Bar Louie is coming!
Or, at least it has its liquor license and could be open "within 30 to 45 days," according to Bar Louie operator John Bonkowski.
Bonkowski and others attended Monday's Geneva City Council meeting, where the council voted unanimously to approve adding one Class B-3 Liquor License for a new Bar Louie location at 1602 Commons Drive.
"Are we a chain?" Bonkowski responded to a question from an alderman. "We’re actually a local bar that got really big. Right now, we're at 63 locations nationwide."
In the Chicago area, 15 percent of the Bar Louie businesses are franchised, Bonkowski said.
He describes the bar as "a gathering spot for the local community" that serves "oversized" food portions, mostly sandwiches, and specialty drinks.
"It's a casual-dining concept," he said. "We’re not trying to be an all-out restaurant (and not just a bar.) We try to bridge the gap between the two."
Louie's motto, according to the Bar Louie website, is "Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake."
The liquor license is the first step, Bonkowski said. He added that he hoped the bar/restaurant could be open "within 30 to 45 days."
According to its website, Bar Louie is "an eclectic urban bar with warm surroundings, filled with nightlife photography, hand-laid tile artwork and other local architectural touches.
"Made famous for our handcrafted signature martinis, we also feature an exceptional selection of uniquely presented American food traditionally and regionally inspired, including small plates, burgers and sandwiches."
The bar boasts an extensive selection of imports, microbrews and more than 20 wines by the glass. Bar Louis serves signature martinis, mojitos and margaritas "made from the highest quality ingredients, fresh fruit and hand squeezed juices."
"We are dedicated to always remaining a local bar that delivers unforgettable experiences to every guest," the website says. "Whether gathering with friends or unwinding with a cocktail, Bar Louie guests have come to expect the remarkable service and reliable experiences from us that keep them coming back over and over again."
Mayor Kevin Burns said he and City Attorney Charles Radovich were impressed when they visited the Chicago Bar Louie.
"We’ve been to your location on Michigan Avenue, and it's lovely," Burns said.