For months, frequenters of the Strip on Cedar Springs Road have been wondering what will become of the old Zephyr Bakery.
Early next year, they can look forward to some old favorites. Roy G’s will be a new rainbow-themed bar concept by Gene Street Jr., along with siblings Mariel and Marco.
A few of the menu items will be replicated from Snookie’s, a bar and grill previously owned by Gene Jr. The original Snookie’s closed in 2015 after operating on Oak Lawn Avenue for 28 years.
Snookie’s was named after Mariel, Marco and Gene Jr.’s grandfather. While that concept was a favorite among Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs patrons, the Streets hope to bring a fresh concept to the Strip as well as something new.
“Memories always taste sweeter than they actually are,” Marco says. “There’s so much nostalgia surrounding our brother’s bar and grill that was there for almost 30 years. We wanted to make sure that’s how Snookie’s was remembered.
“So much of our culture today is just regurgitating the same thing and then trying to throw a new spin on it. We really wanted to do something with that same kind of heart and spirit that Snookie’s had of just being a place for everybody, a low-key spot that was affordable. This is our new version of that.”
With Roy G’s, the Streets hope to create an approachable hangout spot. They want to keep the menu items relatively inexpensive, and they want the bar to feel inclusive. The bar will contain much rainbow decor, and the owners hope to eliminate the pressure of having to get dolled up to go out.
“We’re not going to have $14 cocktails or anything like that,” Mariel says. “It's going to be a really casual place where we're hoping that the people that work on the strip, work around the strip and come out here at night can feel comfortable to come in a T-shirt and jeans, and hang out for a while.”
As far as old favorites go, two of the original cooks from Snookie’s will work for Roy G’s. Mariel, Marco and Gene Jr. have been working a lot on the research and development end to perfect and finalize the menu.
“We asked hundreds of people that were Snookie’s loyalists and narrowed it down to like the four things that everybody chose,” Mariel says. “Those are going to remain traditional on the menu.”
Among those four items are the cheese fries, the hickory burger, the fried mushrooms and the frozen electric lemonade.
“It’s a bar with food as opposed to a restaurant with a bar,” Marco says. “We're really excited to have some of the different style burgers that we've typically had at our other restaurants.”
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Marco adds that they’re also experimenting with other sandwiches, including a porchetta sandwich. The Streets hope for everything on the menu to cost $5 to $10.
Roy G’s is tentatively slated to open by Valentine’s Day. The Streets hope Roy G’s becomes just as much a staple as Snookie’s was, without stripping away the significance of the Strip.
“The goal is to make a place that feels like it's been a part of the neighborhood for a while,” Mariel says. “We've seen a lot of businesses come in and try to ‘update’ the neighborhood. We're not trying to update at all; we want to blend right in.”
Roy G's, 4001 Cedar Springs Road (Oak Lawn). Planned to open February 2020.