Monkey Business, Social I
The first redo of Social was undertaken to refresh a decades old dated look. The owner wished for a sunnier spot at lunch, a more female friendly decor, a central bar invitingly accessible from all rooms and lines of sight as well as an overall cohesive language to hoist the iconic eatery into a polished gem worthy of its reputation. The “timeless elegance with a bistro feel” evolved through European sourced and styled materials. The wallpapers by Hicks and Fornassetti set the bar high and were quickly followed up by Roberto Cavalli wood parquet ceramic floor tiles, white marble table tops and copper Thonet chairs. Social was the first restaurant in Canada to use a vast array of lights from Montreal designers Lambert & Fils who four years later have been anointed as bonafide superstars in their world as attested by their pole positions on covers ranging from French Elle Decor and Architectural Digest. The rooms were made to glitter: from the gold backdrop of the Cole and Sons’ wallpaper to the Italian glass backsplash to the tiny diamonds in the leather upholstery from Turkey, all finishes serve to underline this restaurant as a special place. Purposeful homey touches were brought in to balance the dazzle and create a language unique to Social: harvest tables and Belgian linen slipcovered chairs anchor all sides of the space and along with the rough-hewn oak bannisters and wood wainscoting lend Social its’ easygoing welcoming feel. The concept name “Monkey Business” came from the most striking feature: the very suggestive bursting pomegranates decorated with cheeky monkeys. The idiom references the Marx Brothers’ 1931 howler “It’s a Jungle Out There”.