When David Tunnell traveled to New Orleans, he fell in love with the coziness of the establishments and felt inspired to bring that environment down to Midtown Miami.
In late 2012, he opened Lagniappe House at 3425 NE Second Ave., at the border between Wynwood and the Design District.
“Lagniappe was what we believed was missing in Miami — music, wine, friends, all together in a backyard atmosphere, which is very common in New Orleans,” said Tunnell, 43, originally from Los Angeles.
The establishment offers live music, Cajun cuisine, wines and craft beers. The name comes from a word used in New Orleans to mean a small gift offered by a business to customers, such as an appetizer in a restaurant.
French native Frederic Martz, general manager of Lagniappe, said the laidback style is what mainly attracts the customers.
“We make a special effort to offer unusual products for our customers,” said Martz. “Lagniappe is a place where one can enjoy those simple pleasures that somehow got over looked in Miami.”
Built in what was once a family home, the first floor is adorned with a vintage musical instruments and oil paintings, wooden furniture and cedar wine racks.
“This place has a feel-at-home mood that I can’t find anywhere else in Miami,” said Wynwood resident Camila Uzcategui, 20. “The live music they offer is very relaxing and complements that mood.”
The tune is mostly jazz, folk, bluegrass, blues and soul music.
Open on Tuesdays to Sundays, from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m., there is a live performance every night, starting at 8:30 p.m.
Alvaro Andres Bermudez is a local musician, guitar teacher and frequent customer.
“Lagniappe celebrates the quality of products it offers,” said Bermudez, 39. “It also prioritizes the type of musicians that perform every night.”
Kenneth Jimenez, a local jazz bass player that performs every Sunday and Tuesday night with the KJ Trio, enjoys the diversity of Lagniappe’s services and finds its approach unconventional for a Miami establishment.
“I really enjoy performing here. The place has a timeless energy that makes you feel like you could be in a completely different city and time,” said Jimenez, 22. “Miami needs more places like Lagniappe.”