Photo of Space Room Lounge courtesy Facebook
Justin Johnson, the man behind the impossibly crunchy breakfast potatoes at Hosford-Abernethy's Genies Cafe, has plans in place to take over the Space Room Lounge and the adjacent Brite Spot Diner located at the far end of SE Hawthorne's commercial stem.
On the cafe side, Johnson's aiming to recreate what's he's calling a pared down, "greatest hits" lineup of Genies brunch favorites (Benedicts, huevos rancheros, biscuits and gravy), including his line of hot Bloody Marys. The lounge, meanwhile, will have a small menu comprising mainly burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and a few quality, unfussy, from scratch starters. The 80-seat Space Room, which, as its sign points out, has been "In Orbit Since 1959,' will receive a major remodeling, so it'll be a while before the space is finally dialed in. The wallpaper's coming down, and the bar needs to be refinished, Johnson says, but he adds that he does plan on keeping the joint's red velveted booths, as well as the skeleton of its snake-shaped bar.
What Johnson's most jazzed about, though, is turning part of the parking into a patio, complete with an outdoor bar, a brightly mural, a living wall and spaceship-like fire pit that he's going to fabricate himself. He's also promising that it won't be cheesy, but will instead be cool and mod. Expect the patio to be built out by Spring 2015. If all goes according to plan, Johnson says both spots will be reopened by October 1 of this year, with each one staying open till 2 a.m. He also says that he hope to keep the diner (possibly, no promises) open as late as 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays to serve SE Hawthorne's late night crowds.
· Genies Cafe [Official site]