Mystery Photo: Where Was This Memphis Restaurant with the Strange Mural?

photo courtesy Bonnie Daws Kourvelas

My history-buff pal Bonnie Daws Kourvelas, who has been mentioned here before, is stumped. And so am I.

And considering that, between the two of us, we generate enough brainpower to light a small city the size of, oh, Forrest City, Arkansas, that doesn't happen very often.

But looking through some old family scrapbooks, she turned up this photo of a dinner gathering, and neither she nor I can determine the location.

The most obvious clue is the rather bizarre — if not downright appetite-killing — mural painted on the wall, showing some husky naked creature holding a large mug or beer stein, with his "naughty bits" covered by a fig leaf. Unfortunately, his head has been cropped off in the photo. Well, come to think of it, maybe that's a good thing.

Note also the large brass(?) urn in the window, topped with what appears to be a tiny bird. And are those open bottles of olive oil on the table?

So: Does anybody remember this place?

And if you do, don't just tell me the name. Tell me the significance of the unusual decor, please. And if you recognize any or all of the people in the photo, you might as well tell me their names. Don't just sit there.

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

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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. 

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