Father and daughter restaurateurs Marty and Sydney Grims are ready to debut Louie Louie Bistro & Bar, a new eatery in University City they’re calling an American bistro with French flair. The restaurant, located in the former Penne space at 3611 Walnut Street, inside the Hilton-owned Inn at Penn on the University on Pennsylvania campus, is set to open Wednesday, July 11. The Grims also have White Dog Café, right around the corner.
Louie Louie is big, with room for 160 diners, plus 15 seats at the bar, 30 seats in the lounge part of the restaurant that merges into the hotel lobby, and another 50 seats outside on Walnut. It will be open for lunch and dinner daily and weekend brunch.
The menu is made up of French-leaning comfort food, like the caramelized onion tart (a puff pastry with onions, goat cheese, black olives, and arugula), the tuna nicoise tartine (tuna salad, grilled bread, and vegetables), and mussels done in a white wine and garlic broth served with fries. There’s a full bar.
Perhaps most notable about Louie Louie is the colorful design, done by Kate Rohrer of Rohe Creative, who also lent Cheu Fishtown, Bud & Marilyn’s, and Michael Schulson’s Harp & Crown and Double Knot their eye-catching looks. For this one, Rohrer was going for an Art Nouveau vibe with black-and-white marble floors, reclaimed subway tiles, bright fabrics, antique brass, and several different patterns.
In addition to the three White Dog Cafés, in the city and in Haverford and Wayne, the Grims’ Fearless Restaurants group includes Moshulu on Penn’s Landing (it’s the boat restaurant), Autograph Brasserie in Wayne, and, on Long Beach Island in New Jersey, Plantation Restaurant, Daddy O Restaurant & Hotel, and Tuckers Tavern.