Tin Roof Lease Makes Full House on Beale

By Bill Dries

The three-block Beale Street Entertainment District is fully leased with the addition of three leases this spring on the block between Hernando and Fourth streets.

Nashville-based Tin Roof bar and restaurant is the latest business to join the ranks on Beale Street.


The most recent lease, announced Thursday, June 19, was a long-term lease for Tin Roof bar and restaurant at 315 Beale St., the space the Hard Rock Cafe will leave in July to move west to the Lansky Building at 126 Beale, just outside the formal borders of the district.

The Nashville-based company behind Tin Roof also operates Two Bits and Junction 33 restaurants. Tin Roof was founded in 2002 on Nashville’s Music Row and currently has locations in 11 other cities.

The Tin Roof on Beale will feature live entertainment, from special performances to regular house bands, and “Tenn-Mex” cuisine.

The menu includes “pizzadillas,” a selection of quesadillas, sandwiches and starters such as fried shrimp and jalapeno poppers.

Tin Roof joins Sweetie Pie’s on the same block and side of Beale Street. The St. Louis-based soul food restaurant, which is the basis for a reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, signed in April for space on the southwest corner of Fourth and Beale, an anchor location which had been vacant for years.

Just before that, Blue Note Cafe opened next to the future Sweetie Pie’s location. The row on the south side of the block also includes Peoples on Beale Street pool hall; the Withers Collection gallery, which recently expanded to include savory and sweet cupcakes and coffee; and Eel Etc. Fashions, the tailor and fashion shop whose owner, James Clark, is Beale Street’s longest-running tenant since the district reopened in 1983.

The brick building at Beale and Hernando that Tin Roof will call home is on the site where Pee Wee’s saloon once stood in the early 20th century.

The current building was built in the early 1980s during the renovation of the entertainment district and was home to the Memphis Sounds recording studio before Hard Rock signed on as a tenant in the early 1990s, ending the city’s whirlwind quest that started in the late 1980s to secure a Hard Rock franchise somewhere in Downtown.

The Hard Rock franchise was first mentioned as a possible tenant for the upper level of The Pyramid during construction of the arena before that plan and others by developer Sidney Shlenker collapsed for a lack of financing.

The Memphis Hard Rock featured some live entertainment but not the consistent booking of nationally known entertainers that other Hard Rock locations feature regularly.

When FedExForum opened just south of Beale Street, Hard Rock was among the businesses in the district who had plans to upgrade for entrances facing the forum and its plaza. That never happened.

The new Hard Rock location will include a section that will serve as the home of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, to be operated by the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.