Warmth, charm, and a wealth of antiques greet the many guests to this East Memphis home.
A pair of iron lampposts light the way to the handsome brick home’s front door.
photography by Andrea Zucker
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If this particular home looks faintly familiar to many Memphians, perhaps the reason is that Janie and Bruce Hopkins have hosted countless events for their nonprofit causes, a long list that includes St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Bruce serves on the board), United Way of the Mid-South, The New Memphis Institute, Carnival Memphis, Arts Memphis, and the Junior League of Memphis. The house sparkles as well for other assorted gatherings, such as for Bruce’s team at First Tennessee Bank (where he is president, West Tennessee Region), as well as for reunions of his fellow Memphis University School alums. Janie is a realtor in Crye-Leike’s East Memphis office, so I imagine she has held a party or two for clients there as well. And since the Hopkins family includes three popular boys — Bond, Cooper, and Grant — the household was of course action central for countless teenagers over the years. In fact Bruce says the upstairs playroom sometimes held as many as 16 at one time watching games on the huge flatscreen TV. And I can’t forget to mention that Bruce and Janie hosted two family reunions at their house late this past year. For us mere mortals this seems to be a dizzying agenda, but with this family, well, it’s par for the course.
By now you are probably getting the picture that Bruce and Janie are warm and generous hosts. Their home in an East Memphis gated community lends itself to cozy and comfortable entertaining in front of a roaring fire, as well as to more formal seated dinners in their elegant, porcelain-filled dining room. I think their many friends and colleagues will agree that when you enter this house you can look forward to a great evening. Janie is a wonderful cook, and her baby BLTs and brown-edged cookies are justifiably famous. Husband Bruce holds sway at his well-stocked bar, which is filled with Carnival Memphis mementos dating from his days as King of Carnival and later president. He is proud to add that, in his Carnival roles, he started the Children’s Charity Initiative; since its inception, $1.6 million has been donated to local children’s charities.
They bought the handsome house in 2005 with the intention of scaling down in size from their previous larger home in the area to a zero-lot-line. That was the good news; however, in Bruce’s words, “the new place was a gut job.” Originally it had a master bedroom and bath downstairs, but only two bedrooms and one bath upstairs, so one of the first things that was done in the renovation process was to add an additional bedroom and bath upstairs. Also on the second floor, the Hopkinses pulled up the old carpeting, added hardwood floors, and put iron railings on the staircase. They also replaced an outside deck with a large keeping room adjacent to the kitchen, which greatly added to their living and entertaining space.