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V O L X LV N O 5 | SEPTE MBE R 2020
FEATURES 14 The Show Must Go On
COVER PHOTO BY JUSTIN FOX BURKS
UP FRONT 10 I N T H E B E G I N N I N G ~ b y a n n a t r a v e r s e f o g l e 12 I N T R O S P E C T I V E ~ b y s h e r i c a h y m e s
Local performing arts groups get creative as stages go dark. ~ b y j o n w. s pa r k s
22 The Barbecue Belt
Memphis is the buckle, of course, but other cities can claim notches for the best ’cue. ~ b y j e s s e d av i s
28 Building a Strong Foundation
A look at the early days — and thriving present — of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association. ~ by samuel x. cicci and michael finger
Chasing the Ghost
Doctors and scientists race to unlock the deadly mysteries of covid-19.
~ by c h r i s m c c oy
A lifetime of giving back to Memphis. ~ by a l e x g r e e n e
Griggs Business College
Our trivia expert solves local mysteries of who, what, when, where, why, and why not. ~ by va n c e l au d e r da l e
Tidbits: Furloaved Breads & Bakery. Plus the city’s most extensive dining listings.
A Run to Nowhere
When a pandemic destroys structure, how does a sports fan cope? ~ b y f r a n k m u r ta u g h
SPECIAL SECTIONS 65 2 0 2 0 M E M P H I S
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS GUIDE
Memphis (ISSN 1622-820x) is published monthly for $18 per year by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 © 2020. 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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Memphis THE CI T Y M AGAZI N E
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T H E
B E G I N N I N G | BY ANNA TR AVERSE FOGLE
Do the Wobble
To find out how Arkansas is ready for travel, go to arkansas.com/arkansas-ready-travel
The fall of 2020, of course, is different. As and those who test positive must convert to if to rebuke all our cute, obvious jokes about virtual learning or teaching until they test “2020 vision” at the start of the year, there’s negative. The university has implemented been not much perfect about this particular on-campus safety protocols — masks, Plexiorbit of the sun. I don’t mean that the orbit glass barriers in lecture halls, lots of hand is itself imperfect, although that’s also true. sanitizer. We humans are causing the earth’s wobble One wonders how long this experiment to get wobblier: Greenhouse gases increase will last. In an August 17th article about glacial melt, and glacial melt transfers more college students packing bars and shirking water weight into the oceans, making our masks, the Washington Post quoted Tuscalosphere slightly less spherical, wigglier. From osa’s mayor: “‘Why?’ tweeted Walt Maddox, the pandemic and the remayor of Tuscaloosa, Ala., cession and surging unemabove a photo of hundreds ployment to ongoing social of mostly mask-free Univerawakenings and upheaval, sity of Alabama students it’s been a dizzying year. outside downtown restauThe earth’s wobble isn’t rants. ‘We are desperately detectable by us passentrying to protect @tuscagers on this planet, except loosacity.’” Also on Au— what’s that unsteadiness gust 17th, the University of beneath our feet? North Carolina at Chapel Anna in 1st Grade. Even so, school’s back Hill announced it would in session, wobblingly. My stepson, a new suspend in-person classes after only a week, seventh-grader, has begun the fall semes- citing multiple virus clusters on campus. ter virtually, like all Shelby County Schools The level of sheer uncertainty the pandemic has introduced into our daily lives students; the district decided in late July that Memphis needs to flatten its covid-19 tests our families, our psyches, our bank accurve before schools can resume in-person counts. I don’t know about you, but it’s all instruction safely. Kids are resilient, and his got me feeling a bit wobbly myself. Cameron, a child of the ’70s, would remind me here of generation are digital natives — but still, they the toy-commercial jingle: “Weebles wobble, need each other. Even in seventh grade, a year but they don’t fall down.” We shall all, myself I found to be a charmless mix of awkward and embarrassing, there was some consola- very much included, try our hardest not to tion in everyone being awkward and embar- fall down. rassed together. We call times like these “trying” for a reason. When an experience is difficult, we call Going virtual makes good sense under it a trial. “This is trying my patience,” we say the circumstances, but students are losing so much. And they aren’t losing in equal mea- when we’re exasperated or just done. It’s not sure. We’re all affected by the challenges of simply that these times are difficult, although, 2020, but there’s nothing even or equal about yes, they are. Trials prove some aspect of us; it. Some kids have parents who can stay home trials test us and prove what’s most true. More with them and supervise, keeping them on than simply difficult, these trying times show task, energized, and connected. Many other us who we are and who we can be. kids’ parents never could bring their work Whether in school or at our kitchen tables, home; a job that can be portable is a privilege kids will learn a lot more this year than what’s not available to lots and lots of Memphians. in their textbooks. They’ll find out from the What will those kids’ schooldays look like? grown-ups around them — that’s us, like it or Meanwhile, as I write, my husband is not! — how to handle the kind of tests handspending the first week of the fall semes- ed out by life. A generation of kids and young ter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The University adults will be shaped by this strange, swirling, of Alabama, in whose law school Cameron hopeful, despairing, cracked-open year — teaches, has resumed in-person classes as and by what we choose to do next. In this of late August. Everyone must be tested for big communal classroom, school’s always in covid-19 before officially entering campus, session, and the kids are paying attention.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ANNA TRAVERSE FOGLE
resh notebooks that crackle with possibility as the pages part for the first time. Pens and pencils nestled together in a little zippered pouch, not a one yet lost. An unfamiliar schedule, new teachers, old friends, a creaky locker’s quirks to learn. The rush of possibility, of blankness: back to school. I didn’t always love school, but the beginning! Electric, perfect.
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I N T RO S PE C T I V E
Let’s Talk About It!
Leading a conversation about race in your circle of Influence. BY SHERICA HYMES
“It just goes on, and on, and on. Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.” — michelle obama
t our best moments, the United States has created innovations that benefit the entire globe. These achievements include inventions like computers, transportation, infrastructure, Google, the iPhone, free enterprise, and space exploration. We can figure out how to put a man on the moon, but we cannot resolve race relations. Why not? Perhaps you just came up with a list of reasons why we can’t. If we polled 100 people, we’d likely find that our lists would be slightly different. I believe one of the reasons we have failed in the past is that we will not tell our truths. We must stop whitewashing history to avoid painful realities. Let’s stop waiting on one person to lead us. There may never be another Martin. The reality is one person did not create this problem and one person will not solve it. This problem calls for each of us to step up and lead. It is time for each one of us to start having these conversations in our families, with our friends and most importantly, with ourselves. My f r i e n d s and I have start—Derrick Johnson, NAACP president ed hosting Zoom cal ls to have these conversations with our diverse groups of friends. For instance, my East Indian friend hosted a call with a diverse group of her Caucasian and Black friends. She invited me and I invited one of my Black friends to have a very open, honest conversation about racism and discrimination. As you can imagine, the conversation was not pretty. There was nothing nice and neat about it. Several participants were admittedly raised to be racists — one was raised with brothers in the Aryan Nation, others described their parents as “good Christian racists,” and another said it took her some time to realize the “bad people” her family were referring to were Jews and Blacks. But we were all there for one reason: to learn. There were no egos, no preconceived ideas or notions, and no misperceptions that
“The fight for civil rights and human rights has always required a diverse coalition of partners and allies.”
all the ills and misunderstandings would be solved in one 90-minute Zoom call. However, just the willingness to listen and learn led to an understanding that we were all passed down a set of beliefs from people who loved us. Questioning inherited beliefs can feel like betrayal — until you watch the news and realize that those beliefs, when exercised, cause pain and suffering. More than simply beliefs, we must repair unjust systems. But systemic change goes alongside evolving our beliefs. Race, equality, and humanity need to be discussed in every household across America. As Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP has said, “The fight for civil rights and human rights has always required a diverse coalition of partners and allies.” The allies must be all of us — me for you and you for me. As a Black American woman from Memphis, Tennessee, I am not naïve to racial disparities that rear their ugly heads in redlining, pay discrepancies, remnants of Jim Crow laws, and modern-day lynchings. I have heard the stories of racism from my father, the elders in my family, and seen it up close and personal in my professional career. This summer, my nephew,
a recent graduate of UT Knoxville, was followed several blocks by a police officer as he traveled to his campus apartment. He was just a few hundred feet from home when the white police officer turned on his siren and hassled my nephew for “being in the wrong neighborhood.” That same week, my 29-yearold son asked me why he was having the same race experiences as his grandfather, 40 years his senior. His question still gives me chills. We must explore this problem at the micro level, while simultaneously tackling the “bigger issues.” I challenge you to activate your circle of influence. Your call to action is to let go of the false guilt, eliminate the judgment, cancel the shame, get over the fear and start having difficult conversations with yourself, your children, your family, and your friends. This can be as simple as starting with, “What
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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SHERICA HYMES
are your thoughts on race in America?” Be prepared to listen, deeply. Create safe spaces for those in your circle to tell you their truth. Resist the urge to fix them, and be careful not to judge. Instead, ask why. Respectfully challenge them by asking questions, and know when to call for a time-out. Make this part of a monthly conversation and bring in resources to watch and read together. It doesn’t all have to be heavy or painful, and no one needs to feel guilty. The goal here is to start a conversation and to stop the nasty cycle of history repeating itself. The casualties are too high and the divide too wide. We owe our children a better world. Let’s trade in our comfort for difficult conversations. Let’s get raw, real, and vulnerable in our circles of influence so we can stop this walk of shame as a nation. When I started writing this article, I was trying to remember a time when racism did not exist in America. A time when skin color or racial background was not a matter of concern — and I could not think of one. There has been no such time in our nation’s history. Racism has existed since the formation of these United States. Such irony lies in the first word of our name: “United.” United comes from the Latin, unitus, which means one. United means combined, being in agreement or in a harmonious united family. I chuckled a bit when reading that last part. Even within my own family and friendships, perfect chords are difficult to achieve, so one can imagine that it would be difficult for the approximately 330 million people in the U.S. to achieve. But harmony and agreement are attainable if we each think of our circle of influence as our section of the orchestra. Just maybe, our many sections can “unite” and achieve something closer to harmony one day because we all took the time for honest conversations. Conversations that led to change. The type of change that was added to the list of America’s greatest achievements and gifts to the world. Let’s make that our next BIG global contribution to the world! Start talking.
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Sherica Hymes is a native Memphian. She is a management consultant and founder of the Total Woman Summit. She serves on the Agape Executive Board of Directors and volunteers for various community activities. But most importantly, she is committed to being the change she wants to see in the world. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 13
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PE R FO R M I N G
A R T S
The Show Must Go On Local performing arts groups get creative as stages go dark. BY JON W. SPARKS
he pandemic has been unkind to the arts in general, and particularly to live performing arts. Whether staged theatrical works or dances or concerts, productions have always relied on people gathering in one place to share the experience of sights, sounds, and movement. They also share the air, which covid-19 has rendered potentially harmful. Presenting organizations reeled from the shutdown, and needed to figure out — quickly — how to navigate a newly contactless world.
In March, there was a general sense that quarantining would be tough, but would be over soon. Michael Detroit, the executive producer at Playhouse on the Square, like the rest of us, hoped for the best but knew his organization needed a plan. “What does it look like if we have to stay closed through April?” He chuckles ruefully remembering “the good old days.” Playhouse leadership were simultaneously making plans in case a quarantine lasted through June, or July, or August, and on. Which shows and educational programs and fundraisers could they keep on the docket un-
”We hope that if numbers get better we’ll have two shows opening the day after Thanksgiving to run through the weekend before Christmas. But I’m not confident.“
til they absolutely had to cancel? They looked at the covid-19 case numbers in Shelby County as well as within a two-and-a-halfhour driving radius. “The irony was we actually had our reopening plans approved by the Shelby County Health Department. County health officer Dr. Bruce Randolph made a site visit and answered all our questions,” Detroit says. Playhouse had all the safety precautions in place with socially distanced seating, precautions backstage, lobby distancing, acrylic partitions, touchless hand-sanitizing stations. “We hoped to reopen in August with A Little Shop of Horrors.” Yet even with the okay to reopen, it wasn’t feeling right, Detroit says. So the decision was made to cancel everything through late November. “We hope that if numbers get better we’ll have two shows opening the day after Thanksgiving to run through the weekend before Christmas,” he says. “But I’m not confident. If we cancel everything through December that’s 14 shows and five programs, and we end up canceling a second major fundraiser.” Canceling almost an entire season plus key fundraisers is, unsurprisingly, brutal to the budget. “We will have a large deficit for the 2020-2021 season,” Detroit says. “There’s just no getting around it. We’ve put together two operating budgets, one that takes us through December 31st. And then a worst-case scenario budget if we have to cancel shows, education programs and fundraisers through July 2021. We’ve been pretty fiscally responsible over the years and we have a mandate that we’re not releasing any employees. It’s going to be a financial hardship but we have cash reserves that will take us through at least the
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROREM | DREAMSTIME
— MIchael Detroit, Playhouse on the Square
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beginning of December. “But it’s really going to hinge on unearned help from outside sources,” he continues. “For 50 years we’ve always had more earned income — ticket sales, class tuitions, and rentals — than we had unearned.” But the pandemic made that all go away, so Playhouse needs the help from foundations and corporations. Yet those sources, too, are dealing with a battered economy, and accordingly tightening the purse strings.
PHOTOGRAPH BY A1987 / DREAMSTIME
he situation at Playhouse is shared within other organizations. At Hattiloo Theatre, founder and executive director Ekundayo Bandele says, “We are being overly conservative and we may not have any in-person programming before the second quarter next year.” If the crisis eases before that, however, there are projects the theater can produce quickly. As he puts it, “We’re staying artistically vigilant, organizationally conservative, and using this moment to make certain that we come out of this stronger and more self-reliant than we did when it started.” Peter Abell, president and CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, says the organization kicked off its renewal campaign in February. “But we soon realized we wouldn’t be able to do that for both artistic safety and financial reasons. It’s not just one or the other.” Abell had hoped to launch the season in September, but that was not to be. “We basically scrapped the season and are attempting to recreate a new one that would run late January through May, and that has some scalability to it,” he says. “Various size programs could in theory be adjusted. So it could be a symphony with 40 people but could also be some fantastic chamber music. An A or B scenario.” The goal, Abell says, is to stay healthy and stay together. “Everything we do has to be not only for the health of the orchestra, but also for the patrons and staff. It’s actually always been an issue for an orchestra because of playing in, for example, pits for operas and ballets. You’re in a very confined space often during flu season. So we have protocols anyway, like lots of hand sanitizer. But this is a new level.” Opera Memphis, always ready to experiment, adapted early to the pandemic. Seeing what was coming, it never did announce a
”The goal is to really focus on the things that we will want to continue doing, even when theaters open up again.“ — Ned Canty, Opera Memphis season, knowing it would have to be canceled. But it has continued to produce content. Its “Sing2Me” program features a singer and accompanist traveling in a van with a trailer to various neighborhoods to perform, following social-distancing protocols. General director Ned Canty says that’s been successful just through word of mouth. He says that his organization is getting up to speed with streaming technology and is looking ahead to programming, among other things, a short opera by Jerre Dye. “The goal
is to really focus on the things that we will want to continue doing, even when theaters open up again,” Canty says. Theatre Memphis managed to have great luck in timing. It shut down in late December after its annual production of A Christmas Carol to do a major overhaul of the theater. Since then, work crews have been adding to the building, reconfiguring existing elements, and upgrading everything from seating to ventilation. So when the coronavirus hit, there was no immediate need to shift gears. It had hoped by now to have its 2020-2021 season under way, but as with everyone else’s seasons, that has been pushed back. Executive producer Debbie Litch is hoping that A Christmas Carol can be presented in December, “virtual or otherwise because we’re not going to ruin our 43-year streak,” she declares. But the first priority is the safety of audiences, cast, and crew. The hope is that regular stage productions can resume next spring in the
redone facility, coinciding with the theater’s 100th anniversary. Providing another perspective is Elizabeth Perkins, program director of the Ostrander Awards that were scheduled to be awarded August 30th. The annual event, sponsored by Memphis magazine and ArtsMemphis, judges all the shows in professional, community, and collegiate categories. But it was an abbreviated event this year since only about half the shows were produced before the pandemic hit. “We feel the worst for these college kids,” Perkins says, “because they have a much longer rehearsal period and they were ready to go and then just got cut out.” The awards ceremony has in recent years been held at the Orpheum and is the one night of the year when the entire theater community can gather, since no shows are scheduled. But instead of getting all dressed up and hanging out with each other at a big party, Memphis’ theater people got together online. Perkins says that there could be residual effects of theaters going dark for so long. “When they open, will the same number of people be ready to go back?” she asks. “To completely over-generalize, your typical theater patron, the person who buys the subscriptions, is in that age range where they may not want to come back out. The younger theatergoers are single-ticket buyers and last-minute deciders, and that’s hard to keep a business going on. The organizations are going to need support for a while.” And, Perkins notes, it’s likely to be a blow to encouraging youth in theater. “Looking
”When theaters reopen, will the same number of people be ready to go back?” — Elizabeth Perkins, Ostranders program director longer-term, a lot of Memphis theater talent is groomed in high school, grow up in the high school, and they start their theater careers there. It’s where I fell in love with theater. If they’re not going back to campus, where are those kids going to learn to fall in love with theater and want to grow up and do it?”
hings are fluid and people pivot,” Detroit says. Those catchwords of the day describe how organizations must S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 15
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adapt. And the situation now has allowed many of the organizations to learn and refine skills as well as catch up in areas they might have put off. At Hattiloo, Bandele says the break in performances has allowed for practical as well as creative improvement. “We never in 15 years were able to take a pause to catalog our programs and catalog our actual materials, such as costumes, props, wood, and tools,” he says. That effort has resulted in efficiencies in inventory. But Bandele is especially gratified that he can devote more time to his original passion, playwriting. Before the crisis, it wasn’t practical for him to squeeze in some writing, then switch to some administrating, and take care of some fundraising during the day, and then come in and direct a play in the evening. His current project is a play about Memphis’ Confederate statues coming down, for which he received a MAP Fund grant.
”We’re staying artistically vigilant, organizationally conservative, and using this moment to make certain that we come out of this stronger and more self-reliant than we did when it started.“ — Ekundayo Bandele, Hattiloo Theatre
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Another unexpected benefit of this down time is “the tightening of our relationships with other theaters across the country,” Bandele says. Publishers are not allowing plays to be streamed, so he’s been developing collaborations with other theaters to share resources, host panel discussions, and organize training. And, very importantly, to use these partnerships to apply for grants. At Playhouse, Detroit ticks off some of the changes brought about by the theater going dark. “We’ve transitioned a lot of our programming to digital platforms and I have to say, I’m really proud of our staff for putting in the extra effort,” he says. “We were able to get a grant from the Jeniam Foundation through ArtsMemphis to purchase additional streaming equipment. Our folks had a basic working knowledge of this technology but nobody ever produced television before. They’ve really stepped up. Our digital footprint is huge right now in terms of the educational programming that’s there.” Playhouse’s summer conservatory was canceled, which wiped out a good bit of income. And while the digital replacement is awesome, Detroit says, the income is negligible. But the knowledge and use of the technology will continue to be important when the crisis passes. In short order, the marketing team put plenty of digital content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
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See Where It Takes You
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At MSO, the forced silencing of the orchestra has brought about some opportunities. In a recent Zoom meeting of musicians and staff, several ideas came forth, many as a result of the musicians’ contacts with other players around the globe. “These allow us to see what’s possible and what can be done safely,” Abell says. And like other organizations, the pause in activity has given MSO some time to reflect on what’s been working well and what hasn’t. “Our goal is to come out of this stronger than we were,” Abell says. “Financially there are realities we have to deal with, but as far as the way we plan and the way we think through things, we really want to come out of this strong.” Toward that end, one of the great resources of the MSO is its extensive library of music scores. “We haven’t inventoried that in a long time,” Abell says. “And we’re working on our
”Dancers would be given the opportunity to share things about themselves, about what they believe in, about how they see the world and their place in it and how that connects to their art form.“ — Steven McMahon, Ballet Memphis
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inclusion and equity priorities. So we’re keeping track, for example, of what works we have by women so we can have a more equitable representation of what we own.” Canty at Opera Memphis has been on halftime furlough and he’s using that to contemplate experimental ways to blend opera and digital. One thought — maybe call it a grand concept — that he’s been pondering is creating an entertainment universe — think Harry Potter, or the Marvel cinematic universe — with video-game influences. “We’re taking The Magic Flute, the characters, themes and archetypes,” he says, with its many epic mythological aspects. “It would have elements of an alternative reality game with some operatic element.” Mozart and Marvel are not the only influences. One of Canty’s favorite video games, he says, “is Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the best-written video games I’ve ever played. Any performing arts group could learn from a game like that and what makes it so compelling.” Ballet, of course, is an art form that often requires people to touch each other. At Ballet Memphis, artistic director Steven McMahon has been wrestling with the limitations wrought by the pandemic and what to do when the original season has been obliterated. The answer, as with other organizations, is going digital, which at least allows more flexibility in time than the rigid schedule of a regular season.
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He’d like to see programming that runs throughout the season, with an emphasis on the dancers themselves. “Dancers would be given the opportunity to share things about themselves, about what they believe in, about how they see the world and their place in it and how that connects to their art form,” McMahon says. It would serve as an anchor for creating new content, whether new pieces or interviews or in-depth profiles. “Whenever something feels like a problem or like a constraint of some kind,” he says, “we just try to figure out how we can walk with that creatively.”
o many members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra are involved in education, whether as part of the MSO or as professors and teachers. The crisis means getting creative and reaching students via technology. The orchestra already has its “Tunes and Tales” program, storybook concerts done in collaboration with Shelby County Schools. “We know the public school system will be teaching virtually in the fall,” Abell says. (Shelby County Schools has announced the fall semester will begin virtually for all students, only transitioning back to in-person instruction when the local covid-19 situation improves.) “That means we know they won’t be walking into music class in person. So what can the Memphis Symphony do to help parents and school administrators and faculty and music teachers have more fun with trying to teach virtually?” The MSO is working on meaningful ways to help when youngsters are at home practicing. “Let’s build the kind of infrastructure to be able to do this online, so when we do go back to in-person, it will be that much better.” The Ballet Memphis school has closed its in-person sessions, but has managed to successfully turn to online teaching, McMahon says, although it’s hardly ideal. “Dance is tactile and best taught in person,” he says, “but the teachers, students, and parents have embraced the shifts.” Meanwhile, some of the Pilates classes are available in limited-sized classes and also online. “Who’d have thought that is a way people were interested in working out? But it’s been successful,” he says. Canty at Opera Memphis sums up what he’s been feeling about the response to the impact of the pandemic. “I think more than anything, everybody in the arts community is just showing a lot of innovation, a lot of grit and grind,” he says. “And if people respect that, I mean, it’s Memphis. People respect the fact that we’re not just going down easy, we’re fighting all the way. And I think that, more than anything, is the defining characteristic of a Memphis arts organization.”
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www.castleconnolly.com S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 21
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The Barbecue Bel t B Y
J E S S E
D A V I S
hroughout the South, up hill and down holler, in just about every town — and at some centrally situated interstate exits — there exists at least one semi-respectable barbecue restaurant. Barbecue is one of America’s oldest culinary customs, meat cooked low and slow over indirect heat, an unpretentious, adaptable form. When compared to other traditions, it’s most like the blues — elemental in its simplicity, born of scarcity and strife, a comfort to the body and soul. And like the blues, barbecue boasts myriad regional riffs on one simple theme. Every region has its hallmarks, of course, but deep in the barbecue belt, a hungry carnivore can find a half-dozen variations, sometimes all in the same neighborhood. Take Memphis, for example. With Payne’s, Neely’s Interstate Barbecue, the Rendezvous, Cozy Corner, Tops, Central, and still more delicious restaurants, each with its own methods, a Memphian not overly concerned about their waistline could eat barbecue at every meal for a week without ordering the same thing twice. Though some ’cue aficionados will argue at length about hickory or post oak, commercial cookers versus oldschool pit-smoking, chopped or pulled pork, wet or dry ribs, and pork or brisket, barbecue lovers will agree to one simple statement: Any barbecue is better than no barbecue. Over the phone and over plates of pork and brisket served every which way, I asked five pitmasters to tell me what barbecue means to them. What emerged is a celebration both of differences and shared traditions. Buckle your belt.
PHOTO CREDITS: TOP BY BLAKE’S BBQ, JESSE DAVIS, & DREAMSTIME; RIGHT BY JUSTIN FOX BURKS
Memphis is the buckle, of course, but other cities can claim notches for the best ’cue.
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THE BUCKLE: MEMPHIS
The Bar-B-Q Shop
1782 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • 901-272-1277
PHOTO CREDITS: TOP BY BLAKE’S BBQ, JESSE DAVIS, & DREAMSTIME; RIGHT BY JUSTIN FOX BURKS
t’s ﬁtting that Eric Vernon, owner-operator of The Bar-B-Q Shop, should begin our conversation by paying respect to his forebears. “He is the start of the core of what we do,” Vernon says, speaking of Brady Vincent, the owner of Brady and Lil’s and originator of barbecue spaghetti, who sold his restaurant to Frank Vernon, Eric’s father, in the 1980s. “You never forget where you come from,” Vernon says. That turn of phrase sets up a theme that runs through each conversation I had while researching this piece — in ﬁve cities in three states, every pitmaster I interviewed is passionate about tradition. Vernon continues, “The core of what you see now is the evolution of Frank Vernon.” The Vernon family had a good foundation on which to build. Brady and Lil’s success, Vernon says, is owed in part to Vincent’s ability to attract a broad clientele. He could count on the neighborhood’s business, the court crowd who ate lunch at his restaurant, and the patronage of a more famous set — the musicians of Stax Records and Royal Studios. “Willie Mitchell was a big fan of Brady and Lil’s,” Vernon says, casually dropping the trumpeter and producer’s name. “When the Beatles came on their world tour,” he says, “well, they stopped by Stax to talk to Willie Mitchell because they loved his sound. Willie Mitchell is the one who told them to go to Brady’s. The Commercial Appeal reported that the Beatles came to Brady’s and bought every rib that they had.” Before long, the conversation turns to the welcoming atmosphere good barbecue shops have. I ask Vernon why, though restaurants usually top the list of high-turnover jobs, barbecue places seem able to keep people around longer. “Rob, our head server, has been here over 20 years,” Vernon muses, saying he’s not sure who’s next in seniority. “I think it’s a toss-up between Carl and Laurie.” “I hate to say it, man,” Vernon says, sounding like he almost thinks better of it. “This is like a healing place. You can come here and you can be safe.” That feeling is just an outgrowth of the function barbecue shops serve. They serve — Eric Vernon food, sure, but it’s comfort food; it’s meant to do more than ﬁll the belly. And so many barbecue joints are — or at least began as — family affairs. “Look at the essence of what barbecue is. Why do you have a barbecue? It is a time you are going to gather, the majority of the time, with people you love and care about,” Vernon says. “It brings people together.” I ask the restaurateur why he thinks barbecue, in some form or fashion, populated the culinary landscape of the South. He answers with a question: “You know ‘Rollin’ on the River,’ and Tina Turner says, ‘I left a good job in the city’?” Vernon asks. “You know the city was Memphis, right? And I do think people came to cities like this from rural areas to try to have hope.” And of course, as people move, they take with them what brings them comfort. “For whatever reason, strife — music and food go hand-in-hand with it. All the Southern dishes that we love were scraps that were thrown out or leftover or cheap meat, and we found a way to cook and make a delicacy. ‘We’ll just give this to them, give it to the poor people.’ Well, the poor people found a way to season it, cook it, bake it, casserole it, or turn it into a stew,” Vernon says. “You have to have a little strife in your life to get that soul.” He continues, “When you’re struggling, you’re struggling eating. And the music is still about your struggle. That’s your venting. That’s releasing from the soul. And then you got to feed the soul as well, and the food was that.” Reminiscing about time he’s spent at the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, St. Louis, and now Memphis, Venson says, “Every time I am at the river is a spiritual thing for me. All those cultures just kept blending. And that river is an important part of the culture in the United States of America. It’s where cultures collide. Barbecue is a child of all that.”
“Barbecue is comfort food. It brings people together.”
Eric Vernon, owner/manager at The Bar-B-Q Shop on Madison, has a master’s in marketing and a deep knowledge of Memphis barbecue.
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THE BEAST FROM THE EAST: NORTH CAROLINA
117 Statesville Boulevard, Salisbury, North Carolina 28144 • 704-633-9953
ollege Barbecue, so called because of its proximity to Catawba College, has an old-school diner vibe, with a green-and-white checkered ﬂoor and booths, chairs, and swivel stools ﬁnished in matching green. Cheerwine, Salisbury’s contribution to the carbonated beverage ﬁeld, is served in plastic pitchers. Repurposed ketchup bottles ﬁlled with red vinegar sauce sit atop the tables. The air rings with conversation and the sound of meat being chopped, Carolina-style, on wooden cutting boards. “The restaurant has been here since ’64. It’s been College Barbecue since ’65,” owner-operator Jay Owen tells me after the lunch rush. “There’s a little bit of a Memphis tie-in there. This building was built for a franchise called Little Pigs of America.” (The short-lived Little Pigs of America franchise started in Memphis in the ’60s.) That original restaurant lasted only a few months, the Salisbury-born Owen says. “So the guy who built the building was stuck with it. He asked the meat vendors, the guys who supply the meat in here, who could he get to run this.” The meat vendor recommended Owen’s uncle, David Koontz. “So my Uncle David came over, and they kind of drastically changed it. It used to be picnic tables, self-service drink machines. It was way ahead of its time, and they made it full-service. “The rest is history, buddy. It’s been College Barbecue ever since.” With 45 years of tradition to uphold, Owen has a lot on his plate. But he’s up to the task. He worked with his aunt for nine months before taking over the restaurant. “Most people in the North Carolina area do a vinegar base [but] barbecue means a lot to a lot of different people,” he says, making — Jay Owen’s uncle, David him the ﬁrst pitmaster to share some variation of that sentiment. “Right here in Salisbury, there’s no two of us doin’ the same thing.” College Barbecue’s standard order comes chopped, but customers can order pork to their preference, Owen says. “Chopped, sliced, pulled pork. What do you mean by pulled pork? I’ll do it any way you want it, but I gotta know.” Barbecue lends itself to carry-out orders. It travels well, making it an ideal meal to pick up for a picnic or get-together. Even before the nation made the rapid, 2020 pivot away from dining in to curbside and carry-out, Owen says at least 35 percent of his business was done through the drive-thru window. “We do a lot of what I like to call ‘simple caterings,’” he says. “We’ll even do a whole pig on-site if you want us to. It all depends on if you got the money and want to spend it. But 99 percent of the caterings we do are, ‘Hey, look, I got family coming in. There’s gonna be ten of us. What do I need?’ ‘You need four pounds of barbecue, some baked beans,’ you know, and you put together a little meal like that.” Owen says that amateur backyard barbecuers who get up in arms about using a speciﬁc kind of wood are misdirecting their energies. “I tell you right now you can’t tell the difference in taste in that stuff,” he says. “Hickory was never designed to be cooked with because of the way it tastes. Hickory — the way hickory burns, it holds its coals for a long time and it holds heat. So you can cook. Where you can use six or seven pieces of hickory wood, you might use an entire pine tree.” That, and pine burns hot. It wouldn’t do to burn the pit down. “I stay away from barbecue cook-offs, competitions, stuff like that,” Owen continues, but it’s not that he thinks College can’t cut it. That’s just not what barbecue’s about to him. “As far as taste goes, what I like and what you like are two different things. “The main thing I would say about barbecue is — I’ll tell you what my Uncle David told me a long time ago — do what you do and do it better than anybody else, and you’ll be successful. Don’t try to dabble in this or dabble in that.” That, Owen says, is the key to College’s success. “It’s been here since the ’60s, baby,” Owen says. “The guys still hand-chop it right there on the counter in front of you.”
PHOTOS BY JESSE DAVIS
“Do what you do and do it better than anybody else, and you’ll be successful.”
College Barbecue owner/ operator Jay Owen (top); red slaw and bread on the side, Salisbury-style (middle); the meat is chopped on the same counter as it was in the 1960s (bottom).
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Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge 2000 E. Dixon Boulevard, Shelby, North Carolina 28150 • 704-482-8567
arrive at Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge moments after it ofﬁcially opens for business that day, and the parking lot is already bustling. Inside, family wedding photos, portraits of past employees, and framed magazine covers adorn the walls. Natalie Ramsey, co-owner with her brother, Chase Webb, ﬂashes a thousand-watt smile before taking me on a tour. She’s a third-generation barbecuer, and she’s worked at Red Bridges since she was 16 years old. “My grandparents opened it in 1946, and then my mom took over,” Ramsey tells me. “And then that’s me and my brother,” she says, gesturing to photos on the wall. I ask her if the restaurant has changed much in three generations. “Recipes? No, absolutely not,” she says before dropping a pearl of wisdom I heard at College Barbecue too. “My grandmother’s motto was always, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t ﬁx it.’” “Okay, all we’ve ever done is we’ve pit-cooked shoulders. We have no rub, we have no nothin’, it’s just smoke. And you don’t ﬁnd that anymore. Honey, we call this Shelby Style,” she says. “We do our own little thing. We pit-cook our barbecue, and our sauce is a ketchup-vinegar sauce. And our slaw is a ‘ketchup slaw.’” That “ketchup slaw” is a red slaw with a tomato base instead of mayonnaise. It’s a relic of a time before refrigeration, when hot summer temperatures and spoiled mayonnaise could put a damper on church picnics. And the meat? “Honey, we can do it any way we want to — — Natalie Ramsey’s grandmother chopped, sliced, minced, coarse-chopped, browned. One of the best cuts is a coarse-chopped/browned because it’s just a bunch of meat with the skin on the side, and that’s where the ﬂavor’s at.” Sides? As is the custom in North Carolina, barbecue is served with hushpuppies: “Ours are made fresh every day from scratch, and they are phenomenal.” If Ramsey sounds like an expert, it’s because she has done it all at Red Bridges. “I’ve cooked the meat, I’ve cut the meat. I’ve done all those things,” she says. It just comes from growing up with the restaurant — and her second family who works there. “These people have been here my whole life, most of ’em. It’s like my family,” Ramsey says. She tells me about workers past and present, such as John Henry Williams, whose portrait hangs on the wall. “He worked here from the day we opened until the day he died.” Country star Patty Loveless used to work at Bridges — she’s one of the few who left. “She would go down to the woodpile on her lunch break and play her guitar,” Ramsey remembers. “Rhonda’s been here my whole life. Laura’s been here my whole life. We’re just a big family.” Red Bridges has seen its share of strife, of course. “It burned down twice,” Ramsey tells me and then checks herself. “Excuse me, it’s been three times. I was pregnant with my second child when I come out here and see ﬂames.” Back on the tour Ramsey shows me the prep stations. “Our sauce is one of a kind. We ship it to Hawaii, Alaska,” she tells me as she leads me past the sauce room. “If you walk back there, it’ll knock you down.” In the kitchen, Jerry chops the meat. “Been there and done that plenty of times,” Jerry tells me when I say I’m from Memphis. “Steppin’ out on Beale Street.” The chok-chok of blade on board is becoming a familiar sound on this trip. “He cuts the meat and makes the sauce,” Ramsey says when she introduces me to John, a personal chef who works at Bridges in addition to running his own catering business. We talk music, food trucks, and, of course, barbecue as he shows me around the now-dormant original smokers. John says he got the job at Bridges when the worker who cut meat was out for surgery and recovery. “They happened to see me in my chef whites one day. I just happened to be picking up a sandwich for my mom,” he remembers. The owners asked him if he wanted to ﬁll in for six to eight weeks while the other guy recovered. That was seven years ago.
PHOTOS BY JESSE DAVIS
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Natalie Ramsey, co-owner of Red Bridges Barbecue (top); the coarsechopped barbecue is closer to Memphis ’cue (middle); pork shoulders are ﬂavored by smoke alone (bottom).
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8/11/20 1:27 PM
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lake Stoker of Blake’s BBQ first began serving Austin-style brisket out of his food trailer during a summer break from college. The young entrepreneur has turned his passion into a growing business in the years since. “I grew up on pulled pork, Memphis-style pulled pork,” he says, but he wanted to give brisket a shot. His father got him a copy of Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay’s Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, and Stoker’s passion for brisket was born. “So we went to Texas on a barbecue road trip, I guess you’d call it,” Stoker remembers. “On this road trip I realized, ‘Yeah, this is something I’m interested in.’ I’d always cooked.” While finishing college, he decided to make a career of it. That pivotal summer, he opened a Texas/Tennessee fusion place out of his trailer. He remembers thinking, “Wow, this is more work than I ever could have imagined, but also, wow, I really do enjoy this. “I’ve been full-time barbecue ever since.” Stoker has since purchased the location for a brick-andmortar restaurant, and he’s been working on transitioning there from his trailer. I asked him about a timeline, and he said, “Timeline? Covid-19 has put all that on hold.” Still, he hopes to be serving brisket in his brick-and-mortar by sometime in 2021. “It works out how it’s supposed to,” he says. When it comes to coping with the pandemic, Stoker says his setup was already geared toward patrons picking up food to-go, which has helped, but “I have friends who have really struggled or even had to close shop.” His most popular dish is a sandwich of his own devising he’s calling the Bubba Cole. “It’s named after two guys I started talking about the sandwich with,” Stoker says. Bubba is the contractor for his brick-and-mortar, and Cole is a Texas barbecue aficionado. The sandwich is a quarter-pound of brisket, a quarter-pound of sliced turkey, and house-made pimento cheese on a buttered brioche bun. “We don’t put sauce on it,” Stoker adds. “We like to let the pimento cheese act as the sauce.” That simplicity is in keeping with his general barbecue ethos. “It’s just different,” Stoker says, explaining what draws Martin’s hungry crowds to his little trailer. “Simple. Salt, pepper, and oak smoke. It’s a little bit different than what you’re gonna get most places. That’s not to say it’s better, just different. “It’s all good. I’m not saying there aren’t bad bites to be had,” Stoker says, “but there’s a lot of work to it, and I appreciate any and all of it.” contin u ed on page 81
PHOTOS COURTESY BLAKE’S BBQ
smoked heaven ...
312 N. Lindell Street, Martin, Tennessee 38237 • 731-819-4364
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YEARS BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION FOUNDATION
T H E E A R LY DAYS OF THE W EST TENNESSEE HOME BUILDERS ASSOCI ATION.
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by michael finger
n the morning of August 15, 1945, Memphians picked up their copies of THE COMMERCIAL Appeal and read the main headline with stunned relief: WAR IS OVER! After more than four years of fighting in Europe, Africa, and Asia, tens of thousands of Allied soldiers would finally be coming home. Many of these men and women, however, had no homes waiting for them when they got here. During the war years, home building companies, along with businesses of all kinds, did their part for the war effort. The Fisher Body Works Plant in Memphis was converted into an airplane factory. Firestone and International Harvester churned out tires, tools, and other equipment needed by the military. Plumbing, electrical, lumber, and other supply companies essential for the construction of residences diverted their inventory towards the war effort. For almost four years, home building in America was essentially put on hold.
With all these returning veterans, the housing shortage in America after World War II was considered so dire that Congress declared a “national housing emergency.” A summary of domestic conditions by the National Bureau of Economic Research put it this way: “The housing situation, and not unemployment, was to be the nation’s critical domestic problem.” Addressing the crisis, President Harry Truman signed the National Housing Act, with the purpose of “providing a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family.” Eleven million. That’s how many new homes the government estimated were needed by all those soldiers suddenly returning home. “Following the surreal images of World War II, the country desperately desired a return to safety and living the American dream — get a job, buy a house, marry and raise a family,” according to an article in the National Real Estate Investor. But that eagerly awaited transition to a peacetime existence — a world of new homes, schools, and happy neighborhoods — was hindered by a drastic shortage of building materials, along with wartime regulations that still rationed items like rubber, steel, copper, and aluminum — essential products for home construction. In Memphis, the situation was so bleak for returning veterans that Memphis State College and Southwestern hauled trailers to their campuses to provide housing for married families who wished to attend school there. Grand old homes in neighborhoods like Central Gardens and Annesdale-Snowden were converted into living spaces for as many as four different families. That’s when a group of local business leaders joined forces to tackle the problem.
MAIN PHOTOS COURTESY WTNHBA
allace Johnson, along with other Memphis home builders, realized they couldn’t solve the housing problem on their own, but by working together, they could snip away at the government red tape that was hindering their progress, and they could also link builders with suppliers and contractors. The new group was called, quite logically, the Home Builders Association of Memphis. First organized in late 1944 and officially chartered in 1945, the HBAM had a rather broad, but strategic, goal: “The Home Builders Association was formed as a vehicle to promote the interest of legitimate home builders, to improve their skill and technique in all of their procedures, to advance and perfect their talents for design and beauty in planning, to insure the best practices, and by fair dealings, to gain and hold the
confidence of the home-seeking public.” Since he was the impetus behind the organization, it made sense that Johnson was elected to a one-year term as the group’s first president. One of the most prolific and successful builders in Memphis history, Johnson can take credit for populating much of East Memphis with well-designed and affordable homes. The streets of major subdivisions such as Colonial Acres are lined with houses designed and constructed by his company, and he later became a partner with Kemmons Wilson to develop Holiday Inns across America. Other officers in that first year were vice president James B. Goodwin, owner of a large construction firm here, and secretary R.A. McDougal, an executive with Pilley Nicodemus Lumber Company. The Home Builders Association started out with only 13 charter members, all of them involved in real estate sales or construction: McNeese Construction Company, Chandler & Chandler, Dave Dermon & Company, McNeese Construction Company, J. Ripley Greer, Harry Dlugach, Benjamin Dlugach, Charles A. Cleaves, Dobson and Smith Real Estate, Sam Stephenson, Pennell and Gill, and Herman Gruber. In the beginning the group gathered for “Dutch
Kemmons Wilson holds a ballot box after a 1955 meeting. As HBAM president that year, he spearheaded the construction of the group’s ﬁrst Home Builders Center.
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nity organizations such as the Jaycees or the Rotary Club. Candidates for this honor — which came with a $300 cash prize and a week’s vacation at Holiday Shores in Long Beach, Mississippi — had to be married, from the Mid-South, and “engaged in home-making.” This was an important event for our community, with the Memphis Press-Scimitar publishing photos and profiles of each candidate (some years as many as 40 women) every day leading up to the Home Show. The competition required each contestant to speak for two minutes on “The Most Important Event in My Life.” The Spring Parade of Homes also started in the late 1940s, presenting as many as 90 newly built homes in neighborhoods around town. Potential buyers were provided with a map and could find the model homes by searching for the large Easter bunny display in the front yard. A newsletter account noted, “It seems everybody in Memphis was watching for the Bunny signs.” It wasn’t until years later, of course, that the “parade” evolved into the annual VESTA Home Show, designed to showcase as many as a dozen residences in a newly developed subdivision. Many other events throughout the year, such as National Home Week and even a Home Buyers School, were also quickly established, all designed to “create a better climate in the home building industry and build confidence in the home-buying public.” Placing those eye-catching Easter bunnies in the front yards of the Spring Parade of Homes was part of the HBAM’s move towards better marketing and promotions. Members were given yard signs, decals, posters, and other marketing materials. If they wished, they could buy gold-plated lapel pins, tie chains, and cufflinks with the HBAM seal from a local jeweler. They also came up with an official slogan — “Better Living Begins When You Own a New Home” — and encouraged local businesses to display that wherever they could.
above: The Home Builders Association encouraged local businesses to carry their new slogan. below: A Parade of Homes promotion from the 1960s.
treat” lunches at local restaurants, hotels, and clubs, before renting offices in the Sterick Building. The group realized the need to reach out to the “home-seeking public,” and in the late 1940s and early 1950s embarked on a series of community events that have continued — with considerable improvements — to this day. The 1946 Home Show, for example, was actually a trade show, with booths and vendors filling the Shelby County Building at the Mid-South Fairgrounds. The centerpiece of the show — and the only “home” in the show — was “a contemporary house, completely furnished, built completely inside the building.” After the show, the structure was dismantled and given to a lucky visitor who won a drawing for it. A highlight of the weeklong event, which drew as many as 45,000 visitors every year, was the announcement of “Mrs. Homemaker,” chosen from women sponsored by various commu-
s the organization expanded, HBAM members realized a need for a permanent location that was more accessible to the general public than the rented offices in the Sterick Building. What they required was a place to showcase the skills and abilities of all their members. So, under the leadership of president Kemmons Wilson, a man known for always doing things in a big way, the Home Builders Association of Memphis opened an ultra-modern Home Builders Center, located at 2440 Central Avenue, just east of Christian Brothers College. Open to the public, the building featured offices, conference rooms, and a research library with building trade magazines, material catalogs, and government publications. “Considered one of the finest home builders association headquarters in the nation,” according to a company history, “it enhanced the prestige and became the nerve center of the Memphis home building industry, providing a storehouse of information about homes and home building. Changing displays and exhibits attracted hundreds of
PHOTOS COURTESY WTNHBA
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right: Television star Trent Wood at an HBAM event.
cial appearances by local celebrities. Sometimes these guests had nothing to do with home building, but they were always crowd-pleasers. An old scrapbook from the late 1950s contains snapshots of Trent Wood and Tiny the Clown, co-hosts of the popular WMC-TV Channel 5 children’s television show Looney Zoo. Perhaps the biggest event of each year, though, was the Presidential Ball. Held in December in the Grand Ballroom of the Chisca Plaza, this formal holiday party featured dinner, dancing, a fashion show, and special awards. The group’s events weren’t confined to Memphis. Every year, the HBAM joined with the Little Rock association and journeyed to Chicago for the National Convention of Home Builders. They actually rented a special train for this journey, dubbed the Rock & Roll Express, and invitations urged members to buy their tickets soon: “If you were one of the gang who blew into the Chicago Home Show last year, you knew it was a very special trip. But that was just a shake-down run for this year’s plans for the rootin’-tootinest time you’ve ever had!” One year, that journey was well worth it. The Home Builders Association of Memphis received the Severin Trophy for second place as one of the top home builder associations in the country (out of some 5,000 similar organizations). The award paid special mention of the Memphis group’s “programs of the most benefit to the public and to the membership.”
rom the beginning, the HBAM made a special effort to give back to the community. In the first years, members made annual donations to the Community Chest (a forerunner to today’s United Way). Employees of home construction companies where encouraged to donate a half-day’s wages to this organization; that drive was always successful, one year exceeding its $10,000 goal — quite a sum in those days — by $2,000. Donations were made directly to the newly opened St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce, and to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Memphis — a tradition that continues to this day. The Home Builders Association of Memphis — now the West Tennessee Home Builders Association — was formed in 1945 to tackle the critical housing shortage in America following World War II. To say they accomplished their goal would be an understatement. Within a few years, “the tremendous demand for homes for war-weary veterans was met,” and according to a 1959 booklet, “more than 80,000 Memphis families now live in modern, comfortable homes built since the association was founded.” A membership roster from the 1950s posed this question — “How well has the HBAM succeeded in attaining its goals?” — and then answered it: “The position of the Association merits the respect of both the home builder, his associates, and the public.” Seventy-five years after the group was chartered, it’s safe to say that still holds true today.
PHOTOS COURTESY WTNHBA
above: The Memphis Bildor was the group’s membership publication.
Memphians and newcomers.” The HBAM eventually outgrew the building on Central, and over the years moved to new locations in East Memphis, Germantown, and today Collierville — always staying in the heart of areas with booming new home construction. But all that was still in the future. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as membership grew, committees were established that focused on such matters as building codes, home financing, FHA and Veterans Administration regulations and benefits, subdivision development, land planning, and publications. News about the industry was conveyed to members in the monthly Bildor magazine, a weekly Bulletin, the National Association of Home Builders Journal, and even the Legislative Flash, featuring “news from the capital and special bulletins on urgent matters.” The Memphis Bildor magazine was especially useful, since it not only provided an updated list of members, but also gave builders tips on ways to make their new homes more appealing. “Murals Are Offered in Medium-Priced Homes” and “Fireplaces Are a Selling Point” were typical articles. A considerable expansion from those early restaurant luncheons, monthly meetings offering “excellent speakers with excellent ideas” were still conducted for the active and associate members. These were supplemented by numerous “workhorse” meetings of the various committees, a Small Volume Builders Council roundtable, and other get-togethers that focused on business management, new construction techniques, marketing, and other topics of interest. In addition, awards were presented each year to “Bildor of the Year” and “Associate of the Year.” A group that began with about a dozen members had, within ten years, expanded to more than 240 active members and more than 220 associate members. Although some of these names may no longer be familiar to present-day readers, every possible stage in the design, construction, sale, and upkeep of a new home was represented, with companies specializing in such details as blueprints (Campbell Blue Prints), insurance (Whitfield King Company), pest control (Atomic), inhome stereo equipment (Modern Music), and even home photography (G.W. Sipe). The HBAM leadership kept coming up with effective promotions. One of them was the annual “Spruce Up Contest.” All owners and builders featured in this sale, held each year in late February, were urged to make their homes stand out with new paint, shrubbery, and other improvements. They were also encouraged to display the HBAM “Seal of Approval” yard sign (available for free from the Builders Center). The winner of this contest would win a special certificate (“suitable for framing and display in public”) along with a steak dinner for two at the Embers, one of this city’s finest restaurants in its day. It wasn’t all work and no play for members of the Home Builders Association. One of the most anticipated events of the year was the annual HBAM picnic, which featured food, drink, games, prizes, and spe-
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YEARS A FT ER T H R EE- QUA RT ER S OF A CENTURY BUILDING HOMES, THE W EST TENNESSEE HOME BUILDERS A S SOCI AT ION IS H ER E TO STAY. by samuel x. cicci
embers say a lot about an organization, as well as its leadership. Since the West Tennessee Homebuilders Association was chartered in 1945, it has served this region and the surrounding areas by providing affordable housing, an established network of builders and subcontractors, and notable, numerous charitable contributions. The organization is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, but decisions by recent and current leadership in the last 20 years provide a blueprint for how the organization will be successful for at least another 75. WTNHBA AT THE TURN OF THE 21ST CENTURY
ground in fundraising and special events, we were generating over $700,000 a year from special events rom the start, the WTNHBA had been and other things like that. We were building more than intentional with its philanthropic efforts — no a thousand homes a year in Shelby County, which is surprise for an organization that counts Holiday Inns amazing. We even branched out and created a chapter in Fayette County [Tennessee].” founder Kemmons Wilson among its charter members. However, the organization doubled down on its The association’s scope expanded even farther stateservice-oriented goals around wide, all with the goal of imthe turn of the twenty-first proving the quality of homes. century. Mark Billingsley, According to Billingsley, many who in the late 1990s worked counties in Tennessee didn’t with United Cerebral Palsy, require builders to be licensed, approached the association so the WTNHBA partnered about teaming up for a charwith several other Tennessee itable cause. A few years later, associations to fix that. “If peoin 2001, several past presidents ple are going to make the most approached him with an offer: important investment that become the association’s new they’re going to have in their executive director. lives, then builders in every “I told them, ‘Gentlemen, I county need to be licensed,” don’t know much about real he says. “This was a way to estate and development, but boost professionalism and acI do know how to run a noncountability; we really hold our profit,’ says Billingsley. “And members to a high standard.” they told me that’s why they All the while, Billingsley wanted me. So I met with continued to home in on the Kemmons Wilson, we had charitable side of the WTNa great conversation about HBA. Looking back on his tenhousing, and he gave me ure as executive director, he Mark Billingsley some great advice.” sees giving back as the associBillingsley, who is now chairman of the Shelby Counation’s responsibility, but also something each member ty Commission and vice president for advancement is actively willing to support. “If you look at the leadership, all the way back to the at Christian Brothers University, might have been an 1940s, there are people that have shaped our commuunorthodox choice at the time. However, it was an nity in so many ways,” says Billingsley. “Our members early indicator that the association was prepared to make outside-the-box decisions for a world that would put a lot in, but there’s also something in their spirit rapidly change both socially and technologically. about giving back. They appreciate what they do, and The choice paid immediate dividends. “I went to they realize that every time someone needs them to Nashville and Washington a lot to advocate for the build a home, that project provides jobs for many different people.” dream of home ownership,” he says. “With my back-
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WTNHBA’S ROLE IN 2020
hile Billingsley saw the possibilities when it came to charitable giving, current executive director Kanette Keough, who is approaching a year on the job, and president John Catmur have made serving West Tennessee a central tenet of the organization. “I would say one of our main focuses now is to keep housing affordable in Tennessee,” Keogh says. “Only about 20 percent of the people who live in Tennessee today can afford the median price of a new home.” Currently, the cost of a home is higher than it could be due to various codes, which have little to do with the safety of a home and are related mostly to aesthetics. “The National Association of Home Builders says that regulations imposed by all levels of government
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account for, on average, 32.1 percent of developmental costs,” says Catmur. “The cost of building new homes has driven the median price across Tennessee to $257,000. The annual percentile for Tennessee household income is $93,200, which puts the median house price out of reach for many. That means we’ve been pressed into a marketplace serving only 20 percent of Tennesseans, and that’s something we’re looking to change.” “Some municipalities use [the codes] to control the cost of homes in their own areas, so they can keep property taxes higher,” elaborates Keough. “So we spend a big chunk of our time and resources on advocating for affordable housing.” To help keep costs lower for potential homeowners, the WTNHBA has a strong government affairs committee that works to keep the issue in the minds of government officials and community leaders. “We help local leaders understand that not all these regulations are bad,” says Catmur, “but when you put a new code on builders, it knocks out people nationwide by every thousand dollars of increase in price.”
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Homeownership, in Keough’s mind, is the key to creating a more prosperous Memphis. “If you look at crime rates and success rates, owning a home is the best way for families to accumulate wealth,” she explains. “Families who never have an opportunity to do that are not able to pass that down and let their children inherit anything they’ve earned, and it’s something that really holds communities back.” Keough remains committed to boosting the Memphis community, but she and the WTNHBA are equally committed to their membership base. “Another good way we can help Memphis is to make sure our members have the resources and benefits to be the best at what they do,” she says. “We keep them up to date with what the newest building trends are, what the latest technology might be.”
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ffordable housing can provide a major boon to families in Memphis, but first, the right professionals must be in place to build them. And one way to bolster both the home building industry now and in the future iss to train a new generation of builders. The WTNHBA works closely with one such organization to help high school students become job-ready right after graduation. The Tennessee Builders Education Foundation (TBEF), run by former WTN-
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HBA executive director Don Glays, conducts programs throughout the Shelby County and Collierville school systems using a curriculum created by the Home Builders Institute of Tennessee. “The foundation started in 2018, but we started enacting the curriculum in August 2019,” says Glays. “And we were going strong in that first year. We budgeted for 60 students enrolling in the program, but we ended up with 249 students in Shelby County. We were just overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by the schools, students, parents, and guidance counselors.” The TBEF curriculum requires students to display both academic achievement and the necessary knowledge of home building practices. To test the students’ knowledge, Shelby County and Collierville schools decided to have a tiny house competition.
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“The students got a chance to experience all the basic skills that they might need if they were on an actual job site,” says Glays. Participants were tasked with building 8x12foot homes complete with modest electrical and plumbing systems. Before the covid-19 pandemic halted in-person instruction, the plan had been to bring in a panel of professional judges to decide a winner. However, the students still gleaned valuable hands-on experience. In Glays’ mind, the 249 students are critical to the future of the homebuilding industry. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 8,000 construction jobs available today,” he says. “The residential industry needs top-notch skilled labor, like framers, plumbers, electricians, finishers, and carpenters. But for the most part, these folks are baby boomers, and they’re aging out. So the average age of a plumber is approaching 60, and in five years, those people might be retired. We’re trying to get a jump on that and create a pipeline of well-trained, dedicated people
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that can come in and replace that group.” Glays predicts that there could be as many as 5.2 million construction jobs between now and 2026. In Tennessee today, he says that they could place 1,700 skilled workers on jobs. “For the youth of Memphis, our program and the job openings mean that they can graduate from high school with a certificate that says they can do a particular skill in a residential environment anywhere in America,” says Glays. “Plus, they can graduate with no debt and jump into a job that could pay up to $45,000 in some cases.” With the organization’s unwavering focus on affordable housing and efforts to create a new generation of talented workers, the WTNHBA is poised to be successful for another 75 years. “I think that our founders did such a great job of laying the groundwork for this organization,” says Keough. “We’ve really enjoyed the reputation that has built up over the years, and I think ours is a trusted name. I think we really need to continue on this path, staying focused on what our mission is, what our code of ethics is. We live by that. And I think that’s going to be an important part of our success in the future.” But the future is always changing, something Keough, Catmur, and the association keep in mind. Technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, and the WTNHBA doesn’t want to be caught napping. “We’ve brought on a lot of new staff members, and we’re in the process of rebranding our presence on social media,” says Catmur. “Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms are a way that we’ll need to connect with Tennesseans.” The organization also recently hired a full-time videographer to create dynamic visual content online. That includes providing basic tutorial videos on activities like painting or window repair. Meanwhile, the annual VESTA Home Show continues to be a showcase of the best work the WTNHBA has to offer. And as a hectic 2020 edges to a close, the WTNHBA’s sense of unity is stronger than ever. “It’s amazing to me that everyone is so giving with their information,” says Keough. “If you think about it, everyone here is in competition with each other, but everyone is so welcoming to new members. I was president of the [Collierville] Chamber before I came here, and you had a lot of different people representing a lot of different industries. When thinking of advocacy, sometimes they may be on different sides of the fence on an issue. But here at the WTNHBA, everyone’s focused on the same thing. “At the end of the day,” she continues, “they want our industry to be strong, continue to grow, and continue to provide affordable housing for Memphis and the West Tennessee area. When you have that kind of focus, it’s amazing what can be accomplished.”
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W T N H BA PR ESI DEN TS 1945-2020
St. Ann Catholic School in Bartlett has opened its door for five days a week of in-person learning. We understand what a difficult decision families are facing this year. Let us help you make the right choice for your family. We are also offering 100% distance learning for families that need to stay home. Serving children Pre-Kindergarten 3 through 8th grade. We would love to show you what Christ-Centered Learning is all about. To schedule a tour, call (901) 386-3328.
(NOTE: CHARTER FOR ASSOCIATION IN 1945)
Waymon H. Welch 1962
Wallace Johnson 1944 - 1945
Irby Cooper 1963
John Goodwin 1946 - 1947
Lloyd B. Lovitt 1964
William Clark 1948
B. Snowden Boyle 1965
Manny Delugach 1949
Jack L. Erb 1966
D.T. Kimbrough 1950 - 1951
Thane Smith Jr. 1967
C.A. Crump 1952
Charlie McCrory 1968
W.D. Jemison Jr. 1953
Williams McNeil Ayres 1969
Jack Rich 1954
S. Richard Bauman 1970
Kemmons Wilson 1955
Charles W. Russell 1971
Louis Weeks Jr. 1956
Roland Maddox 1972
Robert Snowden 1957
Ray Schutt 1973
Jack Renshaw 1958
H.B. McAdams 1974
Carl J. Grant 1959
Bob Buxbaum 1975
James M. Wood Jr. 1960
T. David Goodwin 1976
Morris H. Mills 1961
Mike Weiss 1977
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Clyde Patton 1978 Richard Grant 1979 Frank Romeo Jr. 1980 Robert Willis 1981 Stewart Austin 1982
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W T N H BA PR ESI DEN TS contin u ed from page 45
Jim Green 1993 Billy Ayres 1994 Tom Moss 1995 Paul Ryan 1996 Charles Morgan 1997 Palmer Albertine 1998 David Gribble 1999 Ken Garland Jr. 2000 David Parsons 2001 Phil Chamberlain 2002 John Duke 2003 Bruce Upchurch 2004
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Rev. John Wilkins, pastor of Hunter’s Chapel Church in Como, Mississippi.
CHASING THE GHOST Doctors and scientists race to unlock the deadly mysteries of covid-19.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ADAM SMITH, COURTESY REV. JOHN WILKINS
by chris mccoy n April 4, 2020, Rev. John Wilkins fell out of his truck. Wilkins is pastor of Hunter’s Chapel Church in Como, Mississippi, and world-renowned for his mix of gospel, blues, and soul music. The 75-year-old didn’t think much of the fall, other than as a normal hazard of North Mississippi farm life. But days later, he was not feeling better. His family convinced him to go to Baptist Memorial Hospital
– Desoto to get checked out, but his daughter was not allowed to come in with him. “I called them, and told them they were going to keep me,” he says. “And that’s all I remember. I had that virus,
pneumonia, and everything.” Wilkins was one of millions of people around the world who have become infected with the novel coronavirus which scientists call SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus). The disease the virus causes is known as covid-19 — the ‘19’ indicating this virus’s first emergence, in 2019. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 49
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below: Eric Swartz, Sarah Christine Bolton, and their children, Mae Swartz (10) and Amon Swartz (7).
or video producer Eric Swartz, the first inkling he was coming down with covid-19 was a chill in the night. “I blew it off, jumped under the covers, and got warm,” he says. “The next day, I just felt kinda off. I had a business meeting with someone, and of course I masked the whole time. The person I met with did not get sick.” Early messaging about mask wearing was confusing. Epidemiologists with the Centers for Disease Control
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY REV. JOHN WILKINS AND ERIC SWARTZ
above: FaceTime was a lifeline for Rev. Wilkins, allowing him to stay in touch with his family while he was in the hospital.
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld is the medical director for the nose and mouth. “You sneeze in your hands, then infectious disease at Baptist Memorial Health Care and you shake hands with someone else,” says Threlkeld. a third-generation Memphis doctor. He has been on the “They touch their face without washing their hands. medical frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic. That’s our experience with a lot of respiratory viruses. Threlkeld says SARS-CoV-2 is unlike any virus he has And so, [with covid-19] there was no reason to asever encountered. sume otherwise.” “It approaches uniquely in both the Multiple studies had found that “Covid-19’s ability to widespread array of symptoms that droplets containing viable virus parpick and choose who it can cause, and also in its incredible ticles couldn’t travel through the air variability of how it affects people,” more than six feet — hence the need it is going to make he says. “We can certainly say that the for “social distancing.” But as scientists seriously ill is, I think, elderly are heavily affected. Obesity traced patients’ contacts and conductunsurpassed, and unlike seems to be a strong risk factor, and ed tests on smaller, “aerosolized” dropheart problems certainly seem to be lets, Threlkeld says “circumstantial anything I’ve ever seen.” important. But I can assure you that we evidence began to arise that people — Dr. Stephen Threlkeld have people in their twenties, thirties, were getting this from a little farther forties, and fifties who have been critaway from one another, and without ically ill. Many times we can’t really find a classic risk touching things.” factor. Its ability to pick and choose who it is going to The conclusion was startling. Instead of falling quickmake seriously ill is, I think, unsurpassed, and unlike ly to the floor, it seemed that viral particles riding on anything I’ve ever seen.” aerosolized droplets could linger in the air, especially after being expelled forcefully from the mouth of n late May, Leslie K. Nelson had a friend an infected person. Inhaling just a few of those tiny who seemed perfectly healthy sleep on her couch for particles probably won’t result in an infection. But in a night. On June 1st, the friend was treated for what a confined, poorly ventilated space, the droplets can they believed was heatstroke. It was covid-19. Nelson create an invisible cloud containing a large enough herself started to feel sick on June 8th. Three days later, viral load to cause illness. she was admitted to the hospital. The original SARS-CoV, which caused a 2003 epi“I called because I couldn’t breathe,” she says. “I was demic of respiratory disease in Asia, was only transcoughing, constant migraine, hot, sweaty, hurting all mitted by people who were exhibiting symptoms. Early over. I could not focus at all.” in the current pandemic, doctors posited SARS-CoV-2 There are many different types of coronaviruses, would be similar. It is not. covid-19 patients can be which are so named because, when viewed by an elecinfectious up to 48 hours before they develop a fever, tron microscope, they resemble the sun’s corona. Some cough, or chills. And a significant percentage of people well-known coronaviruses cause the common cold, infected with the virus never show any symptoms at all. spread by droplets of moisture and saliva expelled from Threlkeld says this is a nightmare scenario. “Asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is a very important characteristic of this infection that has really kept us on our heels the entire time,” he says. “It’s very difficult to chase that ghost and do effective contact tracing if a lot of those contacts never got sick.” If an infectious person spends time in a crowded space, like a bar or church, his or her presence can cause a “superspreader event.” Under normal circumstances, a covid-19 patient can be expected to infect one or two other people. In one well-documented superspreader event, a South Korean man visited three dance clubs in one night and infected 54 people. “These large events are probably a very important piece in keeping the virus spreading in the community,” says Threlkeld. “A wedding where people come from out of town may generate 50 cases among them. And then each of those people goes back and might spread it within their home. So all of a sudden, you have brush fires that get out of control.”
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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY DR. STEPHEN THRELKELD
knew that conventional masks would not offer the wearer much protection against infection, so they initially did not recommend them. But once the possibility of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread came to light, the equation reversed. Masking protects the community more than the individual mask-wearer. Masks prevent droplets emerging from the mouth and nose from becoming airborne, greatly decreasing the possibility of transmission. And the simple measure turns out to be surprisingly effective. Widespread masking, combined with basic social distancing and regular hand-washing, could effectively prevent large-scale covid-19 outbreaks, even in the absence of a vaccine. “We need to keep all three of those elements on the front burner to combat this virus,” says Threlkeld, “And of course, for heaven’s sake, don’t go around other people if you are sick.” When Swartz’s fever started to climb, his wife, Sarah Christine Bolton, decided to quarantine him in their bedroom. His shortness of breath got much worse. “I started feeling like any normal activity I would do, like just walking out to the garden, would leave me feeling exhausted,” he says. “I had a lot of work coming up that weekend, so I had to suddenly call and get somebody to cover my jobs. Even just thinking hard and trying to arrange that was exhausting. The other weird part about it was being quarantined in your own house, separate from everyone you’re normally with every day, and having food brought to the door and all that stuff. And of course, I was worried that I had already exposed them.” Threlkeld says the isolation of quarantine “adds a level of suffering to this infection that just makes it harder for everybody involved. It’s something that I think the average person out there who hasn’t experienced it in their family or in a close friend has a hard time really understanding.” To alleviate the isolation, nurses have taken to arranging video calls between covid-19 patients and their relatives. Rev. Wilkins woke up after 17 days on an ICU ventilator, but he remained in the hospital for another month. His only contact with his daughters was through FaceTime. “That was a real blessing,” he says. Despite their best efforts to prevent the virus from spreading in their home, Swartz, Bolton, and their two children all started showing symptoms of covid-19. But when the family was tested, only their daughter’s test came back positive. “At that point they told us, well, because she’s positive, and you’ve all had the same symptoms, we just assume that you all have it,” says Bolton. “For whatever reason, I think the tests are kind of persnickety.” Threlkeld says the nasal swab test commonly administered at testing centers is designed to detect the presence of viral RNA. “You can largely trust a positive test, but a negative test is very problematic,” he says. “If you have a hundred people with the infection, it may miss 20 to 30 of those people. And consequently, we still have to go with our clinical impression when we evaluate people. A colleague of mine clearly had the infection — and upon further, more sophisticated testing, was shown to have the infection — but he had three separate, well-performed, appropriate nasal swabs that were all negative.” How did that happen? “I do not know, but the test is
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld is the medical director for Infectious Disease at Baptist Memorial Health Care. He has been on the front lines of the battle against covid-19 in Memphis. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 51
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far from perfect at finding everybody out there with the infection,” says Threlkeld. “So if I see someone who has lost their sense of taste and smell, and who has a cough and shortness of breath, I am not going to send that person back to work. I think at that point, the clinical impression becomes better than the test in your hand.”
Threlkeld also mentions “sort of a brain fog that people tend to have after this infection. A couple of my physician friends have described that fairly heavily. They have to think harder about something than they’re used to, and things don’t come as easily to them. We hope those things will be short-lived, but there are any number of things out there that people are complaining eslie K. Nelson spent eight days in the of for a longer period of time. So I think there are probhospital before being sent home to make room ably several factors that come into play as to why that happens. So many people have so many different manfor other patients, once her doctors thought she was on the road to recovery. But Nelson ifestations of this infection, it’s hard turned out to be a “long-hauler.” Her to lump those things into something “For heaven's sake, illness ebbed and returned over the that’s easily studied.” course of months. “Symptoms develop Truck driver Christopher “Bootdon’t go around other at different times, even new ones, like sie” Duebner started to feel ill in a people if you are sick.” tendinitis and ringing in my ears,” she Kentucky hotel room. The 27-yearold Memphian thought it might be says. “My taste never totally went away. — Dr. Stephen Threlkeld It changed, got weird. Some things got covid-19, so he returned home and really awful. Chocolate tasted like oil.” quarantined himself. Duebner’s longThe long-term effects of covid-19 are only now betime neighbor Eileen Knoblock says Duebner was a ginning to be understood, says Threlkeld. “A lot of times, normal, healthy guy. “He doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t those situations turn into three or four things. Some of drink to excess by any definition,” she says. “He doesn’t them are people who had a severe infection and may do drugs. My son talked to him on Thursday, and asked have some leftover lung damage. That certainly happens if he needed any food or anything, offered to drop it off not just with SARS-CoV-2, but with other things as well. on the porch. He said no, he had everything he needed. There are some unusual symptoms that we do not fully Then on Saturday, he got worse, and his girlfriend took understand yet. Some of the patients I’ve taken care of him to the hospital. They put him on oxygen. Then on Sunday, my son told me they were going to put him on with this infection have had, for example, neuropathy — a respirator. He looked at me and said, ‘Mom, Bootsie’s painful burning in the legs. We don’t have an explanation for it. How long will it last? We don’t know.” healthy.’ I didn’t want to say anything, but I knew it wasn’t going to be good.” By Tuesday, Duebner’s kidneys were failing. “The next night he died,” Knoblock says. “It’s like a slap in the face. How can he be so alive, and so full of life, and then he’s just gone?” Many young people with strong immune systems think they have nothing to fear from the virus. “The immune system is a great thing, but it sometimes doesn’t know when to quit,” says Threlkeld, describing the phenomenon known as a cytokine storm. “The problem is, sometimes when you get the infection, there are a couple of stages. After seven days or so with headache, maybe a cough, maybe a fever and other symptoms, sometimes the immune system just jumps out of control and, in an attempt to kill the virus, severely damages our lungs, and sometimes other parts of the body, by mistake.”
Leslie K. Nelson is among the subset of covid-19 patients known as “long-haulers,” whose debilitating symptoms have persisted for months after her infection.
hrelkeld is encouraged by the rate of scientific advances providing new tools to fight the virus. Vaccine research appears to be progressing quickly, but it could still be a year before an effective product could be distributed. Another promising technique involves isolating and cloning antibodies from patients who have recovered from the disease. “This is a technology that is changing the face of medicine,” says Threlkeld. “For us to be able to get a good antibody that will attack this virus is potentially a big gain for us moving forward. It could a whole lot more effective than anything we have now.” In the meantime, Threlkeld continues to emphasize how important it is for everyone to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash their hands: “When you start talking about having this virus run roughshod through our entire nation, it would certainly be a death toll like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes.”
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY LESLIE K. NELSON
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9 01 H E A LT H
EPIDEMICS THROUGH THE AGES I
n a sense, we’re lucky. The triumph of hygiene and modern medicine has greatly reduced the threat of viral and bacterial transmitted disease. Very few Americans alive today have ever had the experience of living through a true pandemic. But for most of human history, we have been stalked by deadly disease, and occasionally an outbreak spins out of control.
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THE PLAGUE OF ATHENS (430 BCE)
While some Sanskrit scholars have found references to inﬂuenza outbreaks in Babylon more than 3,000 years ago, the ﬁrst well-documented epidemic was the PlAGUE OF ATHENS. Thucydides’ account in his History of the Peloponnesian War has elements that sound familiar today. Athens, a cosmopolitan port city and early model of democracy, was embroiled in a long-simmering war with Sparta when a mysterious disease emerged from far-off Ethiopia. The plague, which announced itself with a sudden fever and sore throat, tore through a population swollen with soldiers and refugees. Physicians who tried to comfort the sick were among the ﬁrst victims. More than 100,000 died within the Long Walls of Athens. Spartan troops retreated from the siege after seeing piles of burning dead. Thucydides believed that the large number of sailors who died of the disease was enough to tip the balance of the war against Athens. The true nature of the disease which changed the course of ancient history remains unknown.
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THE PLAGUE OF JUSTINIAN (541-549 CE)
It had been a rough century for the Roman Empire, but things were looking up until the PLAGUE ARRIVED. The Plague of Justinian, named for the emperor who contracted the disease in 542, killed about 20 percent of Constantinople and ravaged Justinian’s partially restored empire. It was humankind’s ﬁrst bout with the bubonic plague, which was believed to have traveled to the imperial capital by rats stowing away aboard Egyptian grain ships. Dealing with the social fallout of the plague exhausted Justinian’s budget, and his attempt to retake Rome from the occupying Goths ﬁzzled. Although it continued in name for another thousand years, the plague effectively spelled the end of the Roman Empire.
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In the mid-14th century, a mutant strain oF THE BACTERIA YERSINIA PESTIS emerged somewhere on thE ASIAN STEPPE. The bubonic plague traveled with merchants on the Silk Road until it reached the shores of the Black Sea, where, once again, ﬂeas hitching rides on merchant ship rats spread it throughout the Mediterranean. By the time it came ashore in Italy, it had mutated again. The Pneumonic Plague was transmitted via aerosols like a coronavirus,
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of infected people died within a week of the first sign of fever. By the time the final wave of the pandemic subsided, half of Europe was dead. The Black Death led to the development of the quarantine, first implemented in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
THE COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE (1492-1596)
True pandemics happen when a population is exposed to new pathogens. The most striking example of this phenomenon in human history was the European conquest of the New World. The inhabitants of North and South America were cut off from the rest of humanity for at least 10,000 years until Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492, bringing with him a variety of exotic European diseases. When he set foot on the island of Hispaniola, the Tanio people he encountered numbered about 60,000. Waves of smallpox, measles, and bubonic plague swept through the island, and 50 years later, less than 500 Tanio survived. By the time the Conquistadors set out to subdue the Aztecs, a smallpox outbreak had done their work for them. As many as 56 million Native Americans died over the course of a century, perhaps 90 percent of the pre-Columbian population. So much cropland was abandoned to forest in North and South America that atmospheric carbon dioxide fell, causing a period of climactic cooling known as the Little Ice Age.
YELLOW FEVER (1873-1878)
The yellow fever epidemic which spread up the Mississippi Delta in the 1870s may be small by historical standards, but it was very significant to Memphis. Two waves of the mosquito-borne disease ripped through the Bluff City, killing thousands. Refugees spread the fever as far away as Chattanooga. The city’s tax base collapsed and the city’s charter was revoked. According to historian Mary Caldwell Crosby, “the yellow fever epidemic of 1878 altered the fabric of the city forever.”
THE SPANISH FLU (1918-1920)
In January, 1918, the A/H1N1 influenza virus made the leap from pigs to humans on a farm in Haskell County, Kansas. It soon spread to Camp Funston, an Army base where soldiers were training for the European battlefields of World War I. By March 11, it was in Queens, New York. By April, it had reached the Western Front in France. Like the Plague of Justinian, it acquired the name Spanish Flu in May, when King Alfonso XIII of Spain became the most prominent early victim. Troop movements and the Russian Revolution hastened the spread of the deadly disease. By the end of the war, 900,000 German soldiers had come down with the flu. While most influenza strains kill the old and infirm, A/H1N1 preyed on the young, especially during the second wave which decimated Europe in the winter of 1918. The great flu marked the first time masks were used to prevent the spread of respiratory illness. By the time the final wave subsided in the spring of 1920, 500 million people had been infected, and 50 million were dead.
EVEN IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY AND CHANGE
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A lifetime of giving back to Memphis.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ERICK ANDERSON
by alex greene
have always and only worked for nonprofits.” That’s the first thing Barbara “Babs” Feibelman tells me as our conversation begins. As she reviews the many roles she’s played in Memphis since the 1970s, it follows naturally that she’s now grown into a position of her own creation that is independent of, yet deeply involved in, the city’s thriving nonprofit community. Having stayed true to her calling, she’s made it her business to facilitate the sharing of hard-won wisdom. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 57
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“We’re not in the commerce of fees, we’re in the commerce of ideas. So we trade ideas and we don’t send a bill at the end.” — Bill Craddock
She’s not alone in this mission, of course. Indeed, the collective nature of such a project is very much the point of her latest success story, Give Back Memphis. But to really understand that initiative, you have to see how it’s informed by the practical knowledge she’s been accumulating for more than 40 years. She spelled it out for me in a Zoom meeting that also included her partner at Give Back Memphis, Bill Craddock. “When I first came to Memphis, I briefly worked at Rhodes College, doing some counseling,” Feibelman says. “And then I started working at Planned Parenthood, in their education department. It was an amazing time. We worked at churches and all kinds of schools. We were invited places then, in the 1970s and ’80s, that you couldn’t get invited to today. In fact, we had a very significant grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, to make what we called ‘trigger films,’ and develop a curriculum to go with those films.” That project eventually led her to travel widely, distributing the films and training teachers. “We traveled all over the country and into Canada,” she says. The bit
of perspective this afforded also led Babs to broaden her professional horizons. “I decided to go back to school after that. I had already gotten a master’s in counseling, while I was doing all that early work. And then I realized that I really liked business and marketing, so I went back to school and got an MBA and at that point started working at ArtsMemphis. To start an artsin-the-schools program.” Eventually, she would become the executive director of ArtsMemphis. Yet, as it turned out, her ten years there were but a prelude to the far-ranging experience Babs would garner when she stepped out as a private consultant. “I did a lot of projects for foundations,” she explains, “reviewing applications and organizations that wanted funding, doing research. I also did strategic planning and mentoring for nonprofit organizations. I found that work very fulfi lling, and I did it for more than 20 years, working for a number of organizations. Each time I had a project I had a little notebook, and I remember going through them, thinking, ‘This is crazy for me to keep things.’” Perhaps she intuited that one day
there would be a way to put that prior experience to work.
n the meantime, she had been raising a family with Jef, her husband of 52 years and a longtime attorney with Burch, Porter & Johnson. Having known their son Adam since before he was a law professor at Tulane, not to mention their son Lewis, a Boston-based artist based, I can personally attest to Mr. and Mrs. Feibelman’s magnanimous tendencies, especially when it comes to providing snacks to their progeny’s motley crew of friends. Indeed, their Central Gardens home has become a de facto salon of sorts for local creatives of all ages. Bill Craddock comes from the same Midtown milieu, and, as we speak, seems a little in awe of Babs’ track record. “I’ve learned a lot from her,” he says admiringly. “My background is business. I sold my company in 1991 and worked for the Episcopal Church for 25 years, then retired five years ago. And Babs, in her persistent, persuasive, and professional way, got me involved in this dream and scheme that she named Give Back Memphis.” Ultimately, this dream came to life when Babs and Bill realized they weren’t the only people eager to share a lifetime of practical wisdom. As Bill explains, “There are a lot of people our age, and younger and older, who want to make a difference in this world. So we both felt we could develop an initiative that would identify and recruit professional experienced people from all walks of life to work directly with nonprofits on a pro bono basis.” The simplicity of the concept has been the key to Give Back Memphis’ success: connect good people with good organizations, pro bono. Since beginning with a single client in 2016, the organization has now assisted 39 different nonprofits in the city, with revenues ranging from $10,000 to $7 million. The average Give Back Memphis client generates approximately $800,000 in revenue and has a staff size of seven, and around 20 percent of their clients are repeat customers.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MAYSIE CRADDOCK
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LOC A L T R E A SU R ES
“Give Back Memphis clients work to address issues that include domestic violence, human trafficking, homelessness, civil rights, economic development, sports, education, and health, fostering creativity, and promoting the arts.” — Babs Feibelman
hen I a sk a bout their operating budget, Bill chuckles. Both Babs and Bill work on a pro bono basis with Give Back Memphis. “Well, when we have our consultant gatherings, Babs and I pay for the coffee.” And then he makes a more serious point: “We’re not in the commerce of fees, we’re in the commerce of ideas. So we trade ideas and we don’t send a bill at the end. As a matter of fact, we don’t have a bank account. We’re not a 501(c)3. We don’t have a financial budget. We have a strategy, we have a process, we have evaluations, we have a structure.” Working as a lean operation outside of the conventional consultancy field is the great strength of Give Back Memphis, according to Babs. The advisors they recruit tend not to be from the nonprofit world. “Most of them have not been consultants, either in the nonprofit or for-profit world,” she points out. “Most of them have actually worked in the for-profit arena, and they have been remarkably successful. All of the people we’ve recruited as consultants have stellar backgrounds and experiences. And that’s what they bring. They’ve been engaged in strategic planning and have been able to use those experiences to help an organization. People who do human resources with us have worked in that field. That’s been their life’s work. Same with marketing. And quite a few, particularly the lawyers who are volunteers, tend to be generalists.” With more than 50 volunteers to draw from, Give Back Memphis can usually find a good match for the needs of any given nonprofit. The size of the consultancy pool they can draw from is a testament to the fact that Babs’ and Bill’s instincts were right: Individuals who have distinguished themselves over long careers want to do more than play golf. A statement from Give Back Memphis notes some of their common characteristics: “Our consultants are experienced professionals such as lawyers, accountants, marketing professionals, former executive directors of organizations, business
owners, and senior managers. Collectively in 2019, had they charged their usual rate, they donated over $375,000 in time/ talent spent on pro bono consulting on behalf of Give Back Memphis. We have also relied on our consultants to help steer our program through our continuous improvement efforts.”
ur consultants are the backbone of Give Back Memphis,” adds Babs. And yet, though she and Bill tend to emphasize the importance of these volunteers above all other factors, the organization’s momentum and focus ultimately depend on the two founders’ insights. They are doing more than facilitating networks. In a sense, they are meta-consultants. From the very first meeting, the founders’ depth of experience helps define the tone and direction of their client engagement, as they identify exactly what kind of specialist(s) a nonprofit needs. As Babs says, “We organize the first meeting between the consultants and the executive director and board chair. We introduce them. Each project has a work plan, and they work together on the work plan with us: the purpose of the engagement, the outcomes that they’re hoping for, the deliverables, the time frame. And very often the work plan is not what the organization started asking us for. But as we meet with them and get to know them better, even before we bring in the consultant, it’s a dialogue. Where they might say, ‘I want fundraising, I need somebody in fundraising,’ we start talking to them about their board, and it turns out they’ve got a dysfunctional board. People don’t show up, or there are no committees. So we’ll suggest that phase one should be board development, for example.” However, after the initial meetings and work plan have been established, and specific consultants have been recruited for the engagement, Bill and Babs step back. “We say, you know how to find us,” says Babs. “And some of them will send us materials as they go along. A few of them
will call us and say, what do you think about this? By and large, we contact them when a couple months have passed and make sure everything’s okay. But they take it from there.” Beyond the numbers, who is benefiting from these good works? What impact is Give Back Memphis having on the ground? The spectrum of clients is as wide and diverse as Memphis itself. As some of their materials state, “Give Back Memphis clients work to address issues that include domestic violence, human trafficking, homelessness, civil rights, economic development, sports, education, and health, fostering creativity, and promoting the arts. Give Back Memphis clients also serve the breadth of our community, from children and youth, to women and girls, fathers and families, veterans, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.”
ne of their great success stories was Indie Memphis, right out of the starting gate. As detailed by editor Greg Akers in a Memphis Business Journal profile of the nonprofit last year, Give Back Memphis stepped in just as the local film organization was experiencing a major crisis. After starting with a bang in 2008, by 2015 the Indie Memphis organization and its namesake film festival were experiencing, as Akers writes, “a near-death experience” and “an existential crisis.” According to Akers, “the festival seemed to suffer from being understaffed and too ambitious.” As the article explains: Indie Memphis needed help with governance, strategic planning, and growth — all areas in which Give Back Memphis could offer assistance. And so the festival was chosen through ArtsMemphis to be a pilot recipient of Give Back Memphis’ work. “That was huge for us,” [Indie Memphis president Molly] Wexler said. “Give Back Memphis helped us with a strategic planning and fundraising, and gave us access to focus groups — all for free.” Indie Memphis worked closely with consultant Barbara Prescott. She helped the festival fill out and stay on
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track with its strategic plan, Wexler said, including ensuring there was a development person on the staff — a first for Indie Memphis. “We hadn’t come up with a clearly thought-out development strategy before,” Wexler said. “The strategy was no longer ‘let’s just go make money.’” “Give Back Memphis’ help was probably more valuable than any financial support,” [ArtsMemphis CEO Elizabeth] Rouse said. From the outside, things may not have appeared to skip a beat. But, with a fresh board and leadership, and new insights and training, Indie Memphis had turned a calamity into an opportunity.
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than any financial support.” — Elizabeth Rouse, ArtsMemphis CEO
any others have benefited in similar ways. “There’s a little organization called PURE,” explains Bill. “It wanted to develop a program for youth development for young Black boys providing residential housing, home- schooling, and development of character, confidence, and trust in a safe community. Also, their focus is football with the goal of receiving college scholarships.” Nonetheless, as with most of us, this was the idealized end of the story, before the days of covid-19. Now, it seems, PURE is stuck in a quarantine-era coda to that tale, an experience that’s been all too common among nonprofits everywhere. Says Bill, “Nonprofits, like everyone, are stymied by the virus. How could Give Back Memphis formally address this issue with our nonprofits? Over the past few months we’ve been networking with the Community Foundation, Kevin Dean of Momentum Nonprofit Partners, and with Elizabeth Rouse of ArtsMemphis. We sought their advice on ‘How fast can our pro bono consultant resource support nonprofits?’ We
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developed a covid-19 response program with resources to mentors to work with executive directors and also offer financial planning and projections.” Give Back Memphis could also guide nonprofits on how to make their fundraising more social media-centric. All of this, Babs adds, makes Give Back Memphis all the more indispensable. “The need for pro bono work is greater now than it’s ever been,” she says. And with an eye to that, Bill and Babs are considering ways their brainchild can thrive and
“The need for pro bono work is greater now than it’s ever been.” grow without them. “Scalability” is how Bill defines the issue, and it’s one that many of their own clients, like Indie Memphis, have faced: how to build on the success of a scrappy, independent volunteer organization and grow, without sacrificing the very f lexibility that has helped them thrive thus far? It may be that it’s a simple matter of character. All of Give Back Memphis builds on Babs’ original vision of pure altruism, which she in turn credits to her parents. “It brings me back to my parents and the examples they set,” she muses. “I vividly remember how my mother became the president of the parent-teacher association for my school, P.S. 95 in New York. It was a highly charged political environment and the activist parents recruited her to serve. My father was the neighborhood Civil Defense representative — those were the days when we thought we were going to be attacked. When we moved south, my parents continued their professional careers and their civic engagement.” And thus it rolls on, as her example inspires others to carry on in a like manner, fueled only by free coffee, bountiful snacks, and a burning desire to serve. For more information: givebackmemphis.org
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Letter from the MAIS Executive Committee August 2020
his year presents a great challenge to parents who do not wish their children to fall behind during the uncertain times presented by the current pandemic. Most of the local schools that are opening on time in Memphis are independent schools. They are nimble, responsive to parents’ needs, and able to pivot between campus and home instruction. The Memphis Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) represents 34 of the region’s ﬁnest private schools, each of which is unique, and all of which share a commitment to setting educational excellence, meeting the needs of individual students, and building a stronger community. In the Mid-South, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of high-quality educational opportunities, public, charter, and independent. Independent schools in the Memphis area are numerous and varied. Parents inquiring at these schools generally are interested in strong academics, small class sizes, and innovative approaches to education that will best prepare their children for college. What does “independent” mean? Each MAIS member school is guided by its own mission, maps its own curriculum, develops its own programs, creates its own educational environment, and is governed by its own board. We are independent in our educational offerings and in whom we serve. Among our members, you will ﬁnd a variety of schools designed for speciﬁc ages, gender, religious afﬁliations, and special needs. Our teaching and learning environments range from traditional to progressive. All MAIS schools nurture intellectual curiosity, encourage critical thinking, and promote personal growth. Students from all socioeconomic backgrounds attend independent schools, and many schools work with families to help meet the costs associated with an independent school education. Some offer monthly payment options, while many offer ﬁnancial aid grants, which are discounts on tuition.
With the autonomy to implement programs free from state mandates, independent schools are able to create innovative curricula that meet the ever-changing needs of students. Individual attention is a hallmark of independent schools, where smaller class sizes enable them to foster a variety of learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Teachers at independent schools develop an understanding of their students’ learning styles and potential, expect all students to succeed, and encourage students to value perseverance and achievement. In this environment, students form relationships with their teachers, which frequently lead to greater academic success and often transcend the school day as teachers become life mentors for students. Independent schools not only nurture students’ intellectual ability and curiosity but also their social growth and civic conscience. Opportunities extend well beyond the classroom for athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and leadership experiences. Students and teachers of independent schools are engaged citizens, volunteering throughout the Mid-South. Community service, whether required or voluntary, is a core component of MAIS schools. When choosing a school, parents are wise to seek out one whose mission, values, and teaching philosophy are right for their family and to consider the community, curriculum, and extracurriculars that answer the essential question, “Is this school a good ﬁt for my child?” As you read through this publication, we hope you will want to learn more about the outstanding educational opportunities that exist in the schools that comprise the Memphis Association of Independent Schools (MAIS). We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Memphis Magazine in presenting this information. MAIS is proud to represent the families of the nearly 18,000 students who attend independent schools in the Mid-South. We invite you to schedule visits and tour MAIS campuses. We will welcome you!
Albert L. Throckmorton
MAIS President Head of School, St. Mary’s Episcopal School
MAIS Vice President Head of School, New Hope Christian Academy
MAIS Treasurer Head of School, Christ Methodist Day School
MAIS Secretary Principal, Christ the King Lutheran School
MAIS Past President Head of School, Harding Academy of Memphis
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY RHODES COLLEGE
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Our mission is to provide a superior educational experience for girls age 2 years old through 12th grade that will encourage and enable each student to reach her individual potential. St. Mary’s promotes the development of honest, compassionate, and confident girls and young women who excel not only in academics but also in athletics, the arts, community service, and leadership.
60 Perkins Extended | Memphis, TN | (901) 537-1405 | www.stmarysschool.org St. Mary’s does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnic or national origin in admission or in any other activities or programs of the School.
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Q&A with Albert Throckmorton
MEMBERS Bodine School
Head of School St. Mary’s Episcopal School
Bornblum Jewish Community School Briarcrest Christian School Christ Methodist Day School Christ the King Lutheran School
What is an independent school and what are the requirements to become an MAIS school? An independent school is a school governed by an independent board and operating within certain educational standards. MAIS membership criteria include standards curriculum, policy, school calendar, ﬁnancial stability, and facilities. Member schools all subscribe to a federal nondiscriminatory admissions policy. To apply for membership, a school must either be approved by the Tennessee Department of Education, Southern Association of Independent Schools, or accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/CASI). Presently, 34 schools in the greater Memphis area are members of the association. They represent approximately 13,000 students and 1,000 staff members.
What are some of the core differences between independent education and the standard public education system?
potential and paths of their children. Whether co-ed or single-sex, day school or boarding school, faith-based or secular, each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values, and approach to teaching. The wide diversity among independent schools allows parents to ﬁnd one that is the right ﬁt for their children.
Christian Brothers High School
How does MAIS better prepare students for the future?
Collegiate School of Memphis Concord Academy Evangelical Christian School
Most independent schools are both college-preparatory and life-preparatory. They prepare students to meet the academic expectations of college and to live lives after college as responsible, productive citizens. To accomplish these far-reaching goals, schools adopt an array of choices that include learning difference accommodations, standardized test preparation, socioemotional curricula, drug and alcohol awareness programs, mind and body wellness instruction, college readiness courses, and career counseling.
First Assembly Christian School Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School Harding Academy Hutchison School Lamplighter Montessori School
How does community service tie into the MAIS curriculum?
Lausanne Collegiate School
Memphis needs all its schools — public, charter, and independent — in all their variety to thrive. Within that array of schools, parents deserve a choice when ﬁnding the school that will best ﬁt their children’s needs. Among the differences in schools, independent schools are governed by a board of trustees, not a public school board. They are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue. Independent school teachers have the freedom to create educational experiences that meet each child’s needs, without state mandates on curriculum, textbooks, or testing.
Community service programs are ubiquitous in independent schools. Some are mandatory and some are voluntary, but they all seek to teach the whole individual in mind, soul, and body. Part of that mission includes developing the student’s sense of their community and their responsibility to serve and understand their neighbors— locally and beyond. This kind of hands-on, experiential learning is integral to our schools’ missions of teaching the whole child, which includes ethics, civics, and, for many faith-based schools, loving your neighbor through acts of service and mercy.
Madonna Learning Center
What are some of the benefits of attending an MAIS school?
How can prospective students go about acquiring financial assistance?
Presbyterian Day School
Independent schools are close-knit communities that provide students with individualized attention. They challenge students to stretch themselves academically and through extracurricular activities to become responsible, community-oriented life-long learners. As a result, more students in independent schools enroll in advanced courses than those from public, parochial, and other private schools. Also, graduates of independent schools have a greater likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree. Since independent schools are directed at the campus level, not by a district, they can make nimble decisions in the interest of their students. Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between teachers and students and promote frequent communication with parents about the unique
A ﬁnancial aid grant is a discount on tuition; it is not a loan. Admission directors work closely with families to help them understand the costs and the types of ﬁnancial assistance that are available. Financial aid eligibility is based on many factors, so families should always investigate the possibility of receiving ﬁnancial aid if they feel they cannot pay all of the costs. Member schools that offer ﬁnancial aid typically have a needs-blind enrollment process followed by a third-party system to calculate a family’s ﬁnancial need. Financial aid resources are generally limited, so it is important to be aware of the application deadlines. Many schools also offer other ways to help families afford the investment, including monthly payment options.
Margolin Hebrew Academy Memphis University School New Hope Christian Academy Northpoint Christian School Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Rossville Christian Academy St. Agnes Academy / St. Dominic School St. Benedict at Auburndale High School St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
PHOTOGRAPH BY PAULUS RUSYANTO | DREAMSTIME
St. George’s Independent School St. Mary’s Episcopal School Tipton Rosemark Academy Trinity Christian Academy Westminster Academy Woodland Presbyterian School
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Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School 246 S. Belvedere Blvd., Memphis, TN 38104 901.278.0200 • gslschool.org • email@example.com Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School is a coed, independent school in Midtown Memphis that prepares boys and girls to become creative problem solvers, confident lifelong learners, and responsible citizens in their communities and the world. From two years old through eighth grade, we help students develop academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to ensure they are ready to achieve their full potential in high school, college, and beyond. We are proud of our three differentiators that set us apart from any other school in the area: A coed school is the best option for students from preschool through middle school. Students learn from more perspectives when both genders are involved. Coed schools reduce gender stereotypes, prepare students for a coed world, and promote collaboration, respect, and equality. GSL’s preschool-eighth grade model is the best overall environment for children from toddlers through early adolescence. Students can be kids in a safe, trusting community and are not overshadowed by high school activities. They have stability during times of change as they grow from young children into young teens, and they have more academic self-confidence.
gir l s
T SA I N
INIC OM S D EST.
N E S AC
As an Episcopal school, we are proud of our welcoming and inclusive community where families of all faiths, or no faith at all, are welcomed. We believe it is our obligation to help students understand different cultures and differing points of view in a safe place. We challenge students to develop critical thinking skills, value the beauty of curiosity, and approach problems with creative mindsets.
b oy s
St. Agnes Academy for Girls (PK2-12) St. Dominic School for Boys (PK2-8) 4830 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38117 • 901.435.5819 • saa-sds.org
Discover the Power of Being Seen At St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School, you’ll find a place where “being seen” is more than just words — it’s a deeply ingrained practice, part of a school culture that seeks to know and celebrate each and every student, guiding them on the journey as they explore and develop their individual gifts and talents.
Nine Things to Know about SAA-SDS
1. We have designed a learning plan that provides for on-campus classes for students, paired with remote learning if needed or appropriate. 2. A 10:1 student: teacher ratio allows for individualized attention. 3. Our Variable Tuition Model offers a plan to meet a variety of financial situations. 4. A full time nurse practitioner and certified athletic trainer care for the health of our school community. 5. Two counselors in the Lower School and four counselors in the High School enhance the academic and social
experience of every student. 6. S ingle-gender education allows students to thrive in an environment tailored to the different ways girls and boys learn. 7. Our Jr. High (7th & 8th grade) provides co-ed learning experiences for our students. 8. A s a Catholic school, we welcome faculty and students of all denominations and support the spiritual growth of all our students. 9. The Class of 2020 earned over $12 million in scholarships and attends colleges including Notre Dame, Stanford, and Northwestern. Whether we are learning together on campus or remotely, our commitment to our students never changes and learning never stops. Our students continue to be engaged, connected, and celebrated. Connect with an Admissions Director today to learn more and schedule a tour. 2020 MAIS GUIDE • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 5
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2432 Yester Oaks Dr., Germantown, TN 38139 901.754.1800 • bodineschool.org firstname.lastname@example.org
15090 Highway 64, Somerville, TN 38068 901.465.3241 • fayetteacademy.org
Inspiring Minds for Learning and Hearts for Christ Fayette Academy is a college preparatory school dedicated to nurturing each student’s intellectual, spiritual, and moral potential within a safe, childcentered, and supportive learning environment. Our mission is to inspire each student’s mind for learning and heart for Christ by providing an interactive learning environment, new experiences, and access to the latest programs and technology designed to expand the student experience and deepen their understanding of their environment and the world. Meeting each family on their current journey, Fayette Academy provides in-person and virtual learning to all of our students from PK3 through 12th grade.
Bodine School serves students in grades 1-6 who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. The core curriculum at all grade levels focuses on fundamental skills in language arts and mathematics, while the cornerstone of Bodine’s language arts instruction is the daily Orton-Gillingham (O-G) lesson. O-G instruction is delivered in class sizes of ten students or fewer, and all classroom teachers participate in intensive, ongoing O-G training. Bodine School’s Instructional Program was recently accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE), demonstrating Bodine’s commitment to dyslexia remediation.
First Assembly Christian School
8650 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, TN 38018 901.458.5543 • facsmemphis.org
Northpoint Christian School 7400 Getwell Road, Southaven, MS 38672 662.349.5127 • 662.349.3096 ncstrojans.com
CHARACTER FIRST! God has entrusted us with His most precious possession: children. At FACS, educators and parents work together to make disciples with strong minds and brave faith who are academically and spiritually prepared to lead in their generation.
Northpoint Christian School is a Christ-centered college preparatory school located in North Mississippi just minutes from Memphis, Collierville, and the surrounding area. Our students are taught to know and honor Jesus Christ, grow in knowledge and wisdom, and reach their God-given potential through every aspect of student life. We provide a distinctive Christian education for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade in a safe, nurturing environment with low teacher-pupil ratio. Our fully accredited program offers well-rounded extracurricular opportunities through academics, athletics, and arts at the elementary and high school level. We We’re open! seek to enroll well-rounded, academically motivated students without Our students in grades PreK-12 are in class five days a week. Schedule a tour regard to race, color, creed, sex, ethnic or natural origin. Call today to set today at gofacs.com or call 901.458.5543. up an appointment to tour the campus and meet with our admissions FACS is a coeducational, multi-denominational Christian school located department. one mile east of Germantown Parkway on Walnut Grove Road. 6 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 2020 MAIS GUIDE
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Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School 8151 Poplar Avenue, Germantown, TN, 38138 901.753.1181 • fax 901.754.1475 • olphowls.org
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School is a co-educational Catholic School dedicated to providing an accredited child-centered school of developmentally appropriate excellence, serving all qualified children of any race, creed, national or ethnic origin. OLPH offers accredited programs for preschool through eighth grade. In addition to the robust academic offerings, OLPH offers a variety of extra curricular and extended day offerings for all age levels. Our Lady of Perpetual Help School is firmly rooted in Christian values and offers an environment designed for the optimal development of the whole child a emphasized throughout the school program. It is the mission of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School to instill in our students the fundamental beliefs of the Roman Catholic faith, ensuring quality learning experiences with the highest regard for individual differences, while preparing them to live in a changing world as self-directed, caring, responsible citizens.
To advertise in the September 2021 Memphis Area Independent Schools Guide please contact Margie Neal at: 901.521.9000 or email@example.com.
OPEN HOUSES: Oct. 22, 6pm Middle School Oct. 29, 9:30am Elementary Nov. 5, 6:30pm High School Nov. 12, 6:30pm Elementary
Jennifer Young Elementary STEM Teacher
BS from Georgia Tech MS Ed from Georgia State Industrial Engineer Teaching Certified in: Science, Chemistry, Particle Dynamics, Electromagnetism, Physics, Optics
Our teachers are superheroes. 2020 MAIS GUIDE • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 7
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Discover what the Brotherhood can do for you!
Schedule your tour today at CBHS.org!
Men for Tomorrow, Brothers for Life. 5900 Walnut Grove Road Memphis, Tennessee 38120 Learn more at CBHS.org/admissions
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ARTIST. CH EERLEADER. SCIENTIST. She gets to be all of these things at Harding. Schedule a Tour SR. K–GRADE 12 (East Memphis)
18 MOS.–JR. K
(East Memphis & Cordova)
901-767-4494 | HARDINGLIONS.ORG 2020 MAIS GUIDE • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 9
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WE HELP STUDENTS
THRIVE EVEN DURING CHALLENGING TIMES
We’re preparing to welcome students back to campus on August 17. Learn the steps we’re taking to keep our community safe! Check out our Virtual Admission Center today to see why our co-educational, PK through 12th grade East Memphis campus is the best place for your child to thrive. Visit lausanneschool.com/virtualadmission today.
1381 West Massey Road, Memphis, TN 901.474.1030 | firstname.lastname@example.org | lausanneschool.com
Now More Than Ever
For Boys in Grades 7-12 l musowls.org
Our passion for teaching and learning never goes offline. MM_NMTE_Ad.indd 1
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Open House: November 5, 9am • 901.842.4600 • pds.school
Students engage in active instruction by agile teachers who meet individual needs— whether on campus or learning from home. St. George’s offers flexibility and support for parents as they consider what works best for their family. Schedule a tour at sgis.org/come-visit-us. We look forward to sharing our reopening plans! 2020 MAIS GUIDE • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 11
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Woodland combines small class sizes, dedicated teachers, and personalized instruction to help grow your child’s success. Call 901-685-0976 to schedule a tour, or email admissionswoodlandschool.org. A co-ed, 2-year-old – 8th grade independent school in the heart of East Memphis. woodlandschool.org ©2019 Woodland Presbyterian School. All rights reserved.
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needs a mentor, every mentor
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2020 Guide to Memphis Area Independent Schools Bodine School 2432 Yester Oaks Drive Germantown, 38139 bodineschool.org 754-1800 GRADES/GENDER: 1st-6th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Non-denominational/dyslexia ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 83; 5:1 TUITION: check with ofﬁce; ﬁnancial aid available BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Bornblum Jewish Community School 6641 Humphreys Boulevard, 38120 bornblum.org 747-2665 GRADES/GENDER: K-8th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Jewish ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 108; 6:1
Christian Brothers High School
Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School
5900 Walnut Grove Road, 38120 cbhs.org 261-4900 GRADES/GENDER: 9th-12th/boys RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Roman Catholic
246 South Belvedere Boulevard, 38104 gslschool.org 278-0200 GRADES/GENDER: 2 years-8th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Episcopal
ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 765; 13:1
ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 470; 9:1
BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: no
BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Collegiate School of Memphis
3353 Faxon Avenue, 38122 collegiatememphis.org 591-8200 GRADES/GENDER: 6th-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 368; 12:1 TUITION: $12,800-13,000 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes, after- only
Concord Academy 4942 Walnut Grove Road, 38117 concord-academy.org 682-3115 GRADES/GENDER: 6th-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Non-denominational/school for students with learning differences ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 65; 7:1 TUITION: $12,339-$12,922 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Evangelical Christian School (ECS)
76 South Houston Levee Road, Eads, 38028 briarcrest.com 765-4600 GRADES/GENDER: PK2-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Non-denominational ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 1,553; 11:1 TUITION: $4,900–$16,700 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Shelby Farms Middle & Upper School Campus 7600 Macon Road, 38018 ecseagles.com 754-7217 GRADES/GENDER: 6-12th/coed Lower School Campus 1920 Forest Hill-Irene Road, 38139 754-4420 GRADES/GENDER: Little Eagles (age 2)-5th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian/Non-denominational ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 730; 6:1 TUITION: $6,200-$16,800 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Christ Methodist Day School
TUITION: $9,200-$11,000 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Briarcrest Christian School
411 South Grove Park Road, 38117 cmdsmemphis.org 683-6873 GRADES/GENDER: 2K-6th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 532; 9:1 TUITION: $2,600-$13,675 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Christ the King Lutheran School 5296 Park Avenue, 38119 ctkschool.com 682-8405 GRADES/GENDER: 18 months-8th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Lutheran ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 220; 15:1 TUITION: $8,500-$8,950 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
P.O. Box 130 15090 Highway 64, Somerville, 38068 fayetteacademy.com 465-3241 GRADES/GENDER: PK3-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Non-denominational ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 600; 15:1 TUITION: 6,350-$7,700 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
First Assembly Christian School (FACS) 8650 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, 38018 facsmemphis.org 458-5543 GRADES/GENDER: PK3-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: interdenominational Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 500; 10:1 TUITION: $5,725-$11,228 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Hardinglions.org K-12 Campus 1100 Cherry Road, 38117 767-4494 GRADES/GENDER: K-12th/coed Little Harding Cordova Campus 8350 Macon Road, 38018 757-1008 GRADES/GENDER: 18 months-Jr. K Co-ed Little Harding East Memphis Campus 1106 Colonial Road, 38117 767-4063 GRADES/GENDER: 18 months-Jr. K Co-ed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 600; 7.5:1 TUITION: $11,495–$15,995 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Hutchison School 1740 Ridgeway Road, 38119 hutchisonschool.org 762-6672 GRADES/GENDER: PK2-12th/girls RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Nonsectarian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 853; 9:1 TUITION: $5,200-$22,284 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Lamplighter Montessori School 8563 Fay Road, Cordova, 38018 lamplighterschool.org 751-2000 GRADES/GENDER: 18 mos.-8th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Montessori ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 120; 5:1/12:1 TUITION: $7,200-$15,700 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Lausanne Collegiate School 1381 West Massey Road, 38120 lausanneschool.com 474-1000 GRADES/GENDER: PK-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Nonsectarian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 837; 8:1 TUITION: $15,190-$24,100 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
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Madonna Learning Center 7007 Poplar Avenue, Germantown, 38138 madonna-learning.org 752-5767 GRADES/GENDER: Non-graded/ages 4 to adult/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Non-denominational/special needs, including autism, down syndrome, developmental delays, and intellectual disabilities ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 88; 4:1 TUITION: $14,000 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Margolin Hebrew Academy Feinstone Yeshiva of the South 390 South White Station Road, 38117 mhafyos.org 682-2400 GRADES/GENDER: PK-8th/coed Upper School: Goldie Margolin High School for Girls GRADES/GENDER: 9th-12th/girls COOPER YESHIVA HIGH SCHOOL FOR BOYS GRADES/GENDER: 9th-12th/boys RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Jewish/college preparatory ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 185; 4:1 TUITION: $7,376-$19,553 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes (after- only)
Memphis University School 6191 Park Avenue, 38119 musowls.org 260-1300 GRADES/GENDER: 7th-12th/boys RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Non-denominational/college preparatory ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 665; 7:1 TUITION: $21,590 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: after- only
New Hope Christian Academy 3000 University Street, 38127 newhopememphis.org 358-3183 GRADES/GENDER: PK3-6th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 395; 9:1 TUITION: $12,500 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes (af-
ter only, K-6th)
Northpoint Christian School 7400 Getwell Road, Southaven, MS, 38672 ncstrojans.com 662-349-5127 GRADES/GENDER: PK-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 975; 15:1 TUITION: 6,850-$10,175 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Our Lady of Perpetual Help 8151 Poplar Avenue, Germantown, 38138 olphowls.org 753-1181 GRADES/GENDER: PK through 8th grade/coeducational
ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 215, 1:11
8250 POPLAR AVENUE, 38138
BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Presbyterian Day School 4025 Poplar Avenue, 38111 pdsmemphis.org 842-4600 GRADES: PK2-6; boys RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Presbyterian ENROLLMENT: 500; ratio: 9:1 TUITION: $5,400-$20,490 BEFORE AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Rossville Christian Academy 280 High Street, Rossville, 38066 rossvillechristian.com 853-0200 GRADES/GENDER: 4K-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Non-denominational ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 286; 12:1 TUITION: $2,950-$8,350 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School 4830 Walnut Grove Road, 38117 saa-sds.org 435-5819 GRADES/GENDER: 2K-12th/girls (St. Agnes), 2K-8th/ boys (St. Dominic) RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Catholic ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 775 (combined); 10:1 TUITION: $4,510-$18,475 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
St. Benedict at Auburndale High School 8250 Varnavas Drive, Cordova, 38016 sbaeagles.org 260-2840 GRADES/GENDER: 9th-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Roman Catholic/PLUS (learning differences program)/FOR ONE (Individualized Academic Path) ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 601; 16:1 TUITION: $12,325-$12,925 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: no
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School 2100 N. Germantown Parkway, Cordova, 38016 sfawolves.org 388-7321 GRADES/GENDER: age 2 years-8th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Catholic ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 430; 13:1 TUITION: $7,450-$12,000 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
St. George’s Independent School Collierville Campus 1880 Wolf River Boulevard, 38017 sgis.org 457-2000 GRADES/GENDER: 6th-12th/coed
GRADES/GENDER: 2 years old-5th grade/coed
Memphis Campus 3749 KIMBALL AVENUE, 38111 261-3920 GRADES/GENDER: PK-5th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Episcopal ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 1,115; 9:1 TUITION: $9,305-$22,150 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes (PK-8th)
St. Mary’s Episcopal School 60 Perkins Extended & 41 North Perkins Road, 38117 stmarysschool.org 537-1405 GRADES/GENDER: 2 years-12th/girls RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Episcopal ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 822; 9:1 TUITION: $3,500-$23,400 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes (after only)
Tipton-Rosemark Academy 8696 Rosemark Road, Millington, 38053 tiptonrosemarkacademy.net 829-6500 GRADES/GENDER: PK2-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 570; 13:1 TUITION: $5,588-$9,221 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Trinity Christian Academy 10 Windy City Road, Jackson, 38305 tcalions.com 731-668-8500 GRADES/GENDER: age 6 wks.-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Christian, Interdenominational ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 650; 9:1 TUITION: $5,895-$10,200 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes (including holidays)
Westminster Academy 2520 Ridgeway Road, 38119 wamemphis.com 380-9192 GRADES/GENDER: JK-12th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Classical Christian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 425; 6:1 TUITION: $7,435-$13,775 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
Woodland Presbyterian School 5217 Park Avenue, 38119 woodlandschool.org 685-0976 GRADES/GENDER: 2 years-8th/coed RELIGION/SPECIALTY: Presbyterian ENROLLMENT/STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 340; 7:1 TUITION: $4,180-$14,740 BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE: yes
2020 MAIS GUIDE • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 15
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T H E B A R B E C U E B E LT continued from page 26
SERVING MEMPHIS SINCE 1984 Memphis Magazine’s
Memphis Collierville Cordova Olive Branch
WAY OUT WEST: TEXAS
3510 Ella Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77018 • 713-869-4227
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY GATLIN’S BBQ
nfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic put the kibosh on the Texas portion of my barbecue road trip. In true barbecue fashion, though, I endeavored to make something sweet out of strife, and called Mai Pham, a food writer I know in Houston, who put me in touch with Greg Gatlin of Gatlin’s BBQ. “I got into the business back in 2007, 2008, just had a little side gig catering deal that I had with a bunch of buddies that I played football with,” Gatlin tells me over the phone. “One thing led to another, and between 2007, 2008, and 2010, that’s when we actually opened a brick-and-mortar place over in the Heights, and then things just kind of took off from there. “We grew up barbecuing and all that kind of stuff. Dads and uncles. I had a great-uncle who actually had a little place in Louisiana over near Shreveport, a little barbecue joint,” Gatlin remembers. He says he remembers watching his uncle cook up pork shoulders and shanks. “In 2015 we moved into a larger location just on the other side of the freeway from where the original was,” Gatlin says, though larger is something of an understatement — Gatlin’s went from 750 square feet up to 4,200. “It’s been an amazing ride. A lot of trials and tribulations as far as how to open up a business.” “People ask all the time. They’re like, ‘Hey, so when did your dad actually open the business?’ I was like, ‘Nah, man, he jumped on with me.’ My dad was getting ready to retire! He got pulled into this thing,” he says and laughs. “When we started the place, it was myself, my mom, and my dad.” Gatlin was doing commercial real estate appraising and was signed up for culinary school when he got thrown a curveball: “My wife and I got pregnant, and I was like, ‘You know what? This probably isn’t the time to get into this.’” He remembers thinking that he still wanted to stay in the food industry, so he went to work for the Pappas family, owners of Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Pappas Bar-B-Q, and other Texas mainstays. “One of the other employees, she came over with me. It was literally four of us in that small place,” Gatlin says, laughing. “There were some long nights and crazy mornings and all these long lines.” But, he says, “I have zero regrets.” Then the conversation turns to barbecue styles and
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As the copy editor for the Memphis Flyer, I spend a fair amount of time just looking things up. So I can’t help but notice how many news sources are behind a paywall. Just like us, they have bills to pay, of course, so I understand. You’ve got to make money somehow. Still, I believe that people have a fundamental right to information about their communities.
n an individual level, we need to know what’s going on in our communities to make good decisions for ourselves and our families. As a society, we need an informed populace in order to make wise choices for ourselves as a collective. In that sense, the Flyer provides a necessary community resource. Jackson Baker writes indisputably vital candidate coverage in the lead-up to local elections. Maya Smith and Toby Sells keep tabs on all the local news. And none of that is locked away behind a paywall. Sure, when you see my byline in the Flyer (I write as well as proofread), I’m not likely to be reporting that kind of hard news. Books, music, art — that’s my beat. But I think that being engaged with your community means being aware of both civic and cultural happenings. It’s important to keep up with the politics and policies, and with the art and events. Besides, engaging with others’ stories encourages empathy and imagination. I like to think it makes us better and more creative problem solvers. And it’s my way of supporting the Flyer folks who do report the hard news. It takes the whole package — the news, reviews, and advertisers — to make the Flyer what it is. And I like to think there’s something here every week (and every day online) for everyone. I love being a part of the cultural conversation in Memphis, and I love being a Frequent Flyer and a member of the Flyer team.
FUEL THE FREE PRESS M E M P H I S F LY E R . C O M / S U P P O R T
The Gatlin family.
“When you really, really dig into Texas barbecue, you’re really gonna be looking at brisket, which is beef, which comes from the cattle industry,” Gatlin says. “A lot of it just came out of sheer necessity,” he muses. “They were cooking and living off of what they had.” Necessity, coupled with regional differences in geography, cash crops, and livestock, created a seemingly endless array of barbecue variations. And Gatlin says they’re all valid. “Each joint has their own different spin on it,” Gatlin says. “That’s what I like. Everybody can have a taste, and it can be really good. There’s no one way to do it, even though Texas swears by what it does, Kansas City swears by what it does, Memphis swears by what it does. Carolina says, ‘Hey, you guys don’t know what you’re doin’ down South there.’ Everybody has their pride about it, but at the end of the day all of us really enjoy tasting and exploring other regions’ cuisine.” I hope that when we get through this health crisis that threatens beloved institutions, these barbecue places and others like them will be there to greet us on the other side with hugs and tears and long-delayed reunions. They’re something special, these repositories of neighborhood lore, settings for so many graduations and birthdays and business lunches and retirement parties. They have fed us, body and soul. Maybe that’s what makes barbecue such a perfect food for the moment. For its compatibility with picnics, of course, and its associations with longed-for community. But also because it was born of scarcity. And that makes barbecue the food of resilience.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY GATLIN’S BBQ
WE COULD USE YOUR
regional differences. I’ve eaten brisket, but since I wasn’t able to soak up the Texas ’cue culture on the road, I’m eager to learn. “Being in Texas, it’s a brisket state. If you don’t have brisket, people might wonder what the hell you’re doing and try to run you out of town,” Gatlin says, sounding serious. He does serve other styles, though, including pulled pork. “Houston’s gotten to be extremely diverse, and there’s a lot of transplants. You get people coming from different states, and they’re like, ‘Thank god you have pulled pork!’” Carolina is not a rib state, I learned, but the same cannot be said for Texas. Gatlin’s serves spare ribs in a St. Louis cut, baby back ribs, and beef ribs on the weekend. “We have three types of ribs on our menu,” Gatlin says. “Texas, they’re a rib state just as much as they are a brisket state. You don’t have ribs on the menu, you might get run outta town for that one.” Just to the east are Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, each with its own culinary traditions. “You get a lot of influence from east Texas,” Gatlin says, explaining that he likes to incorporate elements from other barbecue traditions into his cooking. He’s willing to experiment because he wants to give people a reason to come back many times.
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October 2 - 4
On Ridgeway Loop Road
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of Richmond’s First Baptist Church, one of that city’s largest Black congregations, while working on his speeches and writings. In 1889, he and Emma moved to Nashville, where Our history expert solves local mysteries: who, what, he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church. He never seemed to run out of energy; during his short when, where, why, and why not. Well, sometimes. time in Nashville, he helped establish the American BY VANCE L AUDERDALE Baptist Theological Seminary there and worked as the corresponding secretary for the National Baptist Convention. “Griggs began his career as a novelist with Imperium in Imperio, published in 1899,” wrote Magness. “By the time he moved to Memphis in 1913, he had written eight books.” His wonderfully titled first novel has been described as “an important addition to the history of utopian literature.” A reviewer for the Texas Observer noted that the plot “has a startling twist: the revelation of an African-American ‘empire within an empire,’ with a shadow government based in Waco. … Bernard Belgrave, who has been hand-picked to serve as president, advocates a takeover of the Texas state government, while his friend, Belton Piedmont, argues for assimilation and cooperation with the state.” At some point — well, I won’t give away the ending. Sutton followed this up with other works, including The Hindered Hand, Overshadowed, Unfettered, and Pointing the Way. That’s just a sampling; he eventually wrote 33 books over his career. He formed his own publishing company but was so determined to make his voice heard that he also sold his books door to door. Despite his efforts, his works were not widely known in his day, though a 1969 reprint of Imperium helped to revive interest in his life and career. DEAR VANCE: What can DEAR S.W.: It is indeed a handsome structure, and quite a landmark in our city, since the Griggs Business and you tell readers about “An activist, Griggs attended the Niagara movethe old Griggs BusiPractical Arts College — its full name — was one ment that preceded the National Association for the ness College, with its of three Black-owned colleges in our community, an Advancement of Colored People (NAACP),” wrote Dr. impressive building still educational partner with Henderson Business ColBruce Glasrud, professor emeritus of history at Califorstanding at 492 Vance? lege on Linden, and not too far away, LeMoyne-Owen nia State University, for the Blackpast website (blackCollege on Walker. — s.w., memphis. past.org). “He participated in Black protests against police brutality, Jim Crow laws, streetcar segregation, This establishment was founded by Emma Griggs in 1916. She enjoyed quite a fascinating life. Born Emma and inadequate educational facilities.” What’s more, Williams in Virginia sometime in the late 1800s (I’ll “Griggs spent years as a pastor and organizing Black explain why I’m uncertain about that date later), she atself-help associations in Memphis, such as the National tended Norfolk Mission College and Hartshorn MemoPublic Welfare League and the National Religious and rial College in Richmond. I know this because Williams Civic Institute for the Baptists of Houston.” was one of many men and women featured in Notable Sutton and Emma Griggs moved here so he could Black Memphians, a collection of biogtake over the leadership of Tabernacle “Griggs envisioned an raphies compiled in 2004 by Dr. MirBaptist Church, originally located at iam DeCosta-Willis, the well-known 208 Turley. “By 1916, he had begun institutional church that Memphis author and educator. construction of an imposing strucwould serve the religious, In Virginia, Williams met — and ture on South Lauderdale,” wrote married — the Rev. Sutton E. Griggs, DeCosta-Willis in Notable Black Memeducational, and social needs an important minister, orator, author, phians. “Griggs envisioned an instiof his congregation and of the and civil rights leader. In one of tutional church that would served wider community.” her “Past Times” Commercial Appeal the religious, educational, and social needs of his congregation and of the columns, historian Perre Magness wider community. The church provided a gymnasium, described the Rev. Griggs as “one of the few Black writers of his time who openly dealt with the subject of swimming pool, and employment bureau … and also race relations in fiction, and one of the most published began a free weekly newspaper, The Neighbor, to demonBlack authors of the twentieth century.” strate the progress of Black Memphians.” Born in Texas in 1872, Sutton Griggs was educated According to some accounts, that swimming pool at Bishop College in Dallas and earned his divinity was the first one available to Blacks in Memphis. degree from Richmond Theological Seminary. After While Sutton was working as the church pastor, his marriage to Emma in 1892, Sutton served as pastor Emma also stayed busy, in 1916 opening a “practical arts
SUT TON GRIGGS PHOTO FROM E.C. MORRIS’S ‘’SERMONS, ADDRESSES AND REMINISCENCES AND IMPORTANT CORRESPONDENCE, WITH A PIC TURE GALLERY OF EMINENT MINISTERS AND SCHOLARS’’ (NASHVILLE, 1901).
BUILDING PHOTO BY VANCE LAUDERDALE
Griggs Business College
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school” out of their home. In those days, this meant such basic skills as cooking, sewing, and other “domestic arts.” The business classes, it seems, would come later They didn’t stay in Memphis very long, however. Much in demand as a speaker and minister, Sutton Griggs moved with Emma to Denison, Texas, in 1930, and later that year took a position as the pastor of a church in Houston. In 1933, however, at the peak of his career, he passed away at the age of 61. Emma Griggs returned to Memphis alone, and in the 1930s opened a small school at 741 Walker, later moving the facility to 1003 Mississippi Blvd., and then again to 846 East McLemore. Tracking its location by city directories, as I usually do with commercial endeavors, proved to be a challenge, since there was never any specific listing for a “Griggs School” or “Griggs College.” It’s entirely possible that it went by another name in its early years, but those same directories identify Emma as a “teacher” even though I have no images to show you of her various schools. A visit to all these addresses today reveals only vacant lots. For that matter, I’m sorry that I don’t even have a decent photograph to show you of Emma herself. The newspapers of the day would occasionally run small, grainy photos, but I wasn’t able to locate anything I could use here. I can only do so much. In 1940, the Griggs Business College was officially chartered, located at 303 South Lauderdale. By this time, the curriculum had expanded to include basic business courses. The school’s founder clearly impressed the men and women who attended, because an old Tri-State Defender article mentions that students and faculty visited her in January 1948 at Collins Chapel Hospital, where she was recovering from a heart attack. She passed away there that year and was laid to rest in Elmwood Cemetery. Earlier, I had mentioned some uncertainty regarding the date of her birth. Well, her 1948 death certificate clearly states her age as 56, which would indicate she was born in 1892. That would certainly have made her 1897 marriage to Sutton Griggs rather interesting, since she would have been only 5 years old. That same TriState Defender article notes that when all those students came to celebrate her birthday in the hospital, “she would not disclose her age, but was said to be in her seventies.” That makes more sense. Even so, it’s a shame she didn’t live long enough to see the handsome building on Vance that attracted the attention of S.W., who sent the query about it. Anyone driving by would surely think, as I first did, that it was quite an old structure, probably constructed in the early 1900s — along with so many other buildings along that street — as one of the first homes for the Griggs Business School. But as I hope I’ve made clear, Griggs operated schools all over town in the early days. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the impressive structure opened on Vance, with a tall neon sign out front spelling out “Griggs Business and Practical Arts College.” The neon is missing, but the faded blue lettering is still visible to this day. After Emma Griggs passed away, the school was placed under the direction of the Rev. Clifton J. Gaston. I’ve turned up a few newspaper and yearbook ads for Griggs Business College, which show that it offered an
associate’s degree in “secretarial, stenographic, junior accounting, higher accounting, radio and TV, and business administration.” In addition to day and evening classes, Griggs also provided a “refresher course in typing and shorthand.” I could probably use that today. Over the years, more than 1,000 men and woman received their education from Griggs. The college drew quite a lot of veterans in 1947 when it gained official cer-
above: A 1960s yearbook ad for Griggs Business Colllege. left: The Rev. Sutton Griggs was described as “one of the few Black writers of his time who openly dealt with the subject of race relations in fiction, and one of the most published Black authors of the twentieth century.”
tification from the Veterans Administration. A few of the better-known graduates included: Kathryn Bowers, who served as a Tennessee state representative from 1994 to 2006; MaryAnn Johnson, the first Black woman to head the music administration department at Twentieth-Century Fox; J.P. Murell, a local music promoter, co-owner of the Harlem House restaurant chain, and 1975 Urban League “Man of the Year”; and the Rev. Lee Rogers Pruitt, for 40 years the pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church — yes, the same congregation that Sutton Griggs had served decades earlier. The two-story building on Vance, constructed of red brick but later slathered in white paint, was home to students until 1976. I can’t say for certain if the Rev. Gaston’s death that year also resulted in the demise of the school, but it closed soon afterwards. For close to ten years, it became the proud home of the Bluff City Elks Lodge, but it’s been standing empty since the late 1980s. According to the Shelby County Assessor’s page, the 4,400-square-foot building, standing on a half-acre of land, is owned by the Snowden Circle Church of Christ. I’m sorry to admit I’ve been unable to reach anyone there. A few blocks away, the site of Henderson Business College is now a vacant lot. I hope Griggs Business and Practical Arts College doesn’t meet the same fate.
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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 85
8/11/20 11:56 AM
T I D B I T S
Furloaved Breads + Bakery
Brittney Adu has raised her bread business with a little bit of quick thinking, and a whole lot of baking. BY SAMUEL X. CICCI
Brittney Adu’s connection to Judaism made challah an easy choice as her ﬁrst menu item, later complemented by creative avocado blueberry mufﬁns.
ittney Adu isn’t one for sitting around. When the call came back in May that she would be furloughed from her job, she immediately set to work on one of her longtime hobbies: baking. After pulling a few fresh loaves from the oven, she turned to a friend and joked that now she was out of work, she had time to start her own business. She had, after all, been dreaming of opening a bakery since she was a child. But after pondering it a bit more, Adu realized she could actually do it. Now, she operates Furloaved Breads + Bakery, a punny take on a tough predicament that quickly spun into something positive. But Furloaved is no half-baked scheme; Adu’s strong work ethic and background in public relations made building her brand relatively simple. “I’m more of a doer, as opposed to someone who sits and wallows,” she says. “So I had this idea and pulled it together. I came up with the logo and decided to get it started as soon as possible.” Furloaved’s inaugural menu features two items; the ﬁrst, and most prominent, is challah, a yeasted, braided bread traditional in the Jewish faith. Adu developed an appreciation for Jewish faith and culture through her ﬁancé and his extended family. “People are able to connect with different types of cultures through food,” says Adu, who plans to convert to Judaism in the near future. “I think Jewish food and traditions are just amazing, so I thought it would be a good idea to try out challah bread since I’ve been eating it for so many years.” To perfect her recipe, she spent long hours in the kitchen with her future mother-in-law. In addition, she immersed herself in YouTube videos produced by longtime Jewish bakers. “I really wanted to learn from those who have made it a part of their culture for years.” Her challah provides a traditional foundation for Furloaved, but Adu omitted convention from her second recipe. She had thought about standard mufﬁns as a ﬁne complement, but recent comments from friends got her thinking about healthier alternatives. “My friends, and people on social media, had just been complaining about gaining pounds during quarantine,” she recollects. “I thought about playing around with different types of healthy fats and ﬁnding a substitute for butter.” Adu’s baking alchemy eventually produced a delicious and unique invention: avocado blueberry mufﬁns. “Besides the novelty of opening one up and seeing that it’s green inside, people have really taken to the taste,” she says. The avocado-based batter is also packed with cinnamon, while the mufﬁn itself is topped with cinnamon sugar streusel. Her creative approach goes beyond producing healthy baked goods, however. As she expands her business in the future, she plans to ﬁnd other ways to include customers with more restrictive diets. “I deﬁnitely want to add in more things for people who have special dietary needs,” she says. “I don’t want anyone to miss out on having something special just because they can’t eat certain ingredients. So I’m really working hard to ﬁgure out some good recipes with, perhaps, alternatives to ﬂour, or other substitutions, so everyone can feel included.” If all this talk of baked deliciousness is causing some hunger pangs, then set an alarm for 9 a.m. on Monday. That’s when Adu’s order forms — which can be accessed from Furloaved’s Facebook or Instagram pages (@furloaved) — go live. On second thought, set the alarm a bit sooner. Some very hungry Memphians have been known to buy up her entire stock within 15 minutes. Challah goes for $6, while mufﬁns can be ordered by the half-dozen ($12) or dozen ($24). Once all the orders are ﬁnalized, Adu heads to Church Health’s Community Kitchen at Crosstown every Thursday to bake. Then, either Friday or Saturday, she’ll contact all customers with a pick-up location, which varies depending on the number of orders. Adu is still surprised by how quickly Furloaved came to fruition. “Since I was a kid, this has been my dream to own a bakery,” she says. “I just thought it was going to come way later in life.” And although 2020 has been a rough year for most, she aims to turn Furloaved into a permanent career. “I would love to just keep growing, whether that’s into a retail location or a mobile sort of operation,” she says. “I also want to get into the farmers markets. Basically, I want to make this as big as possible while keeping it in Memphis. It would be so special to have what could have been a really bad year turn out to be one of the best ones for me.”
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY FURLOAVED BREADS + BAKERY
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TH E M E M P H I S D I N I N G G U I D E
A Curated Guide to Eating Out
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, $-$$ THE GRAY CANARY—The sixth restaurant from chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, offering small plates and entrees cooked on an open ﬂame. Oysters, octopus, and hearty steaks are among the menu options at this eatery in Old Dominick Distillery. Closed Mon. 301 S. Front. 4666324. D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ GRECIAN GOURMET TAVERNA—Serves traditional favorites like spanakopita, pastitso, moussaka, and hand-rolled dolmathes, as well as lamb sliders and pita nachos. Closed Mon. 412 S. Main. 249-6626. L, D, 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. 7672323; 505 Highway 70 W., Mason, TN. 901-294-2028. L, D, X, MRA, $ pasta, and several Northern Italian specialties. 149 Union, The HAPPY MEXICAN—Serves quesadillas, burritos, chimiPeabody. 529-4199. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$$ changas, vegetable and seafood dishes, and more. 385 S. Second. CAROLINA WATERSHED—This indoor/outdoor eatery, 529-9991; 6080 Primacy Pkwy. 683-0000; 7935 Winchester. set around silos, features reimagined down-home classics, 751-5353. L, D, X, $ including fried green tomatoes with HU. DINER—An extension of DINING SYMBOLS smoked catﬁsh, a buttermilk fried Hu. Hotel, diner serves such dishes as chicken sandwich, burgers, and more. country-fried cauliﬂower, cornﬂake-fried B — breakfast Closed Mon.-Thurs. 141 E. Carolina. chicken, and octopus and grits. 3 S. Main. 321-5553. L, D, WB, $-$$ L — lunch 333-1224. L, D, X, $-$$ CATHERINE & D — dinner HU. ROOF—Rooftop cocktail bar with MARY’S—A variety of pasSB — Sunday brunch superb city views serves toasts with a tas, grilled quail, pâté, razor WB — weekend brunch variety of toppings including beef tartare clams, and monkﬁsh are among the X — wheelchair accessible with cured egg, cognac, and capers dishes served at this Italian restaurant in or riced cauliﬂower with yellow curry, MRA — member, Memphis the Chisca. 272 S. Main. 254-8600. D, SB, currants, and almonds. Also salads, ﬁsh Restaurant Association X, MRA, $-$$$ tacos, and boiled peanut hummus. 79 $ — under $15 per person without CHEF TAM’S Madison. 333-1229. D, $ UNDERGROUND CAFE—Serves drinks or desserts HUEY’S—This family-friendly Southern staples with a Cajun twist. $$ — under $25 restaurant offers 13 different Menu items include totchoes, jerk $$$ — $26-$50 burgers, a variety of sandwiches, wings, fried chicken, and “muddy” mac $$$$ — over $50 and delicious soups and salads. 1927 and cheese. Closed Sun. and Mon. 668 Madison. 726-4372; 1771 N. Germantown Union Ave. 207-6182. L, D, $ Pkwy. (Cordova). 754-3885; 77 S. Second. 527-2700; 2130 W. Poplar CHEZ PHILIPPE—Classical/contemporary French (Collierville). 854-4455; 7090 Malco Blvd. (Southaven). 662-349cuisine presented in a luxurious atmosphere with a 7097; 7825 Winchester. 624-8911; 4872 Poplar. 682-7729; 7677 seasonal menu focused on local/regional cuisine. The Farmington Blvd. (Germantown). 318-3030; 8570 Highway 51 N. crown jewel of The Peabody for 35 years. Afternoon tea served (Millington). 873-5025. L, D, X, MRA, $ Wed.-Sat., 1-3:30 p.m. (reservations required). Closed Sun.HUSTLE & DOUGH BAKERY & CAFE—Flaky, Tues. The Peabody, 149 Union. 529-4188. D, X, MRA, $$$$ baked breakfast goodness every day with fresh pastries, COZY CORNER—Serving up ribs, pork sandsandwiches, and more at Arrive Hotel. 477 S. Main St., wiches, chicken, spaghetti, and more; also homemade 701-7577. B, L, X, $ banana pudding. Closed Mon. 745 N. Parkway and ITTA BENA—Southern and Cajun-American cuisine served Manassas. 527-9158. L, D, $ here; specialties are duck and wafﬂes and shrimp and grits, along DIRTY CROW INN—Serving elevated bar food, including with steaks, chops, seafood, and pasta. 145 Beale St. 578-3031. D, poutine fries, fried catﬁsh, and the Chicken Debris, a sandwich X, MRA, $$-$$$ with smoked chicken, melted cheddar, and gravy. 855 KOOKY CANUCK—Offers prime rib, catﬁsh, and burgers, Kentucky. 207-5111. L, D, MRA, $ including the 4-lb. “Kookamonga”; also late-night menu. 87 S. EVELYN & OLIVE—Jamaican/Southern fusion cuisine Second. 578-9800; 1250 N. Germantown Pkwy. 1-800-2453 L, D, includes such dishes as Kingston stew ﬁsh, Rasta Pasta, and X, MRA, $-$$$ jerk rib-eye. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun.-Mon. 630 THE LITTLE TEA SHOP—Downtown institution Madison. 748-5422. L, D, X, $ serves up Southern comfort cooking, including meatloaf FAM—Casual Asian restaurant serves sushi rice bowls, noodle and such veggies as turnip greens, yams, okra, and tomabowls, sushi rolls, and spring rolls. Closed Sun. 149 Madison; 521 toes. Closed Sat.-Sun. 69 Monroe. 525-6000, L, X, $ S. Highland. 701-6666. L, D, X, $ LOCAL—Entrees with a focus on locally sourced products include FELICIA SUZANNE’S—Southern cuisine with lobster mac-and-cheese and ribeye patty melt; menu differs by low-country, Creole, and Delta inﬂuences, using location. 95 S. Main. 473-9573; 2126 Madison. 725-1845. L, D, WB, regional fresh seafood, local beef, and locally grown X, $-$$ foods. Entrees include shrimp and grits. Closed Sun. and Mon. A LOFLIN YARD—Beer garden and restaurant serves vegetarian downtown staple at Brinkley Plaza, 80 Monroe, Suite L1. 523fare and smoked-meat dishes, including beef brisket and pork 0877. L (Fri. only), D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ tenderloin, cooked on a custom-made grill. Closed Mon.-Tues. 7 W. FERRARO’S PIZZERIA & PUB—Rigatoni and Carolina. 249-3046. L (Sat. and Sun.), D, MRA, $-$$ tortellini are among the pasta entrees here, along with pizzas THE LOOKOUT AT THE PYRAMID—Serves seafood and (whole or by the slice) with a variety of toppings. 111 Jackson. Southern fare, including cornmeal-fried oysters, sweet tea brined 522-2033. L, D, X, $ chicken, and elk chops. 1 Bass Pro Dr. 620-4600/291-8200. L, D, X, FLIGHT RESTAURANT & WINE BAR— $-$$$ Serves steaks and seafood, along with such specialties LUNA RESTAURANT & LOUNGE—Serving a limited as bison ribeye and Muscovy duck, all matched with menu of breakfast and lunch items. Dinner entrees include Citrus appropriate wines. 39 S. Main. 521-8005. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$
emphis magazine offers this curated restaurant listing as a service to our 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 group that is updated every August. Establishments open less than a year are not eligible for “Top 50” but are noted as “New.” This guide also includes a representative sampling of other Bluff City eating establishments. No fast-food facilities or cafeterias are listed. Restaurants are included regardless of whether they advertise in Memphis magazine; those that operate in multiple locations are listed under the neighborhood of their original location. Suggestions from readers are welcome; please contact us at dining@ memphismagazine.com. editor’s note: As Memphis continues to navigate covid-19, some restaurants are open for socially distanced dine-in, while others are focusing on takeout and delivery. Please call ahead to conﬁrm hours, adjusted menus, and available services.
CENTER CITY 117 PRIME—Restaurateurs Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp team up with Chef Ryan Trimm to recreate the traditional American steakhouse. Serving oysters on the half shell and a variety of surf and turf options. 117 Union. 433-9851. L, D, WB, X, $-$$$ 3RD & COURT—The latest from Ryan Trimm and Across the Board Hospitality is a retro diner with an upscale twist. Includes a three-meat meatloaf and pound cake French toast. 24 N. B.B. King. 290-8484. B, L, D, X, WB, $-$$ 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, $-$$ THE ARCADE—Possibly Memphis’ oldest cafe. Specialties include sweet potato pancakes, a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, and breakfast served all day. 540 S. Main. 526-5757. B, L, D (Thurs.-Sat.), X, MRA, $ AUTOMATIC SLIM’S—Longtime downtown favorite specializes in contemporary American cuisine emphasizing local ingredients; also extensive martini list. 83 S. Second. 525-7948. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ 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 TAVERN—Serving elevated bar food, including a butcher board with a variety of meats and cheeses, as well as daily specials. 117 Barboro Alley. 249-6580. L (Sun.), D, MRA, $ BISHOP—Ticer and Hudman’s newest venture at the Central Station Hotel features upscale dishes in a French brasserie style. 545 S. Main St., 524-5247. L, D, X, $$-$$$ 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. 135 S. Main. 528-1010. L, D, X, $-$$ BRASS DOOR IRISH PUB—Irish and New-American cuisine includes such entrees as ﬁsh and chips, burgers, shepherd’s pie, all-day Irish breakfast, and more. 152 Madison. 572-1813. L, D, SB, $-$$ 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),
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 (This guide, compiled by our editors, includes editorial picks and advertisers.)
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Broadway Pizza House Legendary Pizza Since 1977
2581 Broad Avenue (901) 454-7930
629 South Mendenhall
Glaze Salmon and Cajun Stuffed Chicken. 179 Madison (Hotel Napoleon). 526-0002. B, D (Mon.-Sat.), X, $-$$$ MACIEL’S—Entrees include tortas, fried taco plates, quesadillas, chorizo and pastor soft tacos, salads, and more. Downtown closed Sun. 45 S. Main. 526-0037, X, MRA, $ THE MAJESTIC GRILLE—Housed in a former silent-picture house, features aged steaks, fresh seafood, and such specialties as roasted chicken and grilled pork tenderloin; offers a pre-theatre menu and classic cocktails. Wellstocked bar. 145 S. Main. 522-8555. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ McEWEN’S—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). 662-8902467; 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, $ THE NINE THAI & SUSHI—Serving authentic Thai dishes, including curries, as well as a variety of sushi rolls. Closed for lunch Sat. and Sun. 121 Union. 208-8347. 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; 8106 Cordova Center Dr. (Cordova). 425-4797. L, D, SB, X, $-$$$ PONTOTOC LOUNGE—Upscale restaurant and jazz bar serves such starters as alligator filet fritters; entrees include Mississippi pot roast with jalapeño cornbread and tagliatelle with braised beef. 314 S. Main. 207-7576. D, X, $-$$ PUCK FOOD HALL—Food hall featuring a variety of vendors serving everything from bagels and beer to comfort food and healthy cuisine. 409 S. Main. 341-3838. $-$$ REGINA’S—New Orleans-inspired eatery offering po’boys, Cajun nachos topped with crawfish tails, catfish platters, oysters, and more. Closed Mon. 60 N. Main. 730-0384. B, L, D, SB, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$ RIZZO’S DINER—Chorizo meatloaf, lobster pronto puff, and lamb belly tacos are menu items at this upscale diner. Michael Patrick is among the city’s best chefs. 492 S. Main. 304-6985. L (Fri.-Sat.), D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ SABOR CARIBE—Serving up “Caribbean flavors” with dishes from Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Closed Sunday. 662 Madison. 949-8100. L, D, X, $ SAGE—Restaurant and lounge features daily lunch specials and tapas with such dishes as braised short ribs, teriyaki pulled pork, and the Sage burger made with Angus beef, avocado mash, fried egg, and flash-fried sage. 94 S. Main. 672-7902. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ SLEEP OUT LOUIE’S—Oyster bar with such specialties as char-grilled Roquefort oysters and gulf oysters on the half shell with Prosecco mignonette; also serves flatbread pizzas and a variety of sandwiches. 150 Peabody Place, Suite 111. 707-7180. L, D, X, $ SOUTH MAIN SUSHI & GRILL—Serving sushi, nigiri, and more. 520 S. Main. 249-2194. L, D, X, $ SPINDINI—Italian fusion cuisine with such entrees as woodfired pizzas, Gorgonzola-stuffed filet, and fresh seafood; large domestic whiskey selection. 383 S. Main. 578-2767. D, X, $$-$$$ SUNRISE MEMPHIS—From owners of Sweet Grass and Central BBQ. Serves breakfast all day, including house-made biscuits, frittatas, kielbasa or boudin plates, and breakfast platters. 670 Jefferson. 552-3144. B, L, X, MRA, $ TERRACE—Creative American and Continental cuisine includes such dishes as filet mignon, beef or lamb sliders, chicken satay, and mushroom pizzetta. Rooftop, River Inn of Harbor Town, 50 Harbor Town Square. 260-3366. D, X, MRA, $$
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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, $$-$$$ 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, $-$$ THE VAULT—Oysters, shrimp beignets, flatbreads, stuffed cornish hen, and Smash Burger featured on “Late Nite Eats” are among the dishes offered at this Creole/Italian fusion eatery. 124 G.E. Patterson. 591-8000. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ WESTY’S—Extensive menu includes a variety of wild rice dishes, sandwiches, plate lunches, and hot fudge pie. 346 N. Main. 543-3278.L, D, X, $
COLLIERVILLE CAFE EUROPE—From Italian chef Michele D’oto, the French, Spanish, and Italian fusion cuisine includes a variety of dishes like Rosette al Forno, fish ceviche, and sole meuniere. Closed Sun. 4610 Merchants Park Circle, Suite 571. 286-4199. L, 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, $ COLLIERVILLE COMMISSARY—Serves barbecue sandwiches, sliders, ribs, shrimp, and nachos, as well as smoked barbecued bologna sandwiches. 3573 S. Houston Levee Rd. 979-5540. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ DAVID GRISANTI’S—Serving Northern Italian cuisine and traditional family recipes, like the Elfo Special, shrimp sauteed in garlic and butter, tossed with white button mushrooms and white pepper, and served over vermicelli with ParmigianoReggiano. Closed Sun. 684 W. Poplar (Sheffield Antiques Mall). 861-1777. L, D (Thurs.-Sat.), X, $-$$$ 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). 662890-3337; 8834 Hwy. 51 N. (Millington). 872-3220; 7424 Highway 64 (Bartlett). 417-6026. L, D, X, $ EMERALD THAI RESTAURANT—Spicy shrimp, pad khing, lemongrass 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, $-$$ FIREBIRDS—Specialties are hand-cut steaks, slow-roasted prime rib, and wood-grilled salmon and other seafood, as well as seasonal entrees. 4600 Merchants Circle, Carriage Crossing. 850-1637; 8470 Highway 64 (Bartlett). 379-1300. L, D, X, $-$$$ 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, MRA, $-$$$ MULAN ASIAN BISTRO—Hunan Chicken, tofu dishes, and orange beef served here; sushi and Thai food, too. 2059 Houston Levee. 850-5288; 2149 Young. 347-3965; 4698 Spottswood. 609-8680. L, D, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$$ RAVEN & LILY—Eatery offers innovative Southern-inspired cuisine with such dishes as crispy shrimp and cauliflower salad, spiced lamb sausage and parmesan risotto, and bananas foster pain perdu. Closed Monday. 120 E. Mulberry. 286-4575. L, D, SB, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$ ZOPITA’S ON THE SQUARE—Cafe offers sandwiches, including smoked salmon and pork tenderloin, as well as salads and desserts. Closed Sun. 114 N. Main. 457-7526. L, D, X, $
CORDOVA BOMBAY HOUSE—Indian fare includes lamb korma and chicken tikka; also, a daily luncheon buffet. 1727 N. Germantown Pkwy. 755-4114. L, D, X, $-$$ THE BUTCHER SHOP—Serves steaks ranging from 8-oz. filets to a 20-oz. porterhouse; also chicken, pork chops, fresh seafood. 107 S. Germantown Rd. 757-4244. L (Fri. and Sun.), D, X, $$-$$$ COASTAL FISH COMPANY—Upscale offerings of international fish varieties utilizing styles ranging from Carribbean, East Coast, West Coast, Chinese, to Filipino, and more. 415 Great View Dr. E., Suite 101. 266-9000. D, 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, $-$$ KING JERRY LAWLER’S MEMPHIS BBQ COMPANY—Offers a variety of barbecue dishes, including brisket, ribs, nachos topped with smoked pork, and a selection of barbecue “Slamwiches.” 465 N. Germantown Pkwy. #116. 509-2360. L, D, X, $ JIM ’N NICK’S BAR-B-Q—Serves barbecued pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, and fish, along with other homemade Southern specialties. 2359 N. Germantown Pkwy. 388-0998. L, D, X, $-$$ EL MERO TACO—This food truck turned restaurant serves up Mexican and Southern-style fusion dishes, including fried chicken tacos, chorizo con papas tacos, and brisket quesadillas. 8100 Macon Station, Suite 102. 308-1661. Closed Sun.-Mon. L, D, WB, 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, $-$$$ PEI WEI ASIAN DINER—Serves a variety of Pan-Asian cuisine, including Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Thai. Noodle and rice bowls are specialties; a small plates menu also offered. 2257 N. Germantown Pkwy. 382-1822. L, D, X, $-$$ 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 enclosed garden patio. 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, $ 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. 715 W. Brookhaven
Cl. 590-2585; 2150 W. Poplar at Houston Levee (Collierville). 854-8748. L, D, X, $-$$ BENIHANA—This Japanese steakhouse serves beef, chicken, and seafood grilled at the table; some menu items change monthly; sushi bar also featured. 912 Ridge Lake Blvd. 767-8980. L, D, X, $$-$$$ BLUE PLATE CAFÉ—For breakfast, the café’s serves old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes (it’s a secret recipe!), country ham and eggs, and waffles with fresh strawberries and cream. For lunch, the café specializes in country cooking. 5469 Poplar. 761-9696; 113 S. Court. 523-2050. B, L, X, $ BROOKLYN BRIDGE ITALIAN RESTAURANT— Specializing in such homemade entrees as spinach lasagna and lobster ravioli; a seafood specialty is horseradish-crusted salmon. Closed Sun. 1779 Kirby Pkwy. 755-7413. D, X, $-$$$ BRYANT’S BREAKFAST—Three-egg omelets, pancakes, and The Sampler Platter are among the popular entrees here. Possibly the best biscuits in town. Closed Mon. and Tues. 3965 Summer. 324-7494. B, L, X, $ 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, $-$$ CAPITAL GRILLE—Known for its dry-aged, hand-carved steaks; among the specialties are bone-in sirloin, and porcini-rubbed Delmonico; also seafood entrees and seasonal lunch plates. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. Crescent Center, 6065 Poplar. 683-9291. L, D, X, $$$-$$$$ CASABLANCA—Lamb shawarma is one of the fresh, homemade specialties served at this Mediterranean/Moroccan restaurant; fish entrees and vegetarian options also available. 5030 Poplar. 725-8557 ; 7609 Poplar Pike (Germantown). 4255908; 1707 Madison. 421-6949. L, D, X, $-$$ 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 over 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 wetaged 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, $$$-$$$$ FOLK’S FOLLY ORIGINAL PRIME STEAK HOUSE—Specializes in prime steaks, as well as lobster, grilled Scottish salmon, Alaskan king crab legs, rack of lamb, and weekly specials. 551 S. Mendenhall. 762-8200. D, X, MRA, $$$-$$$$ FORMOSA—Offers Mandarin cuisine, including broccoli beef, hot-and-sour soup, and spring rolls. Closed Monday. 6685 Quince. 753-9898. L, D, X, $-$$ FOX RIDGE PIZZA & GRILL—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. 7586500. 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, filet mignon, and daily lunch specials. Closed for lunch Sunday. Embassy Suites Hotel, 1022 S. Shady Grove. 761-9462. L, D, X, $-$$$ HALF SHELL—Specializes in seafood, such as king crab legs; also serves steaks, chicken, pastas, salads, sandwiches, a ”voodoo menu”; oyster bar at Winchester location. 688 S. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 89
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Mendenhall. 682-3966; 7825 Winchester. 737-6755. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ HIGH POINT PIZZA—Serves a variety of pizzas, subs, salads, and sides. Closed Monday. A neighborhood fixture. 477 High Point Terrace. 452-3339. L, D, X, $-$$ HOUSTON’S—Serves steaks, seafood, pork chops, chicken dishes, sandwiches, salads, and Chicago-style spinach dip. Farmous for first-class service. 5000 Poplar. 683-0915. L, D, X $-$$$ INTERIM—Offers American-seasonal cuisine with emphasis on local foods and fresh fish; daily chef specials. Closed for lunch Sat. 5040 Sanderlin, Suite 105. 818-0821. L, D, SB, 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. 5885 Ridgeway Center Pkwy. 767-6465; 2650 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 1200; 730-0064; 6070 Poplar. 2335875; 50 N. Front. 574-0468. 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, $-$$ LYNCHBURG LEGENDS—This restaurant with a Jack Daniels’ theme and Southern cuisine serves such entrees as Bourbon Street salmon, buttermilk-fried chicken, and grilled steak and wild mushroom salad. DoubleTree Hotel, 5069 Sanderlin. 969-7777. B, L, D, X, $-$$$ MAGNOLIA & MAY—The family behind Grove Grill cooks up Southern-inspired casual dining at this country brasserie, with popular menu items like peach gazpacho and low country shrimp n’ grits. 718 Mt. Moriah Rd. 676-8100. D, $$-$$$. MAHOGANY MEMPHIS—Upscale Southern restaurant offers such dishes as coffee-rubbed lamb chops and baked Cajun Cornish hen. Closed for dinner Sun. and all day Mon.-Tues. 3092 Poplar, Suite 11. 623-7977. L, D, SB, X, $-$$$ MARCIANO MEDITERRANEAN AND ITALIAN CUISINE—Veal Saltimbocca with angel-hair pasta and white wine sauce is among the entrees; also steaks, seafood, and gourmet pizza. 780 Brookhaven Cl. 682-1660. D, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$ MELLOW MUSHROOM—Large menu includes assortment of pizzas, salads, calzones, hoagies, vegetarian options, and 50 beers on tap. 5138 Park Ave. 562-1211; 9155 Poplar, Shops of Forest Hill (Germantown). 907-0243. L, D, X, $-$$ 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 are miso-marinated salmon over black rice with garlic spinach and shiitake mushrooms. Closed Sun. 5101 Sanderlin, Suite 122. 683-0441. L, D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ NEW HUNAN—Chinese eatery with more than 80 entrees; also lunch/dinner buffets. 5052 Park. 766-1622. L, D, X, $ 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,
Brunswick Stew, and Millie’s homemade desserts. 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, $-$$$ PARK + CHERRY—The Dixon offers casual dining within the museum. Seasonal menu features sandwiches, like rustic chicken salad on croissant, as well as salads, snacks, and sweets. Closed for breakfast Sun. and all day Mon. 4339 Park (Dixon Gallery). 761-5250. L, X, $ PATRICK’S—Serves barbecue nachos, burgers, and entrees such as fish and chips; also plate lunches and daily specials. 4972 Park. 682-2852. L, D, X, MRA, $ PETE & SAM’S—Serving Memphis for 60-plus years; offers steaks, seafood, and traditional Italian dishes, including homemade ravioli, lasagna, and chicken marsala. 3886 Park. 458-0694. D, X, $-$$$ 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, $-$$ PHO SAIGON—Vietnamese fare includes beef teriyaki, roasted quail, curry ginger chicken, vegetarian options, and a variety of soups. 2946 Poplar. 4581644. L, D, $ PYRO’S FIRE-FRESH PIZZA—Serving gourmet pizzas cooked in an open-fire oven; wide choice of toppings; large local and craft beer selection. 1199 Ridgeway. 379-8294; 2035 Union Ave. 208-8857; 2286 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 207-1198; 3592 S. Houston Levee (Collierville). 221-8109. L, D, X, MRA, $ RED HOOK CAJUN SEAFOOD & BAR— Cajun-style array of seafood including shrimp, mussels, clams, crawfish, and oysters. 3295 Poplar. 207-1960. L, D, X, $-$$ 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, $$$ RONNIE GRISANTI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT— This Memphis institution serves some family classics such as Elfo’s Special and handmade ravioli, along with house-made pizza and fresh oysters. Closed Sun. 6150 Poplar #122. 850-0191. D, X, $-$$$ 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; 7704 Poplar (Germantown). 800-1951. 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, $ SWANKY’S TACO SHOP—Taco-centric eatery offers tortas, flatbreads, quesadillas, chimichangas, burgers, and more. 4770 Poplar. 730-0763; 6641 Poplar (Germantown). 737-2088; 272 S. Main. 779-3499. L, D, X, $ 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, $ VENICE KITCHEN—Specializes in “eclectic Italian” and Southern Creole, from pastas, including the “Godfather,” to hand-tossed pizzas, including the “John Wayne”; choose from 50 toppings. 368 Perkins Ext. 767-6872. L, D, SB, X, $-$$ WANG’S MANDARIN HOUSE—Offers Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechuan, and spicy Hunan entrees, including the golden-sesame chicken; next door is East Tapas, serving small plates with an Asian twist. 6065 Park Ave., Park Place Mall. 7630676. L, D, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$ WOMAN’S EXCHANGE TEA ROOM—Chicken-salad plate, beef tenderloin, soups-and-sandwiches, and vegetable plates are specialties; meal includes drink and dessert. Closed Sat.-Sun. 88 Racine. 327-5681. L, X, $ ZAKA BOWL—This vegan-friendly restaurant serves buildyour-own vegetable bowls featuring ingredients such as agave Brussels sprouts and roasted beets. Also serves tuna poke and herbed chicken bowls. 575 Erin. 509-3105. L, D, $
GERMANTOWN BLUE HONEY BISTRO—Entrees at this upscale eatery include brown butter scallops served with Mississippi blue rice and herb-crusted beef tenderloin with vegetables and truffle butter. Closed Sun. 9155 Poplar, Suite 17. 552-3041. D, X, $-$$$ FOREST HILL GRILL—A variety of standard pub fare and a selection of mac-and-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, $-$$ GERMANTOWN COMMISSARY—Serves barbecue sandwiches, sliders, ribs, shrimp, and nachos, as well as smoked barbecued bologna sandwiches; Mon.-night all-you-can-eat ribs. 2290 S. Germantown Rd. S. 754-5540. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ KOHESIAN SOKO STYLE EATERY—KoreanAmerican eatery serves up fusion-style dishes like bibimbap burgers or gochujang marinated loaded spicy pork nachos. 1730 S. Germantown Rd. 308-0223. L, D, X, $$ LAS TORTUGAS DELI MEXICANA—Authentic Mexican food prepared from local food sources; specializes in tortugas — grilled bread scooped out to hold such powerfully popular fillings as brisket, pork, and shrimp; also tingas, tostados. Closed Sunday. 1215 S. Germantown Rd. 751-1200; 6300 Poplar. 623-3882. L, D, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$$ MOONDANCE GRILL—From the owners of Itta Bena and Lafayette’s. Serves steak cooked sous vide and seafood dishes including Abita-barbecued shrimp and pan-seared sand dab, in addition to an extensive wine and cocktail list. 1730 S. Germantown Road, Suite 117. 755-1471. L, D, X, $$-$$$ NOODLES ASIAN BISTRO—Serves a variety of traditional Asian cuisine, with emphasis on noodle dishes, such as Singapore Street Noodles and Hong Kong Chow Fun. 7850 Poplar #12. 755-1117. L, D, X, $ PETRA CAFÉ—Serves Greek, Italian, and Middle Eastern sandwiches, gyros, and entrees. Hours vary; call. 6641 Poplar. 754-4440; 547 S. Highland. 323-3050. L, D, X, $-$$ PIMENTO’S KITCHEN + MARKET—Fresh sandwiches, soups, salads, and plenty of pimento cheese at this family-owned restaurant. 6540 Poplar Ave. 602-5488 [Collierville: 3751 S. Houston Levee. 453-6283]. L, D, X, $ RAW GIRLS / CITY & STATE POP-UP— Hannah and Amy Pickle offer plant-based dishes and cold-pressed juices alongside Lisa and Luis Toro’s coffee bar. Hours vary. 2055 W. Germantown. L, X, $ 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 $-$$ ROCK’N DOUGH PIZZA CO.—Specialty and custom pizzas made from fresh ingredients; wide variety of toppings. 7850 Poplar #6. 779-2008. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $$
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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, $-$$ RUSSO’S NEW YORK PIZZERIA AND WINE BAR—Serves gourmet pizzas, calzones, and pasta, including lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, scampi, and more. 9087 Poplar, Suite 111. 755-0092. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ SAKURA—Sushi, tempura, and teriyaki are Japanese specialties here. 2060 West St. 758-8181; 4840 Poplar. 572-1002. L, D, X, $-$$ SOUTHERN SOCIAL—Shrimp and grits, stuffed quail, and Aunt Thelma’s Fried Chicken are among the dishes served at this upscale Southern establishment. 2285 S. Germantown Rd. 754-5555. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ 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, $ WOLF RIVER BRISKET CO.—From the owners of Pyro’s Fire Fresh Pizza, highlights include house-smoked meats: prime beef brisket, chicken, and salmon. Closed Sun. 9947 Wolf River Boulevard, Suite 101. 316-5590. L, D, 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, $-$$ ALCHEMY—Southern fusion, locally grown cuisine features small and large plates; among the offerings are pan-seared hanger steak, quail, and lamb chops; also handcrafted cocktails and local craft beers. 940 S. Cooper. 726-4444. D, SB, X, $-$$ ART BAR—Inventive cocktails feature locally foraged ingredients; snacks include house-cured salt & vinegar potato chips and herb-roasted olives. Closed Mon. 1350 Concourse Avenue #280. 507-8030. D, X, $ BABALU TACOS & TAPAS—This 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, $-$$ BACK DO / MI YARD—A revamped patio space behind The Beauty Shop features rotisserie meats and fishes via Brazilian-style outdoor grill. Dinner Wednesday-Saturday, weather permitting. 966 S. Cooper, 2727111. D, X, $$ 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 KEOUGH—It’s old school eats and cocktails at the new Cooper-Young neighborhood corner bar by Kevin Keough. 247 Cooper St. D, 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 S. 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, MRA, $-$$ BEAUTY SHOP—Modern American cuisine with international flair served in a former beauty shop. Serves steaks, salads, pasta, and seafood, including pecan-crusted golden sea bass. Perennial “Best Brunch” winner. Closed for dinner Sunday. 966 S. Cooper. 272-7111. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ 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, $-$$ BOUNTY ON BROAD—Offering family-style dining, Bounty serves small plates and family-sized platters, with such specialties as chicken fried quail and braised pork shank. 2519 Broad. 410-8131. L (Sat. and Sun.), D (Mon.-Sat.), SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ 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, $-$$ CAFE 1912—French/American bistro owned by culinary pioneer Glenn Hays serving such seafood entrees as seared sea scallops with charred cauliflower purée and chorizo cumin sauce; also crepes, salads, and onion soup gratinée. 243 S. Cooper. 722-2700. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ CAFE BROOKS BY CITY & STATE—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. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $ CAFE OLÉ—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, $-$$ CAFE PALLADIO—Serves gourmet salads, soups, sandwiches, and desserts in a tea room inside the antiques shop. Closed Sun. 2169 Central. 278-0129. L, X, $ CAFE SOCIETY—With Belgian and classic French influences, serves Wagyu beef, chicken, and seafood dishes, including bacon-wrapped shrimp, along with daily specials and vegetarian entrees. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. 212 N. Evergreen. 722-2177. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ CARITAS CAFE—Community deli serves Southerninspired gourmet-style farm-to-table food using locally grown produce and ingredients. Open for lunch MonSat. Closed Sunday. 2509 Harvard Ave. 327-5246. L, X, $ 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, $-$$ CENTRAL BBQ—Serves ribs, smoked hot wings, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken, turkey, nachos, and portobello sandwiches. Offers both pork and beef barbecue. 2249 Central Ave. 272-9377; 4375 Summer Ave. 7674672; 147 E. Butler. 672-7760 ; 6201 Poplar. 417-7962. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ THE COVE—Nautical-themed restaurant and bar serving oysters, pizzas, and more. The Stoner Pie, with tamales and fritos, is a popular dish. 2559 Broad. 730-0719. 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, $ THE DOGHOUZZ—It’s both bark and bite at the Doghouzz, which pairs a variety of gourmet hot dogs alongside local craft beer and one of the city’s most extensive whiskey selections. Open for lunch, dinner, and latenight. Closed Sunday. 1349 Autumn Ave. 207-7770. 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, $-$$ FARM BURGER—Serves grass-fed, freshly ground, locally sourced burgers; also available with chicken, pork, or veggie quinoa patties, with such toppings as aged white cheddar, kale coleslaw, and roasted beets. 1350 Concourse Avenue #175. 800-1851. L, D, X, $
FINO’S ITALIAN DELI & CATERING—The newly revived Fino’s offers the old favorites such as the Acquisto as well as a new breakfast menu. 1853 Madison. 272-FINO. B, L, D, X, $ FRIDA’S—Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex standards, including chimichangas, enchiladas, and fajitas; seafood includes shrimp and tilapia. 1718 Madison. 244-6196. L, D, X, $-$$ GLOBAL CAFE—This international food hall hosts three immigrant/refugee food entrepreneurs serving Venezuelan, Sudanese, and Syrian cuisines. Samosas, shawarma, and kabobs are among the menu items. Closed Mon. 1350 Concourse Avenue #157. L, D, X, MRA, $ GOLDEN INDIA—Northern Indian specialties include tandoori chicken as well as lamb, beef, shrimp, and vegetarian dishes. 2097 Madison. 728-5111. L, D, X, $-$$ GROWLERS—Sports bar and eatery serves standard bar fare in addition to a pasta, tacos, chicken and waffles, and light options. 1911 Poplar. 244-7904. L, D, X, $-$$ HATTIE B’S—Fried chicken spot features “hot chicken” with a variety of heat levels; from no heat to “shut the cluck up” sauce. Sides include greens, pimento mac-and-cheese, and black-eyed pea salad. 596 S. Cooper. 424-5900. 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-you-can-eat lunch buffet. 1720 Poplar. 278-1199. L, D, X, $-$$ INSPIRE COMMUNITY CAFE—Serving breakfast all day, in addition to quesadillas, rice bowls, and more for lunch and dinner. 510 Tillman, Suite 110. 509-8640. B, L, D, X, $ LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM—Serves such Southern cuisine as po’boys, shrimp and grits, and wood-fired pizzas. 2119 Madison. 207-5097. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$ 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. 405-5477. 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, with such ingredients as braised pork belly and housemade blackened garlic, made with rich broth. Bao, steamed buns filled with various meats and veggies, also grace the menu. Closed Sun. 2583 Broad. 208-8145. L, D, X, $-$$ MARDI GRAS MEMPHIS—Fast-casual establishment serving Cajun fare, including an etouffee-stuffed po’boy. Closed Mon.-Tues. 496 N. Watkins. 530-6767. L, D, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$ MEMPHIS PIZZA CAFE—Homemade pizzas are specialties; also serves sandwiches, calzones, and salads. 2087 Madison. 726-5343; 5061 Park Ave. 684-1306; 7604 W. Farmington (Germantown). 753-2218; 797 W. Poplar (Collierville). 861-7800; 5627 Getwell (Southaven). 662-536-1364. L, D, X, $-$$ MIDPOINTE FROM EDGE ALLEY—Edge Alley’s sister cafe at the Ballet Memphis headquarters focuses on freshness for its breakfast, lunch, and happy hour tapas. Closed Sunday-Monday. 2144 Madison Ave. 4252605. B, L, 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, $-$$ NEXT DOOR AMERICAN EATERY—Serves dishes sourced from American farms. Menu features chorizo bacon dates, spicy gulf shrimp, and dry-aged beef burgers. 1350 Concourse Avenue, Suite 165. 779-1512. L, D, X, $ PAYNE’S BAR-B-QUE—Opened in 1972, this family-owned barbecue joint serves ribs, smoked sausage, and chopped pork sandwiches with a
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standout mustard slaw and homemade sauce. About as downto-earth as it gets. 1762 Lamar. 272-1523. L, D, $-$$ PARISH GROCERY—Shrimp? Roast beef? Oysters? Whatever type of po’boy you want, the New Orleansthemed eatery has got it. Closed Monday. 1545 Overton Park Ave. 207-4347. L, D, X, $-$$ PIZZERIA TRASIMENO—Small pizzas baked in wood-fired clay ovens along with a selection of small salads. Menu is soon to include desserts, local beer on tap, and Umbrian wine. 1350 Concourse Ave., Suite 181. 308-1113. L, D. $ PHO BINH—Vietnamese, vegetarian, and Cantonese specialties include lemon tofu and spring rolls. Closed Sunday. 1615 Madison. 276-0006. L, D, $ RAILGARTEN—Located in a former rail station space, this eatery offers breakfast items, a variety of salads and sandwiches, and such entrees as short rib mac-and-cheese and fish tacos. Also serves shakes, malts, floats, and cream sodas. 2166 Central. 231-5043. B, L, D, $-$$ RED FISH ASIAN BISTRO—In the former Nineteenth Century Club building, serves sushi, teriyaki, and hibachi. Specialties include yuzu filet mignon and Chilean sea bass. 1433 Union. 454-3926; 9915 Highway 64 (Lakeland). 729-7581; 6518 Goodman (Olive Branch). 662-874-5254. L, D, X, $-$$$ RESTAURANT IRIS—French Creole-inspired classics, such as Gulf shrimp and rice grits congee served with lap chong sausage and boiled peanuts, are served at this newly remodeled restaurant owned by Chef Kelly English, a Food and Wine “Top Ten.” 2146 Monroe. 590-2828. D, X, $$-$$$ ROBATA RAMEN & YAKITORI BAR—Serves ramen noodle bowls and Yakitori skewers as well as rice and noodle dishes. 2116 Madison. 410-8290. L, D, X, $ SABROSURA—Serves Mexican and Cuban fare, including arroz tapada de pollo and steak Mexican. Closed Sun. 782 Washington. 421-8180. L, D, X, $-$$ SALTWATER CRAB—Offers an array of seafood dishes including boils with blue crab, crab legs, lobster tails, and more, and specialty sushi like the Dynamite or Royal King rolls, in addition to signature sangrias and cocktails. 2059 Madison Ave. 922-5202. L, D, X, $$ SAUCY CHICKEN—Specializes in antibiotic-free chicken dishes with locally sourced ingredients, with such items as hot wings and the Crosstown Chicken Sandwich, and a variety of house-made dipping sauces; also, seafood, salads, and daily specials. 1350 Concourse, Suite 137. 203-3838. L, D (Mon.-Fri.), $ THE SECOND LINE—Kelly English brings “relaxed Creole cuisine” to his newest eatery; serves a variety of po’boys and such specialties as barbecue shrimp, andouille shrimp, and pimento cheese fries. 2144 Monroe. 590-2829. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ 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. 767-7770; 2130 W. Poplar (Collierville). 854-0622; 2990 Kirby-Whitten (Bartlett). 377-2727; 6696 Poplar. 747-0001. L, D, X, $-$$$ STONE SOUP CAFE—Cooper-Young eatery serving soups, salads, quiche, meat-and-two specials; and daily specials such as Italian roast beef. Closed Monday. 993 S. Cooper. 922-5314. B, L, SB, X, $ SOUL FISH CAFE—Serving Southern-style soul food, tacos, and po’boys, including catfish, crawfish, oyster, shrimp, chicken, and smoked pork tenderloin. 862 S. Cooper. 725-0722; 3160 Village Shops Dr. (Germantown). 755-6988; 4720 Poplar. 590-0323. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ 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, $-$$$ TAMBOLI’S PASTA & PIZZA—Pasta Maker Josh Tamboli whips up Italian soul food with seasonal menus featuring dishes like crispy fried chicken or creamy bucatini with pecorino cheese. Serves dinner TuesdaySaturday. Pizza only menu after 9pm. 1761 Madison. 410-8866. D, X, $-$$
TAKASHI BISTRO—Fusion restaurant with an open kitchen that lets customers watch chefs prepare a variety of Japanese and Thai cuisine. 1680 Union Ave. Ste. 109. 800-2936. L, D, $-$$. TSUNAMI—Features Pacific Rim cuisine (Asia, Australia, South Pacific, etc.); also a changing “small plate” menu. Chef Ben Smith is a Cooper-Young pioneer. Specialties include Asian nachos and roasted sea bass. Closed Sunday. 928 S. Cooper. 274-2556. D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ ZINNIE’S—Dive bar classic reopens with a makeover and signature Zinnaloni sandwich. 1688 Madison. 726-5004. L, D, X, $
SOUTH MEMPHIS (INCLUDES
PARKWAY VILLAGE, FOX MEADOWS, SOUTH MEMPHIS, WINCHESTER, AND WHITEHAVEN)
COLETTA’S—Longtime eatery serves such specialties as homemade ravioli, lasagna, and pizza with barbecue or traditional toppings. 1063 S. Parkway E. 948-7652; 2850 Appling Rd. (Bartlett). 383-1122. L, D, X, $-$$ CURRY BOWL—Specializes in Southern Indian cuisine, serving Tandoori chicken, biryani, tikka masala, and more. Weekend buffet. 4141 Hacks Cross Rd. 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, $-$$$ DWJ KOREAN BARBECUE—This authentic Korean eatery serves kimbap, barbecued beef short ribs, rice and noodles dishes, and hot pots and stews. 3750 Hacks Cross Rd., Suite 101. 746-8057; 2156 Young. 207-6204. L, D, $-$$ 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, $ HERNANDO’S HIDEAWAY—Hernando’s Hideaway–No one cares how late it gets; not at Hernando’s Hideaway. Live music, killer happy hour, and plenty of bar fare at this South Memphis hang. 3210 Old Hernando Rd. 917-982-1829. 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, $-$$ UNCLE LOU’S FRIED CHICKEN—Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for good reason: fried chicken (mild, hot, or home-style); jumbo burgers four patties high; strawberry shortcake, and assorted fruit pies. 3633 Millbranch. 332-2367. L, D, X, MRA, $
SUMMER/BERCLAIR/ RALEIGH/BARTLETT ASIAN PALACE—Chinese eatery serves seafood, vegetarian items, dim sum, and more. 5266 Summer Ave. 766-0831. L, D, X, $-$$ ELWOOD’S SHACK—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, $-$$
LA TAQUERIA GUADALUPANA—Fajitas and quesadillas are just a few of the authentic Mexican entrees offered here. A bona-fide Memphis institution. 4818 Summer. 685-6857; 5848 Winchester. 365-4992. L, D, $ LOTUS—Authentic Vietnamese-Asian fare, including lemon-grass chicken and shrimp, egg rolls, Pho soup, and spicy Vietnamese vermicelli. 4970 Summer. 682-1151. D, X, $ MORTIMER’S—Contemporary American entrees include trout almondine, chicken dishes, and hand-cut steaks; also sandwiches, salads, and daily/nightly specials. A Memphis landmark since the Knickerbocker closed. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. 590 N. Perkins. 761-9321. L, D, X, $-$$ 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, $-$$
UNIVERSITY NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT (INCLUDES CHICKASAW GARDENS AND HIGHLAND STRIP)
A-TAN—Serves Chinese and Japanese hibachi cuisine, complete with sushi bar. A specialty is Four Treasures with garlic sauce. 3445 Poplar, Suite 17, University Center. 452-4477. L, D, X, $-$$$ 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, $-$$ BROTHER JUNIPER’S—This little cottage is a breakfast mecca, offering specialty omelets, including the open-faced San Diegan omelet; also daily specials, and homemade breads and pastries. Closed Mon. 3519 Walker. 324-0144. B, X, $ CHAR RESTAURANT—Specializing in modern Southern cuisine, this eatery offers homestyle sides, char-broiled steaks, and fresh seafood. 431 S. Highland #120. 249-3533. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ 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, $-$$ EL PORTON—Fajitas, quesadillas, and steak ranchero are just a few of the menu items. 2095 Merchants Row (Germantown). 754-4268; 8361 Highway 64. 380-7877; 3448 Poplar (Poplar Plaza). 452-7330; 1805 N. Germantown Parkway (Cordova). 6249358; 1016 W. Poplar (Collierville). 854-5770. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ 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, $-$$$ OPEN FLAME—This authentic Persian and Mediterranean eatery specializes in shish kebabs as well as kosher and halal fare. 3445 Poplar. 207-4995. L, D, X, $
OUT-OF-TOWN BOZO’S HOT PIT BAR-B-Q—Barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, and subs. 342 Hwy 70 (Mason, TN). 901-294-3400. L, D, $-$$ 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, $
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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, $-$$$ LONG ROAD CIDER CO.—Specializes in hard apple ciders made with traditional methods. Cafe-style entrees include black-eyed peas with cornbread and greens, chicken Gorgonzola pockets, cider-steamed sausage, and housemade ice creams. Closed Sun.-Wed. 9053 Barret Road. (Barretville, TN). 352-0962. D, X, $ MANILA FILIPINO RESTAURANT—Entrees include pork belly cutlet with lechon sauce, and shrimp and vegetables in tamarind broth; also daily combos, rice dishes, and chef specials. Closed Sun.-Mon. 7849 Rockford (Millington, TN). 209-8525. L, D, X, $ MARSHALL STEAKHOUSE—Rustic steakhouse serves premium Angus beef steaks, seafood dishes, rack of lamb, and more. Breakfast menu features griddle cakes, and lunch offerings include hamburger steak and oyster po’ boys. 2379 Highway 178 (Holly Springs, MS). 628-3556. B, L, D, X, $-$$$ CASINO TABLES BOURBON STREET STEAKHOUSE & GRILL AT SOUTHLAND CASINO RACING—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 THE STEAKHOUSE AT THE FITZ—711 Lucky Ln., Robinsonville, MS, 1-888-766-LUCK, ext 8213 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). 870-735-6466. 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, $ 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, $$-$$$ SAINT LEO’S—Offering sophisticated pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and salads. A James Beard nominee for Best New Restaurant in 2017. 1101 Jackson (Oxford, MS). 662-234-4555. D, L, WB, $-$$ SNACKBAR—Billed as an intriguing mix of “French Bistro with North Mississippi Cafe.” Serving a confit duck Croque Monsieur, watermelon-cucumber chaat, pan-fried quail, plus a daily plate special and a raw bar. Chef Vishesh Bhatt was named as Best Chef South by the James Beard Foundation in 2019. 721 N. Lamar (Oxford, MS). 662-236-6363. D, $-$$$ WILSON CAFE—Serving elevated home-cooking, with such dishes as deviled eggs with cilantro and jalapeño, 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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A Run to Nowhere When a pandemic destroys structure, how does a sports fan cope?
ive years ago, I took up 5k road races as a midlife health booster. I did this largely to support my wife, a better and faster runner than I’ll ever be, and someone I decided long ago is worth chasing (by various measures). Sharon has since completed two marathons, but I’ve stuck with 3.1 miles per race, my “comfort” length, though I find nothing comfortable about the last kilometer of a 5K. For me, it’s all about the finish line. Upon taking my first stride, I know that line awaits, precisely five kilometers — and roughly 27 minutes for me — later. I’ve come to recognize that a pandemic is no road race, and this is a distinctive kind of mental anguish that we sports-minded folks are battling on a daily basis. Read all you might and tune in to your channel of choice for updates, but you will find no “finish line” for this epic battle we humans have now been waging for the better part of a year. Even if you like marathons as a metaphor, unless you can stretch the concept of 26.2 miles further than I can, we are well beyond any measurable beginning-middle-end “course” for gaining control over covid-19. In normal times, sports are utterly structured. There is a beginning and end to each season. For many, summer means baseball, fall football, and winter basketball. There are standings to track (at least weekly), scores to check
(daily), and familiar, beloved events to pleasantly interrupt the team-sport tides. The Masters golf tournament is as much about April as it is azaleas. The pandemic, though, will have us watch the finest players in the world compete at Augusta in November. With nary a fan elbowing his way closer to the 18th green. The Kentucky Derby is as much about May as it is roses. The pandemic will have us watch the most famous two minutes in sports this month, in September. With nary an oversized hat or mint julep in the stands at Churchill Downs. I suffer a very specific type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, one that I love more than Linus does his blanket: St. Louis Cardinals baseball. Since long before I could shave, Cardinal baseball
meant the end of winter and the of mid-August, I had exercised beginning of the happiest sevmore than 130 days in a row, a streak that began on April 1st en months of my year. However “the real world” might interfere (when baseball season normally — homework, girls, jobs, kids begins, a couple of weeks before the Masters, a month before the — there was a Cardinal score to check, the famed franchise’s hisDerby). It’s not a 5K, my daily tory growing, day by day, season sessions on an elliptical machine. by season, year by year. Until 2020. Thirty minutes of tennis with my What’s the only wife doesn’t include thing worse than a finish line. But it’s We are well beyond no baseball during a a check on the calenany measurable pandemic? Baseball dar, one mark closer beginning-middleduring a pandemic to deliverance — we but your favorite team is must hope — for the end “course” for not allowed to play. The mental well-being gaining control over Cardinals were hit we all crave during by the coronavirus this most uncertain covid-19. in late July despite of years. The Cardinals returned to the ostensibly practicing the same “bubble” approach to living and field on August 15th in Chicatraining that the other 29 mago, against the White Sox. They jor-league teams adopted. At one played a doubleheader (two point in mid-August, 18 players seven-inning games) against an and staff had tested positive for American League opponent with the virus. (Thankfully, none sufno fans in the stands. In any other fered severe symptoms as of late year, such a sight would be more August.) Suddenly, an existential than a little disorienting. In the question wormed itself into my mad world of 2020 and the corogray matter: Do the National navirus, those 14 innings were League Central standings matmanna from heaven. At least ter if St. Louis is not part of them? for one fan who has discovered Structure crumbles. his need for sports — and life minus a killer contagion — My answer to the loss in sports convention — NBA playoffs in has much more to do with the September?! — has been to chart race course (and its finish line) my own “season” of exercise. As than any results or ribbons.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MEDIA WHALESTOCK | DREAMSTIME
BY FR A NK MURTAUG H
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