By Becky Roozen Published Oct 04, 2004 at 5:42 AM

{image1}Come Thursday (hopefully), there will be 7,000 square feet of fresh flowers, modern art and fine food and drink to discover when owner John LeBrun opens what he calls, "phase one" of the clean, contemporary -- and wide-ranging -- new Barclay Gallery & Garden Café, 158 S. Barclay St. in Walker's Point (or the Fifth Ward, if you prefer).

The gallery will sell homemade crafts by American and Canadian artists. LeBrun purchases the hand-blown glass vases, jewelry, ceramics, woods, metals, furniture and sculptures around the country and at wholesale trade shows. He's been to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Las Vegas, just to name a few, scanning the country for just the right pieces.

As you walk through the gallery, three glass waterfalls greet you as you approach the café. But don't wait for lunch to audition the grub, breakfast food here will be as plentiful as the sage green and purpley-blues that envelop every wall.

For the early birds there are pancakes, omelets, fruit and muffins galore. And salads, soups, sandwiches and burgers for the lunch crowd. Appetizers like baked Pepper Jack cheese sticks and warm crab dip can be ordered before entrees like linguini and vegetable medley and the Midwestern crispy homemade chicken pot pie.

If your stomach isn't growling for a full meal, the coffee bar offers a host of specialty pastries and other bakery. You can get your cup of jo to go, or just buy the beans and grind them at home.

{image2}They'll also have wine for sale by the bottle, says LeBrun. "And we'll sell fresh flowers and breads. Eventually, we'll also be selling whole roasted chickens, too."

Next to the to-go cooler holding the flowers and wine is a door leading to the outdoor dining patio (that eventually will be covered by an outstretched louvered awning), big enough to seat 65. "There's not much use for it this season," he admits, "but we're excited for next year's warm weather."

Beyond the gallery, café, coffee bar and patio, the first level has one quirky feature worth mentioning. The bathrooms are decked out with Xlerator excel dryers, the likes of which we've never seen before. The forceful air jets coming out of those things dry hands in five seconds, tops.

And all of that is just "phase one."

LeBrun plans on transforming the second level into a banquet hall and bar, "hopefully in a year," he says. There will be an elevator and stairway leading up to the third and final lounge for Barclay Gallery patrons, on the roof!

Rooftop railings will surround a bar and restrooms accompanied by plenty of plants and flowers. LeBrun says the area will be paved and serve as a place for receptions or casual drinking, that can hold up to 150 people.

"We're pretty excited about all this," says LeBrun. "We just want to get open and capitalize on the holiday season."

Barclay Gallery & Garden Café will be open Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (414) 347-0500 for more details.