Eat, Drink, Be Happy
by Melissa LaScaleia
Thomas Stevens is the owner and operator of the Myrtle Beach franchise location, Bar Louie. There are one hundred and forty Bar Louies nationwide; the brand originated in Chicago in 1991.
Thomas is originally from Texas, and spent most of his life working in the restaurant industry in Atlanta, Georgia. He eventually returned to his roots and moved back to Texas. His wife’s family is from Charleston, and after some years, the two decided to relocate to this area to be closer to her relatives, and settled on Myrtle Beach as home.
“I was looking around for concepts and new ideas of what I could do when I discovered Bar Louie,” Thomas says. “I moved forward with the venture and bought the franchise for this area.”
The trendy restaurant/bar embodies a contemporary style, serving easy but innovative American fare like gourmet craft burgers; sandwiches; an assortment of flatbreads like roasted veggies and buffalo chicken; and always-fan-favorites like flash-fried calamari; shrimp tempura; and Bavarian pretzels.
There’s also a variety of entree options. Appetizers designed for sharing cater to groups of friends gathering for bites and brews to enjoy over conversation or a game.
“Most of our menu items are made from scratch, including our sauces,” Thomas says. “And we serve fantastic desserts.
“I would describe us as an upscale casual American bistro eatery meets bar, gastro-pub. Basically, an upscale bar with really good food. And the prices are fair, especially for Broadway at the Beach.”
Bar Louie is the spot to watch football on the weekends— they have about twenty-six HD TVs. Larger games are broadcasted over the sound system.
“It’s a great place to come to have lunch or dinner, meet up with friends, and share appetizers and enjoy our happy hour menus,” Thomas says. “This is a place where all ages can fit in and have a good time and feel comfortable: teenagers, couples, friends, work colleagues, and families. We have a kids menu and are very family friendly.”
Bar Louie has a lot of options for serving customers.
“We are fully capable of accommodating large parties because of the way our space is designed,” Thomas says.
They have a separate upstairs that will hold up to 100 people. In total, they can hold 330 people inside.
Additionally, there are two ample-sized outdoor patios which are open year-round and overlook Broadway at the Beach, affording great people watching any time of day or night.
Bar Louie hosts a series of fun events and specials throughout the week. There is live music on Friday nights beginning around 7pm. They hold an open mic night on Thursdays starting at 6:30pm. Burger Nation occurs on Tuesdays— with half-priced burgers from 4-8pm. They also offer a combo special: a burger and two draft beers for $11. They have brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with $10 bottomless mimosas from 10am-3pm.
Happy Hour runs all work-week long. Monday through Friday from 4pm-7pm they have $3.50 14oz beers; $4.50 glasses of wine; and $5.50 signature Martinis.
“We have great football specials all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday, including $15 buckets of some of the most well known beers; $4 fireball shots; and $3 house mixed drinks,” Thomas adds.
But the best part isn’t even a special— they serve their full menu until they close, every night until 2am. This is a rarity that will make locals and tourists alike rejoice, as there are a dearth of establishments along the Grand Strand that are open for hungry latecomers.
“I’m really optimistic about this space and this enterprise,” Thomas says. “Bar Louie is just a nice place to come visit. The food is good, and we draw locals as well as tourists. I really like the parent company, the support and mentorship they provide, and the people who are involved.
“Owning this, the environment is fun, and I really enjoy meeting so many new people. There are people here in Myrtle Beach from all over the country and world. And I have really great employees. Without their dedication and hard work, I couldn’t do what I do.”
“I’ve always loved the restaurant business,” he adds. “It’s a hard business, and the hours are long, but if you have a good attitude about it, then it’s just a joy, not a burden. Every day is different— there’s never a boring moment.