Food NEWS 


Karen Blockman Carrier garners a lot of attention for her restaurants:Automatic Slim’s Tonga Club, Cielo, the Beauty Shop, Dó, and the catering company Another Roadside Attraction. For “Commemoreat,” a benefit being held Sunday, June 12th, Carrier will shift the focus to someone else — Kelly Wilson, who was murdered downtown May 31, 2003, after finishing his shift as grill chef at Automatic Slim’s.

“He was only 24 years old, and he was just walking to his car. They never found out who did it,” Carrier says.

In 2004, Carrier hosted the first “Commemoreat” for Kelly’s family, raising $10,000. Wilson’s mother, Susan, used the money to establish a culinary scholarship at Southwest Tennessee Community College, where she works. She also contributed a portion to Crime Stoppers, which is offering $14,000 for information about the crime.

This year’s event will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at Automatic Slim’s, 83 S. Second St. For $30 each, people can enjoy an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord with food from the Rendezvous, Huey’s, Grove Grill, Lolo’s Table, Stella, Felicia Suzanne, Cafe 61, Molly’s La Casita, Texas de Brazil, Dish, Cafe Society, Erling Jensen, the University Club, and McEwen’s on Monroe, as well as Carrier’s restaurants. The all-girl band the Zippin’ Pippins will perform. All proceeds from tickets and bar sales will go to the Wilson family. “It’s wonderful for the family. We think they should decide what to do with it,” Carrier says. “Kelly’s being honored by his peers. People really felt his death, and this is a way to celebrate his life. It’s wonderful that everyone wants to participate. It touches our hearts.”

Corky’s has created a scaled-down version of the original to offer quick, convenient lunches for downtown workers and tourists.

“We are called Corky’s Express because this is somewhere people can get something really fast,” says manager Andy Shoup. “They can fax a bulk order, and we have delivery for $10. Or they can just send someone to pick it up.”

The restaurant features a counter where customers can place their order to-go or to eat-in at one of the tables in the restaurant. There is also sidewalk seating.

“Most tourists would probably still like to go to the original Corky’s for the whole experience, but this will be convenient and have the same great barbecue,” Shoup says.

The menu is also scaled down from the original, but it’s only a few of the fried appetizers and extras like shrimp, spaghetti, and tamales that won’t be available.

The restaurant opened May 13th, only 10 days after co-owner Barry Pelts first saw the location, formerly Fat City Beignet’s, in the Hampton Inn.

“It was an idea that we’d been thinking about for a couple of years,” says Pelts. “We wanted to do a small Corky’s environment down there, and they had this 630-square-foot space. At first I thought we wouldn’t like it, but we saw it and it had everything we wanted.”

Pelts says they will be testing the hours. “For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to try staying open until midnight Friday and Saturday, but we may end up at 10 p.m. or even 8, depending on the crowd. Sunday, we’re thinking 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” he says. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Corky’s Express in the Hampton Inn & Suites, 175 Peabody Place (529-9191; fax 529-9931)

The Silver Spoon opens June 13th, with the goal of serving soul food with style. Brothers Curtis and Corliss Givens wanted to create a restaurant modeled after upscale restaurants like Justin’s in Atlanta or Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in New York City.

During the week, the brothers will be offering a traditional down-home lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with “greens, catfish, and, if somebody wanted neck bones or something like that, we’d sure get it done,” says Dominique Pryor-Anderson, president of VIDA PR and Marketing Group.

At night there will be a totally different ambience with a 25-and-older club setting featuring soft and acid jazz and eventually some spoken word. The dinner menu, served from 5 p.m. until midnight, will feature an assortment of light foods.

“Happy hour will be from 5 to 8 p.m., and there’s a different theme each night, like Wine Down Wednesdays, where people can relax and enjoy some wine,” says Pryor-Anderson. “They’ve created some special drinks like the ‘Al Green,’ which is green, and ‘Sex and the City.’” ¥

The Silver Spoon, 6063 Mt. Moriah Rd.

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