Memphis is known for its innumerable hideaways and hot spots, neighborhoods where “the locals go” that stand alone in character but collectively define our big city’s small-town charm. I was reminded of this when walking down Broad Avenue last week. Following an opening day visit to the newest business on Broad, the 20twelve lifestyle boutique, I strolled a bit further and made some distinctively Memphis discoveries.
There has been a steady community effort since 2010 to reinvent the Binghampton neighborhood, and activities on Broad Avenue have been pivotal to this development. Known as the “New Face for an Old Broad” project, the Broad Avenue Arts District now boasts well-traveled bike lanes, a community performance venue, upscale and specialty shops as well as numerous artisan studios, restaurants and more.
The Water Tower Pavilion
Located in what was a 1945 warehouse loading dock, The Water Tower Pavilion on Broad has been creatively adapted into a venue for community events, performances, urban art installations and vibrant art festivals. Coming up soon, there will be performances ranging from a Memphis Electronic Music and Arts Festival to a 30 Days of Opera Kick-Off event to shows presented by Hattiloo Theatre.
20twelve, brought to us by Chantal Johnson (a former StyleBlueprint FACE of Memphis!) is a lifestyle, destination shopping experience with 5,800 square feet of furniture, clothing, accessories and jewelry—a superb shopping experience!
T Clifton Gallery
Original art with an extensive collection of art glass at the T Clifton Gallery. They also offer artistic, custom framing and more than 2000 mouldings to choose from—a colorful, beautiful gallery.
Five in One Social Club
An art studio for artists and beginners to collaborate, work and learn together with a “Made in Memphis” retail store, which offers exclusive, artist made goods. The Five in One Social Club is “Kindergarten for Grown Folks”!
Check out their calendar, and you will surely find one that sparks your creative spirit! For example, coming up on August 25 they will be molding beeswax candles, and on September 1, they offer a workshop creating wire word necklaces.
Victory Bicycle Studio
Bicycles and bike accessories, full-service bike repairs, professional bike fitting, scientific-based fitness analysis, and more at the Victory Bike Shop and Fitness Center.
From basic lessons to studio space to painting parties, Broad Strokes is the place to learn how to bring your old furniture to life. American Paint Company paint, glazes, and waxes are featured, and they have a full schedule of painting classes and events.
Dan Spector, a sculptor trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, has been sculpting, moldmaking and casting since 1984. Some of the fragments you will find in his Archicast studio on Broad are from past projects. These fragments, all with a story, are popular for purchase as decorative items.
It was fun to find lots of Memphis-themed objects, vintage novelties, memorabilia and clever accessories at this Broad Avenue shop, appropriately named! You will enjoy exploring in the Found Studio!
This is a retail venue where the public can experience handmade and local goods from independent designers and makers. Modern Handmade has an extensive selection of handcrafted soaps, candles and luxury spa products.
The Wiseacre Brewing Company opened to the public on Labor Day weekend one year ago. Visit their tap room to sample one of Memphis’ favorite craft beer venues. This is not a typical bar. Instead, it is a tasting room, a place where people can go to learn about beer and the brewery. Think “Napa Valley, Memphis style!”
Broadway Pizza House
Hot from the oven at the legendary Broadway Pizza House. Family owned and operated since 1977. (Known as one of Elvis’ favorite restaurants!)
The Cove is a retro, nautical-themed bar and restaurant, much like the dimly lit restaurants you see throughout New Orleans. They specialize in fresh oysters, classically prepared cocktails and good times!
Did you know that in addition to their Sanderlin location, you can also purchase Muddy’s magical cupcakes at 2497 Broad—Muddy’s Kitchen on Broad is open to customers for pre-ordered pick-ups only.
3 Angels Diner
This is the second restaurant of Jason and Rebecca Severs, after owning and operating Bari Ristorante for almost ten years, they wanted a place that was more casual, kid friendly and fun that serves food with no boundaries. The 3 Angels Diner specializes in fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches, fresh veggies and several vegan and vegetarian options!
Bounty on Broad
I browsed as many shops and restaurants as possible on a mid-day, summer afternoon, but there are still more to see! Next time I am walking down Broad, I will be sure to catch Bead Couture, the MetalWorks studio of metalsmith Jerry Couillard, Nabers Interiors design studio and retail store and, of course, stop into the original Hollywood Feed for my four-legged friends at home!
Less than 5 minutes from the intersection of Highland and Sam Cooper, check out Broad Avenue’s longstanding and newly acquired businesses, art studios and boutiques, as well as the consistent offering of Water Pavilion performances and festivals … a delightful, distinctive Memphis neighborhood!