I’ve often asked my dad questions like these because that seems a true contender for the best time to live in Memphis. Isaac Black Moses Hayes and the other stars of the STAX-Soulsville catalog were laying down Hot Buttered Soul all over Memphis.
Welp, my dad moved here from St.Louis in the mid-70s and one of his first jobs was moving furniture, recording equipment, and more, out of STAX records after they closed. Not only that, but he noted the city very much felt the lingering effects of MLK’s assassination and the Memphis Sanitation strike which preceded that. So there was a rainy cloud over what seemed a groovy time in Memphis.
Shortly after coming back, I moved to an apartment off Overton Square…but nothing was open save longtime residents Bosco’s, Bayou, and a few others. At night it was a bit dismal, but the days were bustling with construction workers, contractors, MLGW employees, artists, and the like. What a sight to see! Hope in the form of hard hats.
Everyday I’d drive down Madison to East Parkway over to Broad Avenue as we were working on the brewery and taproom. In the 3+ years since then, every day has seen construction on Overton Square, the Shelby Farms Park Greenline, and Broad Avenue. I’ve seen daily progress on now open restaurants like Lafayette’s, Schweinhaus, Bounty, Second Line, Robata, City & State, and more. It took weeks to put up the arch of multicolored bikes that welcome motorists from Sam Cooper and bikers via the Greenline into the heart of Memphis, but I had the privilege to see somebody on a scaffold every day. Construction continues in Crosstown, South Main, Broad, and Shelby Farms Park with rumors/plans in the Medical District, the Edge, Midtown, and Downtown making our minds wonder what our city is going to be like in a few years.