The Front Porch
The new logo for the Front Porch, a pop-up restaurant coming to Beale Street Landing.
The Riverfront Bar & Grill, the restaurant at Beale Street Landing, will be transformed next month into The Front Porch, a new, pop-up concept from the owners of The Majestic Grille.
Deni and Patrick Reilly, owners of the Majestic, announced the five-month agreement with the Riverfront Development Corp. (RDC) during a meeting Monday morning. The restaurant will be completely rebranded, with brand-new menu and beverage choices, and new seating options, which will include a row of red rocking chairs that face the Mississippi River.
The Front Porch will be open for lunch and dinner during the weekdays and for brunch during the weekends. The restaurant may also feature grab-and-go options. Permanent hours for the spot have not yet been set.
Many details remain unknown so far, including the final menu, days of operation, and more. The Reillys will have about a month to hire staff, complete a marketing plan, and ready the space to their liking. Patrick Reilly explained that the pop-up concept is working with what you have and that the pair were not yet planning to make “any huge investment” at Beale Street Landing just yet.
The answer to many of the details, Patrick Reilly said, would come as The Front Porch got off the ground.
“It’s all a matter of economics,” Reilly said. “We’ll know pretty quick what works. We feel pretty confident in the research that we’ve done. We think that there’s a market for business lunch Monday through Friday.
“The items that sell, we keep. The items that don’t [sell], we don’t. If people don’t show up then, we’ll have to reevaluate whether we’re open for lunch or not. But we feel pretty confident that we can — with the right mix — get people down there.”
Many RDC members wondered about parking, physically getting customers to the space. RDC president Benny Lendermon said the reserved parking area next to Beale Street Landing contains 52 spaces and that parking there is now complimentary for restaurant guests. Also, the Reillys said they are considering using golf carts as a tram to take guests from Peabody Place to Beale Street Landing.
The bar inside the current Riverfront Bar & Grill.
Jen Andrews, RDC board member and executive director at Shelby Farms Park, asked the pair what happens after the five-month pop-up agreement is over.
“Let’s say is wildly successful and people love it,” Andres said. “What then? Then, it goes away?”
Patrick Reilly joked that “if the biggest problem we have is that we’re a roaring success, I’ll take that any day.” But, he said that that decision, too, comes back to economics.
“Our plan is — with everything we do and with every decision we make — is to create a business model for the future,” Deni Reilly said. “This is not just for the six months. We are looking to make this something for the future that is viable for the riverfront.”
The Reillys said they are also working with Memphis-based Victory Bicycle Studio to possibly create a bike station on the Riverside Drive side of the restaurant. There, visitors could get their bikes ready for a ride along the riverfront, Downtown, or to Big River Crossing, and come back after their rides for food and drink.
Majestic managers will set up the Front Porch, hire and train servers, and oversee the restaurant, the Reillys said, noting that it would be a “Majestic operation down there.”
The Reillys are working on a marketing plan with Red Deluxe, which designed The Front Porch logo, on a website and social media elements, all which will launch in a few weeks.
“The Front Porch, much like The Majestic,” sPatrick Reilly said in a statement, “will be grounded in offering our community a place to call home. Just instead of historic Main Street, this will be rooted in the magic of the Mississippi River.”