Fans of its craft cocktails and surprisingly excellent pizzas were devastated this past spring when The Orbit Room shut its doors abruptly after 20 years. Now we get the welcome news that some new owners have stepped in and will revive the place pretty much as-is though with the added promise of cocktails that don't take 20 minutes to make.
Inside Scoop has word that business partners Courtney Ross and Nic DiLillo, who were both patrons of the bar, hope to have the liquor license transfer complete shortly and plan to reopen within weeks, with DiLillo formerly of Tempest Bar in SoMa overseeing the cocktails and Ross handling the food. Ross, who helped open Bloodhound, will bring back the pizzas in that remarkably efficient little convection oven, but he's also planning on having a rotating food menu with things like meatball Mondays, taco Tuesdays, chicken and waffle Wednesdays, and pizza on the weekends.
It's funny that, as fans of the place, Ross and DiLillo recognized that it had a reputation for slow service. Even as the city's craft cocktail boom reached full saturation in the last decade, with lots of places taking their time with their drinks, The Orbit Room was always just that much slower, and with a number of drinks on the menu that required muddling.
Longtime owner Jay Johnson passed away in March, which led to the abrupt closure of the bar. But it was bartender Alberta Straub who spearheaded the herb- and fruit-heavy drink menu in the mid-aughts, which she talked about with SFist back in 2007.
And this is a pretty amazing turn of events given the rapid changes and swift closures we're seeing everywhere else at least one beloved bar is being given a new lease on life, you guys. Not everything dies! Hooray!