Bar Louie closes; employees let go by e-mail



By Brittany Abeijon

Bar Louie, 510 E. John St., closed Monday after two years in Champaign. The space the restaurant occupied is now for sale.

Kelly Kircher, from the corporate office in Chicago, said the problems were financial.

“We couldn’t keep up with the dollar beers that other campus restaurants have,” he said.

Bar Louie opened in Champaign on Feb. 1, 2006, and is known for its signature martinis, wine bar and selection of handcrafted beers. Weekly deals, including $1 burgers on Tuesdays, were also a staple of the campus location.

Zach Wagner, a former Bar Louie employee, said he and 40 other Bar Louie employees received an e-mail on Sept. 30 informing them that they no longer had jobs.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

In an e-mail to Restaurants-America, the company that owns Bar Louie, Wagner wrote that his managers were aware that all employees would no longer have jobs, but they withheld the information.

“It’s humbling when you walk by your job and see huge signs saying ‘For Sale’ and thought that just yesterday you were scheduled to work,” Wagner wrote.

Wagner wrote on behalf of his co-workers that Restaurants-America’s disastrous handling of the situation created lifetime enemies of the Restaurants-America brand name, sponsors and all vendors.

“(Restaurants-America’s) lack of hospitality is alarming,” Wagner wrote. “If all American companies were run like yours, this country would cease to be American.”