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Jef ferson and Nicole Willey Warr en at Annesdale Mansion.

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Up Front 12 14 18 20 22

in the beginning on the town fine print city journal out and about



24 Elvis Gets Sirius

The King still rocks around the clock — through songs and stories — on SiriusXM Radio. ~ by shara clark

28 Keeping The Faith

Chambers Chapel United Methodist Church is a testament to the Shelby County families who built it — and have preserved it for generations to come. ~ by michael finger

35 Great Memphis Weddings of 2017


The bride and groom take center stage at three local venues.

~ by jill johnson piper

53 Weddings While-U-Wait!

on the cover Jefferson and Nicole Willey Warren at Annesdale Mansion.

For decades, couples wanting a marriage in a minute simply had to drive to Hernando, Mississippi.

~ by george larrimore



76 ask vance

Leonard Graves


Our trivia expert solves local mysteries of who, what, when, where, why, and why not. ~ by vance lauderdale

79 garden variety

Giving Houseplants a Home When it’s frosty outside, indoor plants can provide a great winter tonic. ~ by christine arpe gang


81 end game

Remembering Pat Cloar Despite doubts and difficulties, her devotion to Memphis’ most famous artist never wavered. ~ by marilyn sadler

82 road trip

St. Louis’ Charm Offensive


A mostly culinary tour of our often forgotten neighbor to the north. ~ by chris mccoy

86 city dining 96

Tidbits: Sunrise; plus the city’s most extensive dining listings. last stand Farewell to 460 Tennessee


After three decades, Contemporary Media says goodbye to South Main. ~ by vance lauderdale


Memphis (ISSN 1622-820x) is published monthly for $15 per year by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 © 2018. Telephone: 901-521-9000. For subscription info, please call 901-521-9000. Subscription customer service mailing address is Memphis magazine, P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. All rights reserved. • Periodicals Postage Paid at Memphis, TN. Postmasters: send address changes to Memphis, P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101.



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pages 57 - 78 Memphis magazine and the Remodelers Council of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association have collaborated to produce our premier special section, featuring beforeand-after images and the inside story of two terrific local remodeling projects. M







Your 2018 Guide to Home Remodeling Tips & Trends Looking to update or completely remodel your kitchen, bath, outdoor living space, or even your entire home? Highly qualified Memphis-area builders, architects, designers, and more stand ready to help make your space modern, cozy, and more functional. On the following pages, we feature two such projects — along with before-and-after photos — and talk with the happy homeowners whose dream homes have become reality with the help of local professionals. — by Shara Clark

a special supplement to

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Coming In March 2018 2017


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Our widely read and very popular “Faces of the Mid-South” profiles are featured in our annual Faces and Places issue. More than 90 profiles of the leading businesses in the greater Memphis area are featured.

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michael donahue, christine arpe gang, tom jones, george larrimore, vance lauderdale, chris mccoy, jill johnson piper, marilyn sadler, jon w. sparks EDITORIAL INTERN julia baker



bryan rollins PHOTOGRAPHY brandon dill, justin fox burks,





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IN THE BEGINNING | by kenneth neill

Twists of Fate

How two kings came to define a city’s perception of itself.


ith the holidays in the rearview mirror, most of us take a ho-hum attitude toward the month of January. The weather is generally dreary; not much of consequence happens on the social scene. The days are still short, and many of us just stick to our knitting, literally and figuratively.

Indeed, the two biggest “events” Memphis James Earl Ray was in Selma, Alabama, en commemorates in January are the birthdays route to Atlanta. “No doubt Ray was intent of two individuals whose names will be for- on tracking down King somewhere,” says ever connected with this city, perhaps more Hampton Sides, author of Hellhound on His Trail. than any others. Ironically, neither man was “But it may well not have been in Memphis, born in Memphis. Tragically, both died here, had the sanitation-workers’ march not been one before his fortieth birthday and the other rescheduled.” Eleven days later, knowing that just two years after, long before their respec- King would be in Memphis, Ray retraced tive work was done. his steps, got a room in a boarding house on Elvis Aron Presley was born on January South Main, and the rest, as they say, is history. 8, 1935, in a two-room shotgun King and Elvis apparently never met, but the latter was shack in East Tupelo. His parents were dirt-poor, as were tens devastated by the news of of thousands of Mississippians King’s assassination, recording a song called “If I Can Dream,” in 1935, in the depths of the Deand singing it as the grand finapression, when the country’s le of his NBC television “comeunemployment rate was over 20 percent. (Elvis later would back” concert in June of 1968. joke that the house he was born “I’m never going to sing another in could easily fit into his living song I don’t believe in,” said room at Graceland.) The Presley Presley at the time. family struggled to survive in And so here we are today, exactly 50 years after the King Tupelo, until 1948, when, seekApril 2008 ing greener pastures, they decidassassination, with another half ed to move to a larger city. They might have a century of history having accumulated. Dechosen Birmingham or Jackson, but instead spite the fact that Memphis’ earlier moves went up Highway 78 to Memphis, where a toward integration had gone more smoothly post-World War II boom was well under way. than in most of the urban South, our city will forever be remembered for that 1968 tragedy. The rest, as they say, is history. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January Those of us, black and white, who have been 15, 1929, in somewhat better economic circum- here for most of these 50 years, know only too stances, his namesake father being a promi- well how difficult the stigma of that event has nent Atlanta pastor and NAACP leader, active been for Memphis, economically, politically, in the nascent civil-rights movement. The son, and spiritually. of course, grew up to become the definitive I prefer to think, however, that the past national leader of that movement during the is prologue, not a prison. Ours is an entirely 1950s and 1960s, a man who brought Gandhi’s different city than it was in 1968, mostly for tactic of nonviolent civil disobedience into the better. And this company is delighted American politics, becoming the community to play a significant role in the MLK50 iniactivist most directly responsible for passage tiative, in coordination with the National of the landmark Civil Rights Act in 1964. Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. Dr. King visited Memphis numerous times As always, Memphis magazine will conduring those decades, usually staying at the tinue to strive, as it has since 1976, to inLorraine Motel. He was due to stay there on form, entertain, and enlighten the entire March 22, 1968, to lead a march on behalf of Memphis community. Now more than ever, the city’s sanitation workers. But in a cruel quality journalism is essential to our civic twist of fate, Mother Nature that day dumped well-being. As Dr. King might say, all of us 18 inches of snow on Memphis — the twenti- at Memphis are well aware of how we must eth-century record snowfall — forcing march all embrace “the fierce urgency of now.” organizers to postpone King’s visit, reschedKenneth Neill uling his appearance for the following week. On the day of the great Memphis blizzard, editor/publisher 12 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

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on the town

^6 with michael donahue ^6 WHAT: Courage Through Cancer WHERE: Minglewood Hall WHEN: November 10, 2017


ourage Through Cancer honored eight individuals at the third annual event, held November 10th at Minglewood Hall. This year’s honorees were Brown Dudley, Kate Horton, Sally Mattis, Robyn Raby, Sam Sudduth, Rod Suess, Jon Thompson, and Lauren Wiener. All the honorees are cancer survivors, said Courage Through Cancer founder Jon Neal, who chaired the event with his wife, Courtney. Facebook videos were shot of each cancer survivor. “We have these little infomercials from real live families and cancer patients that share their experiences so others can learn from them,” Neal said. Instead of listening to “medical jargon,” he said, people can learn from someone who’s been there. “All we’re doing is getting cancer patients to share information with one another so if others are diagnosed somewhere along the line, they can learn from these individuals how to prepare themselves for the fight. How does a person going through this inspire others on how to fight this? Because not everyone is going to beat it. But how do they live their lives while going through it?” More than 600 attended Courage Through Cancer, which raised more than $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The party featured performances by Walrus, The Refugees, and Gerry Finney & Friends.

1 Jayde Gordon, Adam Cruthirds, Allie Allen, and Harrison Neal 2 Shane Howell and Maygen Averitt 3 Babbie Lovett 4 Jack and Leighanne Soden 5 Deborah Pryor, Madeline Crump, and Victor Torres 6 Joy Brown Wiener and Leanne Wiener Sykes





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WHAT: The Orpheum Auction WHERE: The Orpheum


WHEN: November 11, 2017

his year’s event — “ Soiree in the Spotlight: The Orpheum Auction Reimagined” — was held November 11th at the theater and next door at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education. Guests entered the Halloran Centre on a red carpet while Memphis Jones and his band performed. Pianist Chris Nemec played while guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and bid on silent auctions. After an hour, guests moved to the Orpheum, where they continued to bid and danced to the music of the “Billy Joel Tribute ‘The Stranger’ featuring Mike Santoro.” The live auction with Jeff Morris as auctioneer began about 9 p.m. Event chairs Lura Turner and Holly Clark were given the task of re-energizing the event. “We knew this had to be revamped to get more energy and more excitement from the people,” said Turner. Orpheum president/CEO Brett Batterson was “100 percent” behind redesigning the event, Turner said, “And the board was very much behind it.” More than 600 attended the party, which raised more than $211,000.





1 Natalie Meeks, Chris Anderson, Markova Anderson, and Jim Meeks 2 O.J. and Valencia Stone 3 Pat and Anne Halloran 4 Kallen Esperian, Joe Lackie, and Dabney Coors 5 Boris and Nicole Mamlyuk 6 Holly Clark and Lura Turner 7 Brett and Veronica Batterson 8 Matthew Rogers and Cassidy Lee 9 Honey and Rudi Scheidt 10 Herbo and Alina Humphreys, Ty Scott, and Eric Mabry





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WHAT: Red Boa Ball WHERE: Memphis Botanic Garden WHEN: November 18, 2017


en and women sported red boas at the Red Boa Ball, held November 18th at Memphis Botanic Garden to benefit the American Red Cross of the Mid-South. About 375 guests attended the event, which raised $140,000, according to Alice Higdon, who celebrated her eighth anniversary as event chair. The event is important because “it brings awareness to what the chapter does here on a daily basis,” Higdon said. People know about how the Red Cross responds to national disasters, but they may not be aware of what the chapter does locally. In addition to helping with local emergencies, the chapter handles blood donations and provides child care and lifeguard instruction. The Red Boa Ball featured a silent and live auction and music by guitarist Joe Johnson and G3: The Garry Goin Group. Dinner was catered by Coletta’s. Todd Stricklin was auction chair. Laura Vaughn is executive director of American Red Cross of the Mid-South.



1 Thomas Carlisle, Donna Carpenter, Sandra Piggies, and Meade Carlisle 2 Peggy Killett and Wes Parker 3 Todd Stricklin and Alice Higdon 4 Christa and Mike Allen, Sheila Thomas 5 Phillip Richmond and Valencia Smith 6 James and Octivia Stafford, Jeremy and Meredith Perry, Caroline Miles and Chris Collins 7 Jake and Nuria Gaskin




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Happy New Year? Well, Maybe. Last year was a doozy. Let’s see what 2018 has to offer.

by john branston now produced in a Gannett call center in Bangalore, the headline is “5 Things We Lurned about Pubellishing and Best Burggers.” JULY: Global warming makes Memphis almost as hot as southern California, now a scorched desert.

JANUARY: For the first time in American sports history, a major-league franchise changed its name in the middle of an actual playing season, as the NHL’s reigning Western Conference champions, the Nashville Predators, were renamed the Nashville Chicken Wings. Said a team spokesperson: “Unfortunately, these days the word ‘predator’ leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. No such problem with chicken wings!” FEBRUARY: Almost-senator Roy Moore of Alabama is back in the news. President Trump tweets that the feisty Moore will be named press secretary, replacing Sarah Huckabee Sanders who says, “I am moving to Arkansas, where I may run for governor, but any questions are premature and irresponsible at this point in time.”

MARCH: Business rocks. Memphis is not among the Final 200 for Amazon’s second headquarters. In the stock market, the FANG group — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — are up 30 percent and the Dow tops 30,000. FedEx rebuffs a takeover attempt by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who offers a trillion something-or-others in Bitcoin. “We have learned that drones are no substitute for airplanes in certain situations,” he admits. The Peabody rebrands as Peabody Airbnb, with rooms starting at $30 a night. The city of Memphis puts its aquifer up for bids. A Saudi prince bids $5 billion, Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame offer to “make Memphis the next Waco,” and Jeff Bezos offers two trillion whatchamacallits in Bitcoin and free shipping for a year.

APRIL: The Memphis Grizzlies finish the season with a record of 27-55 just three years after going 55-27. In rebuilding mode, the Grizz work out a blockbuster trade with the San Antonio Spurs who are preparing to battle the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Golden State Warriors for the NBA title. Memphis sends f-bomber, vegetable gardener, and Face of the Freakin’ Franchise Marc Gasol to the Spurs in exchange for his boring brother Pau and throw-in Rudy Gay. Hubie Brown agrees to coach the team next year. MAY: The Shelby County primary election is held for the offices of mayor and mayoral stepping stones. The voter turnout is nearly double the number of candidates. JUNE: Gannett, owner of the USA Today Network, announces that it is halting publication of The Commercial Appeal as a print newspaper. In the online edition,

SEPTEMBER: Dow 40,000. OCTOBER: Shades of 1929 and 1987. The stock market crashes. Amazon trades under $1,000. NOVEMBER: At Trump’s urging, Republicans in Congress, backed by the reconstituted 11-member Supreme Court, cancel the mid-term elections. Senator Bob Corker is “troubled.” Trump says reports of moving the Capitol to Trump Tower in Manhattan are “fake news, for now.” DECEMBER: So it ends, not with a bang or a whimper but with a presidential tweet — “Lock Her Up!!!” As missiles f ly, talking heads at Fox News, ESPN, and CNNMoney discuss the impact the apocalypse will have on the Super Bowl. 



ear-in-review columns are easy. Prophecy is hard, but what the heck. Here’s a month-bymonth look ahead at 2018.

AUGUST: The University of Memphis announces a change in its football schedule, adding a “bonus game” against the University of Tennessee at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on an open date. “Frankly,” says UM coach Mike Norvell, “It’s a mismatch but we need to make sure we get six wins to be bowl eligible.” The Vols, under athletic director and interim coach Phil Fulmer, obtain a special NCAA “graduate exemption” for Peyton Manning to play one more game and “get some payback for 1996.” Fulmer announces UT is dropping the Alabama game for Bristol Prep Academy starting in 2020 and petitioning to leave the Southeastern Conference.

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Changing the Channel by tom jones


t’s a comment heard for years at meetings of the Greater Memphis Chamber, from fellows at New Memphis, and by class members at Leadership Memphis: “Reporting crime all the time is not a responsible or accurate reflection of life in our city.” This time, however, criticism of the relentless nightly crime coverage comes from somebody who can do something about it: Richard Ransom, news anchor and managing editor at WATN TV’s Local 24 News. Ransom’s move to Channel 24 from working as a news anchor at WREG-TV did more than give him a break from that station’s nightly “if it bleeds, it leads” rundown. It gave him the opportunity to craft an entirely different kind of newscast for Memphis, one that “wants to inform you, not scare you,” he says. In its way, the nightly crime coverage is the television equivalent of clickbait. “The bottom line is that ‘crime all the time’ coverage, as I like to call it, is lazy,” says Ransom, an Emmy Awardwinning writer. “It’s low-hanging fruit. It also doesn’t reflect in a balanced way the city I know. It glorifies violence and can fuel

racial stereotypes.” That doesn’t mean that Channel 24 won’t top the news with a crime story, as it did with a murder in Harbor Town in early November. “I’m not saying that you just start doing a bunch of good news stories,” he says. “I am saying there’s so much real news to report other than crime-scene tape and flashing blue lights.” It is common for a television reporter to arrive on the scene of a shooting shortly before the 10 o’clock news and can report little except that it has just taken place. Its main value to news directors is that it took place at just the right time to satisfy the need for a lead story about violent crime. “My colleagues — most of whom I consider friends and respect a great deal — will admit privately that it’s a bunch of bull, but in their defense, they’re just doing what they’re being told to

Channel 3 — which became the city’s highest-rated local newscast while Ransom was anchor there — will double down on its crime coverage. And yet Ransom is confident that the public wants a change. “For years, it’s all I would hear from viewers I would meet. They’d say: ‘I used to watch the news, but it’s not relevant to me anymore. All you do is crime, crime, crime.’ At some point, the bar was lowered on crime coverage, so everybody races to crime scenes and labels it as ‘breaking news’ and don’t worry about whether it’s a legitimate story until later.” Ransom said it is too early to gauge the public’s reaction, but points out that “slow and steady” do,” Ransom said. “They go to a wins the race. “We are under no live shooting with little to no inillusions. You don’t change deformation, only to learn an hour cades of viewing habits overlater some guy was shot in the big night. We think there’s a real appetite for a refreshing approach. toe. By then the story has disappeared into the news vacuum.” If we see viewers are respondAs a result, the shootings are ing, that will be success. So far, never menthe feedback “I’m not saying that you tioned again. we’re getting just start doing a bunch of There is no is very positive. follow-up and Ultimately, it’s good news stories. I am up to the folks most never warsaying there’s so much watch i ng at rant a line in the city’s newspahome.” real news to report other pers. “We all Journalism than crime-scene tape know crime is in all its forms a real problem is facing a diffiand flashing blue lights.” here and has to cult time. Daily — Richard Ransom be covered, but newspapers are Local 24 News will show up at a in a downward spiral, more peocrime scene and have the courple get their news online, and age to wait for the details to flush television news is scaling back. out before putting it on the air,” Because of all this turmoil, says Ransom. Ransom feels that growing at His experiment in newscasts all in a declining business enthat aren’t “all crime all the time” vironment would be a huge is so far unduplicated by any othvictory. er local television station, and There are encouraging signs with Sinclair Broadcasting set that Richard Ransom’s approach to acquire WREG-TV and posmay be working. Local 24’s 10 p.m. sibly require the station to adnews ratings are already up 35 here to an alt-right point of view, percent, an early indicator that he media observers predict that just may be on to something.


One local station thinks it’s time to step away from non-stop crime coverage.

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The Wailers

The Wailers (minus Bob Marley, of course) play at the Daisy, banging out hits such as “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” and “Concrete Jungle.” The New Daisy, 330 Beale St.

01 .16-20

International Blues Challenge


King Day

To remember and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his death, the Naitonal Civil Rights Museum is hosting a daylong event that includes a children’s “edutainment” pavilion, a health pavilion with health screenings, and a museum experience. Attendees can receive free or discounted admission by bringing canned goods or donating blood. National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St.



lvis Presley has always been a big deal, to say the least — such a big deal that Graceland is hosting a series of events during the weekend leading up to his birthday on January 8th. Events include tours, fan club events, concerts, and auctions. On the 8th, fans can attend a livestreamed birthday ceremony on Graceland’s north lawn, followed by birthday cake and coffee across the street at Vernon’s Steakhouse. Graceland, 3765 Elvis Presley Blvd.

Dead Soldiers

Local folk-rock band Dead Soldiers opens the new year by performing at the Buckman Performing Arts Center. Their latest album, The Great Emptiness, contains influences of rock, soul, country, blues, and bluegrass elements. Buckman Performing Arts Center, 60 Perkins Extd.


TedX Memphis

Ted Talks returns to the Orpheum for the third time with thoughtprovoking ideas from a new point of view. With a theme titled “The Slant,” 20 speakers will honor Martin Luther King Jr. by covering racial divide, as well as food, technology, and city planning. The Orpheum, 203 S. Main St.

01 .19-02.04 Fences

Elvis Birthday Celebration


The International Blues Challenge is an opportunity for communities to promote local blues artists for a chance at a big break. And what better place to hold such a competition than in the Home of the Blues? Be sure to listen to and root for our own Jonathan Ellison. The Blues Foundation, 421 S. Main


WWE Monday Night Raw

WWE Monday Night Raw returns to FedExForum, featuring Brock Lesnar with a double main event showcasing The Shield vs. Cesaro and Sheamus, and Braun Strowman vs. Kane. Other Raw superstars include Bray Wyatt, Finn Balor, and Sasha Banks. FedExForum, 191 Beale St.

Grizzlies v. Lakers


Grizzlies v. Lakers

The Grizzlies host the Los Angeles Lakers in the 16th-annual Martin Luther King Day game at FedExForum. With an early tip-off (4:30 p.m.) and national broadcast (TNT), the game honors the legacy of Dr. King and will be especially meaningful this year as the city acknowledges the 50th anniversary of his death in Memphis. FedExForum, 191 Beale St.

Coming to Theatre Memphis shortly after MLK Day, Fences follows a Negro League baseball player in the 1950s who is excluded from the major leagues as he struggles to provide for his family. Bitter about his life having taken a wrong turn, he struggles with familial relationships when his son has his own dream of playing major league football. Theatre Memphis, 630 Perkins Extd.


Harlem Globetrotters 2018 World Tour

The Harlem Globetrotters take on longtime rivals the Washington Generals in a game that will be sure to entertain, with trick shots, comedy, and audience interaction. FedExForum, 191 Beale St.

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12/14/17 4:01 PM

Memphis Empty Bowls Project


Memphis Empty Bowls Project

Join Crosstown Concourse and St. John’s United Methodist in the fight against world hunger — one city at a time. As part of the fundraiser, attendees purchase handcrafted bowls (which serve as reminders of the empty bowls throughout the city) which will then be filled with soups that have been donated from various local restaurants. After eating, attendees can shop at local art vendors at the art market. Crosstown Concourse, 1350 Concourse Ave.

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01 .23-28

In memoriam of Martin Luther King Jr., learn about the challenges of poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and the sanitation workers strike that brought Memphis to the forefront of the civil rights movement. Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St.

Set forth on an adventure to find Neverland alongside J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, as he finds inspiration for his story from four young boys playing makebelieve. On January 26th, young people ages 4-18 can attend the popular play at no cost. The Orpheum, 203 S Main St.

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Elvis Gets Sirius

SiriusXM deejay Derrill Argo Jr. — known simply as Argo — has hosted shows on Elvis Radio since 2005. Fans of The King flock to Channel 19 to listen to their favorite songs and hear stories about the man credited, in part, for the “Big Bang of Rock-and-Roll.”

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King rocks


still around the clock — through songs and stories — on



by sh a r a c l a r k | p h o t o g r a p h s b y b r a n d o n d i l l

Across the street from Graceland, at Elvis Presley’s Memphis, sits a small studio, where sunlight pours in through the window-lined east wall onto a soundboard with colored, lighted buttons. A microphone stands ready, flanked by computer monitors displaying playlists and a countdown to air time. Though the space looks simple enough, mostly unadorned, magic happens here, and the legacy of the man credited, in part, for the “Big Bang of Rock-and-Roll” lives on.


n this day, Argo stands behind the oversized microphone, with rectangular-framed glasses, a tan newsboy cap, and a blue paisley shirt that matches the studio’s blue walls. An

Elvis version of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” is wrapping up, and the room falls still in the seconds

On a mid-December morning, Derrill Argo Jr.,

before he goes on air. “Memphis music, live from

one of a handful of hosts on Channel 19, the 24/7

Graceland here on Elvis Radio with Argo…”, he

SiriusXM Elvis Radio channel, broadcasts live from

says, with the smooth, clear voice of an experi-

the Graceland studio, set against the sidewalk —

enced disc jockey.

visible, and accessible, to outside passersby — and

In honor of Mike Leech, a member of American

nestled between the newly renovated museum spaces

Sound Studios’ house band, known as The Mem-

where costumes and mementos live, untouchable,

phis Boys, who’d passed away the day prior, Argo

inside glass boxes. A Memphis native, Argo has been

introduces an Elvis track (one of several) to which

in radio for 25 years. He got his first gig at 16 working

the bass player contributed. “...We’re going to stick

for the Shelby County Schools station, 88.5 FM, and

with The Memphis Boys and with the 1969 sessions

went on to deejay at 96X, FM100, and 98.1 The Buzz

there on Thomas Street, as we remember Mike

before joining Elvis Radio in 2005.

Leech. This is take number 13 of ‘In the Ghetto.’”

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We d


The Big Bang


lvis Radio launched on Sirius satellite radio (which in 2008 merged with XM to become SiriusXM) on the 50th anniversary of the “Big Bang of Rock-and-Roll,” an event that was celebrated at Sun Studio in July 2004. As operations manager/program director Tony “TY” Yoken describes, the “Big Bang” happened on July 2, 1954, the day that thenunknown Elvis Presley, guitarist Scotty Moore, and bassist Bill Black first recorded together at Sun Studio for Sam Phillips. In what was to be an informal session, “Elvis started messing around and playing his guitar, and Bill jumped in, Scotty jumped in,” Yoken says. “Sam came running out of the studio at one point and said, ‘What have you guys got going? It sounds pretty good; let’s take it from the top.’’’ The song was “That’s All Right (Mama).” At the anniversary celebration in Memphis, Elvis’ longtime friend George Klein, Scotty Moore, and other “musician dignitaries” joined together at Sun Studio. “They had the original Ampex tape recorder that had been at Sun Studio [and recorded ‘That’s All Right (Mama)],” Yoken says. “At noon precisely, Scotty pressed the play button, and radio stations around the world all picked up this broadcast, which was available via satellite. That

was the official sign-on of Elvis Radio.” Bill Rock, an Elvis fan who has been in radio since the 1960s, was there that day as the first Elvis Radio deejay: today, he still hosts the station’s Saturday night memories and movie soundtrack show (remotely, from his home studio in Connecticut). Other hosts today include George Klein, Big Jim Sykes, and Doc Walker — each of whom has extensive knowledge of The King’s music and history, as well as years of experience in radio. Tony Yoken, who had been formerly president and general manager of Memphis Radio Group, joined Elvis Radio, which was originally presented to him as “a fun little project,” in July 2005. “I wanted to work with an elite group of top performers,” he says. And with the current crew, “We’re doing some pretty unique and compelling work — a lot of musicality, a lot of history, and the fans love it.” The studio at Graceland is one of several smaller SiriusXM operations; the company is headquartered in New York City. Shows also are broadcast live from other locations, including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Nashville, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. A subscription-based service, SiriusXM offers music, sports, news, and entertainment to its current listenership of 32 million. While today other

artist-exclusive channels exist — among them The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead — “The Elvis Radio channel was the very first exclusive-artist channel for the company,” explains Yoken. From the beginning, Yoken’s objective as operations manager was to put together the most comprehensive audio archive and library of spoken word from Elvis Presley, his musicians, friends, and family, “to make it much more than just the music; the story behind the music,” he says. But he also wanted it to be a place for Elvis fans to go on air, either on the phone or in person at the studio where there’s “an open door policy,” and to ensure the station had a live, vibrant Memphis feel. “When you turn it on, you’ll know it’s Memphis,” he says. “We’ve checked all the boxes and continue to do those things.”

The Storytellers


ne of the most compelling aspects of the channel is how the hosts weave little-known Elvis tidbits into the programming, and speak with those who worked with him, were inspired by him, or were close to him. Jerry Schilling, a member of Elvis’ entourage, the so-called “Memphis Mafia,” and author of Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley, has been on air on the

In mid-December, Roy Orbison Jr. (left) visited the studio for an interview and guest deejay set. Operations manager/program director Tony “TY” Yoken (middle) and Argo (right) talked with him about his father’s connections to The King and Memphis.

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channel many times, as an interviewee and a guest deejay. On the phone from his home in West Hollywood Hills (a house Elvis gave him in 1974), he says, “Elvis Radio gives an opportunity to talk to the people who played a part in his life, and you can hear them in their own words.” George Klein’s show is a perfect example. Klein authored the book Elvis: My Best Man and considered Elvis Presley his best friend. “There’s George, who grew up with Elvis, who was a pioneer in early radio and television,” says Schilling. “Being interviewed, I forget I’m on the radio. I just feel like I’m having a conversation with George, with an old friend, with some of the other deejays, like Doc Walker, Argo, and Jim Sykes. It allows us to let the audience into our private world. Then to have Elvis’ music backing it up, telling the stories of how a song came up, how/why Elvis recorded it, who influenced it — you just don’t get that in radio today.” Schilling recalls participating in a twohour special with host Doc Walker live on Elvis Radio shortly after the release of his book. “We got to go to Graceland at night, inside the mansion, and I told my stories from the book that took place in Graceland, in the particular room in Graceland where the situations happened. It really meant a lot to me to be able to share certain stories — some fun, some deep, some insightful — of the relationship that all of us guys and Elvis had, and Priscilla.” Having such a comprehensive radio channel helps carry on Elvis Presley’s legacy and even introduces him to new sets of fans. “What it does for an artist like Elvis who has been gone for 40 years, it gives it a current, almost living experience,” Schilling says. “When you’re hearing his music on the radio regularly and people talking about it, it’s like the movies of him; they keep him out there and it keeps generating new audiences. We’re at a point now where we certainly have three generations, but going into four generations.” Other celebrity guests have come through Graceland and stopped at the station for interviews or guest deejay sets. Of course, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley have shared stories with the devout listenership, but others who’ve been inspired by The King — Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, and Bruno Mars, to name but a few — have come through to add to the channel’s audio archive of memories and anecdotes. Argo recalls one year, around Christmastime, actor Randy Quaid showed up “randomly” with his wife, “spouting off lines from [National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation].” Musician Terry Mike Jeffrey was in the studio that day, and Quaid

announced to them, “My wife and I just woke up and she told me she’d never been to Graceland, so we got in the car and we drove to Graceland.” Jeffrey had his guitar and asked Quaid if he’d like to sing a song. “So they start singing ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’” says Argo. “You couldn’t have made anything up better than that; it was just in that moment, happening.” On a particular mid-December day a few weeks ago, another guest pops in: Roy Orbison Jr., son of Roy Orbison, also a pioneer of rock-and-roll. On the heels of the recent release of the book The Autho-

“Anybody who wants to know everything about Elvis, and who wants to listen to Elvis music whenever they want, flocks to this channel.” —Tony Yoken rized Roy Orbison and the album A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orbison Jr., who’s sporting a TCB necklace, speaks about his father’s connections to The King and Memphis, his time recording at Sun Studio, and the concert on June 1, 1956, at the Overton Park Shell, where Orbison opened for and was introduced to the crowd by Elvis. During Orbison Jr.’s guest deejay set, Orbison and Elvis songs are alternated — “Love Hurts,” “Love Letters” — alongside a juxtaposition of the two artists’ versions of “Mean Woman Blues.” “I hope Elvis fans can learn a deeper appreciation of Elvis by looking at Roy and the other people that Elvis affected,” Orbison Jr. says.

For the Fans


lvis Radio, Channel 19 on SiriusXM, is certainly a space for audiences to find a deeper appreciation, of Elvis the artist and Elvis the person, the friend. One might also begin to feel a closer connection to him. As Argo describes, “I’m not old enough to know Elvis or have known him personally, but because of this job, I’ve gotten to know all of the people who were around him — his family and his friends. That has given me a good idea of what kind of guy he was, and that’s been really neat. I feel like I kind of do know Elvis now.” Through stories told by Elvis’ family, friends, and acquaintances, listeners get the same sense of “knowing” The King of Rock-and-Roll. And Elvis’ fanbase is dedicated, hanging on every word, every note of every song (the active library includes

5,102 recordings, from classic hits and live performances to outtakes and rarities). “It’s really the most unbelievable, engaged listenership media experience I’ve ever been involved with,” says Yoken. “Anybody who wants to know everything about Elvis, and who wants to listen to Elvis music whenever they want, flocks to this channel.” Many of them — from around the nation and the world — also flock to Memphis and to Graceland. “I met a man from the Netherlands one time,” Argo says. “He flew to New Orleans and he rode a bike up Highway 61 in the summertime. His lips are chapped, he’s sunburned, he’s like, ‘This is my dream to ride here and come to Graceland.’” Visitors can go on air, and between songs, listeners will often hear, “My name is ______, and I’ve travelled ______ miles to be on Elvis Radio live from Graceland.” Guests can also participate in quiz shows for a chance to win collectibles and other prizes. And opportunities for audience engagement abound, in studio or from afar, with fans calling or writing in to ask questions, request songs, and share their own Elvis memories. “We welcome them,” says Yoken. “Everybody, even if they’re not an Elvis Presley fan, has an Elvis story or memory. It might be nothing more than somebody put on a pair of sunglasses and sideburns on Halloween one year, or they heard an older brother or sister or mother talk about Elvis Presley or first heard him from an older family member.” It’s those memories, often shared across generations, that have contributed to the channel’s success, and the continued growth of both listenership and Elvis’ fan base. “People dream to get here,” Argo says from his post behind the microphone. “There are people who wait all their lives to get here, and they come in and absolutely flip out. We put them on the radio and capture that excitement, and it’s real and it’s so cool. I’ve lived in Memphis all my life, but that’s something, until I was here every day, I didn’t realize went on here. It’s mecca, and it’s not just Graceland; it’s Memphis.” Many longtime fans come to town several times a year and make a point to visit the home of The King. Some speak little or no English, but, “Elvis is like this universal language,” says Argo. “One of the most incredible parts of Elvis’ legacy is how he connects people. You see all these people from different backgrounds, from different parts of the world, that have this connection to Elvis, this commonality. And they come together here. It is kind of like a family, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. Thank you, Elvis.” J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 27

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Keeping the Faith y✝Y



by michael finger | photographs by brandon dill


lethea Bragg unlatches the heavy iron gates and, pushing an aluminum walker ahead of her, steps through the autumn leaves covering the worn brick pathway. Slowed in her later years by a relapse of polio in childhood, she is determined

to show her visitors — this writer and a photographer — the interesting, ornate, and unusual graves in the ancient cemetery shaded by oaks and magnolias behind Chambers Chapel United Methodist Church.

A visit to Chambers Chapel today is a journey back in time. The peace and solitude make it hard to believe the little country church is less than half a mile from heavily traveled Highway 64. right: As the official church historian, Alethea Bragg knows the story of every part of Chambers Chapel, and every person laid to rest in the old cemetery behind it. J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 29

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Keeping the Faith

right: Erected in 1928 after two previous buildings on the same site were destroyed by a tornado and a fire, Chambers Chapel (shown here in the 1940s) was originally a simple wooden church. The brick siding was added in the 1950s. below: Memorial windows, crafted by Laukhuff Stained Glass, provide light and color to the simple sanctuary. The modern pews, added in the 1960s, replaced rows of older theater-style wooden seats.

Later, inside the sanctuary, with sunlight streaming through the rows of stained-glass windows, she points out historic elements of this old country church that seems to have resisted time, though it stands barely a halfmile from busy Highway 64. Bragg, whose family has owned more than a thousand acres of farmland in northeast Shelby County for generations, is the little church’s official historian, and she can tell the story behind every marker and monument in the cemetery, every memorial on the Laukhuff Studio-produced windows, every plaque on the pews purchased years ago by church members. The former librarian for the Arlington Public Library knows every square inch of this humble house of worship, and after seeing what she and other church members have built and maintained over the years, any visitor immediately understands

that Chambers Chapel is a truly special place — a labor of love that has endured against all odds, including a fire and a tornado — for close to 150 years.


n a manner of speaking, this church has remained something of a time capsule, but it has still grown and reflects the present,” writes Dr. Catherine Wilson in A History of Chambers Chapel United Methodist Church and Cemetery, published in 1998 to commemorate the church’s 125th anniversary. Officially founded in 1870, the church was actually established the year before, on November 8, 1869, when Martha Ann Vaughan Chambers, whose family lived on the old Stage Coach Road (now Stage/Highway 64) donated one acre “more or less” for “the site of a Methodist Episcopal Church South.” Alethea Bragg has preserved that original deed in a safe deposit box, and in the absence of manmade landmarks at the time, it reveals how surveyors laid out the property by measuring from a black oak, to a sassafras bush, to a post oak, then to a hickory tree. Some sources indicate that the cemetery, which Wilson considers “a Who’s Who of West Tennessee history,” may be much older than the church, dating as far back as 1820, making it one of the oldest active graveyards in Shelby County. It’s hard to say for certain, since many of the oldest graves were unmarked, or their markers have vanished with time. Chambers specified that the land she donated could never be used for anything other than a church, but she didn’t donate any funds for the construction of a building. That would come later, so for the first few months, the members gathered in a simple brush arbor along what was then called Pea Point Road. The first “church,” writes Wilson, was little more than “an informal structure consisting of a wooden frame with greenery used as a protective covering.” A mineral spring bubbled in the hollow west of the property. The Methodist Conference Board of Missions selected a minister, the Rev. William M. McFerrin, who reported back that “when this field of labor was assigned to me, there was no church organization within its bounds.” Members of the new congregation took to horse and buggy to travel the dirt roads of the area, seeking funds for the construction of a proper edifice. According to Wilson, “the first recorded structure of the church consisted of a simple building without a ceiling.” Such a flimsy structure didn’t last long. In 1880, a tornado swept through the area, and the building — now called Chambers Chapel United Methodist Church — was destroyed. Once again, church members took to horseback to solicit money and pledges from the landowners in the area — ranging from only a dollar to more than $20 (a large sum at the time) to erect a more substantial structure.

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Alethea Bragg, a former librarian for the Arlington Public Library, knows every square inch of this humble house of worship, and after seeing what she and other church members have built and maintained over the years, any visitor immediately understands that Chambers Chapel is a truly special place. In 1892, the new church opened, a one-room wooden structure heated by a pot-bellied stove. Though by all accounts a plain building, the Bragg family donated a large stainedglass window over the altar in honor of Elizabeth Fontaine Bragg, who had died at age 3. During this time, Alethea Bragg says that the church — out in the county, reached only by rough roads unusable during bad weather — went through periods of inactivity, with the membership rolls changing year by year, and an ever-changing roster of ministers. In her 125th anniversary history, Wilson tells the story of the 1905 funeral service for Helen Bragg, whose body had to be buried in Arlington because the horse-drawn hearse couldn’t pull through the “quagmire” of Chambers Chapel Road. (Alethea Bragg notes that years later, the young woman’s remains were indeed moved

to the Chambers Chapel cemetery.) The church community prospered, however, during the 1920s, with the advent of trucks and automobiles to bring members from far away. The church purchased a pump organ, and the cemetery became a place for children to play before and after the services. Wilson writes, “Two markers seemed to hold a particular fascination. One had a rose carved on top (for David Etta Starr), and the other had a little lamb within an arched stone in memory of Freddie R. Russell.” Despite the unusual name, Freddie was a young girl, and both monuments have survived to this day. Death in infancy was a constant in those days, before the advent of antibiotics and proper medical treatment, and with few (if any) doctors in the little farming communities nearby, the numerous children’s graves at Chambers Chapel ref lect those challenging times.

top: Some records suggest the graveyard could be much older then the church, making it one of the oldest active cemeteries in Shelby County. above: Many of the weathered tombstones, such as this one for Sally Bragg, date from the 1800s. J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 31

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above: On a winter afternoon, sunlight streams through the windows in one of the church’s Sunday School rooms.

But it wasn’t always muddy and gloomy here. “The blooming of the beautiful flowers in front of the church was always a sign of the coming spring and the advent of Easter,” writes Wilson. “Easter egg hunts were held yearly for the children and became something of a neighborhood event.” In the summertime, Chambers Chapel also had a special Children’s Day, “where poems, songs, and Bible verses were presented by the children.” Church dinners, held outside beneath the old trees, became a regular social event in the early 1900s. “Food was served in abundance and sharing was a natural part of the day as families spread their blankets on the lawn to enjoy such homemade delicacies as chicken, corn pudding, and pies,” writes Wilson. “Sharing picnics and dinners was a wonderful way for community members to come together to eat, have fellowship, gossip, and perhaps share a few recipes.”


n December 4, 1927, just as Sunday School was drawing to a close, men outside the church noticed smoke swirling from the roof. Sparks from the wood-burning stove flue had apparently set the shingles ablaze. As church members rushed to save anything they could carry, the flames spread, and Chambers Chapel burned to the ground. A letter in the church archives

describes the end: “When we realized that no more could be saved we all stood silently, watching. Then all at once the entire church was engulfed in flames. There was no wind, and for about ten seconds the rafters and frame were silhouetted against the sky, and then the entire structure collapsed to the earth.” Alethea Bragg heard stories about that day: “My grandmother was short like I am, but she was a real strong person. Another member, Miss Fanny Griffin, was a real tall lady. They’re the ones who picked up the church organ and carried it outside.” The church members were certainly resilient. The same letter observed, “Before anyone left the church grounds, enough money was pledged so that the church could be rebuilt.” Alethea Bragg’s grandfather, Howard S. Bragg Sr., and other family members served on the building committee, with assistance from the Ladies Aid Society. Box suppers and quilting bees were held to raise additional funds, and the church held a fund-raising barbecue on the grounds, which became an annual tradition, so popular that a brick barbecue pit was constructed behind the church. The new church — the third structure on the site — opened in 1928. Although members were unable to raise enough funds to erect a steeple, Chambers Chapel Methodist Church

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was a handsome structure, with gleaming white siding, rows of tall windows, and a large sanctuary. On each side, smaller Sunday School rooms held lamps salvaged from the old Manhattan branch of Union Planters Bank in Memphis. During the 1930s, a wrought-iron fence was added to the cemetery, and bricks salvaged from demolished homes in Memphis were used to lay the pathway still used today. Membership rolls increased, and Chambers Chapel became a “sister” church with Eads Methodist Church, sharing a minister — a practice continued to this day. Alethea Bragg says that during this time, members — by this time the congregation had reached 40 permanent members — decided to make their little church more substantial. Perhaps they remembered the fire, but Bragg also says that “woodpeckers were just drilling holes in the walls,” so funds were raised — some $4,700 — to add a brick facing to the entire building. Once again there was a Memphis connection; the bricks came

from a fire station torn down at Madison and Dunlap. In a 1953 story, the Memphis Press-Scimitar noted the various improvements and described Chambers Chapel as a “beautifully poor and simple church.” The reporter observed, “Snuggled in a corner of the county is a little white country church of the old stock, a bit of historic Memphis which generations succeeding its founders have determined shall not pass away.” Other improvements in the late 1950s included the distinctive row of brick memorial columns — 19 in all — across the entrance to the cemetery, each marked w it h a concrete plaque honoring a church member. The massive wrought-iron gate is dedicated to Kathey Bragg, a 12-year-old girl who passed away in 1959. “She was my first cousin and a year younger than me,” says Bragg. “She got real sick and they were never quite sure what it was, but she passed away just before Christmas. It was devastating to my family.” Inside the cemetery, a memory garden is dedicated to another member of the Bragg

The stained-glass windows designed and fabricated by the Memphis firm of Laukhuff Stained Glass. Each is adorned with a distinctive symbol, either an image from Christianity, or something pertinent to Chambers Chapel.

family, Heslope Bragg Armstrong, who is also memorialized with a stained-glass window by the front doors. Unusual graves can be found here. The Connell family tombstone is etched with a complete farming scene. Another is decorated with a piano. An old buggy seat invites visitors to take a seat nearby. Most intriguing of all is the brass marker for Jackie Lou Billings. At the foot of his grave are three concrete slabs, decorated with handprints and colored tiles and marbles pressed into the cement. A wire frame still holds the gentleman’s favorite cap.


nside the church, Alethea Bragg points with considerable pride to the stained-glass windows designed and fabricated by the Memphis firm of Laukhuff Stained Glass. Each is adorned with a distinctive symbol, either an image from Christianity, or something pertinent to Chambers Chapel, such as the original church deed. The triptych behind the pulpit, with Christ in the center, pays tribute to Howard S. Bragg Sr., of the building committee. Gilt letters at the bottom of the windows honor church members memorialized here, among them: The Russell Family and Rouse, Stewart and Mary Baxter, Arty and Geneva Harting, Francis Adams, Herman C. Boggs, and many more. Bragg remembers when the church had old-fashioned theater-style seating. “They were wooden chairs, and the seats flipped up with a bang every time anybody stood up,” she says. “So in the 1960s, church members purchased the new, more modern pews. Each has a brass plaque showing who paid for each one.” Finished in a light oak, softened with red velvet cushions, they match the piano, railings, and other interior features. She’s pleased with the gleaming brass lights along the nave, installed in the 1970s. “We used to have these old lights that hung down by a chain,” she says, “and they had been there so long that people were afraid to sit under them.” Hanging on a wall is a detailed plan of the cemetery, showing the locations of hundreds of graves arranged in neat rows. “If the name is written in pencil, it means that plot is reserved,” she explains, “and then when they are buried, you erase that writing and put it in ink — permanent.” Among her duties,

above left: The large stained-glass window behind the pulpit serves as a memorial to longtime member Heslope Bragg Armstrong (1880-1957), who is buried in the cemetery here. left: Details from other windows in the sanctuary pay tribute to church organist Elizabeth Y. Griffin (second from left) and the original church deed, dated 1870. J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 33

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it’s her job to keep track of all these burials. Walking to a table, she shows visitors a church treasure — a silver cup that was presented to the members of Adams School — a nearby county school now long gone — for sending the most students to participate in the 1919 Armistice Day Parade downtown. “We found this in the basement, and it had no wording on it and was tarnished, but we researched what it was for. It was for the largest percentage of students at the parade, and the Adams School sent all of them — 100 percent — so they got the prize.” The year 1995 marked two important dates in the history of Chambers Chapel. The church celebrated its 125th anniversary with a party held on the grounds. In her history, Wilson writes, “A large tent was borrowed from the city of Lakeland and chairs and tents were set out on the grounds. The tables were decorated with cotton and pumpkins grown by members, wildflowers in the fields, and the beautiful sumac that grows in abundance

and organist for more than 55 years, died in a car accident. A Tennessee Senate Resolution, in a black frame, now hangs over the organ, paying tribute to “this compassionate and caring lady, whose every endeavor epitomized the true spirit of Tennessee volunteerism.” A new bridge at Highway 70 and Paul Barret Parkway, close to land once owned by her family, was named in her honor, and a stained-glass window here also memorializes her. A major improvement came in 1969, when the county finally ran a water line down Chambers Chapel Road, allowing the church to add sinks and toilets to the community room in the basement. “Until then, we had to use a pair of old outhouses set back in the corner of the cemetery,” Bragg says. “One of them burned, but one of them wasn’t torn down until the 1990s.” In 1998, Alethea Bragg and Katherine Wilson spearheaded the effort to have a historical marker placed in front of the church. Erected On display in the sanctuary is a trophy presented to the old Adams School, located nearby but now long gone, for participating in the 1919 Armistice Day celebration in downtown Memphis.


Among the gravestones in the Chambers Chapel Cemetery is the marker for Elizabeth Griffin, the pianist and organist for more than 55 years, an example of the love and devotion of church members.

alongside the road. Invitations were sent to former members, members of the sister church in Eads, neighbors in the community, and dignitaries to celebrate this great event. This was a joyous celebration and one which brought families together for the first time in years.” Just a few weeks later, tragedy struck the church, when Elizabeth Griffin, who had served as the Chambers Chapel pianist

by the Shelby County Historical Commission, the green marker summarizes the long history of the church and cemetery. That same year, Wilson concluded her 125th-year history in this way: “The members of Chambers Chapel wish to see this beautiful church preserved and protected for future generations, in the hopes that the church will continue to serve as a worship place to the glory of Christ, our Savior.”

lethea Br agg carefully checks the locks before closing the church and escorting her visitors to their cars. These days, Dr. Cecil Bellew serves as the minister for the Chambers Chapel and Eads Methodist Church congregations. A painted sign indicates two services each Sunday, at 9 and 10 a.m., but as families have moved away, sometimes less than a dozen people attend. “We count maybe 50 members in all now,” says Bragg. “We have certain people that you can pretty much depend on being here on Sunday, but others hardly ever come.” But as one looks around at the spotlessly clean church, inside and out, and the well-maintained grounds, there’s no sense of foreboding that Chambers Chapel faces an uncertain future. Back at her home, just a mile from the church, Bragg has a sheet listing the leadership team for 2018 and beyond. Maybe they have only 50 active members, but they stay active indeed, heading up committees devoted to education, outreach, missions, disabilities concerns, finance, and even disaster response preparedness. Chairpersons of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee have been selected for 2018, 2019, and even 2020. Chambers Chapel has endured many hardships over the years, but this “time capsule of West Tennessee Who’s Who” faces the future with as much strength and resolve as ever before. Martha Chambers, who is buried here in the cemetery, probably never realized her gift of “one acre, more or less” would have evolved into such a memorial for a community that has kept the “poor and simple” church alive. 

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s i h p m e M t a e Gr S


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at The Columns

at Annesdale Mansion



by jill johnson piper

nvy is so unbecoming," my mother used to say. But who could not be just a bit jealous of the three Memphis weddings we present on these pages? Hardly had the groom gotten off one knee (yes, the formal proposal made a big comeback in 2017), before their brides were pushing the creative envelope to showcase bowers of orchids, Astaire-worthy first dances, fascinating menus, even a hand-painted wedding gown.

The venues were just as enviable: a Victorian mansion, a downtown landmark, and the garden of an East Memphis restaurant. And now we present: Great Memphis Weddings of 2017. P H O T O GR A P H Y C R E D I T S | L E F T: S AVA NN A H A ND P HIL IP K E NNE Y | C E N T E R: A N T O INE L E V E R | R I GH T: M A S SE Y W E NIN G

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SCHOOLED IN TR A DITION Jef ferson and Nicole Willey Warren at Annesdale Mansion. A pr i l 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 p h o t o g r a p h y b y s a va n n a h a n d p h i l i p k e n n e y

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efferson and Nicole Willey Warren’s romance began on a subway platform in Brooklyn. Many stops and six years later, it finally reached its destination, the upper platform of Paula & Raiford’s Disco on Second Street early in the hours of April 23rd. “I walked into the after party at Raiford’s holding my bouquet and the first thing somebody handed me was a 40-ounce Bud Light,” Nicole recalls, laughing. “Now all our friends from college want to open a Raiford’s in New York.” The couple were wed April 22, 2017, at Annesdale Mansion, the Italianate villa in Midtown where Jefferson had once hidden in the woods with friends at a childhood birthday party. far left: Nicole and Jefferson Warren share a moment on their misty wedding day. The groom finds a little support on the fender of his grandfather’s restored 1939 Packard. left: The wedding cake from Cordova’s 17Berkshire Bakery

mirrors the textures of the 1850s Annesdale mansion. below: Bride and groom chose Annesdale’s formal walled garden for the most serious moment of the day, their vows. Leanne Marshall designed the bride’s gown.

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W I L L E Y~ W A R R E N Family and friends from the East Coast, including contingents from Yale, where Jefferson graduated, and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, the bride’s alma mater, got a crash course in Southern culture on a misty spring weekend. Bride and groom are both educators: Jefferson is director of operations at a charter school opening next year, Believe Memphis Academy, and Nicole teaches math at Aspire Coleman Elementary School. Freshly minted teachers working at the same elementary school in Brooklyn, Jefferson and Nicole met in the classroom and soon discovered that they took the same subway train. “Our first meeting was on a decrepit subway platform, surrounded by wrecked cars. Very romantic,” he recalls. “Nicole had a big crush on me from the very start; she just didn’t know it yet.” Soon a steady couple, Jefferson and Nicole graduated from the subway platform to include restaurants and travel in their court-

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Jefferson Warren visits guests under the white tent.

ship. A surprise proposal in Naples, Florida, made their engagement official. While his mother and grandmother (KC Warren and Kitty Cannon) conspired upstairs in the family condo to have champagne and flowers for Nicole, Jefferson proposed on the beach. A passerby saw him get down on one knee, shot an impromptu film of the moment, and shared it with them to keep. With a year to plan, the couple turned their wedding day into a lesson in how it’s done down here — with a flair for originality and meaningful touchstones for bride and groom. Such as: ◗◗ A seated dinner in an airy white tent featuring Southern fried chicken. ◗◗ The same pastor who baptized the groom, the Rev. Jesse Garner, former pastor of First Presbyterian Church downtown, traveled from Philadelphia to officiate the ceremony on the grounds. ◗◗ The drummer from Party Planet, the R & B band for the reception, was James

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Promises and kisses are exchanged; toasts are inspired, but the feelings are indescribable. Let the specialists at the Westin Memphis Beale Street create a wedding experience that’s tailored to your personal style. • Select our intimate venue, perfect for your rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception or day-after brunch. • Relax and rejuvenate in our guestrooms and suites featuring Westin’s Heavenly Bed for friends and family.

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Photo Credits: Christen Jones Photography, Le Fleur, Salt Style & Events, Tiger City Entertainment, White Door Events

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Happily Ever After Begins at ACRE Celebrating weddings and receptions Where cuisine, ambience & service are second to none. 901 818-ACRE 690 S Perkins Rd. Memphis, TN •

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Guests form a canopy of sparklers as Mr. and Mrs. Warren leave Annesdale for the after party.

Robertson, Jefferson’s band instructor at Snowden Middle School ◗◗ The “getaway” car, a champagne-colored 1939 Packard, belonged to the groom’s grandfather. ◗◗ A gossamer illusion train cascaded from a comb loosely worked into Nicole’s French braid. After choosing a pearl silk-and-tulle gown for the ceremony, the bride changed into a fierce candlelight satin jumpsuit for the late night revels. ◗◗ The bride’s parents are Jennifer and Bud Willey of Lewiston, Maine. She is the granddaughter of Ted and Gail Quigley and Jaciel Willey, Helen Willey, and the late Lloyd Willey. KC and Dr. Jeff Warren, parents of the groom, are long-time Memphians. The groom’s maternal grandparents, Kitty and the late Robert Cannon, are the philanthropic family behind the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. His grandparents on his father’s side are the late W. Jefferson and Hope Warren. With her attention focused on the reception, Nicole wasn’t prepared for the service itself to be so memorable. “When I think back on it, the ceremony was the most magical part of the day,” she says, “and still the part I think about the most.” After the wedding, the couple went on safari in Kenya with a side trip to the beaches of Zanzibar. Photography by Savannah and Philip Kenney





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A BINDING AGREEMENT Morgan Hanna and Joseph Adams at The Columns. Ju ly 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 ph otography by c h r i s h i l l a r d


hen the party of the first part, law student Morgan Hanna, met the party of the second part, information technology specialist Joseph Adams, they had little idea that a binding contractual agreement (hereinafter known as “the wedding”) was in their future. “We were friends first, then best friends, then we dated, then we became engaged,” says Morgan, who graduated from Rhodes College in 2013. When Joseph’s work took him to California and her studies kept her in Tennessee, it was not unusual for them to have six-hour phone conversations. “We knew each other so well. It’s awesome to be best friends first.” below: A venue as spacious as The Columns can handle a lot of color. The palette selected by the bride was fuschia, gold, champagne, and white. right: Layers and layers of tulle

create the ball gown silhouette Morgan Hanna had envisioned for her July 22nd wedding. Groom Joseph Adams’ eye-catching white jacket made him a standout from his groomsmen.

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above: Young women have pretty backs and shoulders, so why not show them off? Morgan’s bridesmaids included friends and sorority sisters from Rhodes College. left: Flanked by his groomsmen, Joseph Adams demonstrates the proper way for gentlemen to be photographed: feet shoulder width, hand over wrist, all facing the same direction, please.

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Don’t let a time dictate your décor. Our space is yours, to have and to hold, from 9 a.m. to midnight. Joseph and Morgan light a unity candle. With separate tapers, the new bride and her groom each light one candle, representing the union of their lives together.

So after surprising Morgan with a “dream proposal” at The Peabody on October 29, 2016, Joseph let her run with the wedding planning. Morgan says she and her team considered using a professional, but realized the “type A” in her would be second-guessing every choice. (Editor’s note: Being wishywashy doesn’t propel one through the advocacy and dispute resolution track at UT College of Law in Knoxville, where she’ll f inish in May.) Morgan planned a wedding for 200 over the winter and spring breaks, while also balancing law school finals, leadership events in Nashville, and mock trials. The dress, a ball gown style with crystal bodice, was the landmark decision. She regularly interviewed vendors with 20 questions each, scheduled cake testings for long weekends, designed her own invitations, and selected and prepped seven attendants from her middle school, college, and sorority days. So guests wouldn’t starve while waiting for the couple to be photographed, Morgan planned a cocktail hour at her venue, The Columns, featuring D. Arthur’s signature collard green egg rolls. Friends enjoyed grilled salmon, chicken stuffed with spinach and goat cheese, and another of Frost’s showpiece cakes. A week before the ceremony, she and Joseph went to the gym to choreograph a first dance to “When I First Saw You” by

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Memphis Magazine’s

THE 2017




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Morgan and Joseph catch their breath at their table at The Columns. Events Beyond Imagination provided the floral arrangements for the event.

Beyonce and Jamie Foxx. They even did a mini-run-through in the limo between the church, Annointed Temple of Praise, and the reception. “We had a couple of big moves that made it look splashier than it was, but the best part was just being out there with him,” Morgan says. The couple postponed a honeymoon until summer 2018 between law school graduation and the Tennessee Bar exam. Planning the honeymoon is strictly Joseph’s department: All Morgan knows is that she’s supposed to have a valid passport and pack for the beach. Photography by Chris Hillard

mentor, every mentor needs a GUIDE. 46 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

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RE A L LIFE ROM COM Sophie Jones and Chad Cunningham at Acre. Se p t e m b e r 2 3 , 2 0 1 7 ph otography by m a s s e y w e n i n g ph o t o gr a ph y

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hen Sophie Jones married Chad Cunningham on September 23rd, they already had a working screenplay. After all, their first date as adults had been a marathon wedding weekend that had all the earmarks of a romantic comedy film. Rewind to 2015: After five years of working in New York in the textile design and women’s runway departments at Ralph Lauren, Sophie is preparing to move to Nashville. Chad, now a banker with Commercial Bank and Trust, phones Sophie out of the blue and invites her to be his date for a family wedding there in Manhattan. Since they were prom dates in 2004 as students at CBHS and Hutchison, Sophie says yes. The wedding is the Saturday night before the movers are coming, so she pulls a suitable dress out of the wardrobe box. opposite left: What’s brighter, Chad Cunningham's smile or Sophie Jones’ lovely chandelier earrings? above left: Green and white are a perfect color scheme for a late September wedding: match to the climate, not the calendar. This is the work of Jama Thomas at Millstone Nursery in Germantown. left: The bride’s father, Wise Jones Jr., joins daughter Sophie for the most symbolic journey a father can make.

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Trompe l’oiel strikes again: The checkerboard floor could belong to a country club in The Hamptons, but it’s really a bit of brought-in magic at Acre, a stoneand-timber wedding venue in East Memphis.

Chad flies in mid-week and says something like, “Oh, I should have mentioned it, but I need you for Thursday night, Friday night, the wedding Saturday, and Sunday brunch.” “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ “ Sophie recalls. So she unpacks more outfits, and gamely plays wedding date for a four-day booking. Between Chad flying back to Memphis and Sophie moving to Nashville, a dropped text message could have scotched the whole deal. But Chad persisted and phoned one more time, setting the stage for further dates. They moved their romance to Tennessee, burning up I-40 on the weekends until Sophie moved back to Memphis for an opportunity with Hemline, a marketing and branding firm on South Main. Chad’s proposal involved a conspiracy between Sophie’s boss, her mother, and The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, where they were to attend a reception February 17, 2017. Sophie’s boss sent her on an errand to get her out of the office early, and her mother festooned her with jewelry before meeting Chad at the Dixon. When she saw champagne in a silver ice bucket and Chad dropped to one knee, all the mystery detours finally made sense. On September 23, 2017, The Rev. Steve Montgomery of Idlewild Presbyterian Church

performed the outdoor ceremony at Acre on Perkins. Floral designer Jama Thomas at Millstone Market & Nursery of Germantown had fashioned a 10-foot arch of hundreds of orchids, white hydrangea, and stephanotis creating a graceful espalier for the vows. When the couple turned to face the minister, the late afternoon shadows highlighted the spray of orchids that Sophie’s colleague Rebecca Phillips had painted on the back panel of her Maggie Louise gown. “Rebecca came over and painted all the intricate leaves and blooms every night the week before the wedding. The dress was satin and the paint was opaque so the contrast in textures would set it off,” Sophie says. “I’m going to frame it.” Wedding guests, who numbered above 400, enjoyed a taste of everything the couple loves: Cuban sandwiches inspired by Cafe Habana in New York, shrimp and avocado on toast, kim chee rice puffs, tandoori chicken, and a towering bridal cake by Frost Bake Shop. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted our reception to be centered around food,” Sophie says. “Most brides don’t eat a bite at their weddings. That’s all I did.” After dinner and dancing in the glowing white tent, the couple was whisked away in a vintage 1962 Cadillac owned by the bride’s uncle, Price Ford. Mercifully, the hurricane season largely missed Barbados, where the couple honeymooned for a week.

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WEDDINGS While -U-Wait!

For decades, couples wanting a marriage in a minute simply had to drive to Hernando, Mississippi.

by george larrimore


ernando, Mississippi, was known as the Marrying Capital of America even before Myra Gayle Brown and Jerry Lee Lewis tied the knot there on December 12, 1957. Jerry Lee, for a minute (and late 1957 was his minute) was bigger than Elvis. He was a leering, piano-pounding, ass-shaking sensation. His first hit records, “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’,”sold in the millions. That landed him on American Bandstand with Dick Clark because America’s teenagers knew precisely what those songs were about. After the brief ceremony at Spencer’s Wedding Chapel, just off Hernando’s court square, they drove Jerry Lee’s Cadillac convertible back to Myra Gayle’s parents house on Coro Lake, without so much as a wedding night alone. The fact that they were now legally Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis was still a secret. But when the tabloids found out that Myra Gayle was the daughter of Jerry Lee’s first cousin, and 13 years old, it turned into a career-killing scandal. But a scandal, especially one involving an outrageous rock-and-roll star, is publicity. So the story of Jerry Lee and Myra was therefore good for Hernando’s quickie wedding business, and business was already real good. At the peak, when Hernando was a town of roughly 1,500 people, the DeSoto County Circuit Court Clerk’s office issued 114 marriage licenses in a single day. That’s about the number issued in a month now, in a town that’s 10 times bigger than it was then.

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WEDDINGS While -U-Wait!


ill Ballard is an attorney and a lifelong resident of Hernando. His mother, Ruth, was the Deputy Circuit Court Clerk at the time. She and another deputy, Lurline Leigh, filled out the license applications. Bill remembers that sometimes the clerks were so overwhelmed with demand that Ruth Ballard would take the books home to their house across the street from the high school. “I can’t tell you how many times on Saturday my yard would be full of couples waiting for a license,” Ballard recalls. This was mid-century America, a country in a hurry to do everything, so getting married quick fit in with the times. There were a lot of reasons for a quickie wedding, including teenage passion or the result of that passion. With a $3 license, getting married in Hernando was both fast and cheap, and thousands of couples took the 26-mile drive from Memphis down two-lane Highway 51 to do it. It was while on a high school band trip to Indianapolis that Rick Leigh, a drummer, discovered that his Mississippi hometown was famous. “When we would go to eat, people would ask where we were from and we’d say ‘Hernando.’ Every time, someone would say, ‘That’s where I got married.’ It made us all feel good.”

Those were boom times for Hernando, then a country town, where the court square filled up on Saturday with people coming in off the farm with money to spend. “On Saturday, you could hardly get around on the square,” says Rick. “It was the biggest infusion of money to this town I’ve ever seen in my lifetime,” says Bill Ballard. “Everybody who could reap a reward from the marriage industry did so.” Soon-to-be newlyweds ran into teenage entrepreneurs hustling for tips before they could park outside the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. Spotting cars with out-of-state tags, local boys would offer to show couples where to get a license, where to find a ring or a dress and a minister, and then offer to escort them to the wedding chapel. The family of Mills Barbee, a longtime judge, owned a general merchandise store on the square, and Barbee remembers an African-American minister offering a quarter for every couple steered his way. At least five local ministers (including one who advertised with a sign in his yard) plus three Justices of the Peace administered the vows, sometimes inside the courthouse, sometimes in stores on the square. But the center of the industry was the wedding chapel set up at Spencer House, a café and hotel that had stood on the square since 1857. Ironically, the two women who opened


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If you were tall enough to ask for a license you could get one. the chapel, Bess Winding and Nell Gunn, had come to Hernando from Las Vegas in 1956. The marrying business spilled over into Rick Leigh’s family drugstore, which his grandfather (who was married to deputy clerk Lurline Leigh) had opened on court square in the 1920s. The store offered “a bit of everything,” according to Rick, including a display case of wedding rings, ordered from Chicago. His dad, Robert (who was known as ‘Ebbie’), brought a jeweler named Cliff Carter down from Memphis on Saturdays to size rings to fit the hands of new brides and grooms. What was missing was a place for newlyweds to spend a blissful wedding night. The Hernando Motel, with cabin-style rooms, was the only one in town. ❦❦❦ o why did all this happen? It was a combination of law, location, and word-of-mouth that spread from Hernando to much of the country. Postcards that called the town “The Marriage Capital of America” were, as they say now, good branding. The law was the thing. By the 1950s many surrounding states — including Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana — had written stricter marriage laws raising the minimum age, and requiring proof of age, a blood test, and a threeday waiting period between when the marriage license was issued and when the couple could say “I do.” Mississippi had simply not changed a law that many considered archaic. The Commercial Appeal railed against the way things were done in Mississippi and neighboring states complained that Mississippi, through its lax law, was enticing impressionable a nd hor mone - d r iven teens to cross state lines. The part of the Mississippi law that was perhaps most scandalous to outsiders was the legal age; 14 for boys and 12 for girls. “If you were tall enough to ask for a license, you could get one,” one local recalls today. The marrying phenomenon started well before the 1950s. World War II and an uncertain future pushed a lot of people, including Memphis-based sailors and soldiers on weekend passes, to run down to Hernando, where couples could get married almost around the clock. Records kept by the DeSoto County Genealogical Society show


a swell in applications as America prepared for war. On December 7, 1941, with everyone talking about Pearl Harbor, 15 couples (Aron Polk and Willie Carson, O.G. Thomas and Celestine Thomas, James Aldridge and Mattie Williams among them) filed for licenses. A week later, also on a Sunday, 22 more couples filed. Jerry Lee Lewis has married four more times since that December day, for a total of seven. Another celebrity wedding of that era was more successful. Charley Pride and Rozene Cohan married in Hernando in 1956, while Pride was playing baseball with the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League. This was well before Pride became a country music star. Rozene and Charley have now been married 61 years. ❦❦❦ n 1957, more than 62,000 marriage licenses were issued in Mississippi. But the bubble finally burst when Governor J.P. Coleman pushed the legislature to pass a marriage law more in line with contemporary thinking. LIFE magazine, another remnant of days past, sent a reporter and photographer to capture the final frenzied days in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office, just before the law changed on June 30, 1958. By 1959, the number of licenses issued in Mississippi dropped to 20,000. The era is gone but not forgotten. Brian Hicks, director of the DeSoto County Museum, says couples who married in Hernando still pass through town while looking back. An exhibit at the museum, with pictures and postcards, helps prompt memories of the time when those people were young and in love and in a hurry. Brian Hicks has a favorite story: A man told him about the time when he was young and picked up his girlfriend in Memphis and they took off for the state line, not far ahead of a father who was determined that his daughter was not going to get married that way. The young couple parked their car on Hernando’s court square in a conspicuous spot where her daddy was sure to see it and go looking for them. Meanwhile, the young man and woman had jumped in the car of a friend who was waiting to take them to Tunica, where they could also get married. They are still married today.


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Finding the Right Professional Home Remodeler Remodeling your home can add safety, comfort, convenience and space to what can be the most valuable asset you own. It’s important to find the right remodeler for the job.

Where to Look • Search the NAHB Remodelers directory at • Get a list of members from your local home builders’ association • Look on home improvement websites such as Houzz • Ask friends or neighbors for referrals

Why Hire an NAHB Remodeler? Membership in NAHB Remodelers indicates a remodeler’s commitment to professional quality construction, responsible business management and reliable customer service. Members have: • Pledged to a Code of Ethics that includes compliance with rules and regulations, fair pricing, quality workmanship and prompt timelines. • Access to resources on the latest regulations, codes, new products and construction techniques. • A network of local and national suppliers, subcontractors and industry experts. • Often earned professional designations to gain advanced training and specialized knowledge, such as Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), Graduate Master Remodeler (GMR) and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).

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Your 2018 Guide to Home Remodeling Tips & Trends Looking to update or completely remodel your kitchen, bath, outdoor living space, or even your entire home? Highly qualified Memphis-area builders, architects, designers, and more stand ready to help make your space modern, cozy, and more functional. On the following pages, we feature two such projects — along with before-and-after photos — and talk with the happy homeowners whose dream homes have become reality with the help of local professionals. — by Shara Clark

a special supplement to

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Chairman’s Message John Heard, Remodelers Council

John Heard, Remodelers Council Chairman



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n behalf of the members of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association and our Remodelers Council, I want to welcome you to the first-ever edition of Remodel Memphis, a special editorial supplement that we hope will become a mainstay in this area. It is the mission of the Remodelers Council to help homeowners find the right professional remodelers to make their renovation or new home construction project a reality! It’s fun and inspiring to watch TV shows about home design and remodeling — everything from the latest looks in countertops to whole-house remodels. And YouTube and other online video sites are chockfull of helpful how-tos and demos to assist homeowners through countless do-it-yourself projects. There are relatively simple home projects that can be completed by DIYers, such as hanging pictures, interior painting, caulking, and changing door knobs and cabinet pulls. And, homeowners with the correct tools and a higher skill level should be able to tackle some aesthetic work such as installing crown molding. But it’s also important to know when to stop and hire a professional. Remodelers can tell you lots of funny stories about

siding installed upside down — and sometimes scary stories involving do-it-yourself electrical wiring gone awry. So before you buy the latest or trendiest gizmo for your home, ask yourself a few questions: How much do you know? Replacing the exhaust fan over your oven with a built-in microwave looks like a reasonably simple swap. But if you notice your kitchen lights are dimming when you zap your popcorn, you’ve probably forgotten that the microwave, unlike the exhaust fan, uses a lot more energy and likely needs a dedicated circuit. A remodeling professional knows that. What if it doesn’t work? That YouTube do-ityourself video may make a tilework project look doable, but will YouTube give you your money back if you don’t lay it straight? Professional remodelers may not know everything, but they do take responsibility for everything they do. Are there any unintended consequences? In today’s increasingly efficient and more air-tight homes, it’s more and more important to look at the house as a system. Your new windows are keeping out drafts, but how are they affecting your home’s air quality once the “natural ventilation” of the leaky old ones is gone? Do you need to look at mechanical ventilation systems? If so, how big? A professional can tell you. How do you know if it’s right for your home? A professional remodeler can advise you on products, finishes, and appliances that match your lifestyle, location, house size, and budget and help you avoid spending money without a reasonable payback on either resource expense (energy and water, for example) or the sale of your home when you are ready to upsize or downsize. If you are considering a remodel project, large or small, I encourage you to review the list of remodelers in this magazine or contact the West Tennessee Home Builders Association at 901-756-4500 or visit us online at Doing this will help you find a remodeler with the experience, educational qualifications, and knowledge to do the job right — the first time.

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Dave Moore, WTNHBA President


want to start by congratulating the Remodelers Council on their initiative to develop this important and interesting supplement. I also want to thank Memphis magazine for working with us to produce this high-quality editorial package that will serve the interests of Mid-South homeowners who are looking to upgrade their homes. Remodeling is a billion-dollar business in America, and all too often homeowners don’t know where to start the process, whether it is a simple redecorating project or a major room addition. The West Tennessee Home Builders Association has the resources to help you get started by providing information for several professional remodelers. All of these companies have been scrutinized by our association, and all of them will issue you a warranty that is approved by our association. There are some guidelines you should consider before you enter into a contract for remodeling services:

C Don’t get pressured into signing a contract immediately. You should not be told that you need to sign a contract that day or risk a price increase. Paying a deposit of anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent is common; however, you should not be asked to pay the full cost in advance, before work begins. Make sure you’re comfortable with the payment options. You should not be asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check, money order, or credit card.



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References Confirm that the contractor has a verifiable mailing address for his business. To ensure the company you are considering hiring doesn’t have any unresolved complaints, we recommend that you check with the local office of the Better Business Bureau,, or call them at 901-759-1300. Ask the contractor for references for past work and be sure the references can be reached. Don’t overlook the need to check with the references to ensure they are satisfied with the work performed.

Contract and completion Be cautious of anyone that tells you that “a contract won’t be necessary.” Insist on a complete and clearly written, contract signed by you and the contractor. Ensure that the final payment is not due until the job is completely finished and you are fully satisfied with it. Find out if any of the work requires city or county inspection, and make sure that is done and you have paperwork to prove it before you make the final payment.

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Following these guidelines will help you select a contractor who will do quality work, and stand behind it. To learn more about finding a reliable contractor with an established business in our community, contact us at 901-756-4500 or visit us online at

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From House to Home

This large-scale remodel brought an older house up-to-date. PROJECT 1 Builder: Ryan Anderson, RKA Construction Architect: Mark McClure, McClure Architecture Interior Designer: Missy Steffens, M. Steffens Interiors


n 2014, our first featured homeowners found the house they wanted in the Belle Meade neighborhood, but it wasn’t quite up to par. Built in 1942, the space had great bones but needed a bit of work to fit the needs of this growing family. “The whole house was solid, but it was very dated,” says the homeowner, a wife and mother of three. “The kitchen had been updated at one point but not to current standards. Really the whole house needed touching.” The couple, native Memphians in their late 30s, put a lot of thought into what would need to be done to make the space work for them, their three children — today 8, 6, and 3 years old — and their dogs. A great deal of focus was placed on the mudroom and the kitchen — “That was the most transformed space,” she says — however each room in the house received attention. With the help of builder Ryan Anderson with RKA Construction, architect Mark McClure of McClure Architecture, and Missy Steffens of M. Steffens Interiors, the entire house was reimagined.

With the help of highly qualified local contractors, the owners of this house in Belle Meade were able to make their dream home a reality. Below is a before image of the kitchen and dining area. At right, the after image shows the bright, modern new space. BEFORE

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The den was completely transformed to bring the space up-to-date. At top, the before photo shows the old fireplace. Above and at right, the newly redesigned fireplace, along with other enhancements, gives the room a clean, sleek feel.

The before photo of the kitchen (below) shows a smaller island and dark cabinetry. As shown in the after image (left), the Belle Meade homeowners chose to open up the space by using whites for a brighter, cleaner look. The finished product is perfect for their family and for entertaining guests. BEFORE

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“There were a lot of old doors that really didn’t need to exist and there were too many entry points, so we closed off a lot of those and made things less awkward,” the homeowner says. To make the most sense of the space, a second stairwell was added, which “was a game changer for the flow of the house and access to upstairs.” The home’s original staircase came through the den but was on the opposite side of the house as the bedrooms. Adding the second, she says, “was probably the most important thing we did.” In this large-scale project, every wall was opened — for things like installing new electrical or reconfiguring halls. While each room essentially maintained its original footprint, slight tweaks were incorporated “to make it all make better sense,” the homeowner says. “We totally redid the master bathroom. We left the master bedroom where it was but took one of the other bedrooms to become my master closet. We didn’t fully renovate every single room, but everything was touched.” One idea the homeowner had prior to moving in was to establish a neat space for their dogs. “We are big dog people,” she says. Today, they have two Labradors, puppies at 1 and 2 years old. “We like having our dogs inside and like to have them contained at times, so I had this concept in my head because the kennels were always in the way.” She thought, “Why aren’t they under a cabinet?” So, in the new home, kennels were built into the mudroom, with storage space above for keeping items like leashes and other supplies. Instead of an open floor with kennels sitting out, “It looks like a finished space where the dogs are — their little home. I knew that would help with our daily life, having the kennels out of the way,” she says. “That same space is where the kids walk in the door and throw down their book bags, and we were lacking that in our other house.”

Every room in the Belle Meade home was touched — to make more sense of the space — in this large-scale remodel, including the master bathroom (right), which was completely redone. 64 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

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For this project, the mudroom was also transformed. It was important to the homeowners that their dogs had a neat, defined space, so kennels were built into the wall, with space above for storage.



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The homeowners purchased the Belle Meade home in August 2014, demo began that December, and they stayed in their old home while the work was being done. The entire process took right at 11 months, with the family moving in November 2015. “Ryan [Anderson, the builder] was really good at staying on his time schedule and he was very on top of it,” the homeowner says. For the project, the homeowners met with a handful of potential contractors and ultimately went with “who we thought we matched up with and could communicate best with,” she says. “And our architect [Mark McClure] helped us choose [RKA Construction]. He had a lot of confidence in Ryan and the [previous] work that he had done.” Missy Steffens helped with all aspects of interior design — hardware choices, doors, cabinets, all of the paint colors throughout the house, countertop choices in the kitchen and bath, light fixtures, and interiors like rugs and furniture. “I relied on her ideas for a lot of these things,” the homeowner says. “Missy was very contin u ed on page 78

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Upgrading Space A few changes modernized an older kitchen. PROJECT 2 Contractor: Kitchens Unlimited Interior Designer: Lana Zepponi with Kitchens Unlimited


ete and Maria Williams have lived in their East Memphis home for 17 years, and while the house, which was built in the 1920s, had been updated in the past, the kitchen needed a bit of work. “Initially, I was just going to do one wall of the kitchen,” Maria says, “and add cabinetry to one side.” But after consulting with her interior designer, Lana Zepponi with Kitchens Unlimited, she realized a complete kitchen update would make more sense, so that everything would match and be more aesthetically pleasing — and much more functional. “Maria’s house is a hundred years old,” says Zepponi. It’s a fabulous house, and the other rooms in it were more grand feeling. They have taller ceilings and big windows and all the marks of an older home in this area.” Originally, Maria wanted to address an “awkward nook” in the kitchen where the dining table sat and turn it into a breakfast bar or beverage center.


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In this East Memphis kitchen remodel, the Williams family worked with Kitchens Unlimited to update their current space (before photo, far left). Using warmer tones and brass hardware contributed to the warmth in this newly redesigned white kitchen. A “surprise” during the project uncovered a ceiling beam that


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was turned into a desired design element — wrapping it in cedar and adding a “twin” gave the room more texture. New cabinetry climbs to the ceiling, a custom stainless-steel hood was created for the space, and a bigger window was installed. The larger island, complete with electrical outlets, is both functional and beautiful.

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10 Timely Tips for a Smooth Home Remodel Things you can’t forget when you embark on an exciting home remodeling project.

Establish effective two-way communication with the home remodeler. It’s essential to have good communication for a smooth home remodeling project. Does the remodeler listen? Does he or she answer questions clearly and candidly? Can you reach him when you need to? Does he return phone calls promptly? Does he let you know when problems arise and work with you on solving them? Make sure you are compatible with the contractor. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust in him or her. Set a clear and mutual understanding about the schedule. You and your home remodeler should agree on the schedule up front to avoid conflict and problems later in the project. Request a written proposal. Often, two people remember the same conversation differently. Get the proposal in writing and work with the remodeler to ensure it reflects your wishes. Get a clear and mutual understanding on miscellaneous details up front. There are a lot of little details that need to be settled before work starts. What times of day will they be working? How will he or she access the property? How will cleanup be handled? How will they protect your property? Remember to be flexible. Remodeling is an interruption of your normal life. Remember to be flexible during the project so that you can handle the unexpected and go with the flow. Discuss and agree on how change orders will be handled. With home remodeling there is always the chance you may want to change materials or other project details during the job. Before work starts, make sure you agree with your remodeler about how these changes will be handled. Also understand that changes could affect the schedule and the budget, so it’s important you have all changes in writing. Agree on a well-written contract that covers all the bases. The contract should include these elements: a timetable for the project, price and payment schedule, detailed specifications for all products and materials, insurance information, permit information, procedures for handling change orders, lien releases, provisions for conflict resolution, notice of your right under the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling Off Rule (your right to cancel the contract within three days if it was signed someplace other than the remodeler’s place of business), and details on the important issues (such as access to your home, care of the home, cleanup, and trash removal). An “awkward nook” in the kitchen where the dining table once sat was transformed into a beverage center with additional storage. The original hardwood floors were refinished, and along with the brass fixtures and wooden ceiling beams, add warmth to the space.

As they set out on the project, they found that the ceiling had been lowered over time, in part to accommodate recessed lighting. “There were actually two dropped ceilings in her kitchen, and furring strips. There were standard overlay cabinets and a short window,” Zepponi says. “And as we went through the things that Maria really wanted to achieve and her desire to make her kitchen feel as important as the rest of her home, it seemed like the right thing to do to go forward with the full remodel.” Reconfiguring a few things made for an open, brighter space. “Raising the ceiling made a huge

Ask for a written lien waiver from the home remodeler upon completion of the work. If the remodeler hires subcontractors for portions of the work, then it is their responsibility to see the subcontractors compensated. In order to ensure this has been done and to protect yourself, ask for a written lien waiver when the work is finished. This document will verify everyone has been paid. Establish a project plan, covering all phases and dependencies in the work. Plan your big picture goals with the remodeler and discuss your needs. Hire a remodeler who will plan with you, listen to concerns, and answer questions. *Article reprinted with permission of the National Association of Home Builders

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difference, too,” Maria says. “Adding [ceiling] beams gave it more texture, and we also added a bigger new window.” Raising the ceiling and adding new cabinetry that climbs all the way to the top contributed to the openness of the redesigned space. But there was a surprise in the process. “This is one of the treasures, the discoveries you can find in older homes,” Zepponi says. “We found this beam in the ceiling that could not go away, and we had to figure out a way to turn an obstacle into an opportunity, to make it into a desired design element, not a work-around.” They decided to “celebrate it” by wrapping the beam in reclaimed cedar and adding a “twin” beam across the room. “It ended up being a really unexpected, wonderful element in the design because when you design a white kitchen you always have this line that you dance in making sure that it’s not cold,” Zepponi says. “The whites that were chosen in this kitchen are warmer whites, and we added a custom stainless-steel hood.” They refinished the original hardwood floor and incorporated brass in the light and plumbing fixtures and hardware. “With the wood, the brass, and the warmer tones, we were able to achieve the warmth we were looking for, and the beams were a great addition to that,” says Zepponi. Maria wanted to reconfigure her original “odd” dining space, as there was no window where her table sat. They moved the table to the breakfast room and added cabinetry to the former dining space. A larger marble kitchen island, with builtin electrical outlets and more space for seating, replaced the old island. The Williams’ daughter, Martha Kay, was in her final years of high school, and, says Zepponi, “It was important to Maria that her daughter could do her homework in there, so we made a bigger island and made sure there was electricity under there for her laptop and that it would be comfortable for Martha Kay to be in there with her parents. Function is very important.” When setting out on a remodel project, Zepponi suggests to think about not only how you want it to look and feel but how you use the space — now versus how you wish you could use it. Along with an overall updated space, Maria incorporated all new appliances with Zepponi’s help. “Kitchens Unlimited took care of everything,” Maria says. “I just said this is what we want and Lana was able to do it, so I didn’t have to go a ton of different places looking for everything. I found pictures of things I loved, and she would come back with something that was even better than the picture.” From start to finish, from the first design meeting to completion, the project took five months, with two months of construction. Today, the Williams family enjoys their new, upgraded space. “We have quite a few people in and out, lots of family and our daughter’s friends,” Maria says. “Lana did such a great job on my kitchen that I used her for my bathroom also [about a year later]. I love my bathroom as much as I do my kitchen.” 


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Abdu brings minimally invasive hope to women’s care Rarely does a day go by that Dr. A. Ben Abdu, MD, isn’t amazed at the strength of his female patients. Dr. Abdu focuses on minimally invasive gynecological surgeries at Regional One Health. His training focused on advanced laparoscopy, minimally invasive female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, vaginal surgery, tubal reversals, female urology and pelvic pain medicine. He primarily works out of Regional One Health’s East Campus, which houses a hub of super sub-specialty women’s services including minimally invasive GYN surgery, urogynecology and reproductive medicine. It’s there that Dr. Abdu interacts with patients who never cease to amaze him by their resiliency to continue on despite pelvic issues. “I think women are amazing and innovative in their approach to their problem,” he said. “Women find unique ways to deal with their problems and live with them. They think it’s just part of aging. They’re thinking, ‘I’m 56, I’ve had three kids and it’s just par for the course.’ No ma’am, it’s not par for the course. It always blows my mind and I say to them, ‘You know I can fix that?’ It makes me in awe of women.” Dr. Abdu works with women experiencing a range of pelvic issues that have been undiagnosed or inadequately treated. Those issues include chronic pelvic pain, history of endometriosis, painful periods, pain during intercourse, leaking urine or a vaginal bulge. Dr. Abdu also is the only surgeon in Memphis who does tubal reversal procedures robotically. Dr. Abdu’s laparoscopic approach is a low-risk, minimally invasive procedure. There are only small incisions for the use of a laparoscope, which basically is a long, thin tube with a high-resolution camera at the front that allows the physician to see the internal organs without open surgery. “I think the benefit of a laparoscope, whether it’s traditional or robotics, is visualization,” Dr. Abdu said. “It’s the ability to see the anatomy, to see a magnified view of the abdomen and, in the case of the robot, a 3D view.”

Dr. Abdu received his medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and later interned at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Chattanooga where he stayed and worked in private practice for several years before being asked to join UT Regional One Physicians in Memphis.

I love what I do and I love Memphis. The one thing I can give at the end of the day is my 100 percent guarantee that I’m meticulous, and I give the care to my patients that I would expect for a family member. DR. BEN ABDU Dr. Abdu had a conversation with the medical director of Regional One Health’s High Risk Obstetrics center, Dr. Giancarlo Mari, MD, about becoming the director of the Division of Minimally Invasive GYN Surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and bringing his skills to Regional One Health. Dr. Abdu moved to Memphis in summer 2016. While he has great respect and admiration for his patients and how they find ways to manage their health, Dr. Abdu said it is also a challenge. “A lot of times I see a woman who just lives with it until they just can’t. They go to other places and they’re dismissed or have the wrong surgery and by the time they get to me they’re frustrated sitting across from me with their arms crossed and thinking, ‘What’s this guy going to say now?’ That’s challenging,” Dr. Abdu said. But Dr. Abdu immediately goes to work breaking down those walls, letting a patient know that while he will review their chart and records from previous doctors, he also will step back with a fresh set of eyes and reconsider everything and understand


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901.515.EAST every possibility before he proceeds. “I’m here to help,” he said. “I love what I do and I love Memphis. I say this to a lot of patients and I say it sincerely. There are no guarantees in medicine. But the one thing I can give at the end of the day is my 100 percent guarantee that I’m meticulous, and I give the care to my patients that I would expect for a family member.”

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Leonard Graves Our trivia expert solves local questions of who, what, when, where, why, and why not. Well, sometimes.

Leonard Graves in 1954 DEAR VANCE: Have you ever written about the singer Leonard Graves, who had a Memphis TV program in the 1960s? — d.c., memphis.

DEAR D.C.: No, I have never written about this gentleman,

but since I’ve got the time, and a blank page (or screen) in front of me, I’m willing to do it now. There’s a lot to say about the multitalented fellow, but there’s one thing I can’t tell you, and — oh, just wait and I’ll get to that. First of all, Leonard Graves was much more than a singer. He was also an actor, performer, dancer, announcer, narrator, and displayed other skills — and not just in Memphis, but on a national stage. In fact, he could possibly be one of the most famous Memphians that nobody has heard much about. Until now. Born in Memphis in 1927 at the old Lucy Brinkley Hospital, Graves attended Whitehaven High School, and first attracted attention as a soloist with the Second

Church of Christ Scientist, which was then located at Union and South McLean. In his early twenties, the young baritone was featured on a WMPS radio program called Star Dust Time and starred as “The Wandering Minstrel” on WREC radio. According to old newspaper articles, he also garnered prominent roles in more than a dozen Memphis Open Air Theatre productions, held at the Overton Park Shell. But then the lights of Broadway beckoned, and out of some 1,600 applicants, he landed the role of the Interpreter (also known as the Prime Minister) in the long-running production of The King and I, starring Yul Brynner, at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Now it’s only fair to say that Graves wasn’t entirely self-taught, taking voice lessons at the famous Julliard School and also studying drama whenever and wherever he could. A newspaper article noted that he “took to dramatic school to learn other tricks of the trade, and at school Leonard found more than he bargained for. There he met B.J. Barnes, a Georgia girl who was a pupil there. B.J. is now Mrs. Graves.” Also serving as the understudy to the King, Graves finally got his big chance when the stage manager called him one day and said, “You’re on tonight, Leonard.” Talking later to a Memphis Press-Scimitar reporter, Graves remembered, “I wasn’t nervous. I just thought, ‘This is it,’ and turned to my wife and told her. And by the way, the day I got that news was my son’s birthday.” Graves had many other opportunities to take the stage in the lead role — more than 100 appearances, by some accounts (one time after Brynner broke his nose after an accident backstage) — and eventually became the star when Brynner moved on to other projects. In 1952 the Memphis Press-Scimitar sent a reporter to cover one of these New York performances, and she observed “the lines of people forming backstage to meet the young Memphis singing actor who, until a few years ago, was a member of the Future Farmers of America in Whitehaven, milking cows on his father’s farm.” It turns out quite a few residents from the Bluff City were in the audience that night, and Ernest Schumacher, president of the Real Estate Board of Memphis, had this to say about his fellow Memphian’s performance: “Before the curtain, several seemed to have misgivings about anybody else stepping into Mr. Brynner’s role, but they were all for Leonard before the show was 15 minutes old. He had to take four curtain calls. It was something for us all to be very proud of here in Memphis.” His co -star, Gertrude Lawrence, presented Graves with an inscribed silver bracelet after one particularly f ine performance, and Variety reported that the show’s weekly take of $50,000 showed no sign of declining even though Brynner


by vance lauderdale

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had dropped out so he could take movie roles. Peck in Pork Chop Hill (1959), and had prominent roles in Graves himself also moved on, after a two-year run. He The Story of Ruth (1960), The Buccaneers (1958), and a few other stayed with the Rodgers and Hammerstein show when it went films. His portfolio included roles and appearances on more on a national tour, at times co-starring with Betty White than a dozen popular TV shows, such as Father Knows Best, Of(yes, I’m talking about that Betty White) with soldDetective,, This Is the Life Life, Behind Closed Doors, Men Into ficial Detective Space,, and Peter Gunn Gunn. As I’ve said, he was versatile. Space out performances in Pittsburgh, Seattle, Kansas City, and half a dozen other cities. His wonderful voice provided other opportuThen it was on to California, where nities behind the camera, most notably serving Graves had stints with the Los Angeles as the announcer for all 26 episodes of the Grand Opera Company and the San TV drama Victory at Sea, showcasing the Francisco Opera. Obviously a very U.S. Navy’s role in World War II, a performance that earned him the Sylvania versatile actor, he landed the starAward for Narration. He also stayed ring roles in Julius Caesar and Macbeth with the Opera Workshop at busy with narration, voice-overs, the University of California. At and dubbing for other shows, such as South Pacific and International Airone point in the early 1960s, he port, port, as well as TV commercials for was offered a scholarship to study in Zurich, Switzerland, but apparproducts ranging from Old Gold Cigarettes to Alcoa Aluminum. ently turned it down because of so Graves returned to Memphis in the many lucrative offers here in the United States. 1960s, and in 1968 was named manIn 1954, Graves briefly returned to ager of the Memphis Opera Theatre. Memphis to star in a special producIn the University of Memphis Special tion of The King and I staged at Ellis AuCollections, I found a short clipping ditorium. A local reviewer observed that announcing that bit of news, which also the hometown told readers that Graves lived with his In 1954, Graves boy “played a powife and their four sons in a nice house on briefly returned Greenacres in East Memphis. tent potentate.” And that was it. Although the role to Memphis, to actually demands After all the constant press attention fostar in a special very little singcusing on his stage and screen life, when he production of The came back home, he assumed a much lower ing, “his triumph is largely histriprofile. If he hosted a half-hour television King and I staged at onic, and his is a show here, I could find no mention of it. Ellis Auditorium. No more clippings, no more news. And so sensitive as well this is the thing that I can’t tell you, D.C. as powerful portrayal of a king who thinks What happened to Graves? When did he he should be, but doesn’t feel, infallible.” The role wasn’t a natural fit, since Graves was die? Or, on a more positive note, is he still “by nature, a retiring, conservative person, alive? His brief listing on and other websites mentions his birth, but not but as the King he is called upon to be a his death. A Google search turns up no obituary. bombastic, pompous character.” Born in 1927, he would be 90 today, and there are There was another contrast as well. The actor’s naturally thick hair had to go: “The role requires lots of active 90-year-olds — including his former him to keep his entire head smooth-shaven, so co-star, Betty White. Graves had a set of six caps made to order, in suede Leonard, if you read this column, let me know how you’re doing. and corduroy, to match his suits.” The return to Memphis was highlighted by Mayor got a question for vance? Frank Tobey proclaiming October 25, 1954, “Leonard above: Leonard EMAIL: askvance Graves Day” in Memphis, and a special appearance Graves had to shave MAIL: Vance Lauderdale, Memphis magazine, 460 on a WMPS-TV program called Interesting Persons. Persons. his head during his Tennessee Street #200, Memphis, TN 38103 Next came Hollywood, and Graves co-starred entire run of ONLINE: with Frank Sinatra and Mitzi Gaynor in The The King and I. ask-vance Joker Is Wild (1957), with Yul Brynner in The Brothers Karamazov (1958), with Gregory J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 77

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R E MODE L contin u ed from page 66

home remodeling has never been easier!

crucial to have. For some of these decisions, you hope it’s a lifetime choice, so she took on a lot and worked through it with me.” As for advice for those setting out on a major remodel, the homeowner says to be as firm as possible with decisions on things that might seem small, like hardware, because those choices can set the tone for a project and its total cost — and can affect the level of carpentry that’s going to be involved. “I know everybody’s ready to just get going on a project, but it’s really important to think through some of those little things beforehand to minimize the surprises financially.”

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Be prepared to be flexible with your spending, and have a cushion, she says. “There will be things that come up that you want to add; it’s just inevitable. And it has nothing to do with the builder or the architect — it’s things you look at differently once you start working. If you decide to make one tweak, that might cost $10,000, but to do it, you have to do XYZ first or XYZ after. There are multiple layers to changes that you’re going to make. “But the quality of being where you want to be and making an old house really what you want makes it all worth it.” The homeowners are thankful for the “good team” they worked with. “I had a lot of confidence in everybody on our team and the outcome that we were going to get because of them, so that made the process easier,” she says. “I’ll never forget walking in the day before we were moving in and I texted Ryan and said, ‘I can’t believe this is my house!’ We love having friends over and entertaining, and we have plenty of space for the kids and whole families to come over. We can really spread out. And the house isn’t untouchable either; it’s very lived-in and just a warm space. We’re very happy with it.”


Giving Houseplants a Home When it’s frosty outside, indoor plants can provide a great winter tonic.

by christine arpe gang


lants can be categorized in so many ways: those that prefer shade or sun; deciduous ones that lose their leaves in the fall and evergreens that don’t; annuals and perennials; those loved for their flowers and those admired for their foliage.

And here’s a biggie: the vast number of plants that live outdoors in our climate, and the relatively few tropically programmed plants that must be indoors when temperatures drop to freezing or below. Not every gardener likes both kinds. I wasn’t much of a fan of houseplants mainly because there is no place for them in my home where they can get bright light they need without the likelihood of them marring f loors and other surfaces with moisture, dead leaves, and other horticultural schmutz (the Yiddish word for dirt). In recent years I acquired just a few hardy houseplants that don’t need an “ideal place” or pampering. I don’t pamper plants. Like most of you, I also don’t have an atrium, sun room, or other light-filled space. My plants are tough survivors that grow in low-light conditions. Most of our rooms, especially in the winter months, have lower light levels than the deepest outdoor shade. Three plants that get my vote as the easiest to grow: • Drum roll please. Mother-in-law’s tongues or sanseverias are just plain tough.

I was honored and awed to see a huge plant that was the mother of all mother’s-in-law plants for the late Kirk Pamper, a Memphis f lorist known internationally for his collection of sanseverias representing each of the 200-plus species known to exist in the world. Pamper became intrigued by the spikey-leafed plants with infinite patterns of variegation when his mother received one following the birth of his sister when he was 11-years-old. I saw it 33 years later in a huge pot in his master bathroom, one of

Lucky bamboo is one of many lovely plants that survives in low indoor light conditions.

Houseplants not only release oxygen to indoor environments, they also filter pollutants.

Putting a houseplant under a table may not be the most ideal place for it, but many varieties can survive in low-light conditions.

Have a question about plants or planting for our resident gardening expert, to be answered in a future “Garden Variety” column? Send your queries to

the brightest and most humid rooms in his Midtown house. After that encounter I began noticing the sturdy leaves in commercial settings like hotel lobbies and also in f loral arrangements like one designed by f lorist Gina Stowitsky featuring coral roses in a glass vase lined with the “tongues.” I must have purchased a plant for myself because now three pots of them are happily living on the ledge that surrounds my bathtub. They seem to like the diffused light that pours through the frosted panes of a nearby window. I don’t hesitate to cut them for my own f lower arrangements because I discovered new roots emerge when those cut stems are placed in water giving me a

source of perpetual foliage. All these “tongues” need is occasional water and double-diluted fertilizer during spring and summer. When dust settles on the leaves of any houseplant clean off the grime with a damp cloth. • My corn plant, aka Dracaena fragrans, is the comeback kid of my collection. It shed so many leaves after spending one winter in corner almost devoid of natural light, I feared it was a goner for sure. But that spring, I took it and several other houseplants to a semi-shady place outside. In the warm, humid outside environment all of the plants became more vigorous but the change in the corn plant was astonishing. Big new shiny leaves emerged and the shriveled brown ones were removed. The plant seemed to grow taller, too. I’m more careful in giving it not too much and not too little. The technologically advanced way of gauging water neediness is by sticking a finger an inch or two into the soil. If it’s dry, add more. If it’s moist, wait until it dries. Too much water kills far more houseplants more than too little. • I read that croton is temperamental if it doesn’t get adequate light, warm temperatures, and enough humidity. But I find them to be as low in maintenance needs as they are as high on bright colors in mottled J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 79

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Amaryllis are spectacular during the holidays or any other time. With a little care, some varieties will re-bloom for several years.

Other houseplants recommended for lowlight conditions and low maintenance are lucky bamboo (which is actually a dracae10/14/16 na), Golden pothos vine, spider plant, and bromeliads. Not sold yet? Consider that houseplants are actually good for your health. They not only release oxygen into the environment, a fact we learned in elementary school, but have also been found to filter out indoor pollutants like ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. Still not convinced? The presence of green living things in our rooms or even in our outdoor views has been shown to elevate moods, increase productivity, lower blood pressure, and aid in healing, especially during the winter months. I feel calm and elated on cold gray days when I visit a 10/14/16 9:30 AM greenhouse filled with plants. Breathing in the earthy scent of the warm, moist air is better than almost any winter tonic I know of. But I have to admit to deriving immense pleasure in sipping hot toddy in front of a crackling fire. Both activities almost make the season bearable.  

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Remembering Pat Cloar Despite doubts and difficulties, her devotion to Memphis’ most famous artist never wavered.

by marilyn sadler


hen I first met Pat Cloar in 1993, only four months had passed since her husband Carroll had died after a four-year battle with cancer. While she was out grocery shopping that April morning, he had taken a gun from a bedside drawer and shot himself in the chest. “I understand why he did it,” Pat told me then, as we talked in her living room. “He was so sick and felt so bad. When he lost his strength and mobility, it was just too much.”

Looking back at that interview nearly 25 years ago, I recall Pat’s lovely gray eyes, her quick laugh, her Arkansas twang softened by a lilt in her voice. I recall how open and honest she was as we visited several times that summer and fall while I researched an article about her husband Carroll Cloar, the world-renowned artist who called Memphis home. She spoke of how they met in 1973 at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the romance sparked by that encounter. Though he was 20 years her senior, Pat told me, “The age difference didn’t matter. He had the best mind and the sharpest wit of anybody I ever knew, and that was a real turn-on for me. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.” She tal ked of happy times together: trips to New York, parties by their backyard pool. She talked of his dedication to a work routine that never varied, of the themes in his paintings that ref lected his beloved rural roots, of vibrant works that hung in private collections and galleries in Washington, New York, and beyond. But Pat also knew her husband’s dark side. His hot rages and cold silences. His refusal to yield on issues both large and small. And one evening she called me at home to reveal the facet of his personality that hurt her the most. As she fought tears, I felt she must be probing a wound that had festered for years. She said he never spoke of love to her, and when I suggested that surely there were tender moments in their marriage, she finally answered, “There weren’t any. ILLUS T R AT ION BY CHRIS HONE YSUCKLE ELLIS

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There really weren’t ...” Yet shortly before his death she found a note he had written but had never given her. It said: Dear Miss Patty, I have known for a long time that my days were numbered … I think that it is time for me to go. Thanks for all you have done for me. I love you. She never mentioned

the note to him, “but it was the first time he expressed his feelings for me.” Despite such withholding on his part, the couple’s inner circle never doubted his love. “Pat meant more to him than anything,” one friend told me in 1993. Certainly Pat added a dimension to their

marriage that her husband lacked. Lively and gregarious, she was a help to him at art receptions, as small talk was an art he’d never mastered. Fiercely protective of her husband and his work, she told of an individual who bought three Cloar paintings — claiming they would hang in his home — and immediately sold them for a huge profit. While not illegal, such an act was unethical, Pat declared, and she called the man and gave him a piece of her mind. Cloar’s death did not end her fervor for keeping his memory and his work alive. She helped the University of Memphis establish the Cloar Archives in its library’s Special Collections department. Even after she moved to Athens, Georgia, and remarried, she continued her involvement with the Brooks Museum. “She knew so many wonderful stories about her husband’s paintings,” says Brooks Curator Stanton Thomas. “So much of my understanding about Cloar and his work comes from her.” In 2013, she worked with the museum when the Brooks celebrated the 100th anniversary of Cloar’s birth with an exhibition and special events. That was also the year my own husband died, and Pat sent me a note saying how fortunate I was to know how deeply I was loved. Realizing that Pat had longed for that same affirmation, I found her words especially poignant. Pat was an adored mother and grandmother, a generous and lov ing friend, a gifted storyteller, and a teacher and artist in her own right. But most of all she was a champion of her husband and his art, in life and after his death. His legacy will live on, in part at least, because of her unfailing commitment. Pat Cloar died on October 17, 2017, in Lakeland, Florida.    Marilyn Sadler served as senior editor of Memphis magazine from 1991 to 2015. J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 81

12/15/17 12:21 PM






by chris mccoy


admit I’ve long had a blind spot when it comes to St. Louis. As we headed north in that direction last month, and as the Ozark foothills hove into view above the flatlands of the Missouri Bootheel, I tried to remember the last time I had been to our neighbor city to the north. It had been more than a few years, and every other time I went north on I-55, it had been just on overnight trips to see concerts. I had never dug deeply into St. Louis to find the heart of this city that, by geography and proximity, is something of a sister to Memphis. In retrospect, I wish I had done so much sooner.


bviously, baseball is big in this town,” says Don the waiter, as the bustle of a busy restaurant in an Italian neighborhood swirls around us. “You have to visit Ballpark Village and go to a game.” What basketball has been to Memphis since long before the coming of the Grizzlies, baseball has been to St. Louis for well over a century — a cornerstone of civic identity. Busch Stadium (which, I learned, is a completely different facility from the place where I had seen U2 perform in 1992) is surrounded by a passel of shops, restaurants, and, of course, the Cardinals Hall of Fame. Patterned after Chicago’s significantly older Wrigleyville neighborhood, Ballpark Village (formally dedicated in 2014) is designed to



bring people into downtown for more than just the 80 or so dates the Cards are playing baseball. But my wife and I were visiting long after the Cardinals season had come to a close, and frankly, we’re not big sports fans anyway. Our first priority was focusing upon something else St. Louis, besides baseball and beer that has made the city famous: Italian food. And the best place to do that is in the middle-west neighborhood known as The Hill. After much deliberation, we settled on Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill, one of the city’s oldest and finest eateries. “There’s a rather large Italian population who moved into this area,” Don the waiter tells us. “Bricklayers and brickmakers located themselves here. It was kind of a self-contained neighborhood, which is why it still has lots of corner grocery stores. Things are all scattered around in different locations, basically making it self-sufficient. There are probably 15 sandwich places, and 10 sitdown restaurants. There’s no main drag. The neighborhood is unique, with a lot of shotgun homes. St. Andrews is the big church around here. It’s very safe to live in, and a convenient location. You can get anywhere in 10 to 15 minutes.” Charlie Gitto’s is one of those restaurants that runs like a Swiss clock. It has a dark, comfortable interior and an international clientele — the family at the next table was having a spirited conversation in what sounded like Hebrew. I had the veal saltimbocca, which was simply incredible, and the rest of the menu is a greatest-hits compilation of pastas, raviolis, gnocchi, chicken, and steak dishes. Don, an assiduously polite and wellgroomed man, has been working at Charlie Gitto’s for 34 years, and despite the fact that

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team has been the pride of the city for more than a century. The new Busch Stadium (at left) is surrounded by Ballpark Village, an entertainment complex of restaurants and shops that draws people downtown even when the Cards aren’t in season.

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“IT’S A GOOD FOODIE TOWN. THERE ARE A LOT OF FAMILY-OWNED RESTAURANTS. JUST ABOUT ANY TYPE OF FOOD YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.” homemade tomato jam and focaccia with blue cheese. But they also have exceptional, full-sized entrees such as the chicken noir, a bone-in leg and thigh braised in pinot noir. “It goes great with so many wines,” says Becky. As you would expect in the city that Budweiser built, Becky explains that microbreweries have been popping up everywhere in St. Louis, such as Perennial Artisan Ales in South City. “Almost every local brewery has a taproom so you can taste the beer. And most of them are starting to serve food, too. I think it’s always fun to go to the breweries.”

on the east by South Grand Boulevard. The South Grand neighborhood is one of St. Louis’ best success stories, a place bursting with international flavor, both real and metaphorical. If you’ve had your fill of Italian calories and your system needs a respite, the Treehouse in South Grand is the place for you. This vegan fine-dining restaurant’s fare is so well-crafted and presented, you won’t even notice how healthy it is. The Tree House’s bibimbap is among the most popular and tasty items on the menu. One of the pillars of the South Grand com-



the restaurant was hopping, he took time to talk to us about the city he clearly loved, describing the Victorian homes of Lafayette Square and the tree-lined streets of Kirkwood and Webster. “It’s a good foodie town,” he says. “There are a lot of family-owned restaurants. Just about any type of food you’re looking for, you can find it here.” Don was absolutely right. Downtown, where we were staying at the Hotel Majestic, we came across a pair of excellent restaurants owned by St. Louis restaurateur Dave Bailey. Rooster is an exceptional brunch joint whose menu is designed around two different day-starters. Scrambles are like chaotic, three-egg omelets with meats, cheeses, greens, and veggies over fresh potato slices. Rooster’s crepes come in savory, sweet,

Restaurateur David Bailey operates two popular eateries in Downtown St. Louis. It’s a good idea to start your day at Rooster with breakfast crepes and end it with a toast (above) at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar, with more than 50 beers on tap.

or breakfast styles, with a variety of fillings ranging from German sausage to roasted apples to smoked sirloin. The restaurant also serves traditional brunch fare and sandwiches in its open, airy, and welcoming space on Locust street. Next door is Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar, where you end the day you started at Rooster. With more than 50 beers on tap and well over a hundred wines on the list, odds are they’ll have what you need to chill out. The bartender, who said her name was Becky, told us that fall and winter are the times when Bridge is busiest. “What do you want to do when it’s getting cold outside?” asks Becky. “Drink wine, eat cheese, eat meat.” Bridge serves small dishes on boards, such as the thinly sliced smoked strip steak with



t’s a city built of neighborhoods, and every neighborhood is distinctive,” Becky says as we finish dinner. “If you go to one neighborhood, that’s just one part of the city. You’re going to get different vibes everywhere.” Some of St. Louis’ most desirable neighborhoods are those in close proximity to Forest Park, the sprawling green space that is home to free theater events, courtesy of the Municipal Theatre Association, the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the acclaimed St. Louis Zoo, a favorite of both locals and tourists. Southwest of Forest Park is the Missouri Botanical Garden and Tower Grove Park, a smaller but equally beautiful park bounded

munity is Cafe Natasha, a Persian restaurant that has been in business for more than three decades. The menu, which is heavy on beef and lamb kabobs, also includes excellent vegetarian options, all based on the traditional recipes the Bahrami family brought with them from Iran in the early 1980s. Natasha, the Bahrami daughter for whom the restaurant was named, has now taken charge of her own establishment, opening The Gin Room bar next door. But there’s a lot more than food in South Grand. “It’s a great little neighborhood; I love it here,” says Christina, the proprietor of Rocket Century, which specializes in mid-century modern furniture and home furnishings. “A little more than five years ago, city planners extended the sidewalks to J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 83

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make it more pedestrian friendly. Then they added more landscaping and some things that were more eco-friendly as well. “That was exactly when I was looking at this space. I started my business as an online-only thing, since that was where most of the interest in mid-century modern [was]. Then interest grew and grew in St. Louis, so we thought it was time to go brick and mortar as well. And we haven’t looked back since.” Rocket Century’s wares are swoopy and aerodynamic, as you would expect, but also extend into what Christina calls “the Bohemian Seventies.” “This area does draw a lot of people from out of town because it’s been well publicized as a good place to eat,” she says. “But it’s only been recently that it’s also been recognized as a good place for shopping, too.”



t seems fitting that to get to the top of the most retro-futuristic monument in America, you have to ride in a mini-capsule. The Gateway Arch is the epitome of mid-century modern style: a simple, swooping shape rendered in stainless steel towering over the city. Since it was completed in October 1965, it has become the symbol of the city, visible everywhere in official iconography. As you approach the Arch, you pass by the Old Courthouse, an architectural trea-


The tallest monument of its kind in the world, architect Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch has symbolized the city since its dedication in 1965. It serves as the centerpiece for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and offers stunning views from windows at the top.

The Dentzel Carousel in Faust Park in St. Louis, Missouri, built around 1929.

sure that dates from 1828 when it was the center of St. Louis civic life in the nineteenth century. It was the site in 1854 of the Dred Scott v. Samford trial, where the enslaved plaintiff brief ly won his family’s freedom before the trial court decision was reversed by the Supreme Court in 1857, a decision that further divided North and South, and helped hasten the Civil War. The Old Courthouse is now a museum and is also the place where you buy your tickets to go to the top of the Arch. Like

the U.S. Capitol, its towering rotunda, completed in 1861, was modeled after St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. The grounds of the Arch are currently undergoing more than $300 million in renovation designed to enhance the Museum of Western Expansion — like The Gateway Arch, it’s operated by the National Parks Service — and to transform the entire Jefferson National Expansion Memorial into a state-of-the-art urban green space. The revitalization project is set to be completed in the summer of 2018. Since a conventional elevator shaft wouldn’t fit inside the curved space of the Arch, visitors travel to the top in specially designed, cylindrical trams. Claustrophobes need not apply. Each capsule seats up to five, and if you don’t know the people you’re riding with when you leave the ground, odds are you’ll know them much better by the time you arrive at the top. The space at the top is less claustrophobic, but still quite distinctive. Finland-born and Yale-educated architect Eero Saarinen, who also designed the iconic TWA terminal at JFK airport in New York, chose the shape of the Arch, known as a catenary curve, for its stability and strength; there are numerous Roman arches that have survived more than 2,000 years. At 63 stories, the Arch is the tallest manmade monument in the United States, and visually striking. The peak is always buzzing with visitors peering out the slit windows, at St Louis on one side and the mighty Missis-

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sippi on the other. On the way back down, I sat next to a woman name Jeanne. She lives just across the river and says she visits the city and its landmarks regularly. “I have three girls. This city is great for kids.”



peaking of which, even with all the goodness of great food and the awesomeness of the Arch, the highlight of our trip was a visit to the City Museum. Almost impossible to describe in conventional terms, this sprawling complex is a functioning museum, with space for traveling exhibits and a collection of primarily architectural artifacts from St. Louis’ long history. It’s also an outdoors art project gone totally wild, allowed to grow into a crowd-pleasing monster. In 1993, sculptor Bob Cassilly gained control of what was formerly the 600,000-squarefoot International Shoe Company factory, which had been moldering in the Washington Avenue neighborhood for decades. Over the next four years, Cassilly and his crew transformed the building into an arts playground like no other; one art critic describes it as “quite possibly the ultimate urban playground ever constructed.” The original space features the largest mosaic in North America, among many other wonders, but the artists have never stopped working. In 2003, the Enchanted Caves opened. (Imagine Memphis’ Crystal Shrine Grotto, only five times bigger, and riddled


The rotunda of the historic Old Court house is one of the most distinctive interior spaces in St Louis.

It’s worth exploring the neighborhoods of St. Louis to find hidden gems like World’s Fair Donuts.

with secret passages and surprise slides.) Step inside for a moment, and you will know why they sell kneepads in the gift shop. But there’s something else awesome about the caves. This is a child’s world; the kids, who can navigate the twisty passages much faster than adults, are in charge here. It’s a spectacular safe space, ringing with laughter and squeals of delight. And that’s only the beginning. Did I mention the City Museum has a 10-story slide? The spiral chute once took shoes from where they were manufactured at the top to where they

were boxed at the bottom. Now it’s the most fun way to get down through the building’s towering central shaft in a hurry, while being serenaded by a 1924 pipe organ salvaged from the Rivoli Theatre in New York City. Climbing the 10 flights of steps to get to the top is a great way to burn off the veal saltimbocca you ate at Charlie Gitto’s. I rode twice, just for journalistic purposes, of course. I could fill another article with the wonders of the City Museum, but I’ll close by noting that they have a vintage Ferris wheel on the roof, and if the weather cooperates, the view is almost as striking as the one from the Arch.



fter we checked out of the Hotel Majestic, we had one final stop before heading back home down I-55. A friend had urged us to visit the Tower Grove neighborhood and hit World’s Fair Donuts. We did not regret the trip. The modest storefront on Vandeventer Avenue is an unspoiled slice of working-class St. Louis. There’s no fancy coffee here, and they only take cash. But the donuts are out of this world. Their red velvet cake is now my favorite donut of all time. We had to admit that we were thoroughly charmed by our sometimes-forgotten city to the north. We only scratched the surface of St. Louis’ mosaic of neighborhoods, and left eager to return and explore more. However, we’ll probably diet for the month before, next time! J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 85

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Chef Ryan Trimm, pictured with a platter of house-made biscuits, steers the menu at Sunrise Memphis, open since late November. The family-friendly restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, including fried chicken biscuits, eggs Benedict with Boudin sausage, and buttermilk pancakes in tall, fluffy stacks. Dishes such as tacos with chorizo, jalapeno, and scrambled eggs, and Bi Bim bowls, pictured to the right, add global flavors to breakfast favorites.

Tidbits: Sunrise Memphis


orning decision-making can be difficult, so let’s make this easy, sleepyheads: Drive to Sunrise Memphis for breakfast — the restaurant opens at 5 a.m. — and order the Rooster, a chicken biscuit with updated charm. Unlike traditional fried chicken washed in egg and dipped in flour, the Rooster breast moves directly from wet batter to pan. The result? An extra crispy crust and happy companion for dill pickles and Tabasco honey, both house-made. Hearty biscuit sandwiches lead the breakfast menu at downtown’s Sunrise Memphis, located on Jefferson Avenue near Victorian Village. Old-timers will likely remember the building’s earlier tenants, including Ireland’s steak and biscuits, and more recently, Neely’s

Bar-B-Cue. Two large smokers from Neely’s remain. “The smokers are in great shape,” says Chef Ryan Trimm. “We cleaned them out. We got new racks. We could run a full-on barbecue team out of here if we wanted to.” For now, the smokers are hard at work for a savory medley of smoked meats. P Love’s biscuit sammie layers a soft fried egg with smoked bologna and American cheese. The CBQ biscuit stacks egg, slaw, pork shoulder, and barbecue sauce. And char sui pork, a popular Chinese preparation, plates scrambled egg, kimchi, and pickled daikon to build both a biscuit and a Bi Bim Breakfast bowl. Like Trimm’s first restaurant Sweet Grass in Cooper-Young, his new endeavor feels

fresh, but familiar. On the menu, global flavors mingle with regional favorites. (Try Three Amigos Tacos with chorizo and cotija.) On the jukebox, the Animals play alongside Johnny Cash. And for day-drinking? Locally roasted coffee from J. Brooks or a bubbly Mimosa for Sunday brunch. Upbeat and family-friendly, Sunrise Memphis bodes well for Across the Board Restaurant Group, a collaborative between Trimm and Central BBQ’s Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp. Up next for the trio is 117 Prime, a steakhouse on Union Avenue next to Bangkok Alley. Sunrise Memphis, 670 Jefferson Ave., is open from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. (901-552-3168) $


by pamela denney

We celebrate our city’s community table and the people who grow, cook, and eat the best Memphis food at M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M / F O O D - D I N I N G 86 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

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A Curated Guide to Eating Out


emphis magazine offers this curated restaurant listing as a service to its readers. Broken down alphabetically by neighborhoods, this directory does not list every restaurant in town. It does, however, include the magazine’s “Top 50” choices of must-try restaurants in Memphis, a DINING SYMBOLS group that is updated every August. Establishments open B — breakfast less than a year are not eligible for “Top 50” but are noted as L — lunch “New.” This guide also includes a representative sampling D — dinner of other Bluff City eating establishments. No fast-food SB — Sunday brunch facilities or cafeterias are listed, nor have we included WB — weekend brunch establishments that rely heavily on take-out business. X— wheelchair accessible Restaurants are included regardless of whether they ad MRA — member, Memphis vertise in Memphis magazine; those that operate in multi Restaurant Association ple locations are listed under the neighborhood of their $ — under $15 per person without drinks or desserts original location. This guide is updated regularly, but we $$ — under $25 recommend that you call ahead to check on hours, prices, $$$ — $26-$50 and other details. Suggestions from readers are welcome; $$$$ — over $50 please contact us at

CENTER CITY AGAVE MARIA—Menu items at this Mexican eatery include pork belly arepas, lobster enchiladas, and garlic-rubbed lamb. 83 Union. 341-2096. L, D, X, $-$$ ALDO’S PIZZA PIES—Serving gourmet pizzas — including Mr. T Rex — salads, and more. Also 30 beers, bottled or on tap. 100 S. Main. 577-7743; 752 S. Cooper. 725-7437. L, D, X, $-$$ THE ARCADE—Possibly Memphis’ oldest cafe. Specialties include sweet potato pancakes, a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, and breakfast served all day. 540 S. Main. 526-5757. B, L, D (Thurs.-Sat.), X, MRA, $ AUTOMATIC SLIM’S—Longtime downtown favorite specializes in contemporary American cuisine emphasizing local ingredients; also extensive martini list. 83 S. Second. 525-7948. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ BANGKOK ALLEY—Thai fusion cuisine includes noodle and curry dishes, chef-specialty sushi rolls, coconut soup, and duck and seafood entrees. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. at Brookhaven location; call for hours. 121 Union Ave. 522-2010; 2150 W. Poplar at Houston Levee (Collierville). 854-8748; 715 W. Brookhaven Cl. 590-2585. L, D, X, $-$$ BARDOG TAVERN—Classic American grill with Italian influence, Bardog offers pasta specialties such as Grandma’s NJ Meatballs, as well as salads, sliders, sandwiches, and daily specials. 73 Monroe. 275-8752. B (Mon.-Fri.), L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$ BEDROCK EATS & SWEETS—Memphis’ only Paleocentric restaurant offering such dishes as pot roast, waffles, enchiladas, chicken salad, omelets, and more. Closed for dinner Sun. 327 S. Main. 409-6433. B, L, D, X, $-$$ BELLE: A SOUTHERN BISTRO—Brisket in a bourbon brown sugar glaze, and chicken with basmati rice are among the specialties; also seafood entrees and such vegetables as blackened green tomatoes. Closed for dinner Sun. and all day Mon. 117 Union Ave. 433-9851. L (Sat. and Sun.), D, WB, X, $-$$$ BELLE TAVERN—Serving soups, salads, sandwiches, and more, including smoked turkey and homemade dumplings with jalapeno Johnny cakes and beef short rib tamales. 117 Barboro Alley. 249-6580. L (Sun.), D, $ BLEU—This eclectic restaurant features American food with global influences and local ingredients. Among the specialties are a 14-oz. bone-in rib-eye and several seafood dishes. 221 S. Third, in the Westin Memphis Beale St. Hotel. 334-5950. B, L, D, WB, X, MRA, $$-$$$ BLUEFIN RESTAURANT & SUSHI LOUNGE— Serves Japanese fusion cuisine featuring seafood and steak, with seasonally changing menu; also, a sushi bar and flatbread pizza. 135 S. Main. 528-1010. L, D, X, $-$$

BRASS DOOR IRISH PUB—Irish and New-American cuisine includes such entrees as fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and daily specials. 152 Madison. 572-1813. L, D, SB, $ CAFE KEOUGH—European-style cafe serving quiche, paninis, salads, and more. 12 S. Main. 509-2469. B, L, D, X, $ CAPRICCIO GRILL ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE— Offers prime steaks, fresh seafood (lobster tails, grouper, mahi mahi), pasta, and several northern Italian specialties. 149 Union, The Peabody. 529-4199. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$$ CATHERINE & MARY’S—A variety of pastas, grilled quail, pâté, razor clams, and monkfish are among the dishes served at this Italian restaurant in the Chisca. 272 S. Main. 254-8600. D, X, MRA, $-$$$ CHEZ PHILIPPE—Classical/contemporary French cuisine presented in a luxurious atmosphere with a seasonal menu focused on local/regional cuisine. The crown jewel of The Peabody for 35 years. Afternoon tea served Wed.-Sat., 1-3:30 p.m. (reservations required). Closed Sun.Tues. The Peabody, 149 Union. 529-4188. D, X, MRA, $$$$ COZY CORNER—Serving up ribs, pork sandwiches, chicken, spaghetti, and more; also homemade banana pudding. Closed Sun.-Mon. 745 N. Parkway and Manassas. 527-9158. L, D, $ DEJAVU—Serves Creole, soul, and vegetarian cuisine, including po-boys, jambalaya, and shrimp and grits. 51 S. Main. 505-0212. L, D, X, $-$$ DIRTY CROW INN—Serving elevated bar food, including poutine fries, fried catfish, and the Chicken Debris, a sandwich with smoked chicken, melted cheddar, and gravy. 855 Kentucky. 207-5111. L, D, $ EVELYN & OLIVE—Jamaican/Southern fusion cuisine includes such dishes as Kingston stew fish, Rasta Pasta, and jerk rib-eye. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun.-Mon. 630 Madison. 748-5422. L, D, X, $ FELICIA SUZANNE’S—Southern cuisine with low-country, Creole, and Delta influences, using regional fresh seafood, local beef, and locally grown foods. Entrees include shrimp and grits. Closed Sun. and Mon. A downtown staple at Brinkley Plaza, 80 Monroe, Suite L1. 5230877. L (Fri. only), D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ FERRARO’S PIZZERIA & PUB—Rigatoni and tortellini are among the pasta entrees here, along with pizzas (whole or by the slice) with a variety of toppings. 111 Jackson. 522-2033. L, D, X, $ FLIGHT RESTAURANT & WINE BAR— Serves steaks and seafood, along with such specialties as bison ribeye and Muscovy duck, all matched with appropriate wines. 39 S. Main. 521-8005. D, SB, X, $-$$$ FLYING FISH—Serves up fried and grilled versions of shrimp, crab, oysters, fish tacos, and catfish; also chicken and burgers. 105 S. Second. 522-8228. L, D, X, $-$$

(This guide, compiled by our editors, includes editorial picks and advertisers.)

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THE FRONT PORCH—Beale Street Landing eatery serves Southern-inspired appetizers, such as Crispy Grit Bites, along with burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Closed Monday. 251 Riverside Dr. 524-0817. L, X, $ GUS’S WORLD FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN—Serves chicken with signature spicy batter, along with homemade beans, slaw, and pies. 310 S. Front. 527-4877; 215 S. Center St. (Collierville). 853-6005; 2965 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 373-9111; 730 S. Mendenhall. 767-2323; 505 Highway 70 W., Mason, TN. 901-2942028. L, D, X, MRA, $ HAPPY MEXICAN—Serves quesadillas, burritos, chimichangas, vegetable and seafood dishes, and more. 385 S. Second. 529-9991; 6080 Primacy Pkwy. 683-0000; 7935 Winchester. 751-5353. L, D, X, $ HUEY’S—This family friendly restaurant offers 13 different burgers, a variety of sandwiches and delicious soups and salads. 1927 Madison. 726-4372; 1771 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 754-3885; 77 S. Second. 5272700; 2130 W. Poplar (Collierville). 854-4455; 7090 Malco Blvd. (Southaven). 662-349-7097; 7825 Winchester. 624-8911; 4872 Poplar. 682-7729; 7677 Farmington Blvd. (Germantown). 3183030; 8570 Highway 51 N. (Millington). 873-5025. L, D, X, MRA, $ ITTA BENA—Southern and Cajun-American cuisine served here; specialties are duck and waffles and shrimp and grits, along with steaks, chops, seafood, and pasta. 145 Beale St. 578-3031. D, X, MRA, $$-$$$
 KOOKY CANUCK—Offers prime rib, catfish, and burgers, including the 4-lb. “Kookamonga”; also late-night menu. 87 S. Second. 578-9800; 1250 N. Germantown Pkwy. 1-800-2453 L, D, X, MRA, $-$$$ THE LITTLE TEA SHOP—Downtown institution serves up Southern comfort cooking, including meatloaf and such veggies as turnip greens, yams, okra, and tomatoes. Closed Sat.-Sun. 69 Monroe. 525-6000, L, X, $ LOCAL GASTROPUB—Entrees with a focus on locally grown products include truffle mac-and-cheese and braised brisket tacos. 95 S. Main. 473-9573; 2126 Madison. 725-1845. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ LOFLIN YARD—Beer garden and restaurant serves vegetarian fare and smoked-meat dishes, including beef brisket and pork tenderloin, cooked on a custom-made grill. Closed Mon.-Tues. 7 W. Carolina. 249-3046. L (Sat. and Sun.), D, $-$$ THE LOOKOUT AT THE PYRAMID—Serves seafood and Southern fare, including cornmeal-fried oysters, sweet tea brined chicken, and elk chops. 1 Bass Pro Dr. 620-4600/2918200. L, D, X $-$$$ LUNA RESTAURANT & LOUNGE—Serving a limited menu of breakfast and lunch items. Dinner entrees include Citrus Glaze Salmon and Cajun Stuffed Chicken. 179 Madison (Hotel Napoleon). 526-0002. B, D (Mon.Sat.), X, $-$$$ LYFE KITCHEN—Serving healthy, affordable wraps, bowls, sandwiches, and more; entrees include herb roasted salmon and parmesan crusted chicken. 272 S. Main. 526-0254. B, L, D, WB, X, $ MACIEL’S TORTAS & TACOS—Entrees include tortas, hefty Mexican sandwiches filled with choice of chicken, pork, or steak. Also serving fried taco plates, quesadillas, chorizo and pastor soft tacos, salads, and more. Closed Sun. 45 S. Main. 526-0037. L, D, X, $ THE MAJESTIC GRILLE—Housed in a former silent-picture house, features aged steaks, fresh seafood, and such specialties as roasted chicken and grilled pork tenderloin; offers a pre-theatre menu and classic cocktails. Well-stocked bar. 145 S. Main. 522-8555. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ McEWEN’S ON MONROE—Southern/ American cuisine with international flavors; specialties include steak and seafood, sweet potato-crusted catfish with macaroni and cheese, and more. Closed Sun., Monroe location. 120 Monroe. 527-7085; 1110 Van Buren (Oxford). 662-234-7003. L, D, SB (Oxford only), X, MRA, $$-$$$ MESQUITE CHOP HOUSE—The focus here is on steaks, including prime fillet, rib eyes, and prime-aged New York strip; also, some seafood options. 5960 Getwell (Southaven). 88 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

CIT Y DINING LIST 662-890-2467; 88 Union. 527-5337; 3165 Forest Hill-Irene (Germantown). 249-5661. D, SB (Germantown), X, $$-$$$ MOLLIE FONTAINE LOUNGE—Specializes in tapas (small plates) featuring global cuisine. Closed Sun.-Tues. 679 Adams Ave. 524-1886. D, X, MRA, $ OSHI ASIAN KITCHEN—Eatery offers Asian cuisine, including sushi and nigiri, with such entrees as Sticky Short Ribs, Wagyu Flank Steak and Quail Eggs, and Bi Bim Bap. 94 S. Main. 729-6972. L, D, X, $-$$ PAULETTE’S—Presents fine dining with a Continental flair, including such entrees as filet Paulette with butter cream sauce and crabmeat and spinach crepes; also changing daily specials and great views. River Inn. 50 Harbor Town Square. 260-3300. B, L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ PEARL’S OYSTER HOUSE—Downtown eatery serving seafood, including oysters, crawfish, and stuffed butterfly shrimp, as well as beef, chicken, and pasta dishes. 299 S. Main. 522-9070. L, D, SB, X, $-$$$ PONTOTOC—Upscale restaurant and jazz bar serves internationally inspired Tapas menu; more than 30 wines available. Closed for dinner Sun.  314 S. Main. 207-7576. D, WB, X, $-$$ RENDEZVOUS, CHARLES VERGOS’— Menu items include barbecued ribs, cheese plates, skillet shrimp, red beans and rice, and Greek salads. Closed Sun.-Mon. 52 S. Second. 523-2746. L (Fri.-Sat.), D, X, $-$$ RIZZO’S DINER—Chorizo meatloaf, lobster pronto puff, and lamb belly tacos are menu items at this upscale diner. Michael Patrick among the city’s best chefs. 492 S. Main. 304-6985. L (Fri.-Sat.), D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ SABOR CARIBE—Serving up “Caribbean flavors” with dishes from Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Closed Sunday.  662 Madison. 949-8100. L, D, X, $ SOUTH MAIN MARKET—Food Hall featuring a variety of vendors serving everything from bagels and beer to comfort food and healthy cuisine. 409 S. Main. 341-3838. $-$$ SOUTH MAIN SUSHI & GRILL—Serving sushi, nigiri, and more.  520 S. Main. 249-2194. L, D, X, $ SPINDINI—Italian fusion cuisine with such entrees as wood-fired pizzas, gorgonzola stuffed filet, and fresh seafood; large domestic whiskey selection. 383 S. Main. 578-2767. D, X, $$-$$$ SUNRISE—From owners of Sweet Grass and Central BBQ. Serves breakfast all day, including house-made biscuits, frittatas, kielbasa or boudin plates, and breakfast platters. 670 Jefferson. 552-3144. B, L, X, $ TERRACE—Creative American and Continental cuisine includes such dishes as filet mignon, beef or lamb sliders, chicken satay, and mushroom pizzetta. Rooftop, River Inn of Harbor Town, 50 Harbor Town Square. 260-3366. D, X, MRA, $$ TEXAS DE BRAZIL—Serves beef, pork, lamb, and chicken dishes, and Brazilian sausage; also a salad bar with extensive toppings. 150 Peabody Place, Suite 103. 526-7600. L (Wed.-Fri.), D, SB, X, $$-$$$ TUSCANY ITALIAN EATERY—Menu includes paninis, deli subs and wraps, soups, and desserts. Closed Sat.-Sun.  200 Jefferson, #100. 505-2291. B, L, X, $ TWILIGHT SKY TERRACE—Offers small plates of tostados, nachos, flatbreads, paninis; also hand-crafted cocktails and sweeping rooftop views of the downtown Memphis skyline. Open, weather permitting. The Madison Hotel, 79 Madison. 333-1224. D, WB, X, $ UNCLE BUCK’S FISHBOWL & GRILL—Burgers, pizza, fish dishes, sandwiches, and more served in a unique “underwater” setting. Bass Pro, Bass Pro Drive, 291-8200. B, L, D, X, $-$$ THE VAULT—Shrimp beignets, stuffed cornish hen, and bacon-wrapped chicken roulade are among the dishes offered at this Creole/Italian fusion eatery. 124 G.E. Patterson. 591-8000. L, D, SB, X, $-$$

COLLIERVILLE 148 NORTH—French cuisine meets Southern comfort food here with menu items such as chicken and waffles, duck confit, and JKE’s Knuckle Sandwich, made with lobster knuckle and puff pastry. 148 N. Main. 569-0761. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ BROOKS PHARM2FORK—Serving fresh vegetables and meats responsibly grown by area farmers. Entrees include Marmilu Farms Pork Triangle Steak, Old School Salmon Patties, and Pan Seared Lake’s Catfish. 120 Mulberry. 853-7511. D, X, $-$$ CAFE PIAZZA BY PAT LUCCHESI—Specializes in gourmet pizzas (including create-your-own), panini sandwiches, and pasta. Closed Sun. 139 S. Rowlett St. 861-1999. L, D, X, $-$$ CIAO BABY—Specializing in Neapolitan-style pizza made in a wood-fired oven. Also serves house-made mozzarella, pasta, appetizers, and salads. 890 W. Poplar, Suite 1. 457-7457. L, D, X, $ EL MEZCAL—Serves burritos, chimichangas, fajitas, and other Mexican cuisine, as well as shrimp dinners and steak. 9947 Wolf River, 853-7922; 402 Perkins Extd. 761-7710; 694 N.Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 755-1447; 1492 Union. 274-4264; 11615 Airline Rd. (Arlington). 867-1883; 9045 Highway 64 (Lakeland). 383-4219; 7164 Hacks Cross Rd. (Olive Branch). 662-890-3337; 8834 Hwy. 51 N. (Millington). 872-3220; 7424 Highway 64 (Bartlett). 417-6026. L, D, X, $ EMERALD THAI RESTAURANT—Spicy shrimp, pad khing, lemon grass chicken, and several noodle, rice, and vegetarian dishes are offered at this family restaurant. Closed Sunday. 8950 Highway 64 (Lakeland, TN). 384-0540. L, D X, $-$$ FIREBIRDS—Specialties are hand-cut steaks, slow-roasted prime rib, and wood-grilled salmon and other seafood, as well as seasonal entrees.  4600 Merchants Circle, Carriage Crossing. 850-1637; 8470 Highway 64 (Bartlett). 379-1300. L, D, X, $-$$$ RONNIE GRISANTI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT— This Memphis institution serves family classics such as Elfo’s Special and chicken ravioli, along with lighter fare and changing daily chef selection. Closed Sun. Sheffield Antiques Mall, 684 W. Poplar. 850-0191. L (Mon.-Sat.), D (Thurs.-Sat.), X, $-$$$ JIM’S PLACE GRILLE—Features American, Greek, and Continental cuisine with such entrees as pork tenderloin, several seafood specialties, and hand-cut charcoal-grilled steaks. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. 3660 Houston Levee. 861-5000. L, D, X, $-$$$ MULAN ASIAN BISTRO—Hunan Chicken, tofu dishes, and orange beef served here; some sushi, too.  2059 Houston Levee. 850-5288; 2149 Young. 347-3965; 4698 Spottswood. 609-8680. L, D, X, $-$$ OSAKA JAPANESE CUISINE—Featuring an extensive sushi menu as well as traditional Japanese and hibachi dining. Hours vary for lunch; call. 3670 Houston Levee. 861-4309; 3402 Poplar. 249-4690; 7164 Hacks Cross (Olive Branch). 662-8909312; 2200 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 425-4901. L, D, X, $-$$$ THE SEAR SHACK BURGERS & FRIES— Serving Angus burgers, fries, and hand-spun milkshakes. Closed Mon. 875 W. Poplar, Suite 6. 861-4100; 5101 Sanderlin, Suite 103. 567-4909. L, D, X, $ STIX—Hibachi steakhouse with Asian cuisine features steak, chicken, and a fillet and lobster combination, also sushi. A specialty is Dynamite Chicken with fried rice. 4680 Merchants Park Circle, Avenue Carriage Crossing. 854-3399. L, D, X, $-$$

CORDOVA BOMBAY HOUSE—Indian fare includes lamb korma and chicken tikka; also, a daily luncheon buffet. 1727 N. Germantown Pkwy. 755-4114. L, D, X, $-$$ THE BUTCHER SHOP—Serves steaks ranging from 8-oz. fillets to a 20-oz. porterhouse; also chicken, pork chops, fresh seafood.  107 S. Germantown Rd. 757-4244. L (Fri. and Sun.), D, X, $$-$$$ FOX RIDGE PIZZA—Pizzas, calzones, sub sandwiches, burgers, and meat-and-two plate lunches are among the dishes served at this eatery, which opened in 1979. 1769 N. Germantown Pkwy. 758-6500. L, D, X, $

G. ALSTON—Food Network Star finalist and owner Chef Aryen Moore-Alston serves New Southern cuisine at this fine dining establishment. Shrimp beignets are among the appetizers, and entrees include Sous Vide Rosemary Lavender Lamb and Sauteed Scottish Salmon. 8556 Macon. 748-5583. Closed Mon. D, SB, X, $$-$$$ GREEN BAMBOO—Pineapple tilapia, pork vermicelli, and the soft egg noodle combo are Vietnamese specialties here. 990 N. Germantown Parkway, #104. 753-5488. L, D, $-$$ KING JERRY LAWLER’S MEMPHIS BBQ COMPANY—Offers a variety of barbecue dishes, including brisket, ribs, nachos topped with smoked pork, and a selection of barbecue “Slamwiches.” 465 N. Germantown Pkwy., #116. 509-2360. L, D, X, $ JIM ’N NICK’S BAR-B-Q—Serves barbecued pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, and fish, along with other homemade Southern specialties. 2359 N. Germantown Pkwy. 388-0998. L, D, X, $-$$ MISTER B’S—Features New Orleans-style seafood and steaks. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. and Mon.  6655 Poplar, #107. 751-5262. L, D, X, $-$$$ PRESENTATION ROOM, THE—American bistro run by the students of L’Ecole Culinaire. Menu changes regularly; specialties may include such items as a filet with truffle mushroom ragu. Service times vary; call for details. Closed Fri.-Sun. 1245 N. Germantown Pkwy. 754-7115. L, D, X, $-$$ ON THE BORDER—Dishes out such Tex-Mex specialties as fajitas and Southwest chicken tacos; also fresh grilled seafood specials. 8101 Giacosa Pl .881-0808; 6572 Airways (Southaven). 662-655-4750. L, D, WB, X, $ SHOGUN JAPANESE RESTAURANT—Entrees include tempura, teriyaki, and sushi, as well as grilled fish and chicken entrees. 2324 N. Germantown Pkwy. 384-4122. L, D, X, $-$$ TANNOOR GRILL—Brazilian-style steakhouse with skewers served tableside, along with Middle Eastern specialties; vegetarian options also available. 830 N. Germantown Pkwy. 443-5222. L, D, X, $-$$$


(INCLUDES POPLAR/ I-240) ACRE—Features seasonal modern American cuisine in an avante-garde setting using locally sourced products; also small-plates and iconic bar. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. 690 S. Perkins. 818-2273. L, D, X, $$-$$$ AGAVOS COCINA & TEQUILA—Camaron de Tequila, tamales, kabobs, and burgers made with a blend of beef and chorizo are among the offerings at this tequila-centric restaurant and bar. 2924 Walnut Grove. 433-9345. L, D, X, $-$$ AMERIGO—Traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine includes pasta, wood-fired pizza, steaks, and cedarwood-roasted fish. 1239 Ridgeway, Park Place Mall. 761-4000. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ ANDREW MICHAEL ITALIAN KITCHEN— Traditional Italian cuisine with a menu from two of the city’s top chefs that changes seasonally with such entrees as Maw Maw’s ravioli. Closed Sun.-Mon. 712 W. Brookhaven Cl. 347-3569. D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFE—Offering several varieties of eggs benedict, waffles, omelets, pancakes, beignets, and other breakfast fare; also burgers, sandwiches, and salads. 6063 Park Ave. 729-7020; 65 S. Highland. 623-7122. B, L, WB, X, $ BENIHANA—This Japanese steakhouse serves beef, chicken, and seafood grilled at the table; some menu items change monthly; sushi bar also featured. 912 Ridge Lake. 767-8980. L, D, X, $$-$$$ BLUE PLATE CAFÉ — For breakfast, the café’s serves old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes (it’s a secret recipe!), country ham and eggs, and waffles with fresh strawberries and cream. For lunch, the café specializes in country cooking. 5469 Poplar. 761-9696; 113 S. Court. 523-2050. B, L, X, $ BRYANT’S BREAKFAST—Three-egg omelets, pancakes, and The Sampler Platter are among the popular entrees here. Possible the best biscuits in town. Closed Mon. and Tues. 3965 Summer. 324-7494. B, L, X, $ J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 89

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CIT Y DINING LIST BUCKLEY’S FINE FILET GRILL—Specializes in steaks, seafood, and pasta. (Lunchbox serves entree salads, burgers, and more.)  5355 Poplar. 683-4538; 919 S. Yates (Buckley’s Lunchbox), 682-0570. L (Yates only, M-F), D, X, $-$$ BUNTYN CORNER CAFE—Serving favorites from Buntyn Restaurant, including chicken and dressing, cobbler, and yeast rolls.  5050 Poplar, Suite 107. 424-3286. B, L, X, $ CAPITAL GRILLE—Known for its dry-aged, hand-carved steaks; among the specialties are bone-in sirloin, and porcini-rubbed Delmonico; also seafood entrees and seasonal lunch plates. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. Crescent Center, 6065 Poplar. 683-9291. L, D, X, $$$-$$$$ CASABLANCA—Lamb shawarma is one of the fresh, homemade specialties served at this Mediterranean/Moroccan restaurant; fish entrees and vegetarian options also available. 1707 Madison. 421-6949; 5030 Poplar. 725-8557 ; 7609 Poplar Pike (Germantown). 425-5908. L, D, X, $-$$ CIAO BELLA—Among the Italian and Greek specialties are lasagna, seafood pasta, gourmet pizzas, and vegetarian options. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun.  565 Erin Dr., Erin Way Shopping Center. 205-2500. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$$ CITY SILO TABLE + PANTRY—With a focus on clean eating, this establishment offers fresh juices, as well as comfort foods re-imagined with wholesome ingredients. 5101 Sanderlin. 729-7687. B, L, D, X, $ CORKY’S—Popular barbecue emporium offers both wet and dry ribs, plus a full menu of other barbecue entrees. Wed. lunch buffets, Cordova and Collierville.  5259 Poplar. 685-9744; 1740 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 737-1911; 743 W. Poplar (Collierville). 405-4999; 6434 Goodman Rd., Olive Branch. 662893-3663. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ ERLING JENSEN—For 20 years, has presented “globally inspired” cuisine to die for. Specialties are rack of lamb, big game entrees, and fresh fish dishes. 1044 S. Yates. 763-3700. D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ FLEMING’S PRIME STEAKHOUSE—Serves wet-aged and dry-aged steaks, prime beef, chops, and seafood, including salmon, Australian lobster tails, and a catch of the day.  6245 Poplar. 761-6200. D, X, MRA, $$$-$$$$ FOLK’S FOLLY ORIGINAL PRIME STEAK HOUSE—Specializes in prime steaks, as well as lobster, grilled Scottish salmon, Alaskan king crab legs, rack of lamb, and weekly specials. Now celebrating their 40th year.  551 S. Mendenhall. 762-8200. D, X, MRA, $$$-$$$$ FORMOSA—Offers Mandarin cuisine, including broccoli beef, hot-and-sour soup, and spring rolls. Closed Monday.  6685 Quince. 753-9898. L, D, X, $-$$ FRATELLI’S—Serves hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, and desserts, all with an Italian/Mediterranean flair. Closed Sunday. 750 Cherry Rd., Memphis Botanic Garden. 766-9900. L, X, $ FRANK GRISANTI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT— Northern Italian favorites include pasta with jumbo shrimp and mushrooms; also seafood, fillet mignon, and daily lunch specials. Closed for lunch Sunday.  Embassy Suites Hotel, 1022 S. Shady Grove. 761-9462. L, D, X, $-$$$ THE GROVE GRILL—Offers steaks, chops, seafood, and other American cuisine with Southern and global influences; entrees include crab cakes, and shrimp and grits, also dinner specials. Founder Jeff Dunham’s son Chip is now chef de cuisine. 4550 Poplar. 818-9951. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $$-$$$ HALF SHELL—Specializes in seafood, such as King crab legs; also serves steaks, chicken, pastas, salads, sandwiches, a ”voodoo menu”; oyster bar at Winchester location.  688 S. Mendenhall. 682-3966; 7825 Winchester. 737-6755. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ HERITAGE TAVERN & KITCHEN—Featuring classic cuisine from the country’s five regions, including lobster rolls, fried chicken, smoked tamales, Green Goddess shrimp, and more. 6150 Poplar, Regalia. 761-8855.L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ HIGH POINT PIZZA—Serves variety of pizzas, subs, salads, and sides. Closed Monday. A neighborhood fixture. 477 High Point Terrace. 452-3339. L, D, X, $-$$ HOG & HOMINY—The casual sister to Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen serves brick-oven-baked pizzas, including the Red-Eye with pork belly, and small plates

with everything from meatballs to beef and cheddar hot dogs; and local veggies. Closed for lunch Mon.  707 W. Brookhaven Cl. 207-7396. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ HOUSTON’S—Serves steaks, seafood, pork chops, chicken dishes, sandwiches, salads, and Chicago-style spinach dip. Farmous for first-class service. 5000 Poplar. 683-0915. L, D, X $-$$$  INTERIM—Offers American-seasonal cuisine with emphasis on local foods and fresh fish; macaroni and cheese is a house specialty. Closed for lunch Sat.  5040 Sanderlin, Suite 105. 818-0821. L, D, SB, X, $-$$$ THE KITCHEN BISTRO—Tomato soup, pan-roasted ribeye, sticky toffee pudding, and dishes made using in-season fruits and veggies are served at this establishment at Shelby Farms Park. 415 Great View Drive E., Suite 101. 729-9009. L, D, X, $-$$ LA BAGUETTE—An almond croissant and chicken salad are among specialties at this French-style bistro. Closed for dinner Sun.  3088 Poplar. 458-0900. B, L, D (closes at 7), X, MRA, $ LAS DELICIAS—Popular for its guacamole, house-made tortilla chips, and margaritas, this restaurant draws diners with its chicken enchiladas, meat-stuffed flautas, and Cuban torta with spicy pork. Closed Sunday. 4002 Park Ave. 458-9264; 5689 Quince. 800-2873. L, D, X, $ LIBRO AT LAURELWOOD—Bookstore eatery features a variety of sandwiches, salads, and homemade pasta dishes, with Italian-inspired options such as carbonara and potato gnocchi. Closed for dinner Sun. 387 Perkins Ext. (Novel). 800-2656. B, L, D, SB, X, $-$$ LISA’S LUNCHBOX—Serving bagels, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. 5030 Poplar, 761-4044; 5885 Ridgeway Center Pkwy., Suite 101. 767-6465; 2659 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 1200; 2525 Central (Children’s Museum); 166 S. Front. 729-7277. B, L, $ LOST PIZZA—Offering pizzas (with dough made from scratch), pasta, salads, sandwiches, tamales, and more.  2855 Poplar. 572-1803; 5960 Getwell (Southaven). 662-892-8684. L, D, X, $-$$ LYNCHBURG LEGENDS—This restaurant with a Jack Daniels’ theme and Southern cuisine serves such entrees as Bourbon Street salmon, buttermilk-fried chicken, and grilled steak and wild mushroom salad. DoubleTree Hotel, 5069 Sanderlin. 969-7777. B, L, D, X, $- $$$ MARCIANO MEDITERRANEAN AND ITALIAN CUISINE—Veal Saltimbocca with angel hair pasta and white wine sauce is among the entrees; also steaks, seafood, and gourmet pizza. Closed Sun.  780 Brookhaven Cl. 682-1660. D, X, $-$$
 DAN MCGUINNESS PUB—Serves fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, burgers, and other Irish and American fare; also lunch and dinner specials.  4694 Spottswood. 761-3711; 3964 Goodman Rd. 662-890-7611. L, D, X, $ MAYURI INDIAN CUISINE—Serves tandoori chicken, masala dosa, tikka masala, as well as lamb and shrimp entrees; also a daily lunch buffet, and dinner buffet on Fri.-Sat.  6524 Quince Rd. 753-8755. L, D, X, $-$$ MELLOW MUSHROOM—Large menu includes assortment of pizzas, salads, calzones, hoagies, vegetarian options, and 50 beers on tap. 5138 Park Ave. 562-12119155 Poplar; Shops of Forest Hill (Germantown). 907-0243. L, D, X, $-$$ MOSA ASIAN BISTRO—Specialties include sesame chicken, Thai calamari, rainbow panang curry with grouper fish, and other Pan Asian/fusion entrees. Closed Mon. 850 S. White Station Rd. 683-8889. L, D, X, MRA, $ NAM KING—Offers luncheon and dinner buffets, dim sum, and such specialties as fried dumplings, pepper steak, and orange chicken.  4594 Yale. 373-4411. L, D, X, $
 NAPA CAFE—Among the specialties is miso-marinated salmon over black rice with garlic spinach and shiitake mushrooms. Closed Sun.  5101 Sanderlin, Suite 122. 683-0441. L, D, X, $$-$$$ NEW HUNAN—Chinese eatery with more than 80 entrees; also lunch/dinner buffets.  5052 Park. 766-1622. L, D, X, $ OLD VENICE PIZZA CO.—Specializes in “eclectic Italian,” from pastas, including the “Godfather,” to

hand-tossed pizzas, including the “John Wayne”; choose from 60 toppings.  368 Perkins Ext. 767-6872. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ ONE & ONLY BBQ—On the menu are pork barbecue sandwiches, platters, wet and dry ribs, smoked chicken and turkey platters, a smoked meat salad, barbecue quesadillas, and more. New on the BBQ scene, but worth a visit. 1779 Kirby Pkwy. 751-3615; 567 Perkins Extd. 249-4227. L, D, X, $ ONO POKÉ—This eatery specializes in poké — a Hawaiian dish of fresh fish salad served over rice. Menu includes a variety of poké bowls, like the Kimchi Tuna bowl, or customers can build their own by choosing a base, protein, veggies, and toppings. 3145 Poplar. 618-2955. L, D, X, $ OWEN BRENNAN’S—New Orleans-style menu of beef, chicken, pasta, and seafood; jambalaya, shrimp and grits, and crawfish etouffee are specialties. Closed for dinner Sunday. The Regalia, 6150 Poplar. 761-0990. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ PARK + CHERRY—Partnering with CFY Catering, the Dixon offers casual dining within the museum. Menu features sandwiches, like truffled pimento cheese, as well as salads, snacks, and sweets. Closed for breakfast Sun. and all day Mon. 4339 Park (Dixon Gallery). 761-5250. L, X, $ PETE & SAM’S—Serving Memphis for 60-plus years; offers steaks, seafood, and traditional Italian dishes, including homemade ravioli, lasagna, and chicken marsala.  3886 Park. 458-0694. D, X, $-$$$ PF CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO—Specialties are orange peel shrimp, Mongolian beef, and chicken in lettuce wraps; also vegetarian dishes, including spicy eggplant. 1181 Ridgeway Rd., Park Place Centre. 818-3889. L, D, X, $-$$ PHO SAIGON—Vietnamese fare includes beef teriyaki, roasted quail, curry ginger chicken, vegetarian options, and a variety of soups. 2946 Poplar. 458-1644. L, D, $ PORCELLINO’S CRAFT BUTCHER—Small plates, charcuterie selections, specialty steaks, house-made pastries, and innovative teas and coffees are offered at this combination butcher shop and restaurant featuring locally sourced menu items. Restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. Butcher shop open until 6 p.m. 711 W. Brookhaven Cl. 762-6656. B, L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ PYRO’S FIRE-FRESH PIZZA—Serving gourmet pizzas cooked in an open-fire oven; wide choice of toppings; large local and craft beer selection. 1199 Ridgeway. 379-8294; 2035 Union Ave. 208-8857; 2286 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 207-1198; 3592 S. Houston Levee (Collierville). 221-8109. L, D, X, $ RIVER OAKS—Chef Jose Gutierrez’s French-style bistro serves seafood and steaks, with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. 5871 Poplar Ave. 683-9305. L, D, X, $$$ RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE—Offers prime steaks cut and aged in-house, as well as lamb, chicken, and fresh seafood, including lobster.  6120 Poplar. 761-0055. D, X, $$$-$$$$ SALSA—Mexican-Southern California specialties include carnitas, enchiladas verde, and fajitas; also Southwestern seafood dishes such as snapper verde. Closed Sun. Regalia Shopping Center, 6150 Poplar, Suite 129. 683-6325. L, D, X, $-$$ SEASONS 52—This elegant fresh grill and wine bar offers a seasonally changing menu using fresh ingredients, wood-fire grilling, and brick-oven cooking; also a large international wine list and nightly piano bar. Crescent Center, 6085 Poplar. 682-9952. L, D, X, $$-$$$ STAKS— Offering pancakes, including Birthday Cake and lemon ricotta. Menu includes other breakfast items such as beignets and French toast, as well as soups and sandwiches for lunch.  4615 Poplar. 509-2367. B, L, WB, X, $ SUSHI JIMMI—This food truck turned restaurant serves a variety of sushi rolls, fusion dishes — such as kimchi fries — and sushi burritos. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Mon. 2895 Poplar. 729-6985. L, D, X, $ SWEET POTATO BABY CAFE—The Eggplant Parmesan panini and mac and cheese hushpuppies are among popular dishes offered. Menu includes a variety of desserts, including Sweet Potato Baby Cake. Closed Sat.-Sun. 1005 Tillman. 608-1742. L, D, X, $ TENNESSEE TACO CO.—From the creators of Belly Acres, offers such appetizers as crawfish and chorizo macn-cheese and homemade guacamole and specializes in street tacos. 3295 Poplar. 207-1960. L, D, X, $

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CIT Y DINING LIST THREE LITTLE PIGS—Pork-shoulder-style barbecue with tangy mild or hot sauce, freshly made coleslaw, and baked beans. 5145 Quince Rd. 685-7094. B, L, D, X, $ TOPS BAR-B-Q—Specializes in pork barbecue sandwiches and sandwich plates with beans and slaw; also serves ribs, beef brisket, and burgers. 1286 Union. 725-7527. 4183 Summer. 324-4325; 5391 Winchester. 794-7936; 3970 Rhodes. 323-9865; 6130 Macon. 371-0580. For more locations, go online. L, D, X, $ WANG’S MANDARIN HOUSE—Offers Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechuan, and spicy Hunan entrees, including the golden-sesame chicken; next door is East Tapas, serving small plates with an Asian twist. 6065 Park Ave., Park Place Mall. 763-0676. L, D, X, $-$$ WASABI—Serving traditional Japanese offerings, hibachi, sashimi, and sushi. The Sweet Heart roll, wrapped — in the shape of a heart — with tuna and filled with spicy salmon, yellowtail, and avocado, is a specialty. 5101 Sanderlin Rd., Suite 105. 421-6399. L, D, X, $-$$ WOMAN’S EXCHANGE TEA ROOM—Chicken-salad plate, beef tenderloin, soups-and-sandwiches, and vegetable plates are specialties; meal includes drink and dessert. Closed Sat.-Sun. 88 Racine. 327-5681. L, X, $ ZAKA BOWL—This vegan-friendly restaurant serves buildyour-own vegetable bowls featuring ingredients such as agave Brussels sprouts and roasted beets. Also serves tuna poke and herbed chicken bowls. 575 Erin. 509-3105. L, D, $

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GERMANTOWN BLUE HONEY BISTRO—Entrees at this upscale eatery include brown butter scallops served with Mississippi blue rice and herb-crusted beef tenderloin with vegetables and truffle butter. Closed Sun. 9155 Poplar, Suite 17. 552-3041. D, X, $-$$$ BROOKLYN BRIDGE ITALIAN RESTAURANT— Specializing in such homemade entrees as spinach lasagna and lobster ravioli; a seafood specialty is horseradish-crusted salmon. Closed Sun. 1779 Kirby Pkwy. 755-7413. D, X, $-$$$ FOREST HILL GRILL—A variety of standard pub fare and a selection of mac ‘n’ cheese dishes are featured on the menu. Specialties include Chicken Newport and a barbecue salmon BLT. 9102 Poplar Pike. 624-6001. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ GERMANTOWN COMMISSARY—Serves barbecue sandwiches, sliders, ribs, shrimp, and nachos, as well as smoked barbecued bologna sandwiches; Mon.-night all-youcan-eat ribs. 2290 S. Germantown Rd. S. 754-5540. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ LAS TORTUGAS DELI MEXICANA— Authentic Mexican food prepared from local food sources; specializes in tortugas — grilled bread scooped out to hold such powerfully popular fillings as brisket, pork, and shrimp; also tingas, tostados. Closed Sunday. 1215 S. Germantown Rd. 751-1200; 6300 Poplar. 623-3882. L, D, X, $-$$ MISTER B’S—Features New Orleans-style seafood and steaks. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. and Mon. 6655 Poplar, #107. 751-5262. L, D, X, $-$$$ THE PASTA MAKER RESTAURANT—This Italian eatery specializes in artisanal pasta. Entrées include Spaghetti allo scoglio, Penne Boscaiola, and Fusilli Primavera. Gluten-free options available. Restaurant closed Mon. and Sun. (cooking classes by reservation Sun.). 2095 Exeter, Suite 30. 779-3928. L (Thurs. only), D, X, $-$$ PETRA CAFÉ—Serves Greek, Italian, and Middle Eastern sandwiches, gyros, and entrees. Hours vary; call. 6641 Poplar. 754-4440; 547 S. Highland. 323-3050. L, D, X, $-$$ PIZZA REV—Specializes in build-your-own, personal-sized artisanal pizza. Choose from homemade dough options, all-natural sauces, Italian cheeses, and more than 30 toppings. 6450 Poplar. 379-8188. L, D, X, MRA, $ RED KOI—Classic Japanese cuisine offered at this family-run restaurant; hibachi steaks, sushi, seafood, chicken, and vegetables. 5847 Poplar. 767-3456. L, D, X $-$$ ROYAL PANDA—Hunan fish, Peking duck, Royal Panda chicken and shrimp, and a seafood combo are among the specialties. 3120 Village Shops Dr. 756-9697. L, D, X, $-$$ RUSSO’S NEW YORK PIZZERIA AND WINE BAR—Serves gourmet pizzas, calzones, and pasta, including

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CIT Y DINING LIST lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, scampi, and more.  9087 Poplar, Suite 111. 755-0092. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ SAKURA—Sushi, tempura, and teriyaki are Japanese specialties here. 2060 West St. 758-8181; 4840 Poplar. 572-1002. L, D, X, $-$$ SOUTHERN SOCIAL—Shrimp and grits, stuffed quail, and Aunt Thelma’s Fried Chicken are among the dishes served at this upscale Southern establishment. 2285 S. Germantown Rd. 754-5555. D, SB, X, $-$$$ WEST STREET DINER—This home-style eatery offers breakfast, burgers, po’boys, and more. 2076 West St. 757-2191. B, L, D (Mon.-Fri.), X, $

MIDTOWN (INCLUDES THE MEDICAL CENTER) ABYSSINIA RESTAURANT—Ethiopian/Mediterranean menu includes beef, chicken, lamb, fish entrees, and vegetarian dishes; also a lunch buffet. 2600 Poplar. 321-0082. L, D, X, $-$$ ALCHEMY—Southern fusion, locally grown cuisine features small and large plates; among the offerings are pan-seared hanger steak, quail, and lamb chops; also handcrafted cocktails and local craft beers. 940 S. Cooper. 726-4444. D, SB, X, $-$$ BABALU TACOS & TAPAS—This Overton Square eatery dishes up Spanish-style tapas with Southern flair; also taco and enchilada of the day; specials change daily.  2115 Madison. 274-0100; 6450 Poplar, 410-8909. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ BAR DKDC—Features an ever-changing menu of international “street food,” from Thai to Mexican, Israeli to Indian, along with specialty cocktails. 964 S. Cooper. 272-0830. D, X, MRA, $ BAR LOUIE—Serves small plates, flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and such large plate entrees as blackened fish tacos and baked mac-and-cheese.  2125 Madison. 207-1436. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ BAR-B-Q SHOP—Dishes up barbecued ribs, spaghetti, bologna; also pulled pork shoulder, Texas toast barbecue sandwich, chicken sandwich, and salads. Closed Sun. 1782 Madison. 272-1277. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ BARI RISTORANTE ENOTECA—Authentic Southeastern Italian cuisine (Puglia) emphasizes lighter entrees. Serves fresh fish and beef dishes and a homemade soup of the day. 22 S. Cooper. 722-2244. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ BARKSDALE RESTAURANT—Old-school diner serving breakfast and Southern plate lunches.  237 Cooper. 722-2193. B, L, D, X, $ BAYOU BAR & GRILL—New Orleans fare at this Overton Square eatery includes jambalaya, gumbo, catfish Acadian, shrimp dishes, red beans and rice, and muffalettas.  2094 Madison. 278-8626. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ BEAUTY SHOP—Modern American cuisine with international flair served in a former beauty shop. Serves steaks salads, pasta, and seafood, including pecan-crusted golden sea bass. Perennial “Best Brunch” winner. Closed for dinner Sunday. 966 S. Cooper. 272-7111. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ BELLY ACRES—At this festive Overton Square eatery, milkshakes, floats, and burgers rule. Burgers are updated with contemporary toppings like grilled leeks, braised tomatoes, and sourdough or brioche buns. 2102 Trimble Pl. 529-7017. L, D, X, $ BHAN THAI—Authentic Thai cuisine includes curries, pad Thai noodles, and vegetarian dishes, as well as seafood, pork, and duck entrees. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. and all day Mon.  1324 Peabody. 272-1538. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ BLUE NILE ETHIOPIAN—Kabobs, flavorful chicken and lamb stew, and injera (flatbread) are traditional items on the menu, along with vegetarian options. 1788 Madison. 474-7214. L, D, X, $-$$ BOSCOS—Tennessee’s first craft brewery serves a variety of freshly brewed beers as well as wood-fired oven pizzas, pasta, seafood, steaks, and sandwiches. 2120 Madison. 432-2222. L, D, SB (with live jazz), X, MRA, $-$$ BOUNTY ON BROAD—Offering family-style dining, Bounty serves small plates and family-sized platters, with such specialties as chicken fried quail

and braised pork shank. 2519 Broad. 410-8131. L (Sat. and Sun.), D (Mon.-Sat.), SB, X, $-$$$ BROADWAY PIZZA—Serving a variety of pizzas, including the Broadway Special, as well as sandwiches, salads, wings, and soul-food specials. 2581 Broad. 454-7930; 627 S. Mendenhall. 207-1546. L, D, X, $-$$ CAFE 1912—French/American bistro owned by culinary pioneer Glenn Hays serving such seafood entrees as grouper and steamed mussels; also crepes, salads, and French onion soup. 243 S. Cooper. 722-2700. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ CAFE BROOKS BY PARADOX—Serving grab-and-go pastries, as well as lunch items. Menu includes soups, salads, and sandwiches, such as the Modern Reuben and Grown Up Grilled Cheese. 1934 Poplar (Memphis Brooks Museum of Art). 544-6200. B, L, X, $ CAFE ECLECTIC—Omelets and chicken and waffles are among menu items, along with quesadillas, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. Menu varies by location. 603 N. McLean. 725-1718; 111 Harbor Town Square. 590-4645; 510 S. Highland. 410-0765. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $ CAFE OLE—This eatery specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine; one specialty is the build-your-own quesadilla. 959 S. Cooper. 343-0103. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ CAFE PALLADIO—Serves gourmet salads, soups, sandwiches, and desserts in a tea room inside the antiques shop. Closed Sun. 2169 Central. 278-0129. L, X, $ CAFE SOCIETY—With Belgian and classic French influences, serves Wagyu beef, chicken, and seafood dishes, including bacon-wrapped shrimp, along with daily specials and vegetarian entrees. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun.  212 N. Evergreen. 722-2177. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ CANVAS—An “interactive art bar” serving salads, sandwiches, and flatbreads. 1737 Madison. 619-5303. D, $ CELTIC CROSSING—Specializes in Irish and American pub fare. Entrees include shepherd’s pie, shrimp and sausage coddle, and fish and chips.  903 S. Cooper. 274-5151. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$ CENTRAL BBQ—Serves ribs, smoked hot wings, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken, turkey, nachos, and portobello sandwiches. Offers both pork and beef barbecue.  2249 Central Ave. 272-9377; 4375 Summer Ave. 7674672; 147 E. Butler. 672-7760. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ CHEF TAM’S UNDERGROUND CAFE— Serves Southern staples with a Cajun twist. Menu items include totchos, jerk wings, fried chicken, and “muddy” mac and cheese. Closed Sun. and Mon. 2299 Young. 207-6182. L, D, $ THE CRAZY NOODLE—Korean noodle dishes range from bibam beef noodle with cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables, to curry chicken noodle; also rice cakes served in a flavorful sauce. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. 2015 Madison. 272-0928. L, D, X, $ ECCO—Mediterranean-inspired specialties range from rib-eye steak to seared scallops to housemade pastas and a grilled vegetable plate; also a Saturday brunch. Closed Sun.-Mon. 1585 Overton Park. 410-8200. L, D, X, $-$$ FRIDA’S—Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex standards, including chimichangas, enchiladas, and fajitas; seafood includes shrimp and tilapia. 1718 Madison. 244-6196. L, D, X, $-$$ FUEL CAFE—Focus is on natural dishes with such specialties as bison burgers, quinoa chili, and tacos; also vegan and gluten-free options. Closed Sun.-Mon. 1761 Madison. 725-9025. L, D, X, $-$$ GOLDEN INDIA—Northern Indian specialties include tandoori chicken as well as lamb, beef, shrimp, and vegetarian dishes. 2097 Madison. 728-5111. L, D, X, $-$$ GROWLERS—Sports bar and eatery serves standard bar fare in addition to a pasta, tacos, chicken and waffles, and light options. 1911 Poplar. 244-7904. L, D, X, $-$$ HM DESSERT LOUNGE—Serving cake, pie, and other desserts, as well as a selection of savory dishes, including meatloaf and mashed potato “cupcakes.” Closed Monday. 1586 Madison. 290-2099. L, D, X, $

IMAGINE VEGAN CAFE—Dishes at this fully vegan restaurant range from salads and sandwiches to full dinners, including eggplant parmesan and “beef” tips and rice; breakfast all day Sat. and Sun. 2158 Young. 654-3455. L, D, WB, X, $ INDIA PALACE—Tandoori chicken, lamb shish kabobs, and chicken tikka masala are among the entrees; also, vegetarian options and a daily all-youcan-eat lunch buffet. 1720 Poplar. 278-1199. L, D, X, $-$$ JASMINE THAI AND VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT—Entrees include panang chicken, green curry shrimp, and pad thai (noodles, shrimp, and peanuts); also vegetarian dishes. Closed Mon.-Tues.  916 S. Cooper. 725-0223. L, D, X, $ LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM—Serves such Southern cuisine as po boys and shrimp and grits, and wood-fired pizzas. 2119 Madison. 207-5097. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$ LBOE—Gourmet burger joint serves locally sourced ground beef burgers, with options like the Mac-N-Cheese Burger and Caprese. Black bean and turkey patties available. 2021 Madison. 725-0770. L, D, X, $ THE LIQUOR STORE—Renovated liquor store turned diner serves all-day breakfast, sandwiches, and entrees such as Salisbury steak and smothered pork chops. Closed for dinner Sun.-Mon. 2655 Broad. 4055477. B, L, D, X, $-$$ LITTLE ITALY—Serving New York-style pizza as well as subs and pasta dishes. 1495 Union. 725-0280, L, D, X, $-$$ LUCKY CAT RAMEN—Specializes in gourmet ramen bowls, such as Bacon Collards Ramen, made with rich broth. Bao, steamed buns filled with various meats and veggies, also grace the menu. 247 S. Cooper. 633-8296. L, D, X, $-$$ MAMA GAIA—Greek-inspired dishes at this vegetarian eatery include pitas, “petitzzas,” and quinoa bowls. 1350 Concourse Avenue, Suite 137. 203-3838; 2144 Madison. 214-2449. B, L, D, X, $-$$ MARDI GRAS MEMPHIS—Serving Cajun fare, including an etouffee-stuffed po’boy. Closed Mon.  496 Watkins. 530-6767. L, D, X, $-$$ MAXIMO’S ON BROAD—Serving a tapas menu that features creative fusion cuisine; entrees include veggie paella and fish of the day. Closed Mon. 2617 Broad Ave. 452-1111. D, SB, X, $-$$ MEMPHIS PIZZA CAFE—Homemade pizzas are specialties; also serves sandwiches, calzones, and salads.  2087 Madison. 726-5343; 5061 Park Ave. 684-1306; 7604 W. Farmington (Germantown). 753-2218; 797 W. Poplar (Collierville). 861-7800; 5627 Getwell (Southaven). 662-5361364. L, D, X, $-$$ MOLLY’S LA CASITA—Homemade tamales, fish tacos, a vegetarian combo, and bacon-wrapped shrimp are a few of the specialties.  2006 Madison. 726-1873. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ NEXT DOOR AMERICAN EATERY—The Kitchen’s sister restaurant serves dishes sourced from American farms. Menu features chorizo bacon dates, spicy gulf shrimp, and dry-aged beef burgers. 1350 Concourse Avenue Suite 165. 779-1512. L, D, X, $ ONIX RESTAURANT—Serves seafood dishes, including barbecued shrimp and pecan-crusted trout, and a variety of salads and sandwiches. Closed Sun. 1680 Madison. 5524609. L, D, X, $-$$ PAYNE’S BAR-B-QUE—Opened in 1972, this family owned barbecue joint serves ribs, smoked sausage, and chopped pork sandwiches with a standout mustard slaw and homemade sauce. About as down-to-earth as it gets. 1762 Lamar. 272-1523. L, D, $-$$ PEI WEI ASIAN DINER—Serves a variety of PanAsian cuisine, including Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Thai. Noodle and rice bowls are specialties; a small plates menu also offered.  1680 Union Ave., #109. 722-3780; 2257 N. Germantown Pkwy. 382-1822. L, D, X, $-$$
 PHO BINH—Vietnamese, vegetarian, and Cantonese specialties include lemon tofu and spring rolls. Closed Sunday. 1615 Madison. 276-0006. L, D, $

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CIT Y DINING LIST RAILGARTEN—Located in a former rail station space, this eatery offers breakfast items, a variety of salads and sandwiches, and such entrees as short rib mac-and-cheese and fish tacos. Also serves shakes, malts, floats, and cream sodas. 2166 Central. 231-5043. B, L, D, $-$$ RED FISH ASIAN BISTRO—From the former 19th Century Club building, serves sushi, teriyaki, and hibachi. Specialities include yuzu filet mignon and Chilean seabass. 1433 Union. 454-3926; 9915 Highway 64 (Lakeland). 729-7581; 6518 Goodman (Olive Branch). 662-8745254. L, D, X, $-$$$ RESTAURANT IRIS—French Creole cuisine includes shrimp and delta-grind grits, and New York strip stuffed with fried oysters. Chef Kelly English is a Food and Wine “Top Ten.” Closed Sun. 2146 Monroe. 590-2828. D, X, $$-$$$ ROBATA RAMEN & YAKITORI BAR—Serves ramen noodle bowls and Yakitori skewers as well as rice and noodle dishes. 2116 Madison. 410-8290. L, D, X, $ THE SECOND LINE—Kelly English brings “relaxed Creole cuisine” to his newest eatery; serves a variety of po-boys and such specialties as barbecue shrimp, and andouille, shrimp, and pimento cheese fries. 2144 Monroe. 590-2829. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ SEKISUI—Japanese fusion cuisine, fresh sushi bar, grilled meats and seafood, California rolls, and vegetarian entrees. Poplar/Perkins location’s emphasis is on Pacific Rim cuisine. Menu and hours vary at each location. 25 Belvedere. 725-0005; 1884 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 309-8800; 4724 Poplar (between Perkins & Colonial). 767-7770; 2130 W. Poplar (Collierville). 854-0622; 2990 Kirby-Whitten (Bartlett). 377-2727; 6696 Poplar. 747-0001. L, D, X, $-$$$ STANLEY BAR-B-QUE—Serving a variety of barbecue dishes and smoked meats, as well as burgers, sauerkraut balls, and pretzels with beer cheese. 2110 Madison. 347-3060. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ STONE SOUP CAFE—Cooper-Young eatery serving soups, salads, quiche, meat-and-two specials; and daily specials such as Italian roast beef. Closed Monday.  993 S. Cooper. 922-5314. B, L, SB, X, $ STRANO SICILIAN KITCHEN & BAR— Presenting a Sicilian/Mediterranean mix of Arab, Spanish, Greek, and North African fare, Strano serves small plates, wood-grilled fish, and hand-tossed pizzas such as the King Alaska, with salmon and chevre. Closed Mon. 948 S. Cooper. 275-8986. L, D, WB, X, $$-$$$ SOUL FISH CAFE—Serving Southern-style soul food, tacos, and Po Boys, including catfish, crawfish, oyster, shrimp, chicken and smoked pork tenderloin. 862 S. Cooper. 725-0722; 3160 Village Shops Dr. (Germantown). 755-6988; 4720 Poplar. 590-0323. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ SWEET GRASS—Chef Ryan Trimm takes Southern cuisine to a new level. Low-country coastal cuisine includes such specialties as shrimp and grits. Closed Mon. Restaurant’s “sister,” Sweet Grass Next Door, open nightly, serves lunch Sat.-Sun.  937 S. Cooper. 278-0278. D, SB, X, $-$$$ TART—Combination patisserie, coffeehouse, and restaurant serving rustic French specialties, including baked eggs in brioche, topped with Gruyere, and French breads and pastries. 820 S. Cooper. 725-0091; One Commerce Square. B, L, WB, X, $-$$ TROLLEY STOP MARKET—Serves plate lunches/ dinners as well as pizzas, salads, and vegan/vegetarian entrees; a specialty is the locally raised beef burger. Also sells fresh produce and goods from local farmers; delivery available. Saturday brunch; closed Sunday. 704 Madison. 526-1361. L, D, X, $ TSUNAMI—Features Pacific Rim cuisine (Asia, Australia, South Pacific, etc.); also a changing “small plate” menu. Chef Ben Smith is a Cooper-Young pioneer. Specialties include Asian nachos and roasted sea bass. Closed Sunday. 928 S. Cooper. 274-2556. D, X, $$-$$$ SABROSURA—Serves Mexican and Cuban fare, including arroz tapada de pollo and steak Mexican. Closed Sun. 782 Washington. 421-8180. L, D, X, $-$$

Love a little, die a little and break the law. Trey Milligan did all three in the summer before his 14th birthday. From Sartoris Literary Group, the debut novel by Frank Murtaugh. Available NOW at Paperback ($19.95) and eBook ($8.95). Also available at Burke’s Book Store (936 S. Cooper) J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 93




Bach & Beyond Alexandra Snyder Dunbar, harpsichord, Timothy Shiu, violin, and Joshua Keller, viola da gamba, transport us to the world of Bach and his colleagues, and those whom he influenced. Their performance, on period instruments, features the best of the Baroque and beyond. JOIN US


3:00 PM



COLETTA’S—Longtime eatery serves such specialties as homemade ravioli, lasagna, and pizza with barbecue or traditional toppings. 1063 S. Parkway E. 948-7652; 2850 Appling Rd. (Bartlett). 383-1122. L, D, X, $-$$ CURRY BOWL—Specializes in Southern Indian cuisine, serving Tandoori chicken, biryani, tikka masala, and more. Weekend buffet. 4141 Hacks Cross. 207-6051. L, D, $ DELTA’S KITCHEN—The premier restaurant at The Guest House at Graceland serves Elvis-inspired dishes — like Nutella and Peanut Butter Crepes for breakfast — and upscale Southern cuisine — including lamb chops and shrimp and grits — for dinner. 3600 Elvis Presley Blvd. 443-3000. B, D, X, $-$$$ DWJ KOREAN BARBECUE—This authentic Korean eatery serves kimbap, barbecued beef short ribs, rice and noodles dishes, and hot pots and stews. 3750 Hacks Cross, Suite 101. 746-8057; 2156 Young. 207-6204. L, D, $-$$ THE FOUR WAY—Legendary soul-food establishment dishing up such entrees as fried and baked catfish, chicken, and turkey and dressing, along with a host of vegetables and desserts. Around the corner from the legendary Stax Studio. Closed Monday. 998 Mississippi Blvd. 507-1519. L, D, $ INTERSTATE BAR-B-Q—Specialties include chopped pork-shoulder sandwiches, ribs, hot wings, spaghetti, chicken, and turkey. 2265 S. Third. 775-2304; 150 W. Stateline Rd. (Southaven). 662-393-5699. L, D, X, $-$$ LEONARD’S—Serves wet and dry ribs, barbecue sandwiches, spaghetti, catfish, homemade onion rings, and lemon icebox pie; also a lunch buffet.  5465 Fox Plaza. 360-1963. L, X, $-$$ MARLOWE’S—In addition to its signature barbecue and ribs, Marlowe’s serves Southern-style steaks, chops, lasagne, and more.  4381 Elvis Presley Blvd. 332-4159. D, X, MRA, $-$$ UNCLE LOU’S FRIED CHICKEN—Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for good reason: fried chicken (mild, hot, or home-style); jumbo burgers four patties high; strawberry shortcake, and assorted fruit pies. 3633 Millbranch. 332-2367. L, D, X, MRA, $


Real people Real needs Real solutions

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94 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

ASIAN PALACE—Chinese eatery serves seafood, vegetarian items, dim sum, and more. 5266 Summer Ave. 766-0831. L, D, X, $-$$ ELWOOD’S—Casual comfort food includes tacos, pizza and sandwiches. Specialties include meats smoked in-house (chicken, turkey, brisket, pork), barbecue pizza and steelhead trout tacos. 4523 Summer. 761-9898. B, L, D, X, $ EXLINES’ BEST PIZZA—Serves pizza, Italian dinners, sandwiches, and salads. 6250 Stage Rd. 382-3433; 2935 Austin Peay. 388-4711; 2801 Kirby Parkway. 754-0202; 7730 Wolf River Blvd. (Germantown). 753-4545; 531 W. Stateline Rd. 662-3424544 (check online for additional locations). L, D, X, MRA, $ GRIDLEY’S—Offers barbecued ribs, shrimp, pork plate, chicken, and hot tamales; also daily lunch specials. Closed Tues.  6842 Stage Rd. 377-8055. L, D, X, $-$$ LA TAQUERIA GUADALUPANA—Fajitas and quesadillas are just a few of the authentic Mexican entrees offered here. A bona-fide Memphis institution. 4818 Summer. 685-6857; 5848 Winchester. 365-4992. L, D, $ LOTUS—Authentic Vietnamese-Asian fare, including lemon-grass chicken and shrimp, egg rolls, Pho soup, and spicy Vietnamese vermicelli. 4970 Summer. 6821151. D, X, $ MORTIMER’S—Contemporary American entrees include trout almondine, chicken dishes, and hand-cut steaks; also sandwiches, salads, and daily/nightly specials. A Memphis landmark since the Knickerbocker closed. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun.  590 N. Perkins. 761-9321. L, D, X, $-$$

NAGASAKI INN—Chicken, steak, and lobster are among the main courses; meal is cooked at your table.  3951 Summer. 454-0320. D, X, $$ PANDA GARDEN—Sesame chicken and broccoli beef are among the Mandarin and Cantonese entrees; also seafood specials and fried rice. Closed for lunch Saturday.  3735 Summer. 323-4819. L, D, X, $-$$ QUEEN OF SHEBA—Featuring Middle Eastern favorites and Yemeni dishes such as lamb haneeth and saltah. 4792 Summer. 207-4174. L, D, $ SIDE PORCH STEAK HOUSE—In addition to steak, the menu includes chicken, pork chops, and fish entrees; homemade rolls are a specialty. Closed Sun.-Mon.  5689 Stage Rd. 377-2484. D, X, $-$$


A-TAN—Serves Chinese and Japanese hibachi cuisine, complete with sushi bar. A specialty is Four Treasures with garlic sauce.  3445 Poplar, Suite 17, University Center. 452-4477. L, D, X, $-$$$ THE BLUFF—New Orleans-inspired menu includes alligator bites, nachos topped with crawfish and andouille, gumbo, po’boys, and fried seafood platters. 535 S. Highland. 454-7771. L, D, X, $-$$ BROTHER JUNIPER’S—This little cottage is a breakfast mecca, offering specialty omelets, including the open-faced San Diegan omelet; also daily specials, and homemade breads and pastries. Closed Mon.  3519 Walker. 3240144. B, X, $ CHAR RESTAURANT—Specializing in modern Southern cuisine, this eatery offers homestyle sides, char-broiled steaks, and fresh seafood. 431 S. Highland, #120. 249-3533. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ DERAE RESTAURANT—Ethiopian and Mediterranean fare includes fuul, or fava beans in spices and yogurt, goat meat and rice, and garlic chicken over basmati rice with cilantro chutney; also salmon and tilapia. Closed Monday. 923 S. Highland. 5523992. B, L, D, $-$$ EL PORTON—Fajitas, quesadillas, and steak ranchero are just a few of the menu items.  2095 Merchants Row (Germantown). 754-4268; 8361 Highway 64. 380-7877; 3448 Poplar, Poplar Plaza. 452-7330; 1805 N. Germantown Parkway (Cordova). 624-9358; 1016 W. Poplar (Collierville). 854-5770. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ JOES’ ON HIGHLAND—Specializes in fried chicken and comfort sides such as warm okra/green tomato salad and turnip greens. Entrees include salmon patties and chicken fried steak. Closed Mon. 262 S. Highland. 337-7003. L, D, X, $ MEDALLION—Offers steaks, seafood, chicken, and pasta entrees. Closed for dinner Sunday. 3700 Central, Holiday Inn (Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality). 678-1030. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ ROCK’N DOUGH PIZZA CO.—Specialty and custom pizzas made from fresh ingredients; wide variety of toppings. 3445 Poplar Ave., Ste. 1. 512-6760; 7850 Poplar, #6 (Germantown). 779-2008. L, D, SB, X, $$

OUT-OF-TOWN TACKER’S SHAKE SHACK—This family-run establishment offers plate lunches, catfish dinners, homemade desserts, and a variety of hamburgers, including a mac ‘n’ cheese-topped griddle burger. Closed Sun. 409 E. Military Rd. (Marion, AR). 870-739-3943. B, L, D, $ BONNE TERRE—This inn’s cafe features American cuisine with a Southern flair, and a seasonal menu that changes monthly. Offers Angus steaks, duck, pasta, and seafood. Closed Sun.Wed.  4715 Church Rd. W. (Nesbit, MS). 662-781-5100. D, X, $-$$$ BOZO’S HOT PIT BAR-B-Q—Barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, and subs. 342 Hwy 70 (Mason, TN). 901-294-3400. L, D, $-$$ CATFISH BLUES—Serving Delta-raised catfish and Cajunand Southern-inspired dishes, including gumbo and fried green tomatoes. 210 E. Commerce (Hernando, MS). 662-298-3814. L, D, $

CIT Y DINING LIST CITY GROCERY—Southern eclectic cuisine; shrimp and grits is a specialty. Closed for dinner Sunday.  152 Courthouse Square (Oxford, MS). 662-232-8080. L, D, SB, X, $$-$$$ COMO STEAKHOUSE—Steaks cooked on a hickory charcoal grill are a specialty here. Upstairs is an oyster bar. Closed Sun. 203 Main St. (Como, MS). 662-526-9529. D, X, $-$$$ LONG ROAD CIDER CO.—Specializes in hard apple ciders made with traditional methods. Cafe-style entrees include black eye peas with cornbread and greens, chicken Gorgonzola pockets, cider-steamed sausage, and housemade ice creams. Closed Sun.-Wed. 9053 Barret Road. (Barretville, TN). 352-0962. D, X, $

2nd Mama Gaia NOW OPEN on the Square 2144 Madison Ave Happy Hour: Mon-Sat 3-6pm

CASINO TABLES BOURBON STREET STEAKHOUSE & GRILL AT SOUTHLAND PARK—1550 Ingram Blvd., West Memphis, AR, 1-800-467-6182. CHICAGO STEAKHOUSE AT THE GOLDSTRIKE—1010 Casino Center Dr., Robinsonville, MS, 1-888-24KSTAY /662-357-1225. FAIRBANKS AT THE HOLLYWOOD—1150 Casino Strip Blvd., Robinsonville, MS, 1-800-871-0711. JACK BINION’S STEAK HOUSE AT HORSESHOE—1021 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville, MS, 1-800-303-SHOE. LUCKY 8 ASIAN BISTRO AT HORSESHOE—1021 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville, MS, 1-800-303-SHOE. SAMMY HAGAR’S RED ROCKER BAR & GRILL AT SOUTHLAND PARK—1550 Ingram Blvd., West Memphis, AR, 1-870-735-3670 ext. 5208 THE STEAKHOUSE AT THE FITZ —711 Lucky Ln., Robinsonville, MS, 1-888-766-LUCK, ext 8213. MANILA FILIPINO RESTAURANT—Entrees include pork belly cutlet with lechon sauce, and shrimp and vegetables in tamarind broth; also daily combos, rice dishes, and chef specials. Closed Sun.-Mon. 7849 Rockford (Millington, TN). 209-8525. L, D, X, $ MARSHALL STEAKHOUSE—Rustic steakhouse serves premium Angus beef steaks, seafood dishes, rack of lamb, and more. Breakfast menu features griddle cakes, and lunch offerings include hamburger steak and oyster po’ boys. 2379 Highway 178 (Holly Springs, MS). 628-3556. B, L, D, X, $-$$$ MEMPHIS BARBECUE COMPANY—Offers spare ribs, baby backs, and pulled pork and brisket, along with such sides as mac and cheese, grits, and red beans. 709 Desoto Cove (Horn Lake, MS). 662-536-3762. L, D, X, $-$$ NAGOYA—Offers traditional Japanese cuisine and sushi bar; specialties are teriyaki and tempura dishes. 7075 Malco Blvd., Suite 101 (Southaven, MS). 662-349-8788. L, D, X, $-$$$
 PANCHO’S—Serves up a variety of Mexican standards, including tacos, enchiladas, and mix-and-match platters; also lunch specials.  3600 E. Broadway (West Memphis, AR). 870735-6466. 717 N. White Station. 685-5404. L, D, X, MRA, $ PIG-N-WHISTLE—Offers pork shoulder sandwiches, wet and dry ribs, catfish, nachos, and stuffed barbecue potatoes. 6084 Kerr-Rosemark Rd. (Millington, TN). 872-2455. L, D, X, $ RAVEN & LILY—Eatery offers innovative Southern cuisine with such dishes as onion ring and pork rind salad, chipotle hot chicken with spiced cabbage, and shrimp and grits benedict. Closed for lunch Monday. 7700 Highway 64 (Oakland, TN). 235-7300. L, D, SB, X, $-$$ RAVINE—Serves contemporary Southern cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, locally grown foods and a menu that changes weekly. Closed Mon.-Tues. 53 Pea Ridge/County Rd. 321 (Oxford, MS). 662-234-4555. D, SB, X, $$-$$$ STEAK BY MELISSA—Aged, choice-grade, hand-cut steaks are a specialty here. Also serving fresh seafood dishes, plate lunches, burgers, and sandwiches. 4975 Pepper Chase Dr. (Southaven, MS). 662-342-0602. L, D, WB, X, $-$$$ WILSON CAFE—Serving elevated home-cooking, with such dishes as deviled eggs with cilantro and jalapeno, scampi and grits, and doughnut bread pudding. 2 N. Jefferson (Wilson, AR). 870-655-0222. L, D (Wed. through Sat. only), X, $-$$$


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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 95


Farewell to 460 Tennessee After three decades, Contemporary Media says goodbye to South Main.


inding the offices of Memphis magazine has always been a challenge. When the magazine’s founders moved in December of 1982 from Brooks Road in Whitehaven into an empty warehouse on Tennessee Street, staffers found themselves pioneers in the neglected and largely abandoned area of downtown Memphis known as South Main. Photos from that time depict what looks like the main street of a sleepy Mississippi town — a roughly paved road, with tumble-down brick buildings here and there. From the outside, 460 Tennessee Street was beige brick, no ornaments other than a few

glass-brick windows. Once inside, however, visitors discovered, on the first and second floors, a modern workplace, a blend of old and new. In the early 1900s, the building had housed the Maury-Cole Company, distributors of coffee beans, roasters, spices, extracts, and soda fountain supplies. Keith Kays, the architect/renovator, divided the three-story warehouse in 1982 into a warren of cubicles, hallways, and offices. But he wisely left alone the most striking feature of the interior — the skeleton of massive wooden beams that braced the rough brick walls. Many of these beams were 12 x 12 inches thick, some of them 12 feet long, fitted to cast-iron brackets. We joked that if anyplace could survive an earthquake, it would be 460 Tennessee. Then we noticed that many beams weren’t attached to those brackets. They simply rested on them, or were held in place with old nails. That was also when our managing editor became concerned about splits along some beams. He ac-

tually wrote dates at the end of these cracks, so he could monitor their progress. (We recently found his scribbled numbers from 20 years ago, and the splits hadn’t grown at all.) For years, an old cable-operated freight elevator stood in the middle of the building, and stairs led to the third floor, which had remained empty for decades. Sometimes we would venture up there,

reached 90 degrees, employees were often sent home — not because it was too hot to work, but because our state-of-the-art Compu-Graphic typesetting machines simply couldn’t operate in that heat. In the 1980s, nobody “worked remotely” because ... how was that possible? Without emails or the internet, photographers brought in their photos and slides, and we gathered around light tables to study the best images. Freelancers drove here and sat down with editors to go over stories. There was a great sense of camaraderie — we were all part of a machine pulling together a product, and on some days, when the whole staff was present, and the building was jammed with freelancers, visitors, and interns,

Keith Kays, the architect/renovator, divided the three-story warehouse in 1982 into a warren of cubicles, hallways, and offices. But he wisely left alone the most striking feature of the interior — the skeleton of massive wooden beams that braced the rough brick walls. and for those with nerves of steel, rickety wooden steps led to a hatch that opened onto the roof. These old features weren’t always charming. The heating system was balky, and the air-conditioning? Well, in the summers, when the interior temperature

it seemed like a three-ring circus, everything happening all at once. That sense (and noise level) was enhanced, in those early days on Tennessee, because the printing plant was on the ground floor, and the building thrummed with the sound of the mighty presses.

But as time passed, it was more efficient to have our products — magazines, newspapers, books — printed elsewhere, so the presses came out, and as the internet and emails made a journey to our offices unnecessary, the building grew quieter, the main sounds the clicking of computer keys. Meanwhile, the world outside our doors began changing, but at first gradually. As late as 1991, when I first started scribbling “Ask Vance,” dense woods survived across from our building, the warehouses around us still stood empty, and a building next door housed a woodworking company, with a vent that spewed sawdust over our cars. Around the turn of the century, Hustle and Flow, Craig Brewer’s Oscar-winning film about the Memphis underclass, was shot almost entirely within walking distance of our building. Then, as more people moved into the South Main district, Tennessee Street quickly was transformed. The woods came down, providing us (for a time) with a sweeping view of the Mississippi River. Developers constructed grand bluff-top homes along Tennessee Street, each owner seemingly trying to outdo his neighbor in style and size. MATA ran a trolley down the street, condos sprang up all around us, and seemingly overnight, we “pioneers” found ourselves surrounded by construction teams, parking garages, and more and more millenials. Maybe all this was a sign that Contemporary Media needed to move on. When you read this, our company will be ensconced in new offices in the Cotton Exchange Building, downtown at Front and Union. Hopefully, the “hustle and flow” in our new digs will be enough to keep Memphis magazine chugging right along for another three decades. 


by vance lauderdale

96 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

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Profile for Contemporary Media

Memphis magazine, January 2018  

This month: Three great Memphis weddings of 2017. Also: Elvis gets Sirius, reModel Memphis, Chambers Chapel United Methodist Church, and mor...

Memphis magazine, January 2018  

This month: Three great Memphis weddings of 2017. Also: Elvis gets Sirius, reModel Memphis, Chambers Chapel United Methodist Church, and mor...

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