When Cosmic Coconut opened on Sanderlin in 2011, the mindful-eating masses flocked to the oasis of cleansing juices and vegan offerings.
Scott Tashie took over the space, along with a few other business partners, in 2012 with the idea of expanding always hovering in the back of his mind.
Then, right about the time he opened I Love Juice Bar on Cooper in Midtown, the bay next door to Cosmic Coconut became available.
"I thought now's the time, if I'm going to do it," Tashie says.
In mid-January Tashie opened the new-and-improved Cosmic Coconut in the form of City Silo Table and Pantry.
Think Cosmic Coconut on steroids. Healthy steroids, that is.
- Scott Tashie (left) and Will Byrd have a lot to bring to the table.
Inside the 2,600-square-foot modern-but-rustic space, Tashie provides everything Cosmic Coconut had to offer, plus wellness lattes, egg, dairy, and free-range chicken options, a coffee bar, a kombucha keg, and more.
"We have a full kitchen, so we are able to prepare a lot more food," Tashie says.
He brought in Will Byrd as executive chef, and together they designed a menu that includes a pulled spaghetti squash barbecue sandwich (thanks to the Chubby Vegetarian and Flyer friend Justin Fox Burks), build-your-own veggie burgers with different types of plant-based patties to choose from, grain bowls and wraps, and elaborate salads.
They are scheduled to offer wine and beer this month.
Another new component to the 50-seat venue is the pantry option. On the west end of the space is a selection of small-batch and artisanal options sourced locally as well as some hard-to-find items from outside the Mid-South.
Honey simple syrup, Pinot noir salt, small-batch chocolates, gluten-free baking flours from Lydia's Healthy Edibles, clean proteins, microgreens, and more.
"I was always into healthy eating, and I noticed we didn't have a lot of options in Memphis," Tashie says. "Eating healthy and helping others eat healthy and clean has always been a passion of mine."
City Silo Table and Pantry, 5101 Sanderlin Center, 729-7687. Open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. thecitysilo.com.
Nickle Smith had always wanted to have his own bar.
After he brought his Ole Miss college buddy and Oxford bar owner Hudson Chadwick to see the nearly 6,000-square-foot bare-boned space at 535 S. Highland, that wish would come true for Smith.
On January 9th, Smith, who works in retail and engineering, Chadwick, who owns Rafters in Oxford, and fellow college buddy Austin Wallace debuted The Bluff in the old Newby's theater space.
The new space is part college bar, part Cajun-inspired restaurant, and part live music venue, aiming for the college crowd as well as locals in the area.
The three brought in A2H design and consulting firm, though Smith did all the contract work and his wife, Abby, the design.
The idea behind the dark woods, iron rails, and gray walls as well as the branding and signage was to conjure a sense of Prohibition-era speakeasies and gambling.
"I guess you would call it industrial chic," Ben Fant, principal of Farmhouse branding firm, says. "It's a throwback to Prohibition, and you can see it in the signage with decorative touch points throughout with the brand, and the large photos of that time printed on wood."
When Smith and Chadwick first viewed the space there was "nothing but walls and ceiling."
The menu is an exact replica of Rafters, with Cajun-inspired dishes including po'boys, shrimp etouffee, chicken and sausage gumbo, crawfish tails with Remoulade, as well as a variety of salads, burgers, and platters.
The space houses a small bar in the front of the house with plenty of chairs and tables for lunch or dinner as well as garage doors that will open in the spring, but wandering to the back of the house, it's a large, open space with cocktail tables, a long bar flanking the south end of the room, an ample stage on the west end, and a mezzanine with additional seating as well as a VIP area.
So far live music is scheduled on Thursdays through Saturdays, and owners hope to offer other entertainment such as DJs on weeknights.
"We thought that we could bring an exciting new music venue, restaurant, and sports bar to the area that customers would support," Smith says. "Business is going great so far. We are seeing new customers every day along with previous customers revisiting on a regular basis. We are very happy with the response."
The Bluff, 535 S. Highland, 454-7771, thebluffmemphis.com. Open 11 to 3 a.m. daily.