Overton Square, Memphis, TN

Hot-Spot Guide:

Overton Square Edition

In the last few years, Overton Square has emerged as a fun place to hang out in Midtown Memphis. Maybe you haven't been in a while. Maybe you go all the time, but always go to the same places and want to try something new.

Either way, here's a guide to what's happening in Overton Square, with places to go for eating and drinking, shopping, working out, and taking in a show or some art.

Eat & Drink

Babalu has tacos, tapas, cocktails, and an indoor-outdoor bar.

Bar Louie is a franchise that serves patrons for lunch, dinner, and late night.

Bari offers gourmet Southern Italian cuisine, including a killer cheese plate. 

Schweinehaus is a German restaurant offering brats, beer, and pretzel rolls. It has a great patio and lots of lederhosen.

– Restaurant Iris has been named "Best Restaurant" in  just about every local poll. Make reservations weeks, if not months, in advance.

Second Line is the casual cousin of Restaurant Iris.

YoLo's Midtown location has frozen yogurt and gelato.

– Robata Ramen and Yakitori Bar, a Jimmy Ishii restaurant, offers make-your-own ramen bowls and skewers.

– Belly Acres is a kid-friendly gourmet burger joint with casual, farm-tastic decor.

– Boscos claims to be the place for beer lovers, and we can't argue.

– The Bayou is a great place to watch sports, grab cheap drinks, and eat Southern and Cajun food.

Golden India has Indian food (including a lunch buffet) in a casual but nice atmosphere.

Lenny's is the sandwich shop next to Bari. Did you know Lenny's was founded in Memphis?

Local on the Square is a true gastropub, with a solid menu and bars on two floors.

Memphis Pizza Cafe is the original location of the Memphis pizza chain specializing in thin-crust pies and super sandwiches.

– Side Street is a laid-back, affordable dinner/drinks spot with lots of daily specials and a huge martini menu.

Sweet Noshings candy store in Memphis
Craft beer on tap at Boscos Squared
Hush puppies at Second Line restaurant
Italian fare at Bari Ristorante, Memphis
Clockwise from top left: Sweet Noshings, hush puppies at Second Line, Italian fare at Bari, craft beer at Boscos
Shop

The Attic has men's and women's clothing, accessories, and gifts from luxury brands like 7 For All Mankind.

Breakaway Running is a locally owned running shoe and sporting goods store which hosts group runs.

Gould's on the Square is not technically a shop, but the locally owned salon and spa chain's newest location will give you the works in terms of hair cut, color, style, massage, and spa treatments.

– Sweet Noshings could count as a restaurant since you can go for scoop-your-own candy,  gourmet popcorn, packaged sweets or the Ugly Mug coffee.

– Mr. Lincoln's Costume Shop is one of those quirky Memphis gems that you have to experience for yourself.

– Maggie's Pharm is one of our favorite stores in Memphis, with everything from homemade soaps and jewelry to herbal teas and gag gifts.

– Sew Memphis sells designer fabric and sewing and crafting supplies, and offers sewing classes.

The Square Olive sells gourmet olive oil and vinegar, and other olive oil-related products.

– Dabbles hair salon is a local favorite and annual finalist for "Best Salon" in media polls.

Work Out

We have three fitness/health/exercise spots in Overton Square, including Cardio Barre, Delta Groove Yoga, and Bikram Hot Yoga. All three offer classes and packages, or you can drop in for a little extra cost.

See A Show

Malco Studio on the Square is our favorite movie theater in Memphis because it shows a nice mix of blockbusters and artsy, Oscar-bait flicks. It's smaller and more laid-back than the Paradiso in East Memphis, but not as, well, weird as the Ridgeway Four. Studio on the Square also hosts tons of film festivals and screenings of all sizes and styles, including Indie Memphis.

Hattiloo Theatre is home for dramas and musicals featuring African-American playwrights, actors, and crews.

Playhouse on the Square is a professional resident theater that produces dramatic plays, Tony-winning musicals, comedies, and more. It's also a venue for lots of events and parties, including the annual Midtown Opera Festival.

Circuit Playhouse is a part of the Playhouse on the Square family and produces less mainstream plays and musicals, sometimes for a more mature audience (like "Reefer Madness").

Theatreworks hosts local theater groups and performances like FreakEngine, Memphis Comedy events, and Threepenny Theatre.

"You are the Universe" mural in Overton Square
"You are the Universe" mural by Guillaume Alby

Check Out Public Art

There are several fun pieces of public art in the Overton Square area.

– The "Memphis Taking Shape" mural hangs on the east-facing side of the parking garage. Young students from the Barbara K. Lipman Early Childhood School collaborated with parents and teachers to create the piece.

– The mural of familiar Overton Square buildings by artist David Lynch is on the north side of Bari.

– "You are the Universe," the mural by artist Guillaume Alby pictured above, is on the west side of Schweinehaus.

"Gyroscopic" is a 30-foot, motorized, LED-lit metal sculpture at the corner of Madison and Cooper by Memphis artist Yvonne Bobo.

– A whimsical steampunk-style mural by Mary Norman is on the security offices on the south side of Bar Louie.

– A geometric mosaic by artist Lea Holland is on the sidewalk in front of Robata.

– Giant windchimes by artist Sean Murphy hang in the Tower Courtyard.

– The newest piece of art is the sequin bird mural on the side of Local on the Square by Kong Wee Pang.

Music & Events

There are several ongoing and annual events that pack Overton Square on a regular basis.

– Thursdays Squared concerts on the Tower Courtyard stage.

– Bluesday Tuesdays are free weekly blues concerts on Tuesdays evenings in the spring and summer.

– Shows at the Corner Stage happen from time to time, when local musicans play a set at the corner of Cooper and Madison on the stage at the base of "Gyroscopic."

– The Maker's Market is a monthly market for art, crafts, and handmade goods taking place in summer.

How to Get There

Overton Square is located just north of Union Avenue in Midtown Memphis, along/west of Cooper Street and along/east of Florence.

As for parking, there are a couple of lots and very limited street parking. Please do not block anyone's driveway if you park in a residential area.

Restaurant Iris and The Second Line offer valet services. There's also a well-lit, clean parking garage which is free before 6 p.m. every day. After 6 p.m., the garage charges a flat rate of $3 and is open until 4 a.m. If you use the garage, note that there's no attendant. You pay in cash or by credit card at a kiosk by entering your vehicle's tag number.