Friday update including lots of restaurant news

Last night I got to talk to Matt, one of the people opening Lisa’s Lunchbox at Front and Gayoso in the old Tuscan Italian Eatery space. Lisa’s Lunchbox will be open next week, he told me, with a soft opening Tuesday and a grand opening Wednesday. He told me about one thing he thinks is going to be a big hit Downtown: casseroles that you can take home and heat up. “For $9 you’ll get a lot more food than you would if you ordered to-go from a restaurant,” Matt told me. “The casseroles will be perfect for single people. You’ll get a good dinner and have enough left over for lunch for the next day or two. If you call ahead and tell us what time you’ll be picking it up, we’ll put it in the oven and have it hot and ready for you.”

He said that Lisa’s Lunchbox will eventually serve beer, and when they do they will extend their hours a bit. They do not plan to serve liquor or wine, because they don’t intend to compete with bars in the neighborhood.

Susan Ellis from the Memphis Flyer has news about three new restaurants planned for South Main Street, at the southeast corner of Pontotoc. An all-day breakfast bar will go in at 300 S. Main. It will offer pancakes, omelettes, waffles and more, as well as an extensive collection of mimosas. Also, I don’t know if I have any readers who are into juicing, but if I do, the new restaurant will offer juices for those who want a healthier choice.

The resurrected Evergreen Grill, formerly on Overton Park Avenue in Midtown, will open in the former Dr. Ray’z space at 302 S. Main. The lobster burger will be back and some inventive takes on desserts will be promised.

At 304 S. Main there will be a wine loft offering 15 different self-service wines and a light menu.

The operator of these three restaurants also operates Cajun Grill in the old DejaVu space at 959 Florida just south of Downtown.

If you haven’t checked out Belle Tavern yet, here’s a reason:

Best Memphis Burger Fest is making a change this year. Instead of holding the festival the last Sunday in August, this year it will be Saturday, October 7. That means it (probably) won’t be sweltering hot this year. More importantly for Downtowners, the date change means that the burger fest won’t be the same day as the Bardog alley party! Great news.

The CA has a good article on Chris Hill who has played venues all over Downtown. For my West Memphis readers, check him out at the Double J on Saturday.

Trolleys should return by the end of the year, MATA officials said.

Mayor Strickland released an update on the average 911 call response time for January – due to a flaw in the data, it was not 8.6 seconds as earlier reported, but instead 13.2 seconds. That’s still very good though, with under 20 seconds being the goal most large cities aim for.

Round 2 of the Memphis Beer Bracket is happening now. Damn, one of the local breweries got completely wiped out in the first round! Don’t forget that you can order flights of the competing beers at the Downtown Aldo’s location.

That’s it for now. Looks like a rainy drive home this afternoon.