Friday, July 12, 2019

Ryan Trimm to Open Funky Downtown Bar

Posted By on Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 4:05 PM

Ryan Trimm behind the bar in the new lounge slated to open Labor Day in the basement of 3rd & Court Diner. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Ryan Trimm behind the bar in the new lounge slated to open Labor Day in the basement of 3rd & Court Diner.

It doesn’t have a name - and might never have one - but visitors to the basement of 3rd & Court Diner in Hotel Indigo soon will be transported back to the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Ryan Trimm, the restaurant’s chef/owner, describes the area, which is slated to open Labor Day, as a “late hour juke joint. Vinyl records. Live music.”

The music will be “all old soul or funk from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Maybe a little ‘80s.”

They’re going to “steer away from rock bands.”

That means patrons will be hearing Memphis music, including Rufus Thomas, Otis Redding and other Stax performers. And New Orleans funk such as the J. B.’s, and the Meters.

The area, which previously was the old location of Memphis Sounds, seats 100.

“We’re not changing much,” Trimm says. “New ceiling. New carpet. Cleaning it up.”

A special cocktail menu is being prepared, but there will be a “unique twist” on the drinks, Trimm says. And business people still will be able to order a “couple of fingers of their favorite whiskey.”

Or just get a “shot of Jack and a cold PBR.”

The food will be “charcuterie and cheese. Things like that. Snacks.”

The new carpeting, which already is installed, reflects what is to come. Trimm describes the carpet as “so many different colors. Wavy lines.”

“Purple crushed velvet” drapes will hang as the entrance “door” to a private area.

The mirrors will remain behind the bar, but the bar itself will be painted gold. Gold lame will hang on walls. “It will be a ‘60s and ‘70s funk look.”

The booths will be recovered, he says. “Everything down there is just different.’

Trimm just wants the new bar/lounge area to be “a place to hang out. All classes hanging out, enjoying a drink. Taking a load off.”


3rd & Court Diner is at 24 North B. B. King Blvd.; (901) 930-0793

The bar  for the new lounge in the basement of 3rd & Court Diner will be painted gold. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • The bar for the new lounge in the basement of 3rd & Court Diner will be painted gold.
A detail of the new carpet. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • A detail of the new carpet.
The booths will be recovered. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • The booths will be recovered.

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Literature-Themed Cafe Planned for Vacant Madison Building

Posted By on Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 10:58 AM

Proposed exterior of Cafe Lit - IDEAL INVESTMENTS LLC
  • Ideal Investments LLC
  • Proposed exterior of Cafe Lit

A new literature-themed dessert lounge is in the works for a three-story building on Madison.


The 1928 Downtown structure at 111 Madison, currently vacant, will be transformed into Cafe Lit, described by developers with Ideal Investments LLC as a “dessert bar with something to say.”


But, before work can begin on renovating the building, developers are asking the Downtown Memphis Commission’s (DMC) Center City Development Corp. (CCDC) for a $200,000 loan and an $80,000 grant for exterior and interior building improvements.


Proposed second level of Cafe Lit - IDEAL INVESTMENTS LLC
  • Ideal Investments LLC
  • Proposed second level of Cafe Lit

The CCDC is slated to consider the request at its July 17th meeting.


In addition to dessert, the cafe will serve small plates, pasta, salads, alongside gourmet coffee, premium spirits, and “carefully-selected” wine.


The cafe will feature black, white, and red interior design with an African American literature theme throughout the space, according to the developers’ application to the CCDC.

“Descriptions and titles of food, drinks, and wallpaper ranging from works of Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, W. E. B. Dubois, Dunbar, Giovanni etc,” the application reads. Specializing in various desserts, this LiLaLo concept embodies the standard criteria of ‘Mood Food and Drink.’”


The mood of the space is an “open mic platform, to include supper club vibes on weekends, live entertainment, with low light ambiance.”


Contingent on if the requested incentives are approved, renovation of the building and construction of the cafe could begin next month.


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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bar Ware Will Open Downtown July 12th

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:58 PM

Bar Ware - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Bar Ware
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Guests got a sneak peek of Bar Ware and JuiceBrothers at a preview party, which was held July 10th at 276 South Front. Both businesses will open to the public on July 12th.

Founder Libby Wunderlich says she wants Bar Ware to be “a neighborhood bar. Casual. Stop in for a drink.”

Bar Ware, which serves a late-night menu as well as the regular menu, will be a great place for people who’ve been to the “Orpheum, a game, or (want) a nightcap on their way home.”

Wunderlich describes the decor as “eclectic, comfortable, loungey.” The lounge/bar also includes a patio on the North side.

Food includes small plates as well as larger larger portions made with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Kevin Quinnell, formerly of Itta Bena and Southern Social, is Bar Ware’s head chef. The cuisine, he says, will be “upscale food you would not expect in a bar environment. Quality and creative without being too pretentious. We’ll focus mostly on shareables and small plates.”

Guests were treated to menu items, including BW2 (sliced beef wellington with bordelaise), deviled eggs, and watermelon with goat cheese. They also got samples of Bar Ware’s steamed sandwiches.

Jacob Leonard and Sam Hendricks are bar co-managers. Hendricks describes their drinks as “crafty cocktails without being too crazy pretentious or over the top.”

Among the cocktails are “Green Goddess,” which is made with Uncle Val’s gin, honeydew melon, sugar, mint, lemon and soda water on top; and “Indian Summer,” which is made of Wild Turkey Longbranch bourbon, lemoncello, lemon juice, apricot preserves and garnished with star anise.

But, Hendricks, says, in addition to cocktails, they also have “ice-cold PBR bottles, too.”

Bar Ware’s bar also will feature FRO-BEER, which keeps craft beers cold from the time they’re poured until they’re completely consumed.

David Boone is Bar Ware general manager.

JuiceBrothers, an international juice and smoothie bar from Amsterdam, is housed on the south side of 276 South Front. It will feature fresh juices, smoothies, acai bowls, and tonics. They make immunity-boosting, antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory blends from organic fruits and vegetables. JuiceBrothers also will feature freshly-brewed coffee from J. Brooks Premium Roasters.

Bibi Janus, a fashion designer now based in New York, is JuiceBrothers founder. She and Wunderlich have known each other for years. She discovered Memphis was a perfect fit for JuiceBrothers when she visited Memphis last May. “The city itself is so charming,” she says.

She loved the city’s hospitality - the way people greet her on the street. In Amsterdam and New York “isn’t like that.”

Bar Ware will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. after a special lunch menu on Sunday. It will be closed on Monday.

JuiceBrothers also will be closed on Monday. They will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday.

Bar Ware - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • Bar Ware
JuiceBrothers - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • JuiceBrothers




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Bibi Janus and Libby Wunderlich - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Bibi Janus and Libby Wunderlich
David Boone - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • David Boone

Kevin Quinnell - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • Kevin Quinnell
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JuiceBrothers - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • JuiceBrothers

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Memphis Chicken and Beer Festival

Posted By on Tue, Jul 9, 2019 at 1:49 PM

MEMPHIS CHICKEN & BEER FESTIVAL/FACEBOOK
  • Memphis Chicken & Beer Festival/Facebook


Memphis festivals keep on keeping on.

The Memphis Chicken & Beer festival will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. August 3rd on the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium field. A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit Dorothy Day House.

Local restaurants will offer their finest chicken cuisine, which will be for sale in snack-size portions for $2 to $3, along with regular portions at their menu price.

Restaurants will include Hattie B’s, Chicken Salad Chick, Characters Bar & Restaurant, Laura’s Kitchen, Grecian Gourmet, Southern Hands, and Smurfey’s Smokehouse.

The festival is partnering with Ajax Distributing (formerly known as A S Barboro) for all alcoholic beverages.

Live music will be featured during the event. Performers will include Kevin & Bethany Paige, Chris Hill, and The Marcus Malone Band.

General admission tickets are $40 plus tax per person. Ticket price will include a souvenir glass and more than 90 different beverage samples.

VIP tickets are $70 plus tax and will include admission into the event, a souvenir tasting glass, more than 90 different beverage samples, a VIP lanyard, and access to the VIP lounge in the newly-renovated University of Memphis locker room. They also will receive exclusive drink samples and heavy appetizers.

Tickets can be purchased online at MemphisChickenAndBeer.com or at the event entrance if tickets are not sold out.

All attendees must be 21 or over.


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Monday, July 8, 2019

Tamboli's Pasta & Pizza Coming to old Fuel Cafe Location

Posted By on Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 3:30 PM

Miles Tamboli - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Miles Tamboli


Get ready for Tamboli’s Pasta & Pizza restaurant, which is slated to open in September in the old Fuel Cafe at 1761 Madison.

Owner Miles Tamoboli, 30, says the menu will include a few items, which will be done well. Instead of many pizzas, he plans to do three or four of them, including his chicken parmesan pizza. He also will make lasagna and other entrees by hand. That includes the pasta. And he’ll use locally produced, locally sustained ingredients.

For the past year, Tamboli has been working upstairs making his homemade pasta, which he sells at the Memphis Farmers Market. Now he’ll be moving downstairs, where Eric Proveaux’s” Fuel Cafe operated until it closed last December.

“I bought everything that’s in here from Fuel Cafe,” Tamboli says. “A lot of stuff needs a little love.”

He began making pasta upstairs because he “needed a certified kitchen to make pasta to sell at the Farmers Market.”

But, he says, “I never seriously considered opening a restaurant.”

After Fuel closed, Tamboli did an Italian-themed popup farm-to-table dinner for friends and family. That gave him the idea to open a restaurant along the same lines. “That did it for me,” he says.

He wants to open a restaurant where family and friends “can have a great time.”

The food will be “locally sourced and locally sustained. Everything made in house - sauces, cheese, bread. We’re not trying to do everything. We’re trying to do a few simple things as well as they can be done.”

Tamboli wants everything to be simple “without creating a dining experience that’s exclusive to some people. It’s for everyone. Everybody will enjoy eating here.”

The entrees will include his popular lasagna. “The lasagna is done as well as I can produce it. The best way that I know how to do it that’s good for everyone.”

The pizzas will be three or four of his best pizzas. “I made pizzas all the way through college on and off in restaurants in Portland, Oregon and Lake Tahoe.”

Customers also will get a choice of three or four pastas, including his casarecce pasta with basil pesto.

And, Tamboli says he’ll feature “a lot of rotating specials based on what’s in season here right now.”

The food he will be “like Italian soul food. It’s comfort food. And it’s good.”

The wine list will be specially selected and not extensive. “A few house wines. Some reds, whites, something bubbly, and rose. I picked wines I know are good. Simple and straightforward and good. Like everything else on the menu.”

Tamboli will be general manager and president of the restaurant. He’ll be in front of the house and in the kitchen, but he will hire a chef. Cooking will be “collaborative,” he says.

As for being in front of the house, he says, “I love being around people enjoying the food.”

Tamboli built the lattice work on front of the patio. Customers in the glass-enclosed patio will be able to view the kitchen and see what’s going on. “It’ll make a nice show if you eat on the patio.”

But, because of the lattice, they won’t be on the patio “looking at cars.”

Tamboli already has some 40 types of plants in front of the restaurant.

The rotating artwork on the walls will include work by his dad, Roy Tamboli, and his stepmother, Carol Buchman.

Tamboli hasn’t come up with a color scheme, but he knows the ceilings will be painted “light robin’s eggs turquoise color. Sky color.”

Upstairs still will be used for pasta and dough making and other prep work. Tamboli will continue to sell his pasta at Memphis Farmers Market.

And, he says, the bathrooms will be updated. Now, he says, they “look like a gas station from 1922.”

Tamboli’s Pasta & Pizza will be open for dinner, but “lunch is coming soon.”


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New Restaurants Headed to Shelby Farms

Posted By on Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 11:10 AM

The front porch of the FedEx Event Center overlooks Hyde Lake. - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • The front porch of the FedEx Event Center overlooks Hyde Lake.

Two new restaurants are on the way to Shelby Farms Park.

Cheffie’s Cafe owners will open their third location in the grab-and-go space in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitors Center. Owners of Flight and Southern Social will open a new restaurant concept called Coastal Fish Company in the FedEx Event Center.

The moves come after The Kitchen, Kimble Musk’s fine-dining concept, closed in the FedEx Event Center in November.

“Shelby Farms Park Conservancy had the opportunity to select a new partner for food service at the Park, and we’re excited to welcome not one, but two new local restaurant partners to Shelby Farms Park,” said Jen Andrews, CEO of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. “Many Park visitors told us they were interested in fast-and-fun, family dining options for active park users, and many were also interested in special occasion and fine dining options capitalizing on the one-of-a-kind sunset views across Hyde Lake.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer two distinct dining experiences that create a wide range of options for our visitors.”

Tom Powers and Russ Graham, owners of Flight and Souther Social, are currently at work to open a new concept, Porch & Parlor, at Overton Square. The Shelby Farms concept will be the fourth restaurant in their portfolio, according to Shelby Farms.

The filet at Southern Social. - SOUTHERN SOCIAL/FACEBOOK
  • Southern Social/Facebook
  • The filet at Southern Social.

The new concept will be announced soon. It will serve dinner daily and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The 4,792-square-foot restaurant space is located on the east end of Hyde Lake next to the FedEx Event Center. It has an additional 3,200 square feet of patio space.

The restaurant space opened in 2016 along with the $52 million “Heart of the Park” capital project. The restaurant space is designed to generate revenue for the nonprofit Shelby Farms Park Conservancy (SPFC).

The Kitchen’s closing came as the company’s “national business strategy evolved,” according to a Shelby Farms news release. The conservancy began searching for a new operator in January and a team interviewed more than a dozen local operators before offering the opportunity to Powers and Graham.

the Flight dining room. - FLIGHT/FACEBOOK
  • Flight/Facebook
  • the Flight dining room.

“We immediately recognized the unique opportunity to provide an excellent dining experience in a signature Memphis setting at Shelby Farms Park,” said Graham. “The beautiful sunset views overlooking Hyde Lake will be the perfect complement to the exceptional hospitality, service, and cuisine we will deliver to our guests.”

Cheffie’s was chosen as the grab-and-go vendor to “ensure a wider range of dining options and price points to serve both destination diners and active park visitors and families.”

A wrap and chips plate from Cheffie's. - CHEFFIE'S CAFE/FACEBOOK
  • Cheffie's Cafe/Facebook
  • A wrap and chips plate from Cheffie's.

“At Cheffie’s Cafe, we serve fresh, healthy and delicious food in a casual, family-friendly environment,” said Cheffie’s spokesman Matt Wilson. “These choices are just what Shelby Farms Park visitors are looking for.

“We already know a lot of the Shelby Farms Greenline users from our High Point Terrace location, and we look forward to making new friends at our Shelby Farms Park location.”

Cheffie’s at Shelby Farms Park will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner selections daily. The 950 square-foot, grab-and-go cafe has indoor seating, along with outdoor seating on the AutoZone Front Porch.

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Sushi Jimmi Will Close at the End of July

Posted By on Fri, Jul 5, 2019 at 5:33 PM

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Sushi Jimmi is closing — again.

The Asian fusion restaurant at 2895 Poplar that originally closed May 23rd and reopened June 15th will close down at the end of July, says Jimmy Sinh, the original owner/chef of the restaurant.

“This is actually for real this time,” Sinh says. “I’ve already made up my mind.”

Sinh closed the restaurant in May to spend more time with his family. And he says he put too much of his own money into the restaurant, which was successful. He says he put a quarter of a million dollars into the business.

He planned to move to Florida, but his family didn’t want to let the restaurant go.

Sushi Jimmi reopened in June with Sinh’s brother, David Sinh, as the new owner, and Jimmy as head chef. But David felt he wasn’t getting much business, Jimmy says. “I told him that business takes a minute.”


But, he says, “I guess he feels like he’s not making money. He just started back up for two weeks. You can’t expect it to be slamming busy. A lot of people have stuff planned out.”

He doesn’t want to “put the pressure” on David, Jimmy says. “He wants to do his own thing. His own restaurant. Which he picks out. Not something that’s been passed down to him. He wants to do his own thing."

Jimmy also found out he had a lot of responsibility, including dealing with his staff, as head chef. “I just want to end it so I can start over. I’m going to be temporarily working somewhere else. Not sure yet.

“I’m freed up by the end of this month. Whoever wants good help, I’ll be able to help them throughout the year.“

He plans to continue catering parties, including his regular gigs. “I’ll be moving from different kitchens. I’ll fill in spots for people, and that’s what I’ll be doing. I know a lot of restaurants need good help. I wouldn’t mind helping out. I have skills to do any work any restaurant needs.”

Jimmy and his wife and five children, including their newborn, are going to relocate to Florida, he says. “We’re going to be saving up some money so that we can move.”

He and his wife are already pricing houses in Florida to see what will fit in their budget. “I’m moving to Florida next June. I got about a year.

“I just want to spend more time with my family. Not just family and kids, but be with my mom and dad, too,” he says.

Jimmy Sinh - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Jimmy Sinh

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Cafe Europe Opening July 17th

Posted By on Fri, Jul 5, 2019 at 3:50 PM

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Cafe Europe, the latest restaurant from Michele D'oto, will open at Carriage Crossing in Collierville Wednesday, July 17th.

D'oto says he happened by the spot by accident. But it clicked. "The atmosphere was pretty nice, and it was something I felt good about," he says.

D'oto is Italian. He married an American and moved to the United States. He came to Memphis after Hurricane Katrina and opened the much-loved Pasta Italia in the mid-2000s (now closed). He is a master pasta maker with a devoted following.

He also owned the Pasta Maker, which closed late last year.

D'oto says with Cafe Europe, he plans to cook the dishes he liked to make when he lived in Europe. "You'll see the dishes that I enjoy and cooked through my years in Europe and a little bit of everywhere — Italy, of course, France, Spain. I decided to do a fusion of those.

The menu features D'oto's famous Rosette al Forno, gnocchi, paella, beef carpaccio, and fish ceviche. He plans to have a cheese cart with different cheeses, where guests can make a cheese plate. He'll have an in-house pastry chef and a dessert cart as well.

He's planning to buy his seafood fresh and has worked out a deal to secure seafood from Hawaii overnight by FedEx. He'll use local sources too.

Cafe Europe will offer fois gras and crab claws, an avocado shrimp cocktail and a poblano pepper stuffed with pork, beef, and lamb ragu.

Michele D'oro - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Michele D'oro
The space has a cafe feel. It's bright yellow with red accents. It seats about 70, with more seating on the patio. D'oto says he was going for a comfortable setting for his upscale dishes.

Prices for the appetizers start at about $15, with prices going as high as $123 for the Fiorentina, a 42-ounce T-bone steak that can feed as many as three.

D'oto says he's ready to start cooking. Inspections have been passed, licenses obtained.

"I feel strong," he says. "It is important that we do it and do it for me. I do it for the community as well.  

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Bar Ware Opening Soon

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 11:11 AM

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Libby Wunderlich's human baby is due July 13th. Her business baby is due July 12th.

Yup. It's cutting it close. But Bar Ware and the juice bar, Juice Brothers, is scheduled to open next week.

Both establishments are side by side in Phase II of 266 Lofts building at 276 South Front. They are just north of Gus's on the same side, across from Old Dominick.

David Boone (Memphis Pizza Cafe) will act as general manager.

Wunderlich has worked in the restaurant business since she was in high school, both front of house and back-office-type jobs. She says she felt like it was time to do something on her own.

"There's still a big learning curve, though," she says. "I'm still learning a lot."

Inside, there are leather couches, nice rugs, and big round tables. It's got a clubhouse feel, with a masculine vibe. It's definitely a place you can settle in and hang out.

Wunderlich says that she was going for comfortable, something that harkened back to old style bars. Natalie Lieberman, who did work on The Liquor Store and the new hotel at the train station, helped her with the interior design.

Next door, the juice bar is the polar opposite in terms of styling. It's bright and pristine.

Juice Brothers was founded by a friend of Wunderlich's. She says this friend, who is also a fashion designer, went to Amsterdam and noticed there weren't a lot of juice bars there, so she started one and the company has grown from there.

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Juice Brothers will offer a number of juices, tonics, "mylks and brews," waters, shots, and smoothies. As for food, Wunderlich is envisioning a grab-and-go section with salads and wraps and protein bites.

Bar Ware's food will have a healthier bent as well. The focus will be on shareable plates using seasonal ingredients. 

According to Kevin Quinnell (Itta Bena, Southern Social), chef at Bar Ware, they plan to have health conscious salads and sandwiches, deviled eggs, charcuteries boards, and more upscale dishes. Nothing fried.

"It's food that's not to be expected from a bar, but not pretentious," he says.

Jacob Leonard (Second Line) is heading the bar. He says he plans to craft cocktails taking advantage of the juice bar. He promises that these cocktails will be good but won't take 10 minutes to make.

"It won't be too fancy," he vows, "but yummy."

Wunderlich says that plans for the bar predated the baby. "That's just how life goes," she says.

JuiceBrothers:
Tuesday-Saturday 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Monday Closed

Bar Ware:
Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.- midnight
Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Monday Closed

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Which Wich Opening Soon

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 12:09 PM

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Which Wich, a Texas-based chain, is set to open on July 15th or the week after. It will be located at 975 W. Poplar in Collierville.

Which Wich's angle is its ordering system. Customers are given a paper bag and a red sharpie. The bag lists topping and proteins, which are marked by the customer. The bag is put on a zip line. The sandwich is made and the customer is given back the bag with their name on it.

"The whole process just kind of endears them to the brand," says Rhett Douglas, the franchisee.

The business also offers such signature sandwiches as the Cheeseburgerwich, the Brunchwich, and a Superfood Wich.

Douglas is a Memphis native, who first got turned-on to Which Wich when he was in college in Arkansas. He says he always wanted to own his own business "I kind of made an offhand comment one day about, you know, if I could open a restaurant this would definitely be the one because I see the opportunity. I see the success," he says.

Douglas' foray with the brand has already proved innovative. His location will be the first to serve as a combo Which Wich/Paciugo Gelato Cafe.

"When we saw that Paciugo had been acquired [by Which Wich], we thought that's a match made in heaven. Like surely, they meant for them to go together."

But Which Wich hadn't considered the possibility before. The company liked the concept, and the Collierville Which Wich will serve as sort of a prototype.

The new restaurant will also feature a drive-thru with a touchscreen kiosk. (There will be a help button for those who need it.)

Douglas says his particular favorite is the Grinder. He likes to dress it with hummus and pesto. He says that's the thing about Which Wich: It's big on customization. If they've got it and you want it, they will make sure you get it.

He says he thinks it will do pretty well in Collierville. "It just seems right up their alley in terms of the market research we've done. For restaurant concepts, they're wanting something new, something quick but also nutritious," Douglas says. 

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Saddle Creek Beer Garden Opening July 4th

Posted By on Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 4:14 PM

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Friends, Memphians, countrymen, lend me your ears: The Saddle Creek Beer Garden is reopening on Thursday, July 4th!

The beer garden is near J. Crew.

Tony Westmoreland (Growlers) is taking the reins this year, with his restaurant group, Tandem Restaurant Partners, along with Ryan Gill of Doc's.

Westmoreland says they are working with local distributors to curate the beer. Once a certain beer runs out, they will move on to a new one.

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He also says that this year, there will be arcade games and more lawn games (think corn-hole).

On opening day, they have a full lineup of bands set. And the cool thing is that the Germantown fireworks can be seen from the parking lot.

Special holiday hours are 4-9 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Regular hours start on the 12th and will be 4-9 p.m. Fridays, 12-9 p.m. Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Sundays.

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Atomic Rose Opening Soon

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 2:08 PM

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MAS Properties, LLC. has taken over the Purple Haze nightclub property at Second and Lt. George W. Lee near Beale Downtown. They are planning to open an LGBTQ restaurant and dance club called Atomic Rose some time in the near future. The club is an investment for them, according to Valerie Morris of Morris Marketing Group, who is handling communications for the club.

Morris answered the following questions about Atomic Rose.

Why did the property appeal to the owners?
Downtown Memphis is thriving with new residences and Fortune 500 companies moving in. The Beale Street Historic District location is a great location for the club and our patrons allowing them to enjoy Atomic Rose as well as other Downtown entertainment offerings in the same evening easily.

Are they concerned by Purple Haze's issues?
We are not concerned about prior history at this location. We are focused on providing a quality entertainment experience in a well-regulated environment.

What are they doing for security?
Safety and security of patrons and employees is a top priority. Security will be provided by Asset Protection Agency.

Is this primarily a dance club, a restaurant, or a night club?
Atomic Rose is a restaurant and dance club that offers a mix of high-energy entertainment programming five nights a week plus an extensive menu.

Why are the owners keeping it on the down low?
Management is complying with all applicable laws and following appropriate procedures for required permits. They are waiting for final approvals on licensing while moving forward with all other plans and look forward to announcing a grand opening soon.

What kind of events are the owners hoping to host?
Daily Entertainment Wednesday through Sunday at Atomic Rose is as follows:
Happy Hour every day until 7 p.m.
Karaoke from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Fridays and Saturdays featuring DJ Maverick spinning house music from 10 p.m. to midnight and DJ Haf-Def spinning House Mix Techno from 12:15 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Wednesdays — Atomic Retro Night with DJ Tree
Thursdays — Le Chic Night with DJ Space Age
Sundays — The Rose Review & Drag Show with DJ Maverick

The club is said to have “an outreach to focus on the LGBTQ community.” What does this mean?
Programming at Atomic Rose is designed to appeal to the LGBTQ community.

Is this the first LGBTQ club near/on Beale Street?
To our knowledge, there has not previously been any LGBTQ clubs on or near Beale Street.

What kind of vibe are you looking for?
Atomic Rose is high-energy, friendly, fun and welcoming environment

What kind of food will you serve? Any specialty cocktails?
The Atomic Rose menu offers a little something for everyone and serves entrees until 11 p.m. Appetizers and munchies include Potato Skins, Chili Cheese Fries, Chicken Quesadilla, and homemade mozzarella cheese balls among others.

Soups and salads include House, Chef, and Grilled chicken salads along with chili, homemade chicken noodle soup and secret recipe gumbo. Sandwiches include the Atomic Hamburger, spicy grilled chicken and the Atomic Club all served with French fries or onion rings.

Entrees are served with salad and bread and include Ribeyes, New York Strips, Spaghetti Dinner, Sautéed Catfish Dinner, Alfredo Shrimp Dinner, Fried Shrimp Dinner, and the Atomic Stir Fry.

Specialty Cocktails Include:
Atomic Fusion - Blue Note Bourbon, Bitters, dark syrup
Atomic Fallout - Aperol, Champagne, Soda
Nuclear Blast – Light and Dark Rum, Citrus, & Cherry
Memphis Mule – Blue Note Bourbon or Old Dominic Vodka, Lime Juice, Bitters, Simple Syrup, Ginger Beer

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Jimmy John's Going in Agave Maria Space

Posted By on Thu, Jun 27, 2019 at 12:52 PM

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Sandwich chain Jimmy John's is going into the old Agave Maria space on Union in Downtown.

Alex Turley of Henry Turley Company, which leases the space, says it was a matter of finding the right business for the spot, locally owned or a chain.

He points to Cafe Samovar, a 15-year tenant in that space. It was a Russian restaurant that closed in early 2006. After that, a number of restaurants have moved in but didn't stick. The latest was Agave Maria, an upscale Mexican restaurant that specialized in tequila.

Agave Maria was opened in 2015 by Jeff Johnson of Local. It closed for several months in 2017-18 and reopened briefly with a more standard menu but the new take didn't take.

"We couldn't find a local tenant that could make it work in that space," says Turley.

The space, at 83 Union, is a prominent one. It's next to Parking Can Be Fun and near the Main Street Mall and the Cotton Exchange Building. 

The point, says Turley and the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), is that the business succeeds, whether it be a chain or not. (Plus, he says, Jimmy John's sandwiches are good.)

A statement from the DMC:

"Like most Memphians, the DMC staff and board appreciate the predominance of locally owned retailers and restaurants in our Downtown core. However, we strongly favor activated space over empty storefronts in all cases.

"And we warmly welcome chains into the mix in those cases."

The plan is to open sometime in August, according to Jacob Davis, a representative of the owner of the franchise.

The franchisee, Travis Vannatta, has 15 Jimmy John's, with several in Memphis, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

Davis says the appeal of the Jimmy John's franchise is the company's culture. "Everybody who works for Jimmy John's buys into the brand, not the sandwiches," he says. He says it's the sense of teamwork that sets it apart.

Jimmy John's is known for its "Freaky Fast, Freaky Fresh" approach. "Everything inside our four walls is done with speed," Davis says. He says that customers can get their sandwiches as fast as 30 seconds with delivery in as little as 15 minutes.

Davis suggests the Italian Night Club sandwich. It's salami, capicola, ham, and provolone with onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, oil & vinegar, and oregano & basil.

"That sandwich is absolutely amazing," he says. "I highly recommend that for first-time customers. It gets them hooked." 

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Catfish at Cozy Corner

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 2:00 PM

MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue

Catfish at Cozy Corner Restaurant? The barbecue place?

Yes. Just one day a week — on Sundays, says general manager Bobby Bradley.

“We only did it one Sunday, which was this past Sunday,” Bradley says. “But it sold pretty well. People gave us compliments on it. People said they would be back to try it. We do a two-piece plate for $10.99 and a three-piece plate for $12.99.”

The catfish plates come with two sides and bread.

Catfish has never been sold at the 735 North Parkway location, which opened in August, 1977.

But catfish at Cozy Corner isn’t exactly new. From 1986 to 1988, Cozy Corner had another location, which was called “Cozy Corner Catfish and Ribs,” says Bobby’s mother, Val Bradley.

The catfish recipe came from her father, Raymond Robinson, who founded Cozy Corner, Val says.

“I think daddy just wanted to try the fish,” Val says. “Just try it out and see how things would go. We got that location. I think it did very well from what I remember. Biggest problem back then was employees. He was having trouble getting someone to run it like he wanted. Then he got his cousin to run it.”

Finally, she says, “He just decided to stick with the ribs.”

The family doesn’t have the original recipe, Bobby says. “The recipe is nowhere to be found, but the family members that were there were instrumental in figuring out how we wanted this to taste. I wasn’t old enough, but the people that were there and were old enough remember how it tasted. We knew what was in it, but didn’t know the exact ratio. We figured out ratios we wanted. It’s not 100 percent, but we tried.”

Asked to describe the catfish, Bobby says, “It’s just good seasoned catfish. It’s not going to be bland. I do know that.”

Don’t look for catfish at Cozy Corner the rest of the week.

“It is going to be every Sunday,” Bobby says. “I have no interest in selling fish every day. I don’t want to become a fish restaurant. It’s just a special thing and I plan to keep it special.”

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Changes at Railgarten

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 12:09 PM

RAILGARTEN, FACEBOOK
  • Railgarten, Facebook

Railgarten has recently introduced a new menu and a new protocol for ordering. The changes come as the summer season rolls in.

New to the menu are gyros, skewers, tacos, and salads. Tacos include a Korean BBQ Tofu taco with spicy slaw, Pork carnitas, and something called Oxford Style chicken (???). There are also steak skewers with a Thai satay, a Tzatziki veggie and hummus gyro, and Southwest pulled-chicken gyro.

Korean BBQ Tofu tacos - JENNIFER PARSLEY
  • Jennifer Parsley
  • Korean BBQ Tofu tacos

Tzatziki veggie and hummus gyro - JENNIFER PARSLEY
  • Jennifer Parsley
  • Tzatziki veggie and hummus gyro


The cocktail menu and brunch menu are all-new as well.

For cocktails, we've got drinks under such categories as "Excuse Me, Sir. Your Tire Swing Hit My Son," with drinks named after the Golden Girls. The Blanche is Old Dominick vodka, peach lemon, and iced tea. The I'm Not A Regular Mom. I'm a Cool Mom cocktail is white sangria with Old Dominick vodka and pineapple. (It's under "If You're Going to Drink I'd Rather You Do It in the House.")

The spring brunch menu includes such classics as scrambled eggs and bacon, avocado toast, and chicken and waffles.

In addition, Railgarten has opened up its ordering system. Now, patrons can order in the diner, tiki bar, shipping container bar, the VIP bar, or the Ping Pong bar, and have their order served at their table outside. The move was made to accommodate large summer crowds. The diner remains full service.

Jennifer Parsley's YouTube channel

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