from Feb. 16 to March 9 for the renovation work.