Monday, November 11, 2019

Grind City Coffee Hosts Caffeine Crawl this Weekend

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 11:27 AM

  • Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Grind City Coffee is bringing Caffeine Crawl to Memphis on Saturday, November 16th, with three caffeinated routes.

Caffeine Crawl is designed to be a fun, educational, pub-style crawl from venue to venue that allows participants to taste, learn, and talk about different kinds of coffee with like-minded java enthusiasts. Stops on the crawl include Dr. Beans at Puck Food Hall, Comeback Coffee, Vice and Virtue, INSPIRE Community Cafe, and Ugly Mug Coffee, among many others.

“I think this is going to showcase that Memphis is more than just Beale and barbecue,” says Rachel Williams, co-founder of Grind City Coffee. “We are growing a lot. We have a lot to offer.”

Williams explains that not everyone is aware of the coffee scene in Memphis, and Grind City Coffee is trying to change that through events like Caffeine Crawl and Grind City Coffee Expo.

“A lot of people sometimes get a little nervous to kind of step out of their comfort zone," she says. "So being able to have something more approachable that’s introducing people to this, whether it be through a caffeine crawl or through the [Grind City Coffee] expo, there's something for everybody."

Co-founders of Grind City Coffee, Daniel Lynn and Rachel Williams, love to promote a “community over competition” mentality when it comes to showcasing and celebrating local coffee spots.

“This is just another example of that,” Lynn says. “Plus, you know, people like to have non-alcoholic alternatives sometimes, so this provides that as well.”

Williams and Lynn see an opportunity for more and more people to get involved in local coffee culture, so bringing Caffeine Crawl to Memphis was a natural next step for Grind City Coffee in serving that mission.

“Every time I look on social media, there's another home roaster or coffee shop. So, it's fantastic to see all the growth,” Lynn says. “But that's also what we're hoping for this as well as other events to keep putting the voice out there about what we have right here in Memphis.”

Tickets are currently on sale at

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

UPDATE: Bardog (Once Again) Reopens

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 2:35 PM

  • Bardog Tavern/Facebook
Well, that sump pump officials with Bardog Tavern bought yesterday must have worked. The bar is open, once again, after a flood in the basement closed the popular Downtown spot yesterday. (See original post below.)
(PREVIOUS POST) Bardog Tavern is, once again, temporarily closed as bar owners and city officials deal with issues related to a collapsed sewer line, according to bar owner Aldo Dean.

The closure is the this bar's fifth since September 21st. Dean said in a Facebook post Thursday the restaurant's basement flooded after a city contractor damaged a water main.

Dean said the whole situation "has been disheartening to say the least." It was unclear on Thursday afternoon when the bar would re-open.

See Dean's full statement in this Facebook post:

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Slider Inn - South Main Slated to Open in Mid November

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 6:19 PM

"The Llift" at Slider Inn - South Main - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • "The Llift" at Slider Inn - South Main

The main bar at Slider Inn-South Main - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • The main bar at Slider Inn-South Main

Aldo Dean’s new Slider Inn - South Main, which is slated to open in mid November, can be characterized as “clean, minimal, industrial, modern,” says Eric Bourgeois, marketing director for Packed House productions, which also includes Dean’s other businesses: Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Bardog Tavern, the original Slider Inn in Midtown, and Momma’s.

The bar/restaurant encompasses about a block at the corner of Talbot and Main. The address is 363 Mulberry - the street that runs behind Slider Inn.

The building, which dates to 1946, previously housed a storage space for vintage trucks and automobiles. Original neon truck signs from “Kisber Auto Parts,” which also occupied the space at one time, will be reinstalled.

Entering Slider Inn, guests will see the “Wow Wall,” which will feature a mural of the neon sign at the original Slider Inn.

Looking up, they’ll see the illuminated 2000 Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycle with custom features, including a “suicide shift.”

Looking up, people also may see Dean’s dad, Aldo Ragnacci, doing some construction work on the place.

Robert Johnson, master woodworker, executed Dean’s vision for the wrap-around black walnut bar, which is the centerpiece of the room. The bar is mounted on top of a modular die bar system, which supports all the under bar appliances, Bourgeois says.

The lighting fixtures above the bar were inspired by New York designer Lindsey Adelman. They feature curved hand-blown glass shades with industrial clamps and Edison light bulbs.

In front of the bar is a 12-foot-long community table built by Joe Boyd of Woodland Tree Service. One side of the table features a 12-foot-long foot rail for customers who like to rest one of their feet while having a sip or two. Slider Inn will feature a menu of new drinks as well as its signature drink, the Jameson Slushie - Jameson Irish whiskey, fresh-squeezed lemonade, ginger beer, and bitters.

The six enormous windows on the South side already are filling up with empty Jameson whiskey bottles. The ones in Slider Inn so far are from the Midtown location. Each window will be full of the bottles, which will be “hand decorated” by patrons after they finished the contents. That will be about 120 bottles per window or 720 total, Bourgeois says.

The kitchen is done in stainless steel. That’s just about everything - from all the appliances to the ceiling. This is where chefs will prepare all the items from the Slider Inn in Midtown as well as some new items, including “lobster popcorn.” This delicacy features tempura-battered lobster nuggets mixed in with the buttered popcorn and house-made sauce. Reuben egg rolls and Cuban egg rolls also will be served - one of each on the same plate.

Dean always wanted a mezzanine in one of his businesses, Bourgeois says. So, now he’s got one. It’s called “The Lift” - a nod to the lift that workers use in garages to get under vehicles. The Lift overlooks the bar/seating area.

The room is designed as a great hangout area or can be used for events, including birthday parties. Guests - the room can accommodate around 20 people - can relax on a long leather sofa and watch wide-screen TV. They also can relax on the custom-made “Roman Bed” with pillows that give the space a casual, “lounge-y feel,” Bourgeois says.

Vintage truck tailgates fill the area above the bed. Garage “creepers” - the boards on rollers workers use to slide under cars and trucks - also are used as decorations.

Looking up again, patrons will see a vintage 14-foot steel playground slide - the kind that used to burn your behind on hot days - hanging from the ceiling. It’s a nod to a similar slide on top of Slider Inn Midtown.

The chandelier is made from Tennessee license plates bent into a circle.

The courtyard on the North side of Slider Inn features more seating. Dean even thought of his canine friends. A dog-height drinking fountain just for Fido stands next to a fountain for adults.

On the other side of the courtyard is “The Garage Bar.” It features another bar and more seating. The sleek long tables, which are built in a waterfall design, are made of spruce pine.

Garage doors can be pulled up when the weather is pleasant.

It’s a “separate eatery,” Bourgeois says, but all food will come from the same menu and the same kitchen. Guests on both sides will be able to dine at the chilaquiles buffet during Saturday and Sunday brunch.

All that is Slider Inn.

“Slider Out” is the grassy area that fronts Main Street. It’s an “outdoor event space,” which will eventually include live music, Bourgeois says.

Or, as Dean calls it, “Prime grassy real estate on South Main.”

And - it all this isn’t enough - Slider Out will show movies outside on a wall, which will be covered with white vinyl. People can rent Adirondack chairs and blankets and “cozy up,” Bourgeois says.

Slider Inn - South Main - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Slider Inn - South Main
  • Michael Donahue
  • Michael Donahue
  • Michael Donahue
The Garage Bar at Slider Inn-South Main - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • The Garage Bar at Slider Inn-South Main
The Garage Bar at Slider Inn-South Main - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • The Garage Bar at Slider Inn-South Main

General manager Billy Williams, Eric Bourgeois, Aldo Dean, operations director Bobby Heath, assistant manager Chelle Morgan at Slider Inn-South Main. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • General manager Billy Williams, Eric Bourgeois, Aldo Dean, operations director Bobby Heath, assistant manager Chelle Morgan at Slider Inn-South Main.
Matthew Hubbard, bar manger at Slider Inn-South Main. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Matthew Hubbard, bar manger at Slider Inn-South Main.
  • Michael Donahue
  • Aldo Ragnacci

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Best Bets: The Birdie Sandwich at Eight & Sand

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 2:18 PM

Chef Dorje Meta with The Birdie sandwich at Eight & Sand. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Chef Dorje Meta with The Birdie sandwich at Eight & Sand.

The Birdie might be the most unusual sandwich I’ve ever tasted. It’s chicken, but there’s a lot going on beneath the two slices of brioche.

It’s the most popular item on the menu at Eight & Sand, the elegant new Andrew Ticer/Michael Hudman bar in Central Station Hotel, says Dorje Meta, executive sous chef for Eight & Sand, the hotel, and the hotel’s upcoming Bishop restaurant.

The Birdie is a “wet-batter fried chicken” sandwich, Meta says. “It’s coated in Calabrian honey. We, basically, take the oil from those Calabrian peppers and we emulsify it in the honey, so it’s super spicy. And then we have a dill aioli. We make a dress slaw out of that. And then dill pickles on a brioche. It’s pretty simple, but pretty elegant little bar food.”

I asked Meta what he liked about it. “It’s got the elements of a classical chicken sandwich. It’s got the aioli and good solid brioche. I actually grill the brioche with butter. It’s a normal brioche, but it’s elevated with the dill, obviously. And that pairs really with the pickles that are already on there.”

The “genius thing” about The Birdie is that honey, Meta says. “The honey is really intense. It’s spicy. If you took a spoonful of the honey by itself it’s not fun. It would be adventurous. But on the sandwich you’re not trying to down some milk ‘cause it’s too spicy. Everything on there has a purpose.”

The spice, he says, is “balanced by the slaw. So, it’s a very balanced sandwich. You can’t really slow down when you eat it. It’s just gone.”

The sandwich was developed by Ticer and Hudman for “Birdies & Bubbles,” the pop-up restaurant they did at the the 2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude invitational at TPC Southwind.

So, as photographers used to say, “Watch the birdie.” But you can watch this Birdie quickly get gobbled up at Eight & Sand.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Eight & Sand Opens in Central Station Hotel

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 3:16 PM

Eight & Sand opens October 24th. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Eight & Sand opens October 24th.

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.”

  • Michael Donahue
  • Eight & Sand
  • Michael Donahue
  • Eight & Sand
  • Michael Donahue
  • Eight & Sand
  • Michael Donahue
  • Eight & Sand
  • Michael Donahue
  • Eight & Sand

  • Michael Donahue
  • Eight & Sand

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Adios to the Pancho's Man?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 3:02 PM

  • Pancho's/Tiwtter

Pancho's Cheese Dips dropped some serious stuff on Twitter Thursday with one phrase, "get ready to meet the new Pancho."

The smiling, mustachioed, and sombrero-ed Pancho has graced the lid of the famous cheese dip for years. The figure is an easily recognizable Memphis icon.

  • Pancho's/Twitter
"Pancho Man" was created by the restaurant's founder, according to a Flyer cover story covering all aspect of cheese dip and our city's love affair with it.

  • Justin Fox Burks
Clemmie and Morris Berger opened the first Pancho's Mexican restaurant in 1956 in West Memphis. Brenda O'Brien, Morris Berger's daughter, says her father was also the creator of "Pancho Man." O'Brien says she was with him when he made the first drawing. "Daddy wanted to get a mascot for the restaurant. Daddy could draw really well."

Pancho's tweeted the change at around 2 p.m. But, with only five likes on the post so far, it hasn't made much noise yet. The tweet was unclear as to just when we'll meet the new Pancho Man only to say, "he's almost here."

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Coastal Fish Company slated to open at the end of October in Shelby Farms

Posted By on Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 4:42 PM

Coastal Fish Company patio at Shelby Farms - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Coastal Fish Company patio at Shelby Farms

View of Hyde Lake from Coastal Fish Company - LAUREN RESH
  • Lauren Resh
  • View of Hyde Lake from Coastal Fish Company

If I want fresh Gulf seafood, I have to travel about six hours to Biloxi and Gulfport. When Coastal Fish Company opens at the end of October, I’ll only have to travel about 20 minutes from Midtown Memphis.

This is the new restaurant brought to you by Russ Graham and Tom Powers of the Flight Restaurant Group. They are the owners of Flight, Southern Social, and the upcoming Porch & Parlor restaurants. Coastal Fish Company is in the space previously occupied by the old Kitchen American Bistro.

First of all, Coastal Fish Company offers the most beautiful view of any restaurant in Memphis. It looks out on peaceful 80-acre Hyde Lake. Diners can eat inside and feel like they’re eating outside. Or, they can eat outside and be outside on the spacious patio. All of this, including the food, feels like your on the Gulf Coast, or in Florida, Or, actually, on any body of water you choose.

The decor is in light brown and the appropriate blue. New chairs and new tables now grace the restaurant. All new light fixtures were added.

The desk at the front entrance has been replaced by a new desk with a partial wall behind it. Tables have been added behind that wall so people now can dine in the bar area.

During my visit, I saw Lauren Resch, Graham’s fiance, painting some blue design work behind the bar, which also has new light fixtures as well as a TV to add “energy behind the bar,” Graham says.

Diners who visited the previous restaurant will notice everything has been removed that obstructed the view of the lake. Anything waist high was taken out, Graham says. A large chandelier also was removed. “We want everything to focus on the lake,” he says.

The patio area features 21 tables with seating for more than 90 people. The inside area offers 24 tables.

They plan to add a six or seven-foot table that will only back up to the front railing, so diners can be even closer to the lake.

Coastal Fish Company feels like a destination restaurant - like you’re far away from Memphis - when you’re sitting on the patio, says managing partner Jason Burgardt. “You look at the sunset and you stop. You forget where you are.

You can still keep your bearings if you desire. “If you look out there, you can see Clark Tower,” Graham says.

A glass wall currently is being made for the south side of the patio, because the wind tends to blow from the south, Burgardt says. They also will have chimineas and 16 or 17 heaters. The patio area will “look warm and feel warm,” Burgardt says.

Now for the food.

Executive chef Ryan Gall worked at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Biloxi, Emeril Lagasse properties, including Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House in Biloxi. Recently, he was executive chef at TPC Southwind, which is part of the PGA tour.

Ashton Hall is director of culinary for all the restaurants owned by Flight Restaurant Group. Eduardo Murillo is corporate executive chef.

I took a tour of the spacious kitchen, which also has a TV. But this television set shows what’s going on in all their restaurants. Murillo got the idea when he visited Thomas Keller’s TAK room in New York.

You can order wood-fired oysters, which are the only thing the restaurant’s wood oven will be used for, Gall says. They will be charbroiled on cast iron skillets.

You also can order raw oysters, but don’t expect to get a paper cup of red sauce and horseradish. You can pair the oysters with a variety of sorbets, including apple wasabi, cocktail, lemon, champagne, and chili and passion fruit. I was blown away when I tried the apple wasabi with an oyster. I love sweet and savory, so this was the zenith for that flavor mix. It’s incredible. Ditto the chili and passion fruit I tried. I can’t wait to try them all.

Like all their seafood, the oysters are flown in fresh from the Gulf and the East Coast - from Maine all the way down to Florida.

The fresh fish includes Gulf snapper, tuna, grouper, speckled trout, Chilean sea bass, shellfish, including lobster, and red fish for “a little taste of New Orleans.”

But they want to do seafood preparation from all over, not just New Orleans. “The best seafood the world has to offer and bring it to Memphis,” Gall says.

Soups include lobster bisque, clam chowder, she-crab soup, and gumbo.

You also can build a “seafood tower,” which can include levels of oysters, a half lobster, shrimp, stone crab claws, caviar, and mussels. You get all of that if you order a “grand tower.’ Or, you can order everything individually.

The accent is on “fresh” and “quality,” Gall says. Nothing frozen at Coastal Fish Company. “We want to open up people’s minds to real fish.”

And, he says, “You feel like you’re at a boat house on the lake,” he says.

Meat includes “from the farm” ribeye and pork chops, “All steaks are prime,” Gall says.

Desserts will include key lime pie, which you can get coated with your choice of chocolate, including salted dark chocolate. You also can order strawberry key lime pie and pineapple upside down cake.

Drew Wooten is bar manager. The bar will feature craft cocktails. They will specialize in wines that will perfectly pair with seafood.

You can sit on the patio, watch the sunset, and wash down some of those raw oysters with a glass of Chenin Blanc at Coastal Fish Company.

And Biloxi will be 372.5 miles away.

Lauren Resch paints some detail work over the bar of Coastal Fish Company, which is slated to open at the end of October. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Lauren Resch paints some detail work over the bar of Coastal Fish Company, which is slated to open at the end of October.

Ashton Hall, Ryan Gall, and Eduardo Murillo at Coastal Fish Company. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Ashton Hall, Ryan Gall, and Eduardo Murillo at Coastal Fish Company.
Coastal Fish Company bar manager Drew Wooten, assistant manager Sarah Applebaum, and managing partner Jason Burgardt. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Coastal Fish Company bar manager Drew Wooten, assistant manager Sarah Applebaum, and managing partner Jason Burgardt.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Zinnie's Slated to Reopen November 1st

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 2:17 PM

  • Michael Donahue
  • Michael Donahue

Zinnie’s — the “Best Little Neighborhood Bar in the Universe” — is slated to re-open November 1st. Or, as Tony Westmoreland, one of the owners, says, “We will be open Halloween.”

The bar/restaurant, which closed in December, is back with a facelift, but it’s still Zinnie’s, the beloved spot at 1688 Madison. It will be open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week.

And, yes, you still will be able to order a “Zinnalonni” bologna sandwich.

Why did Westmoreland want to buy Zinnie’s? “It’s Midtown. You know everyone who comes in the door — almost.” And, he says, it’s one of the only Midtown bars “where people could have conversations.”

But it was a challenge to get Zinnie’s back to being Zinnie’s, says Westmoreland, who owns Zinnie’s with his wife, Stephanie Westmoreland, and Cullen Kent. “It’s hard trying to keep a bar the same as it was when everything’s gone.”

Almost everything. They still have the tables, chairs, booths, and the long bar. But a lot of the equipment had to be replaced. They still have some of the wall pieces, including Stax, Otis Redding and Bar-Kays posters. Former owner Bill Baker left those, Westmoreland says.

They are having the old stained glass “Zinnie’s” and “Be Nice or Leave” signs re-made, he says.

It wasn’t a “turnkey operation” when they moved in. Not just a change of ownership. A lot had to be done to the place, which originally opened in 1973.

Westmoreland and operations director Rick Haygood gave a tour. One window behind the bar was replaced with wood because the glass had a big crack in it. Dark shades cover the other windows and the front door because they wanted to create a "dark lounge" look during the day.

They now have 12 beer taps behind the bar instead of four, Westmoreland says. New equipment includes a new ice maker and a kegerator for beer kegs. The only original piece is the beer cooler, but it had to be reworked, Westmoreland says.

The place has a new juke box and new ceiling fans. And new toilets now grace the bathrooms. And a wall inside the women’s bathroom, which apparently was too close to the toilet, now is gone. And now there’s a lock on the door.

The sign above the front door with the “little Zinnie’s dude” as Haygood calls him is the same. They’ve just added new lighting for it, as well pinball machines and a “Golden Tee” golf game in the little room at the back, where tables and chairs and a TV once stood.

The kitchen? “Everything in here is brand new.” The original popcorn machine is gone, but a new one that "will work" has been installed.

In addition to the Zinnalonni, patrons will be able to order most of the items from the old menu, Westmoreland says. New items include a meatloaf sandwich and boiled peanuts. Kent and Patrick Hill will man the kitchen.

As for live music, Westmoreland says they’ll probably feature no more than two people doing some kind of soft jazz set.

The Zinnie’s facelift cost about $60,000, he says. They thought it would be $15,000.

Westmoreland has already planned some customer interaction. If you bring in a tin beer sign, you get a beer for a penny. They plan to cover the ceiling with the signs.

But, he says, “It only works once.” You can’t bring in 10 signs and expect 10 beers for a dime.

  • Rick Haygood
  • Rick Haygood

  • Michael Donahue
Tony Westmoreland and Rick Haygood at Zinnie's. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Tony Westmoreland and Rick Haygood at Zinnie's.

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Local Restaurateur Launching AM PM Coffee Bourbon

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Jeff Johnson (owner of Local) is launching a new Memphis-made bourbon whiskey.
  • Jeff Johnson (owner of Local) is launching a new Memphis-made bourbon whiskey.
Bars and restaurants across the city will be welcoming a new addition to shelves this season: AM PM, a bourbon whiskey infused with 100 percent fair-trade Arabica coffee beans, Madagascar vanilla, and a touch of pure cane sugar.

Local restaurateur Jeff Johnson (owner of Local and the soon-to-open Parish Grocery) has been developing the coffee-infused bourbon over the past two years and is releasing it across the city in the coming months, scheduling a series of events to introduce people to the product.

“We’re very excited about this,” Johnson says. “I’m going to be doing a lot of tastings.”

Johnson is betting that fans of bourbon and coffee alike will enjoy its robust flavor. AM PM is an easy sipping whiskey; the overall taste is “bourbon-forward,” and the coffee flavor is subtle and almost chocolaty. Though coffee is actually a fruit, Johnson and his team went out of their way to avoid creating a fruity whiskey. Instead, after multiple samplings, they opted for a flavor profile that’s warm and malt-like, rather than too sugary and sweet (as is the case with a lot of flavored bourbons). The result is a smooth, rich, flavorful bourbon that tastes delicious when mixed with coffee-based drinks or paired with a favorite dessert. AM PM also makes for an excellent addition to fall and winter cocktails, warm or cold, or chilled in a tumbler all on its own.

Beyond just its flavor, this coffee-infused bourbon has a lot of Southern personality. Johnson explained that the motto printed on the bottle (”Memphis, Tennessee: Ain’t No Place I’d Rather Be”) is “a nod to the Grateful Dead,” and that everything is distilled and bottled locally. “Even the label is printed in Memphis,” Johnson says.

Whether you’re looking for something to warm you up near the campfire, give you an extra jolt at brunch, or simply liven up your favorite seasonal drinks, AM PM is aiming to be a crowd-pleaser. So far, you can find it at Local and Hi Tone, with more bars and retailers to come. You can also follow @ampmbourbon on Instagram for the latest.

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Building Owner Says Dirty Crow Not Going in Uptown Space

Posted By on Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 1:00 PM

The building's owner says this will not — after all — be the new location of The Dirty Crow Inn. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • The building's owner says this will not — after all — be the new location of The Dirty Crow Inn.
A widely shared, commented, and liked Facebook post from what appears to be the official page for The Dirty Crow Inn wrongly reported this week that the well-loved bar was moving to Uptown, according to the owner of the building.

That post said the Crow was moving to 612 N. 5th Street in Uptown. However, the owner of that building said late Thursday that it isn't.

"I am the owner of the building and I wanted you to know that we will not be able to have the Crow relocate to that property due to the residential neighborhood and other restrictions," wrote Robert Malone in an email Thursday.

The building, instead, will be used as a commercial kitchen and an AirBnB, Malone said.

So far, it is unclear where the information came from in the original post. It is also unclear where — if anywhere — the Dirty Crow will be relocated.

This information is an update to our original report on the matter yesterday, which we based solely on the Facebook post (see below).

We'll update this story as details become available.

Here's our original story:    

Owners of The Dirty Crow Inn say the restaurant and bar "is not finished" and hope the crow will rise like a Phoenix in a new spot next year.

A Facebook post from the Dirty Crow Wednesday noted that the restaurant/bar is no longer at its original spot on Kentucky, just south of Crump. Memphis restaurateur Aldo Dean, told the Flyer's Michael Donahue Wednesday that the Crow's old location is now a trucker-themed restaurant and bar called Momma's Roadhouse.

Dirty Crow owners said in that Facebook post that they kept the the Dirty Crow name, "and all the yummy recipes, which can't be sold at any other location."

"The Dirty Crow Inn is not finished!," they wrote. "We are in the process of renovating a new location for everyone to come and get their wing fix on, with a cold beer, mixed drink, or wine. We are hoping to be open around the first of the year, and we will be posting updates on the new building as it is coming along..."

The building's owner says this will not — after all — be the new location of The Dirty Crow Inn. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • The building's owner says this will not — after all — be the new location of The Dirty Crow Inn.

A later update to that post said the new Dirty Crow will be located at 612 N. 5th Street in the Uptown neighborhood. (Again, this information appears to be wrong.) The post predicted that "The Dirty Crow Inn 2.0 will be bigger and better for the year 2020."

"We will continue to bring music and adding more to our menu," reads the post. "We are also entertaining the idea of adding breakfast as well."

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Aldo Dean's "Momma's Roadhouse" will have Trucker Theme

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 2:57 PM


10-4. Aldo Dean’s restaurant, Momma's Roadhouse (formerly The Dirty Crow Inn at 855 Kentucky), is going to be a trucker bar. The restaurant/bar now is open, but the facelift is on its way.

“We’re going to make it a trucker-themed bar,” says Dean. “And there’s not a trucker-themed bar in America. There are truck stops, but no trucker-themed bars. It’s close to the highway. 'Diner and Dive on Highway 55.'”

Dean, who also owns Bardog Tavern, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, and the Slider Inns, already is collecting trucker-related items for Momma’s Roadhouse. “Street signs, highway signs. A six-foot ‘Wide Load’ sign. ‘No Dumping Allowed.’ That sign. A knife and fork from a highway sign. It shows there’s a restaurant at the next exit. We'll have signs like that.”

Other trucker-related decor? “We’re putting cowboy boots, trucker hats, CB radios, belt buckles on the walls. It’s going to be filled with dive-y kitsch. That’s long term. That’s the plan heading into 2020.”

Dean bought the property after he learned the owner wanted to sell the building. “So, we made him a good offer. And that was part of the deal - that we could own the property with an operating restaurant on it. It’s already called ‘Momma’s Roadhouse.’ We’re going to keep it dive-y. Keep it a dive bar.”

It has a new menu. “It’s burger heavy. But we really just needed a fast transformation. We had an agreement to keep it ‘Dirty Crow’ for six months. Six months is over.”

For now, they’re “getting to know the clientele,” Dean says. “The Dirty Crow was heavy on wings, but the Dirty Crow supposedly is going to open in another location. So, he (the former owner) is going to keep that menu. That’s going to be his thing.

“We want to do some fun drink specials. We want to start drink specials early because Momma drinks early. We want people to join her.”

Momma’s Roadhouse is going to be “21 and over,” Dean says. “I think a true bar is a place adults can go and drink when they’re happy or sad. And dives are named such because they’re often in the basement or cellar of a building, so you kind of had to dive down deep to get in those bars. And dives are traditionally disreputable places. I don’t think that’s so true anymore.

“Our place will be spick and span. But we’ll have a place open to 3 a.m. and entertain people from the neighborhood at night and continue to serve huge lunch crowds that are in that area. We have busy lunches there every day and there’s not a place to sit. A lot of industrial workers down there, guys (who) go to work in a uniform.”

They’ve been getting workers from the “Mack truck store down the street, the Hershey plant, workers from Presidents Island.”

Momma’s Roadhouse will do dollar wings on Wednesdays. And, Dean says, “In the future, an industry brunch on Mondays for restaurant people who work late on Sundays.”

Their menu is “a work in progress. We’re still tooling with the menu, but we hope to roll out a complete menu sometime in November.”

And they’re adding darts shortly and a pool table on the deck in the near future, Dean says.

As for those big trucks, parking at Momma’s Roadhouse is convenient for truckers, Dean says. “They can park on Kentucky Street here instead of going into the interior of the city. It’s difficult to have a big rig Downtown. It’s a good place for them to have a hot meal and a cold beer at the end of the long haul.”

Truckers can “come off the highway, conveniently park and eat at Momma’s, and roll back onto the road.”

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Memphis Made to Open Second Location in the Ravine

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 9:45 AM

Memphis Made's new location will be located in The Ravine, a $5 million public greenspace concept to be built between Union and Madison in the Edge District. - MEMPHIS MADE BREWING CO.
  • Memphis Made Brewing Co.
  • Memphis Made's new location will be located in The Ravine, a $5 million public greenspace concept to be built between Union and Madison in the Edge District.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. will open a second location in the Edge District’s Ravine area, a move that will allow the brewery to increase its capacity and offer more beers.

The company established its first location — now a production brewery and taproom — in Cooper-Young in 2013. Memphis Made now has beers in more than 300 bars, restaurants, and retailers throughout Shelby County.

“If you'd asked me about a second location six years ago, I would have looked at you like you had six arms,” said Drew Barton, co-founder of Memphis Made. “Now, opening day can’t come soon enough. This location will allow us to grow and provide more fans with a larger selection.”
The brewery recently signed a lease with PGK Properties, the firm developing the Wonder Bread Factory project, a series of office space, apartments, and retail in the area.

“They will prove to be a pivotal player in the creation of a walkable, thriving, mixed-use neighborhood,” said Ethan Knight, vice president of development with Development Services Group, the developer for PGK. We have been focused on cultivating an authentic Live-Work-Play community within the Edge, and Memphis Made is a top tier asset to welcome to the mix.”

  • Memphis Made Brewing Co.

That lease will give Memphis Made an almost 17,000-square-foot space at 435 Madison Ave. It will give the company space for production, offices, and a taproom spread across multiple levels. The new production space will feature a 30-barrel brewhouse in 7,500 square feet with an entrance on Lauderdale Street.

“This move will increase our production ceiling,” said Andy Ashby, co-founder of Memphis Made. “Drew and our brewers have been pushing our current space to its limits. This gives us more than just the chance to brew more beer.

“It also will let our brewers experiment more and try different styles and techniques.”
A 7,750-square-foot taproom will be below the production space. It will have an entrance off Lauderdale and a patio deck overlooking the Ravine, a $5 million public greenspace concept being developed by DSG and the Downtown Memphis Commission. The Ravine will run between Union and Madison Avenues.

Memphis Made began with production out of a 5,000-square-foot space at 768 S. Cooper, adding a taproom in November 2014. The company now has 10 full time employees and several part time employees.

Memphis Made’s original location will remain open. Once the new space opens, the Cooper-Young location will focus on new and experimental beers. That taproom, currently open Thursday through Sunday, will have expanded hours.

“We worked hard to make our first location part of the neighborhood,” Ashby said. “We can’t wait to get to know our new neighbors and be a real part of the Edge District in the same way.”

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Karen Carrier to open new Cooper-Young dining space, Back Dó at Mi Yard

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 8:07 PM

Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard" - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard"

Karen Carrier is ready to open her back door to an oasis where movie lovers and lovers of her signature cuisine can enjoy themselves in an outdoor Jamaican-style paradise filled with palms and bamboo in the heart of Cooper-Young.

She’s opening a new space, Back Dó at Mi Yard, sometime in October.

And it’s literally in her backyard. It’s behind her restaurant, The Beauty Shop Restaurant, at 966 Cooper.

“It’s a hidden Oasis in Midtown behind The Beauty Shop,” says Carrier, a veteran restaurateur who also owns Mollie Fontaine Lounge, Bar DKDC, and Another Roadside Attraction caterers.

And, like her other restaurants, it’s something completely different.

“I get bored every six or seven years,” Carrier says. “I want to create something. I was painting for so long. I like creating little places.”

She came up with the idea 10 years ago. “I wanted to open a place called ‘Back Do’ and it would be a place outside. We’d show movies and have food and have a bar.”

“Mi yard” means “my home” in “patois,” which is Jamaican slang. Carrier is saying, “Meet me at my back door at my home.”

She discussed her idea with her long-time friend, the late Ron Shapiro, who owned the legendary Hoka theater in Oxford. “I told him I wanted to show movies every night. But Ron was going to be a big part of it. He was the movie guy. We talked about all these movies we were going to show. Then he got sick and passed away. It’s an homage to him as well.”

Musician Harlan T. Bobo built most of the deck before he moved back to France, Carrier says. A neighbor named “Cowboy” then offered to help her finish it. “Man, he has helped me build all this stuff. It’s unbelievable.”

Artist Wayne Edge put wood from a mill Carrier found in Eads, Tenn. over the cinder block building, where Carrier keeps her walk-in cooler.

Allison Furr-Lawyer helped paint the black-and-white checkered deck as well as the planters and some of the chairs.

They transformed the area. “This place was just a hole. It was where we hung out. It used to fill up with water. And it was a problem. We put in all this gravel and sand.”

They put up a fence and a gate so people can enter “Back Dó” from Young.

“I just kept coming up with ideas. I wanted it to be like a Moroccan jungle. My son, Austin, went to Morocco and kept sending me photos. I was like, ‘Oh, my god. This is what I want.’ I went to Millstone Nursery. They had all these amazing tropical plants. Everything. We planted tons of bamboo, palm trees. All kinds. It’s like a jungle.”

They also have a thatched roof bar.

As for the food, Carrier says, “it’s all done on a rotisserie. That’s what’s really fun.”
The menu will consist of grilled meats, which will be served sliced on platters with different nut dusts, salsas, and “a different bread every week. You can slather up those hot meats coming off the rotisserie. A couple of fresh crudos. Really simple and really good.”

Austin got her an outdoor projector. Carrier also got waterproof speakers. She hasn’t decided on the first movie to show.

Customers will be able to enter from Young or from inside the Beauty Shop.

Carrier isn’t sure what she’ll do if it rains. As for winter weather, she says, “I’m going to get a fire pit. I’m doing all this shooting from the hip.”

Back Dó at Mi Yard probably will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays. When it does open, Carrier plans a big blowout. “I don’t do soft openings,” she says.

Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard" - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard"

Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard" - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard"

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Wiseacre Expands into Georgia, Offers New Year-Round Beers

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 2:28 PM

  • Wiseacre Brewing Co.
  • Xanadu
Want to visit Atlanta but worry that they don’t have Tiny Bomb? Here's some good news for you.

Wiseacre Brewing Co. will launch its beers across Georgia on Tuesday, October 1st, in a new partnership the company announced Thursday. Through Georgia Crown Distributing, Wiseacre will soon shelve Ananda India Pale Ale, Gotta Get Up to Get Down Coffee Milk Stout, Tiny Bomb Pilsner, as well as various seasonal and specialty offerings in the Peach State.

“We’ve gotten so much feedback through emails, reviews, and social media from Georgians who tried our beer on their visits throughout the Southeast, Chicago, and [Philadelphia] and want to be able to buy Wiseacre in their home state,” said Wiseacre co-founder Kellan Bartosch. “We want to say to Georgia: We got the message loud and clear. Now that we’ve got the help of the pros at Georgia Crown, we’ll be able to get our beer to you quickly!”
Wiseacre co-founders Davin Bartosch and Kellan Bartosch - TOBY SELLS
  • Toby Sells
  • Wiseacre co-founders Davin Bartosch and Kellan Bartosch

Georgia will be the ninth state to carry Wiseacre beers. It joins Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Wiseacre also introduced three new, year-round beers Thursday. Soon, the company will offer a new pale ale, a Berliner Weisse, and an India Pale Ale series. 

Here’s how the company describes them:
Beach Within Reach - WISEACRE BREWING CO.
  • Wiseacre Brewing Co.
  • Beach Within Reach
Regular Pale Ale is a seasonal offering that became a perennial best-seller thanks to its new-age IPA characteristics but session-able 5.1 percent alcohol by volume. The Beach Within Reach Berliner Weisse is a sour beer made in the style of a German ale that Napoleon once dubbed ‘the champagne of the North.’  Lastly, the MemFresh India Pale Ale series will kick off with Xanadu Hazy IPA.
“In the realm of hoppy beers, hyper-fresh is increasingly relevant — IPA super-fans want beers that are consumed within weeks or even days of production for maximum flavor and aroma,” said Wiseacre co-founder and brewmaster Davin Bartosch. “With this new IPA series, our goal is to keep the beer extremely fresh, so we'll be brewing smaller quantities on a regular basis rather than larger batch sizes like we do on most of our year-round beers.”
  • Wiseacre Brewing Co.
  • Regular Pale Ale
“This past year, we have experimented constantly with hops, varieties of ale yeast, new grain bills, and more. We’re taking the best and most unique things we learned from that to create this new IPA series. Look for MemFresh beers to pop up a few times before the end of 2019 but to be more widely available in early 2020 on draft and in 4-pack cans.”
Wiseacre's soon-to-be Downtown location rises from the ground along B.B. King. - WISEACRE BREWING CO.
  • Wiseacre Brewing Co.
  • Wiseacre's soon-to-be Downtown location rises from the ground along B.B. King.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Makeda's Cookies Celebrates 20 Years of Butterific Love

Posted By on Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at 3:49 PM

Makeda's celebrates 20 years. - LORNA FIELD
  • Lorna Field
  • Makeda's celebrates 20 years.

On Saturday, September 21st, Makeda’s Cookies celebrated their 20th anniversary with a massive block party in the heart of historic Downtown Memphis with food, music, and lots of local vendors.

Makeda’s Cookies has been a Memphis institution for 20 years and is primarily known for their rich, delicious butter cookies — but the block party was just as much a celebration of Memphis as it was a celebration for the bakery itself. Just east of the National Civil Rights Museum, Makeda’s provided live entertainment from local musicians, including Tonya Dyson, D’Monet, and many others; and they also hosted a variety of local vendors such as Margie’s 901, Waterfall Bodyworks, Knockerball 901, and plenty more.

Makeda’s Cookies was first established in 1999, and current owners Pamela and Maurice Hill have been running the business since 2002.

“On Saturday, we saw lots of Memphis people come out and support us, and it was just amazing,” Maurice Hill says.

But it wasn’t just the locals who turned out for the event: The bakery was steadily packed with tourists and folks visiting from the outer neighborhoods and suburbs as well — some of whom had never heard of or been to Makeda’s before then.
Makeda's celebrates 20 years.
  • Makeda's celebrates 20 years.
For those who don’t already know the story, Makeda’s Cookies was named in honor of the original owners’ daughter, Makeda Hill — Pamela and Maurice Hill’s niece, who lost her battle to leukemia in 1997 at the age of 6 — with the hope that the bakery would keep her memory alive for years to come. And it has: Makeda’s butter cookies have become something of a confectionery legend in Memphis, with Makeda Hill’s smiling face proudly displayed on all of the signage and packaging.

It’s no wonder why so many people seemed eager to celebrate the bakery’s 20th anniversary last weekend, as Memphians love supporting local businesses almost as much as they love good food.

Was the block party a one-time-only event? Owner Maurice Hill says, “Oh no, I think we’re going to make it an annual event. We can’t wait to do this again!”

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