Literature-Themed Cafe Planned for Vacant Madison Building


Proposed exterior of Cafe Lit - IDEAL INVESTMENTS LLC
  • Ideal Investments LLC
  • Proposed exterior of Cafe Lit

A new literature-themed dessert lounge is in the works for a three-story building on Madison.

The 1928 Downtown structure at 111 Madison, currently vacant, will be transformed into Cafe Lit, described by developers with Ideal Investments LLC as a “dessert bar with something to say.”

But, before work can begin on renovating the building, developers are asking the Downtown Memphis Commission’s (DMC) Center City Development Corp. (CCDC) for a $200,000 loan and an $80,000 grant for exterior and interior building improvements.

Proposed second level of Cafe Lit - IDEAL INVESTMENTS LLC
  • Ideal Investments LLC
  • Proposed second level of Cafe Lit

The CCDC is slated to consider the request at its July 17th meeting.

In addition to dessert, the cafe will serve small plates, pasta, salads, alongside gourmet coffee, premium spirits, and “carefully-selected” wine.

The cafe will feature black, white, and red interior design with an African American literature theme throughout the space, according to the developers’ application to the CCDC.

“Descriptions and titles of food, drinks, and wallpaper ranging from works of Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, W. E. B. Dubois, Dunbar, Giovanni etc,” the application reads. Specializing in various desserts, this LiLaLo concept embodies the standard criteria of ‘Mood Food and Drink.’”

The mood of the space is an “open mic platform, to include supper club vibes on weekends, live entertainment, with low light ambiance.”

Contingent on if the requested incentives are approved, renovation of the building and construction of the cafe could begin next month.

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