Very Early PoP Preview and More Info on Lou’s City Bar Opening Soon in Columbia Heights

Wed. afternoon I had the opportunity to chat with Lou’s general manager, Terry Cullen, to talk about Columbia Height’s long anticipated sports bar. Lou’s City Bar will be located across from the Best Buy sign on the south side of the 1400 block of Irving St, NW. So let me start with some facts – the space is 4,000 square feet and looks even bigger than that because of the very cool architectural details done by GTM architects (photos after the jump, you can easily see wires where all the tvs will go.) What strikes you right away when you walk in is the high curved ceiling. Occupancy load will be 150 inside and in the warmer months there will be a patio section out front.

The beer mix will consist of seasonal local breweries and a few standards like Guinness. There will also be 24 beers available in bottles. Make no mistake this’ll be a sports bar with a bit of Irish flavor.

Though the menu can best be described as Americana – Angus burgers, steaks, prime rib, wings, specialty sandwiches including an unbelievably sounding BLT. Prices will range from less than $8 for appetizers, $9-$11 for sandwiches, $8 and up for burgers and $14-$18 for entrees. There will also be a three course option of salad, entree, and dessert for $25.

If all goes according to plan the soft opening will take place in early March. Stay tuned for more updates as opening date approaches. And stay tuned for an update on what will become of the CommonWealth space later Thurs. morning.

Update: Lou’s Web site is now live as well. It says:

“Welcome to DC’s newest neighborhood sports bar, opening THIS March at 1400 Irving Street NW, a half block west of 14th Street and the Columbia Heights Metro. Lou’s City Bar features a 45-foot bar with 24 taps, 14 high def TV’s and a heated outdoor patio (coming soon) on Irving Street.”

A few more photos of the inside after the jump.

49 Comment

  • Did commonwealth close?

  • Just catching up today. Wow. Did nor see that coming re commonwealth.

  • Just gotta say that logo is FABULOUS.

    It’s got everything — the stars, the seal, the shape of the district. Makes me happy just looking at it.

    Good luck to Lou.

    • Funny how this stuff is so subjective. I was just thinking how the logo is just this side of lame. Pretty pedestrian and full of obvious visual elements.

      It’s sort of like the knee jerk response to being asked to design a logo for a _________ located in DC. Stars from the flag, red of course, slap the District seal in there somewhere – oh! how about the District outline! Perfect. Can we fit a beer mug in there, or a plate of hot wings?

      The space looks beautiful, though. I will most definitely be drinking there.

      • i’m with you – looks like a quick photoshop treatment after doing a google search for DC clip art.

        i’m also with you in that i will most definitely imbibe there 🙂

        • As a designer, the logo made me cringe. But as stated, “art” is subjective.

          The interior, however, looks pretty nice. Jealous that it didn’t exist when I lived there!

          • I’m a designer as well, and I spend half my time talking clients out of this approach. I’m loving the interior design, though, so hats off to whatever shop did that for them.

            Love the barrel ceiling. Is there an acoustic advantage to that type of ceiling?

          • FWIW — design as well; take heart Lou! red and black are working well here; stronger than for example the DC United shield and doesn’t remind one of the common red/black commi symbolism. Friendly font, balance of the stripes and stars… good on ya… I won’t give a damn if these others inspire you to change it, but it is fine with me.

  • Bit of unsolicited advice to Lou’s: during the soft-opening, offer a discount on food to account the inevitable kinks that go along with opening a new restaurant.

    Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • Looks fantastic! One TINY decor nit … I love all the wood beams, arches, and accents, and in a few spots there is a bit of a clash between the modern touches (like white ceiling tiles next to the arches, or those odd blue panels) with the wood accents …. but I imagine once completed with TV’s in place and so on this may be abated. But again, this is a tiny nit, and they are clearly putting more time into making this look great than your typical sports bar, which is a good sign.

    I am sure I will spend a lot of time here during March Madness and NFL season (please be one next year!!!). The test to their survival will be whether they can still bring people in during the long, slow (for a sports bar), non-World Cup summers … and that will come to down quality of food. I hope they keep the menu small and well-executed, rather than doing the typical sports bar put-a-ton-of-mediocrities on the menu type approach. All they need is 5-7 really good options, and they will be packed. Especially because there is really no place to get a good steak around here.

  • Meh. Not enough grime.

    • just go in, order shots, and puke a bunch of times. that smell is hard to get rid of.

    • I came here to say the same thing. I am so damn sick of bars these days being all open and airy and bright. Give me dark wood paneling, dark tinted windows and let me drink in the cave man was meant to drink in. DC is a town of serious uggos. I don’t need that accentuated.

      • Go to Town Hall in College Park. That’s a nice dive bar.

      • you sound like you’d love the Raven and Red Derby! Both are awesome…although i think Raven is much more gritty and more fun!

      • Do us a favor and hit the road so we have one less uggo to look at.

        • haha, that comment was definitely in jest, although I am a lifetime DC resident and I am certainly nothing special to look at. The Raven and Red Derby are definitely the decor I like, but definitely not gritty unless you count wall to wall hipsters as gritty. Dan’s is a classic as well.

    • I was, of course, being a little facetious. If folks like Champps, then to each his own.

    • Agreed. Way too sterile. And what’s up with those blue and white panels? There’s nothing Irish about this place. (Not that any of this will get in the way of my drinking there…)

  • If Terry is reading the comments – Please please please have vegetarian options outside of the typical morning star veggie burger. One of the reasons we love going to Meridian Pint is that I can CHOOSE between several options – entree, sandwich or otherwise. If I have to eat the same thing every time I go to your restaurant, the chance of me going more than once a month greatly diminishes.

    • +1 From a vegetarian who hates Morningstar Farms veggie burgers! 😀

    • Hear hear!

      Hope to see some good vegan options. I’d be there all the time if they have veggie wings with a decent buffalo sauce. And a creative vegan club sandwich.

      Looks like it could be a fun place!

  • Does this bar have any relation to Dominican Lou?

  • FINALLY. I can get a taste of Bailey’s and Kitty O’Shea’s without having to trek all the way to Ballston.

  • I love the gymnasium/National Guard armory barrel roof. That’s a nice touch.

  • what’s so “unbelievably sounding” about a BLT?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Hahaha, that’s a fair question – I lost my concentration after he said soaked in maple syrup…

    • It doesn’t have strawberry mint aioli and truffle oil slathered all over it, and is not served with a side of duck fat cupcakes.

  • Whatever they do, don’t emulate the Blue Banana. That place is deservedly empty. Had such high hopes and kept going back & back, giving it another try. It just sucks. I’m done trying. Looking forward to Lou’s.

  • Looking forward to it! I was wondering when they would finally finish that up. Looks like almost all the retail spaces by the Tivoli are now spoken for. Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • SusanRH

    The problem with bright and airy sports bars is the glare on the TV’s. Hopefully this will somehow be addressed

    • +1

      All in all I am excited, with Momo’s gone on U St the only real sports bar option on U or Columbia Heights is Nelly’s.

      Meridian Pint and Duffy’s have a bunch of TV’s, but I want a no hold’s barred sports establishment. Looking forward to trying it out.

  • what makes something specifically a “city bar”? does lou have a “rural bar” that we could check out?

  • Results – The Bar!

  • I’m stoked for this. And amen on the logo, brother. That’s slick.

  • I will be coming from Australia for this

  • good luck terry. it looks great and its bound to succeed if your at the helm

  • logo should be on a pizza box from Adams morgan.Chrissakes someone please just open a legit deli or BBQ banana? don’t we already have a gay sports bar in DC?

  • lou’s is beautiful inside, i want that ceiling at my house.Great job, T.C.! I know with Terri and Teddy in there it’ll be a ‘class joint’ cheers!

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