Sunday, January 7, 2018

Krog leaves Interim

Posted By on Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 3:30 PM

Chef David Krog leaves Interim Restaurant.
  • Chef David Krog leaves Interim Restaurant.
David Krog has left Interim Restaurant, where he was executive chef, to pursue other interests.
Krog, 43, who was executive chef at the restaurant for two years, opened the old Madidi restaurant in Clarksdale. He also worked with chefs Erling Jensen and Jason Severs during his 25 year culinary career. Krog was the subject of a July 2017 Flyer cover story.
As for plans, Krog said opening his own restaurant could happen in the foreseeable future.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Drizly Enters Market

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 2:52 PM


Drizly, an online alcohol market, is now operating in Memphis.

Customers can order beer, wine, or spirits online or via an app, which can be delivered within the hour or picked up in-store. 

Drizly's retail partners are Buster's and Arthur's.

According to Blaine Grinna, Drizly started after two Boston College graduates wondered why there was no alcohol delivery. They figured it was illegal. They then set out to figure out the legal arcania, going state by state.

Drizly now operates in 70 cities, according to Grinna.

One reason they picked Buster's and Arthur's for their partners was because both stores are able to track their inventory.

Grinna says what sets Drizly apart from other online retailers is their geographic reach and their multiple retailers.

Retailers set the prices. (A six pack of Heineken will set you back $9.99.) And delivery is a set $5 per order. Delivery stretches from downtown into Germantown.

According to Drizly’s sales data, the top selling items in Memphis are Tito’s Vodka, Miller Lite, and La Marca Prosecco.

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Top 10 Hungry Memphis Stories 2017

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 9:26 AM


1. Wahlburgers Opening on Beale
People freaked when they heard the news. They were supposed to open last fall, but the building on Beale, where Sweeties was supposed to be remains untouched. A permit for half-a-million in work was pulled in November.

2. Pontotoc opening next week
This little restaurant on South Main never got much attention. Its second coming, as a jazz bar run by the Silly Goose owner, caused a fuss.

3. Carolina Watershed to open in South Main district
Exciting new restaurant/bar in the Loflin Yard vein.

4. Spaghetti Warehouse Closing
We admit it wasn't all that good, but there something to recommend about its familiarity. We'll miss it.


5. Hopdoddy Coming to Overton Square
Y'all way too interested in chain restaurants

6. New Central BBQ to open
Owners Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp handed over the popular bbq spot's reins to the Wilsons (of the Holiday Inn Wilsons) for expansion.

7. The Vault Going in the Double J Space
The Vault boasts a frost-producing cold rail on its bar and the expertise of chef Aaron Winters.


8. Fresh Bagels in Midtown from Dave's Bagels
The city was desperately in need for good bagels.

9. Tennessee Taco Opens Next Week
Tacos, tater tots, and donuts, y'all.

10. Majestic Folks Taking Over Brass Door
Deni and Patrick Reilly, who managed to make something of the Riverside Grill (now Front Porch) turn their attentions to the much loved but neglected Brass Door.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DejaVu Closed

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 4:09 PM


"I can't do it anymore," says chef Gary Williams.

A sign posted on the windows of downtown DejaVu read, "Happy New Years. Closed Until Further Notice. Sorry & Thank you."

Williams says business had been dead. "It was beating me down," he says. He's closed the spot for good.

BUT, it's not all bad news. Williams says some folks are working to get him back into the Florida street location — the spot where it began years ago. He's shooting to be back open in late February or early March.

"You know me," Williams says. "I'll be back."

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Lucky Cat Plans Move

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 10:47 AM


Zach Nicholson of Lucky Cat announced today the restaurant is planning a move to the space formerly occupied by Tart at 820 S. Cooper.

They hope to be open in the spring.

They had originally planned to move in the Crosstown Concourse building, but that plan proved to be cost prohibitive for these small business owners.

"We always love that space [Tart]," says Nicholson. He adds that they wanted to stay in Cooper-Young.

Right now, they are ironing out the details, getting permits, and generally what Nicholson says is "getting the ball rolling" for the move.


The Tart space seats about 45, with 30 more on the patio. There are plans for expanding the kitchen.

The move means an expanded menu as well as a full bar.

"The whole plan is to offer more," Nicholson says. That means more ramen and seasonal bowls, an izakaya menu, and small plates. There will be a late-night menu and different rice bowls as well. 

Nicholson says they are doing really well at the current space at Cooper and Peabody, but the lack of gas and a commercial kitchen is limiting.

Meanwhile, they have opened for an additional day. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, starting today.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Peek at Atomic Tiki

Posted By on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 1:50 PM

Skinny and Jeff - DONAHUE
  • Donahue
  • Skinny and Jeff

We got to take a look inside and sample the wares of the latest endeavor of Skinny McCabe and Jeff Johnson, Atomic Tiki at 1545 Overton Park.

Are Tiki lounges making a comeback? There's something about the relaxed hula-ing vibe that feels out of step right now.

In any case, the menu makes good on the smokiness and spices of cuisine. Currently on the menu are lobster roll, Island BBQ nachos, meatballs, sliders, queso dip, and  smoked wings. 

Much of menu can be made vegan with the substitution of tofu.

If you happen to stop by the Atomic Tiki, be sure and get a Spiced Milk Punch, a delicious and creamy concoction of rum, vanilla, half and half, and nutmeg.

Also good is the Schifani's eyes made with Old Dominick toddy, pineapple juice, and angostura.

Jeff has had the space quite a while and had been running pop-ups. The lack of control of the situation began to wear, so he partnered with McCabe.

The Atomic Tiki is set to open early next year.

Hattie B's Opening in April

Posted on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 11:45 AM

Hattie B's, the hot chicken Nashville chain, was originally supposed to open this fall. The restaurant has since reset its sights to open early April in the old Curb Market spot on Cooper.

Construction on the space includes new plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. There will be seating for 126, with 60 of that outdoors. There will be parking for 30.

"We are so excited about our Memphis opening in early spring. It’s such an honor for all of us at Hattie B’s to be a part of the community, and we look forward to seeing our many Memphis friends and meeting new hot chicken lovers real soon!," says Nick Bishop Sr., co-owner, Hattie B's Hot Chicken.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Visit to South Main Market

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 2:35 PM

I've been stalking the South Main Market for weeks now. But every time I went by it wasn't quite open. Earlier this week, a man standing outside the building at 409 S. Main invited me in.

Today, Donahue and I finally stopped by for lunch. It's a very pretty space, if anything else. In fact, a couple was there scouting the space for their wedding.  

As for the eating ... a handful of places are open: Civil Pour, a bar from the Silly Goose guy; downtown versions of Java Cabana and City East Bagel; and a trio of spots helmed by Cole Jeanes: Magnolia, Kinfolk, and Coco.

Magnolia is an Asian-inspired eatery with dumplings, kimchi and shrimp and scallop toast. Kinfolk is down-home style serving biscuits all day; Coco is vegetarian with salads, yogurts, and juices.

Be warned, y'all: prices are steep here. A grilled cheese and water from City East set me back about $12. The salads at Coco start at $10. 

Donahue ordered the fried chicken biscuit from Kinfolk. It was caveman-sized. So big, in fact, I could not get the image to load. Try as he might and as tasty as it was, he could not finish it.

I got the grilled cheese from City East, which was perfectly done. I don't know, I thought it was going to come on a bagel??? It came with chips. I really liked it.

Donahue also got some coffee from Java Cavana in a mug that matched his jacket.

Y'all go check South Main Market out and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

5 Spot will return!

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 8:44 PM

5 Spot is slated to re-open early 2018. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • 5 Spot is slated to re-open early 2018.

The 5 Spot restaurant is in the same spot - behind Earnestine & Hazel’s - but it’s getting a facelift.

The restaurant is slated to re-open early 2018, said owner Bud Chittom.

As for the decor, Chittom said, “Much like the same with some new stuff. Bigger kitchen. More cool stuff on the walls. And we’ll probably change the chairs. We did some painting.”

The menu, he said, will include “some stuff with pork shank, some shrimp stuff.”

Veteran restaurateur John Wills is helping develop the menu. “I have tried to develop a menu that’s kind of the best of New Orleans to Memphis. Including all the Delta.”

The menu isn’t set in stone, Wills said, but he’s planning to put “Delta-style hot tamales, which Bud has had experience with at Blues City Cafe for years, going back to Doe’s.”

Wills, who owned the old John Wills BBQ restaurant, wants to add barbecue spaghetti, an Italian soul classic. It’s the best. Memphis has a heritage of Italians doing barbecue restaurants - Coletta’s, Beretta’s, Fracchia’s. There was an Italian barbecue place everywhere.”

They plan to feature shrimp and grits among other shrimp dishes. “Shrimp is in a lot of applications on the menu. Six different times.”

The plan on serving shrimp remoulade crostinis - a little cracker with lettuce tossed with remoulade and then the shrimp with more remoulade. Wills described it as “like one bite of Heaven.”

One shrimp dish - Willie T’s shrimp - is in homage of the late Russell George, who owned Earnestine & Hazel’s. “We’re putting a new twist on it and serving it on pasta.”

The 5 Spot also will serve French press coffee and beignets late into the evening.

“We’ll have a bar menu after 10:30 during the week and after 11:30 on the weekends," Chittom said. "We’ll keep the bar open.”

They’ll also deliver food in the Downtown area, Chittom said. “Remember our delivery motto: ‘We not only put out, we deliver.’”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Central BBQ to open

Posted By on Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 5:42 PM


Central BBQ is slated to open its newest location at 6201 Poplar in late spring 2018.

The new location formerly housed LYFE Kitchen.

This will be the fourth Central BBQ in Memphis.

"I definitely am looking forward to this one opening," said Craig Blondis, a member of the ownership group. "It's going to be, basically, the flagship for going forward and our footprint as we had out of the city with Central BBQ."

Monday, December 4, 2017

Spaghetti Warehouse Auction

Posted By on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 2:34 PM


All that cool stuff at Spaghetti Warehouse could be yours. The owners are holding an online auction ending on December 12th. Bidding starts at $1.

From the release:

Everything in the building will be auctioned off at to the highest bidder. All items start at just $1.00 and have no reserves. Depending on how competitive the auction gets, winning bidders could walk away with the iconic furniture, fixtures, decor and professional-grade kitchen equipment for pennies on the dollar.

The auction is live now and ends 12/12/17 at 10:00AM CST

There are 293 items in the auction including the novelty decorations that The Spaghetti Warehouse is famous for, like chandeliers, statues, furniture and professional-grade kitchen equipment

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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.

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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.

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    • Hattie B's Opening in April

      [image-1] Hattie B's, the hot chicken Nashville chain, had originally hoped to open this fall. They've since reset their sights to early April. Construction of the space on Cooper includes new plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. The restaurant will have seating for 126, with seating for 60 outdoors. "We are so excited about our Memphis opening in early spring. It’s such an honor for all of us at Hattie B’s to be a part of the community, and we look forward to seeing our many Memphis friends and meeting new hot chicken lovers real soon," says Nick Bishop Sr., co-owner of Hattie B's Hot Chicken.

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  • DejaVu Closed

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    Hattie B's, the hot chicken Nashville chain, had originally hoped to open this fall. They've since reset their sights to early April. Construction of the space on Cooper includes new plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. The restaurant will have seating for 126, with seating for 60 outdoors. "We are so excited about our Memphis opening in early spring. It’s such an honor for all of us at Hattie B’s to be a part of the community, and we look forward to seeing our many Memphis friends and meeting new hot chicken lovers real soon," says Nick Bishop Sr., co-owner of Hattie B's Hot Chicken.
    • Dec 21, 2017
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  • Hattie B's Opening in April

    Hattie B's, the hot chicken Nashville chain, had originally hoped to open this fall. They've since reset their sights to early April. Construction of the space on Cooper includes new plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. The restaurant will have seating for 126, with seating for 60 outdoors. "We are so excited about our Memphis opening in early spring. It’s such an honor for all of us at Hattie B’s to be a part of the community, and we look forward to seeing our many Memphis friends and meeting new hot chicken lovers real soon," says Nick Bishop Sr., co-owner of Hattie B's Hot Chicken.
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