Located in an old apartment complex, The Commons was anything but common


Neither my mother nor I were alive in the 1970s, but we both left the restaurant with a shared sentiment: we had time-traveled to a random basement in the 70s.

From the amber-colored glasses to the oversized lamp shades to the vintage furniture, we were transported to another decade.

Pulling up to the old apartment complex on Cherry Street, it was not at all apparent that we were steps away from the funky and eccentric restaurant. If it weren’t for the black and red sign labeled “The Commons,” I wouldn’t have had any idea that the brick building housed the most retro restaurant I’ve ever been in.

Our travel back in time started as soon as we opened the double doors to the building. The gust of wind carried away the dreary day and brought in a wave of all things 70s: the music, the furniture, the decorations— it seemed that we weren’t in the year 2019 anymore.

After exchanging greetings with the hostess, we were led to a table right beside an area where mismatched couches, chairs, rugs, and a TV were set up; the musty, dark-hued vibes of the corner reminded me and my mom of the basement in That 70s Show. We couldn’t shake the feeling that we were in a basement in what seemed like another dimension, and seeing as neither of us had the actual experience of living in the 1970s, it was an extremely ethereal feeling.

Engulfed by the eclectic furniture, 70s music, and vintage vibes, we almost forgot to take a look at the menu. It seemed as if looking at a piece of paper to decide what to eat was a mundane task compared to the exciting environment we were in.

But, alas, we skimmed the brunch menu and decided on our meals. Being vegetarian and pretty sensitive to dairy always cuts my options in half, but I was surprised to see that there were five vegan options and a couple of gluten free ones, too. With only 11 meal options— all of them straying away from the typical pancakes and eggs breakfast— it only took a few minutes to decide what I wanted.

I chose the Dirty Brunch Tots, which was a bowl of tater tots topped with an assortment of vegetables and sauces, and my mom decided on the Classic Breakfast— eggs, toast, sausage, and potatoes. Our kind waitress wrote down our order and returned about thirty minutes later; the long wait was understandable after being informed that we went on the first day they started to serve brunch.

The wait didn’t even feel like a wait, though, because our experience at the restaurant was just that: an experience.

The delicious food was just an added bonus to the already amazing atmosphere. I didn’t expect a meal as simple as tater tots to be as good as they were, but my experience at The Commons was just one expected twist after the other.

Topped with avocados, onions, an unidentifiable green sauce (I have absolutely no idea what it was, but it was extremely good), a variety of herbs and spices, and a side of queso, the tater tots were anything but ordinary. Every bite seemed to be better than the last; the only conversation I think I made during the course of eating my meal was just about how good it was. My mom enjoyed her packed-full plate of typical breakfast foods, but she had a particular affinity for the seasoned potatoes.

Joking that we would have to unbutton our pants from how full we were, the waitress dropped off the check just as our bellies were aching with satisfaction. Totaling to 23 dollars, it was agreed upon that the high price for variations of potatoes was perfectly okay because the price compensated for not only the food but the experience.

From our first steps into the old apartment complex that was, in fact, a 70s-themed restaurant to our final steps departing it, The Commons was a dining experience like no other. 

Even though my mom and I have no idea what the 70s were like, we can confidently say that we time-traveled to that decade on a Saturday afternoon.