Coffee lovers and jazz lovers alike will soon have a hangout in downtown Tamuning as the House of Brutus is slated to open in late January or early February.

The House of Brutus will be an espresso bar lounge and restaurant located on the ground floor of the International Trade Center also known as the ITC Building. The restaurant in the same spot as the former Café Catcrea has been completely gutted and is under renovation now according to Ruben Mortera the recently hired general manager of Brutus Guam Inc. doing business as House of Brutus. The date of the opening depends on when equipment ordered from Europe and handcrafted furniture is ready Mortera said.

“The inside is going to be very nouveau-looking ” he said. “It’s going to be very loungy where you can have your business meetings where you can take your girl out for a cup of coffee and relax.”

At night the House of Brutus will be a lounge with happy hours a jazz band Latino nights and comedy shows Mortera said. The restaurant will include a full-service bar a stage for entertainment large plasma TV screens and wireless Internet access.

Mortera described the menu as “casual ” with burgers pizzas daily specials “things you would find in a more casual place ” he said. He said Brutus will use the Illy Café brand of coffee beans which he said is the No. 1 coffee in Italy.

The restaurant seats about 80 people in its 2 200 square feet and Mortera plans to have about 30 employees. A recent advertisement to hire new employees was well-received Mortera said. “We got all these applications and we said ‘Wow there’s a lot of talent out there.’” Another ad for hiring higher management will be out soon. “Brutus is going to be a place to be but the only thing lacking so far is some beautiful bartendresses — we’re still looking for them.”

Brutus Guam Inc. is a division of Inhouse Creative an advertising agency owned by Kaz Endo.

Mortera started in the restaurant business in high school and after 15 years of cooking and managing ended his last tenure with the Hyatt Regency Guam as chef de tournet. He was partner general manager and chef in the Tsunami Japanese Restaurant and has worked as a chef in Seattle Wash. MBJ