After the Orbit Room’s owner died in March, the space sold to a new owner and the 20-year-old bar’s last day was April 1. Now, seven months later, Orbit Room is back as of tonight, and it’s basically just like you remember, hopefully minus the long waits for drinks. New owners Nic Di Lillo (Tempest) and Courtney Ross (Harris Steak House) are committed to keeping the space essentially the same. “Basically we just tried to give a little life into it and do some cleaning, but not change it too much,” Di Lillo told Eater. “We want to keep the old feeling, because it's such a great space and really well-loved.” Changes include a deep-clean, new bar stools, a fresh coat of paint and a small redesign of the space behind the bar to help keep down drink wait times. Orbit Room is also now taking credit cards and will have more consistent hours (4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily).
Di Lillo is in charge of the drinks, using his experience at Hi Dive and The Tempest to design the bar and create a cocktail menu that will lower waits (which were up to 15 minutes at the old Orbit Room). He’ll be implementing a cocktail menu in the next few weeks, but for now there will be $12 standard drinks, beers for $6-7 and beer-and-shot combos. On the food side, Ross is theming days. Mondays are meatballs, Tuesdays are tacos (chicken and pork), Wednesdays are chicken and waffles, Thursdays are locomocos (a Hawaiian dish that’s traditionally white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg and brown gravy), and Fridays through Sundays are the famous Orbit Room pizzas, of which you can always expect a standard margarita, a pepperoni pie and some rotating specials. Everything on the food menu is under $20. “We're not going to try and do anything too crazy and reinvent the wheel, but just tasty drinks and good food and good atmosphere,” Di Lillo said. Orbit Room reopens tonight at 4 p.m.