Owners of the iconic Front Street Deli
announced on January 28th, that they are putting the business up for sale.
Carol Silkes, who owns Front Street with her husband Lance, said running the restaurant, along with a food tour business
had become too much. (Carol is also an instructor at the U of M.) They are looking to simplify and to pass the business to the right family.
The Silkes took over the space from the Lee Busby estate in 2013. Busby was a much-beloved downtown figure. Front Street was known for its egg salad, its lack of a credit-card machine, its appearance in The Firm, and for Busby.
Lance Silkes told the Flyer
back in 2013: "'In 1976, when pretty much everybody was leaving downtown, [the Busbys] ran in,' says Silkes, crediting the deli with helping kickstart downtown's resurgence. 'Letting it go seemed like a bad idea.'"
Carol says they have already received a lot of interest and hope to have things in negotiation mode in about 2 weeks.
"We take care of the neighborhood and the visitors who come in," says Carol. "We're loyal to Lee.
"We're basically here to tell Lee's story. We just wanted to keep that historic restaurant in business," she says, noting that "it takes a lot."
Carol says prospective owners "must love Memphis, must love food, and must love people."