Lakou Cafe, named after the Haitian courtyard where the community gathers, specializes in crepes and patties and features an eclectic selection of housemade smoothies, juices and kava cocktails.
Crown Heights has a new gathering spot: Lakou Cafe. The new creperie, juice and smoothie bar opened its doors at 195 Utica Avenue early last month and has since steadily developed a growing following.
Lakou Cafe specializes in both sweet and savory crepe creations like the house favorite “Jerk Jackfruit,” as well as traditional Haitian patties alongside vegan pastries from Bed-Stuy’s Clementine Bakery. The cafe is also offering freshly made smoothies and juices, coffee drinks including espresso, kava cocktails — a natural, non-alcoholic beverage that promotes psychological and physiological relaxation — and the borough’s own organic Brooklyn Tea. Soon to be added: Haitian candy.
But there is more to Lakou, as owner Cassandre Davilmar, a Brooklyn native and Crown Heights resident, shared. The former lawyer and investment banker always wanted to own her own business. After years in banking, she felt prepared to take the entrepreneurial leap with partner Isaiah Michael.
“Having lived in Crown Heights for five years, I realized there weren’t many healthy food options available,” explained Dalvimar her motivation to open a cafe. “And, I wanted to create a space where people can gather and get to know each other.”
And that is what Lakou, which means courtyard in Creole, is about.
“In Haiti, Lakou is the square where the community gathers and holds celebrations, spiritual meetings and the like, “ shared Davilmar.
In that spirit, she plans to host a variety of different programs in addition to the daily operation of the cafe. Lakou’s first happening, a video game night, just took place and events like wellness talks and movie nights, among others, are in the works.
Next up, on Friday, July 13, Lakou Cafe will be welcoming pop-up restaurant Bali Manje and Chef Wesly Simon for a special dinner event. And, after the soft opening last month, Davilmar still would like to celebrate a grand opening. The website is currently under construction, but Brooklynites can stay connected and learn more about upcoming events through the cafe’s Instagram page.
Lakou Cafe is open weekdays from 6:00 am–8:00 pm; 9:00am–8:00pm on Saturday, and 9:00am–6:00pm on Sunday.