By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 18, 2006 at 5:32 AM

Bar Louie, a chain bar and restaurant with 17 locations in Illinois, Florida, Kentucky and Ohio, plans to open in the old Brew City BBQ space, 1114 N. Water St., on June 15. Brew City recently moved around the corner to 125 E. Juneau Ave.

Bar Louie is like the Cheesecake's Factory hip brother, specializing in mammoth sandwiches and jumbo martinis. They also serve appetizers, pastas and entrees, ranging in price from $3.99 to $12.99. Small or large plates are available for most menu items.

The menu at one Chicago location includes calamari, salads, pizza, hummus, tabouli, giant muffaletta sandwiches, blackened Cajun meatloaf, sausage and chicken etouffe, seafood jambalaya, pork chops and New York strip steak.

The bar also features an assortment of microbrews and wine by the glass or bottle. Downtown drinkers and show-goers will appreciate Louie's late-night dining option, with a 2 a.m. closing time for the kitchen.

Bar Louie's décor has an urban feel, with exposed brick walls, lots of nightlife photography and hand-set tiled artwork. The Water Street building, occupied by Brew City since 1991, is 96 years old and almost 13,000 sq. ft.

Bar Louie management was tight-lipped about its plans for Milwaukee, but being a chain restaurant, there are plenty of reviews out there of other locations.

"Unlike the the other mini-chains, Bar Louie offers patrons a designer establishment with upscale pub grub and a pleasant atmosphere," wrote a reviewer on "Bar Louie food is quite well known due to the success of the original location in River North on Chicago Avenue. The fare is described in the 2002 edition of Zagat's Chicago Restaurants survey as, 'better-than-average bar food.'"

Of another Chicago location, wrote, "Deftly walking the line between chain bar and Chicago staple ... patio seating, more than 20 bottled and draft beers and a smattering of above-par tacos, sandwiches and burgers are available for those seeking the casual neighborhood pub. An upscale urban eatery with not-to-be-beaten martinis and decadent desserts are there for those in the mood for a bit more."

"The high-backed velvet furniture is elegant and comfortable, but there are playing TVs, a pool table and loud rock music," wrote of a location in that city. "The long, dense menu includes high-class items -- tempura tuna roll and hazelnut-crusted trout with chili-rubbed shrimp sauce - but its soul is much more down to earth -- jambalaya, grilled pork chops, burgers and chicken Caesar salad."

Bar Louie franchises will open this summer in Cleveland, St. Louis and Grand Rapids, Mich. Currently, most of the Bar Louie franchises are in the Chicago area.

Restaurants-America, Inc. owns the Milwaukee Bar Louie franchise, and the company soon will open Red Star Tavern in the first floor of the eight-story River Renaissance condominium development in the Historic Third Ward.

Roger Greenfield and Ted Kasemir -- who own Restaurants-America, Inc. -- opened the first Bar Louie in Chicago's River North in 1991.

Bar Louie will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.