Signs posted in front of the House Cafe greet patrons by boasting "Now With Lighter Doors." That isn't the only change for the longtime coffee shop and performance space. New owner Brian Fausett, a sound engineer, says he also rebuilt the stage, added new artwork, and freshened up a number of menu offerings. The restaurant will also open daily at 6 a.m.
Ownership shifted to Fausett after the previous owner decided not to renew the lease for the House Cafe. That, coupled with a burst water pipe at Otto's, has left the downtown struggling to bring live acts to the area over the past year.
Fausett says he has heard from a number of local artists who want to perform at the House, but he is still working on scheduling upcoming shows. He would like to see a variety of musical acts, including high school performers, NIU students, and local professionals.
Fausett says he was hoping to open those "lighter" doors before the end of the college semester, but it didn't work out that way. He says he believes there is enough support among residents to keep business flowing until students return in a few months.