First look at Sleep Out Louie’s: Big space, good menu, welcoming staff; domestic beer prices high

My first home away from home, post-moving Downtown in 2002, was Sleep Out Louie’s. The lawyers’ bar at 88 Union was my spot and my initial entry into the Downtown crew. Between Fish Races, Pam & Terry, Charlie Wood, Steak Night and more we had a great, great time there for many years. So I was happy to hear Sleep Out’s made a comeback this week, in a new location next door to Texas de Brazil on Second.

The menu (click for a larger size). The manager went through the menu with me and it is clear that they plan on delivering some quality food at a very reasonable price point.

The PBR was $4 a can. They told me they’re going to have some great mixed drink specials, and that they’re going to have some great domestic beer specials on happy hour. That’s good news. But if I start somewhere else and come to your bar at 8 PM, I’m paying $4 a PBR? That’s a dollar a beer more than several bars a block away and you know it. Perhaps you could get away with $3.50 because of your legacy among those of us who remember you. But $4? Just because you manage other bars on Beale doesn’t mean you can charge similar prices in the Downtown core and expect to get away with it.

I did have the pleasure of seeing throwback (not old) regulars from the former location. In our 40s and our hair is all real, what more can you ask for?

If you go this weekend, they don’t have their liquor license yet and are still getting beer deliveries, so don’t fault them for that. Give what they do have a try. Menu looks good and very reasonably priced. Fix the costs of domestic beers and you could have a winner.