Bar Louie-Kirkwood (110 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood; 314-238-2300)
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Deal: $3 drafts, $4 wines, $5 signature martinis, half-off select small plates
The Scene: Bar Louie in Kirkwood is almost always bustling, but that's especially true during happy hour. Gut Check moseyed down to Bar Louie after hearing several rave reviews of its happy-hour food and drink specials from friends. The interior is dimly lit, even at 4 p.m., radiating an upscale feel, and by 4:30 p.m. on a Monday the place was packed. Always a fan of people-watching, Gut Check surveyed the clientele and surmised that Bar Louie in Kirkwood is a hangout for business people seeking a casual drink on their way home from work. Suits and stilettos abound, and the moderately priced menu reflected a customer base with a little extra dough.
The beer list was underwhelming with only a handful of options on tap. The selection was mostly American domestic beers, with imported beers peppered in. Bar Louie's wine selection, however, offers a more extensive and well-rounded selection. The large happy-hour food menu features regular American bistro fare such as burgers, sandwiches and Buffalo chicken. While our server was quick and attentive, none of the food seemed to arrive quite warm enough. The staff all seemed to be swamped by the after-work rush, and food was not coming out in a timely manner.
Why You'll Back: If you're looking to meet a colleague, potential client or friend after work, Bar Louie in Kirkwood is a safe bet. The menu is guaranteed to have something for everyone, but it may not be the best "something" you've ever had -- though the price will probably be right.
The Verdict: Gut Check left feeling underwhelmed by Kirkwood's Bar Louie. Everything was decent, but nothing impressed us. Then again, its cheap eats and drinks are straightforward, inexpensive and achieve their goals, so who are we to argue otherwise?