City Residents Bring Familiar Names to Familiar Site for Not-So-Familiar New Restaurant - "The Social Tap"

By Jeff Toquinto on April 08, 2017 via

It’s a familiar place. There are some familiar names behind this new business as well.
And if you are familiar with the location and those individuals who are opening up the area’s newest establishment, it’s very possible you know the business in question involves food.
Welcome Bridgeport, Harrison County and North Central West Virginia to “The Social Tap” restaurant and bar.
Operated by three city residents, the new business is located above Via Veneto on Route 58 near the intersection with Platinum Drive (the old Green Acres site). The business is located where the Veranda operated after opening back in 2011.
So who’s running the show?
Bridgeport residents and BHS alums – and brothers – Patrick and Tre Oliverio along with city resident and Notre Dame High School alum Alek Marinaro. The Oliverio names, in particular, are synonymous with food service in Bridgeport and beyond.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business for the last 10 years and Tre and Alek have been involved for a handful of years. What’s odd is that while we wanted to branch out on our own, you can tell we’re not completely out of the family business because of where our establishment is located,” said Patrick. “We were just ready to try something on our own and we think this concept is one that will fit the area.”
Already people are finding out about that fit. The Social Tap had a soft opening March 30 through April 1 and then had a grand opening April 4. Patrick Oliverio said they wanted to make sure staff was trained properly under moderate conditions and also get feedback from those visiting the restaurant in the early going to improve things.
There was, however, one problem.
“Those first few days I really wanted some negative feedback so we could be able to fix some things, but we didn’t get any,” said Patrick. “I’ve been around long enough to know that we’ll have that type of feedback, but it was good in those first few days to see we were heading in the right direction.”
The direction formed in a couple of out-of-the-way places. The initial concept is based off of a business called “American Social” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“It had this nice feel to it with a big deck surrounding it. It reminded us of the spot we’re in now. The goal was to bring pieces of that concept and incorporate it into an experience where people would want to come here and then come back,” said Patrick.
The group thinks they have the food choices on a smaller menu to do just that. Patrick Oliverio emphasized that while their key menu item centers on specialty burgers, that “this isn’t a greasy bar food burger” that customers will be served.
“These are gourmet burgers and you can build your own,” said Patrick. “We’ll have five different types of tacos, wings with various sauces, nachos and appetizers that are unique.”
The tacos will include brisket, pulled pork, Mahi and the standard beef and chicken. The appetizers will include “Mac Sticks” that are a new angle on cheese sticks as well as a breaded burger slider that has an onion surrounding a middle filled with meat and cheese.
“It’s worth a try; I promise you that,” said Patrick. “The concept is from Florida, but the food is from our travels all over the country. We’re trying to incorporate it all together into something special.”
While trying to spread their own wings, the Oliverios and Marinaro have plenty of family resources to pull from starting with the Oliverio’s mother and father Pat and Carla.
“I can’t say enough about their guidance. If we ask for help, they go above and beyond … It’s not just them. It is aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. Me and my brother or family by blood, but Alek is practically a brother to us as well and we’re all in this and are going to do everything we can to make sure this goes right.”
The group is young, but hungry – and for success as opposed to what’s on the menu. Patrick is 29, Tre is 23, and Alek comes in at 24.
Although the establishment will be family friendly, Patrick said after 9 p.m. the venue will switch to a 21-and-over crowd. To help with that demographic, he said the redone area has nine televisions – six inside and three outside on the deck area.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 4 p.m. Closing hours will depend upon the crowd, Patrick said.
“We want people to come inside or sit on the deck when it’s nice out. We want people to enjoy themselves with our food or by having a drink or both,” said Patrick.
Along with the food, there will be a fully stocked bar. Liquors, bottled and draft beer, as well as wine, will be available.
The deck area, right now, is not covered. Patrick Oliverio said it will remain that way from now until September. At that time, he said an enclosure will be considered as the weather changes.
The trio is also looking to lure the post-sports event crowd from local high school games and those traveling to and from games in Morgantown. Patrick added that during the NFL season the establishment will be open on Sundays and other special events could change closed days to open days.
“We definitely want people in here watching games and having a good time,” he said.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Alek Marinaro, right, Patrick Oliverio, center, and Tre Oliverio. A food selection from the menu is followed by the business logo.

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