Dancing and snookball: Queen Park Social owners bringing El Thrifty Social Club to Optimist Hall

Dancing and snookball: Queen Park Social owners bringing El Thrifty Social Club to Optimist Hall
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El Thrifty Social Club — an authentic Mexican-inspired cantina, bar and upscale gaming venue — is coming to Optimist Hall.

This will be El Thrifty Social Club’s second location; the original is located in Greenville, SC.

Reid Olsen and Joe Lariscy, the guys responsible for Queen Park Social, are also the brains behind El Thrifty and said to expect an “experience-driven entertainment destination for locals and tourists alike.”

“From apres ski-vibes during the winters and mellowed out bohemian vibes during the summers, guests can expect the unique space to showcase ever changing atmospheres based on the season,” the press release stated.

That’s some flowery PR language, but I don’t hate it.


[Agenda related guide: 50 best bars in Charlotte, ranked]

El Thrifty Social Club guests should expect Mexican food, craft cocktails, DJs, dancing and upscale games including pelota, Belgian feather bowling (very cool), foosball, ping pong and snookball.

El Thrifty Social Club will occupy 6,391 square feet on Optimist Hall’s lower level next to Billy Sunday and Fonta Flora.

“We have seen similar mill redevelopments open in other markets that we love, and with the proximity to Uptown and the newly opened Light Rail adjacent to the project, we feel this is a perfect fit for our concept,” said owner Joe Lariscy.

Robert Berry, formerly of Charleston’s Slightly North of Broad and New York City’s Cookshop, will be El Thrifty’s executive chef.


Expect dishes like:

  • Chicken Torta with spicy slaw, Oaxaca cheese, refried beans and chipotle mayo
  • Pozole Roja with pork, hominy, radish, chicharrones, cilantro, lime and tortillas
  • SC Fish with avocado verde cruda and pineapple cucumber salsa

Brunch will also be served on weekends.

El Thrifty’s craft cocktails will focus on agave-based spirits, mezcal and tequila. They’ll also serve local beer, wine and locally roasted Methodical Coffee.

“Braised short rib and chicken torta plates are dynamite,” says owner Joe Lariscy.


Look for El Thrifty — along with these other tenants below — to start opening later this spring.

Don’t forget, El Thrifty will join a long list of cool tenants that have already been announced: Aix French Market, Bao + Broth Ramen + Bun Shop by Moffett Restaurant Group, Billy Sunday, The Dumpling Lady, Fonta Flora, Honeysuckle Gelato, Papi Queso, Suárez Bakery & Barra, Undercurrent Coffee and Zukku Sushi.

All photos are of El Thrifty in Greenville and courtesy of El Thrifty/Andrew Cebulka

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