Despite being open , Beer Goggles built a strong, cult–like following by booking alternative music acts and fostering a neighborhood bar atmosphere.
Louis Ward hopes to continue that popularity with his new bar, La La’s Brew House, which recently opened in the same spot in the Plaza de Sunus on Ulmerton Road.
“We’re trying to change things up a bit, get a feel for the area," said Ward, who runs the bar with his longtime girlfriend, Michelle Richards. “But we know this has been a home for live music … and we plan on continuing that tradition.“
Ward believes his lengthy experience in the restaurant business and Richards’ extensive music background — she’s a singer who has played in venues across the country for more than 25 years — will combine to make La La’s a fun and well-run establishment.
“It’s a good combo, her with the music and me having been in the restaurant business,” he said. “We’re tired of going places and getting poor service. We want it to be like a big family in here.”
In fact, family is an integral part of La La’s. The place is named after Ward’s mother, who inspired him to start the business, and Richards’ son is an artist whose works dot the walls of his mom’s bar.
La La’s, which opened in January, will utilize some aspects of the former bar, such as the stage, while incorporating some new ideas, like an antique stoplight and colorful ambient lighting to brighten the place up a bit.
With drink specials including an all-day happy hour six days a week and flat screens and video games for the sports lovers, Ward thinks the bar will have a little something for everyone.
But he realizes live music was what worked in the place before, and he doesn’t plan to veer too far from that path.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here," he said. "Just improve it.”
La La’s Brew House
Address: 7717 Ulmerton Road
Hours: Noon-1 a.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-3 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday