How Many Restaurants Can Memphis Support?

By Thomas Bailey, Jr. | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), April 28, 2013 | Go to article overview

How Many Restaurants Can Memphis Support?


Thomas Bailey, Jr., The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


Overton Square has been adding restaurants like crazy, thanks partly to the city-built parking garage rising there.

Businesses in Cooper-Young, well known both for its bustling restaurant scene and limited parking spots, now want a parking garage, too.

Eateries and other enterprises are starting to cluster in the Broad Avenue district, which is now getting some real support from City Hall thanks to the Bloomberg Philanthropies grant.

Of course, there's no shortage of restaurants along Beale Street, South Main and Downtown.

Even Crosstown will likely attract new restaurants if re- developers succeed in filling the long-empty Sears building with thousands of people again. The Hi-Tone already has announced it's bound for Crosstown.

All of which prompts the question: How many restaurant districts can Memphis support?

Restaurateurs, core-city developers and a prominent local economists suggest there's room for more, or, at least more good local restaurants.

Between 2003 and fiscal 2012, the number of restaurants in Shelby County grew by nearly 7 percent, according to the Health Department. The county had 3,144 restaurants in 2003 and 3,355 in 2012. (Those figures don't include 1,290 groceries that serve hot food.)

People who make a living building or running restaurants, or weighing the economics of it all, say there's demand for more. As long as restaurants are staying open, and local developers are willing to pitch their own cash into new ventures, it's a sign the market isn't swamped.

That's one reason City Hall under Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has worked in recent years to revive old, pedestrian-friendly commercial districts in the core of Memphis. The idea is to park the car or leave it at home and have lots of choices to dine or shop within strolling distance.

Being walkable-friendly is what Overton Square, Cooper-Young, South Main, Broad and Downtown have in common.

But is the zeal for new urbanism biting off more restaurants than diners can chew?

"I generally believe in 'Let the developer beware,'" veteran developer Henry Turley said. "If you limit yourself or limit your opportunity you've got no chance of winning. If you just say this is all we can do, that's certainly all you can do."

After all, he said, the more choices and competition among restaurants, the more advantage to customers.

Loeb Properties owns and is redeveloping Overton Square.

"The mayor's 'city of choice' initiative for Memphis includes a lot of things," president Bob Loeb said. "But one of the elements is to have good entertainment alternatives. A variety of different restaurants and districts to go to.

"It's a balancing act," Loeb said. "You've got to grow the supply but do it in a measured way. The economy will take care of that. If the product is good enough, enough people will come to it and use it."

Individual restaurants do better in clusters of restaurants, said Patrick Reilly, owner/chef of Downtown's Majestic Grille and president of the Memphis Restaurant Association.

"There's no question," he said. "Some people will always think the other guy is competition. It's really not. If you have five restaurants in a neighborhood, everybody goes to the neighborhood and you have a lot more people and a lot more growth and vibrancy.

" ... The smart move for the city is to have the Broad district, and Downtown and South Main and mid-Main and Beale Street and Cooper- Younger and East Memphis and Collierville."

The Italian restaurant Fino's from The Hill is on one of the city's premier mixed-use, walkable-friendly corners the southeast side of Madison and McLean thanks to the Gilmore building. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

How Many Restaurants Can Memphis Support?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.