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New steakhouse making meals a social occasion again

Restaurant manager claims this will be first independent steakhouse in Collingwood's downtown since the 1940s
Operations Manager Michael Velickovic and Executive Chef Lonnie Sundberg have paired up to bring Steakhouse Social Eatery to downtown Collingwood. Erika Engel/ Collingwood Today

A new restaurant downtown was designed with sharing in mind.

Steakhouse Social Eatery specializes in three things: steak, seafood, and meals that are shareable.

“Meal time is an important way to spend time with people, to enjoy the food and talk,” said operations manager and Sommelier Michael Velickovic. “I personally feel society has gone in a direction where they’ve forgotten the values of a family meal, where mealtime is this important time to bond. Mealtime is special.”

This will be the first independently-owned steakhouse in downtown Collingwood since the 1940s, according to Velickovic.

Steakhouse comes to Collingwood from the same team that established Potato Factory Bar and Grill on Hurontario Street and another location in Niagara Falls. Potato Factory will also expand to Wasaga Beach by the Victoria Day long weekend.

Steakhouse is located in the former Santini’s Ristorante building. The Social Eatery includes a lounge area for after-dinner drinks and appetizers, an 80-seat dining room and two private party rooms. In the summer, there will also be 25 seats on a patio.

Steakhouse’s menu was created by Executive Chef Lonnie Sundberg, formerly of Gustav’s Chophouse and C&A Steak Company. He takes a fresh approach to some staple steakhouse items. The lunch menu includes tuna kabobs and a lobster and bacon melt. For dinner, there’s an Oscar Royal, King Crab legs and a 32-ounce steak (for sharing).
Where possible, the food served at Steakhouse is sourced locally within a 100-mile radius.

Velickovic has crafted the wine and beer list to be “accessible.”

All wines are available by the glass and include a sampling of international and VQA wines. The beer list includes varieties by Collingwood Brewery, and Velickovic has created cocktails using Collingwood Whiskey.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as a Sunday matinee, Steakhouse will feature live music played by local musicians.

“It’s a casual yet upscale dining, meeting and entertainment destination,” said Velickovic.

Velickovic has 20 years experience in the food and beverage industry, and he loves the Collingwood dining scene.

“There are the beginnings of a thriving restaurant scene,” he said. “We want to be part of that growth period for local restaurants to reestablish downtown Collingwood as a destination for great dining. There’s a lot of talent here, a lot of good things happening in the kitchens, including ours.”

Steakhouse Social Eatery is already open seven days a week for lunch and dinner starting at 11:30 a.m. The owners hope to expand the restaurant with more locations, including one potentially in Niagara Falls.

In the future, Velickovic will be hosting wine education and food pairing classes, and there’s talk of Chef Sundberg holding cooking classes in the Steakhouse's state-of-the-art kitchen.

Steakhouse Social Eatery will be hosting a grand opening on April 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. They will release their full menu at the grand opening, and will have their vendors and suppliers set up around the restaurant with various tasting options. Following the event, staff will resume regular dinner service.

Steakhouse Social Eatery is located at 61 Hurontario St.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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