POSTED BY MATTHEW SCHNIPER ON THU, JUL 9, 2020 AT 5:47 PM
Back in February, we got an early look at North Side Social just as it was getting open, and we’d almost geared up for an official review before Covid hit and restaurants shut down across the city or reduced to to-go services. North Side Social opted to close up entirely, but by August 17 or 24th, tentatively, it plans to reopen says Altitude Hospitality Group Founder Mitch Yellen.
And not just reopen, but debut a new outdoor pickleball court array as well, meaning Yellen and crew took the time off to essentially knock out phase two of their prior plans to expand on site. The major benefit: two acres of outdoor space for social distancing while playing or watching the popular sport.
Yellen says there’ll be a grass area and luxurious cabanas (for small groups and families) so that including players, upwards of 150 people can be outside enjoying NSS’s food and drinks at a given time. Even better: the enormous interior space (20,000 square feet) that posed a challenge to Till — the original endeavor on site that Yellen re-conceived into NSS — now affords NSS a huge head count before they reach the mandated 50-percent capacity. Meaning another couple hundred folks capable of still enjoying the indoor libations and games.
“Even in a Covid world, this can work,” Yellen says, noting that 2,000 tons of dirt will be moved this week to begin construction on eight pickleball courts. As well, he’s working on finalizing the plan for a giant bubble tent to be erected in early November so pickleball play can continue through winter comfortably.
Yellen says Altitude did pull Paycheck Protection Program money during the pandemic, so the plan calls for bringing back as many as 100 jobs soon, perhaps only 60-80 initially. That’s basically everyone they’d hired outside of management when NSS first opened.
“My bottom line is to see this thing succeed,” he says. “The third time’s a charm,” he jokes, referring to Till’s original opening, then North Side Social’s Valentine’s Day launch prior to closing up a month later, and now the updated NSS launch.