When you enter The Lagniappe at street level, you walk into the retail store, which features jewelry, pottery, glass and other art. Walk up a winding staircase to get to the coffee and wine bar, where you can sit on stools or at a table. The best place to sit, though, is outside. Out back a multi-level deck decorated with viny plants and hanging flowers lets you relax and enjoy the sunshine.
A couple of groups of women were on the deck when we stopped by after work on a Tuesday. But the bar manager told us that when the Valley Junction farmers market happens on Thursday nights, the deck is so full you need to call ahead to reserve a table. You can hear live music coming from Railroad Park some nights, and the store plans to host its own live music Friday nights.
THE TWO DRINKS
Hannah Martin was working behind the bar, and she mixed up a non-alcoholic Italian soda called a Spring Fling ($2), with blackberry, raspberry and strawberry syrups plus a splash of half and half.
My guest spotted a bottle of chocolate cherry wine called Kijafa and asked for a glass. The sip I tried tasted exactly like a chocolate covered cherry - dessert in a glass. Kijafa costs $4 a glass, $18 a bottle.
The menu also includes coffee drinks like lattes and mochas, teas, a few bottled beers and more wines.
We snacked on free spicy almonds and wasabi peas. You can also order light appetizers, like a fruit and cheese plate or hummus and pita.
The vibe is definitely more subdued than the patio at say, el Bait Shop (and the hours more limited), but it's a great place to relax with a few friends and a glass of wine. Just passing the store at street level you'd never know such a huge patio was hiding in the back.