The Restaurant Development Group (RDG), the company that owns Bar Louie, missed a January deadline to apply for certain building permits it needed to complete the construction of its new Hyde Park location, delaying the process several more weeks. After facing permit and zoning problems for nearly six months, the Hyde Park venue of Bar Louie now tentatively plans to open on March 1.
"We had originally planned to open on February 15, but now it will be around the beginning of March," said Liza Lathoris, director of marketing and public relations for RDG.
The Hyde Park Bar Louie, located on the ground floor of the Flamingo, an apartment building at 5500 South Shore Drive, was originally scheduled to open several months ago, but had trouble acquiring the permits to construct an entrance from the sidewalk.
The new establishment also encountered Flamingo residents' concerns about potential late-night noise in the building.
Despite the difficulties, Lathoris said that RDG never contemplated pulling out of the venture. "This kind of stuff has happened before, and it will probably happen again," she said.
According to Lathoris, the zoning and permit issues that caused the initial delay have been resolved, and this last setback is only a matter of bureaucratic procedure. "The city of Chicago has deadlines for certain permits, and if you don't make them you have to wait," she said.
RDG is confident that there will be no more postponements in the future and maintains that they are poised to open in March.
Student reactions to the new bar are mixed. Residents who live in Shoreland, Broadview, and surrounding apartments have expressed enthusiasm about the addition of new cuisine and nightlife to the area, while others feel that Bar Louie may be too upscale and isolated to attract a significant portion of the student body.
"It's too far away," said Mike Tessel, a third-year in the College. "It's hard to justify going all the way over to the lake when I live on campus and things are going on here."
Bar Louie is currently looking to hire. Students interested in applying for jobs at Bar Louie are encouraged to contact RDG as soon as possible, Lathoris said.