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VOL. 132 | NO. 77 | Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Loflin Yard Planning More After Initial Success

By Andy Meek

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Not long after the opening of the Downtown bar, restaurant and entertainment space Loflin Yard, Janet Boscarino just knew.

Loflin Yard opened one year ago this month. New plans being talked about include hosting events like movie nights, the addition of a new bar and more.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

The executive director of Clean Memphis thought Loflin would be the perfect place to host the next “Loving Local” annual fundraiser for Project Greenfork, one of the programs under the Clean Memphis umbrella.

For Boscarino and Project Greenfork, Loflin checked several boxes, which is why it ended up as the site of the fundraiser last year.

Loflin had just opened, and was still new and exciting enough to attract plenty of buzz. It was also different enough – with its spacious grounds and emphasis on green spaces and outdoor socializing – to highlight “the unique character of Memphis,” something Boscarino said the organization tends to look for when deciding on the spot for each “Loving Local” bash.

“We ended up having a great time and a wonderful turnout – probably 350 people,” Boscarino said. “And it brought a lot of people there who’d not been down to see it yet.”

In the year since then, more people have been in that same position – getting a chance to check out everything from Loflin’s bars to its events in the picturesque yard that can generate the feel of a backyard party.

“I Love Memphis” blogger Holly Whitfield was struck upon her first visit to Loflin with the thought that, as soon as Memphians start getting to see the lights and rocking chairs on the porch, they’d be lining up to host events or even get married there.

“We anticipated Loflin Yard would be well-received, but we had no idea it could turn into a Memphis institution in just a year’s time,” said Doug Carpenter, one of the investors behind the space. “And while Loflin has won many awards and accolades for its fantastic food and unique cocktails, the greatest testament is our customers’ commentary about it providing a welcoming oasis for neighbors and newcomers.”

Loflin opened in April 2016 as three buildings connected by a yard. Its name comes from the main building’s original use as a Loflin Safe & Lock Co.

Loflin continues to be sought out as a home for events, like the New Memphis Institute’s Memphis Trivia Night on April 19 in the Loflin Yard Coach House. That’s one of Loflin’s several amenities; the Coach House hosts daily visitors and special events and was once the home of the Peabody Hotel’s carriage fleet.

In Loflin’s Safe House, diners can drink and eat indoors or take a bottle to the attached deck. The centerpiece of the Loflin lawn is a massive deck that stretches over a waterfall fed by the Gayoso Bayou.

Meanwhile, for all the guests and events Loflin has hosted so far over its first year, general manager David Moore still has plenty he’d like to see the space try out.

“One thing we’ve thought about is having a movie night,” he said. “Where we’d project a movie and people can sit out in the yard and hang out or even if it’s inside in the Coach House. People could cuddle up and have a nice cocktail and good food and watch a movie.

“I’ve been wanting to also do something like a camp-in, where people stay overnight. We might charge people to put up a tent, and maybe the money could go to a great cause. The menu’s also constantly evolving and changing, and we want to do stuff with that. And we want to put another bar in the very back.”

All in all, Moore said, the people behind Loflin are happy with the reaction from the community so far, while they’re also “constantly trying to do things to get better and better.”

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