The House strikes back with new name, style

By Carly Nicely

The House Café, 263 E. Lincoln Highway, reopened its doors April 22 with new management, a new name, a bright new style and numerous types of bands to attract new customers and regular patrons.

Manager Kimberly Leuken said The House Café has not changed dramatically, but there have been some minor changes.

“The main thing that has changed is the menu and we have eliminated the fine dining in the back half,” Leuken said. “We are less formal now and we have live bands more often; six nights a week and every Sunday we have a jazz band that plays in the afternoon. We also have more couches, which brings comfort to the place.”

Owner Fareed Haque, a music professor at NIU, decided to buy The House after learning it was shutting down. He felt much would be lost due to the closing; he also felt it needed to stay opened so people could continue to enjoy live music and a comfortable atmosphere.

“The House Cafe is one of the only places in DeKalb where live music could be enjoyed for people 18 and older, and I felt that a lot of my students would miss out not having the opportunity to hear live bands and all the different kinds of national world music that is played here,” Haque said.

The House Café is also known for its bottomless cups of coffee and fresh pastries, which draw in students and professors who use The House Café to study or catch up on work.

“A lot of students come in to study, especially around finals,” part-time worker Lizette Gonzalez said. “We also get a lot of professors that come in and stay for hours. It’s busier during the school year, but we still get all kinds of people who come in during the summer.”

If you are looking to please your ears with indie rock music, then The House Café is the place to be Thursday nights, when Leuken said it is not unusual for about 300 people to cram the café.

David Click, who is studying music at Kishwaukee College, had been coming to The House for about five years and even played a couple of shows with his band before he started working at the café after its reopening in April.

“I am here every day, either working or just hanging out. I have been coming here since middle school and decided to get a job here recently because it’s so laid back and it’s a really cool place to work because of the variety of people that come in,” Click said.

More information concerning shows at The House Café can be found at