Looking for a feel-good time? From lunchtime to dinnertime and those happiest of happy hours in between, look no further than Bar Louie. With the opening of its latest location at the Garden State Plaza earlier this month, this well-known, award-winning collection of neighborhood bars with a lively, social atmosphere is getting the party started in Paramus with a stellar mix of custom drinks, local craft beer and wines, specialty burgers, shareable snacks, and signature entrees.
We bopped on over last weekend to check out the rollicking scene and couldn’t have had a better time. Seated upstairs in an intimate industrial-style loft area, we got a great view of the whole place, which basically felt like the nicest sports bar we’ve ever been to. We particularly loved the garage-style windows lining the front, which look like they could be rolled up on a nice day. Along the grey brick wall lining the staircase were oversized metal letters spelling out what appears to be Bar Louie’s motto: “Eat, Drink, Be Happy.” Well, if they insisted, who were we to say no?
Let’s begin with the Eat. We started with an order of the Buffalo Chicken Totchos, which is a 14-inch platter carrying boneless buffalo chicken wings, tater tots, bacon, crispy tortilla chips, topped with four cheese blend, crispy onion strings, green onions, drizzled with queso, smoked onion ranch, and buffalo sauce. We defy anyone to find something not to like here.
Seeing as this place specializes in bar food, burgers were up next. We sampled two of their signatures: the adults-only Spiked Bourbon Burger, which is topped with cheddar, cream cheese, applewood smoked bacon, crispy onions, and a spiked housemade sauce made with premium Bulleit Bourbon; and the Backyard BBQ Burger, which is topped with cheddar, barbecue sauce, applewood smoked bacon, and crispy onion strings. Both arrived with our choice of fries or tater tots—fully loaded, of course.
We accompanied our “Eats” with “Drinks,” naturally: stoned fruit sangria, which had delicious flavors of Deep Eddy peach vodka, Skyy apricot vodka, Ruffino rose prosecco, lemonade, fresh lemon and orange, and a cute gummy peach rings in every glass. We couldn’t get enough of it, but there are plenty of other ways to imbibe, including more than 15 wines by the glass, 20 beers on tap, and more than 35 handcrafted cocktails (hint: martinis are marvelous here, especially their two most popular, the Clover and the Diva).
All of this, obviously, leads to the last part of the Bar Louie philosophy: “Be Happy!” Let’s just say it’s hard not to be at this place. From the great food and drinks to the friendly service, and head-bopping soundtrack, Bar Louie had us feeling like total VIPs with smiles on our faces from start to finish.
1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus (201) 834-0880
www.barlouie.com Mon-Sun: 11am – 2am Happy Hour: Mon – Fri: 4pm – 7pm