Saturday, November 15, 2008 | Bob Carlton
Lou’s Pub & Package Store in Birmingham’s Lakeview District was sold Friday to family friend Michael Carpri
Lou’s Pub & Package Store, popular gathering spot in Birmingham’s Lakeview District for 21 years, was sold Friday.
The new owner, Michael Carpri, plans to keep the name and the staff. Carpri took over operation of the pub Friday afternoon.
“I’m planning on keeping everything the exact same – the name, the memorabilia, the prices, the clientele, the staff, everything,” Carpri said.
The pub’s previous owner, Louis Zaden, died of heart failure on Aug. 14, and family members have been running Lou’s since he died. He was 59.
With his booming voice, colorful vocabulary and outgoing personality, the beloved Zaden made his bar a Birmingham institution. Last year, Esquire magazine named it one of the best bars in America.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill, there is no doubt,” Carpri said. “I don’t want to do anything to step on Lou’s legacy. All I can do is continue the customer service and the scolding of the clientele that he performed so well.
Carpri, a friend of the Zaden family, has worked as a bartender at Zydeco and the Blue Monkey.
“A lot of people wanted to buy it, but I was really looking for a person who has a vested interest,” Nick Zaden, Louis Zaden’s brother, said.
The Zadens’ mother, Helen Zaden, still plans to drop by Lou’s on a regular basis, her son said.
“Mom is still going to come down here an hour or two a day, just to meet people and talk to people,” he said.