Norman's The Social Club to open second location in downtown OKC
A popular Norman women's boutique and salon is set to be the west retail anchor for West Village as the $70 million mixed-use development in downtown Oklahoma City nears completion of its first phase of apartments.
The Social Club, started in 2012 by college friends Erica Smith and Dana Scott, has grown from a 500-square-foot shop to a 2,600-square-foot operation that is often booked with events when not filled with customers shopping and visiting the salon.
“After college, Erica went to a salon and it was great, but she wanted a more personal space,” Scott said. “I was doing event planning and I make jewelry. And I was looking for an office area to meet people and make jewelry. We started looking for spaces together and ended up with a salon that had a storefront. We added cards and candles, and that started the idea of a retail space.”
The space grew with the partners' customer base. More salon chairs were added, and the retail area remained a draw for customers as they arrived for their appointments.
“We're two separate businesses that operate under the same name and that has given us an edge,” Scott said. “When you walk in the front door, it looks like a retail shop. It's very inviting, very comfortable with home goods and lifestyle.”
The Social Club owners had previously considered opening a second location in Oklahoma City but with most areas, they saw an over-saturation of salons. But they saw an area ready for their business approach with West Village, a 345-unit apartment development built around the 21c Museum Hotel and The Jones Assembly along Film Row.
Until a dozen years ago, Film Row was a blighted stretch of early 1900s art deco buildings. A turnaround started with preservation of some of the most historic buildings by developer Chip Fudge, followed by the relocation of the IAO Gallery and Joey's Pizza to Sheridan Avenue along with the opening of the popular Flashback RetroPub.
The 21c Museum Hotel accelerated the area's development with longtime area property owners, the Hall family, teaming up with Mark Beffort and Andy Burnett to build West Village.
While pondering whether to open a second location at West Village, Smith and Scott met with Chad Grubbs and Jen Semmler Grubbs, whose store will anchor the southeast corner of West Village with a plant shop and cafe they've operated at the nearby Paramount Building. The new West Village retail spot for the couple also will include a small bodega-style market.
“We're customers, and we've been to the Jones, to 21c, and we love the area,” Scott said. “This feels perfect. We're pinching ourselves that this is working out.”
The West Village location will total 2,100 square feet, but without an office and with a small breakroom, Scott said the layout will be very similar to the Social Club in Norman. Construction will start in January with an opening next spring.
With the addition of the Social Club, Burnett said only one retail spot remains left to lease at West Village.
“Curating a culture that is hip and fun has been our goal from the beginning with the West Village,” Burnett said. “The Social Club starts to round out the vision of creating that neighborhood with something for everyone, from world-class dining and entertainment to art and music.”
When the Social Club does open, it will be across from 21c Museum Hotel and the redeveloped Sunshine Cleaners building, home to Stonecloud Brewery.
“Things are changing fast on the west side of downtown,” Burnett said. “We believe this is just the beginning.”