‘We’re resilient’: V’s Café serving community from outdoor kitchen

Published 3:40 pm Monday, September 27, 2021

LAPLACE — Hurricane Ida caused the ceiling to cave inside of V’s Café, but it hasn’t stopped the restaurant from serving the St. John the Baptist Parish community. An outdoor kitchen has been set up in the parking lot at 936 Carrollwood Drive in LaPlace to serve up freshly made beignets, classic hamburgers, hot lunch specials and more.

V’s Café: Milkshake Bar & Grill has only been open since December 2020, but it didn’t take long for the restaurant to earn a spot in the hearts of community members. Regular customers called every day following the storm to ask about reopening plans, and owner Hank Vicknair knew he couldn’t let them down.

“Our business was just starting to take off. Right now, we’re improvising. We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere,” Vicknair said. “I’ve been down and out before. We’re resilient, and we’re going to do what we’ve got to do to make it happen.”

The idea of an outdoor kitchen evolved from plans to host tailgating events for LSU, New Orleans Saints and St. Charles Catholic football games.

Before Hurricane Ida, V’s Café was in the process of expanding to include a stage for Sunday jazz brunch. An arcade was being set up in the back for children to enjoy.

Despite the change in plans, familiar faces have come out to support V’s Café since the outdoor kitchen opened on Saturday.

The limited menu includes French fries, nachos, hamburgers, poboys, hot sausage patties, onion rings, chicken tenders and daily hot lunches served beginning at 11 a.m. Beignets are available in orders of 3 to 100, and Vicknair plans to incorporate breakfast platters.

V’s Café employee Damon Morris said customers can call in their order or walk up to the tent. Delivery options are also available.

“There’s no one like V’s Café. We’re trying to keep it going and keep our customers happy,” Morris said. “We’re taking it one day at a time. That’s all we can do. We have a limited menu, but each day we are growing.”

A GoFundMe account for V’s Café has also been set up at www.gofundme.com/f/help-get-vs-cafe-back-on-our-feet.

For more information or to place an order, call 985-359-3595.