If you were around in 1886 – that is not a misprint – that is when the Jennings House was built. While I was talking to Cathy, the relatively new co-owner of the Living Room, two women walked in and Cathy asked if she could help them. They said that they were just looking at the memorabilia on the walls.
Cathy introduced herself as the owner of the business and one of the women introduced herself as Laurel Belle Benchley, the great-granddaughter of Frank Jennings, the original owner of the Jennings House, and the other woman was Beth Brust, who has been commissioned to write a biography of Belle Benchley, the originator of the San Diego Zoo, who just happens to be Laurel’s grandmother. It made my visit a fun one.
What made the visit more fun was the Living Room itself. It has been freshly painted inside and out; has a new roof; a new awning has been placed on the outside patio in the front; there are plans for a new deck; and where parking had been a problem in the past due to a small parking lot, the manager of the San Diego County Credit Union next door has given permission for Living Room patrons to park in their lot when there are no more spaces in the eatery’s lot.
There is an eclectic menu for all meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is something for everyone, including a vegan menu and gluten-free items. (Almost all of the breads are vegan.)
There is a huge variety of coffees, with three specials every day, and there are more than 25 tea varieties. Recently, they received their beer and wine license and serve a delicious mimosa anytime of the day.
Cathy makes her own soups and chili, all gluten free and most vegan, and has just started making homemade biscuits and gravy. As a former East Coaster, New York bagels were a must as was the addition of Taylor Pork Roll.
Two new items have been added to the menu – kombucha in four flavors – ginger, carrot/turmeric, very berry, and beet, and something that interested me – ice cream specials. A sundae topped with chocolate or caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry goes for $3.75 and/or Affogato – espresso over ice cream for $4.50.
There is wi-fi for those that want to work while they eat; the upstairs can be reserved for private meetings, seminars, parties, and other private events. There is even take-out for groups, meetings, or office parties if enough notice is given. Cathy is looking into having live music during the summer months but has not made a decision on whether this is feasible or not.
I cannot guarantee that you will meet the granddaughter of the originator of Jennings House when you go there and try it out, but I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed in the food and atmosphere.
The location was owned in the late '90s (for a few years) by the Living Room Group, (two men that still own the La Jolla and State College locations). The Old Town, La Mesa, and Point Loma Living Rooms have been independent for about 18-20 years. They are not a franchise, but are sold with the rights to the name, marketing, etc.
There were two owners of the Point Loma location before Cathy bought it, and each owned it for about 8-9 years. When Cathy bought it, she struggled with keeping the name because everyone asks the same question... “Do you own all of them? Are you affiliated?” She often puts on her chalkboard sign "Independently owned and operated."
Point Loma Living Room
Where: 1018 Rosecrans St.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays to Sundays.
Info: PointLomaLivingRoom.com, 619-222-6857.