VOL. 132 | NO. 8 | Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Tsunami Owner Buys Building, Extends Hours
By Patrick Lantrip
(Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)
After almost two decades in business, one Midtown chef has made his house a home. Chef Ben Smith, the owner of the popular Cooper-Young mainstay Tsunami, recently purchased the 928 S. Cooper St. building where his restaurant has been located for the past 18 years.
Smith bought the 4,800-square-foot building, which was built in 1930, from Jeanie E. Umbreit for $625,000, according to a warranty deed that was filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds on Dec. 30.
In a blog entry about his decision to purchase the property, Smith described it as “a renewed challenge to myself to dig deeper into my creativity and ride this wave to the next level.”
Smith, a Memphis native, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1986. After working abroad in locations as far away as Tahiti and New Caledonia, Smith returned to Memphis in the mid-1990s and opened Tsunami in 1998 – at a time when the now-booming historic arts district looked very different.
In addition to running his restaurant, Smith currently serves on the board of advisors for L'Ecole Culinaire, where he taught from 2010 to 2012, and has served as both the vice president of the Cooper-Young Business Association and president of the Project Green Fork board in the past.
In conjunction with the purchase, Tsunami announced it will extend its business hours. The new hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.