Hungry locals took advantage of the unusually warm weather Saturday to join friends and family for food and fun at Olympic Grove, Lafayette’s one-of-a-kind beer garden and yard games pop-up restaurant.
The restaurant, which pops up once a month at a lot on St. Landry Street next to the St. Joseph Parking Tower, offers a place for families and friends to play yard games such as horseshoes and giant Jenga. It also has a full bar.
This was the second time the beer garden has popped up.
Stephen Verret, a Lafayette native, began working to open the restaurant two years ago when he moved back to the city from Los Angeles, where he said there were many places like the beer garden he now operates.
“I thought, ‘What’s preventing us from having it?’ And I found nothing,” Verret said.
While the Live Action Deli food truck was at the gathering on Saturday offering customers a take on Asian cuisine, pizza will be the permanent staple dish of Olympic Grove.
The name is derived from the Olympic games and signifies the playful manner of the restaurant with the games it offers.
“It’s like tailgating every time you come hang out out here,” Verret said. “The basis for everything originally was the yard games.”
Shelly Semien was among those enjoying the venue Saturday, sitting in one of the lawn chairs provided by the restaurant with a chilled beer in front of her.
“Honestly, it feels like I’m on a family picnic,” she said.
Her favorite part, she said, was that Verret was able to create an event where Lafayette, in all of its diversity, was able to come together and really enjoy all aspects of the local food with family.
Verret said he said he asked many of his friends in the service industry what they would like to see in a restaurant as he was planning the restaurant. He continued to solicit opinions and ideas from customers on Saturday.
“I like getting people’s opinions and direction because we are a one-of-a-kind thing here right now,” Verret said.
Semien said Verret went out of his way to talk to everyone and try to get to know them.
“It’s really nice to know his name and to know who created this for us,” she said.
Next month’s pop-up date hasn’t been decided yet, but details will be published on the restaurant’s Facebook page.