MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL | MEAGAN NICHOLS
Barrel aged, cocktails, lawn games and a cascading waterfall describe what is sure to be Downtown's next "it" destination.
Loflin Yard, a restaurant, bar combo located on an acre of sprawling land at 7 W. Carolina Ave. will take any preconceived ideas of what a cookout should be and elevate those to new leisurely heights.
“Once we get construction cleared out, it turns into a pretty nice farm oasis in the backyard of Downtown,” Said Doug Carpenter, one of the Loflin Yard owners.
Memphians won’t have to wait long to see exactly what the owners have been preparing. Loflin Yard officially opens to the public Thursday, April 7. The name Loflin pays homage to the business that last occupied the space, Loflin Safe & Lock Co.
“We think we are very well positioned," Carpenter said. "One, there is nothing like it in the city, but certainly not one down here and we are surrounded with so many apartment and condo dwellers. The other thing I really like is Harahan will open in the fall, Carolina [Avenue] goes up, curls up along Riverside, this seems like a natural stopping point.”
When customers enter Loflin Yard they will be encouraged to choose a bottle of wine off the shelf or select from a variety of barrel aged cocktails or local beers on tap. All food and drink orders can be placed inside the main building called the “Safe House” or from the back deck at one of the windows.
The menu will have a rustic theme with a focus on food prepared via the restaurant’s smoker and custom-made masonry grill located in the “Smoke House.” Andy Knight is the executive chef of Loflin.
Shared plates currently on the menu are beef brisket, pork tenderloin and cast iron seared/smoked trout. The sides range from house slaw to sweet potato salad to baked beans, to name a few. Starters include an artisan cheese plate, charcuterie plate and olives. A charred romaine salad and a watermelon salad are also offered.And for dessert, the perfect end to a campfire inspired meal – s’mores. The menu will be seasonal.
Mary Oglesby, a veteran mixologist who recently moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to the Bluff City will be in charge of the beverage program.
“Milwaukee being so close to Chicago, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a craft cocktail small plates place,” Oglesby said. “There is no room to do anything new there. One of the things I love about Memphis is it is a city that isn’t saturated with that, but is very clearly interested in it and embracing it as it comes in.”
The square footage in the Safe House is only 1,800 square feet with a seating capacity for 60 people, but the outdoor space seems almost endless, especially for Downtown. Located off the Safe House is a massive deck built over part of the Gayoso Bayou complete with a waterfall.
From there, people can play a variety of lawn games like horseshoes and bocce ball located on the side lot, or grab a seat and relax on the porch of the “Coach House,” a former barn that is now one of the eight parcels of land that comprise Loflin Yard.
The interior of the Coach House is in the process of being renovated in the hope that Loflin Yard could eventually be rented out for events. Located behind the barn is another large open field that could serve as a venue for live music.
Loflin Yard will be open Wednesday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
“We believe if people will come look at it, they will get it," Carpenter said. "It is hard to explain otherwise."