Little Louie's BBQ Closes in Collingswood

Collingswood's only barbecue eatery quietly closes its doors on Haddon Avenue after 16 months.

Little Louie's BBQ snuffed its smokers and closed its Haddon Avenue restaurant in Collingswood.

The restaurant has a simple sign on it front door stating "We Are Closed." A representative declined to comment further or provide additional details, other than confirming the closure.

The restaurant's website and Facebook pages were still operational as of Wednesday afternoon and did not mention the closure. The Facebook page was last updated on Feb. 3 announcing Super Bowl specials.

Little Louie's opened to fanfare in November 2011. At the time, its pitmaster Gerald Dougherty said the barbecue scene and South Jersey were new to him, but that Collingswood was ideal for the venture.

"... The whole concept of Little Louie's, is meant to be a quick dining experience that's casual, fun and very appealing," he said then. 

Collingswood's trove of restaurants spans many cuisines, but Little Louie's closure leaves a barbecue hole in the lineup. 

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Tim Zatzariny Jr. (Editor) February 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM
C.V., Patch's definition of "breaking news" may be different than your own. We use this distinction for news we think is important to our readers – not just for serious crashes, major crimes, etc.
Robb C. Sewell February 27, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Very disappointing news. We loved Little Louie's. The food and service were always outstanding. We had a blast with the wait staff the last time we were there.
tt February 27, 2013 at 11:12 PM
To be fair - the restaurant business is a hard act. But the bbq business is even worse, even in an ethnically diverse area like South Jersey. Those of us old enough to remember, Lawnside featured "BBQ Row" with over a dozen bbq joints that ran the gamut of converted oil drums on the weekend, to full-blow restaurants with world-renowned jazz/blues entertainment all week long. The last guy though these parts with bbq, was very experienced, and ran several Fat Jacks restaurants, one was in the Audobon Shopping Plaza - even he has been reduced to only one location, way down in Vineland. We never ate at Little Louis because they consistantly got bad reviews (and I knew a few staff) - seems like he kept adding gimmicks to get people to come in (soft serve ice cream - really?!?) Sad to lose a business, but like so many others, I hope Trader Joe's moves in....(never been in one, what the hell is it?!)
Canvas Mixers February 27, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Very sorry to hear this news!! We are Canvas Mixers and will miss Little Louie's as a good lunch spot and neighbor. Recommended LL whenever possible. Sorry it didn't work out . . .
Jill Warner February 28, 2013 at 12:01 AM
oh please, I was already thinking that would happen before I got down to your comment
Rob February 28, 2013 at 12:52 AM
I'm only surprised that it took this long to close. This place was more wrong than right. I ate there 3 times and not once was I impressed. Except for the cornbread, that was amazing.
Kevin February 28, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Affordable? I think that is probably one of the reasons it is out of business. It was was too expensive compared to other BBQ places in the area for what you get.
Tricia Burrough February 28, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Yes affordable. This was a nice sit down dining place not a roadside joint (they can great too but obviously going to be cheaper). And it was interesting in my opinion more gourmet dishes not just basic bbq. And nearly everyday of the week there was a promotion sometimes for as much as half off. There was always a coupon for 20% off available everywhere. They were constantly discounting their prices through promotions right up to the end. Any resourceful diner never paid full price or anywhere near it. They did everything they could to bring people in on price basis.
Kevin February 28, 2013 at 01:48 AM
They must have changed the menu from the times I ate at it when they first opened. It was expensive and underwhelming. Glad your experience was different than ours. A trip over to Sweet Lucy's in Philadelphia or Famous Dave's was always much more enjoyable for our family. Sorry to see a small business and restaurant leave town, but hopefully the Crestmont Curse will not doom the next restaurant.
Porterincollingswood February 28, 2013 at 02:06 AM
I think you are both right. Kevin, it's hard to compete with Sweet Lucy's for traditional BBQ, it's a hidden gem. On that basis, most places will lose out. But I'd agree with Tricia that LL tried to bring some creativity and gourmet elements to their dishes. That did, however, lead to a price increase that I imagine did turn some people off.
Loretka February 28, 2013 at 02:38 AM
We had dinner there a few times when they first opened. Not very impressive. We were very disappointed, even though we gave it a second and third chance. My opinion is that the best restaurant at that spot was MOM'S KITCHEN. Their food was very good - so was the service and the atmosphere. Really miss that one. I think the owner got greedy and changed it to a high priced place where you could get a $30 steak and have to pay extra for a baked potato! A home-cooking kind of place, like MOM'S, would be nice.
MJT530 February 28, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Not a big surprise. The place should have been take out only. Eli's reputation running restaurants isn't exactly a stellar one anyway.
TW February 28, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Everytime we tries to dine there they were closed....8:00 at night is too early to close. Got take out once and the food was OK, not the best!!!
Emily Angehr February 28, 2013 at 04:06 PM
From what I'm reading it sounds like they must have gotten their act together after it was too late? Maybe it was mediocre at the beginning and then got better? We just moved to CWood in August - have eaten there several times and thought the food excellent. like, upscale bbq with amazing, interesting flavor profiles that didn't seem to match their logo/atmosphere. But yes, we just moved from the South, and I definitely think Louies food wise would have been successful.
Jasomm February 28, 2013 at 06:03 PM
it would be a great twist of irony if a new Cali-style vegetarian place opened it its place
ABE KARETNY February 28, 2013 at 07:26 PM
To the person who mentions Eli.... He was not the owner nor operator of this restaurant and his reputation is nothing short of a fantastic business man provider and my FATHER! He was more successful Then most in the business so get ur facts straight or just stick to posting on yelp. He merely was an advisor for Gerald. Thanx To the kind words from people who really get it. Wish there were more of you around. I for or passed out 1000's of 20% offs and helped market the place. Didn't realize 7.95 for soup and a sandwich was expensive
C.V. February 28, 2013 at 07:31 PM
It doesn't matter how much advertising you do, or coupons you offer-- it's not going to change the fact it was mediocre food! If you serve consistently great food, you will survive. it's pretty simple.
ABE KARETNY February 28, 2013 at 07:39 PM
That of course is your opinion which u are most certainly entitled to. Of course it takes more then consistent good food To operate a restaurant however. It's not that simple.
ABE KARETNY February 28, 2013 at 07:43 PM
I did not find the brisket cheesesteak spring rolls the empanada or the fried chicken mediocre at all. The duck rolls were amazing! Not sure what u expected from Smoked meat it was smoked u add ur own sauce and that's about it haha. I was more critical then most because Gerald was my mentor.
C.V. February 28, 2013 at 08:08 PM
i think it's that simple. you have great food, people will come back. you don't, people won't. Smoked meat can be amazing. Go to Texas and you will understand how far off the mark you really were.
ABE KARETNY February 28, 2013 at 08:23 PM
U r saying "you" as if I ran the place or cooked the food. I did none I those things. I gravitated more towards the creative side of his menu. His BBQ was regionally inspired so to compare it jut to Texas is not fair by all means. Matter of fact there's a couple who just moved here from Texas and found his BBQ to be great. Everyone has an opinion. Restaurants closed end of story
Johnny Anonny February 28, 2013 at 09:03 PM
High fat, high salt content food isn't a regular fixture on most peoples' diet list. Their food was good but you just can't eat like that on a regular basis. If you want proof go into Animo in Haddonfield during breakfast or lunch and you'll see a line out the door.
ABE KARETNY February 28, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Fyi there was salmon, a few salads sauted baby spinach and a portaello sand on the menu as well FYI
Johnny Anonny February 28, 2013 at 09:38 PM
I liked their menu. But I'm not going to a BBQ for salad. It's like sending a pedophile on a boy scout overnight, you can't resist what's bad for you.
ABE KARETNY February 28, 2013 at 10:18 PM
That's just creepy..... Was stating that the food wasn't just what u made it out to be. Enjoy ur camping trip lol
Collingswoodnative February 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Eat there a few times, I had heartburn each time.
Marc D March 01, 2013 at 05:33 AM
There's a new BBQ place coming to Cherry Hill a few miles away on Route 70.
Will McGowan March 01, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Would again, love to see a "homestyle" breakfast place that mimics Sabrina, Honey's, and Green Eggs Cafe. Love the food and portion size at Pop Shop but I mean an adult (BYO encouraged!!) place where the footy jammie crew isn't running a muck!
Leslie March 04, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Too bad. Just ate there recently and the food was very good.
Dowtown March 10, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Little Louies was great and affordable. The restaurant business is tough and kudos for trying.


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