Lou’s sold; The Harmony will be moving in

Lou’s sold; The Harmony will be moving in

Eileen Harvey, owner of Lou’s Mill House, has sold the bar to Neal LaFerriere, who plans to move Neal’s Harmony Cafe on Main Street over to the Lou’s location on Sumner Street. Harvey is planning to open another restaurant.

LINCOLN – It’s last call at the Harmony Cafe and Lou’s Mill House, two neighborhood bars in Manville preparing to embark on their next chapters.

Neal LaFerriere, owner of Neal’s Harmony Cafe, is planning to move his business over to Lou’s this month as he buys the business.

The Harmony is currently located at 3 Main St. in Manville, roughly two-tenths of a mile from Lou’s on Sumner Street.

LaFerriere said he has been leasing the building on Main Street for 29 years. Early in his lease, he said he believed there would be an opportunity to purchase Lou’s, and that he would be first in line.

He eventually invested in the four-unit apartment building next door. “Our parking lots were neighboring lots, so I wanted to avoid any problems there and expand parking for The Harmony,” he said.

Nearly three decades later, LaFerriere said the opportunity never arose to purchase 3 Main St., but that the bar will be now upgraded by moving it over to Lou’s, a larger pub with more parking.

He’s planning to close The Harmony at its current location, and has asked the town for a new liquor license for Lou’s.

“This is an investment for my wife and children. It’s been a very positive experience,” he said. The plan is to continue as The Harmony, “merging the best of both bars and bringing what I’ve built here to Lou’s.”

Lou’s has a reputation for live entertainment, which he said he’s planning to continue to offer.

“It’s been a great 29 years at The Harmony. I’ve developed a lot of friendships and memories here,” he said of his current building. “I don’t see it as an ending, but a new beginning.”

He said he’s hoping his longtime customers at The Harmony will follow him up the road.

LaFerriere is in the process of purchasing Lou’s, located at 47 Summer St., from Eileen Harvey.

Harvey, who also owns Skeff’s Neighborhood Pub in Cumberland, purchased Lou’s Mill House (at the time called Lou’s Cafe) in 2018, promising to make needed improvements while preserving the bar’s rich history.

It was originally opened by Lou Desjardins on St. Patrick’s Day in 1954. The beers sold for a nickel apiece, and only men were allowed.

When Lou fell ill in 1984, he sold the bar, but his daughter, Marguerite “Maggie” Rogers, bought it back from the new owners in 2002. Two weeks before she succumbed to a long-term illness in June, Rogers sold the bar she grew up in to Harvey.

Harvey embarked on renovations, bringing new life to the local watering hole.

“This is going to be a really good transition for Lou’s,” Harvey said. “Neal is a great guy. We’ve been working together and talking nearly every day.”

While Harvey is moving on from Lou’s, she said she has no plans to sell Skeff’s. In fact, she said, her plan is to open a new Skeff’s location in East Providence.

The location is still in the works, but she said she said she’s excited to open another Skeff’s in her hometown.

LaFerriere thanked his wife, Ashley, for her support, along with the customers who have been there along the way.

“Change is sometimes hard, but we believe this change will be great. It’s not the four walls that define a business. It’s the staff and loyal customers,” he said.

He said he’s aiming for an opening day of Aug. 27.

Comments

This is great news! The Harm is one of my favorite spots, and Skeff's is awesome. Can't wait for the move! Congrats Cornelius!