Friday, December 19, 2014


Belly Up

Bar Louie: the classy, yet affordable, happy hour hotspot

6/18/2014

First, can we all just take a moment to applaud the nightlife gods on a job well done for introducing the Bar Louie franchise to the metro?

The new restaurant, located near the Nike Factory Store by Jordan Creek Town Center, offers a fun environment and a lively crowd of all ages. A large patio with both high tables and cozy lounge chairs sits beside the parking lot. Booths and tables line the interior of the restaurant, and a full bar sits at the center.

Bar Louie opened in West Des Moines on May 13.

Bar Louie opened in West Des Moines on May 13.

Its modern décor suits the West Des Moines area perfectly, making it more of an upscale lounge great for dinner parties or dates. Just don’t count on a lot of intimate conversation during peak hours — the large crowds it draws make it a bit loud, though not unpleasant.

When the weather is nice, the walls open up to bring the sunlight and warm Iowa summer inside, counteracting the dim lighting for the perfect happy hour atmosphere.

DM Art Center

And speaking of happy hour, you can get two martinis and a deliciously flavored flatbread at Bar Louie’s for less than $20 — good luck ordering a regular pizza with a six-pack for that price.

Crowds have been filling nearly every table since Bar Louie opened on May 13, which explains all the friendly staff running around behind the bar and in the kitchen.

Cody King, one of the many bartenders there, said they’ve had a great opening.

That comes as no surprise once you’ve taken a little time to sit down and enjoy the energy, food and, of course, the drinks. I ordered a Peach Lightning cocktail to start. Served in a mason jar, it was sweet and not too potent.

And then came the martini. Meet the new Rat Pack: made with Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth and an olive garnish. When I ordered it, King looked at me in surprise and said to a fellow bartender, “This girl’s drinking a Rat Pack — I’m impressed.”

Now, I’ll admit I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into with that one. I didn’t drink all of it, and like King pointed out when he came around 30 minutes later and it was still more than half full, it goes down much slower than the sweet drinks. But the staff there does know how to make a good drink — check out the video online for a preview of “the Louie Shake” as King made the Rat Pack.

The restaurant opens at 11 a.m., and the kitchen stays open until close. Weekly specials include both food and drink, like $5 Burger Night on Tuesdays and Blues and Brews on Thursdays, where customers can enjoy music from local artists with a selection of drafts on tap.

And don’t miss today’s (Thursday, June 19) special: half-priced signature martinis all day in celebration of National Martini Day. Whether you like your drinks stiff or sweet, there are plenty to choose from. CV

BAR LOUIE

Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday

$3.25 drafts, $4.25 wines, $5.25 signature martinis. Half-price flatbreads and select appetizers. $5 specialty burgers with tots or fries 5 p.m. to close on Tuesdays.

Best of DM