File art from another Bar Louie location.

File art from another Bar Louie location.

Drum roll, please. After months of speculation, Uptown’s $45 million commercial building — called MoZaic — finally has its first big-name tenant.

Who is it? That would be Bar Louie, a Dallas-based chain known for its polished neighborhood-bar menu and chic design. This franchised location will be operated by Fortney Hospitality Group, which also owns the downtown college bar, Brothers.

The MoZaic complex is under construction behind the Lagoon Cinema, where 10 floors of parking spaces and offices will rise into the sky. Bar Louie, at 1348 Lagoon Av., will occupy 7,300 square feet of the first floor.

Marc Fortney hopes to open in March or April. His company opened its first Bar Louie franchise four years ago in Ohio. Soon after, he began scouting locations in the Twin Cities. Downtown St. Paul was a long-rumored destination, but he eventually landed on Uptown as a launching point (Fortney plans to open several more in the Twin Cities area).

Fortney had this to say of the menu: “It’s better than bar food, without having to get all dolled up for dinner.”

Look for scratch-made sandwiches, burgers and flatbreads. Fortney is hoping Bar Louie’s food and nightlife scene (there’s a long cocktail list) will give Uptown’s older, post-college crowd another option.

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