About Us

Kalamazoo’s Oldest Bar is Also its Favorite
Our Story

Where It All Began

Started by the Nowak family, polish immigrants, in 1918 as a soup kitchen/restaurant to serve the working polish neighborhood, where they also lived. Rumored to have been a speakeasy during prohibition. It was run by various members of the family, mainly Louise “Granny” Nowak, who ran it up until she passed at 90 years old. Her son Louie and Ted continued to run it until 2007 when it was purchased by long time patron and lover of Louie’s, Mike VandeMaele.

Today, Louie’s is the oldest bar in Kalamazoo. The bar acts as an escape from the the busy city. When patrons walk in, the first thing they notice is the taxidermy lined walls. It features a cabin on the lake feel. Louie’s has drink food and specials every night of the week as well as weekly events. Louie’s is a a home away from home for our regulars, and for every new customer that walks in, they walk out feeling like they just spent an evening with old friends.

We’ve been serving Kalamazoo for over 100 years, and we plan to continue for 100 more as we start to expand. Louie’s opened a second location December 2020 in Texas Corners township. The same amazing staff, food, drinks and specials followed to the other side of Kalamazoo. Enjoy new taxidermy and a modern take  on the original Louie’s at Louie’s Corner Bar aka Louie’s #2!