In early 2020, Adam Sessa, a local realtor, purchased Andy Amoroso’s Studio 205 for an undisclosed amount. He changed the name of the business to The Haus Lounge coffee shop and began a major project of remodeling, working nights so the shop could continue operation during the day.
Sessa said that he was looking for a place to create a welcoming environment for people from the many diverse communities in South Florida to come together around common interests like art and music and food. He had stopped at Studio 205 just to get some ideas and he left with an entire business.
“I had not given any thought to selling,” Amoroso said. “We were doing well and with the addition of an eclectic menu, including fresh smoothies, the business was steady and growing. But he made me an offer I couldn’t resist.”
Soon after Sessa took over though the pandemic ground his new business to a halt.
Now six months later Sessa said, “We were fortunate. Much of the business was takeout and we had a number of regulars from the neighborhood. Jason Hanley who has worked for Amoroso for some 20 years is still the chief cook and smoothie maker and a known part of the business. We’re doing ok but nowhere near where we should be.”
He’s hoping business picks up as the weather gets cooler.
“Also, the heat of summer makes people hesitant to walk over from Lake. It will be much better later in the year,” he said.
In the meantime the business will continue to evolve.
“I still plan to reduce the amount of retail space and increase seating,” he said. “I plan to expand the menu and follow Andy’s commitment to fresh ingredients and interesting flavor combinations. I will also apply for a beer and wine license in the near future.”
Sessa added that he plans to reach out to local artists to display their work including some murals. He anticipates having live performances and more. He plans to keep a selection of LGBT paraphernalia maintaining the Studio 205 claim of being the first and still only purveyor in Palm Beach County.
Meanwhile, back on Lake Avenue, Amoroso launched a new enterprise called the Tacky Tourist which offers a wide selection of vintage items and Florida collectibles.
“Years of watching tourists visit Lake Worth have given me a good sense of what they buy and why,” he said.
“I had the money from the sale and didn’t have any plans when the owner of 630 Lake Avenue made me an attractive offer for space and things came together quickly, he said. “I had always wanted to operate a business from 630. That and Tacky Tourist were both on my bucket list. I took the offer.”
He admits that business is somewhat slow but it’s offseason and the world is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic but he’s covering expenses and is optimistic.
Adam Sessa, who identifies as gay, is a 23-year-old native Floridian. The Haus Lounge is located at 205 N Federal Hwy in Lake Worth, and is open seven days a week. Visit their Facebook page for days and times.
City Commissioner Andy Amoroso is, among many other things, the first openly-elected LGBT person in Lake Worth. The Tacky Tourist is at 630 Lake Ave next to Dave’s last resort and most recently occupied by Artisans on the Avenue.