An Inside Look at Lodi: Clayton Pleyte

BEA AHBECK CASSON/NEWS-SENTINEL Co-owners Clayton and Krysta Pleyte at School Grounds, the new coffee and gelato shop in the Woolworth building downtown on School St in Lodi Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

Clayton Pleyte is one of the owners of School Grounds, a coffee shop in Downtown that serves local pastries, gelato from Café Classico out of Concord and organic coffee. He and his wife Krysta Pleyte serve espresso drinks and drip coffee from Moschetti, an artisan coffee roasting company in Vallejo.

A unique offering is their Nitro coffee, which is brewed into kegs and pumped with nitrogen like in a draft beer system. School Grounds is a popular place for people to hang out and enjoy live music from local artists on Friday and Saturday nights.

School Grounds is located at 115 S. School St. Suite 13, Lodi; for more information, call (209) 224-5873 or visit

Favorite place to eat in Lodi

Zin Bistro. The food is great, the place has a nice charm to it. It’s kind of small with a low table count, but that gives it great service. And the food is amazing. (722 W. Lodi Ave., Lodi; (209) 224-8223.)

Favorite places to shop in Lodi

The Downtown shops. All the local businesses and small businesses are good. As a local business owner, it’s nice to support other small businesses.

What’s a Lodi experience that a visitor can’t miss?

Definitely wine tasting. I like going to Jeremy Wine Co., Oak Farm Vineyards and Macchia the most. (Please see the wineries map and listings, Pages 30-24.)

Where’s a good place to hang out?

The Blend restaurant has a good evening crowd (115 S. School St. Suite 13, Lodi; (209) 334-2036; It kind of turns into a night club on Friday and Saturday nights and they have some good music playing.

And of course Smack Pie Pizza and School Grounds are also good places to hang out! (121 S. School St., Lodi; (209) 224-8061;

What’s one important thing visitors might not know about Lodi?

It’s a very tight local community. As much as we like big shopping centers, everyone in Lodi appreciates the feel Downtown. It’s something we’ve come to love and respect, as well as how much the community supports us.

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