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."

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Sneak Peek at the New Union Kroger

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Dozens of workers buzzed around the Kroger's new store on Union Tuesday morning, readying the store for its official opening on Wednesday at 6 a.m.

The new store will have a Corky's BBQ, Murray's Cheese Shop, a New-York-style sandwich shop, a Pan Asian Sushi Bar, a juice bar, pharmacy, a growler station, Starbucks, and more.

Gone are the days of squeezing through those narrow aisles. The new store is about 60,00 square feet, nearly double the size of the previous Union Kroger. Also, Kroger expanded its parking lot, situated just east of the store's front door.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Chubby Vegetarian Dinner Party

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Last Saturday, I invited Flyer friends Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks, aka the Chubby Vegetarian, to dinner. Pam and Bianca were there too.

The plan was that I would cook from TCV's newest cookbook, The Chubby Vegetarian. (I was later told that cooking for the cookbook author from the cookbook author's cookbook is weird for the cookbook author, so don't do this.)

For starters, the Figs in a Blanket (along with some vegan pigs in a blanket for Bianca).

Made with figs, cheese, walnuts, and crescent rolls. This was maybe my favorite dish ... sweet, salty, crunchy, cheesy and easy to put together. A surprise! 

Next up, the Bagna Cauda Smashed Chickpea Dip ... 
Ain't gonna lie, I just googled "Bagna Cauda," which means hot bath. I think that's in reference to the wine it's cooked in? Also, very good. I made this early in the day and put it in the fridge. I'm wondering, if it might have been even better warm. 

This is the Fresh Cucumber Noodles with Cashews and Mints. Light and refreshing. The noodles are made in a zoodler or whatever those things are called. 

This is the main event ... the Italian-style Eggplant Sausages. 
These are made with peeled Japanese eggplants that are marinated, put on a grill pan, and topped with sauteed potatoes and onions and peppers. Oh boy! 

One thing I began to appreciate as I was putting all this stuff together is how very artful TCV is with spices. Everything smelled so good even before it hit the stove and no being pummeled with cumin. 

Finally, the Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Pie ... 
This is speckled with dates and has a peanut crust. This one is quick and easy to put together. 

I consider myself to be a mostly-okay, sometimes disappointing, sometimes pan-ruining cook, but I wasn't intimidated in the least by these approachable dishes. 

TCV is having a booksigning Thursday, October 27th at 6:30 p.m. There will be snacks, so I suggest y'all go. And I suggest you pick up the book. 

There's also a book release party at the Second Line on November 6, 5-7:30 p.m.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nacho Ordinary Coffee, etc.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Gary Cluck traveled a lot for his job, and while on the road, he got hooked on good coffee. He joined some clubs, took some classes. Then, he bought his own roaster. He began giving away bags to family and friends, who urged him, "You need to get this to people," he says. 

And so he did. He recently launched Nacho Ordinary Coffee, which sells small-batch coffees online for about $14 per bag. 

Nacho is the family dog. "She's such a sweetheart," Cluck says. "She's not your typical chihuahua."

Cluck says the coffees he offers tend to be medium roast. He will typically offer two coffees from two different countries and never blends. 

• Barbecue champ Melissa Cookston is opening a steakhouse in Southaven, Steaks by Melissa

* Downtown Dining Week is set for November 7-13. 

• Jeff Johnson's Green Room is holding its first pop-up restaurant this weekend. Chef Daniele Zucca will lead the meal. Dinner includes Lasagna Alla Bolognese and pumpkin ravioli in brown butter. Details here

Pimento's Kitchen and Market is set to open at 6450 Poplar on Wednesday. This is a sister restaurant of Holiday Ham and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Crosstown Arts to Open Cafe

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 10:17 AM


Crosstown Arts has announced that it will be opening a cafe in the Crosstown Concourse. It will primarily serve Crosstown Arts staff and artists participating in the organization's residency program but will be open to the public. 

While the plans are subject to change as the project develops, the idea now is that the cafe will serve "plant-based" meals, though there will be some meat options. 

From the press release: 

Crosstown Arts will operate a plant-based cafe featuring innovative, health-conscious, and affordable meals inside its contemporary arts center inside Crosstown Concourse. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2017, the cafe will prepare meals for both Crosstown Arts’ multidisciplinary artist residency program and the general public.

Rather than feature a fixed menu, the cafe’s chef will offer a flexible, simple menu for each meal of the day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), depending on what is in season and available from local growers. Menus will be posted weekly each Sunday.

The cafe will provide daily meals to Crosstown Arts’ resident artists, who will dine, family-style, at a communal table inside the cafe, but the general public are also invited to dine in. The cafe will be open Monday through Friday and for brunch on Saturday. It will be closed on Saturday evenings and all day on Sunday.
By my count, this is the sixth food or drink venue scheduled to open in the Crosstown Concourse. 

I Love Juice Bar announced last week that it would be opening its second location at Crosstown. The others are the Ktichen-related Next Door, the vegetarian restaurant Mama Gaia, French Truck coffee, and Crosstown Brewing Co. 

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On the Scene at Taste of Cooper-Young

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 11:37 AM

Participants got a taste of 12 Cooper-Young restaurants during this fund-raiser for First Congo's outreach programs. 

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Vegetarian Restaurant to Open in Crosstown, etc.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM


An all-organic vegetarian restaurant will open in the Crosstown Concourse, it was announced this morning. 

Mama Gaia ("Mother Earth") will feature pitas, quinoa bowls, salads, and soups as well as options for the kids. 

Cru and Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling, along with two partners, are opening the restaurant. Cru, a professionally trained chef, will lead the kitchen. 

Mama Gaia is guided by three principles: health consciousness, ethical obligation, and environmental stewardship. 

From the press release: 

“Our goal is to inspire people to be more conscious about what they are eating and encourage them to incorporate high-quality, organic foods into their regular diet to promote healthy living and a sustainable environment,” Philipp said. “Right now, we are focusing all our efforts on building our brand with this Crosstown location, but we hope to make it an emerging trend for future generations.”
* Petra Cafe is joining the Highland Strip at 547 S. Highland, with an opening date set for early 2017. 

• The Flyer's Crafts and Drafts is returning November 12th at Crosstown Arts. 

As the name suggests, there will be lots of crafts and beer. This is a fun one, folks. 

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cafe 1912 Tapas Wine Bar Changes Focus, etc.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 4:00 PM


Cafe 1912 Tapas Wine Bar, an offshoot of Cafe 1912 which opened in early June, will change its name and focus starting next Tuesday, October 19th. 

Cafe 1912 Tapas Wine Bar, says owner Glenn Hays, "never had an identity." 

When the restaurant reopens on Tuesday, it will be Peabody Point Cafe. The menu will be composed of large dinner salads (nicoise, lyonnaise) and pasta dishes (lasagne, mac and cheese). There will be some dishes for children as well, says Hays. 

Prices run from $8-$10. 

The decor will remain the same. The cocktail list and wine list will be carried over from tapas bar as well. 

• October 17-21 is Memphis Seafood Week.

From the event page:

With October being National Seafood Month it was only right to highlight our seafood partner restaurants for Memphis Seafood Week 2016. Eating healthy is a good way to keep a healthy heart. The national non-profit, Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is doing its part by building a coalition of community leaders, restaurant owners, and other influencers that will help spread the message of the health benefits that come along with consuming seafood.

Participating restaurants include DejaVu, Sekisui, Flying Fish, Mardi Gras, and others. 

• The first-ever King Cotton Beans and Bluegrass Festival is this Sunday at the Landers Center, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It's a Ozark-themed festival with mountain music from Tennessee Ripple and bean-themed activities, including bean races (no clue!) and a bean bag toss. 

There will be a pinto-bean cooking contest and a cornbread cooking contest, as well. 

Benefiting Porter Leath. 

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Updated: Cozy Corner Set to Reopen Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Updated: According to the Cozy Corner Facebook page, they are now opening on Tuesday. 

Cozy Corner
is set to reopen in its original location tomorrow. It will be in a soft-opening phase for a two-week period, with a grand opening set tentatively for October 22nd. 

Bobby Bradley, grandson of Cozy Corner matriarch Desiree Robinson, says they need the soft-opening time to work out the kinks.

Cozy Corner, at 745 N. Parkway, closed after a fire on January 8, 2015. In March of that year, the restaurant moved across the street to share space with Encore Cafe. It eventually took over the space.

Both Bradley and Robinson say they are excited to be back in the old space, though Robinson notes she's no longer involved in the day-to-day operations. Bradley and his mother run the show, and says Robinson, "I let them." 



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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Imagine on the Move, other news

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 3:29 PM


Imagine Vegan Cafe
announced last week on its Facebook page that it is moving from its current location in November to a new space very close to where Imagine originally opened.

The restaurant is moving east to 2158 Young in the same building where it opened, only a few doors down. 

From the announcement: 

We're hoping to be up and running in the new location the first part of November, but until then we are still in our current location. We ask for everyone's patience as we journey into this new adventure. Also, look for our Go Fund Me that will be starting soon to raise money for our very own SOFT SERVE VEGAN ICE CREAM MACHINE!!!!!! Yes, you heard right! We'll keep you all updated as we move along. Thank you!
• I sorta love hate Gilmore Girls. I love any show I can bingewatch 8 million episodes in a row, but I sorta suspect Lorelei had a cocaine problem (don't @ me). Whatever ... the reboot is coming in November and in anticipation of that, on October 5th, starting at 7 a.m., Netflix is turning 200 cafes into a Luke's Diner for the day! In Memphis, the locations are: both Tamp & Taps, City & State, and 387 Pantry. 

• The annual Mid-South Great Steak Cook-off is returning to Southland Park Gaming and Racing on October 15th. Participants compete in the categories Appetizer Challenge, People's Choice, Showmanship, and Steak Cook-off. 

It's a lot of fun, and entertainment this year includes Ratt! 

• Starting today Hard Rock Cafe is running a special, limited-time vegetarian menu, and, son, it looks good. 

It features Buffalo-style wings made from cauliflower, a ratatouille wrap, and a cauliflower burger with garlic, egg, goat cheese, oregano and breadcrumbs, topped with zucchini, squash, Monterey Jack cheese, arugula, tomato and garlic aioli, served on a toasted brioche bun.   

Through the end of the month. 

Malco Ridgeway Cinema Grill is hosting a fall-themed wine tasting with reds and whites on Thursday, October 13th, 6-7:30 p.m.

Animals from the Humane Society will be there and admission is $13. 

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Visit to Zaka Bowl

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 12:35 PM

Earlier this week, Bianca and I were invited to check out Zaka Bowl

Zaka Bowl is a build-your-own veggie bowl restaurant that is 100% vegan. There are no appetizers or desserts. 

The design, from the decor to the logo is spare, without frills — a visual nod to the menu with its emphasis on whole foods. 
But don't equate this with boring or flavorless. Guests can choose such veggies as smoked portabella, an excellent roasted tofu, mustard herb cauliflower, lemon-garlic broccoli, and sesame eggplant to build on a base of either zucchini noodles, quinoa, wild rice, or spinach. Garnishes include charred corn, roasted beets, edamame, pineapple pico, and rosemary carrots. All this topped by sauces — creamy avocado, green tea vinaigrette, coconut curry, sriracha bbq, sesame soy vinaigrette, and Zaka sauce (a spicy mayo).

There are two featured bowls, and the owner says he's thinking about creating more. I went with the Zaka Zen with the broccoli, tofu, eggplants, carrots, beets, and pico. I thought it sounded perfect for the recently cooled weather, and it was. Earthy with dashes of sweet from the pico and the beets, and totally filling. Try as I might, I couldn't quite finish the bowl. 

Bianca went the build your own route and chose quinoa, tofu, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, carrots, and jicama slaw with the Zaka sauce. She also got a mango pineapple lemonade — very tart and very fresh!

I have to say I'm sold on this concept — to eat well and simply with no loss of taste. 

Bowls top out at $11. 

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