Lou’s Pub and Package Store
Lou’s Pub and Package Store is a neighborhood bar and liquor store located in a 1,000 square-foot storefront at 726 29th Street South in Lakeview. It was founded in 1987 by Lou Zaden and is one of three package stores with bar service whose licenses were grandfathered into Alabama’s current licensing law. It is currently owned by Michael Carpri.
Zaden was noted for teasing his regular customers when they hadn’t been by in a while. The bar was known for attracting a diverse clientele which included working-class imbibers as well as wheelers and dealers. One well-known regular, Donald Watkins, once said that “More deals were done in that little pub than in any of the towers downtown.” (Whitmire – 2008) Lou’s was named one of the “Best Bars in America” in the June 2007 edition of Esquire magazine.
Zaden died in August 2008. That November, Zaden’s family sold the business to Michael Carpri, who planned to keep the name and the staff. Carpri’s experience includes working at Zydeco and Blue Monkey Lounge.
Lou’s Pub named one of best bars in America by Esquire
When you put a bar inside a liquor store, it’s like you’re inviting customers to leave by reminding them they can just as easily buy a bottle of Jack and drink at home. And the thing is, the first time you walk through that door and Lou barks at you to hurry up and order, the only thing you think about is leaving.
But it’ll start to make sense when the after-work crowd descends on the concrete patio tables outside. And then Frankie strolls out there and hands everyone…