Jennifer Meltzer and Edward Reavis are owners of All Set Restaurant and Bar in downtown Silver Spring. (WI photo)
Jennifer Meltzer and Edward Reavis are owners of All Set Restaurant and Bar in downtown Silver Spring. (WI photo)

Located in downtown Silver Spring, Md., All Set Restaurant and Bar has proven to be a survivor. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Edward Reavis and Jennifer Meltzer shifted from in-dining to operating a pick-up meal destination with their Money Muscle BBQ food truck parked next to the restaurant. 

They also took the truck out to neighborhoods where people could load up on freshly-made barbecue meals. As in-restaurant dining returned, they introduced new items on the menu. And last May, All Set partnered with Denizens Brewing Co. to create menus for their two locations in Riverdale Park and Silver Spring. Gradually adding layers of new ideas have allowed All Set to maintain a steady pace of regrowth. 

Denizens Brewing Co.’s new menu from All Set’s co-owner and executive chef Edward Reavis includes sliders topped with lobster or pulled pork, cheese biscuits and smoked chicken salad and onion rings made with Denizens’ lager. (Courtesy of Deb Lindsey)

Reavis and Meltzer recently discussed their bounce-back process on The Washington Informer’s WIN-TV.

“It’s been a unique process to partner with another establishment,” Reavis said about working with Denizens. “We focused on our specialty which is the food and their specialty which is the beer. It was an ingenious way to approach expansion beyond all the other things with the business.”

Partnering with Denizen allowed fans of the brewery-themed restaurant to learn about the variety of offerings on All Set’s menu. Reavis and Meltzer worked with Denizens from the premise of what their customers missed during the height of the pandemic. Barbecue and beer made sense as did their decision to collaborate. 

“They love making beer and we love making food,” Meltzer said about how the partnership evolved. “We hope to add more brunch and happy hour items to the menu.”

Still seeking additional ways to rebound, All Set continued to work through other concepts to bring in new patrons. Entertainment while enjoying a good meal served as a focus for starting weekend brunch at All Set. The third Saturday of the month now offers a Drag Brunch while the last Saturday provides a Jazz Brunch. 

Reavis and Meltzer knew that between jazz and drag, different demographics would be represented which broadened the restaurant’s appeal.

“It’s fun to activate the space in different ways, bring a different energy and be inclusive with our diverse partners and neighbors in Silver Spring,” Meltzer said. 

Reavis, who serves as the executive chef for the restaurant, said working with Denizens’ menu required the addition of a new set of culinary minds. Innovation can be seen through All Set’s menu with the addition of pulled smoked chicken salad, cheese biscuits, loaded sweet potato fries, pulled brisket tacos and deep-fried Oreos. More creativity has been promised by managing food operations at All Set and Denizens’ two locations.

“We currently are not open on Mondays but we are thinking about making that a full-fledged barbecue day,” Reavis said. “You may also see some Latin flavors added to the happy hour menu.”

Keep up with happenings at both All Set and Denizens through All Set’s website: https://allsetrestaurant.com and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook: @allsetdtss

Brenda Siler is an award-winning journalist and public relations strategist. Her communications career began in college as an advertising copywriter, a news reporter, public affairs producer/host and a...

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