Cafe Venus/Mars Bar, snuggly situated on the southern, more out- of-the-way section of Eastlake, is a comfy spot, charmingly rough around the edges. The place has a lived-in feel with its well-worn, cozy booths— perhaps due to the fact that the cafe was cleverly converted from owner Katy Arversenti's apartment into the bustling spot it is today. The adjoining Mars Bar portion followed soon after, and now the two have become havens, hosting everyone from moped gangs (Monday nights) to business folks in search of a hearty weekday lunch. While the Mars side channels traces of its punk-inspired predecessor (the Storeroom Tavern) with red lights and live rock shows, the Venus cafe portion is more Joy of Cooking than Joy Division with its espresso machine, brighter lighting, and cheery atmosphere. Despite differences, Venus and Mars complement each other by bringing the best of both worlds to the table, making each destination out of this . . . well, you know. AJA PECKNOLD
Cafe Venus/Mars Bar 609 Eastlake Ave. E., 206-624-4516, www.cafevenus.com.