Room Service Announces Return to the Near-West Side with New Cafe, Retail Store and Community Gathering Space

click to enlarge The future home of Room Service - Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo
The future home of Room Service

Since taking over Room Service from founder Danielle DeBoe Harper a decade ago, Jennie Doran has grown and cultivated the brand at retail locations in Ohio City and the Van Aken District. The lifestyle boutique is known as much for its design-inspired gifts, home goods and apparel as it is for its artfully curated environment.

While the Ohio City location closed last year, Doran and husband/partner Andrew Worm have announced exciting new plans to return to the near-west side. The couple has taken possession of 5222 Lorain Avenue, the former home to Guide to Kulchur, which they will develop over the next year or so into three components.

The first space to be unveiled will be The Judith, a French-inspired café.

“What people have always told us while shopping at Room Service is, ‘I wish I could live here,’ and that’s sort of the jumping-off point for creating a space where people really can spend more time in a really beautiful, intentional, thoughtful café,” Doran explains.

Guests can look forward to a 30-seat space rich with warmth and texture, one that conjures images of an Old World Parisienne café. In the morning, an espresso program will welcome neighbors. Lunches will include fresh, seasonal salads supplemented with fresh bounty from the onsite garden. Happy hour meet-ups might consist of meat and cheese boards, washed down with beer and wine. The Judith is partnering with a local patisserie to supply the pastries and sweets.

Doran aims to create the type of classic “all-day café” that seems to be so prevalent throughout Europe and beyond.

“We really wanted to create a space where you felt that sense of warmth and community throughout the entire day,” she adds. “That’s the café culture that we’re drawn to in places we’ve traveled, like France and Portugal, places where you know there’s always a spot to come and spend time.”

Next up in the roll-out will be a new Room Service store, which will mark the brand’s long-anticipated return to the West Side. Included in that retail experience will be a garden and gathering space for the community.

Look for The Judith to open this spring or summer with Room Service to follow some months later.
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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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