Thursday, September 9, 2010

Jillian's, Primetime, And Now What?

Reader alert: Local Memphis issue/blog.

Jillian's opened, the chain went bankrupt, they closed.

Primetime opened, nobody noticed, they closed. Still, at least initially, nobody noticed.

It's actually a good retail/commercial space.

The question has been bandied about, "What should they open there next?".

Some want a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise.

I'm not opposed to that. I'm not sure it would fly in spite of my favoring them over other brands of wings. The down side of this idea is the level of noise travelling upstairs to the $300 a night suites that will eventually be built above the space.

Others would like to see a grocery store. Again, I'm really good with that. I'd love nothing more than a nice grocery store in Downtown. Especially one within walking distance. The problem? I don't think the Belz family really wants to have a Kroger attached to the flagship hotel of the Peabody family of hotels.

Besides, I'm sure they'd refuse to stock duck in the meat department.

I have a different idea for the space.

Put in a Museum of Memphis.

Okay y'all, hear me out.

Museums are family attractions. We have few of those here in the heart of Downtown. Those that we do have are woefully spread out and in many cases under used.

I say consolidate them into one, focusing on the history of the Downtown area.

Why just Downtown?

That's what they will be surrounded by for most of their visit.

How many of you have been to the museum on Mud Island and when was the last time you were there?

They have some great artifacts that nobody gets to see.

Ever been inside Mr. Handy's house on Beale Street?

Many of you haven't.

How many times have you been asked who Tom Lee is by tourists?

Can you tell the story?

Good luck finding any meaningful information on the history and historical significance of Beale Street.

The histories of Cotton Row and Main Street are the histories of our neighborhoods.

The building is well suited to it. The location is well suited to those who come into our neighborhood to visit.

The exhibits can easily be assembled and be put into context.

How about some "then and now" exhibits of the various aspects of our neighborhood?

People come visit us by the thousands every year. Many ask questions about the city. More ask, "What's a good family oriented thing to do?".

I DO support both a BWW's and a grocery store.

I have thought both ideas out.

First, either terminate or let Hooter's lease expire. My last experience there was horrible, especially the wings.

Take the unused kitchen equipment from Primetime, move what's usable down to the old Tower Record location. Open up BWW's there. This works well in many ways. It gives Peabody Place an anchor on that corner. It has a hotel across the street, street visibility from Beale Street,has ample space, and ample parking.

Now then, clean the now defunct Hooter's up and out. Put a Kroger/Schnuck's/(fill in your grocery store of choice here). This also works. Good street presence, ample parking, visibility from Beale Street (the tourists have shopping needs that don't involve convenience store prices as well), and it's still close enough for us that live here to walk to or drop in on the way home.

So there you have it.

We get family friendly entertainment that helps boost awareness of and interest in our neighborhood's history.

We get a BWW's.

We get a grocery store.

Think about it.

Mr. Belz, I am available to meet with you at any time. I have many ideas.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Mr. Belz gets to fill some empty space.


Otto said...

Like all places, I say it should be a brewery.

A microbrewery is stilla brewery.

Air Traffic Mike said...

Fair enough, that will fill up "Club Ill". What about the remaining massive amount of space?

Dr. Patrick said...

I say carve out a slice for even more culture.........the ballet. I know the space is mostly concrete, but their surely are some shiny polls somewhere.

MandySue said...

I love the memphis musuem idea. However, all of the ideas for this space presume that Belz wants to re-lease the sapce. As sad as an empty building is for downtown the owners cannot be forced into leasing it.

Air Traffic Mike said...

Mandy Sue, I'm pretty sure the vacant space, will be available. It would hardly make sense to surround your flagship hotel with vacant, dark space.

I'd like to hear Mr. Belz plans/ideas.

Anonymous said...

A good grocery concept can be seen in downtown Nashville at H.G. Hills on the ground floor of the Viridian condos. A compact space well stocked in groceries and a good pre-prepared selection, as well.I think downtown Memphis would be well served with this concept and it will fit easily in to several of these locations.

MandySue said...

The hotel project has been put on hold due to lack of funding. With no hotel suites for 2 to 3 years (if not longer) It is more economical to close up Peabody Place. Also, to entice new tenants landlords often front the cost of a build out to make a space suitable to the new tenants needs, this is also not a posibility for Peabody Place. In a tenant driven market any company would be crazy to sign a lease in which they are responsible for footing the build out bill.