Social House, the party-hearty Soulard bar where servers wear only body paint from the waist up, plans to open a second location in the Delmar Loop — and woe to anyone who seeks to stop them.
That's the word from attorney Albert Watkins, who's been hired by the bar's owners. He tells RFT that Social House II will be located in the former Market Pub House (6655 Delmar Boulevard), which closed its doors without warning last month. Veteran restaurateur John Racanelli, whose family launched the Racanelli's pizza franchise and who also owned Market Pub House for its six-year run, will be the principal owner, in partnership with the owners of the original Soulard concept.
Yes, there will be body paint. And no, there will not be shirts — not on the female servers or the male ones, Watkins says.
But don't even think about complaining on behalf of the children.
"These women aren't going to be dancing in the streets," he says. "I would have no trouble taking any one of my five children in there, and they're aged seven to 21. Others may —- but they don't have to go in there."
The very fact that an attorney is now speaking for the project suggests the level of concern it's already beginning to stir up (that Watkins is a particularly quotable attorney, too, is surely not coincidence). Watkins acknowledges that there have been rumblings that University City will try to shepherd into law a new ordinance that will ban the, umm, art that Social House is known for. But at this point, the bar does not need any sort of special approvals from the city; it should be good to open in March, he says. "There are no laws on the book to preclude a body-painted man or a woman serving drinks."
Photo by Sarah Fenske
The Market Pub House closed in late January.
And should there be any new ordinance, he hastens to add, University City might live to regret that. "If new ordinances are being considered, one could venture to guess that nothing better for the business of Social House II could be done than to pass a law to try to prevent it from doing what it's doing," he says.
See also: Has the Loop's Market Pub House Closed, Too?
Watkins adds that anyone who thinks of the Loop as family-friendly needs a bit of a history lesson — or maybe just a closer look at what's on offer on the street.
"Now it's more cleaned up, but there's still interesting nightlife," he says. "You can still get your labia pierced, or your nipple pierced, if you are so inclined."
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