In today’s world of fast food, fast-casual, fusion cuisine and concept mash-ups, the idea of a tried-and-true tavern gets lost. Somewhere between the relaxed watering hole of a pub and the high-end dining of a steakhouse, tavern hospitality offers the just-right balance of good drinks, good food and friendly service. It’s a bill the aptly named Hop Social Tavern fills in spades.
Friends and business partners David and Christie Burnett, and Bud and Kelly Gabriel opened Hop Social near the Chandler Fashion Center in late 2017. Based on a similar concept they created in Oregon, it is the team’s first Arizona restaurant.
The décor sets the tone for this Southwest tavern’s welcoming vibe. The wrap-around bar with TVs to watch the latest game, a dining area with plush booths and chairs, and a comfortable outdoor patio all offer spots for its diverse mix of guests.
“Chandler is such a busy, hustle and bustle. There’s so much going on in Chandler—which is a good thing,” says general manager Annemarie DiTizio. “We really wanted a solid place for both lunch and dinner.”
The menu also goes beyond traditional expectations. It starts in the scratch kitchen where the Hop Social crew makes nearly everything in house, from the hand-cut fries to the dressings and aiolis.
There’s a focus on comfort foods, like meatloaf, mac and cheese, and a pot pie meant to make you feel at home. “Our pot pie is our owner’s grandmother’s recipe,” says DiTizio. “He really takes so much pride in that. He loves that the guests enjoy that.”
But the tavern also features pizzas from its wood fire oven and even some Asian-inspired dishes. “We really try to provide great food and a really genuine experience, but also a unique experience,” DiTizio explains.
Dishes are easily paired with a draft beer from one of Hop Social’s 52 taps. The tap list emphasizes local brews and also includes popular national brands and even a hard seltzer. For those who prefer other libations, the tavern has a full bar and wine list.
Locals know Hop Social for its generous happy hour, with food and drink specials offered nightly from 3 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to close. DiTizio explains the happy hour is good throughout the restaurant, making it easy for anyone to try it out.
DiTizio says the varied selections appeal to everyone from families and winter visitors to business workers and couples on a night out. She continues to say these guests are what Hop Social loves about being a part of the Chandler community.
“We pride ourselves on that genuine experience. There are a lot of different choices out there and we really want to take the time to appreciate any and all guests who come in. Whether its once a week or once a year,” she says. “We realize it’s a choice that people make every day when they go out to eat and we want to appreciate those guests.”
Hop Social Tavern