Your Friendly, Neighborhood Hangout

By Sophia Ricco

A local pub is taking bar food to the next level and wants to be your next hangout spot.

Bar Louie of Commack has earned a reputation as a place to have a casual drink – or a few more – with a sociable staff, a variety of games to play and nightly specials that draw in crowds.

“Nobody wants to go to a bar and be stiff. It should be comforting, welcoming and feel like home,” manager Jesse Eyrich said.

The crew at Bar Louie captures this home-like atmosphere by allowing themselves to be candid and casual with bar-goers. Their goal is for people to have fun and enjoy themselves. The bar recently added dartboards and a pool table to encourage mingling amongst friends and strangers alike.

“Really this is a place we curate for you to be yourself,” Phab, one of the gregarious waiters, said. “We want you to express yourself.”

“Anywhere you go you have some regulars, but I can’t even tell you the last time someone walked in who didn’t know Phab,” Eyrich said.

Weekly specials and happy hours brings in regulars along with new faces who can’t pass up deals like Tuesday’s $5 specialty burgers, Thursday’s wholly crafts, or half-priced apps and flatbreads for happy hour.

But it’s not just the deals that are appealing. Bar Louie has crafted its own twists on pub food that bring comfort to your taste buds while tickling them with unique flavors.

 Appetizers are perfect for sharing with the entire table. Bruschetta pomodoro ($9.49) is served in a huge martini glass with pieces of garlic bread fanned out and ready to be topped with a mix of tomato, basil, garlic, olive oil and red onion, topped with parmesan cheese.

Veggie lovers will be delighted by roasted veggie flatbread ($12.49) covered in fresh spinach and artichoke sauce, tomato, mushroom, balsamic onions, and a mozzarella and provolone cheese blend. It is one of their four delicious flatbreads offered, along with a seasonal option.

“We try to be gastropub-y on the low, since we incorporate a lot of different influences,” Phab said. “If you look at the menu, you’ll see everything from shrimp and chicken lettuce wraps that have an Asian influence to Tuscan-style chicken from Italy to quesadillas and tacos.”

Bar Louie is looking to revamp the menu in the year ahead with brand new dishes that emphasize tasty flavors.

“We want to get something out there that has a different flavor, it can entice your palate but still work in a bar-like atmosphere,” Eyrich said. “It’s easy and quick but you’re gonna get a lot of flavors with it.”

The kitchen has been testing various dishes, like a braised short rib ($21.99). The ultimate comfort food, the beef short rib is so soft, a knife isn’t necessary and it melts in your mouth. Doused in a red wine dijon reduction, the rib, along with roasted carrots, radishes, and potato wedges, come together in harmony.

“You have so much softness, Adam and Eve were made from this type of rib,” Phab joked.

The seared wild salmon ($17.99) will also take your taste buds on a journey. Served atop a spicy cauliflower “couscous,” it is dressed with mint, tomato, red onion, cucumber, and a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette. These lighter dinner options will allow a person to dance or play a game after munching.

“We haven’t changed our menu in awhile, so we’re gonna do something big, and we want people to be able to tell we changed our menu,” Eyrich said. “Even though the bar food works and it can be something good, we want to give people something they’ll enjoy.”

It’s easy to enjoy their six layers of chocolate on chocolate cake ($9.99), a heavenly confection.

Bar Louie
2115 Jericho Turnpike, Commack
(631) 410-8400 

Cuisine: Gastropub
Atmosphere: Modern and hip
Price Range: Appetizers, $8.99-$17.49; Salads, $8.99-$10.99; Plates, $10.99-$21.99.
Hours: Sunday-Saturday, 11a.m. - 2 a.m.