Charles Trippy

The Anti-Resolution Weekend Guide in Memphis

Dear traveler, 

We know, we know . . . it’s a new year. You’ve made resolutions: To renounce fried chicken. To work out like you’re competing in the Winter Olympics. To save more and drink less. Early to bed, early to rise and all that. That’s cool. We hope that visiting Memphis is among your resolutions, too. If it is, we only ask one thing: Leave your resolutions at home. Just for a weekend. They’ll be waiting for you when you get back, and anyway, you’ve likely confronted enough quinoa and kettlebells by this point to have earned it.  

City and State: Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

FRIDAY

Kick those austerity measures to the curb: You’re going shopping on Broad Avenue. This Midtown arts district is part-industrial grit, part-showcase for murals and locally-owned businesses. Sift through ’70s vintage clothing at Found, try on high-fashion at 20twelve and select statement pieces made of bold African textiles at Mbabazi House of Style. Tap into a horde of Memphis-made tees and jewelry at Five in One Social Club. Order a cortado from City + State or a Gotta Get Up to Get Down coffee stout from Wiseacre Brewing Co. — today, you shop ’til you drop. When that time comes, drop into The Liquor Store. Because where else can you have dinner in a liquor store? And also because The Liquor Store is a sexy new restaurant (repurposing a corner liquor store) that serves killer cocktails and Latin-flavored dishes. Share the most indulgent starters — creamy lump crab dip with crispy plantain chips, fries loaded with Cuban-style pork, melty cheese and gravy — and you don’t even have to feel that guilty.

B.B. Kings on Beale Street / Andrea Zucker

SATURDAY

You’ve booked a posh accommodation so stay in bed as long as you like. Downtown, the Peabody Memphis’ “Peabody & Chill” package is inspiring: one night’s accommodation plus an in-room movie credit, local brews crafted by Wiseacre and barbecue-flavored popcorn from the city’s landmark Rendezvous restaurant. 

When you’re ready to roll out, shuffle over to Beale Street. Live music starts mid-day at B.B. King’s Blues Club and mid-afternoon at Silky O’Sullivan’s, but pace yourself — it’s going to be a late night.

When the moon is high, choose between two classics a short walk from Beale. Or don’t choose. This is your anti-resolution weekend, remember? Earnestine & Hazel’s wins for best jukebox, the simply delicious “soul burger” and a funky second floor with a pocket-sized bar and cozy rooms for low-key hanging out. Paula & Raiford’s Disco, in contrast, is all fog machines, disco balls and DJ music loud enough to make you lose yourself in the Budweiser-fueled boogie. Pick your poison. 

SUNDAY

Nothing fixes that morning-after feeling like a big breakfast, so navigate to Sunrise Memphis, a new local-favorite on the edge of downtown. The coffee (J. Brooks) is locally brewed and rich; the biscuit sandwiches showcase Memphis’ essential artisan meats; breakfast plates get creative with Korean and Mexican flavors. Best menu item for a hangover? The Mother & Child Reunion: fried chicken thigh, fried egg, tabasco honey, dill pickle and cheddar piled on a biscuit. If you’re seeking the hair of the dog, Sunrise Memphis currently sells beer, Bloody Mary mix and carafes of orange juice — BYO spirits and sparkling wine until the restaurant’s liquor license comes in. 

If the anti-resolution guilt is creeping up on you at this point and it’s not yet 11 a.m., get on over to Full Gospel Tabernacle. Service starts at 11:30 and the Reverend Al Green will be happy to sing you right.