The 28-year-old Dallas-based franchise operation, with more than 100 locations nationwide, landed in Minneapolis in 2012, a major tenant in the initial phase of Uptown’s Mozaic West office-parking-retail development. The restaurant’s patio (pictured, above) occupied a considerable percentage of the building’s public plaza.
In 2013, Bar Louie took over a former Applebee's at Ridgedale in Minnetonka, with a patio overlooking the mall’s scenic western parking lot. That location quietly closed on April 4. The Uptown closure puts an end to Bar Louie's presence in Minnesota.
"Unfortunately, our franchised Bar Louie Uptown and Bar Louie Ridgedale locations were not thriving at their Minneapolis and Minnetonka locations, and the franchisee close to close them," said a Bar Louie spokesperson in a statement. "As a company, we are sad about this turn of events with our franchisee and to be leaving these Minnesota communities."
Uptown continues to experience some major restaurant turnover. Three-year-old Coup d’etat departed its enormous footprint last fall, and the space was recently occupied by another edition of Pourhouse.
After a 36-year run, Davanni’s Pizza & Hot Hoagies pulled the plug on its Lake-and-Hennepin location last summer; it’s being replaced by Minnesota’s first branch of Bonchon, which specializes in Korean-style fried chicken. Another longtime fast-food-er, Arby’s, departed in January, an occasion that launched a candelight vigil for its iconic hat-shaped sign.
The Lotus, a Vietnamese classic that got its start in the 1980s at Hennepin and 31st, returned to Uptown last year in a building that had housed four restaurant tenants over the previous five years. In February, Fig + Farro, a vegetarian restaurant, moved into Calhoun Square, settling into a space that, over the past decade, has been home to Parella, Primebar, Il Gatto and Figlio.
Tinto Cocina + Cantina left its Bryant-and-Lake quarters last spring to relocate to 50th and Penn (and taking on a new name: Tinto Kitchen); the team behind Saint Dinette is refashioning the space into Maven, a Montreal-style bagel shop and bar. Look for a June opening.
The former Scena Tavern – another gigantic chunk of real estate – has remained empty for two years. And on 31st Street, the former Lucia’s Restaurant space has been dark since October.