Randie Porobil, owner of Lakeview Brew Coffee Cafe (5606 Canal Blvd., 483-7001), just wanted a place where neighborhood residents could meet and become reacquainted after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.
"I was born and raised in Lakeview, and I wanted to do something to help get it along again," says the former owner of 900 Restaurant and Bar on Harrison Avenue.
When longtime Lakeview hub Plantation Coffeehouse failed to reopen after the storm, Porobil knew Lakeview Brew would have an ideal location and concept. She started the coffee shop and restaurant in January 2008. Open seven days a week, the neighborhood hotspot offers a comfortable atmosphere.
More than just a coffee shop, Lakeview Brew boasts an impressive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, as well as a variety of gourmet coffees, teas and pastries. Breakfast specials such as the Southwest Egg Platter and Wonderful Waffles are served all day on Saturdays and Sundays. Patrons also give rave reviews to the seafood gumbo, chicken salad and club and avocado sandwiches.
For lunch, the owner recommends the restaurant's signature roasted veggie sandwich, featuring grilled peppers, zucchini, squash, spinach, red onions, mushrooms and feta cheese drizzled with olive oil and grated Romano cheese.
Starting next spring, a renovated patio will host wine tastings, poetry readings and private parties. When construction of the patio is complete, Lakeview Brew will have outdoor seating available for nearly 40 patrons, a feature Porobil loves. "I want to be known as the coffee shop with the great patio," she says.
A wide selection of gourmet salads and sandwiches, homemade desserts and a cozy setting make Lakeview Brew one of the neighborhood's busiest eateries.
"We have a warm, friendly atmosphere," Porobil says. "On top of that, our food's delicious."