Check out the menu for El Thrifty—the cantina, bar and gaming venue at Optimist Hall

Alex Cason Photography
Check out the El Matador at El Thrifty Social Club, made with Ilegal Mezcal Joven, passionfruit, mint, lime and habanero.

Thus far, Optimist Hall’s food and drink tenants have been mostly food hall-style. Order what you’d like, find your spot at one of the community tables, and enjoy the atmosphere that comes with one person eating sushi next to another drinking a latte next to another writing on new stationary.

When you show up to El Thrifty Social Club, you’ll find yourself in a slightly different piece of the Optimist Hall world. The food hall’s newest tenant, now open, is bringing scratch-made Mexican food, craft cocktails, DJs, dancing and an array of games.

[Related: Here’s every vendor that’s been announced at Optimist Hall—including The Dumpling Lady and cocktail bar Billy Sunday]

Alex Cason Photography
El Thrifty Social Club

“ El Thrifty Social promises guests an authentic Mexican cantina dining experience with all-day service in addition to indoor/outdoor gaming options,” said Reid Olsen, co-owner of El Thrifty.

“Joe (Lariscy) and I are so excited to create a welcoming atmosphere and destination to gather with friends, family and co-workers in Optimist Hall,” he said.

Lariscy and Olsen also opened Queen Park Social in early 2017.

Alex Cason Photography
El Thrifty Social Club

This is the second location of El Thrifty Social Club, with the first opening earlier this year along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, South Carolina.

What to order

El Thrifty sent CharlotteFive a first look at its menu. Here’s what you need to know about the food:

  • Shareables include house-made tortilla chips with a trio dip of queso, guacamole and salsa roja; chipotle chicken wings with pineapple and cucumber; and a taquito platter, hand-rolled and served with queso.
  • Order street tacos such as Al Pastor, with marinated pork, pineapple, cilantro, onion; Carne Asada, with skirt steak, cilantro, onion, queso fresco salsa verde; and Veggie, with seasonal veggies, black beans, avocado creme, cilantro, queso fresco.
  • Large plates include Braised Short Rib with mole jus, oyster mushrooms, tortillas; or Hamburguesa with two patties, lettuce, tomato, pickled onion, habanero jack, chipotle and mayo 
  • No meal would be complete without churros with cinnamon, chocolate caramel dipping sauce or a choco taco.

And here are some cocktails to try:

  • El Matador: Ilegal Mezcal Joven, passionfruit, mint, lime, habanero;
  • Juanita Appleseed: tequila, Mezcal, lime, apple cider, ginger bee; and
  • Anejo Fashioned: Casamigos Anejo, Demerara, bitters.

Wine, sparkling wine and beer on draft and in cans are also on the menu. Check out the full food and drink menu below.

Alex Cason Photography
El Thrifty Social Club

What to do

Put your game face on. El Thrifty features:

  • 4 Duck Pin Bowling Lanes ($25 an hour per lane/$15 per half hour)
  • Golf Simulator
  • Shuffleboard ($5)
  • Cornhole ($5)
Alex Cason Photography
El Thrifty Social Club

The social club spans 6,391 square feet of space and is on the lower level (it will be adjacent to Billy Sunday and Fonta Flora).

Alex Cason Photography
El Thrifty Social Club

El Thrifty Social Club

Inside Optimist Hall
1115 N. Brevard St.

Instagram: @elthriftysocial

El Thrifty is currently open at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Starting Oct. 28, it will open for lunch during the week.

Courtesy of El Thrifty
Courtesy of El Thrifty


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