Thursday 17 Apr

Smooth pop

Ah, springtime in Oklahoma and the joy of eating food from a street vendor. Just in time for the warm weather, two new mobile concepts want you to chill out.
04/16/2014 | Comments 0


No single holiday has done more to ruin the reputation of eggs than Easter.
04/16/2014 | Comments 0

Plane food

Ozzie’s Diner

1700 Lexington Ave., Norman


What works: No-frills diner food served fast and friendly.      

What needs work: Seating is slightly cramped.     

Tip: Come hungry; portions are huge.    

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Fresh off the farm

There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.

— By Devon Green

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Soccer pub crawl

Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.

— by Devon Green 

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/09/2014 | Comments 0

OGK7 eat: Dollars to doughnuts

While the idea of fried dough may or may not be American in origin, the traditional ring-shaped confection that we know and love does originate here. According to The Smithsonian, doughnuts were created by an enterprising New England sailor’s mother who wanted a way to store and transport pastry. Regardless of its origin, the doughnut is a modern favorite.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman 

04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Louie’s latest
Restaurant Reviews

Louie’s latest

It’s new digs for Louie’s in Nichols Hills, and the impressive place runs like the proverbial well-oiled machine.

Carol Smaglinski October 5th, 2011

“Let’s go to Louie’s!” That’s the frequent chant I hear bellowing from friends of mine when we try to come to a decision on where to eat.

The 16th Louie’s Grill & Bar, 7300 N. Western, just made its debut, and the Oklahoma-based concept is popping up around town with more to come. Calling itself a casual American-fare grill, there are Louie’s all over the metro, plus others in Broken Arrow, Jenks, Stillwater and Tulsa. Beyond this, there is a Louie’s in Fayetteville, Ark., and another in Wichita, Kan.

Imagine, just eight years ago, the first Louie’s opened in Campus Corner.

from left, Jamie Forsyth, Mike Fuentez and Kate Kahmann at Louie’s

Louie’s is under the umbrella of the successful Norman-based Hal Smith Restaurant Group that has established its reputation and continues to soar. The Hal Smith group also runs several unbeatable franchises, including Charleston’s Restaurant, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse and Ted’s Cafe Escondido.

The group also runs the regional operations of Krispy Kreme, which is where Mike Fuentez, the general manager of the latest Louie’s, got his start. When asked how much weight he put on while working in that particular doughnut shop starting in June 2001, he said he actually lost 35 pounds in his first four months. He worked from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. with two-hour lines.

Fuentez, who entered Louie’s management program and became a managing partner, now owns a piece of the action. With nothing more than $10 on its menu, Louie’s is famed for burgers, plus pizza, salads, soups and sandwiches. There is also a full bar with wine, specialty drinks and beer.

More than a dozen flat-screen televisions command the handsome seating room at this latest Louie’s. Those televisions are tuned into many different sports events being broadcast simultaneously — unless the University of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State University are playing.

“It depends on how much orange or crimson we have in the building,” Fuentez said.

After work, the 5 p.m. crowd gathers around the bar. The outside patio looks welcoming, but it’s the sleek, modern decor of Louie’s and the comfortable chairs that most regulars enjoy.

Our music is playing all of the time for people in the mood for a cocktail.
—Mike Fuentez

“It’s been a good area so far,” Fuentez said. “Our busiest hours are for lunch, and we are usually full beginning at 11 to 11:15 a.m., and it goes on until 1:30 p.m. We get a lot of Chesapeake folks, and we give Chesapeake people a 10-percent discount. Our music is playing all of the time for people in the mood to have a nice cocktail and not have the music so loud that you can’t have a conversation.”

Walking through the doors, customers are greeted with a “Hi! Welcome to Louie’s!” from the servers. Patrons appreciate being noticed. It’s somewhat like “Cheers,” “where everybody knows your name.”

For larger groups, panels between tables come down, allowing everyone to sit together. Plantation shutters block unnecessary sunlight, and hanging on the burgundy-walled dining room and the inside lobby are stunning pieces of art, all gathered by Traci Smith, the daughter of Hal Smith.

Seating capacity, not counting the bar top, is 120. Groups of 25 to 30 come in, and they can be seated, but for anything that large, the crew would like prior notification.

The patio is seductive and holds 18 people. In spring of 2012, plans are to add up to six more tables.

When Louie’s started assembling its crew, there were a few rough spots.

During the long, hot summer of 2011, the newest Louie’s, 7300 N. Western, was in the midst of the remodeling and there was no air conditioning available because there was no electricity, which stunned the applicants. But they hustled along with Austin Wiggins, the food and beverage director in charge of hiring.

“It was horrible with 108 degrees outside and just two outlets in the whole building were working,” said Mike Fuentez, general manager. He said several employees on his staff, which now numbers approximately 42, came from other Louie’s in Edmond and in Moore and brought along their valuable experience.

“Several of our people worked at other Louie’s and still do work more than one job. Some actually have multiple jobs, but they come in knowing the job and where everything is,” Fuentez said.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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