Memphis Hi Lites: Trolley Night July 29, 2011: New Stops on South Main

Kpreshas opening night

Trolley Night was great as usual. The turnout was solid and the stores were offering the standard varity of “spirits” and finger foods to guests stopping by. While we didn’t jump on the Trolley, since we got a great parking spot on Beale Street for the Sade concert (I’m not talking about the concert here, it deserves its own post). We walked down to South Main checking out the various restaurants and galleries. We even found a door to nowhere. A giant wall saddled between two buildings with a door opening that lead to what looked a path into the television show Lost. As I stuck my head into the door, every episode of Supernatural and Lost kicked in and told me, “Watch out for smoke monsters.” I pulled my head out stared at the door for a moment and we kept rolling. We only made two stops before turning around and heading back towards the Fed Ex Forum.
The first stop was KPreshas. Kpreshas is located at 323 South Main. This was opening night for the boutique and the store was packed. Chairs were arranged throughout the store. People were enjoying drinks and an ambiance that included music on the inside and a live band on the outside. People walked up and down the loft stairs and stood in front of shelves featuring wedge shoes and designer purses for women and a lineup of footwear for men called Pointer. The layout of the store was still a work in progress but the styling was a combination of rustic, fall and wood with a color pallette that will compliment the type of apparel that will be carried. While I couldn’t figure out who Kpresha was in the mix, I am pretty sure I’ll be dropping in to grab a pair of those Pointers for the Fall (If I don’t make my own casual shoe again.)
The second stop was The Blues Foundation. Memphis is the home of the Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Soul Music, Rock and Roll, but Beale Street and Graceland are the only placards that are promoted in the city and those places have their own “culture”. Graceland draws the Elvis fans and Beale attracts drinkers. Memphis isn’t really about music anymore. If you ask someone what represents music now, it won’t be WC Handy or BB King, it will be Three6Mafia and Yo Gotti. While this isn’t bad, it does not cater to a promotion of the rich heritage that exists in the city. Memphis has at its core a foundation that should be promoted in the same way that Downtown Nashville has crafted the Grand Ol Opry into a huge portion of its economic development.
The Blues Foundation is one of several small pockets of information that you have to seek out to learn about the heritage of music in the city. Located at 421 South Main, the venue has wood floors, walls lined with photos of legendary Blues Artists, a resource area with books and and enough space to host small events. Joe Whitmer, deputy director, is pulling together a location that should become a part of Memphis’ Music City Tour. Oh, wait a minute… Memphis doesn’t really have a music city tour (shakes head and says driving past Sun Studios is not a tour). The Blues Foundation is completing their move to this new location and is definitely worth your time if you drop into Downtown Memphis.
Overall it was another great Trolley Night. I’m making the suggestion now that Trolly Night adds another date for the middle of the month. If you haven’t done Trolley Night take advantage of it and get there. Don’t wait to see South Main though, take a drive down today.
Chris B.