Lakeview's Long Memory

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Lakeview evidently has a long memory. When Randie Porobil opened Lakeview Brew, the coffee shop and dessert destination reviewed this week, she says new customers began asking about the "Lakeview girl" behind the operation.

"I'm over 50, it's been a long time since anyone called me a Lakeview girl," says Porobil.

But she was indeed raised in Lakeview, so to a certain mindset she always will be a Lakeview girl.

Lakeview Brew is actually her second run at the Lakeview restaurant business, though it's much different than her first venture. That was an upscale restaurant called 900 Restaurant and Bar, which opened in 2005 in the dramatically renovated former Barataria Restaurant space on Harrison Avenue. Katrina hit less than four months later, wiping out the place. Another upscale restaurant, Lago, opened in that Harrison Avenue space last year while Porobil was prepping Lakeview Brew.

As a location, she chose a strategically positioned spot on Canal Boulevard. It catches traffic headed to and from the rest of the Lakeview and not coincidentally is just past the railroad crossing and across the street from Plantation Coffeehouse, a lower Lakeview landmark which remains shuttered since the flood. The desserts, including the blueberry pie pictured above, are good enough to make Lakeview Brew its own destination.

Before Katrina, Lakeview Brew's location had been Frederico's Family Florist, though the same crowd who identify Porobil as a "Lakeview girl" sometimes still refer to the property as its much older incarnation, a Gulf service station.

- Ian McNulty

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