VOL. 110 | NO. 175 | Tuesday, September 10, 1996
By CAMILLE H. GAMBLE
Gourmet coffee shop
to open on Second St.
By CAMILLE H. GAMBLE
The Daily News
The Downtown restaurant market is growing with six new restaurant business licenses filed since July 1, including Hueys Downtown, a gourmet coffee shop on Court Square, a Mexican restaurant and a new pizza restaurant.
Opening to the public Oct. 17 is a coffee shop specializing in in-house coffee bean roasting. Coffee on the Court at 109 S. Second St. will be located in the old Little Big Johns space.
Owner Michael Mitzelfeld said the idea for the restaurant came after he had been in Memphis two years and realized there werent very many specialty coffee roasting shops in the city.
"In Washington D.C. on every corner of every block, there is a specialty coffee shop, and they all make it," Mitzelfeld said.
The shop is unique in that it will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week, Mitzelfeld said.
The breakfast menu will feature breakfast pizzas, Belgian waffles and pastries.
"Lunch and dinner will be on the lighter side it will be sandwiches and salads. Not your turkey and club type of thing, but it will be more like roast beef and brie on croissant with fresh pasta and fresh fruit."
Mitzelfeld has teamed up with City Bread Co. of East Memphis to offer its products in his coffee shop.
"I will have a wall of their fresh breads and pastries, and they will open a coffee shop in their restaurant fresh will all of my coffees," he said.
Coffee of the Court will seat about 50 people with a patio that will seat about 25.
"It will be a sit-down restaurant with candles at night," Mitzelfeld said. "We are going to have poetry readings and chamber music in the evenings."
Mitzelfeld is leasing about 800 square feet in the building from Les Samelson and is leasing the sidewalk space from the city of Memphis.
Mitzelfeld said there is only one other store in Memphis that roasts its own beans the Fine Grind in Oak Court Mall.
"Basically, I went to school to learn how to roast coffee," he said. "Instead of buying beans that are roasted, I buy green beans from plantations and roast them inside the restaurant to the consistency that I like them and that, I think, brings out the best flavor of the bean," he said.
"Ive lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and every place is inundated with these wonderful specialty roasting companies, and Memphis isnt," he said. "It will be my job to educate the consumer on the difference between Folgers and what we are carrying."
Mitzelfeld said the store will offer "coffee cuppings" twice a week. "Its kind of like a wine tasting," he said.
Other Downtown restaurants with scheduled openings include Hueys Downtown, which currently has a target opening date of Oct. 11, and Panchos, which is scheduled to open Jan. 16.
Memphis-based Panchos, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will open its ninth restaurant in the Peabody Place district of Downtown across the street from the Peabody Hotel. The restaurant will lease 5,000 square feet in the 1891 Cast Iron Twin Building at 87-91 S. Second St. The new restaurant will be the prototype for all future Panchos restaurants, officials said.
Memphis architect Joey Hagen of Architecture Inc. is designing the interior of the new Panchos.
"Its very exciting to be opening our newest restaurant in this historical part of Downtown Memphis," said Brenda OBrien, president of Pancho foods. "We are fortunate to be in such an excellent location. This will be a convenient location for our existing patrons who work in and near Downtown.
"We want the new Downtown Panchos to be a fun, energized restaurant which will fit in perfectly with the new spirit of Downtown Memphis," OBrien said.
New restaurants that have already opened Downtown include Bobbinos Pizza at 97 N. Main St. and Famous Gyros at 86 N. Main St., which opened Friday.