Friday, September 29, 2017

Majestic Folks Taking Over Brass Door

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 12:15 PM

  • Brass Door, Facebook

Deni Reilly, owner of the Majestic Grille along with her husband Patrick, confirmed today that the pair's Majestic Hospitality consulting firm will take over the operations of the Brass Door. They are working with the Irish pub's owners Meg and Scott Crosby and Seamus Loftus.

The Brass Door has been closed since July.

"There's not too much to tell at this point," says Reilly, noting that the parties just solidified the plans. She says that the site will stay the Brass Door, and that Patrick, who is Irish, is designing a pub menu.

The plan, says Reilly, is to open the side bar first for the sports fans to watch games as soon as a couple weeks, and to have the Brass Door open before the end of the year.

"It's beautiful," says Reilly of the Brass Door. "It's a great concept with a great rep and a great following. We're going in there to tighten some things up."

The Reillys most recently transformed the underperforming Riverfront Bar and Grill into the Front Porch.

 The Brass Door opened in 2011.

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Tequila Festival Update

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 10:35 AM


Dawdlers, you best get a move on. Tickets for the inaugural Memphis Tequila Festival will increase to $39 on Sunday, October 1st.

Some vital stats on the fest:

* Ticket includes admission and up to 15 tequila tastings.

* The event will be in the Overton Square Courtyard, 6-9pm on Friday October 13th

* Food will be available for purchase from Babalu and more

* DJ Jordan Rogers will be spinning party tunes

For more info, go to


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tunde Wey's 44: A Table for Forty-Four at Iris

Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 3:27 PM

despite the popular sentiment, we’re not currently living in a unique moment in race relations in america, but rather a prolonged moment that started with america’s founding and stretches to now. let us not mistake the evolution of racism, from overt bigotry to covert dispossession, as progress. instead let us examine the myriad ways it manifests in contemporary life. to complete a tragic full circle, even that veneer of cordiality has been scratched off as shown by police shootings, white supremacy marches, muslim bans, anti-immigration legislation … join us in memphis for a day of food and honest conversations about where and who we

  • Moyo Oyelola
  • Tunde Wey

Tunde Wey is a Nigerian-born chef who’d been traveling the country putting on pop-up restaurants for a few years when, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, he sharpened his focus. At his Blackness in America dinners, frank discussions about race were on the menu.

On October 9th, Wey will bring 4: A Table for Four and 44: A Table for Forty-four to Memphis. Wey is teaming up with Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) director John T. Edge, Rhodes professor Zandria Robinson, and chef Kelly English. The event, held by happenstance on Columbus Day, will be at Restaurant Iris.

The “4” and "44" in the title of the event are a nod to Jay Z’s 4:44 album.

“I’ve just been listening a lot of rap, and the Jay Z album has been one of my favorites,” says Wey. “The themes that he strikes are very relevant to discuss, whether you agree with them or not. Even in disagreement, we can create a rigorous examination on what it means to be black and also what it means to be white.”

The event will begin with four lunches for four from noon to 4 p.m. The cost is $44.

“The idea is that four people come together and we’re going to be eating and there’s going to be conversation,” Wey says. “We’ll be talking to them and serving them food and we’ll be listening to them, what it is they are saying and thinking about.”

The plan is to focus on four ingredients from Western Africa and the South. Wey would like all the dishes to be black. What he envisions is a black bean bisque, plantain gnocchi and catfish with black garlic, a cassava pudding …

Later, starting at 6 p.m., there will be a dinner for 44. There will be readings by Wey, Robinson, and Edge. There will be West African lullabies and Southern spirituals. Robinson will serve as curator for the discussion, using Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s Racism Without Racists as a guide.

“The overall theme is structural racism, which is one of the themes Jay-Z touches on in the album,” Robinson says. “But the album is more of a jumping off point to push and challenge and broaden the scope of that conversation by telling a history of racism and resistance across these four tables. The dinner is the evening reckoning with that history.”

Wey will already be in the area for SFA’s annual symposium. Wey and Edge have a history. Wey called for Edge to be fired for appropriating black Southern food for his own good. He and Edge now consider each other colleagues, according to Wey, and it was Edge who suggested Memphis and Restaurant Iris for Wey’s next project.

This year’s symposium will focus on ethnicity and identity. The 4 dinner serves as an extension of the symposium, of sorts.

“Memphis has long been a site of of contention and resistance,” Edge says. “A Columbus Day dinner, convented by Tunde, contributes beautifully to that ongoing narrative.

“Restaurants — not diners, not cafes, not lunch counters — have long been place of comfort, bunkers where diners have come to escape discord,” Edge says. What happens when restaurants, if only for the night, become places where discourse and discord are intentional?”

Wey says he lets the time and place set the tone at each of the dinners he hosts. And, yes, sometimes the conversations get intense.

“The idea isn’t to make people feel uncomfortable. It’s just part of the process,” Wey says. “You don’t go to the gym to feel pain. You got to the gym to work out and if you work out, well, you know, you’ll feel sore.

“I let it be what it’s going to be. Just like real life, there’s some contentiousness, some laughter. It’s honest and cordial in a way, but still very forthright.”

To buy tickets or for more information, go to

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Maciel's Hoping to Reopen Next Week

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 2:17 PM

  • Maciel's, Facebook

Good news, taco and torta fans, Maciel's is shooting to reopen by end of next week, Friday or Saturday.

The restaurant has been closed since a fire in July.

A fire in the building at 45 S. Main collapsed the ceiling in the restaurant on Saturday, July 15th. A least two fund-raisers were held for Maciel's.

According to owner Manuel Martinez, customers can expect the same of everything — from the menu to the decor.

"We're just happy that we can finally open back up," he says.



On the Scene at BreakFest

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 12:54 PM


Biscuits, pancakes, MF sausage links, eggs all ways — all the good stuff was at this year's BreakFest.

Frank Chin captured it for us.

And the winners are ...

Breakfast Sweets: Squeal Street Too
Breakfast Sandwich: Squeal Street
Omelet: Squeal Street
Bacon Dish: Squeal Street
Anything Goes (grand prize): Masters of Breakfast

Best Bloody Mary: Green Beetle
Best creativity: Green Beetle
Best Presentation: Arcade

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Return of BreakFest

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 1:40 PM


, the festival dedicated to all things breakfast, returns this Saturday, September 23d, with some significant changes.

Chief among them is a new location: the medical district at Union and Bellevue. This means expanded parking that includes a reserved lot for VIP ticket holders.

Another new development is that teams, competing in such categories as omelet, bacon lovers, breakfast sandwich and more, can win cash prizes.

Old Dominick is sponsoring the Blood Mary contest, and Bikesmith will be raffling off a bike. There will be cornhole and giant Jenga as well, and the music lineup includes Memphis Second Line Jazz Band and Grape the Band. Plus, there will be breakfast trivia contest (!) and an eating contest.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

SingBean offers Farmers Market Delivery

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 3:20 PM


Adam Weeks is a judge in Arkansas. His side hustle is his gig as a farmer with Powhatan Farms. His side side hustle is the new, a farmers market delivery service.

Weeks says that before he was a farmer himself he loved going to farmers markets and loved eating fresh. He began to get up early on Saturdays to drive to the Memphis Farmers Market from Arkansas. He started to meet the market's vendors.

Once he was in the farm game himself, he recognized what he calls a valley in the farmers market game. "Farmers get squeezed," he says. On the one side, there are farmers market customers and restaurants and on the other are the big grocery stores like Whole Foods.

It's really, really hard for the smaller farmer to be a supplier to grocery stores, says Weeks, so he decided to to turn his attentions to the opposite side of the valley with SingBean.

Weeks says he knows of no other service like SingBean. Unlike a CSA, you can pick and choose what you want and how much you want from a variety of farmers. That means if you want a small thing of tomatoes, so be it.

Customers can pick up their orders at Trolley Stop from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, or have their order delivered by Meals in Motion for a $6.99 fee.

Weeks says he sought out local farmers market super stars. Among SingBean's vendors are Bonnie Blue Farms, which sells goat cheese, Dave's Bagels, and Whitton Farms.

In the works is meal box delivery a la Blue Apron.

SingBean is currently in its soft opening phase, but will officially launch in the next week or so with the hope of having all the kinks worked out by the spring/summer season.

As for the name SingBean, Weeks says that he liked how it sounded like "string bean" and "singing" and, at the same time, sounds like a doorbell ringing. "That' all," he says.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Memphis Made to Can Beer Year-Round

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 3:16 PM


It's an old beer commercial cliche where after the guy gets done bailing hay or something, he sits down with a beer, opens the can with a satisfying cryysssshhhhh, takes a head-tilting swig, and then settles back with a sated grin on his face. Aaaahhhhhhh.

And while I have acted out that same scenario simply by fetching beer out of the fridge and settling on my couch in front of the TV (we all have), I contend that the guy who deserves that cryysssshhhhh the most is one Drew Barton of Memphis Made Brewing Co.

Barton built the brewery its own canning machine. A canning machine. Built it!

The brewery has offered limited-run canned beers in the past using mobile canning machines. The new Bartronic 1000 Cannerator (not sure if that's the real name of the machine) will allow Memphis Made to get cans into stores. They will be starting the brewery's popular Fireside Amber Ale, which will debut during the Cooper-Young Festival. The beer will be in stores September 18th.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Work Continues on 'Slider Out'

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 3:44 PM


A few details of Aldo Dean's new project on South Main emerged Wednesday, including its working title, "Slider Out."

Dean owns Slider Inn, Aldo's Pizza Pies, and Bardog Tavern. He said last year that he'd bought the garage and antique car storage facility at 365 Mulberry. At the time, he said it would be a second Slider Inn location.

Dean has been working on the project and later this month he'll appeal to the Memphis Landmarks Commission to add a small addition to the existing building for the restaurant's restrooms.

Dean also wants to add an exterior covered patio for year-round dining that will include large overhead doors that can be opened during comfortable weather, reads the application to the Landmarks Commission.

The restaurant will keep the automotive signage already in place on the building. Another sign will be added later to identify the restaurant. Dean also plans to install a piece of public art near the restaurant's main entry on Talbot.

Tennessee Taco Opens Next Week

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 12:45 PM


The three most beautiful words in the world: tacos, tots, donuts. Coming Monday, the Tennessee Taco Company will be serving up all three.

From the press release:

Tennessee Taco Company Opens Monday
New Memphis restaurant by Belly Acres owners Ben McLean & Chef Rob Ray

MEMPHIS, TN (September 6, 2017) - It’s taco time in West Tennessee thanks to Memphis restauranteurs Ben McLean and Chef Rob Ray. The co-founders of Belly Acres on Overton Square are bringing fresh street taco concept Tennessee Taco Company to the Poplar corridor in between East Memphis and Midtown this Monday, September 11th.

Located at 3295 Poplar Avenue #101 at Holmes Road, Tennessee Taco Company will have 24 different kinds of street tacos you've probably never eaten before. Chef Rob Ray calls them “progressive tacos.”

Whether you prefer savory beef, chicken, pork, fish, or vegetables, there’s a taco for everyone. Other menu options include pots o’tots, fresh guacamole, and doughnuts of the day.

Partner Ben McLean says, “We are excited to bring a Texas inspired, Tennessee perfected Taco concept to Memphis. We have the pleasure of doing what we love to do, creating smiles with food and service and helping make Memphis the culinary capital of Tennessee!”
Can't wait to try it.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Interim Under New Ownership

Posted By on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 12:30 PM

  • Interim, Facebook

Interim Restaurant & Bar has a new owner.

Tony Westmoreland and Nick Scott, the owners of Alchemy Memphis, and Ed and Brittany Cabigao, the owners of South of Beale and Zaka Bowl, bought Interim Restaurant & Bar from Eat Here Brands, the owners of Babalu.

David Krog will remain as executive chef. Krog’s culinary career includes working at Erling Jensen: the Restaurant and The Tennessean. He also opened the old Madidi restaurant in Clarksdale.

Said Krog: “I’m grateful to Eat Here Brands and excited about the next chapter. And the breath of fresh air from this local group.”



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