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An Island-Themed Restaurant Is Coming to Chestnut Hill

A bit of the tropics on Germantown Avenue


Beach-themed restaurant Louie’s Little Hut is opening at 8419 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill. Owners Jim and Karen Cerenzia drew from their travels in Hawaii for the eatery, which is painted in bright colors and decorated with island photos taken by the couple. Thatching over the awning and a surfboard complete the look.

The restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch only, likely from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, though chef Jim Cerenzia also has plans to host occasional dinner parties. If the weather is agreeable, the parties will be luau-themed fetes in Louie’s outdoor garden. During the day, “I want a cool, relaxing feel where people can come and eat inside or get their food and go outside,” Cerenzia says.

Previously head chef at the Links at Hemlock Creek in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, Cerenzia says his kitchen experience goes back farther than that: “My grandmother and grandfather opened Yesteryear Tavern in Prospect Park. I remember being 4 or 5, standing on a milk crate helping in the kitchen.”

Louie’s is only 625 feet — “it really is a hut” — and, partially because of the small space, Cerenzia expects “a line going out the door” and lots of takeout orders. The property was previously the very short-lived Ration Foods and a catering kitchen before that.

The garden at Louie’s Little Hut, in progress

The menu includes salads and waffle sandwiches in the morning and island-y options for lunch like surf tacos, along with burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheeses, and deli fare. Sandwich names run the gamut from the Gnarly Surfer and and the Jaws to the Rocky Balboa (meatballs), the Apollo Creed (fried chicken), and the G-Love (barbecue pork).

According to the Chestnut Hill Local, which first reported on the restaurant, Louie’s is named for the Cerenzias’ dog. They’re hoping to open Louie’s Little Hut later this month, with a goal of September 24.