If you’ve ducked into Cuna Street’s The Social Lounge in the last year or so, you’ve likely noticed some new additions. From new craft beer offerings to European football ephemera to new faces behind the bar, the Social Lounge’s cozy parlor room has been transformed from a quaint wine bar into something more akin to an intimate soccer pub.
Among the new faces, the drooping jowls and kind, dark eyes of The Social Lounge’s de-facto greeter, Apollo, would be hard to miss as the cream-colored English Bulldog often posts up in the bar’s entryway. Apollo’s owner, Coleen Moulton is another new, friendly face behind the bar at The Social Lounge. Coleen and her husband Scott took over the Lounge last year, just shortly after retiring from careers in Indianapolis and moving to St. Augustine. And though it had been quite a few years since she’d tended bar, Coleen has found the lifestyle suits her quite nicely.
The Moultons started coming to St. Augustine a few years ago when the couple’s son enrolled at Flagler College. They fell in love with the area and bought a condo, thinking it a long-term investment in their retirement. In 2014, the Moultons jumped the gun; Coleen retired after decades as a paralegal and Scott after decades as an air-traffic controller.
Scott, who’d grown up in England and coached soccer for many years, was looking for a place to watch English Premiere League matches when the opportunity to take over The Social Lounge came up. Coleen says their ambitions for the place were modest. “There are so many bars and pubs in the historic district, we basically just said ‘what would we want to go to if we were going out?’”
Aside from featuring sports on the Lounge’s four flat-screens, the Moultons focus on Florida-produced craft beers – Funky Buddha, Cigar City, Ancient City, etc. – and certified organic wines, offerings that quickly earned the bar a dedicated local following.
“People come in to see what’s on tap and try new beers,” Coleen says. “And then there are those, like me, who get headaches from non-organic wine and find that the certified organic wines don’t affect them the same way,” Coleen says the Lounge’s cozy feel and communal, the neighborhood-friendly atmosphere has turned out to be just what she and Scott were looking for in a second career.
“We’re still newbies, but we’re having a great time,” she laughs. “I can’t tell you how many people we’ve met. We are just so happy with what it has turned into and the possibilities of what it can be moving forward.”