National Collection of Neighborhood Bars Newest Conversion Comes to The Avenue at White Marsh in Baltimore
In franchising, consistency is king. Every location offers the same layout, décor, menu and specials. While that may suit other brands, Bar Louie is taking a different approach that’s not only appreciated by guests – but intriguing multi-unit franchisees to invest. Bar Louie’s newest location that will open at the end of the month was a former Tilted Kilt. Conversion opportunities allow Bar Louie to take prominent positions in established markets that may otherwise be unavailable.
Bar Louie presents a collection of over 130 local social, casual gathering spots – neighborhood bars and eateries that feature hand-crafted cocktails, spirits and delectable food in an inviting, urban atmosphere. Each Bar Louie has a modern, relaxed vibe that expresses the brand’s identity, but no two locations are alike. Some are a cozy 2,400 square feet, while another boasts a roomy 10,000 square feet, with many other locations somewhere between. Layouts vary, as do local food and drink specials.
“Each individual Bar Louie contains its own set of diverse characteristics, yet we offer operational systems and a roadmap to set up franchisees for success,” said Bar Louie Director of Franchise & Real Estate, Jill Szymanski. “Our franchisees experience the best of both worlds – they benefit from proven operating systems and home office support, but also have the flexibility to cater to the local neighborhood flavor.”
While the “unfranchise” gains momentum with multi-unit operators seeking to expand their traditional restaurant portfolio with something different, Bar Louie offers options to convert existing restaurant spaces to Bar Louie which typically translates to a lower investment cost than those built from ground up. The portfolio consists of nearly half of the locations as conversions from either former restaurants or retail space. Each Bar Louie creates, on average, 75-100 jobs. Last year’s system wide sales were at $290 million.
SVP of New Business Development for Bar Louie, Chris Devlin attributes the success of existing locations and continued interest from franchisees in Bar Louie’s ability to fill a much-needed niche in the marketplace. “Consumers are starving for a local social gathering place that’s out of the ordinary – a place where people feel safe and comfortable to actually converse, not stare at their smartphones, and Bar Louie delivers on that.”
Just as no two locations are like, there is no “cookie-cutter” type of franchise partner for Bar Louie. While existing franchisees have owned a business, each owner comes from a unique facet of life. Similarly, guests range from ages 25 to 54 and more than 50 percent are women. Another distinction is Bar Louie’s four distinct day-parts – lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night – with the entire food and drink menu available all day, every day. This provides guests a perfect gathering place for family dinners, drinks with friends, watching sporting events and everything between. The average customer visit lasts longer than two hours.
Founded in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in 1991, Bar Louie emerged from local restaurants and sandwich shops opened by its founders, Ted Kasmir and Roger Greenfield. When Bar Louie was first established, its two founders set out with a goal to continue the tradition of these shops while also giving local residents dining and beverage options for each part of the day. The “Louie” sandwich was a staple of the early restaurants and is still served at Bar Louie establishments across the country. In 2010 Bar Louie was purchased by Sun Capital, helping build infrastructure to grow in new neighborhoods.
Bar Louie is a national collection of neighborhood bars featuring hand-crafted cocktails and spirts, delectable food and an inviting atmosphere for people to enjoy time with friends and mingle with new people. Founded in 1991 by Ted Kasmir and Roger Greenfield, Bar Louie has more than 130 locations across the United States and is growing through both franchising and corporate locations. Open during four parts of the day – lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night – Bar Louie is an award-winning concept with a progressively hip and lively atmosphere. To learn about franchising opportunities with Bar Louie, go to http://www.barlouie.com/franchise.