A specialty olive oil tasting shop will be opening soon at 2094 Trimble in Overton Square, in one of the bays facing the new Tower Courtyard and parking garage.
Memphian Kenny Ford, a practicing veterinarian for 32 years, signed the first long-term lease for a shop on the Trimble side of the redeveloped square.
The Square Olive will initially sell 24 olive oils from Argentina, and new varieties will be added each month. Patrons will be able to sample oils with breads in the store, and Ford will also hold olive oil/wine pairing tasting events.
Additionally, he will sell balsamic vinegars, olive oil-based soaps, hand lotions, and pet shampoos from his sister's company MS Soaps.
“My sister Janet has made high quality olive oil-based beauty products for several years now for her company MS Soaps,” Ford said. “Her products are carried in a lot of specialty stores in Mississippi, and I’m excited to be able to introduce them to Memphis."
The Commercial Appeal sent 17 employees home this week including community editor Emily Keplinger, reporter Matt Woo, and two additional contributors to the My Life community news section. Although reports suggest that My Life will continue in a truncated form, these cuts represent a shift away from former editor Chris Peck's brand of community journalism, and may reflect a new direction under the leadership of current editor Louis Graham.
Additional cuts include a clerk and a cashier in accounting, a clerk in operations, a forklift operator and a rack repairman. Advertising lost two employees. There were five additional cuts in operations and one in information technology.
In an article posted at the website for the Newspaper Guild of Memphis, guild president Wayne Risher describes the cuts to editorial staff as a failure of creative vision.
"Time will tell if management’s new strategy succeeds in preserving and strengthening quality journalism in Memphis and maintaining the CA as a viable newspaper," he writes. "For the moment, people are hurting, in our opinion needlessly, because management didn’t have the creativity, vision and boldness to find a way to effectively harness their talents."
An excerpt of Risher's post is excerpted below the fold. You can check out the whole thing here.
It's just like December, 2011 all over again. The Commercial Appeal is once again negotiating a contract with the Newspaper Guild, and once again the newspaper is cutting its staff.
Seventeen CA employees will lose their jobs this holiday season, including four in the newsroom. Eight of the positions being eliminated are Guild-covered. Nine are management positions.
Delta Airlines announced on Tuesday that it will reduce the number of peak-day departure flights leaving the Memphis International Airport from 64 to 40, beginning December 3rd.
Delta staff will also be reduced by 312 workers. Employees are being offered retirement or relocation options. The flight attendant base in Memphis will be forced to close.
There's no word yet on what flights Delta will cut.
“This is not completely unexpected news, but it is nonetheless disappointing,” said Scott Brockman, chief operating officer for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “This is also an opportunity to bring additional low-cost air service providers to Memphis, as well as expand service with existing carriers. Southwest Airlines will soon make its debut, and Frontier Airlines has announced its return in March. That’s a good start, but we’re committed to continued, relentless pursuit of additional frequent and affordable air service.”
Earlier this year, Delta announced Memphis would no longer be a hub.
Only a few weeks after Delta Airlines made headlines for pulling its hub out of Memphis, low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines has announced that it will bring its service to Memphis International Airport in March of next year.
The Denver-based airline will offer four non-stop flights to Denver, as well as open connections to San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, and six other western cities.
“Today’s exciting announcement from Frontier Airlines is the beginning of a new era of affordable airfare choices for our passengers,” said Jack Sammons, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Board of Commissioners. “I am confident Frontier’s direct service to Denver will be warmly embraced by passengers in our region.”
Frontier is currently promoting discount fares as low as $69 for flights booked on their website through October 12th.
The mass construction in Overton Square has ended with the opening of the long-awaited parking garage.
The garage, which has 451 spaces, will be free to park in during the month of October. Beginning November 1st, there will be a flat — not hourly — rate to park: $3 between 6 p.m. and 4 a.m., unless there is a special event. During the day, the garage will remain free.
“It’s our way of thanking Memphis for being patient with the garage construction over the past year," Earl Williams, COO and CFO of Loeb Properties, said. "We know that the progress created less-than-ideal circumstances for patrons, but traffic in Overton Square grew in spite of it. That kind of loyalty deserves a show of appreciation.”
The real estate company, which manages the city-owned garage, plans to have security cameras and emergency phones installed.
Another fitness-related business is moving into Overton Square. Bikram Yoga, which has operated a studio in East Memphis since 2005, has signed a lease for its Bikram Hot Yoga Memphis in the square.
The studio, which will open at 2105 Madison, will offer hot yoga, deep tissue massage, and Ayurvedic therapy. It will join Delta Groove Yoga, Cardio Barre, and Breakaway Running in the fitness-focused, redeveloped Overton Square. Bikram and Cardio Barre will both be located on the second floor above the old Palm Court and ice skating rink area.
Bikram yoga, also called hot yoga, is a 26-posture sequence practiced in a heated room. It is believed to promote weight loss, increase energy, reduce pain, and improve mental clarity.
This lease brings Overton Square's occupancy to 78 percent.
Wiseacre Brewing Company, a craft brewery that will open to the public on Friday, August 30th, gave us a sneak peek into their new state-of-the-art facility.
Beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, patrons can sample beers, purchase growlers, and take tours of the facility at 2783 Broad.
Sneak Peek at Wiseacre Brewing Company
Go on a virtual tour of the new Wiseacre Brewing Company in the Broad Avenue Arts District. The brewery opens to the public on Friday, August 30th at 4 p.m.
The Attic, a locally-owned boutique selling women's and men's clothing and accessories, will open in the 1,300 square foot space next to Bar Louie in Overton Square this September.
Alexandra Rushing, owner of the Ivory Closet in Harbortown and Adel Amor Cosmetics (and a 2013 Memphis Flyer hottie!), is opening the store with her business partner Ben Scharff, owner of IronJaw Labs and creator of IronJaw custom mouth guards.
The shop will carry clothing and accessories by brands such as Library of Flowers, Yosi Samra, Lucky Feather, Coobie and Chilly Jilly.
The concept: "New York chic without New York prices."
“Glamorous treasures and timeless pieces are found in everyone’s attic,” said Rushing. “Our attic is no different.”
Yet another fitness-related business has signed a lease with Loeb Properties for space in Overton Square.
Loeb Properties announced that Cardio Barre, which offers high-energy, no-impact exercise classes that combine dance-based barre work with light weights, will be moving into a 2,310-square-foot space on the second floor above the old Palm Court.
Cardio Barre is the third fitness-focused business to sign a lease for the Square since Loeb Properties took over management of most of the Square's empty buildings. Others have included Delta Groove Yoga Studio, which is currently up and running, and Breakaway Running, which should move into a downstairs bay soon.
Additionally, Loeb Properties has leased space to restaurant's Bar Louie and Local Gastropub.
Cardio Barre has franchises across the country. The Overton Square Cardio Barre will be run by native Memphian Allison Steward, a dancer and former model for Shape Magazine.
For more on Overton Square's revitalization, check out this week's Flyer cover story.
Had Thomas’ columns finally become too hot to handle? Did she become a casualty of regime change following the departure of publisher Joe Pepe and editor Chris Peck? Could it be that her critics finally convinced management that she was entirely out-of step with Memphis’ loudest 30%, and an enemy of history, liberty, and free enterprise? Or, has she just been busy doing other things?
Turns out, it’s the latter.
“Rumors of the death of my column have been greatly exaggerated,” says Thomas, who, in addition to her duties as a columnist, signed on to pull one night shift a week at the metro desk back in January. Thomas has since agreed — temporarily— to take on additional editing responsibilities, that have precluded the kind of research and dedication required to create a regular column. She plans to return to her regular writing schedule later this summer.
“I’ll be back at my column and some online only commentary in mid-July, when a temporary editing assignment ends,” she says.
Public officials may wish to take note. The CA doesn’t have a staff cartoonist either. If there was ever a time for epic jackassery, this would be it.
Last night, the Memphis Regional Design Center's (MRDC) board of directors voted to reorganize the five-year-old, non-profit, urban design and planning organization. That reorganization meant letting go of founding director Chooch Pickard.
MRDC board chair Bill Ferguson said the board is looking to hire a new director with management and fundraising skills, rather than someone who is more interested in the urban design and planning aspect.
"It was suggested that we need someone to manage, not someone who went to school for urban design, and all the administrative paperwork drives them crazy," Ferguson said. "We need someone who likes to network and get partnerships, someone who is always thinking about fundraising."
People with an urban design background would continue to work for the organization, but the director would take on more of a managerial role.
The board approved a six-month contract for Jeff Sanford, former executive director of the Center City Commission (now known as the Downtown Memphis Commission), to serve as interim director. He will be tasked with keeping the organization running while heading a search for a permanent executive director.
As for Pickard, he's currently seeking out new opportunities in the fields of architecture, historic preservation or urban design.
"I've enjoyed my time there, and I learned a lot. I met great people, and I plan to stay involved with the community in whatever I do in the future," Pickard said.
The mission and vision of MRDC, to make Memphis the most livable city in country while increasing vitality and economic stability through urban design and planning, will remain the same. MRDC's accomplishments include the establishment of the Midtown Overlay (which protects Midtown's historic character in new development projects), the founding of the South Memphis Farmers Market and that community's renaissance, leading public discussions about the future of Overton Square, and the restoration of the Broad Avenue Arts District.
Memphian Scott Beall has spent around $6,000 on flat-screen products, but he'll likely soon be getting some of that money back. Beall is the class action representative for Tennessee in the largest anti-trust consumer class action lawsuit in history.
The lawsuit was filed against 10 LCD flat-screen television manufacturers, namely Au Optronics, Chimei, Chunghwa, Epson, Hannstar, Hitachi, LG, Sharp, Samsung, and Toshiba, for conspiring to raise and fix prices on flat screen LCD panels and products containing those panels. The manufacturers have agreed to pay an unprecedented settlement of $1.1 billion.
Any Tennessee consumer who purchased a flat-screen product from one of the above-mentioned companies between January 1999 and December 2006 is eligible to receive a payment from the settlement. The deadline to file a claim is December 6th.
“I was ticked off when I discovered that all the prices were the same and there was no competitive pricing," Beall said. "Consumers were over-charged for these products, and they need to take advantage of this opportunity, file a claim, and receive some compensation.”
To file a claim, go here. Filing a claim does not require proof of purchase or receipts.
Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in need of affordable office space have a new option with Urban Workspace, a new co-working facility at 6 West G.E. Patterson downtown.
Co-working spaces foster networking between business professionals in various fields because they share space. It's similar to independent professionals working in a coffee shop, but the co-working space provides office amenities. Urban Workspace provides 24 workspaces, high-speed wireless Internet, a conference room, presentation materials, office equipment, a dry erase wall for brainstorming and planning, a lounge area, and a full kitchen.
Additionally, Urban Workspace members can take advantage of workshops, seminars, cooking classes, meet-ups, monthly lunches, and happy hours.
The workspace is provided through a partnership with Innovative Solutions Group and Cricket Communications, Inc.
“The center is not just a place to conduct business and host meetings,” said Anna Harris, ISG operations director. “Urban Workspace is a friendly, downtown community that fosters daily networking and collaboration between various fields of work. This, in addition to the motivation of working within close contact of others, will help our members achieve greater levels of success than if they were working alone.”
Urban Workspace will hold its open-to-the-public grand opening celebration tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 5th at 6 p.m.). There will be live music, drinks, and food prepared by chef Michael Patrick.
In an effort to attract more airline competition and drive down prices for consumers, the Delta Does Memphis Facebook group has launched ComeFlyMemphis.com, a website that allows consumers to send an email form letter to airlines that do not currently offer service in Memphis. (Delta Does Memphis was founded by Memphian Tom Jones, who was the subject of a recent Flyer cover story by John Branston.)
The Come Fly Memphis website's intro makes the argument that Memphis International Airport's $28.6 billion dollar business is one of the largest economic drivers in the state. But with Delta Airlines cutting flights and other airlines only launching a limited number of new flights, Memphis airport users "must fight for our share in the most competitive airport market America has ever seen," according to the site.
The bottom of the page features an email form letter asking other airlines to take a chance on Memphis. Once the site user enters some basic information, the email is distributed to CEOs from US Airways, United, JetBlue, Southwest, Frontier, Spirit, and Allegiant.
"From the beginning of Delta Does Memphis, we thought that the goal was to elevate public awareness about the negative consequences - both economic and personal - of having a fortress hub and the damage done by high airfares, then to get this issue to the front burner of our local civic priorities,and then to conceive of a way for people to take action," said Jones.
The website is a joint effort between the city and many local corporations, including FedEx, Leadership Memphis, Leadership Academy, Monogram Foods, Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada PLLC, Graceland, the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Emerge Memphis, Commercial Advisors, Howell Marketing Strategies, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, and the Memphis Flyer's parent company, Contemporary Media.