Welcome to Foppiano's Grill - A Nice Little Place ... For a Murder!



photo courtesy Memphis Room, Benjamin Hooks Central Library

Come on in, and take a seat. Plug a nickel in the jukebox, and order yourself a steaming bowl of chili, maybe a steak — medium rare — if you're really hungry.

You've just stepped into Joe Foppiano's Grill, a cozy little place on South Main. Nothing fancy about it, pretty basic really, but it had a reputation for good food at good prices. And Joe was always good for a story.

Oh yeah, and it was mainly famous as the scene of one of the most sensational murders in our city's history.

You see, it was just after midnight, on a quiet May evening in 1940, when a man known as the "King of the Gamblers" stepped into the little cafe and ...

Wait a minute. I'm not telling this story again. I've already told it once before.

In my "Ask Vance" column in the February issue of Memphis magazine. It's on newsstands right now, or (even better) in your mailbox or sitting on your dining room table, just begging to be read. And it's also got the winners of our annual Readers' Restaurant Poll, so what are you waiting for?

Pick it up, turn to pages 112 and 113, and you'll learn what happens when tough guys get in the way of Bob Berryman.

There, I've said enough.

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Famed Memphis trivia expert Vance Lauderdale answers reader questions weekly here on his blog!

About This Blog

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

Got a question for Vance?  Email him here.

Find Vance's old blog posts (pre-April 2011) and comments here.

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