Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cafe Brooks Debuts, etc.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Cafe Brooks by Paradox, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, opened today.

The cafe is in the space that was once the gift shop. The old Brushmark is now a gallery.

Brooks partnered with Paradox Catering for the venture. Paradox includes chefs Jimmy Gentry and Jessica Lambert.

The menu is aimed for at the patron looking for a quick bite in order to get back to absorbing all the Brooks' art. There is a selection of salads and sandwiches, plus pastries and coffees. Prices top out at $12.  
• The first local PizzaRev is set to open next Thursday, January 26th.

The restaurant, at 6450 Poplar near International Paper, is an artisan build-your-own pizza place.

And and and ... according to a press release from PizzaRev, it will be the first place in the city with a iPourIt system, which is self-serve beer (!).

To demo the system, PizzaRev is hosting an event on Saturday, January 28th, 5 to 10 p.m. Guests (21 and older) will receive a free pizza with the purchase of a 16-ounce beer.


• The owners of Sports Junction have finally unveiled its new name: Growlers.

• A permit has been pulled for Philippine Restaurant on Germantown Parkway.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Oshi to Rebrand

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 11:17 AM

Oshi closed yesterday and will reopen in the spring as a new concept, according to owner Jeff Johnson.

Johnson says he's excited about the move, but won't go into too many details until everything is "on paper."

Johnson will say that he and Farmhouse Marketing started with several ideas for the space and have narrowed it down to one. He says he sees it as a casual place with counter service and grab-and-go.

Johnson wants something "good for downtown," something with "expanded offerings," and not just burgers, which are plentiful downtown.

But don't count Oshi out yet. "We love the concept of Oshi — the design, the menu," Johnson says. They are considering a move. "Out East might work better."

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LYFE Downtown To Go Full Service, etc.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 3:10 PM

LYFE Kitchen announced last month that the Chisca location, roughly a year after it opened, "will be undergoing a transformation ... that will bring new flavors and a new ambience to the LYFE Kitchen dining experience in downtown Memphis."

So what does that mean exactly?

In short, that LYFE Chisca will switch from at-counter ordering to full service, that there will be menu changes, and that the inside is being renovated. This will be first LYFE Kitchen in the country that will be full service.

LYFE in transition
  • LYFE in transition
"We don't look at LYFE as a restaurant chain," says Patrick Noone, who works in branding and marketing at LYFE. According to Noone, each restaurant is treated as its own entity, and as such, the folks at LYFE took note of what was available around the Chisca (certainly Catherine & Mary) and decided "to elevate the menu and the experience."

Noone says they aren't ready to go into too many specifics, except that the renovations will be significant, but the restaurant will ultimately uphold the LYFE idea of healthy, good cooking. "It isn't going to be unrecognizable," he says.

They are shooting for a late-winter, early-spring re-opening.

• Derese Tabor is Cisco's kid. Her father drove a truck and Cisco was his handle.

Both Tabor's parents did catering. Tabor worked for the phone company for 16 years. She wanted to do something different and tested the waters by launching a food truck called Cisco's Kid. Tabor opened a brick-and-mortar spot, also called Cisco's Kid, last fall at 7395 Highway 64 (near Appling).


Cisco's Kid serves pork shoulder sandwiches, BBQ nachos, turkey legs, and burgers, but their main thing is chicken — wings, fried chicken, half a yard bird. The thing that sets them apart is that they smoke the chicken before they fry it.

It's a "unique niche," Tabor says. But if you don't like smoke flavor, they put the chicken straight in the fryer for you.

* Porcellino's announced last week on Instagram that has stopped serving dinner in favor of private parties and events.

Its first event is the wine dinner "Pinot Noir & Its Terroir" on January 25th.

• Congrats are in order to Ben Smith, who recently bought the building that houses his restaurant Tsunami.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fresh Bagels in Midtown from Dave's Bagels

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 11:48 AM


Last October, David Scott moved from Portland to Memphis, settling in in Midtown. Shortly after he arrived, he went out for breakfast and couldn't help but notice the dearth of good, fresh bagels in the area.

Scott, as it turns out, was uncommonly suited to address this issue.

Dave's Bagels are currently being sold at Curb Market. Among the flavors are plain, roasted garlic shallot, cinnamon raisin, chocolate chip, and the pizza-stuffed bagel served with marinara sauce. Prices range from $2.25 to $4.50 for a stuffed bagel. Scott's also working on bagel sandwiches (he's thinking German with brauts, Mexican with chihuahua cheese, Italian pinwheels, etc.)

Scott originally got into cooking and baking while he was traveling around the country. ("Flour's cheap," he says.) Later, he pursued a bagel business while in Las Vegas and then in Portland.

After his move to Memphis, he says he "hit the ground running." He's currently baking out the commercial kitchen at Curb Market. Bagels can also be purchased directly through Scott at  

Scott is traditional in his approach to bagels — long fermentation, boiling. The goal is a chewy center with a crisp crust. For the flavored bagels, he uses a plain dough and adds a glaze or rolls in ingredients.

Scott is currently building up his business, hoping to get his bagels into restaurants. Ultimately, his plan is to open his own shop.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wimpy's Burgers & Fries Coming to Midtown

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 3:41 PM

Southaven-based Wimpy's Burgers & Fries, with its hand-pressed, griddle-cooked burgers and batter fries, is opening in Midtown sometime around mid-February/early March, according to owner Jacob Crafton.

This, the second Wimpy's, will be on Poplar in the same center as the Home Depot.

Crafton's first restaurant job was as a dishwasher at Outback Steakhouse in Cordova. He then went on to work at a number of chains before eventually becoming a corporate franchise consultant for Lenny's.

One day, he joined his wife for lunch in Southaven at one of her favorite places for a burger: Wimpy's. Crafton says the place was opened "on a whim" by two brothers with no restaurant experience but big plans. By the time they met up with Crafton, they were ready to move on.

Crafton took over the space three years ago, and among the changes: a swap in food vendors and a few tweaks to the menu. Both the turkey and black bean burgers have been greatly received. As for the mahi mahi burger, "we can't hardly give it away," says Crafton.

One big change was to the restaurant's titular Wimpy, based on the old Popeye character, who said, "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." (Crafton crafted his own tagline for the restaurant, "We'll gladly accept payment today for a hamburger on Tuesday.") The restaurant's image of Wimpy was too close to the Popeye property for Crafton's comfort, so he enlisted an artist to come up with a reimagined Wimpy — younger, trimmer, more millennial.

Crafton had originally wanted a second location in Whitehaven, but couldn't find a place. A real estate agent hooked him up with the Poplar site. The space was once a clothing store, so it's been gutted and a kitchen has been added to the back. It will seat 90 to 100 people.

Burgers at Wimpy's are made to order. The sauces are house-made, the milkshakes hand-spun. The menu has choices but is not overwhelming. That's a lesson learned, says Crafton, from Lenny's Len Moore: keep it simple, stupid.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Eating at IKEA

Posted By on Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 4:00 AM


On Monday, Bianca and I, along with what seems like most of Memphis, went to check out IKEA. 
After about three hours, we both agreed we needed to drag all our furniture to the curb and start over.

I knew but didn't fully appreciate until boots were on the ground that IKEA really isn't a dash-in sort of place. You go, you take your time, you eat ...

We both got IKEA's famous meatballs, though the veggie version. The generous plate came with the very good meatballs atop lentils with a side of veggies — all for just $4.49. I also got some fruit and a marzipan dessert. Bianca got a salad.

Then, it was down to the serious shopping. Bianca got a shoe organizer and some candy for her partner. I left with a rug and a basket. Both of us got a bag of those wonderful meatballs from the food market.



Checking out the eats at IKEA.

By Susan Ellis

Click to View 35 slides

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Now Open: Cafe 7/24

Posted By on Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 11:53 AM


Cafe 7/24
opened at 94. S. Front last Sunday.

Charisse Gooden is the manager. Her sister Shan, who works as a teacher in Brooklyn, is the owner. Dad and brother work the kitchen.

But Cafe 7/24 is all about mom. Gooden explains, saying that customers mistakenly see the name and think the restaurant's open 24/7. The name refers to the birthday of their mother, who passed away last year.

"She was a super ambitious go-getter type," Gooden says. "We referred to her as the boss."

Gooden and her sister decided they wanted to do something, be bosses. "We were going to do something to honor her," Gooden says.


Cafe 7/24, which stretches three levels and has two bars, serves Southern food — catfish, fried chicken, ribs, mac and cheese, etc. Gooden says they're currently working on adding desserts and more vegetarian fare.

Gooden's mother was a principal, her sisters teachers. Gooden's background is in health care, and dad was a fire chief. So what led them to a restaurant?

"It really starts with my dad," she says. "Everyone knows how well firemen can cook." When her dad retired, he started smoking hams and turkeys for the holidays. It's something, Gooden says, he really enjoys.

Cafe 7/24 currently serves lunch and will expand its hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting January 2nd.


Images Cafe 7/27 Facebook

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Chef Tam's Underground Cafe Going in Imagine Space

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 12:58 PM


Chef Tam
's Underground Cafe is set to open in the old Imagine space on January 28th.

Owner Tamra Eddy chose that date because it's her late father's birthday. Her father was a chef, her grandfather a bbq pitmaster, her grandmother a baker. "It's in me," she says.

Underground Cafe will serve Southern classics with a gourmet flair, says Eddy. We're talking fried ribs, mac and cheese, tacos, catfish, jerk shrimp, and peach cobbler nachos (!).

As for the name of the cafe, Eddy says initially she was going to open in a space with an underground kitchen. The name stuck, she says, because she recognized how accurate it is. "[My talent as a chef] has been hidden so long. It works perfectly for me."

Eddy, who was the chef at the Lighthouse, began looking for a space a couple months ago. She reached out online and was led to the Imagine space. She's currently giving the restaurant a good scrubbing and plans to hang old black-and-white images of her family to complete the homey feel.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cosmic Coconut "Evolving" into City Silo

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 3:18 PM


A press release was issued today that the space that once housed Cosmic Coconut in East Memphis will now be a new restaurant called City Silo Table & Pantry.

The restaurant is set to open January 14th.

From the release:

City Silo Table & Pantry will offer re-imagined comfort food and drinks that replicate familiar textures and flavors with wholesome, clean ingredients. Blending characteristics from traditional dining concepts – the café and market, the juice stand, the coffee house and the bistro – City Silo’s modern, light and airy space will serve as a spot to gather, to grab quick takeaway or to sit and enjoy.


“Cosmic Coconut evolved into City Silo,” said Scott Tashie, Owner of City Silo, I Love Juice Bar in Midtown and the future I Love Juice Bar in Crosstown. “Cosmic Coconut created the need and expectation for creative, clean eating in Memphis. City Silo expands on that expectation and will offer all the favorites of its predecessor with the addition of egg, dairy and chicken options to create a more inclusive experience.”

But, says a rep, don't count out Cosmic Coconut just yet. The Cosmic Coconut truck is going on hiatus through the winter but may return, and "there will be pops / references to Cosmic Coconut included in City Silo."

Cosmic Coconut originally opened in 2011 and was an all-vegan juice bar with a small food menu.

Scott Tashie, along with partners (including the ubiquitous Taylor Berger), took over in 2012. Tashie opened Memphis' first I Love Juice Bar in 2015. A second I Love Juice Bar is set to open next year in the new Crosstown Concourse.

Full release below:

Introducing City Silo Table & Pantry,
Located in the Former Cosmic Coconut Space

Memphis, TN (January 14, 2017): City Silo Table & Pantry will offer re-imagined comfort food and drinks that replicate familiar textures and flavors with wholesome, clean ingredients. Blending characteristics from traditional dining concepts – the café and market, the juice stand, the coffee house and the bistro – City Silo’s modern, light and airy space will serve as a spot to gather, to grab quick takeaway or to sit and enjoy. City Silo will host its grand opening on Saturday, January 14th, 2017.

Located in the former Cosmic Coconut space plus the adjacent unit, City Silo will encompass a total 2600 square feet, feature a full kitchen and provide a seating capacity of close to 50. Striving to create an inclusive dining experience that appeals to different tastes and diet needs, City Silo will now offer egg, dairy and humanely-raised chicken options while continuing to offer an extensive plant-based menu.

“Cosmic Coconut evolved into City Silo,” said Scott Tashie, Owner of City Silo, I Love Juice Bar in Midtown and the future I Love Juice Bar in Crosstown. “Cosmic Coconut created the need and expectation for creative, clean eating in Memphis. City Silo expands on that expectation and will offer all the favorites of its predecessor with the addition of egg, dairy and chicken options to create a more inclusive experience.”

Anchored by a 10-foot farm table, City Silo lives in a sunshine-filled space with whitewashed and herringboned-inspired, wood paneled walls that create a welcoming, yet stylish environment. Custom, bar tops and tables made with Woodland tree products paired with sleek, metal seating combines industrial rustic and mid-century influences for a signature design. Coolers with grab-and-go, plus a retail area with small batch chocolates, jams, fermented vegetables, organic pastas, flours and grains will pay homage to European-style markets. City Silo will be overwhelmingly organic and local whenever possible.

Executive Chef, Will Byrd developed the menu in conjunction with Tashie. Breakfast, snacks, salads, sandwiches, grain bowls/wraps, and build-your-own burgers will comprise the menu. A kids’ menu will also be available. Additionally, City Silo will feature many exclusive drink options: kombucha via kegs for kombucha cocktails; superfood wellness lattes; familiar fresh, cold-pressed juices and smoothies; a creative coffee / espresso menu and beer / wine starting later in 2017. Juice cleanses will continue to be offered. Prices range from $6 - $15.

City Silo Table & Pantry is located at 5101 Sanderlin Center and phone is: 901.729.7687. It will be open Monday – Saturday, 7am to 8pm, starting January 14, 2017. Visit or follow City Silo on Facebook: @citysilo and Instagram: @citysilo for continued updates.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Long Road Cider Opening this Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 1:54 PM


Scott Patterson worked in marketing. Then he decided he didn't want to work behind a desk for the rest of his life. He had done some home beer brewing and had branched off into making cider.

All of this to say that that long road has led to Long Road Cider Co., which is holding its grand opening this weekend.

The cidery is located in Barretville, about half an hour away, near Millington.

Long Road sells small-batch ciders. Patterson describes them as dryer than what one might associate with a hard cider like Mike's or Angry Orchard.  And, he likes to  experiment with ingredients. He's used persimmons, muscadines, peaches, pears, and apricots.

There's the Rhonissippi, which uses cotes du Rhone wine yeast, and the Ginger Was Hot! (a Gilligan's Island reference) with ginger root.  Patterson ferments some of his ciders in bourbon barrels, others he finishes off in the bottle, known as the Methode Champenoise.

Long Road offers non-alcoholic ciders as well, including a holiday spice cider.


Patterson says that brewing beer is "proactive," while making cider is reactive. Fermentation can take a lot of time — three months to complete 50 gallons, according to Patterson.

Long Road Cider is available on tap at Miss Cordelia's, the Rec Room, Cash Saver, and Lucchesi's Beer Garden.

The grand opening is Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m.  Expect cider-iffic shandys, cocktails, and sangrias.

Cider is available in both kegs and bottles. Long Road will be open Thursday and Friday, 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m., with dock sales Monday through Wednesday (call first: 352-0962).

Images: Long Road Cider Co.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bari's Speakeasy Bar Opens this Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 4:23 PM


Bari Ristorante e Enoteca
 will open a new second-floor bar to the public this weekend.

It's a speakeasy called Dodici. The name means "12," a nod to how many the bar seats. Seating is first-come, first-serve.

Vincent Hale will man the bar, and there will be craft cocktails and nicer bottles of wine.

Dodici is open Friday and Saturday, starting at 6 p.m. The bar can be rented out for private parties.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kooky Canuck's New Digs, etc.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2016 at 3:51 PM


A quick round-up ...

Kooky Canuck opens its new downtown location today at 5 p.m. The downtown location will be open for Thanksgiving, fyi.

148 North on the Collierville town square is now open.

Ghost River Brewing is hosting brunch on Sunday. On the menu: Bloody Beer, their take on the Bloody Mary, and Vice Mosa, a mimosa made with Ghost River's Memphis Vice beer.

Le Jardin, a new gourmet take-out place from Karen Roth, will have a grand opening next Thursday, December 1st.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Raiford's Being Refurbished into Restaurant

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 2:05 PM


Raiford's Hollywood Disco is being transformed into a restaurant space.

The inside is being totally gutted. Three levels of ceilings have been removed. Sheetrock walls have been removed to unveil windows that have then been replaced.


The plumbing will be replaced and the patio will be enclosed.

The project is set to be finished by February and the property is being leased by Loeb.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Schweinehaus Changes Focus to Barbecue

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 1:54 PM


is now Schweinehaus BBQ.

The changeover in menu from German-fare to full-on barbecue began two weeks ago, says owner David Walker.

"German food was a tough sell," Walker says. "And to be honest, it wasn't a passion of mine. Barbecue is."

For a more barbecue ambience, Walker says they're bringing in neon signs, maybe some decorative pigs. But the place will still be a German beer hall. "It fits pretty well, believe or not," he says.

As for the menu, Walker says Sweinehaus' ribs "stack up to some of the best in the city." They offer pulled pork and chicken, brisket, and smoked turkey breasts. German holdovers include the pretzels and the chicken schnitzel.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

PizzaRev Opening in Memphis

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 11:57 AM

PizzaRev, a craft your own pizza franchise, will open its first location in December in East Memphis.

Two more, both on Germantown Parkway, will open in early 2017.

These locations will be owned by Robby Stewart and Andres Bolivar, who own the area Steak 'n Shake.

According to Stewart, whose Southern Restaurant Holdings runs several franchises in Tennessee and Georgia, they were looking to branch out with another brand. They had the burgers and pizza made sense. They also considered Mexican franchises and other pizza restaurants before deciding on Pizza Rev.

"We liked what we saw," says Stewart of PizzaRev.

PizzaRev was founded in Los Angeles in 2012. It has since expanded to 150 franchises.

One of the draws of Pizza Rev, Stewart says, is its potential for a national footprint. Others include the restaurant's commitment to organic ingredients and the build-your-own approach.


Stewart says the build-your-own concept isn't a trend but a change in the restaurant industry. It makes the experience interactive for the customer, he adds, noting that a diner could build a pizza that is 700 calories if he so desired, making a healthier choice as well.

While Stewart is confident in PizzaRev, he says the decision to open three locations quickly was about real estate.

"In my business, some [restaurants] do well, some don't. If we find the best space, we'll go ahead. We do not bypass great real estate."


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