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Owners hope to open The House in January

Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 4:05 p.m. CDT
Rob Winner – The House Cafe in DeKalb will be re-opening at the beginning of January. Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Rob Winner – A sign noting that The House Cafe will be opening again is seen on the business's front door in DeKalb, Ill., Monday, Dec. 16, 2013.

DeKALB – The new owners of The House Cafe hope to ring in the new year with the reopening of their business.

The House, 263 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, has two new owners who say they want to open by Jan. 1.

“I wish the doors could have been open last week,” co-owner Anthony Solorio said.

The cafe, known for bringing musical acts from across the country to DeKalb, has been closed since Oct. 31. Former owner Jan Pascolini decided not to renew the lease with the business she owned for six years.

New owners Solorio and Corey Twombly, band members of Shannon’s Last Call, which played its first show at The House, say the process for opening has been stressful.

“We’re trying to do 90 days of work in 30 days,” Solorio said. “Every now and then, there’s a little setback.”

Solorio and Twombly will own The House, and Lisa Cowley, who previously was a third owner, will advise them.

The owners are finalizing their insurance and waiting to hear from city and state governments to get a business license. After that, they plan to open.

The liquor license might take an extra couple of weeks, Solorio said, which means patrons may be unable to buy alcohol when The House first opens.

“It’s a giant learning process,” Solorio said. “It’s a little more involved than the current business I own.” He also owns One Stop Signs, 1860 Sycamore Road, DeKalb.

Customers can expect to see an expanded menu at The House. Many of the options are currently vegetarian and vegan, but owners say they want to add more meat options.

The House also is undergoing some remodeling, including expanding the stage by 4 feet.

Solorio said he wants to attract national touring bands and bands that have never given The House a chance before.

“We want a little bit for everybody,” he said. “We’ll do the same acts coming to The House for a long time, but we want to bring some newer things in ... (we’re) seeing what’s available out there.”

The owners also are discussing the idea of having a minor investor or business partner who may or may not be involved in day-to-day operations, Solorio said.

Solorio said he’s planning on getting the website,, up and running within the next week or two.

Owners are seeking community input to improve the cafe, Solorio said.

“The House Cafe is definitely more for the community than it is for us,” he said.

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