When people say, "Timing is everything", they couldn't be more right and here's a perfect example of great timing: Michelle Iannelli-Rubin of Oneonta and her big idea to open a cafe-style restaurant called "Social Eats Project 607" at 546 Main St., in Oneonta. It was an idea of Iannelli-Rubin's that was inspired by a cause-driven business model that she learned of seven years ago. After doing plenty of research on how to create a business that is for-profit but also gives back to the community in different ways, she came up with Social Eats Project 607. As someone who has been very involved in many of Oneonta's social service non-profits over the years, Ianelli-Rubin understands that many area residents are struggling in different ways and has a desire to make a positive impact on the community with her unusual eatery.

So, just backing up a bit to the development of Social Eats. The property on the corner of East End Ave. and Main St., adjacent to Advantage Maytag was purchased and ready for construction back in 2019 but you know how it goes with the "best-laid plans" - something always seems to happen and it sure did in this case since the COVID-19 pandemic hit early in 2020 and put a stop on the construction until spring of 2021.

via Social Eats Project 607, Facebook
via Social Eats Project 607, Facebook
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Over the months, it's been fun watching the construction development and lately, it's looking like it's close to opening. How close? Iannelli-Rubin says that she's hoping to have everything ready to open the cafe by July 1st.

Social Eats will be serving up coffee, freshly baked goods, breakfast, lunch and brunch food items all day, with lite dinner offerings, all inspired by her travels and all served on "plates with a purpose" as Iannelli-Rubin calls it. Along with that, there is a full bar with craft beer, wine and classic cocktails to be offered. Below is a look at the design for the restaurant that was created.

via Social Eats Project 607, Facebook
via Social Eats Project 607, Facebook
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Social Eats will offer something few Oneonta restaurants are able to offer and that's outdoor patio seating, along with tables inside of course. The idea was to create a great place for socializing with family and friends or to just enjoy spending time to yourself in a quiet nook, perhaps in a hammock off the back patio. Or maybe you would like to play some yard activities with your friends? Social Eats will have that too. Iannelli-Rubin says that she wanted to create a modern, more urban feel, yet at the same time, provide the rural comfort and beauty that many cherish with outdoor plantings and areas to enjoy. It's definitely meant to be a very casual place for folks from all walks of life to gather.

Another rare quality of Social Eats is the family-oriented, flexible work environment that Iannelli-Rubin set out to create. She made a point of creating a work schedule around her hires and brought in people who believe in her mission to serve the community with Social Eats. Some employees live locally and others are from outside the area. She wanted to create Social Eats Project 607 as a "third place" to enjoy being for patrons. She dubs a person's home as the "first place" they spend most of their time, the "second place" is the workplace, and she would like Social Eats to be people's "third place" where they enjoy spending time.

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I have a feeling that Social Eats Project 607 could end up being one of Oneonta's most anticipated business openings in a very long time. We wish Michelle Iannelli-Rubin the best with her grand opening coming soon! We'll let you know when that's going to happen as soon as the date gets released.

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