» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 126 | NO. 237 | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More on Main

Husband, wife duo open four businesses Downtown

By Andy Meek

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Email reporter | Comments ()

Downtown residents and visitors will soon be able to shop for the latest fashions and enjoy everything from a cup of joe to a fine-dining experience at any of four new businesses opening on South Main Street.

And those businesses – Rizzo’s Diner, Sir Samuel’s, Grawemeyer’s and Everleah’s – all have the same husband and wife to thank for their launch.

Mark and Cynthia Grawemeyer are South Main developers and investors who want their new operations – one of which, Rizzo’s, is already open – to capitalize on the retail corridor and resulting customer traffic that’s sprouted up in the South Main Historic Arts District.

Two of the new businesses are restaurants, and two are clothing stores. All of them point to the Grawemeyers’ love of South Main, an area where they’ve owned property and been committed to for years.

“We really believe in this area,” said Cynthia Grawemeyer. “My husband started buying buildings on South Main in 1986 and was one of the first to start putting glass back into the storefronts. We have watched the traffic increase. We are here every day and see firsthand how the number of people walking around has grown.”

Now, the Grawemeyers want to give those people more destinations to enjoy.

Rizzo’s Diner, which recently opened at 106 G.E. Patterson Ave., features Southern comfort foods with a modern twist. A patio is coming soon that will allow outdoor seating and gathering.

The Grawemeyers are owners of CMP Restaurants Inc., which owns and operates Rizzo’s Diner. Michael Patrick is the head chef and assists the Grawemeyers with day-to-day operations.

Grawemeyer’s is a full-service restaurant with bakery items and a bar that’s coming to 520 S. Main. It will feature affordably priced food and drinks such as fresh salads, soups, sandwiches, baked goods and pizza. It also will have free wireless Internet access.

The couple is also behind a pair of retail stores coming to South Main and partly inspired by their family.

Their daughters will be involved in Everleah’s, which will sell fashions and dancewear, at 524 S. Main St. That store, named after the Grawemeyers’ youngest daughter, Leah Claire, will feature four collections of fashions reflecting the tastes and interests of the Grawemeyers’ four daughters: Leah Claire, Olivia, Emily and Courtney.

According to their mother, the daughters will be going to markets to “pick out things that reflect their personal style,” and Courtney, the oldest, will run the store.

Sir Samuel’s, a clothing and accessories store at 522 S. Main St., was named after Cynthia’s grandson, the son of her oldest daughter. The store will have specialty items for men, women and children.

Grawemeyer said work on Sir Samuel’s will start soon and could be open by the end of the year.

A few weeks ago, the Center City Development Corp. approved more than $14,000 in grants that the businesses will share for a variety of improvements to be made to their buildings and properties.

The CCDC’s façade improvement grants require leverage of at least two to one, meaning for every dollar in the grant award, there must be two dollars in financing chipped in from the business.

The program is available to business operations that occupy first-floor space with an active street presence, among other requirements, according to CCDC.

Besides the four South Main businesses they’re bringing on line, the Grawemeyers also have bought the Crown Printing building at 114 E. G.E. Patterson, which is available for commercial leasing.

“We’re here every day,” Grawemeyer said. “We had the space, we had the vision and we saw the need.”

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email

Blog News, Training & Events
PROPERTY SALES 86 374 7,749
MORTGAGES 89 414 9,199
BUILDING PERMITS 197 1,007 16,607
BANKRUPTCIES 45 279 5,406

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.