The new Rêve Coffee Lab is a perfect reflection of how much Baton Rouge has evolved.
The earth-toned cafe is bright and bursting with style and class. Hanging plants soak up the sun beaming through the windows; a tall potted tree right in the center of the shop brings nature indoors. Terracotta leather booth seats with plenty of outlets and charging stations underneath line the wall nearest the entrance. It’s a dream workspace away from home.
Every inch of the coffee shop was intentionally designed by Louisiana interior designer and event planner Victoria Isabelle. From the light wood tables, bars and shelves to the emerald green tile accent wall by the kitchen, it’s everything Rêve Coffee Lab devotees could’ve hoped for and more.
After White Star Market closed in March 2020—shuttering its small space there—the Lafayette-born cafe decided to open its own storefront in Baton Rouge.
The cafe’s (not so) soft opening was Monday, Jan. 18, at its new home in The Village at Willow Grove. Excited and loyal Rêve Coffee fans poured into the shop to see the new space and get their specialty coffee fix.
“We wanted to create a space with an open-air feel and clean look that fits everyone’s needs,” Rêve Coffee founder Nathanael Johnson says.
During opening week, people of all walks of life filled the seats of the coffee shop. A group of retired friends caught up over coffee and baked goods, students sipped espresso with their eyes fixed on their laptops, and business professionals met for a lunch break.
With the new space comes a new drink menu. The coffee and tea menu has all the essentials like espresso, drip coffee, lattes and cafe au laits, as well as unique specialty drinks created by the Baton Rouge shop’s baristas. Those include Voodoo Elixir, which is made with chicory iced coffee, local honey and goat’s milk, and Golden Days made from golden milk tea (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, coconut and chili flakes), honey and milk.
The seasonal offerings are just as exciting as the main menu. Seasonal drinks include Malty Gras Mambo, which is Rêve’s own NOLA cold brew infused with malted milk powder, caramel and chocolate blended with hot chocolate and topped with a torched marshmallow and a pinch of sea salt.
The King Cake Cappuccino includes King Cake cookie butter, espresso and steamed milk served in a white chocolate and Mardi Gras sugar-rimmed royal chalice. (Fancy, right?)
In addition to specialty coffee and tea drinks, customers can now order gelato, organic wine, beer, cocktails, breakfast and lunch. Rêve’s lunch dishes include hummus and avocado toast, charcuterie boards, wraps, sandwiches and dips. For breakfast, the cafe offers a sausage biscuit, house-baked pastries or a southwest breakfast burrito with roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese on a flour tortilla.
Rêve Coffee Lab has something for all hours of the day. After work, the coffee shop turns into a bustling bar with a metropolitan feel. Happy hour is Monday-Thursday, 3-6 p.m. Drink specials include $5 draft beer, $6 classic cocktails and $7 glasses of wine.
“We want to bring something unique to the city,” Johnson says. “We’re very particular about our menu. It’s about quality over quantity.”
Rêve Coffee Lab is open Sundays, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Thursday 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.