Once the home of a thriving Wonder Bread factory, bustling small industries, and some of the city’s first car dealerships, the Edge District spent many years on the fringe, full of unrecognized potential. Over the past few years, though, the Edge has come into its own as an up-and-coming neighborhood with plenty of opportunities for growth. Home to some of the city’s coolest places to eat, play and stay, take a virtual stroll through the Edge District — and get the inside scoop on exciting new developments to come from one of the major investors in the area.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
No matter what your taste buds are craving, you are sure to find it in the Edge District. Looking for a mouthwatering brew? Local favorite High Cotton Brewing Company is one of the earliest businesses to have recognized the potential of the district, opening a taproom on Monroe in 2014. Stop in for one of their lagers, ales, IPAs, and more.
With biscuit sammies, omelets, and bowls, Sunrise Memphis is a great choice for breakfast or lunch. And Edge Alley serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a weekend brunch. The avocado toast and shrimp and grits are brunch standouts, and Edge Alley’s coffee is some of the best in town. Dinner features specialties such as chicken confit, steak frites, and ricotta gnocchi.
New to the district but not to Memphis, Chef Tam’s Underground Café is a popular soul-food joint. Bright, colorful, and welcoming, the restaurant serves up some seriously delectable dishes such as their Grown Folks Chicken and Waffles, Deep Fried Ribs, and Big Mouth Burgers. Newcomer Slim & Husky’s brings delicious pizzas and cinnamon rolls to the area, along with an outstanding selection of local beers. Give it a try on $10 Tuesdays.
If you like international flair, Evelyn & Olive has a flavorful menu of Jamaican and Southern cuisine, and Sabor Caribe serves an eclectic array of Venezuelan and Caribbean dishes. In the mood for tasty homemade quiche? Stop by C-Lou Patton’s House for a wide selection of savory pies. Anyone craving barbecue can find Memphis-style ribs and pulled pork sandwiches at Arnold’s BBQ and Grill.
WHERE TO PLAY
Historic Sun Studio has been a part of the fabric of the Edge District since 1950. Opened by legendary music producer Sam Phillips, “The Birthplace of Rock ‘N’ Roll” has seen a roster of the greats come through the doors: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison – the list goes on! Visitors can tour Sun Studio any day of the week.
Just down the road is the Edge Motor Museum, Memphis’ only auto museum. In an exhibit “American Speed,” the museum highlights the rise and fall of the American sports car featuring cars from post-war through 1974. “If you are in the neighborhood visiting Sun Studio, we showcase the cars from the same eras that they highlight music,” says Executive Director Richard Vining. “We even have a Rocket 88 on display, which is the name of the first-ever rock ‘n’ roll song recorded right here in the Edge at Sun Studio.”
Formerly confined to lumberjack competitions, axe throwing is growing in popularity across the nation — including in the Edge District. Craft Axe Throwing – Memphis offers both competitive and casual play with 14 throwing lanes in a fun, safe environment.
A venue for art shows, screenings, and creative events, Marshall Arts is an art gallery on Marshall Avenue, housing 15 studios and a large gallery space.
And of course, no visit to the Edge would be complete without the most American of pastimes. AutoZone Park (technically downtown, but close enough for us!) is home to Memphis Redbirds baseball and 901 FC.
WHERE TO STAY
The site of the once-flourishing Wonder Bread factory is now home to luxury apartments and the upscale headquarters of Orion Federal Credit Union, thanks to one of the earliest investors to see great potential in the Edge District, Development Services Group (DSG). “The Rise Apartments is a picture of what DSG does,” says Ethan Knight, Vice President of Development. “We wanted to move the bar higher and set the standard for what’s possible.”
The Rise Apartments is named as an homage to the bread once baked on the premises, and the development offers 199 units, including studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom floor plans. Fun reminders of the building’s origins are carefully incorporated into the décor: you’ll find an old conveyor belt, flour funnels, and photos of the old factory. Top-tier amenities complete the boutique collection of apartments.
“The Edge has a ‘live, work, play’ feel,” says Ethan. In addition to banking with Orion, residents and visitors can put on a spectacular event with LEO Events, an award-winning, certified woman-owned business, or take advantage of Wonder Cowork Create, a coworking space that fosters a community of freelancers and small businesses. Premiere Palace Ballroom offers a recently updated, multifaceted space for hosting corporate meetings to wedding receptions. Exercise enthusiasts can find their jam at Spincult Cycling Studio or Metabolic CrossFit.
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WHAT’S COMING NEXT
One of the most exciting new developments bubbling up in the Edge District is The Ravine, a unique green space designed to be a community gathering location. The linear park makes use of a long-abandoned rail spur that runs between Union and Madison avenues. “The Ravine doesn’t fit into a traditional box,” says Ethan. “It will be an outdoor plaza and park, but also a living room for restaurants, concerts, and events.” The space will include a park with a playground for kids, a plaza with a stage for shows, and space for Edge businesses to offer open-air options. Memphis Made Brewing Co. will open its newest brewery and taproom along The Ravine — cheers!
Sweet Magnolia Gelato will bring scrumptious treats to 655 Marshall, currently under renovation. Craft cocktail bar Inkwell will open this summer, just down the street from Sun Studio, offering a relaxed ambiance with high-quality cocktails. Memphis-based PKM Architects is working on the designs for both spaces.
Enjoy exploring this hip and happening Memphis neighborhood!
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