Residents gradually repopulating Lakeview might find a surrogate home at Lakeview Brew Coffee Café (5606 Canal Blvd., 483-7001) while their renovations are underway. Manager Kim Duplantier says its homemade meals, atmosphere and staff dynamic make this popular breakfast and lunch spot feel like home.
'Everyone is treated like family here," she says. 'It's a fun place and a nice atmosphere." The staff is comprised of friends and associates from past business endeavors.
The cafe opened in January in a space formerly occupied by a florist. Since then, owner Randie Porobil says Lakeview Brew has been well received by guests, many of whom are as new to the area as the cafe is.
'The response has been phenomenal," she says. 'We get to meet a lot of new people and people who have returned (to Lakeview)."
The cafe's popularity has gradually pushed back closing time until late evening at what used to be a strictly breakfast and lunch place, but Porobil says guests still want more.
'People are begging me to open Sundays, but I need a day off," she says. Demand for Sunday morning hours might be because of Lakeview Brew's breakfast selections, which are made daily by an in-house baker. In fact, the staff makes all meals to order.
Soups, salads and specialty sandwiches make up the cafe's menu, which Porobil says is purposely absent the deep-fried selections popular on the menus of many of the neighborhood's seafood joints. Instead, Lakeview Brew offers more health-conscious fare.
'It's an alternative menu to fried food " things you can't get in Lakeview," she says, adding that she has replaced French fries with fruit cups as a side item.
Unless you come in with a mean craving for fried shrimp, Porobil says everyone should feel at home at Lakeview Brew Coffee Café, which she describes as 'very comfortable, no airs about it."
'Come as you are " it's that kind of atmosphere," she says. 'We're just really nice people. It's a nice atmosphere, and the food is wonderful."