As a child of the ’80s and ’90s and self-proclaimed sandwich aficionado, I have to ask: where has Elm St. Social Club been all my life? This retro-themed Findlay Market deli opened last fall to spread some joy during the pandemic. It should come as no surprise, then, that this creative takeout joint maximizes convenient social distancing. Breakfast and lunch orders (Elm St. Social Club is only open mornings and afternoons) are placed through the restaurant’s website. While you’re waiting to pick up your order, you can soak in the retro tunes and movie posters from the ’80s.
In keeping with the theme, the menu is full of playful pop culture references. (Sandwiches include “The Macho Man” and “The Billy Ray.”) I opted for “The Bing,” an Italian sub with prosciutto, salami, and capicola. Quirky namesake aside, it’s a solid sub and one of the best Italian sandwiches you’ll find in this city: compact, peppery, and served on a perfectly crunchy-flaky sub roll. To accompany this meaty monster of a sandwich, I ordered a side of fries. Crunchy and well-seasoned, they’re served with “Bear Sauce,” the restaurant’s creamy take on a Thousand Island sauce. Elm St. Social Club also offers a wide selection of fresh juices. I opted for the tart, bright red hibiscus cooler—perfect for washing down any retro meal. In ’80s parlance, I pity the fool who doesn’t give this place a try.
Elm St. Social Club, 1819 Elm St., Over-the- Rhine, (513)263-6893