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story.lead_photo.caption Co-owners Laura Butler and Laura Berryhill hope to open their new bar, Lucky Lou's, at 425 E. 3rd St. soon after the next meeting of the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. - Photo by Josh Snyder

Blue Canoe Brewing closed this month nearly a year after a lawsuit was filed by one of its co-founders, but another co-founder is preparing a different establishment to take its place.

The new venture is the product of Laura Berryhill and Laura Butler. Berryhill helped found Blue Canoe with Patrick Cowan. The new business will operate in Blue Canoe's former space, 425 E. 3rd St. in downtown Little Rock's River Market District.

Called Lucky Lou’s, the business will feature a full-service bar with a light food menu that includes tacos, quesadillas and pretzels and cheese, Butler said. It will be family- and dog-friendly, she added.

Butler said the name came from the nickname she and Berryhill each had in their childhood, Lou.

“I’ve always wanted to open a bar and [Berryhill] had some experience in that industry,” Butler said. “So we decided awhile ago whenever we got the chance that that’s what we were going to do.”

The owners have applied for approval to serve mixed drinks at the bar, and hope to open Lucky Lou's soon after the next meeting of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

Another Blue Canoe co-founder, Iden Cowan, filed a lawsuit in April 2018 against Patrick Cowan, her ex-husband, as well as Berryhill and Ben Davis Property Management.

Iden Cowan contends that, while she provided “virtually all of the capital support for [the enterprise] to allow it to open and operate” and acted as a silent partner, the defendants began operating and expanding the brewery under a competing entity, according to a complaint filed in court.

The defendants in their filed response have denied the allegations.

Efforts to reach Laura Berryhill and her attorney weren’t immediately successful. Patrick Cowan declined to comment on the proceedings. David Grace, attorney for Ben Davis Properties Management, said he wouldn't comment on the pending litigation.


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