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Louie Canelakes, Founder and Barkeep of Louie's on Henderson, Is Dead at 58

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Yesterday Side Dish reported that Louie Canelakes passed away. If you've had a pizza at his restaurant on Henderson Avenue and sat at the bar, you likely know him. Louie has been working behind the bar since he opened the place with his brother Chris in the 1980s, and if you've met him you haven't forgotten him. It's not possible.

Louie had a rough and throaty timbre that could fill the room, but it's what he did with his voice that he'll be remembered for. He was a sort of walking Wikipedia, fielding questions about whatever game was on TV before answering obscure questions involving Eastern European geography, describing his take on the history of pizza in Dallas and otherwise filling your brain. All of this while effortlessly dispensing an endless procession of chilled martinis.

In the age of mixologists, fancy cocktails and gourmet sprits, Louie will go down as one of the best bartenders Dallas has ever seen, having made gin and vodka drinks that came in dirty, extra dirty and downright filthy varieties. He made his cocktails with the effortless and seamless manner of someone how had repeated the task tens of thousands of times. His mechanics were reassuring and his drinks were stiff.

Louie was good at his job because he made people feel at home when they sat at his bar. If you had just one drink in that dark and dreary dining room, you felt like you've been drinking with Louie since your very first beer. He was good at his job because he made you feel like you've known him your whole life, which is why he's going to be missed so much now that he's gone.

Louie had been in the hospital with pneumonia. He was 58.

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