Downtown residents and visitors will soon be able to grab a cup of joe, locally brewed beer and a fresh sandwich or salad in one convenient spot.
Taylor Berger, partner in YoLo Frozen Yogurt & Gelato, and partners Mitch Buckner (of Bella Café in Pink Palace) and Daniel Flanagan (of Chiwawa, the newly opened Southern-inspired eatery near Overton Square) have signed a lease for 2,755 square feet of retail space in the ground floor of Van Vleet Flats, 122 Gayoso Ave.
The bar, scheduled to open in May, is tentatively named Tamp and Tap Room. It’s a play on espresso, which is tamped for compression before going into the machine, and also kegs of beer, which are tapped.
Berger said his group saw a gap for “a lounge place” Downtown.
“We’re envisioning folks who are going Downtown for a game, to see a show, or who live Downtown, wanting a place that’s not as wild as a bar,” Berger said. “Somebody in their group can have tea, somebody could have coffee, somebody could have a beer, snacks and things, and just hang out and be together in a little more low-key environment than a bar or restaurant.”
Tamp and Tap Room is working with Tony Dreyfuss from Metropolis Coffee Co. out of Chicago, which Berger said “works with the growers to source really awesome coffee, and then they roast it really to perfection.”
Tamp and Tap Room will also have affordable sandwiches and salads similar to what Cheffie’s Café in Highpoint Terrace offers.
“Coffee is the focal point, but we also saw a need Downtown for a lunch option,” Berger said. “With all of the good greens and ingredients real fresh and right there for people to select.”
Tamp and Tap Room will have a vintage kegerator that will source at least two craft beers “from some of the new guys that are coming online” and be changed out often to “keep it interesting.”
Breweries expected to open this year are High Cotton Brewing Co. in the Edge district, Memphis Made Brewing Co. LLC in Cooper-Young, and Wiseacre Brewing Co. in the Broad Avenue Historic District.
Alex Stringfellow, associate with CB Richard Ellis Memphis, represented the landlord, Henry Turley Co., in lease negotiations. Tamp and Tap Room was not represented.
Graham Reese Design Group is designing the space. Berger is also using his other business, Memphis Contract Furniture, and its relationship with Woodland Tree Service to source local slab wood for Tamp and Tap’s bar, tables and accent work.
“It relates to my feeling that live-edge wood and slab wood used in restaurant space looks beautiful and it’s going to be very popular if I can market it,” Berger said. “The idea is that we use this space as a test for it, photograph it and everything, hopefully, it’ll become something that restaurateurs think about when they’re considering the design of their bars, tables and other ascetics of their places.”
Hutzel Construction Co. Inc. on Monday, March 18, filed a $47,500 building permit for tenant improvements for the café. Berger and his partners intend on keeping Tamp and Tap Room’s renovated space “relatively simple.”
Tamp and Tap Room will have six to eight employees. Follow the lounge bar on Twitter @tampandtap for updates.
In other commercial leasing news, Roger McLemore, who recently joined Makowsky Ringel Greenberg as vice president of commercial property services, has leased a number of retail spaces in MRG-managed retail centers across the greater Memphis Metro.
Andrey Pizza and Grill has leased 4,777 square feet in the Angelo’s Grove shopping center in Marion, Ark. Andrey’s is being opened by the owners of successful restaurants Mecca Pizza and Champion’s Grill, located in Wynne, Ark.
Also, Calvin’s Nails, a new start-up nail salon, has leased 1,400 square feet in Wingood Shops in the Southeast submarket. And Fayette Pool Supplies & Home & Energy Store is relocating and expanding its business in Lakeland with a lease of 1,300 square feet in The Shops of Countrybridge.
McLemore said 2013 is off to a busy start with apparent pent-up demand.
“We’re hopeful that this momentum will continue throughout the year,” he said. “We’re receiving a lot of inquiries for retail space across the entire market.”