On The Rocks
Bar Louie offers great food, drinks & family atmosphere in Greenwood
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Amy Payne
Several factors have conspired to make Bar Louie one of the southside’s most popular restaurants after a mere 24 months in business.
Frank Sweeney, managing partner with Bar Louie’s Greenwood, Carmel and Mishawaka franchises, says the prime location of the southside eatery at the highly-trafficked Greenwood Park Mall, coupled with its distinctive physical layout and extensive food and drink menu, propelled Bar Louie into Johnson County’s culinary spotlight relatively quickly.
“I think we’ve started to make a name for ourselves in the Greenwood market,” Sweeney says. “Every market is different, and what we like most about Greenwood is that it’s really true to that neighborhood community feel, where everybody around the southside is from the southside and kind of knows everybody else. We’ve gotten that true neighborhood bar feel that we really love.”
After settling on a space formerly occupied by BRAVO Italian eatery, Sweeney and his partners set about renovating the interior to provide something refreshingly different for southside diners and officially opened to the public, armed with a staff of approximately 70 employees, in December 2015.
“I like to have a grand feel when walking into a restaurant, and we have 16-foot ceilings,” Sweeney says. “We were able to build a big center island bar, which is kind of our concept – we always have an island bar so there’s no dead-ends or corners. Whenever we build a space we always want to make sure the bar is kind of the focal point of the restaurant, even though we are family friendly. We like to have that bar focus, so the space worked out perfectly for our concept.”
Signature burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads and distinctive plates like blackened fish street tacos and voodoo pasta are all part of the sizeable menu, along with martinis, margaritas, mojitos and a local beer selection. Several weekly specials have become popular with Greenwood locals, including $5 burger nights on Tuesdays, five-beer buckets for $6 on Wednesdays and Girls Night Out Thursdays with deals on signature martinis and half-off wine bottles.
Sweeney plans to launch at least three new Bar Louie franchises around the state over the next three to four years and hopes each one will have the local flavor and repeat customer base that marks Bar Louie’s Greenwood presence.
“Up on the north side you have a lot of people who are maybe Chicago transplants or other places,” he says. “The southside is very true to people being homegrown from the southside, and it’s a really nice community feel that we’ve built down there. We thrive on having a regular customer base, where you know before people walk in what they like to order. That’s kind of cool for us to be able to have so many regulars and those personal relationships.”
Bar Louie is located at the Greenwood Park Mall at 1251 U.S. 31 North. For more information call 317-215-5400 or visit barlouie.com.