Authenticity, comfort, and style — it’s evident the moment one steps into Tart. After several years of dreaming up a community-based business in Memphis, owners and life partners Heather Pike and Abby Jestis finally opened their French inspired café and restaurant doubling as an art gallery. Tart, thoughtfully named, literally includes “art” and melds their passion of food and art into one space.
“Tart dovetails our love of Memphis with our desire to share what we love about it. We want a place that offered a positive exchange between people, where they could enjoy themselves. A place with a relaxed fun edge,” says Heather about the concept.
The art gallery would help give unknown artists more exposure. “We want to involve artists on the verge of amazing. And we want them to make money,” says Heather.
Finding the right location for the concept was also a thoughtful decision. Abby had lived in Cooper-Young for years, so naturally Cooper-Young was among the neighborhoods considered. When they saw this house on Cooper Street just north of the bustling Cooper and Young intersection, they knew it was the one. Previously home to a dentist office and tattoo parlor, the traditional bungalow has now been transformed on the inside to make a more open plan for dining and seating. A new front patio anchored under a large tree adds to the community and street connection.
Using her food styling and design background, Heather has designed Tart’s aesthetic down to the plates and coffee mugs, both handmade by local potter Melissa Bridgman (and available to purchase). With a love for vintage, she mixes her of respect for the past with a bit of fun. “I style by instinct,” says Heather, explaining style is about how you feel. Wearing her “uniform” generally comprised of an artsy print shirt, jeans, and well-loved boots, Heather makes sure her customers feel right at home.
Heather is also a self-confessed Francophile, presumably because she’s from the New Orleans area. Abby has the culinary training in French cuisine. Together, they beautifully present traditional French food using local and trusted sources.
The authentic food and coffee is also well-prepared, but it’s the carefree French attitude, the joie de vivre, that Heather and Abby hope to capture in Tart.
As a bonus, Heather, the props procurer for Opera Memphis, shares some of her favorite places to shop in Memphis; some are hidden gems.
Cool source for any kind of costume jewelry under the sun
(’40s-’60s period costume accessories )
Gifts/Unusual Home Accessories
A. Shaw Antiques, Chickasaw Oaks Plaza
Spruce, Sanderlin Ave
Mrs. Post, Chickasaw Oaks Plaza
Stovall Collection, Laurelwood Shopping Center
The Peanut Shop, Summer Ave.
Vintage black tux shirt- Light Years' Vintage
Necklace - Brave Designs medicine necklace
T-shirt - Sache Designs, South Main
Boots - S Main, from Old Gringo
Jeans - Crazy Beautiful
Blue lapis scarab ring - my father's
Antique engagement rings - Tut-Uncommon Antiques
Silver thumb ring - Midtown Artists' Market (Christmas Collective)
Light blue Larimar ring - gift from a friend
Red and black seed bracelet - gift from a friend, blessed in Peru
Blue and silver bracelet - Antique Warehouse, Summer Ave.
Red and purple jeweled ring- Kitty Kyle