The sleek, chic Fly Lounge opened in FedExForum Wednesday and brought an experience world’s away in ambience, offerings, and attitude from the arena’s current mix of bars and restaurants.
Fly Lounge has a glitzy, major-metro feel with a clean and modern design and one meant to offer patrons a range of experiences from the communal at the long, freestanding bar to the intimate at a row of low tables along a wall.
The lounge is the Forum’s grand lobby in the same space that was the former home of the Grizzlies team store.
“The idea was to create a destination place in the Forum,” said Fly Lounge founder Steve Adelman, a nightclub maven with properties in Los Angeles and in Asia. “We wanted to build something a little bit more upscale and a little bit different so that it could be a destination - sort of sleek and simple.”
Adelman said the target clientele is really anyone looking for the kind of experience the Lounge offers but it’s clearly aimed at the hip and elite as it can accommodate VIP requests and offers a champagne menu that tops out at $400 for a bottle of Christal.
Memphis chef Kelly English is the man behind the food menu at Fly Lounge, which promises “fresh, health-inspired” fare. The seemingly ubiquitous English is the owner and chef of Restaurant Iris and the soon-coming Second Line. He’s also the chef of the Forum’s Lexus Lounge and serves up po’boys and more at his Crossroads concession stand in the arena.
Michael Hughes, the celebrated Memphis mixologist (and Flyer friend), concocted the cocktails for Fly Lounge. Hughes is the general manager of Joe’s Wines & Liquors and the winner of a long list of cocktail competitions.
“We want guests at FedExForum to begin and end their nights with a memorable experience in food, entertainment, and nightlife,” said Memphis Grizzlies & FedExForum COO Jason Wexler.