A Place to be Social
Café Social House, 1400 Veterans Memorial Hwy SE, Mableton, GA 30126, has been open since 2018 and has grown over the years by just word of mouth. Saturdays and Sundays are the café’s busiest days with wait times being up to an hour.
“It’s all about being social,” said Co-Owner Gloria Smith said. “I want [customers] to be social. I want them to feel good when they come in.”
The 3,200 sq. ft. restaurant is owned by Smith and her husband Marvin Smith. The two oversee the business from Puerto Rico.
The café’s menu is filled with Smith’s recipes that she created through trial and error. Smith said she spends her days thinking of food and how to elevate what the café offers.
A fan favorite is the shrimp and grits that are served in a large martini glass with a fresh flower; the dish can also be served on a plate. The café has a breakfast menu that includes chicken and waffles and an entree menu that has glazed lamb chops, along with the option to order from the bar.
Café Social House recently started offering fajitas. Smith and her team of chefs are working on bringing crab cakes to the menu in the near future.
Café Social House is creating a constant vibe with different themes throughout the week. The cafe will begin to offer Martini Mondays, Tequila and Taco Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, and Karaoke Fridays. The cafe also has a DJ on weekends.
Hidden Gem for Celebrities
Store manager Don Simon said celebrities tend to dine in at the café because they don’t have to worry about the paparazzi and being overwhelmed by fans.
“The vibe is just right,” he said. He calls the restaurant “the hidden gem of Mableton.”
Simon has been working with Smith since her first franchise. He started as a server while working in corporate where he trained people on the newest hotel software. Simon worked for Smith on the weekends before going full-time in corporate. He was eventually laid off because of the pandemic, so Smith offered him a full-time gig with Café Social House. She also offered Simon the same benefits which made it an easy transition.
“I’m at peace here,” Simon said.
Franchiser to Original Owner
This is Smith’s fourth business. She started her restaurant career 14 years ago by franchising and she eventually wanted to create something of her own. The Social Café was her first original restaurant, but it closed due to the building being sold.
Smith thanks her husband for encouraging her to stay patient instead of opening another restaurant right away. Since the two waited, Smith said this better prepared them for when the pandemic hit.
“I have such a great husband. He was able to guide me through everything,” said Smith. “He helped me build.”
According to Simon, the café experienced a 300% revenue increase during the pandemic. The restaurant’s dining area was temporarily shut down, which led to layoffs, but the community supported it by buying to-go orders. Simon said some community members would pay for multiple orders at a time, so others could enjoy the food. The customers also tipped well he said.
Café Social House also offers catering. To find out more, click here.
Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.