Thursday, March 28, 2019

Jerry's Causes Stir with Orange Shirt

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 3:55 PM

  • Jerry's, Facebook

Jerry's Sno Cones
, the beloved purveyor of frozen treats, upset some true-blue tigers fans when they posted an orange (UT) Jerry's shirt on Twitter. Calls for a boycott were made.

"I got a bunch of girls, you know — hundreds of them for years," says David Acklin of Jerry's. "They really wanted an orange T-shirt to take back. They want to take a piece of Memphis."

(They also have a blue shirt.)

Claims were made that Jerry's Twitter account was then deleted. Acklin denies this but says he's not social media savvy. He says that they blocked those who were not followers and those who were being overly rude and using crass language.

"We didn't shut down Twitter," he says. "We didn't want it to be used as a platform for people to be hateful to each other."

Ultimately, says Acklin, he's heartened by the fervor of Memphis fans.

"We want Memphis football to do well; we want soccer to do well, and we want people to show up no matter. Whether we're losing or not, show up."

Acklin adds that they adding a new sno cone called Eye of the Tiger tomorrow. What's the flavor?

"We're still working on it," he says. 

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cozy Corner to open on Sundays

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 4:27 PM

Cozy Corner family member Sean Robinson at the legendary Memphis restaurant, which will begin its Sunday hours on April 7th. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Cozy Corner family member Sean Robinson at the legendary Memphis restaurant, which will begin its Sunday hours on April 7th.

For the first time in its more than four-decade-history, Cozy Corner Restaurant will begin opening on Sundays. The barbecue restaurant at 735 North Parkway will be open between 11 and 4 p.m. on Sundays beginning April 7th.

”When my dad first started he serviced the Memphis Queen Line on Sundays, but we’ve never been open on Sundays,” says Val Bradley, daughter of Cozy Corner founder, the late Raymond Robinson.

Her son, general manager Bobby Bradley says they decided to open on Sundays “just to try to give us another opportunity to serve the customers a little barbecue. Some people want to come out and have food after church.”

Bradley and his family have a tradition of eating together on Sundays, but that will “definitely change,” he says.

That doesn't mean the family can't continue eating together on Sundays. “Honestly, we could move it to after 4 instead of directly after 5. There’s a way of having family time and make allowances for things we need to do.”

Friday, March 22, 2019

Barbarossa Brothers Opening Downtown

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 12:08 PM

Imaadh Jayah, Mustapha Mustapha, and Omar Mustapha
  • Imaadh Jayah, Mustapha Mustapha, and Omar Mustapha

Barbarossa Brothers is opening on April 17th in the Sam's space at 7 N. Main Downtown.

But, Sam's fans, don't fret. Sam's will still be around during the day for breakfast and lunch. Barbarossa will take over the space at 5:30 p.m.

Barbarossa will be Sam's "alter ego," explains Imaadh Jayah, who is behind the concept with longtime friend Omar Mustapha.

They think of it as "pop-up-ish but permanent." Jayah says it will sort of be like when Kelly English took over the menu of the Five Spot. The integrity of Earnestine & Hazel's was intact, but you could get a great meal there.

"The foundation is nice," says Jayah of Sam's. "We're going to add to that. It will be the perfect blend."

Jayah will be in charge of the menu. He's cooked as such fine-dining establishments as McEwen's and Flight.

Mustapha will be in charge of front of house and marketing.

Barbarossa is named after 16th century pirates. It's applicable here, says Jayah, because he and Mustapha feel boundless in terms of the food and the scope of the project.

Mustapha has been working on an app called Edesia, which tracks local food trucks. They hope to incorporate that app, along with working with local artists while encircling young folks and creative types into a sort of community revolving around the restaurant. The goal — fingers crossed — is to one day host a festival.

The food at Barbarossa will be heavily Mediterranean/Greek with hints of Cajun. Jayah explains that this was how he learned to cook. There's his take on Shrimp & Grits, with a harissa tomato broth and couscous, along with garbanzo croutons. The Greek Fries, they say, are outrageous with Kasseri cheese, gyro meat, and gravy — like an exotic poutine. There are pasta bowls and salads and lots of favorite dishes from Sam's — wings, catfish, burgers.

So what's in it for the owner of Sam's, Mustapha Mustapha, who is the father of Omar? They say it took some convincing but the elder Mustapha saw the potential of a new clientele.

"We're really trying to get the city involved," they say.

Barbarossa Brothers will have a soft opening starting April 17th and will have a grand opening a week later.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Best Bets: Irish Vegetable Soup at Celtic Crossing.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 6:27 PM

Irish vegetable soup at Celtic Crossing Irish Pub. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Irish vegetable soup at Celtic Crossing Irish Pub.

The only non-Irish thing about the Irish vegetable soup at Celtic Crossing Irish Pub is the color. It’s not green. It’s more of a light brown. But it may be as close to the Emerald Isle as you’re going to get - food wise - at a Memphis restaurant.

Celtic’s owner D. J. Naylor adds “traditional” to “Irish vegetable soup."
“It is served in most traditional Irish pubs, particularly outside of Dublin,” he says.

And, he says, “For me, it’s akin to Achill Island. If you Google, it’s the largest island off Ireland. Close to where I’m from. Ballina in County Mayo.”

But, Naylor says, “ You don’t need a name. You just need a taste.”

He’s planning to serve quite a bit of it this coming St. Paddy’s Day. “I would say with the weather 55 and sunny, i would say a lot. Like a lot. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t 300 orders sold.”

The soup was offered as a special, but now it’s a permanent item on the menu, Naylor says.

“Originally, I brought some back from an Irish pub just to try to match it up. It’s almost the same everywhere. It’s basically a concoction of roasted root vegetables. Turnips, cauliflower, carrots, onions, potatoes, leeks, and celery.”

They also use cream. “For five gallons, you’re talking two quarts.”

Naylor brought 25 gallons to the recent Youth Villages Soup Sunday and served 2,000 little cups to visitors.

Naylor says he got a great reaction after he told visitors how good the soup is. “It was overwhelming. Like people would stop in their tracks and turn around say, ‘Oh, my God. He’s right. Jeez. This is good.’”

He’s going to let his sister, Rossa Martin, try the soup when she visits Memphis this weekend. “She’s a bit of a Soup Nazi,’ he says. But he knows she’s going to like it and say, “I feels like I’m in Achill Island.”

The soup probably goes great with green beer and Irish whisky, so give it a try while you’re celebrating at Celtic Crossing on St. Patrick’s Day.

A special brunch menu will be available between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. March 16th and 17th. This will be followed by a special dinner menu until 11 p.m.

Live music on the patio will be featured between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. both days. One of the entertainers will be Irish musician Ricko Donovan, who will play between 6 and 9 p.m. on the patio.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Amanda and David Krog Plan New Restaurant, Dory

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 3:06 PM

Amanda and David Krog - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Amanda and David Krog

It’s about to become a reality. Dory, the long-awaited restaurant owned by chef David Krog and his wife, Amanda, is slated to open this fall.

The restaurant will be located at 716 West Brookhaven Circle.

“We signed contracts this morning,” David says.

“A year and a half ago we wanted to open a restaurant,” Amanda says. That was after David left Interim restaurant as executive chef on January 1, 2018. “We wanted to do something for ourselves.”

The 3,500 or so square-foot house, which once was a medical office, will be completely renovated. “We will have private seating upstairs,” Amanda says. “We’ll have a private dining room downstairs as well. We will have four seats at the counter in the kitchen. Once a week, David will do a 8-to-10-course tasting and wine pairing at the chef’s counter.”

A bar will be separate from the dining room. And they will have an area for lounge seating.

As for the cuisine, David says, it will be “contemporary Southern” with “a French technique. We are focused on intentionally sourcing first generation farms — small farms, family-owned businesses within 100 miles.”

“Dory” is the name of David’s grandmother and his and Amanda’s daughter. “We named our restaurant and our daughter after his ‘Grammy,’” Amanda says.

They specifically wanted their restaurant to be in a house off Poplar in the 38117 area code. They were driving around one day looking for potential locations when their realtor called them with a house that had everything they wanted. It was perfect.

“I was about ready to throw in the towel and get a job,” David says.

The decor will be a combination of David’s taste and Amanda’s taste. “David’s style is more contemporary and modern. And mine is more Bohemian and rustic. And so we are working with somebody to meet in the middle.”

As for furnishings, Amanda says, “We’re going to have some very delicate pieces and some industrial pieces. And we have our friends at Iron & Design and CityWood helping with some focal points and doing our tables.”

“It’s a family-owned business,” David says. “It’s owned and operated by a husband and wife who most definitely want it to be a neighborhood restaurant. It’s a high-end restaurant, but it’s a neighborhood restaurant, too.”

David describes the kitchen as “a teaching kitchen” on the order of chef Erling Jensen’s kitchen at Erling Jensen: The Restaurant. “A lot of people have worked in that kitchen and a few really good business chefs and chefs who have left this town have come up in Erling’s kitchen,” he says. “The kitchen staff is already done. I’ve picked the first crew and there’s a couple of slots for new hires. That is the beginning of bringing in people we don’t know and see if they fit for us. It is important that we fit for them. We want a place where people can grow. And, being in a kitchen, we have to fit well together.”

David and Amanda will continue to conduct their Gallery dinners, which features David and other chefs cooking multi-course dinners at various locations.

And, Amanda says, “David cooks in some people’s homes and does dinner parties for people and other events. We still have that going on in the meantime.”

People will be able to follow Dory’s progress on the Facebook pages and Instagrams of David and Amanda. Their Website is

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Catching Up with Old Dominick's Alex Castle

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 9:32 AM


Alex Castle, head distiller at Old Dominick, does not remember the first time she tried whiskey, but she has a very vivid memory of her first encounter with the stuff.

"My parents, for whatever reason, thought it was a really great idea to take my brother and me to Maker's Mark for a tour," she recalls, "and why it was surprising to me is neither of them drank bourbon at the time."

Castle thought the place smelled gross, that her father putting his hand in the mash was gross, and the bourbon-laced fudge she got at the end of the tour was, yes, gross.

Her feelings on bourbon, to say the least, have softened a little.

Old Dominick's offers Huling Station Bourbon Whiskey, Memphis Toddy, Southern Gin, American Dry Gin, Honeybell Citrus Vodka, and Pure Memphis Vodka.

Castle says Old Dominick's bourbon whiskey is still a couple years off. She describes Old Huling as a rye whiskey. The Memphis Toddy story is, well, storied.

The forebears of Old Dominick's founders Chris and Alex Canale used to run a grocery distributorship. At that distributorship they sold flavored whiskey. We're talking prohibition era here. So Old Dominick's Chris and Alex had found a sealed bottle of the bourbon. They decided to unseal it and send it off to get the liquid analyzed, so they could figure out how to make it themselves.
Old Dominick product in their most basic form
  • Old Dominick product in their most basic form
The modern-day version of the toddy features cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, lemon peel, orange, clove, and grapefruit. It is, what Castle describes as a flavored bourbon.

Castle oversees all aspects of the production at Old Dominick, from the new oak barrels (made from West Tennessee oaks) used for the whiskey to the bottles for the final product. She gathers the raw materials and makes sure all the equipment is in working order. She is, above all, in charge of quality control.

Castle has an astute palate, which has served her well in this job. She says her favorite whiskeys are those with caramel and toffee notes.

On Castle's desk is an old cookie jar from her childhood days. It's shaped like a black and white rooster with a brilliant red comb. It looks familiar ... just like the dominecker rooster of the Old Dominick logo.

Her parents, the ones who took her on that gross trip to Maker's Mark, took it as a sign. Castle did, too.

Old Dominick will be at Whiskey Warmer, which is happening Friday, March 22nd, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Overton Square. Tickets are $39.

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

What's Going On at Earnestine & Hazel's?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 4:44 PM

Caitlin Chittom and Nate Barnes keeping it real at Earnestine & Hazel's. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Caitlin Chittom and Nate Barnes keeping it real at Earnestine & Hazel's.

Earnestine & Hazel’s is alive and well and waiting for you to come buy a “soul burger.”

After owner Bud Chittom died Sept. 5, people wondered what was going to happen to the iconic restaurant/bar at 531 South Main - at the corner of South Main and G. E. Patterson. The restaurant was closed for 10 days, but it now is open.

Bud left his entire estate, including a partnership in Beale & Second Inc., to his only heir - his daughter, Caitlin Chittom, 23. This includes Blues City Cafe, Beale Street Live (formerly Club 152), Jerry Lee Lewis’s Cafe & Honky Tonk, Beale Street General Store, Beale Sweets Sugar Shack, Handy Park concessions and commercial rental properties.

He left Earnestine & Hazel’s strictly to her, Caitlin says. “It’s the most special to me.”

Caitlin, who lives in Austin, says she’s “taking it day by day.” She’s been getting advice from friends, including Congressman Steve Cohen, restaurateur Kelly English, Miss Polly’s Soul City Cafe owner Ty Agee, and her mom, Angela Chittom-Merigian.

“I knew one day this would happen. It’s a lot to take on, but it doesn’t feel impossible.”

She basically is leaving Earnestine & Hazel’s as Earnestine & Hazel’s. She’s not repainting, renovating, re-designing or changing light fixtures. Nothing is happening to that famous grill, where those savory “soul burger” hamburgers are cooked. And they still come to the table in a red plastic basket with a bag of potato chips.

“Earnestine’s is such an integral part of Memphis history,” Caitlin says.

“We embrace the ragged of Earnestine’s,” Chittom-Merigian says.

“Locals are welcome there,” says Caitlin. “Tourists are welcome there. It’s very come as you are. I wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize our ability to welcome everybody.”

After Bud died, rumors began, Chittom-Merigian says. People said they were taking out the jukebox and that Caitlin wanted to turn E & H “into a cocktail bar.”


The downstairs and upstairs still look the same. Same jukebox. Same 45 rpm records dot the wall above the bar. Same retro light fixtures still hang from the ceiling.

Some familiar faces no longer work there, but Nate Barnes still bartends upstairs in Nate’s Bar. The same piano is there. And Floyd Foster continues to man the grill.

Bud used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Chittom-Merigian says.

But some things do get broken, Caitlin says. For instance, they had to fix a leak in the ceiling. There was some “delayed maintenance” at Earnestine’s.

As far as changes, draft beer from local breweries now is on tap at E & H.

Customers now can order a mixed drink at the bar instead of having someone bring it from the upstairs bar or the old The 5 Spot restaurant, which now is a party rental facility.

The smoking regulation is changed; smoking only is allowed upstairs.

Albert King Jr. is the new house band.

Phone chargers now are installed at each booth so customers won’t have to have someone behind the bar charge their cell phones.

The new Malco Powerhouse Cinema Grill & Bar, which opens March 7, is an incentive to add more hours, Caitlin says. “With the movie theater coming in, we’re looking to expand our hours back into the day. I’d love to be open again during the day.”

She’s excited about the development going on in the South Main district. “I think it’s a growing and thriving community. I love that we’re in an area that is preserving its history. It’s an exciting intersection to be at. It’s the best corner in the city.”

The building which houses Earnestine & Hazel’s was built in 1906. During its lifetime it was a church, a brothel, and a pharmacy. Earnestine Mitchell and Hazel Jones opened the original Earnestine & Hazel’s.

Bud and Delmer George bought E & H in 1993. Bud later bought out George.

A few years later, Bud decided to bring Russell George (no relation to Delmer George) on board as co-owner. George owned Murphy’s at the time. Chittom-Merigian remembers Bud saying, “I’m going to go get Russell George. He’ll be the perfect face for Earnestine’s.”

Russell, who died in 2013, was the “essence of laid back cool,” Caitlin says. “He really was the front man while Bud was behind the scenes.”

Bud knew before Caitlin was born that E & H would be hers someday, Chittom-Merigian says. He told her, “This is her legacy. This is Caitlin’s corner.”

Bud always was excited about Earnestine & Hazel’s. “He’d call me in the middle of the night and talk about ideas for Earnestine’s,” Caitlin says.

After Bud died, the business was closed for 10 days because it was in probate, Chittom-Merigian says. “It was closed 10 days until Caitlin became the legal owner.”

Earnestine & Hazel’s still has “the same magic,” Chittom-Merigian says.

“I know that he’d be proud of the way Earnestine & Hazel’s is today and my commitment to preserve it,” Caitlin says.

And, she says, “I just want it to be what it’s going to be. You can stand in the way or you can grease the wheels and step back and let Earnestine’s do what Earnestine’s is going to do.”

Dinner and a Movie at Powerhouse Cinema

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 2:13 PM


When the Powerhouse Cinema opens tonight Downtown, it may just redefine what dinner and a movie means.

The cinema, which once housed steam generators for the train station, is the best and brightest in movie technology — recliner seats that recline all the way back, huge screens for IMAX, reserved seating. But we're here to talk about the food.

The Powerhouse features a full-scale restaurant with a wood-fire oven for pizzas. The menu ranges from everything from chicken sandwiches to avocado toast.

You can also get milkshakes and booze 'em up at the bar. Scott Tashie of Malco says the menu covers all the bases. They've got pretzels made by Dave Scott of Dave's Bagels and local beers on tap. The cocktail menu includes nods to both Memphis (Mud Island Tea) and to movies (007).

Tashie says they incorporated items from some of the other Malco grills and punched up the restaurant's menu with new items such as the wood-fired pizzas. The menu includes a hodgepodge of influences and genres — wontons and toasted ravioli, fried shrimp with firecracker sauce, and barbecue nachos. There are also salads and fish and chips. The pizzas are mostly classic — veggie, Hawaiian, pepperoni. Of course, you've gotta have a pork-barbecue pizza.

The space is meant to invoke a good atmosphere and good vibes, says Tashie. There are TVs around and a nice patio out front.

Malco partnered with the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), which owned the building, to get the Powerhouse built.

"None of this would be possible without MATA," say Karen Melton, Malco's VP and director of marketing.

Along the restaurant's front, there are the original windows (the glass was replaced). Bricks from the original building were repurposed. Along those eco-friendly lines, a new corn-based straw is being introduced and Malco will serve popcorn in recyclable bags.

Tashie says cinemas such as the Powerhouse are on trend, offering the latest amenities. But Malco wants to stay ahead of the trends.

"We want to be on the cutting edge," says Tashie, "for Memphis, for Malco."

With the high-quality sound, the large MXT (IMAX) screens, the pizza and the beer, Malco is aiming for a high-quality experience for its patrons.

One nice perk of the new theater is the in-seat delivery. (Some other Malcos offer this, too.) Patrons order from the concession stand and have their order delivered to their seat. This service ends 10 minutes after the movie starts.

Tashie says of the restaurant, "It's meant for everyone." Folks can just stop by for a cocktail or a quick dinner without ever buying a ticket. You can relax and hang out on the patio. But if you're so inclined to see the Marvel movie, the Powerhouse offers a "true dinner-and-movie experience," says Tashie. 

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Whiskey Warmer Coming at You!

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 11:53 AM


The Flyer's Whiskey Warmer will be held Friday, March 22nd at Overton Square, from 6 to 9 p.m.

This whiskey-centric event is ideal for whiskey newbies and connoisseurs alike. With some 40 varieties to sample, guests can hone in on the whiskey that really suits them. Representatives from the brands will be on hand to discuss their products.

Ticket holders get a card for 15 whiskey tastings. Tickets are $39 and must be purchased in advance.

There will be bluegrass music from Graber Grass and food from the Second Line, that white-hot food truck Cousins Maine Lobster, and Laura's Kitchen.

Some of the brands featured at the event include George Dickel, Crown Royal, Bird Dog, Four Roses, Russell's Reserve, Louisa's Liqueur, and Southern Comfort. Memphis' Old Dominick will be there as well.

Proceeds benefit Volunteer Memphis. 

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dog Park Bar Opening Soon!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 5, 2019 at 4:17 PM


My. Head. Just. Exploded.

There's a dog park/bar opening at 730 S. Main called Lucky's Social Club. It's having a soft opening on March 16th and March 17th in conjunction with St. Pawtrick's Day. (Died.)

Chelsea Glass and Brian Ellsworth are behind the venture. Both are in event planning. Mac Hopper, who was co-developer of Loflin Yard and Carolina Watershed, is also a partner.

The bar will be members-only — $10 a day; $25 per month; or $275 per year. To enter with your dog, you must have proof of vaccination and spay/neuter. And, you will have to sign a paper swearing your dog is not aggressive. No dog? No problem. You're welcome too.

Glass says Lucky's, which is near the Active Bolt and Carolina Watershed sites, is in an ideal space, with lots of room for roaming and running and nearby to retail and living spaces.

According to Glass, there will be Yappy Hours and a Paw of Fame wall. A menu will serve gourmet hotdogs — a Greek dog, Chicago-style, veggie. They're hoping to offer a beer for dogs.

The idea, says Glass, who has two dogs, Duke and Titan, is to provide a space for dogs and their human friends that is fun and safe.

The St. Pawtrick's Day party will feature food trucks and live music. It runs from noon to 6 p.m.

Lucky's Social Club is set to open May 1st.  

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Kelly English to Take Over Midtown Fino's

Posted By on Fri, Mar 1, 2019 at 1:42 PM


Exciting news, Kelly English is taking over the Midtown Fino's.

His goal, he says, is to preserve something that is so authentically Midtown.

He plans to serve breakfast, with an emphasis on breakfast sandwiches, including pork rolls. But, otherwise, the menu will be much the same.

He hopes to have it open by early April.

When asked if this was out of his comfort zone, English replies, "Everything I do is outside of my comfort zone." He says that's what keeps him striving.

He says he is not taking over the East Memphis location.

We'll keep you posted on this story. 

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