Overton Square will be getting an international flavor with the addition of a German-themed restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Paulette’s.
Chef David Scott Walker has signed a lease to open Schweinehaus, a restaurant that will feature servers decked out in traditional Germanic dress and communal, handmade wood tables found in many German beer halls, at 2110 Madison Ave.
The former Paulette’s restaurant space will be a German-themed eatery that will operate under the tagline “A Celebration of Pork and Bier.”
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
The restaurant, operating under the tagline “A Celebration of Pork and Bier,” will offer Bavarian cuisine with a “local flare” when it opens later this summer.
“The focus will be to bring guests together through sharing tables, telling tall tales over a liter of lager and enjoying a grilled wurst or a hot pretzel,” Walker said in a statement. “We aim to provide an atmosphere that feels like Germany in Midtown Memphis.”
Officials with Overton Square landlord and developer Loeb Properties said Schweinehaus was a perfect match for the old Paulette’s space, a country-house style property with open floor plans and a new outdoor patio.
“Schweinehaus is a dynamic concept that is perfect for the distinct architecture of 2110 Madison,” said Aaron Petree, vice president of brokerage for Loeb Properties, in a statement. “The German cuisine fills a niche that is uncommon in the Memphis market and does so in a celebratory way, making it a natural fit for Overton Square.”
Walker said the menu will include local ingredients and the all important beer selection will offer a mix of traditional Bavarian beers and locally made brews.
Walker worked in a variety of Memphis restaurants, including B.B. King’s, Elvis Presley’s Memphis, Have a Nice Day Café, Gordon Biersch, Café Ole and River Oaks Grill, before moving to New York City in 2007. While in the Big Apple, Walker worked at Les Halles, Anthony Bourdain’s French Bistro, before becoming part of the opening team of a gastropub in the West Village called West 3rd Common after he received formal training at the French Culinary Institute.
With Walker’s mother, father and brother playing prominent roles at the restaurant Schweinehaus will be a family affair.
“Mom has a long history of culinary expertise as well,” Walker said. “She learned from her mother and is known by quite a few as an extraordinary talent and very gracious host. My father has spent a lifetime in customer service, is meticulous with business operations and is a lover of pork. My brother Andy has spent years perfecting the art of tending bar and learning the ins and out of inventory control. Having the whole family involved allows us to best serve and celebrate with our guests from front of house to kitchen.”
Walker spent months scouting multiple locations in Downtown and Midtown before settling on the old Paulette’s location.
“The moment we walked in the door at the former Paulette’s location we knew this was the site,” said Patrick Surratt with Crye-Leike Commercial, who represented Schweinehaus.
A Memphis institution since it opened in 1973, Paulette’s enjoyed a long run at Overton Square before moving to the River Inn on Mud Island in 2011.
Loeb Properties has invested millions into Overton Square’s rebirth, signing a wide variety of tenants – from restaurants to retailers and athletics-focused businesses – to breathe new life into the once-struggling district.
Overton Square’s comeback made a big impact on the local retail market last year.
The Memphis area retail market recorded 346,846 square feet of net absorption in 2013 and Overton Square leases and purchases accounted for more than 125,000 square feet of transactions, according to CB Richard Ellis Memphis.
Some of the new tenants included Bikram Yoga, Cardio Barre, Gould’s on the Square and Lafayette’s Music Room. Schweinehaus is the second Overton Square restaurant lease to be announced this year, following a farm-to-table burger restaurant called Belly Acres. Overton Square is now 91 percent leased.