Southern Social Serves up Southern Food With a Northern Twist

by | May 2024


Jambalaya. Photos: Trellis Hospitality

Tastebuds will enjoy the variety of flavors Southern Social offers.

Looking for southern cooking with unique Minnesotan flavors? A newly opened restaurant in Woodbury may have just what you’re craving. Southern Social features authentic southern-style food but dialed back on the heat to accommodate most Midwest taste buds.

“We specialize in smoked meats, broasted chicken, southern classics and expertly crafted cocktails,” says Joe Nowack, operations manager.

Southern Social is owned by Trellis Hospitality, a full-service restaurant management company specializing in management of services, operational assessments and financial processes. According to Nowack, Southern Social is the only restaurant in the company to open a second location.

“We have a Southern Social in Eagan that was our sixth restaurant we opened,” he says. “All of our restaurants have their own concept, style and unique venue … Southern Social in Woodbury is the first time we’ve replicated a restaurant.”

The concept of Southern Social had been on the mind of Nowack’s manager, Ben Barry, for about three years before opening in Eagan last May. The success of Eagan drove the Southern Social team to begin exploring options for a second location.

Knowing the concept was solid, the hunt to find a spot for its second home stopped in Woodbury. Nowack says the decision wasn’t a difficult one. Woodbury has experienced a lot of growth during the past few years as people look to relocate to the suburbs.

“We’re here for the community; we’re here for the people,” he says. “We want to go where the people are going. Woodbury stood out to us as a really good spot.”

Woodbury’s Tamarack Tap Room, also owned by Trellis Hospitality, has seen a lot of success, which gave the team confidence in the decision to move forward.

Social Concept

Before opening Southern Social, Nowack and others traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, for a taste-testing extravaganza of southern food. “We probably went to 25 restaurants over three days and sampled as much food as we possibly could,” he says. “We brought all that knowledge back up to Minnesota.”

Being mindful that food prepared in the South is different than what is typically cooked in Minnesota, Nowack said ideas, flavors and recipes were adjusted accordingly.

“This is the first time we’ve gone and done this kind of extensive research and development in other states to see what they’re doing and what they’re doing well, and bring it back home for our customers,” he says.

Outside of the authentic southern recipes, Southern Social aims to bring people together. The idea of sharing food and socializing with others at the table is brought out on the menu. Southern Social offers punch bowls that serve four to eight people and other entrees that feed multiple mouths.

“The menu is designed to bring people together,” Nowack says. “Our restaurant allows people to share appetizers, cocktails and food together … We offer great deals and high-quality food for a reasonable price.”

Popular Picks

With several mouth-watering picks on the Southern Social menu, Nowack highlighted a few things customers have established as their favorites.

“The fried chicken and chicken tenders are by far the most popular items on the menu,” he says.

Other choices? Jambalaya, chicken and waffles, gumbo and a variety of flatbread options. There are also a few things Woodbury will offer that the Eagan location doesn’t, including rotisserie chicken and El Pastor options.

Fried Chicken with Collard Greens and Roasted Corn

Fried Chicken with Collard Greens and Roasted Corn.

Nowack says he’s excited for Southern Social to be part of the Woodbury community, noting it’s important for all the company’s restaurants to become integrated and give back when they can.

“It’s not your typical cookie-cutter restaurant,” he says. “We have something that very few restaurants in Minnesota have to offer … We’re excited to build relationships with our guests and get to know everyone.”

Southern Hospitality

The grand opening of Southern Social in Woodbury is set to start at 11 a.m. on May 6 with drawings and giveaways occurring until May 11. “We are excited to bring our signature dishes and warm hospitality to a new neighborhood and continue sharing our love for southern cuisine with even more people,” founder Ben Berry says.

Southern Social
1424 Weir Drive
Facebook: Southern Social Woodbury
Instagram: @southernsocialwoodbury


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