Eight & Sand opens at 4 p.m. Thursday, October 24th in Central Station Hotel.
The sleek, new bar fills up the train station’s old waiting room. Travelers still can wait in the old space, but now they can wait in groupings of four to eight people at mixed Mid-Century-style tables and chairs and sip classic drinks, including martinis and Manhattans. They also can try a “Memphis Bell,” “Hurricane Elvis,” and “Knuck if you Buck” cocktails.
They also can listen to Memphis music.
The restaurant is by Andrew Michael and Andrew Ticer, who brought you Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, The Gray Canary, Catherine & Mary’s, and Hog & Hominy restaurants. Ticer and Hudman partnered with Central Station Hotel to do the bar and the upcoming Bishop restaurant, which is slated to open November 15th.
“Eight” is the highest throttle or “top speed” on the train and “Sand” stands for the sand they used to throw on the tracks so the train wheels wouldn’t slip, says Central Station Hotel food and beverage director Evan Potts. So, the name means “wish you a safe and speedy journey.”
The also Mid-Century looking bar features 10 seats as well as seats for the disabled.
The emphasis is on cozy. The vibe for Eight & Sand is “the living room of South Main.”
The look of the room is “clean” without feeling “sterile,” Potts says. “It’s so warm and so fun.”
They want Eight & Sand to be where people stop for a drink before a show at The Orpheum or other venue and then re-visit it after the performance or game, he says.
The bar menu will include “small snacks” or “share-ables,” Potts says. These will include the pimento puffed pastry, which was a popular item at the old Ticer/Hudman restaurant, Porcellino's Craft Butcher.
All the music is either recorded in Memphis, by Memphis artists, or about Memphis, Potts says. The console in the deejay booth is an old organ.
Vinyl records will be played by deejays, but programmed Memphis music also will be played when deejays aren’t in the booth.
So, what’s the first song to be played at the opening? “Probably 'Melting Pot,'’” says music curator/head deejay Chad Weekley. The Booker T. & the M.G.s song is “a good track,” Weekley says. And, he says, the song “sums up our city.”