Louie’s Wine Dive is en route to break the curse of the Chevy Chase corner building


Managing partner Zach Young and executive chef Bruce Dunseith of Louie’s Wine Dive and Chevy Chase Kitchen celebrated its first year open in its location in Chevy Chase this month. Photo by Mark C. Walsh | Staff

Amanda Bryant

The curse of the Chevy Chase corner building at 854 E High St is soon to be broken with Louie’s Wine Dive celebrating its one year birthday at the location.

The restaurant first opened its doors last year and welcomed the Lexington community to a line of decadent wines and entrees. The supposed curse of the location began after The Saratoga restaurant closed several years ago, said Louie’s lead hostess, Kari Cooper.

This building has been about eight different restaurants over the last 10 years, which can be nerve wracking when looking at it as a potential location for a restaurant.

“I think we are going to stay,” Cooper said.

After the closing of Saratoga, the building changed hands several times. Businesses moved into the spot, but could not set down roots and grow into the community. Louie’s is now the front runner to make the location a lasting hang out and dining area for those seeking elegance with their meal and glass of wine.

Louie’s already had several locations around the country before deciding to expand to Lexington. General Manager Zach Young said the company was looking for a spot to grow and when they found the vacant building in need of a fresh face, they had to take it. Lexington has always had various restaurants to please the palate with wine and cuisine; however, Louie’s is different.

“It’s like a match made in heaven,” Young said when describing how the location of the building meets the desires of Louie’s to cater to the city of Lexington.

As soon as you enter the door, you are greeted by the hostess and welcomed into the restaurant with a warm and inviting environment. Wine bottle chandeliers illuminate the room and peaceful music plays in the background. TVs are running at the bar through the day, but are not a distraction to those wishing to enjoy a quiet evening.  

The restaurant not only caters to the young and new crowd of Lexington, but also to the same individuals who frequented the spot when it was The Saratoga. It was habit and legend for many Kentucky horse racing lovers to be at the restaurant to place bets and watch the races at Keeneland for additional luck. Young says they still come in to watch the races and place their bets.

“They did that back in the seventies when The Saratoga was here, and you know our brunches sometimes, you’ll see guys with betting books and newspapers because it brings them back to that place,” Young said.

Dinner is currently Louie’s best daily event with the most visitors coming during that time. They are hoping to bring more customers in for lunch and happy hour. The restaurant serves roughly 75 to 100 customers on the weekdays and 250 to 300 on the weekends per day, according to Young.

“We go through about 120 to 150 different types of wine a year,” Young said.

USA Today recently placed Louie’s Wine Dive on its “10 Greatest Restaurants With Amazing Wine Lists” according to the restaurant website. The standout for Louie’s comes from the wine choices being worldwide rather than only from California wineries, Young said.

The restaurant is also a teaching location for wine enthusiasts. Classes are taught as private parties and servers have a wide knowledge of each wine to share with the customers when they place an order.

“Our biggest thing is to take all the pretension out of wine, so people can actually appreciate it,” Young said.

Bourbon, craft beers and cocktails are also available at the restaurant as well as several other alcoholic beverages, which can be found on the restaurant’s website.

The location will be celebrating its one-year birthday this weekend from November 17 to November 19. On Friday night, the entire wine board will be $10 a glass, no matter the wine. On Saturday, all bottles bought in house are 25 percent off.  On Sunday, they will be tearing apart a roasted pig to invite the community in to help celebrate the breaking of the curse and hope to see new and familiar faces.