In the 1920s, Jim's Place was the place to be. If you were famous and visiting Memphis or if you were just making the Friday-night trek from the tri-state area, you went to Jim's Place, located first in the Wm. Len Hotel, then across from the Peabody downtown.
That tradition extended as the mainstay moved into the family home on Shelby Oaks Drive in the '70s and now continues in its current iteration at the corner of Perkins Extd. and Poplar, a New York-style steakhouse that mixes Greek dishes with traditional American cuisine.
Ever on the search to stay current, co-owner Costa Taras and general manager Michael Catlin have decided it's time to break with tradition and open the doors on Sundays, a first in more than 50 years for the institution.
Jim's Place now offers brunch every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with all the brunch-y favorites and, of course, some of their own originals.
Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine (both $12) lay the foundation for something like Crab Benedict ($15), two poached eggs on crab cakes served on buttermilk biscuits and topped with their housemade Hollandaise sauce.
Known as a steakhouse favorite, they offer steak and eggs ($18) served with an eight-ounce New York strip, but then there's the grilled chicken and rice ($13), slices of their rotisserie chicken served on a skewer with bell pepper, onion, and mushroom over a bed of rice and covered in a mushroom sauce using a "recipe that will never ever be disclosed," Catlin says.
Catlin and Taras are hoping to draw a younger crowd and show them that Jim's Place is everybody's place.
"I think sometimes the white tablecloths can deter the younger crowd," Catlin says. "Our white tablecloths don't mean you have to be in business casual or a dress shirt. You can come in in a tank top and shorts, a dress, or a suit and tie. We want everybody to know you can come in as you are."
They've also launched a summer steak special, which includes any steak and two sides for $25 Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. until close.
An affordable menu is what rounds out the slick atmosphere, good food, and welcoming attitude that has kept Jim's Place a staple on everyone's list, according to Catlin.
"This is a place where you can come and enjoy a nice brunch and not spend an arm and a leg. You don't have to rush. You can come and be here for a while," he says.
"Jim's Place is not just our business, it's our home. We want our customers to feel that way," Catlin says.
Jim's Place is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. until close, Saturday, 5 p.m. until close, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jim's Place, 518 Perkins Extd., 766-2030
A year ago in May, Nashville-based bar and music venue chain Tin Roof seized a one-shot opportunity when the Hard Rock Cafe moved a couple of blocks west on Beale Street, leaving a prime location up for grabs.
They gutted the space and set up shop with their own unique "live music joint" style, offering all varieties of music, including blues, country, and cover bands, and their own menu that Tin Roof followers have come to know and love.
Recently they changed things up a bit so that tourists to Memphis or Tin Roof aficionados alike can find what their preferences are on the menu.
As the old "when in Rome" saying goes, ribs are now something visitors can order when they stop in for a drink or a performance, and Tin Roof has its own in-house smoker for the dry rub spare ribs ($15 or $23). (For the blaspheming recreant, they do offer brisket, $16.)
They've taken the chicken-and-waffle craze, and made it an app, with amply portioned fried chicken chunks scattered over a waffle and smothered with bacon-infused maple syrup ($9).
They now offer a variety of tacos, from chipotle chicken to ground beef to chipotle barbecue to brisket (oh, the humanity), each ranging from $3 to $4, and general manager Michael O'Mell can't say enough about the new Buffalo chicken quesadilla ($9.50), which is marinated, grilled, and pulled chicken served with Monterey jack cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese crumbles.
"Everybody was ordering wings and asking for them with jack cheese as a quesadilla. So that's what we made," O'Mell says.
O'Mell says they came up with the new menu by listening to the regulars.
"If there are 100 people working for the Grizzlies, 20 of them come in here every week. We've got hotel staff coming in here. We just asked them and tried to listen to what they told us," he says.
Fans of the Sloppy Nachos ($8) — yes, there's barbecue sauce on there — need not worry, nor those who travel the country eating the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich ($10.50) at the 12 other locations. The favorites have remained.
"We tried to keep what was popular, so that those who go to a place and look for a Tin Roof can get what they like, but still make this location unique to Memphis," O'Mell says.
Tin Roof is is open 11 to 3 a.m daily.
Tin Roof, 315 Beale, 527-9911