Why do you do it to us, Minneapolis restaurant owners? Open a patio of the year candidate at the tail end of the season, that is.
Like Amore Victoria last year, Bar Louie is entering the al fresco fray as prime patio days are fading. The Dallas-based chain opened the doors Thursday on its expansive new digs in Uptown's MoZaic building behind the Lagoon Cinema.
Similar to Primebar, which broached the Hennepin-Lake nightlife scene this summer, Bar Louie's pushing a better-than-bar-food menu (available every night till 2 a.m.) with a tap lineup 40-deep and an array of signature cocktails.
The real star of the 7,200 square foot pub is the wading pool on the South Beach-vibing terrace (feel free to roll up those pant legs and meander in), with swanky tiled booths nestled against the perimeter.
Owner Eric Fortney knows he's got stiff competition on the Uptown patio restaurant circuit, especially with nearby Stella's and Cafeteria boasting rooftop views. But an elevated standard only makes him work harder, says Fortney, who also owns downtown Minneapolis college bar Brother's and another Bar Louie franchise in Columbus, Ohio.
"If you're opening a restaurant in Uptown, you can't bring your B game," Fortney says.