Preview: Bar Louie Opens in Overton Square
Overton Square's newest restaurant, Bar Louie, opened last weekend. Here's a quick preview of the square's huge new addition.
Yes, Bar Louie is a franchise of a national chain, but general manager Brian Bazar is trying to make it as Memphis as possible. "Basically, Bar Louie gave us a framework and said 'do whatever you want with it'," he said. "They gave us a great food and drink menu, but we've got a local staff and we use as many local vendors as we possibly can."
While I would love everything in Overton Square (and beyond) to be locally owned, I would also rather see something with great potential for success in the space than nothing at all. The more successful businesses concentrated in the Overton Square, the better.
I never went into any of the other clubs / restaurants that occupied the space at the corner of Madison and Cooper, but I like what Bar Louie has done with the place. The interior, which is decorated with dark wood and black and green upholstery, seats 150, and the patio will seat 120 when it's completed.
There are a ton of TVs in the restaurant; so many, in fact, that you can see them from every angle (which is great if you're there to watch a game).
I'm planning to go back soon for a full review of the food and drinks, mostly because I feel like it's unfair to judge a bar by how it is at 1 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon.
That didn't stop me from trying the chicken nachos.
Brian told me that they're one of the most popular things on the menu, and I can see why. They came topped with chicken, fresh jalepenos, black beans, and generous scoops of guacamole, pico and sour cream. I liked that they used queso (but not too much) instead of shredded cheese, but some of the chips were a little on the stale side. If you want to compare them to something, they're more like the nachos at Slider Inn than the ones at R.P. Tracks.
Most of the menu items are priced in the $7 – $15 range.
Bar Louie is open daily for lunch, dinner and late night dining. Right now, they've got liquor, wine and high gravity beers, and they're on the agenda to have the beer board hear their permit to serve regular beer next week.
Have you gone yet? What did you think? Is there anything on the menu that I have to try when I go back?