The newly remodeled Louie’s Grill, 7422 Madison St., opened its doors Monday morning to hungry patrons who have gone without the restaurant’s fare for the three months it was closed for renovations.
After receiving an OK from the village council in February to expand into neighboring space that was once occupied by the shuttered Kazzbar, Louie’s began transforming the tiny corner restaurant into a bigger, sleeker “’50s-themed diner,” as co-owner Ellen Politis described it. In March, Politis and her husband and co-owner, Louie, closed the eatery for remodeling.
The kitchen and adjoining bar are now at the restaurant’s rear, and there is seating in what were portions of the old Louie’s and Kazzbar. The dcor is black, white and red and does conjure images of another era.
On Monday, Ellen Politis busily tended to customers paying their tabs at the register; many of whom were thrilled at the re-opening of the Madison Street eatery.
“This is the best restaurant in Forest Park,” said Matthew Allen, who has lived in Forest Park for 12 years. “They’re friendly, the service is great, they know everybody … the best.”
Ellen, too, exchanged “thank yous” and other kind words with customers (many addressed as “sweetheart”) as they complimented the new look and expressed a shared pleasure at the restaurant’s reopening.
Louie’s is still waiting on the Coca-Cola signs; the portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and James Dean; and the installation of an XM stereo system, which will tune into a station that plays ’50s-era tunes to complete the diner’s theme.