A decade ago, no Memphian would have dreamed that the decaying behemoth of a building sitting on Cleveland and North Parkway would become a vibrant and exciting neighborhood destination. Now officially open, Crosstown Concourse celebrated its grand opening on August 19, and it’s quickly becoming a dining destination. In all, there will be about a dozen spots at which to dine, enjoy drinks and pick up good eats in the Crosstown Concourse.
The folks behind The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park have brought you Crosstown’s newest eatery: Next Door American Eatery. Located in the southeast corner of the massive redevelopment, Next Door is the more casual version of its sister restaurant. They opened their doors just two weeks ago on August 29.
When you walk in the front door, you realize this is a laid-back place with a relaxed Colorado vibe. In keeping with the urban feel of Crosstown Concourse, the floors and walls are concrete. Wooden tables and a long wooden bar help soften the industrial feel of the space. Casually clad in t-shirts and jeans, the wait staff is friendly and attentive.
“Next Door is an urban, casual, American eatery serving real food sourced from American farmers out of a scratch kitchen. The menu is more approachable while still maintaining our deep philosophy for serving real food that is sustainably and responsibly sourced,” explains Colin Ness, Director of Operations at the laid-back hangout. “Compared to our sister restaurant, it is a relaxed, casual eatery in an urban setting — an easy and fun place to gather with your family, friends and coworkers for conversation over a delicious ‘real food’ meal. We have many fun table games for families and adults to enjoy in addition to TVs in the bar area to catch your favorite sporting event.”
The first Next Door location opened six years ago in Boulder, Colorado. Co-founders Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson wanted to reach more people with real food, so they created a more casual, approachable and affordable restaurant to their upscale bistro concept.
This Boulder-based restaurant group is excited to be expanding in the Memphis market with their first Next Door location outside the state of Colorado. “We have been blown away by the entrepreneurial spirit in Memphis,” explains Kimbal of their decision to come to the Bluff City. “We chose to put Next Door in Crosstown, because it’s one of the most amazing projects in building renovations that we have seen across the country. We are so thankful and proud to be part of Crosstown and what it is doing for the city of Memphis.”
The menu features a variety of shared plates (like their famous kale chips and garlic & Parmesan smashers), fresh salads, bowls, sandwiches and local dry-aged burgers. “Our menu is veggie-forward with vegetarian and vegan options galore, as well as plenty of choices for anyone seeking gluten-free or dairy-free options,” adds Colin.
A lot of thought goes into each menu item. “Our culinary team starts with an idea of a dish or a specific ingredient, and they collaborate on the best technique and regional cuisine that would make this dish explode with flavor and be truly delicious. We have classic flavor combinations that highlight cuisines from around the world to truly reflect the melting pot that is America. The final result is a menu that is fresh, bright and offers a wide variety of cooking variations and inspiration from around the world,” explains Colin.
Next Door has three signature dishes that are all must-orders.
The Next Door 50/50 burger is a juicy and tasty mix of Cremini mushrooms and pure American beef with Swiss cheese and balsamic onions. It’s perfect for someone who wants a burger, but is trying to eat a little healthier. Be forewarned! This burger is so tasty, it may become your go-to. The folks at Next Door will let you substitute this 50/50 burger patty for any of their signature burger preparations on the menu.
The Next Door veggie bowl is packed with flavor. A delightful heap of roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, broccolini, onions and quinoa is tossed with a cilantro tahini dressing. Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will enjoy this vegetable dish.
And don’t let the red color of this burger sway you! Next Door’s beet burger is a surprise. A colorful beet patty is topped with arugula, balsamic onions and feta. It’s a veggie burger like no other.
Colin’s favorite dish? “That’s a really hard question because I have so many favorites! But my current go-to is the Veggie Bowl with a 50/50 Burger added on top,” he says. “Insiders know they can add just about anything they see on the menu to any dish.” Good to know!
The Next Door team has also planned some amazing-sounding specials. Locally farmed Lake’s Catfish tacos on Tuesdays, shrimp n’ grits on Thursdays, and Lake’s Catfish fish and chips on Fridays are a few of the dishes they hope resonate with Memphians.
The new Crosstown eatery also offers a full bar with signature cocktails, craft beers and wine. “Our wine program is based on kegged wine, a somewhat new idea, which allows us to work closely with high-quality producers while supporting our mission of sustainability. The cocktail program features classic cocktails with a twist and a couple signature cocktails that we have refined over the years, like our Persian Lemon. The bar program offers something for everyone and is approachable and fun,” adds Colin.
If you want to be a star and bring home dinner, Next Door offers a fantastic take-out program. Anyone can call ahead and order their food for pick-up. We predict this will be very popular for the folks who live and work in Crosstown’s one-of-a-kind mixed-use vertical urban community.
And speaking of community, Next Door also has a philanthropic side — $2 for every salad will go to support The Kitchen Community, a nonprofit organization co-founded by the owners of Next Door and The Kitchen restaurants. “The Kitchen Community builds outdoor ‘learning garden’ classrooms in schools across Memphis to teach kids the importance of real food. By the end of this year, there will be 100 Memphis schools with these beautiful outdoor spaces where teachers love to teach kids about science and math through the growing of food,” explains Colin.
“Next Door is a community hub and a gathering place for the whole community, which is exactly what Crosstown as a whole is, so it’s really a beautiful fit,” says Colin.
Next Door is located in Crosstown Concourse at 1350 Concourse Ave., Ste. 165, Memphis, TN 38104. Hours are Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to close. Happy Hour is daily 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (901) 779-1512 or visit nextdooreatery.com.
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