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VOL. 131 | NO. 259 | Thursday, December 29, 2016

Many New Restaurants, Food Businesses Served Up in 2016

By Andy Meek

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In a few weeks, the East Memphis space that once housed Cosmic Coconut will host a grand opening for its new incarnation.

It’s been reimagined as City Silo Table & Pantry, a concept that owner Scott Tashie – who also owns I Love Juice Bar in Midtown as well as the future I Love Juice Bar in Crosstown – said was a natural evolution. Encompassing a total of 2,600 square feet and anchored by a 10-foot farm table, City Silo expands on the expectation its owner says Cosmic Coconut set for “creative, clean eating” in Memphis.

City Silo takes traditional dining concepts like a cafe and market, juice stand, coffee house and bistro and blends them inside a modern, sunlight-filled space that features whitewashed and herringboned-inspired wood paneled walls and a variety of industrial rustic and mid-century influences. The new eatery will “offer all the favorites of its predecessor with the addition of egg, dairy and chicken options to create a more inclusive experience,” Tashie says.

The menu will include breakfast items, snacks, salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, wraps and build-your-own burgers. There will also be a retail area with small batch of chocolates, jams, fermented vegetables, organic pastas, flours and grains, and the grand opening is set for Jan. 14.

City Silo has been in the works for months, during a period when growth in the local food scene represented a veritable horn of plenty for foodies.

Over the course of 2016, Memphis welcomed new restaurants, markets, chefs and a host of other fresh ingredients that helped cook up new excitement among shoppers and diners.

The opening of Loflin Yard this year was part of a food-related burst of activity that included new restaurants, shops and spaces like this one, which is also a bar and entertainment venue. 

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

Among the additions that got Memphians especially excited this year – Loflin Yard, the Downtown bar, restaurant and entertainment space that quickly turned into photographic fodder that populated social media feeds.

And why not? It was something new and different. The crowds in the yard, lounging on the deck, the smoked meats – and there’s also its usefulness as an uncommon event venue, decorated with string lights and a porch with rocking chairs.

Over in Midtown, such was the anticipation for the opening of The Curb Market earlier this year. For two weeks prior to its opening, people kept showing up wanting to get in – not realizing it wasn’t open yet – and had to be turned away.

The owner is Peter Schutt, who’s also the owner of The Daily News Publishing Co. The name he chose harkens back to the days of the old Curb Market that once thrived around Cleveland Street. That was to help preserve a sense of the history of the space at 596 S. Cooper St., which was formerly home to Easy-Way.

The opening of The Curb Market in the former Easy-Way space at 596 S. Cooper was a particularly celebrated opening. It catered to the same people who were fans of Easy-Way and hungry for a local market and also preserved a sense of history at the space.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

The Curb Market carries everything from produce to soups and other grocery staples with a concentration of local items so farmers, growers and other vendors have a retail outlet through which they can sell their wares.

Along Broad Avenue, meanwhile, another new restaurant that’s generated a bit of excitement is still taking shape

The Liquor Store is the jokey name for the concept being brought to life by the husband-and-wife team of Lisa and Luis Toro at 2657 Broad. The space used to be an actual liquor store and is still called that by some people, but the new restaurant will be an old-fashioned diner that features breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lisa Toro said this week the restaurant is “still on track for early 2017.”

In other food news from throughout 2016:

• Memphis-based sandwich chain Lenny’s is on a growth kick. Company executives told The Daily News this year they’ll be adding franchise stores across the footprint this year and in 2017.

• Another Memphis-based eatery, Holiday Deli & Ham Co., is likewise looking for new growth. The company this year brought on new investors, added members to its board and rebranded as Pimento’s Kitchen and Market while plotting new locations.

• Another husband-and-wife team, meanwhile, opened the doors to a new restaurant. Sunny and Hamida Mandani opened their fourth business this fall – 901 Grille & Market, at 711 East Parkway across from Christian Brothers University. It offers items like burgers, gyros and milkshakes.

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