Popular Downtown beer bar to close; rib restaurant to open in its place


I’ve just received some shocking news.  I’ve learned that Downtown beer bar The Flying Saucer will soon close its doors.  Owner Shannon Wynne has plans to remodel it and reopen it as a restaurant called the Second Street Rib Shack.

“There’s lots of good food in Downtown Memphis,” said Wynne.  “There are several chicken and waffles restaurants.  There are sushi places.  There’s even a steakhouse that opened on Union last year.  But one thing you can’t find anywhere in Downtown Memphis is ribs.  So I want to open up a restaurant that introduces Memphis’ residents and its tourists to really good barbecue ribs.”  The restaurant will also have other items on the menu that are hard to find elsewhere Downtown, such as mozzarella sticks and buffalo chicken tenders.

Wynne hopes that the new restaurant will “attract a different clientele” than what he currently has as the Flying Saucer.  Industry analysts describe the current Saucer patrons as “people who spend a considerable amount of disposable income on food and beverages.”  Looks like Wynne will aim for some other type of crowd with the new restaurant.

When asked if he thought the current Flying Saucer regulars would be upset with the closing of their beloved bar, Wynne said with a smirk, “They’ll get over it.  A few months from now, they’ll be saying, ‘We miss the Saucer’s happy hour, but we love the Rib Shack’s food.’  And besides, if the new place doesn’t work out, I can always change it back to the Flying Saucer and the regulars will all come back like nothing ever happened.”

Wynne does want to give regulars time to have one last beer at the Saucer, so he is keeping the place open until Wednesday, April 2.  “That will give those with plates on the wall time to retrieve them and take them home,” he said.  However, plate-holders may be disappointed, because many of the plates have been stolen off the walls already.  Other items including sofa cushions, billiard balls, and one LCD TV have disappeared as well.

The new restaurant is set to open June 1, or possibly months later if there are construction delays.  Reports are that $600,000 will be spent on extensive remodeling, and that in the end, the new restaurant will look almost exactly like the old Flying Saucer, but with ribs on checkered-tablecloth tables.

And that’s the news for today, April 1, 2008.