Bar Louie in Overton Square: A Mixed Bag for Food and Drinks, but Still Lots of Fun.

On National Martini Day, I took my inaugural visit with several friends to Bar Louie in Overton Square and ordered a Rat Pack, a somewhat naughty combination of vodka, gin, dry vermouth and olives.

Since the drink’s vodka (Grey Goose) and gin (Bombay Sapphire) are two of my long-time favorites, I was excited to try the cocktail, until the martini pictured at the left showed up. The bar had run out of martini glasses and olives, which pretty much killed the martini moment for me.

Our server did bring olives to our table, but by then our drinks were lukewarm. We drank them anyway and ordered another round. At $5 each (a half-price special), we couldn’t complain too loudly.

Still, service at Bar Louie was slow and, at times, uninformed. Our server was very nice, but brought a Bourbon Bullet instead of bourbon on the rocks and seemed confused about what bourbon on the rocks should look like. When I asked her to explain spicy giardiniera, a topping for the Louie burger, she compared it to marinara sauce. It was, in fact, a pickled veggie relish.

Fortunately, there are things to like about Bar Louie, opened since early April at the intersection of Cooper and Madison across the street from Local Gastropub. For starters, it is helping to revive Overton Square, and its spacious patio that curves around the corner has lots of great seating options, including bar tables for large parties and comfy sofas for more intimate gatherings.

The menu is a fairly standard bar mix of salads, sandwiches, burgers and large plates. We were a table of six and ordered from across the menu, and some of the food was just fine, especially for an evening of drinks with friends.

My advice is to stick with traditional bar choices. The Louie burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare, the drunken fish and chips were beer-battered, crispy and served with a mound of seasoned fries and the baked mac and cheese was hot, cheesy (four kinds) and made with fusilli. I really liked it. There is also a fun night out vibe to the place, which makes Bar Louie exactly what it is supposed to be: a place to “eat, drink and be happy” until the early morning hours.

Bar Louie, 2125 Madison (901-207-1436)


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