Monday, November 20, 2017

South Main Market grand opening Dec. 2

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 2:59 PM


It was announced today that South Main Market, an ambitious food hall downtown, will have its grand opening on Saturday, December 2nd.

Three new vendors were also announced, all under the purview of Cole Jeanes of Amelia Mae catering.

Press release below:

South Main Market announces new vendors, hours
Food hall to host grand opening on Saturday, December 2, 2017

MEMPHIS, TENN. (November 20, 2017) – – – South Main Market, Memphis’ first food hall concept located in the historic South Main Arts District downtown, announces three new vendors to its current roster, bringing the total to seven. While the market is open, it will celebrate an official grand opening on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

Local up-and-coming chef Cole Jeanes is the chef and creative mind behind the three new concepts: Coco, Kinfolk and Magnolia. Jeanes studied at L’Ecole Culinaire and trained at Acre Restaurant and Hog & Hominy. He helped open Porcellino’s Craft Butcher and revamped the menu at Silly Goose.

“I’m thrilled to have my first restaurants in South Main Market,” Jeanes said. “Food halls are enticing and affordable options for chefs who want their own space but perhaps not the risk of a stand-alone restaurant. Plus, I’m able to explore entirely different concepts at once.”

The South Main Market is located at 409 South Main and, at capacity, will have 14 vendors. Hours will vary per vendor and may fluctuate.

Pop-up vendor spaces are available for the December 2nd grand opening as well as for Friday, November 25th’s Trolley Night by calling Rebecca Dyer at (901) 341-3838.

For more information on the grand opening, visit South Main Market on Facebook or at

Civil Pour
Local beers, wine and craft cocktails make Civil Pour the place to meet and greet after work, before the game or show, or just hanging out at South Main Market. Small bites and delectable nibbles complement the libations.
Hours: 3pm until, seven days a week

Java Cabana
The South Main Market houses the second location of the beloved Cooper-Young coffeehouse. Java Cabana serves fair-trade coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, homemade cocoa, specialty drinks, as well as hot teas. Vegan drinks also are available. Their sweets include vegan cookies, brownies, & ooey gooey butter bars.
Hours: 8 am to 8pm, Tuesday - Saturday; Noon to 6pm, Sunday; CLOSED Monday

City East Bagel & Grille
Known for its freshly made bagels, breakfast items and traditional Jewish deli offerings, City East Bagel & Grille at South Main Market is the second location for the popular East Memphis institution.
Hours: 10 am to 8pm, Monday - Thursday; 8am to 10pm, Friday - Sunday

Elevated but familiar, country-inspired cooking with a twist. Choose from custom biscuits at breakfast to a refined meat-and-three for dinner or lunch.
Hours: 8am until, seven days a week

From a variety of handmade gyoza to Asian-inspired small plates, Magnolia offers fresh, local ingredients in its delicious dishes. Frozen foods and to-go orders to take home and enjoy later available as well.
Hours: 10am until, seven days a week

Healthy and vegetarian doesn’t mean boring and flavorless at Coco, where custom quinoa bowls, poke bowls and salads are filled with bright tastes and fresh, colorful ingredients.
Hours: 10am until, seven days a week

Wallflower Memphis
From grab-and-go fresh blooms to lush potted plants and eye-catching custom arrangements, Wallflower Memphis is Downtown Memphis’ resource for all things floral and green.
Hours: 10am to 6pm, Thursday - Sunday

About South Main Market ( Memphis’ first food hall, located in the historic South Main Arts District at 409 South Main. Featuring up to 14 vendors and a variety of food, wares and drinks, the South Main Market is open seven days a week.


Sunrise opening Nov. 27

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:01 PM


The much anticipated new restaurant Sunrise from Central BBQ's Roger Sapp and Craig Blondis and Sweet Grass' Ryan Trimm will officially open Monday, November 27th.

The restaurant, at 670 Jefferson, will specialize in meats (think bacon and sausage) and dense, hearty biscuits that hold up to a whole mess of fillings.

A soft-opening menu featured "Biscuit Sammies" with fried chicken, smoked bologna, and more. There were breakfast bowls featuring cinnamon chicharrones, fruit and granola, grits and bacon.

  • Pam Denney

Also offered during the soft opening were scrambled egg tacos and the Bi Bim Breakfast (!), and sides included pancakes, cheese grits, bacon, and hashbrowns.

The building, once a Neely's BBQ, has been considerably lightened. There are about a dozen four tops and half-a-dozen booths. A jukebox is stacked with classics (Cash, Redding, Parton, etc.), and there will be a grab-and-go case.



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LBOE's Champion Burger

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 10:52 AM

LBOE team: Simmons, McGhee, Adams, and Shive
  • LBOE team: Simmons, McGhee, Adams, and Shive

In early November, LBOE competed at the World Food Championships (WFC), taking the prize for Best Burger over some 70 other teams.

In April, they'll go on to compete with the other category winners (steak, seafood, etc.) in the next round in April, vying for $100,000.

The prize-winning Eggs Benedict Burger
  • The prize-winning Eggs Benedict Burger

"It was more stressful than we thought," says LBOE owner Tyler Adams, recalling how the team — Adams, Stephanie Simmons, Eric McGhee, and Tommy Shive — turned in one entry with just six seconds left on the clock.

LBOE qualified for the World Food Championships by pretty much sweeping the 2016 Best Memphis Burger Festival (Best Burger, Best Specialty Burger, and Overall Grand Champion).

After moving from the first round at WFC, the team made a breakfast burger for the second round. That burger featured a croissant bun, an egg, sausage, hash browns, and maple syrup aioli (!).

For the third round, all the teams had to incorporate an egg. Adams says he saw burgers with deviled eggs and omelets. "There are so many things you can do with an egg and burger," he says.

LBOE went with an Eggs Benedict Burger with a brioche bun, bacon, arugula, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce.

The trick, Adams says, was to turn out 11 perfect burgers (for 10 judges, one for presentation) with 11 perfectly done poached eggs (not easy) in 120 minutes starting from scratch (again not easy).

Adams calls the whole thing a "great experience" and winning "quite a shock." But, he adds of the Eggs Benedict Burger, "We knew it looked good."

Adams says the win has been great marketing for the restaurant. They've been hearing from regulars and non-regulars alike.

As for the big $100,000 April round, which will be on TV, Adams says the team will start prepping as soon as they learn the rules.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Best Bets: Cheesecakesicles

Posted By on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 3:59 PM

Cheesecakesicle at Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Cheesecakesicle at Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar

Santa Claus is making it down Santa Claus Lane at a pretty fast clip, but that doesn’t mean you have to start eating candy canes and fruit cake right away.

Vestiges of summer still are around. Most of my flowers haven’t yet frozen at my home. I still have leaves on some of the trees. And I still can get a “cheesecakesicle’ at Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar.

Strano chef/owner Josh Steiner first sold these concoctions on the street a few months ago at the Cooper-Young Festival. I tried one. It was delicious.

I asked Steiner recently how he came up with the idea of cheesecakes on a stick. “We wanted to sell more than pizza and sodas,” he said. “We wanted to feature our cheesecake.”

But, he said, “I checked the weather outside and saw that it would be impossible to sell 90 slices of cheesecake when the weather is 90 degrees.”

He came with the idea of flash freezing to turn the cheesecake into whatever you choose to call it: a cheesecakesicle, cheese pop or cheesecake on a stick. “So, we flash froze them and they were delicious. We enrobed them in chocolate, caramel and candied nuts. They weren’t hard like a Popsicle, but they were pretty firm.”

How did they do? “We sold every slice.”

I love Strano’s cheesecake, which is made from Steiner’s recipe. “It’s actually homemade and you can taste it.”

When I was at the Cooper-Young Festival, I removed the stick from my cheesecake and ate it with a fork, but he saw people eat the cheescakesicles like they were supposed to, Steiner said. “People ate it on the stick right in front of me,” he said.

Cheesecakesicles are being offered this week as a dessert item at Strano. You’re welcome to eat them stickless or hold onto the stick.

I asked Steiner what else he might one day put on a stick. “Now the creative juices are starting to flow with that question,” he said. “Actually, a baked candy apple on a stick. I don’t know how I’m going to pull that off.”

Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar is at 948 Cooper; (901) 275-8986

Cheesecakesicle from Michael Donahue on Vimeo.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Carolina Watershed to open in South Main district

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 4:59 PM

Making Carolina Watershed happen are, from left, executive chef Andy Knight, owner Mac Hopper, bar manager Stacy Kiehl and owner Brad Barnett. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Making Carolina Watershed happen are, from left, executive chef Andy Knight, owner Mac Hopper, bar manager Stacy Kiehl and owner Brad Barnett.
Carolina Watershed, a new outdoor/indoor restaurant, is slated to open at 141 East Carolina in December. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • Carolina Watershed, a new outdoor/indoor restaurant, is slated to open at 141 East Carolina in December.

Downtown keeps getting cooler.

Carolina Watershed, a new outdoor/indoor restaurant on half an acre at 141 East Carolina, is slated to open in December.

The restaurant complex owned by Mac Hopper and Brad Barnett includes four converted corrugated steel grain bins. The main bin will house the restaurant with an indoor circular bar. The concrete band interior with a metal studded wall was added.

Another bin will house the kitchen.

A separate bin will be used for the outdoor bar, which will have seating around it. Stacy Kiehl is bar manager.

Other bins will house the restrooms.

Food will be “Southern deli,” said Hopper. You can order a Reuben sandwich, but add a side of mustard greens, buttermilk cornbread or black-eyed peas. “Kind of Southernized a little bit,” he said.

The signature item will be “The Watershed Burger” with locally-grown meat, said executive chef Andy Knight.

Outdoor seating will be picnic tables.

Live music will be featured on an outdoor stage. Hopper described the music as “ambient, acoustic, unplugged.”

“Carolina Watershed” is a combination of the street name and because the property is “gullied out,” which creates a watershed, Hopper said.

In the 1930s, a house that stood on the property was razed. In the ‘40s, the dirt on the property was sold, which is why it’s gullied. “It sat for 70 years,” Hopper said.

Carolina Watershed is just a short distance from Main Street.

“The uniqueness is the style of architecture and the rural feel of it,” Hopper said.

Hopper calls Carolina Watershed “a destination point for people who want to have an experience. Millennials go out and want to have an experience. We’re going to give them one.”

A waterfall adds to the rural ambience of Carolina Watershed - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • A waterfall adds to the rural ambience of Carolina Watershed
Carolina Watershed is slated for a December opening. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Carolina Watershed is slated for a December opening.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dinner at the Hibiscus Salon Friday

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 3:37 PM


The Center for Southern Literary Arts
 (CSLA) launches officially on Friday with its fund-raiser Dinner at the Hibiscus Salon at Old Dominick downtown.

The dinner, which they hope will become a yearly centerpiece event, is a way of introducing the group and letting folks in on the scope of their vision.

This will be an interdisciplinary affair — a mix of food, poetry, deejaying, and visual art, say CSLA's Molly Rose Quinn and Zandria Robinson.

Oxford-based poet Derrick Harriell, visual artist and deejay Siphne Aaye, and chef Phillip Dewayne are the featured artists of the evening. After the meal, the trio will have a conversation and talk about how the influences of each of the artists' work.

The folks behind CSLA have a vision of featuring black Southern literature and queer Southern literature and sharing stories of justice, sharing local stories. They want to bring the community in on the conversation and a dinner, a comfortable setting. They are not some impersonal nonprofit. They are the hosts.

The dinner is the first in year full of events, including a collaboration with MLK50 bringing Nikole Hannah-Jones to town.

But about the food ... the menu for Friday's dinner will feature braised short ribs and a mint chocolate creme brulee. A bartender from second line will create the drinks. Both food and cocktails will feature hibiscus. There will be hibiscus tea and a hibiscus vinaigrette.

From the CSLA materials:

The hibiscus is known throughout the world for its show-stopping beauty. Wildly varied, several hundred species of the hibiscus exist in the world. It flourishes in warm climates from Africa, Asia, to the Americas. Beyond its loveliness, the hibiscus is used as a tea, in folk remedies, paper making, and has reported magical properties. Each day the hibiscus drops its old blossoms and becomes new. Gorgeous. Diverse. Magical. Ephemeral. What better symbol of the creative process?

The dinner starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65. Go to for tickets.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Downtown Dining Week Starts Nov. 13

Posted By on Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM


Downtown Dining Week
(DDW) launched in 2009, the brainchild of Felicia Willett of Felicia Suzanne's.

Willett recalled, on the eve of the second DDW, her thinking:

Willett says a number of factors came into play to set the event in motion, but she notes that it chiefly boils down to the fact that the downtown restaurant scene is unusually close. They had banded together to before to hold progressive dinners, and since other cities had held restaurant weeks, it seemed worth a try.

As Willett remembers it, she made some calls to her friends at Majestic, McEwen’s, Sole, and others.

“Y’all interested in this?” she asked.

“Yeah, absolutely” was the answer.

Willett said that the date was chosen because it's a usually slow time for restaurants. She also hoped the deal would entice folks to try places they wouldn't have otherwise.

That first year about 20 restaurants participated, offering three courses for $20.09. Over the years, the concept has evolved to include a lunch for about $10. This year, the number of restaurants is closer to 50 restaurants, and prices are $20.17 for dinner and $10.17 for lunch. 

Some of those participating restaurants include: Alcenia's, The Vault, Oshi, Bedrock Eats, Aldo's, Front Street Deli, Automatic Slim's, Paulette's, Felicia Suzanne's, Chez Philippe, and the Rendezvous. The full list and menus are at

Reservations are recommended and a $1 parking coupon is available at the site.

Participants are encouraged to hashtag stories and photos #DDW17.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Spaghetti Warehouse Closing

Posted By on Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 2:12 PM


It was announced this afternoon that Spaghetti Warehouse, downtown on Huling, will be permanently closing on November 19th.

The restaurant, which opened in 1987 and is down the street from the (current) Flyer HQ, is known for its endless sourdough bread, its trolley car seating, and lasagna deals. And while it waxed and waned in favor over the years, SW was always a solid place for school group and for those looking for a quick and easy and reasonably priced lunch.

From the release:


Today, we have made the difficult business decision to announce the permanent closure of the Spaghetti Warehouse Restaurant in Memphis, Tenn., located at 40 Huling St.

The restaurant’s last day of operation will be Sunday, Nov. 19th.

We are working closely with everyone on our staff, whose hard work and dedication is appreciated, and we thank them for their many contributions.
To our many guests and to everyone throughout the Memphis community, we say, thank you. We enjoyed serving you, your family and friends. And, it was our pleasure to celebrate your many birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

For anyone who has a question about our restaurant in Memphis, we invite you to send us an email at:

A spokesperson for the restaurant, David Ayers, said that "The restaurant industry is very competitive these days, with lots of ups and downs … challenges that, unfortunately, led us to the decision we've made today to close."

Ayers said the closing was due to a downturn in business. Spaghetti Warehouse began in Dallas in the early ’80s. In its heyday, it had about three dozen locations. There are now just around 10.


Wok'n in Memphis Pop Up Sunday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 9:38 AM


Wok'n in Memphis
will make its Memphis debut on Sunday at Porcellino's. Its first go was in Seattle.

Wait ... what?

Wok'n's Spencer Coplan is from Seattle. He moved to Memphis a little over a year ago with his girlfriend who is a teacher with Teach for America.

Coplan's background is in fine dining. He worked for Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. But, he says, "I've always had this love for Asian food, especially Chinese food."

We're talking the cheap, feed-the-masses Chinese food — beef broccoli, crab rangoon, orange chicken, and the like.

Coplan says his version is with "better quality ingredients, elevated but not in any way pretentious."

Sunday's dinner is $20 per person and includes an appetizer. Drinks can be purchased through Porcellino's.

Here's the menu:

Vegetable Eggrolls
Pork Dumplings
Sichuan Eggplant

Fried Brussel Sprouts with Chinese Sausage

(select one)

General Tso’s Chicken
Beef & Broccoli
Kung Pao Shrimp
Mapo Tofu
Sweet & Sour Pork

(select one)
Steamed Rice
Veggie Lo Mein
Egg Fried Rice

Coplan says he's in the "getting off the ground" stage. He does catering and he's working on an upcoming pop up at the Cove.

To purchase tickets, go to

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