Thursday, September 6, 2018

Restaurateur Bud Chittom Has Died

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 9:49 AM

Bud Chittom (center) receiving his brass note on Beale Street in 2011.
  • Bud Chittom (center) receiving his brass note on Beale Street in 2011.

Memphis restaurateur Bud Chittom has passed away, according to numerous sources. He was 67.

Chittom opened about 50 restaurants in Memphis, including Blues City Cafe and Earnestine & Hazel's. Chittom's work earned him a brass note on Beale Street in 2011.

Downtown Memphis Commission/Beale Street Management Statement

"Bud Chittom was a legend," reads a statement from the Downtown Memphis Commission and Beale Street management. "He had a catalytic impact on Beale and was a larger than life presence in Downtown Memphis.

"Bud was not just a long-time business owner on Beale Street and a Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame awardee, he was also a pioneer who contributed so much of his life to making Memphis a great city.

"We believe we speak for all of Downtown when we say we will forever miss his particular brand of storytelling. RIP Bud Chittom."

Chittom's brass note on Beale Street calls him "a man you don't meet everyday."

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Here's what the Flyer wrote about Chittom when he got that brass note in 2011:  

Club owner Bud Chittom got a brass note on Beale Street Tuesday in recognition of his efforts over the past 16 years and in celebration of his 60th birthday.

Kevin Kane, head of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Chittom has grown his businesses at the western end of Beale Street, including Blues City Cafe, by 1200 percent.

"His philosophy is that if we're not making money then we need to create more revenue," said Kane.

Chittom, who has opened approximately 50 restaurants in Memphis, mainly on Beale Street and at Overton Square, thanked his wife and children, his longtime business partners, Beale Street promoters Mike Glenn and Preston Lamm, and former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton who was there for the party.

"They say it takes six to bury you," said Chittom in his characteristic drawl, noting that about ten times that many people came to the celebration.

Here's a video of Chittom playing on Beale Street on that 60th birthday:

Many have honored Chittom on social media as the news of his death spread Thursday:

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