Thursday update

So, LYFE Kitchen in the Chisca closed a couple of weeks ago. What I had been hearing was, they had wanted to close for months, but they had to find a business willing to take over their lease. This led to much discussion among Downtowners, particularly about how the space is so big, including that large patio, and it is in such a prime spot, that a chain restaurant might have to take over the lease rather than a local operator.

Some of my friends lamented the thought of a chain restaurant coming to the heart of Downtown. I disagree. There are chain restaurants that wouldn’t work Downtown. I can’t imagine a Cracker Barrel down here, for example. Or an O’Charley’s. Or a Chuck E. Cheese. Those are restaurants that appeal almost exclusively to suburbanites. However, there are restaurant chains with cool, hip vibes that I think would add a lot to Downtown.

Yesterday I got a text that such a chain restaurant will be taking over the LYFE space. I haven’t confirmed this yet, so I’m not going to name the restaurant; but I will give you a couple of hints.

  1. I’m not saying this is a posh or upscale restaurant chain, but maybe you could get a thesaurus and look for a synonym for those two words.
  2. Several years ago there was a rumor this chain would open a location in One Commerce Square, but it never materialized.

In this week’s edition of The Daily Memphian’s Bar Talk, Jennifer Biggs sits down with Drew Barton, co-owner of Memphis Made Brewing Co. She sampled three Memphis Made beers that will be served at Cooper-Young Beerfest on October 20. She got to hear about the beers from the very person who brewed them, which is exactly what you get at the beer festival.

Jennifer Biggs also went In the Kitchen with my friend Jonathan Cole who writes the excellent Place at the Table food blog. He shared his recipe for squash soup.

Liz Brasher performs tonight at Old Dominick Distillery in the next installment of the Pure Memphis Music Series. $5 of every ticket sold goes to nonprofit partner The Soulsville Foundation which funds projects like the STAX Music Academy. Doors at 6:30, music at 7:30.

McEwen’s lost power for a couple of weeks due to a fire next door. Good news… the power is back on and they will spend today prepping food… then tomorrow, Friday, October 12, they will open for lunch at 11 AM! Come support a great restaurant. has an interview with Shamichael Hallman of the Fourth Bluff/Cossitt Library about CitizenFEST which is coming to Memphis this weekend. It’s an enlightening day where people learn how to truly be citizens. In a preview of what will be discussed, Hallman said there are two keys to being a citizen: power and character.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.