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The desk at the front entrance has been replaced by a new desk with a partial wall behind it.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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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Moondance Grill Will Open Thursday, September 12th

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 7:21 PM

Moondance Grill - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • Moondance Grill

Moondance Grill - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moondance Grill

Coinciding with a near full moon, Moondance Grill, a new Germantown restaurant, will open September 12th. Taking some liberties with Van Morrison’s lyrics, it should be a marvelous night for a “Moondance.”

But the restaurant, which will open at 11 a.m., will also serve lunch and dinner well before the moon rises.

“Cozy,” “warm,” with a “nice mellow vibe,” is how Tommy Peters describes the restaurant he and his wife, Liz, and the Beale Street Blues Co. are opening at 1730 Germantown Parkway. Tommy is president of Beale Street Blues Co., which owns Itta Bena, the restaurant above B. B. King’s Blues Club, and Lafayette’s Music Room in Overton Square.

Tommy’s description is right on the money. Throw in “classy,” too. The restaurant, which is decorated in brown and teal with lots of exposed brick, is elegant and casual at the same time. A painting above a fireplace in the bar area sums up the restaurant. The moonscape includes the Germantown water tower. There also are two people in the painting. “Liz and I dancing to ‘Moondance,’” Tommy says.

The restaurant, located in front of Germantown Performing Arts Center, was named in honor of Morrison, who is Tommy’s favorite artist. He’s seen him in concert 22 times.

Liz says she wanted the restaurant to be “a nice, social bar in Germantown and a place for people to have fun." They didn’t want it to be formal or too casual, but somewhere in between, she says.

The expansive rectangular bar can seat 32 people, but there’s still an intimate feel. Same goes for the generous booths in one area and the tables in another. Moondance Grill is roomy, but, as Tommy says, cozy. And guests will probably hear “Moondance” played more than once on the digitally-operated Yamaha grand piano in the bar.

Joel LeMay, executive chef, will be in the open kitchen, preparing the fare, which includes pan-seared sand dab, shrimp and grits, grilled salmon, boneless braised short ribs, and some “Moondance”-themed items, including the “Moondance Club,” “Moondance Classic Burger,” and “The Moondance” — a salad made with mixed greens, ham, chicken, bacon, egg, cheddar jack cheese, tomatoes, corn, carrots, garlic roasted croutons, and honey mustard dressing.

Those who’ve eagerly awaited the opening of  Moondance Grill will probably agree with another line in Morrison’s “Moondance”: “And I know now the time is just right.”

Moondance Grill - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moondance Grill
Moondance Grill - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moondance Grill
Liz and Tommy Peters at Moondance Grill - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Liz and Tommy Peters at Moondance Grill

Moondance Grill - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moondance Grill
Moondance Grill executive chef Joel LeMay and Beale Street Blues Co. corporate chef Oscar Pena. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moondance Grill executive chef Joel LeMay and Beale Street Blues Co. corporate chef Oscar Pena.
  • Michael Donahue

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Memphis Food & Wine Festival will be Oct. 12

Posted By on Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 6:48 PM

Spearheading the Memphis Food & Wine Festival are Wally Joe, Al LaRocca, Sherry and Bob Chimenti, and Jose Gutierrez. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Spearheading the Memphis Food & Wine Festival are Wally Joe, Al LaRocca, Sherry and Bob Chimenti, and Jose Gutierrez.

More than 40 chefs - area and from around the country - and almost 40 vintners will take part in this year’s Memphis Food & Wine Festival, which will be held Oct. 12th at Memphis Botanic Garden.

Six French Master Chefs, including Jose Gutierrez, chef/owner of River Oaks, will participate. Other chefs will be from Michelin-starred restaurants. James Beard Foundation winners will include Wally Joe, chef/owner of Acre. Gutierrez is the festival’s chef chairperson, and Joe is co-chef chairperson.

In addition to Gutierrez and Joe, local chefs will include Erling Jensen from Erling Jensen: The Restaurant, Andreas Kisler from The Peabody, Ryan Trimm, whose restaurants include Sweet Grass and 117 Prime; and Phillip Ashley Rix of Phillip Ashley Chocolates.

Out-of-town chefs include Tory McPhail from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Deb Paquette from Etch in Nashville, and Ken Frank from La Toque in Napa, California.

Among the culinary items will be Gutierrez’s roast pork tenderloin with peas and mint with fennel and coconut, and Joe’s gnocchi with duck confit, mushrooms, and smoked potato sauce.

McPhail is slated to serve barbecued gulf redfish cake with ravigote, Creole tomato sauce piquant, and herb salad.

Vintners include Caymus Vineyards, Pol Roger, and Silver Oak & Twomey.

Performers at the festival will include Amy LaVere, Will Sexton, John Paul Keith, and Ghost Town Blues Band.

Since 2016, Memphis Food & Wine Festival raised more than $225,000 for FedExFamilyHouse, says Sandra Lewis, relationship manager at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Gutierrez, Al LaRocca, and Bob and Sherry Chimenti are founders of the festival.

For more information and ticket prices, go to

As a companion event to the festival, Acre is hosting a dinner on Oct. 10th.  Guest chefs Frank, the Michelin starred chef-owner of La Toque, and Michael Smith of Farina in Kansas City, Missouri will join Joe in the kitchen. Smith is a James Beard Best Chef-Midwest Award winner. Also cooking will be Gutierrez and Franck Oysel, pastry chef at Interim.

Wines from Dry Creek Vineyards in Sonoma will be paired with each course.

The cost of the dinner is $185 pp plus tax & gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will benefit FedExFamilyHouse and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Highland Axe & Rec to open Sept. 4th

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

Highland Axe & Rec  offers three lanes and six targets for axe throwing. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • Highland Axe & Rec offers three lanes and six targets for axe throwing.

It’s time to start limbering up. Highland Axe & Rec opens Sept. 4th at 525 South Highland.

It’s safe to say this 5,000-square-foot venue isn’t your usual Highland Strip watering hole.

Highland Axe offers three lanes with six targets. People stand behind a line and throw an axe and try to hit the target.

It also offers food, two bars, games, three 12-by-10 foot projector screens, and three other TVs, plus plenty of seating. Highland Axe also has a basketball-throwing machine and  video game arcades and pinball machines.

But let’s start with the axe throwing.

Throwing that axe isn’t easy at first. I tried it twice and hit the flat of the axe against the wall both times.

Taylor Berger, managing partner in, which owns Highland Axe, Rec Room, Railgarten, and Loflin Yard, showed me the proper way to throw. You hold the axe in two hands with arms raised, take two steps forward, and throw. Berger’s throw, by the way, was right on the money.

You might have thrown an axe or two if you’ve been to the Rec Room. But Highland Axe is the ultimate when it comes to axe throwing. The back area, where the lanes are located, also includes a wide-screen TV, a bar, beer pong and seating for about 30 people. That space was a storage area until they converted it, Berger says.

Why axe throwing? “I got hooked on playing,” Berger says. He’d go to Rec Room with his buddies after the kids had gone to bed and throw some axes. But there’s no kitchen at Rec Room. Now, at Highland Axe, you can eat, drink and be an ax champion.

The main area includes three living room areas, each with its own set of couches and giant projector screen. You can rent out the seating areas to play video games, or, if nobody is renting them, you can relax and watch sports.

Berger installed a deluxe sound system, which will come in handy at Highland Axe dance parties and DJ nights. He also will offer occasional live music.

The menu includes a variety of appropriately-named items, including the “Axe,” “Big Axe,” and “Fat Axe” (thee patties) hamburgers.

The “Kick Axe Chicken Sammie” is a whole, marinated fried chicken breast with melted cheese, served plain, buffalo, or chicken jerk style. Chef Russell Casey came up with the menu.

I’m intrigued by the “Bad Axe Pop-Tarts,” which are pancake battered deep-fried strawberry Pop-Tarts with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. You get two to an order.

Movie posters from famous axe-related movies, including Friday the 13th, Golden Axe, American Psycho, The Shining, and So I Married an Ax Murderer, will hang on the walls.

Will they actually run axe movies at Highland Axe?

“Frequently. Yes,” Berger says.

Highland Axe & Rec will be open from 4:30 p.m. until late on weekdays and 11 a.m. until late on weekends.

People can play games or watch sports on giant projector screens in comfy living room areas. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • People can play games or watch sports on giant projector screens in comfy living room areas.

  • Michael Donahue
  • Taylor Berger
Taylor Berger shows how it's done. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Taylor Berger shows how it's done.


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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Memphis Made Brewing Co. Releases New Brew

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 9:43 AM

Memphis Made seen from the street - MEMPHIS MADE BREWING CO.
  • Memphis Made Brewing Co.
  • Memphis Made seen from the street

Memphis Made Brewing Co. releases its new American honey wheat ale, 3:30 on a Wednesday, at an event at the Cooper-Young brewery Saturday, August 31st, at 3:30 p.m.

  • Memphis Made Brewing Co.
For 3:30 on a Wednesday, Memphis Made revisited a previous specialty beer they brewed for a Memphis bicentennial celebration at the request of Music Export Memphis (MEM), a nonprofit that helps Bluff City bands to promote the Memphis brand abroad.

“We do a lot of one-offs, and if people like them, we bring them back,” says Andy Ashby, sales manager and co-owner of Memphis Made.

The new brew, Ashby says, is named after the city’s emergency sirens, which are tested weekly at noon, on Saturdays and, more importantly, on Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 p.m.

“It’s just a little Memphis thing,” Ashby says.

Memphis Made’s newest creation will come in three flavors — the original 3:30-style brew from the MEM event, as well as two fruit-accented versions in peach and raspberry. “Wheat beers are pretty good receptors for fruit flavors,” Ashby explains.

For their new, drinkable Memphis thing, the brewery has partnered with two stalwarts of the Memphis music scene: Goner Records and Unapologetic. Both the Cooper-Young-based record store/label and the hip-hop art collective have designed labels for the cans. Unapologetic designed the label for the peach can, with Goner taking on duties for the raspberry version. The can designs have yet to be unveiled, but one can’t help but wonder if Unapologetic artist A Weirdo From Memphis’ iconic pink bunny ears and red contact lenses will make an appearance.

A whole lot of GonerBrau - MEMPHIS MADE BREWING CO.
  • Memphis Made Brewing Co.
  • A whole lot of GonerBrau
Memphis Made has a longstanding relationship with Goner Records. The brewery has been one of the sponsors and venues for the annual Gonerfest. The brewery has also brewed commemorative batches of beer for the festival before, such as last year’s GonerBrau cream ale. “We love Goner,” Ashby says. “We’re again sponsoring Gonerfest this year. We’re the sole beer sponsor.” Ashby added that he was excited to work more with the creative forces at Unapologetic and hopes to collaborate with the collective again in the future.

DJs from Goner and Unapologetic will spin records at the release celebration. For those who want to take a taste of 3:30 on a Wednesday home, the beer will be on draft and available in six-packs, to-go. Though the wheat ale has been canned, Ashby warns, “This is a very limited run.”

3:30 on a Wednesday release at Memphis Made Brewing Co. on Saturday, August 31st, 3:30 p.m.


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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Lounge With a View: Mississippi Terrace Opens This Fall at Pyramid

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 1:26 PM

  • Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
A new outdoor lounge is headed for Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid this fall that offers a one-of-a-kind view of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi Terrace will overlook the river from the third floor of the Pyramid’s Big Cypress Lodge hotel. The 7,000-square-foot lounge will be open to hotel guests and Pyramid visitors.

The bar will offer beer, wine, and cocktails. The hotel describes its small-plate menu as “New American comfort favorites and down-home Southern twists.“ (See the full menu below.)
  • Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
Here’s how the hotel describes the vibe of the Mississippi Terrace:

“A feel-good ambiance evolves from relaxed al fresco afternoons and painterly sunsets over the Mississippi River to lively star-filled nights. Elegant gathering areas across the terrace’s 7,000-square-feet featuring oversized upholstered sofas and chairs with tables, high-top communal tables with modern pendant spheres that glow beneath awnings, striking circular tables that surround cozy fire pits, and dining tables for four with sun umbrellas.

“A copper-top destination bar offers additional seating while DJ grooves and live music (on select nights) filter through the terrace from a stage across from the bar. Hanging market lights, mood-inducing blue uplighting and beautiful landscaped plants, flowers and trees in wooden planters tie the meandering spaces together.”

No firm date was given for the opening of Mississippi Terrace. But when it does open, it’ll serve guests from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
  • Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
Here is a sample of the Mississippi Terrace menu.

Signature cocktails include:

Sweet Tea Mule – Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, peach puree, lemon juice, ginger beer, fresh mint
Southern Lady – Maker’s Mark, Jalapeno, mint, raspberry, fresh lemon juice, sparkling rose
Mississippi Margarita – Cazadores Blanco, Del Maguey Vida, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, grapefruit
Summer Rye - Rittenhouse Rye, strawberry, Aperol, fresh lime juice, absinthe
Strawberry-Basil Cosmo – Tito’s Vodka, Clear Creek Cranberry Liqueur, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, muddled fresh strawberries
Aromatic Gin Fizz – Slipsmith London Dry Gin, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup

Menu highlights:

Charcuterie & Cheese Board – venison and duck sausage, Genoa salami, aged cheddar, house-made pimento cheese, charred onion jam, wholegrain mustard and garlic flatbread
Smoked Trout Dip – green onion, caper berries, garlic flatbread
Heirloom Tomato & Mozzarella Salad – arugula, spring mix, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, heirloom grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, balsamic reduction
Bacon Guacamole – avocado, lime juice, cilantro, tomatoes, smoked bacon, fresh jalapeno, onion, queso fresco, corn tortillas
Fresh-Baked Soft Pretzel – cheddar ale dipping sauce and whole grain Creole mustard
Margarita Flatbread – fresh mozzarella, heirloom grape tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic reduction served on garlic flatbread
Italian Flatbread – hearty tomato sauce, roasted grape tomatoes, Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced red onion, arugula served on flatbread
Southern Fried Catfish & Gator Basket – spicy, hand-breaded alligator, fried catfish fingers, sweet jalapeno cream sauce, house-made lemon tartar sauce

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Best Bets: Double Dog at Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Double Dog at Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Double Dog at Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q

If you order a “hot dog” at Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q, you’ll get the conventional wiener in a bun.

But if you order a “Double Dog,” you’ll get one of my all-time favorite sandwiches.

The Double Dog is two sliced fried hot dogs on a lightly-toasted hamburger bun. You can get anything on it, but most people order it with slaw, mustard, and onions, says Three Little Pigs owner Charlie Robertson.

I love the barbecue at Three Little Pigs, but every so often I have a craving for their Double Dog. Actually, I always have a craving for their Double Dog, but it’s a sandwich I’d better not eat every day.

“It’s a sandwich I thought of ‘cause I like hog dogs and I like a fried hot dog,” says Robertson.

He believes he got the idea back in the day from Dyer’s hamburgers when it was on Cleveland. “Only Dyer’s threw them in the grease and deep fried them.”

The folks at Three Little Pigs cut the hot dogs in half and “fry them on a flat grill almost like a hamburger.”

You grill the hot dog until it’s brown, Robertson says. “Most people want them really brown.”

He, personally, likes to - at times - take one of his hot dogs and “drop it in the deep fryer.”

Double Dogs have been on the menu since Robertson took over Three Little Pigs 30 years ago. “It didn’t just take off,” he says.

It’s still not one of their top sellers, he says, but I think they’re fabulous. I love the slaw, which has a slightly-sweet taste to it. It’s the same slaw they use on their barbecue sandwiches. “It’s got sugar in it,” Robertson says.

They buy chopped cabbage, but they make the sauce for the slaw from scratch. It’s the same slaw sauce recipe that was at Three Little Pigs when he bought the place in 1989, Robertson says. “And we stuck with it.”

I asked if it was mustard based. “It’s mayonnaise-based slaw.”

OK. Now that I’ve written this, I WANT ANOTHER DOUBLE DOG.

Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q is at 5145 Quince Road; (901)-685-7094

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