Happy hour hot spot celebrates one year anniversary

When Bobby Choi and Michael Chang opened The Uptown Social on the fourth floor of Tamiro Plaza in downtown Georgetown with two other partners, they were hoping to create a fun environment that offered good food and great views of the city.

"I enjoyed going downtown and going to The Domain [in Austin], and I wanted to bring someplace interesting and fun that was more local," Choi said. "Austin has that cool, weird feel, and I think Georgetown is getting the Austin cool feel, and I wanted to bring something with a different flavor."

The group decided to open a New York–style pizza place, and in December 2011, The Uptown Social opened its doors.

From the fourth floor, diners can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the surrounding Hill Country, Choi said.

"Just overall, it's a fun place to be, and it's a unique place to be," he said. "We have unimpeded views; you can watch the whole sunset and [look] as far as the eye can see."

The restaurant offers a selection of artisan pizzas—gluten-free options are available—as well as wings, soups, salads and sandwiches plus a full bar.

"New York–style pizza is something that we love," Choi said. "Michael has a lot of experience on the food side with New York–style pizza restaurants and New York–inspired food."

Choi said the group decided to use Chang's experience to create the menu.

"New York–style pizza is all about the recipes, especially the dough and the technique there," he said. "A lot of that is trade secret, so we said, 'Why don't we take advantage of his knowledge there and pair it with the location and the feel."

In November, The Uptown Social was named the Best Happy Hour in Georgetown and third Best Date Spot in the city's 2012 Best of Georgetown contest.

"I think a lot of people think of Uptown first as a bar, which is great, but there is fabulous food as well," Choi said. "Our tagline is 'pizza, bar, terrace,' because we are not exactly a pizzeria, we're not a restaurant, we're not exactly a bar, but we are trying to take advantage of the location."

Choi said diners are getting into the spirit of the location's atmosphere and offerings, and some have started happy-hour clubs.

"We have a lot of happy-hour groups that have formed, and we do like the concept of people gathering their friends to come up here," he said. "We want to create a real social network up here. It's kind of a play on words with the name Uptown Social."

The restaurant will be offering specials on drinks and food items throughout the month of December to help celebrate its one-year anniversary, Choi said.

Koi: Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar

The Uptown Social owners Bobby Choi and his business partners opened Koi: Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar in October in the second half of Tamiro Plaza's fourth floor.

The restaurant has two sushi chefs and features classic Chinese dishes, sushi and rolls, including some locally inspired items.

  • Georgetown Roll ($11.99)—Shrimp tempura, cream cheese and avocado roll topped with tuna, salmon, masago, spicy mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce
  • Sun City Roll ($9.99)—California roll topped with tuna, salmon and extra spicy mayonnaise sauce
  • Koi Roll ($12.95)—Eel and avocado roll topped with tuna, salmon, avocado, masago, and salmon roe

Owner recommendations

The Uptown Social owner Bobby Choi said the restaurant's menu has something for everyone.

  • Uptown Classic Pizza ($19.50–$23)—Served with pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, black olives and mushrooms with a choice of tomato sauce, olive oil and garlic or basil pesto sauce
  • Fireball Sub ($8.99)—Meatballs, pepperoni, provolone cheese, jalapeos with melted mozzarella cheese on a hoagie bun and served with kettle potato chips or pasta salad

The Uptown Social, 501 S. Austin Ave., fourth floor, 512-863-8100, www.theuptownsocial.com

  • Mon.–Fri. 3 p.m.–midnight,
  • Sat. Noon–1 a.m.
  • Sun. 10 a.m.–2 p.m.