Three months after new ownership took over the Avondale dive, the team behind The Orbit Room has announced they’re closing the bar. New Year’s Eve will be the final night of service at 2959 N. California Avenue. The new ownership, Jeff Donahue and Wade McElroy, will keep the bar open through 2017 — they’ll still host the Christmas-themed pop-up (formerly called Miracle on Mars, now called Believe) that starts on Friday, November 24. The two barmen, known for their work at Sportsman’s Club and others, plan on eventually opening a new spot in the space. The Orbit Room opened in 2007.
When they took over, Donahue and McElroy tweaked the menu and drinks, wanting to cater to the neighborhood but leave their personal touch. The plan was to keep the bar open through the summer, according to a spokeswoman. The bar is known for a beautiful patio. But the positive vibes extended the run.Even though the changes were mostly well received and business was going well, The Orbit Room “never quite felt like a personal project,” to McElroy and Donahue, according to a statement. They decided to pivot and get a start on the new project at the site.
“We are very excited to take this space in a new direction and create a place that brings the community together to drink and gather,” the statement also read.
For the next six weeks, The Orbit Room will offer a throwback menu with pepper jack mac & cheese, tater tots, and chicken tenders. Enjoy it, and ponder how ownership will replace the bar. The last night of service is December 31. Stay tuned for more about the holiday pop-up next month.