Hyatt Centric: Your Sneak Peek at Memphis’ Newest Hotel

Legendary Beale Street is three neon-lit blocks of nonstop entertainment. Strolling along the pedestrian-only thoroughfare, you can shop, eat, drink and enjoy the music that makes the area famous. Theater buffs love visiting the beautiful Orpheum Theatre, while sports fans and concertgoers appreciate the state-of-the-art FedEx Forum. In fact, the only thing that has been missing from this iconic destination is a great place to stay – until now.

Today, Beale Street welcomes Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, an upscale hotel experience with a resort-style pool, full-service restaurant, and rooftop bar. We are excited to explore everything that awaits us; from event spaces to accommodations to dining options, here’s a look at what we can expect!

Daytime rendering of new Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis

Hyatt Centric has revitalized and repurposed the William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop located on Front Street.

Event & Community Spaces

Downtown has seen businesses come and go, with some lovely historic properties remaining vacant over the years. Hyatt Centric has revitalized and repurposed one such property, the William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop located on Front Street. The former family-owned manufacturing business will be home to approximately 9,000 square feet of event and meeting space. Designed to be flexible, the space can accommodate up to 450 meeting attendees and up to 500 social event guests. (These numbers may be less for now due to the pandemic.)

The history of the building is reflected in the event space, which includes original brick walls and large windows. In the lobby, guests will be greeted at check-in pods that were locally created using original Ironworks parts and materials. The fresh, modern décor was inspired by all things Memphis and pays homage to its rich music history. Distinct touches include hallway carpets with patterns that mimic sound waves and light fixtures that resemble treble clef notes.

Making excellent use of the view, the event area incorporates an event lawn overlooking the mighty Mississippi River and the pool. This is not your typical hotel pool, however! Hyatt Centric Beale Street has pulled out all the stops for the only resort-style pool experience Downtown, including private poolside cabanas, an expansive sun deck, food, and entertainment.

You’ll also find a 24-hour market in the lobby, a first-class fitness center, valet parking, and concierge services in this pet-friendly hotel.

Rendering of meeting space in new Memphis hotel

The history of the building is reflected in the event space, which includes original brick walls and large windows.

RELATED: 5 Luxurious & Unusual Southern Airbnbs

Accommodations

Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis offers 227 guest rooms, including 12 suites. The soothing colors in the rooms set off cool vintage wall graphics and leather headboards. Continuing the Memphis theme, shower walls are etched with sights and names beloved of the Bluff City, and oversized windows give panoramic views of Downtown or the river. Visitors can select a room with one king bed or two queens, and ADA rooms are also available. Upscale amenities add to the comfort: rainfall showers, jersey-knit bathrobes, Keurig coffee makers, 55-inch HDTVs, and more. You might be tempted to not leave your room!

King room in Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis

Shower walls are etched with beloved sights and names familiar to locals, and oversized windows give panoramic views of Downtown or the river

Details of new Memphis hotel

Upscale amenities and comfortable touches are found everywhere!

Dining Options

Latin American-inspired cuisine awaits you at CIMAS. Open from 7 a.m. to midnight, the full-service restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner accompanied by views of the majestic Mississippi River from the outdoor patio or through the floor-to-ceiling windows inside. The menu features local Southern ingredients in delicious and exciting Latin American dishes.

“For breakfast, we’re particularly excited about the classic shrimp and Anson Mills grits dish, as well as chilaquiles Verde,” says Chef de Cuisine Garron Sanchez. For a great example of Southern food filtered through a Latin American lens, he recommends the blackened shrimp Caesar salad along with a catfish Milanese po’boy for lunch. You’ll be spoiled for choice at dinner, with sure-to-please options like the vegan Bluff City mushroom chorizo tostadas, dry-aged New York strip, and scallops with creamy elotes (street corn), chorizo, and okra on the menu. The restaurant is complemented by CIMAS Lobby Lounge, a lively and welcoming place to sip curated cocktails before or after dinner.

Eight stories up, guests are in for a truly delightful experience at Beck & Call Rooftop Lounge, which opens in a few weeks. Just the words “rooftop lounge” conjure up a romantic image of enjoying sophisticated cocktails at sunset or under starlit skies. The whiskey-themed rooftop bar offers a sweeping vista that takes in Beale Street, the Memphis skyline, and of course, Old Man River.

“Going with a whiskey theme for Beck & Call was a no-brainer,” says Troy Dixon, Beck & Call’s Director of Operations. “With Memphis near some of the country’s best distilleries, we wanted our menus to reflect the rich history and craft of America’s bourbon and whiskey legends.” The beverage menu will offer other tasty treats, including spirits from Old Dominick Distillery and a selection of craft beers from Wiseacre Brewing Co. Delicious dishes with a distinct seasonal Southern influence will add the finishing touch.

RELATED: Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Dive Bars & Other Memphis Gems

Location, Location, Location

The location at the corner of Beale and Front streets is ideal – very close to thriving downtown Memphis and only a 15-minute drive from Memphis International Airport. As a part of the new One Beale mixed-use development currently underway, the first full-service Hyatt in the city will be a great base for visitors to explore all that Downtown has to offer.

For more information and to book your stay at Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, visit hyatt.com. All renderings courtesy of Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis.

New eats: Backlot Sandwich Shop opens in Downtown Memphis with ‘big and fluffy’ biscuits

Courtesy of the Commercial Appeal. 

Tucked behind the historic Downtown Memphis building that once housed movie reels for Paramount Studios is a new sandwich shop.

The Backlot Sandwich Shop opened Wednesday, the first of two new dining concepts going into the building at 265 S. Front St.

The Paramount, named for the building’s movie history, will occupy the front part of the building. The full-service restaurant is set to open in May and will include an upstairs speakeasy and rooftop bar.

The red door entrance to Backlot Sandwich Shop off Front Street downtown Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Restaurateur Tyson Bridge and chef Derk Meitzler are the duo behind both restaurants. Meitzler has decades of experience as a chef in Memphis and is currently the chef at The Vault, which is also owned by Bridge. The two also own Earnestine & Hazel’s.

The Backlot will be open for breakfast as well as lunch and early supper. The hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Freshly baked biscuits, homemade jams, sourdough French toast and avocado toast are a sampling of the early-morning fare that will be available.

Guests can build their own biscuit sandwich by choosing one from one of the three biscuit offerings (buttermilk, cheddar-chives or honey butter glazed) and picking from a selection of more than a dozen different fillings. Breakfast bowls with either smoked gouda grits or hash browns as the base are also on the menu.

Kyle Gairhan, the sandwich chef at The Backlot, describes his biscuits as “big and fluffy.”

Owner Derk Meitzler of Backlot Sandwich Shop off Front Street downtown Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

An extensive sandwich menu includes items made with house-made corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, Barq’s root beer glazed ham and smoked brisket.  There is even a lamb belly pastrami sandwich.

“We are making everything we can in-house,” Meitzler said.

Gairhan added that he is excited for customers to try his house-made pickles and condiments like sauerkraut and mustard green pesto.

The hot sandwiches are a mixture of traditional deli fare and creative one-of-a-kind sandwich creations.

Meitzler said that the Turkey Pot Roast Debris sandwich (which is served with potlikker gravy and melted Swiss) will be a popular item for those who prefer turkey over red meat.

The Jive Turkey (herb-roasted turkey with warm brie and raspberry jam) is a sandwich Gairhan said he created for his wife. “She loves those flavors,” he said.

The finishing touches are applied to the entrance of Backlot Sandwich Shop off Front Street downtown Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Hearty salads, chili and daily soups round out the offerings. A grab-and-go case will be filled with composed salads (like chicken salad, tuna salad and pimento cheese), traditional cold sandwiches and salads.

“Eventually we plan to add items like roasted chickens for those in the neighborhood wanting prepared meals,” Meitzler said.

The sandwich shop is currently for take-out only.

The front part of the building will be home to The Paramount, a 130-seat restaurant that will feature an exposed open kitchen and a large bar. Meitzler said they hope to open the restaurant in May.

Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at jennifer.chandler@commercialappeal.com and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.

At a glance

The Backlot Sandwich Shop

Where: 265 S. Front St. (enter on MLK Ave.)

Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; breakfast served until 11 a.m.

Phone: (901) 509-8612

South Point Grocery Store Headed to South Main

Fresh foods will be the focal point of a new grocery store planned for Downtown Memphis.

Castle Retail Group, parent company of Cash Saver and High Point Grocery stores, will bring a new store to South Main at 136 Webster sometime this year. The store, to be called South Point Grocery, is sandwiched between Central Station on the west and the U.S. Postal Service facility on the east.

Tom Archer, owner and president of Archer Custom Builders, bought the building in 2017 with visions to bring a grocery store to Downtown Memphis. The store will be small — with a sales floor of about 8,000 square feet — compared to other stores. Its size and the neighborhood pushed the focus on fresh foods, said Rick James, owner and CEO of Castle Retail Group.

“We know in a space of this size, we’re not going to have 48-roll toilet paper; it just won’t work,” James said. “But we can handle high-end, fresh produce, deli, bakery, and a butcher shop. Quality and freshness would be two of the key words.”

We can handle high-end, fresh produce, deli, bakery, and a butcher shop. Quality and freshness would be two of the key words.

Rick James, owner and CEO Castle Retail Group

Another grocery store has been on the Downtown to-do list for more than a decade, as some have said Miss Cordelia’s feels far away and disconnected from Downtown’s Central Business District. For years, Downtowners have have told surveyors that another grocery store is a missing gap for the neighborhood. James said many now drive five miles to Midtown stores, like Cash Saver or Kroger, to stores in West Memphis, Arkansas, or to big-box stores like Costco on Germantown Parkway.

James and Archer said South Point Grocery makes sense now with Downtown’s new population density. Nearly 26,000 people lived Downtown last year, according to the latest numbers from the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), up slightly from the nearly 25,000 people who lived there in 2010.  DMC data says nearly 88,000 occupy Downtown during the day.

“We’ve been down here all these years and South Main has been kind of on the edge of busting wide open,” said Archer, whose company is headquartered on South Main. “We wanted to get ahead of that but it beat us. It’s been crazy down here the last couple of years. So, this is perfect timing.”

South Point Grocery was, in part, inspired by Castle’s success at High Point Grocery. James said before buying the beloved community grocery store, his company had not really done a small-format store. Without it, “we wouldn’t have had the confidence that we can” run a smaller store Downtown. Archer said he’d been looking for a partner for his Downtown grocery building, saw James talking about High Point Grocery on the news, and walked away impressed when he went to see it for himself.

The building features a parking deck on the east side with plenty of public parking available on Webster. A covered patio with ceiling fans front the street, which James said will be used for dining and, perhaps, live music.

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Memphis Downtown development, The Walk, files permit to start construction on Union Avenue

Courtesy of the Commercial Appeal

Developer Kevin Adams has filed a building permit for construction on the first phase of his massive planned Downtown development known as “The Walk.”

Adams filed a permit April 8 for new construction of a seven-story mixed-use building with 414 apartment units and 20,000 square feet of retail space as well as a parking garage at 341 Union Ave.

The permit was filed the day after the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board approved exterior plans for the first phase of the development, known as Building G. The plans were done by LRK Architects.

Developers of The Walk on Union released new renderings on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, for the development that had been called Union Row. This is a view of the Central Courtyard.

Board members praised the plans, which were unanimously approved, and said it was designed with pedestrians, not just residents and tenants, in mind.

The project formerly known as Union Row was renamed The Walk on Union and later The Walk as a nod to the developer’s intent to have it be walkable and enhance the Downtown pedestrian experience.

Building G will be bounded by Union on the north, Danny Thomas on the east, Gayoso on the south, and a new street to the west (referred to as Fifth Street) and will have a bus rapid transit stop on the side of the building fronting Union.

Rendering of The Walk's building at Fifth and Union in Downtown Memphis

The new parking garage will front Danny Thomas. The retail spaces will front Fifth while a two-story restaurant space at the northwest corner of the building will face Union.

Landscaping and streetscaping include street trees and planters along public streets, public seating and bike racks. The project also has three outdoor spaces in the first phase, intended to be used by residents and pedestrians.

Corinne S Kennedy covers economic development, soccer and COVID-19’s impact on hospitals for the Commercial Appeal. She can be reached via email at Corinne.Kennedy@CommercialAppeal.com or at 901-297-3245. 

Downtown’s Majestic Grille reopening next month

The large Downtown restaurant, Majestic Grille,  will reopen for dinner April 2, a month before celebrating its 15th anniversary. “It’s just time. We’re seeing offices start to come back. People want to go out. As soon as you get your vaccine it’s like, ‘OK, so what are we doing, where are we going?’” says Deni Reilly, owner of Majestic Grille.

By , Daily Memphian

Epicenter Relocates Primary Office Space to Downtown Memphis

Epicenter Relocates Primary Office Space to Downtown Memphis
Entrepreneurship hub will sublease innovation space from Terminix

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 18, 2021) – Epicenter announced today its primary office location is moving to the former Ground Floor space at 150 Peabody Place, in downtown Memphis.

Terminix Global Holdings, Inc., will sublease the 20,000-square-foot space to Epicenter, the greater Memphis region’s nonprofit entrepreneurship hub. Epicenter’s current offices are located at 902 S. Cooper St., where it has operated since 2017.

“Epicenter’s economic development mission is to foster a culture of inclusive innovation and to grow entrepreneurship in our region. As we plan for returning to, most likely, a hybrid remote/in-person work environment, we strongly believe that accessible, welcoming spaces in which we collaborate and convene our entrepreneurial community will still be essential to economic growth,” said Jessica Taveau, Interim CEO, Epicenter. “The incredible location and additional square footage of Peabody Place allows us to host ecosystem partners, incubate businesses, and convene educational programs and networking events at a larger scale.”

“Terminix has a long history of innovation which dates back to the founding of the termite control industry, and we are honored and proud to offer this unique space to such a great partner in our community,” said David Dart, chief human resources officer of Terminix. “The Ground Floor space was originally designed as a community hub for innovation, collaboration and vitality, so partnering with Epicenter to grow the local entrepreneurial ecosystem fulfills that vision and investment. We are also grateful to Belz Enterprises for their support and partnership as this great space is energized.”

As part of the transition, Epicenter will wind down its traditional coworking program at the Cooper Young location, which provided flexible workspace for entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, and nonprofit organizations. While many of the coworking members have been working from home over the last 12 months, Epicenter kept its space open to members at no charge. Epicenter staff is working with remaining members to find alternative workspaces in the region.

“When we started operating in the space four years ago, we were one of the few coworking locations in the region,” said Taveau. “We’re thrilled to see many coworking spaces launch over time, and we will continue to support this network of spaces as a key part of our entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

While the organization plans a phased return to in-person work, it will announce plans to offer space to partners and companies in the near future. The organization also will continue to partner with neighborhood and community organizations to deliver and distribute accessible entrepreneurial services to citizens across Shelby County.

The terms of the sublease are not disclosed.

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About Epicenter
Epicenter leads the connected and collaborative entrepreneur ecosystem in the Memphis area. Using a systems approach, Epicenter drives strategy and measures impact among a network of economic development, academic, corporate, and government partners to increase support to new and existing tech startups, creative and community-based businesses, student entrepreneurs, and others across industries and stages of growth. Epicenter and its partners connect these entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas to programming, capital, customers, and talent in order to create a just, inclusive, and growing economy that accrues to all Memphians. More information is at epicentermemphis.org.

About Terminix
Terminix Global Holdings (NYSE: TMX) is a leading provider of residential and commercial pest control. The company provides pest management services and protection against termites, mosquitoes, rodents and other pests. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., with more than 10,500 teammates and 2.8 million customers in 24 countries and territories, the company visits more than 50,000 homes and businesses every day. To learn more about Terminix, visit Terminix.com or LinkedIn.com/company/terminix.

Paul Young Named As New Downtown Memphis Commission President

March 16, 2021. Memphis. After a national search, the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) staff and board announced that Memphian Paul Young has been selected to serve as President and CEO for the organization.

“We are thrilled to have Paul come on board to lead the DMC,” said Deni Reilly, DMC Board Chair.  “Paul’s proven leadership skills, his commitment to consensus-building throughout the community, and his personal dedication to building a stronger Memphis will benefit Downtown and all Memphians in a way few people could.”

Young’s passion for community-development began during his educational pursuits. Young holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and two masters degrees from the University of Memphis, one in Urban Planning and one in Business Administration. Most recently, Young served as division director for the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development, where he was responsible for guiding community and economic development projects and initiatives throughout the city of Memphis, including the Downtown Tourism Development Zone and the $30 million capital investment for the South City Choice Neighborhoods implementation.

Young received the initial endorsement from local search firm Adams Keegan in concert with unanimous support from the internal search committee composed of DMC and affiliated sister board members. His selection was officially approved at a specially called DMC board meeting, held on Tuesday, March 16.

“I am honored to serve our city in this role,” said Paul Young, of the recent announcement. “Our Downtown serves as the economic and cultural hub for our entire community and strategic intervention in the core city can have a profoundly positive impact on the entire region.”

There is broad enthusiasm for the DMC’s selection, including Young’s current employer.

“Over my five-plus years as mayor, Paul has been an invaluable leader of our Division of Housing and Community Development. He has been instrumental in the development of quality affordable housing, including South City and Tillman Cove; our investments in long-forgotten treasures, like Historic Melrose High School and Collins Chapel; the community effort to reduce homelessness; and the establishment of the City’s first-ever Affordable Housing Trust Fund,” stated Mayor Jim Strickland, of Young’s selection.

“While I hate that Paul is leaving us, I’m more than thrilled to know his talents will still be used to create an even better Memphis through his leadership at the Downtown Memphis Commission.”

Young’s employment as president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission will begin on April 1, 2021. Current interim president Ray Brown will continue to serve in a consulting capacity throughout the transition.

2021 Projects Brings New Artists/Exhibition to Open on Main Activation

2021 Projects is continuing its pop-up concept in Downtown Memphis as part of the Downtown Memphis Commission’s award-winning Open on Main initiative. From February 23 to March 19, the space at 55 S. Main will be home to Memorandum, a joint exhibition featuring Khara Woods and Andrea Morales.

As part of the Open on Main initiative, the pop-up space at 55 S Main Street in Downtown Memphis has been transformed into a temporary gallery featuring the work of both established and up-and-coming artists from the greater Memphis region. The gallery opened earlier this year with a hybrid virtual and live exhibition by Nick and Cat Pena and will continue to show additional artists’ work through the end of June 2020.

The mission of 2021 Projects is to provide a Downtown exhibition space featuring rotating exhibitions by guest artists; the space will also serve as both exhibition and working space for artist Nelson Gutierrez. Over the six-month schedule, the gallery will host a series of virtual and physical exhibits, opening receptions, lectures, and artist talks to engage the community.

“The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Open on Main initiative made this series of exhibitions possible, ” said Nelson Gutierrez, gallery owner/curator. “Open on Main offered the opportunity to test the 2021 Projects concept in an important Downtown setting without much risk. It also allowed me to extend an invitation to other artists.”

Upcoming 2021 Projects schedule includes:
February 23 to March 19: Andrea Morales & Khara Woods

March 26 to April 23: Maritza Davila & Carl Moore

April 30 to May 28: Johana Moscoso & Scott Carter

June 4 to June 25: Nelson Gutierrez Retrospective Show

Learn More about 2021 Projects
Website www.2021projects.com
Instagram @2021projects
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/2021ProjectsContemporaryArt/

Other art-related Open on Main activations include Memphis Modern Market relocating to 65 Monroe from February-May 2021, and the continuation of Mary Ellen’s Kelly’s ArtChat series, which began as a part of her 2020 pop-up gallery and will continue in 2021.

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About Memorandum by Khara Woods and Andrea Morales:
Memorandum. “The shared desire to honor the sacred act of storytelling moves us in our respective mediums. Our work’s dimensionality ranges between 2D and 3D in form but is expansive in its intent. This show serves as a document of dialogue between two artists studying the way memory shapes our desire to create. 

Khara Woods is a graphic designer and artist from Memphis, Tennessee. The basis for all of Khara’s work starts with a network of horizontal and vertical lines in an underlying grid in the search for structure and order in the creative process. Since 2015, she has created and collaborated on a number of murals and public art projects in the city, including murals and a light installation at Cornelia Crenshaw Library in South City and a data visualization mural, “Basin Portraits” in Uptown. 

Andrea Morales is a documentary photographer and journalist born in Lima, Peru and raised in Miami, Florida now based in the U.S. South. Andrea hopes to use images of everyday life as a way of creating an emotional portal to our shared and oppositional rhythms. She is a producer at the Southern Documentary Project and the visuals director at MLK50: Justice Through Journalism.”

About Nelson Gutierrez, Resident Artist, Curator & Director, and 2021 Projects:
Nelson’s work explores the psychological and social implications of conflict. Most of his work is composed of two and three-dimensional pieces, conceptual objects, and installations that reflect current sociopolitical issues. Nelson received his B.A. from the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, Colombia, and his M.A. from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, England.
http://nelsongutierrez.com/ Associate & Advising Artist: Carl E Moore https://carlemoore.com/

2021 Projects is a contemporary art space offering a snapshot of Memphis’ most compelling contemporary artists. This is an artist-run initiative led by Nelson Gutierrez and contributor Carl Moore. The art space will offer a different exhibit highlighting two artists at a time on a monthly basis through the month of June. For more information go to www.2021Projects.com

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