Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Signs May Light South Main

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 3:47 PM

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South Main may soon get a little brighter.

The 5 Spot restaurant and Lyfe Kitchen have both filed plans for brand new signs with the Downtown Memphis Commission’s (DMC) Design Review Board.

The 5 Spot is the restaurant behind Ernestine & Hazel’s. Owner Bud Chittom wants to hang a big neon sign for the place at its entrance on G.E. Patterson. The sign is a big, red-and-white arrow pointing toward the entrance that reads, simply, “5 Spot.”


DMC staff said the sign loses points in the downtown design code because it projects too far from the side of the building, covers some of the second-story windows, is too big, and is on the side (not the front of the building). But the staffers like that neon.

“Additionally, the sign incorporates exposed neon, an illumination type encouraged and historically appropriate within this historic district,” reads the staff report.

DMC staffers said they'll allow the new sign if it gets the approval (if neccessary) from the Memphis Landmarks Commission and the city’s engineering department.

Up the street, Chisca Hotel owners plan a huge new sign on the roof for Lyfe Kitchen, the healthy, fast-casual restaurant planned for the hotel’s ground floor.

The new sign will read “Lyfe Kitchen” in letters more than six feet tall and “Love Your Food Everyday” below in smaller letters.

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DMC staff said rooftop signs are usually limited to the Ballpark District or Peabody Place Entertainment District.

“Although the subject property is located in neither, staff opinion is that a rooftop sign is appropriate at this location given the height of the building, historic precedent for a similar sign at this property, and the fact that the original rooftop sign frame is still extant,” the report reads.

A sign of the similar size was originally located on top of the Chisca. It (appropriately) read, “Hotel Chisca.”

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Both new signs are slated to get an up or down vote during the Design Review Board’s next meeting next Wednesday.     

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