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Bar Louie, A Chicago-Based Sports Bar in Multiple Area Locations


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Popped into Bar Louie in Gallery Place last night around 9:30... their first night open. Its below the Lucky Strike bowling alley and movie theater. Space is very large, although not quite as big as the Clyde's next door. This'll be a beer & bar food joint.

Opening night was not without its kinks, but its opening night. No draught beer was available (CO2 problem) and a few of the bottles weren't either. But, the draught beer list was long and looked promising. Kro, Summer Heat, Paulaner Weiss, and a bunch of others, in addition to the usual standards. Among the less common bottles: Fat Tire.

The food menus includes both small plates (of course... its Gallery Place) and regular entrees. We got only an artichoke fritti, served in a cone (like frites at Poste, etc.) with marinara sauce attached. The artichoke chunks were lightly battered and piping hot. The accompanying banana peppers, fried in the same batter, were quite tasty and I'd even go for them as a bar food item of their own.

The round bar in the middle is ringed with about a dozen TVs with Direct TV (not yet activated so it was playing the Direct TV promo loop). I asked the waiter if it'll be generally a sports bar, and he didn't seem to think so.

The service was attentive, friendly. The wait staff is quite large...

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Opening night was not without its kinks, but its opening night. No draught beer was available (CO2 problem) and a few of the bottles weren't either. But, the draught beer list was long and looked promising. Kro, Summer Heat, Paulaner Weiss, and a bunch of others, in addition to the usual standards. Among the less common bottles: Fat Tire.
...
The service was attentive, friendly. The wait staff is quite large...

Large waiters intimidate me wink.gif

I wonder how they got Fat Tire...I was under the impression that New Belgium doesn't distribute out this far east. Also, what is Summer Heat? (and I assume Kro is Kronenbourg?)

Will have to put this on the list of places to investiage once they get settled, despite the location. RFD can't be happy this place is opening up. I doubt they'll stock the same range of stuff that RFD has, but for the pre/post-game beer, I imagine Louie could snag a good portion of RFDs business.

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Interesting...Bar Louie is a standard 1st stop bar in Columbus (i.e. a place to "meet" people)- it also does generate a huge sports crowd for big events. I don't know if it will be the same in DC however as I don't know if it will be "unique" enough. I've only eaten there once I think and it was okay. Hope it does well, and I will probably try it out once.

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I wonder how they got Fat Tire...I was under the impression that New Belgium doesn't distribute out this far east.

It was one of the beers they didn't have on opening night, but waiter said they would have it.

(and I assume Kro is Kronenbourg?)

Yes, I was challenged with spelling the whole name. I've always ordered it as "Kro" anyways.

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I'm going to put a whole lot of money on the fact that they didn't have it indicates they won't. I know the folks at New Belgium pretty darn well and they are insane about the refrigeration of their beer from brewpoint to service point. They simply can't do it to DC at this point. I'll leave aside for the moment that Fat Tire isn't a particularly good beer, let alone a good amber.

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I'm going to put a whole lot of money on the fact that they didn't have [Fat Tire] indicates they won't.

You very well may be right. I did notice a disclaimer on the beer list that said "all beers not available in all regions." ;) You'd think that they could print localized menus for each location.

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You very well may be right. I did notice a disclaimer on the beer list that said "all beers not available in all regions." ;) You'd think that they could print localized menus for each location.
yes, just visited their lone Denver outpost yesterday (the website seems to indicate that this is a Chicago-based chain, at least Chicagoland is where a great deal of their locations seem to be clustered) in high hopes of some Goose Island product--the photo of the draft tower in the website features the distinctive goose neck taps rather prominently--but no such luck. I should've known better, I know Goose Island doesn't distribute here, and even though the tap tower photo was at the bottom of the Denver location's SPECIFIC PAGE--I should've known.

Microbrews on tap included only two Sam Adams (Summer Ale, Boston Lager) and two New Belgium (they DO distribute in Colorado, lord do they distribute in Colorado) taps, and a Sierra Nevada. Kind of the "mega" end of the "micro" spectrum, no? The New Belgium was the obligatory and mediocre Fat Tire, and the Skinny Dip summer seasonal. Plus the usual suspects among the imports--Bass, Guinness, Harp, Stella, Paulaner Hefe, Kronenbourg 1664, Amstel Light.

I was disappointed (ask ferment everything, this is NOT a thrilling draft list), because someone who knows what I like thought to send me here, insisted I try it and report back. My bad; it is obvious I haven't made myself clear, you know? And now in the next few days I'll be talking to this very nice person who thinks she did me a favor and found me my new favorite bar...I'm going to go with, yes we enjoyed it, very lovely space, pity it's so far away...

I very much like sports bars but I remember a TVs-in-the-bar thread here which makes it clear I'm in the minority, on this website; but even I do not like the wall-of-monitors effect the Denver outpost of Bar Louie has. A sports-bar impresario friend of mine (he's opened eight) says the TVs should be set so that the bar patron does not have to turn his head upward at too steep an angle to view them (he says, if you feel tension in your neck, we've screwed up); in this the Denver Bar Louie has failed rather dramatically, though perhaps your local Gallery Place unit has this relatively simple thing under control.

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A sports-bar impresario friend of mine (he's opened eight) says the TVs should be set so that the bar patron does not have to turn his head upward at too steep an angle to view them (he says, if you feel tension in your neck, we've screwed up); in this the Denver Bar Louie has failed rather dramatically, though perhaps your local Gallery Place unit has this relatively simple thing under control.

I'd say not. We sat at a table in the bar area, and the TVs are high enough to be seen by the entire room. Those sitting at the bar itself will likely be craning their neck.

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The Bar Louis near me in Columbus has a fabulous patio, which draws crowds on nice days. Unfortunately, the food is processed corporate junk and the service is always rushed and surly. Regardless, the location is favorable, prices are cheap, and packs of young people crowd the tables feeling cool, while nearby authentic establishments (one hosting very fine blues music) barely scrape by. I had to go to Bar Louie for a few work-related events, and one wedding-related thing. At the wedding thing, a post-reception meet up, one of my friends was gay bashed by a dude and his bros at the next table. Never again.

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We hit the Bar Louie at Patriot Place in Foxborough MA a few weeks ago. They have a roof deck with fabulous views of Gillette Stadium. The food was decent and the service was better than I expected. Not a destination dining spot but perfectly acceptable.

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