National Collection of Neighborhood Bars Attracts Franchisees Wanting
to “Break the Mold”
ADDISON, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In franchising, consistency is king. Every location offers the same
layout, décor, menu and specials. While that may suit other brands, Bar
Louie is taking a different approach that’s not only appreciated by
guests – but intriguing multi-unit franchisees to invest.
Louie presents a collection of 107 local social, casual gathering
spots – neighborhood bars and eateries that feature hand-crafted
cocktails, spirits and delectable food in an inviting, urban atmosphere.
Each Bar Louie has a modern, relaxed vibe that expresses the brand’s
identity, but no two locations are alike. Some are a cozy 4,000 square
feet, while another boasts a roomy 11,000 square feet, with many other
locations somewhere between. Layouts vary, as do local food and drink
“Each individual Bar Louie contains its own set of diverse
characteristics, yet we offer operational systems and a roadmap to set
up franchisees for success,” said Bar Louie CEO John Neitzel. “Our
franchisees experience the best of both worlds – they benefit from
proven operating systems and home office support, but also have the
flexibility to cater to the local neighborhood flavor.”
While the “unfranchise” gains momentum with multi-unit operators seeking
to expand their traditional restaurant portfolios with something
different, Bar Louie continues to grow at a pace of about 20
corporate-owned locations per year and a goal of 30 new franchises. Each
Bar Louie creates, on average, 75-100 jobs. Last year’s system wide
sales were at $237 million.
Neitzel attributes the success of existing locations and continued
interest from franchisees to Bar Louie’s ability to fill a much-needed
niche in the marketplace. “Consumers are starving for a local social
gathering place that’s out of the ordinary – a place where people feel
safe and comfortable to actually converse, not stare at their
smartphones, and Bar Louie delivers on that.”
Just as no two locations are alike, there is no “cookie-cutter” type of
franchise partner for Bar Louie. While existing franchisees have owned a
business, each owner comes from a unique facet of life. Similarly,
guests range from ages 25 to 54 and more than 50 percent are women.
Another distinction is Bar Louie’s four distinct day-parts – lunch,
happy hour, dinner and late night – with the entire food and drink menu
available all day, every day. This provides guests a perfect gathering
place for family dinners, drinks with friends, watching sporting events
and everything between. The average customer stays at a Bar Louie for
longer than two hours.
Founded in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in 1991, Bar Louie emerged
from local restaurants and sandwich shops opened by its founders, Ted
Kasmir and Roger Greenfield. When Bar Louie was first established, its
two founders set out with a goal to continue the tradition of these
shops while also giving local residents dining and beverage options for
each part of the day. The “Louie” sandwich was a staple of the early
restaurants and is still served at Bar Louie establishments across the
country. In 2010 Bar Louie was purchased by Sun Capital, helping the
brand to build infrastructure to grow in new neighborhoods.
About Bar Louie
Bar Louie is a national collection of neighborhood bars featuring
hand-crafted cocktails and spirits, delectable food and an inviting
atmosphere for people to enjoy time with friends and mingle with new
people. Founded in 1991 in Chicago, Bar Louie has more than 100
locations across the United States and is growing through both
franchising and corporate locations. Open during four parts of the day –
lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night – Bar Louie is an award-winning
concept with a progressively hip and lively atmosphere. For more
information on Bar Louie, visit www.barlouie.com.
To learn about franchising opportunities with Bar Louie, go to www.barlouie.com/franchise.
Fishman Public Relations
Amanda Gualtieri, (847) 945-1300