The Chef

Executive Chef/Partner Greg Richie is well known as the man who fronted Orlando restaurants for celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Roy Yamaguchi. With Soco, he returned to his Southern roots with a contemporary interpretation of one of America’s classic cuisines.

Richie graduated with honors from the acclaimed Johnson and Wales University in Charleston. The award-winning chef spent his early professional years in the kitchens of renowned Southern restaurants that included Carolina’s and Magnolias in Charleston; The Abbey, Atlanta; The Lark and the Dove, Roswell, Georgia; and the Atlanta Athletic Club.

We are local, both in terms of the products we use and the neighborhood where we reside. Soco is committed to enriching Thornton Park and cultivating the culinary renaissance of Downtown Orlando.

Chef Greg worked with James Beard Award Winner Roy Yamaguchi at the original Roy’s Restaurant in Hawaii and was selected to be the first Executive Chef/Partner for Roy’s in Orlando. He was then chosen by Lagasse to take over the kitchen of Tchoup Chop at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando.

Richie has cooked multiple times at the prestigious James Beard House in Manhattan, a sought-after honor among chefs, and he is a charter member of SunshinePlate, a coalition of chefs and culinary industry professionals dedicated to food advocacy. Chef Richie is also a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Thornton Park District. Chef Richie’s awards include Chef of the Year and Best Local Chef. His restaurants have won many awards, such as Soco’s Best New Restaurant and Orlando’s Best Brunch. In previous Executive Chef/Partner positions he won Best Signature Dish and Best Seafood in Orlando. He was perennially named to Restaurant Forum’s list of the Top 20 Chefs in Central Florida and has made numerous appearances on local and national television shows.

In addition to being a highly awarded chef, Mr. Richie won first place in the national cocktail making competition “Meeting of the Masters” held in Las Vegas between some of the top bartenders in America. Chef Richie developed the Soco menu and restaurant concept over the several years leading up to it’s opening in 2014. Soco is his expression of an exciting dining experience highlighting Southern Contemporary Cuisine.

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We Create Delicious Experiences

Our Story

Soco's name is inspired by the cuisine that we serve - "Southern Contemporary". It's a new and adventurous culinary approach to dishes that we have all come to know and love.

At Soco, we are focused on true Southern Hospitality, and we are committed to overall excellence.

Executive Chef/Partner Greg Richie created his vision for Soco over many years of thought and experience. Ultimately, Soco Restaurant came to life. Located in the beautiful neighborhood of Thornton Park, the restaurant offers guests a truly unique and progressive culinary experience rooted in the vision of ideals developed by Chef Richie.

At Soco, we believe in the wholesomeness of food and the integrity of its preparation. Presented in an environment of true southern hospitality, Soco offers guests the tradition of time-honored classics, combined with the excitement of the contemporary. We are dedicated to the culinary renaissance of Downtown Orlando and strive to provide our guests with a delicious and memorable dining experience.

The restaurant was designed by Gravity Architecture and Design, LLC, who worked collaboratively with the owners to provide an urban and contemporary setting combined with classic southern elements.

The windows of Soco’s dining room and patio overlook the lively corner of Central Boulevard and Summerlin Avenue in the heart of Thornton Park. The grand window into our kitchen allows guests to watch our culinary team prepare their carefully composed dishes, just as you would peek into your own kitchen and watch your favorite home-cooked meals being prepared. At the bar, neighbors and friends greet each other over a uniquely crafted cocktail or snifter of bourbon from our extensive whiskey list. Our semi-private room is the ideal downtown location for a business dinner, special event or group function.

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