Eat, Drink, and Be Creative at Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio


Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio - MILES KOVARIK
  • MIles Kovarik
  • Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio

People now are throwing pots instead of axes in the 500 block of Highland.

They’re also using their hands to hold paninis, club sandwiches, and other cuisine.

Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio — formerly Belltower Artisans — moved into the space previously occupied by Highland Axe and Rec at 525 S. Highland and 529 S. Highland, which formerly housed part of The Find, a furniture store that still is located next door to Belltower.

The coffeehouse/studio now is expanded in size. Also expanded are the food operations. The kitchen now is manned by chef Bryan Busang, longtime Huey’s kitchen manager.

The concept is produced and operated by Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio LLC with support from ITS Fine LLC, which includes Railgarten, Loflin Yard, and the Rec Room. ITS also owned and operated Highland Axe and Rec.

The coffeehouse, with its accompanying patio, will be at the 525 S. Highland address. The studio will be in the 529 S. Highland address. The patio is slated to open this fall.

Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio - MILES KOVARIK
  • MIles Kovarik
  • Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio

Christopher Galbreath, one of the Belltower owners, says they’ve been open in their new location since August 4th, but now they’re “a little bit more settled.”

They originally were at 549 S. Highland, which encompassed about 2,800 square feet. Counting both spaces, they now have 6,500 square feet.

“We knew at some point in the future we wanted to add food to what we were doing,” Galbreath says. “We thought it would be an important part of where we were going.”

In January, they bought a panini press. “But all of that was really just getting started when COVID began, so we never got a chance to experiment and branch out.”

Their lease was going to be up at the old location at the end of 2021. “We had no plans to make this shift this quickly, but COVID happened and it completely changed our plans. It very nearly put us out of business. We originally planned to close our doors. This partnership opened up, and it was the perfect opportunity to expand.”

And, he says, “It was a grow-or-die situation. We didn’t have the choice. If we stayed and didn’t create a new partnership, we wouldn’t be able to stick around.”

The lunch menu includes a Cuban, a club sandwich, a turkey bacon ranch, a turkey pesto panini, chicken tenders with a side of fries, a garlic bread grilled cheese, and a grilled chicken sandwich.

Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio - MILES KOVARIK
  • MIles Kovarik
  • Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio

“Starting this Saturday, we’re going to roll out a small breakfast menu.We’re going to have a classic breakfast plate with either bacon or sausage and toast, eggs, hash browns. And we’ll have three breakfast burritos: a spicy chorizo burrito; a bacon, egg, and cheese burrito with onions and tomato; and then also a ham, egg, and cheese burrito.

“We’re going to start out kind of small on both breakfast and lunch. We have got a few menu items we tried and really liked. We’ll just kind of slowly branch out as we get a little more settled.”

For now, drinks include coffee, tea, and soft drinks, but Galbreath is planning to add local craft beer and wine by the glass in the future.

Classes continue to be offered at the pottery studio. Membership packages for ceramic artists who need access to a fully equipped studio also are offered.

Unlike the previous space, the new studio is open 24 hours, so members will have continuous access. Belltower is open to the public from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Hours are slated to change to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the coming weeks.

For more information on pottery classes or memberships, email

For information on the coffee shop, email

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.

Add a comment