Cooper Street Revival!

101 Things to See & Do Along Midtown's "Magic Mile"

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For more than three decades, Sowell & Company Realtors have been making homeowner — and home seller — dreams come true, handing over the keys to a new house or getting that old house sold. 54 S. Cooper


Before this 1930s-era movie house was converted into a venue for live theater and cabaret performances the Circuit Playhouse was called The Memphian and it was Elvis’ favorite place to watch late-night movies with friends. The Memphian was also featured on the cover of Joe Walsh’s 1987 album, Got Any Gum? 51 S. Cooper


In a converted Queen Anne house called Restaurant Iris, Chef Kelly English pays homage to his roots with upscale dishes like “Surf and Turf,” a New York strip stuffed with blue cheese and fried oyster. In the bungalow next door, look for a fall opening for the Second Line, where English plans a more casual menu of Louisiana classics (meat pies!). 2146 Monroe (east of Cooper)


Theatreworks is a place where you can see an American classic one night and performance artists walking barefoot across live mouse traps the next. This versatile black-box theatre is home to several small theatre, dance, and comedy troupes. 2085 Monroe (west of Cooper)


Cheese lovers have the option of a 50-sample tasting of Italian cheeses at this pretty and cozy restaurant. Bari requests both 24 hours’ notice and a credit card in advance. After all, it takes some time to cut up and label 50 bites of cheese. The cost is $150 and feeds two to eight people. 22 S. Cooper


After you’ve gotten “cheesed off,” walk around the north side of the restaurant to admire the Bari Mural. Designed by David Lynch and painted by Anthony D. Lee, it’s painted on a flat side of the building, but the images that capture landmarks in Overton Square are strikingly three-dimensional. 22 S. Cooper


Trimble Place is the little street off Cooper that runs behind Bar Louie. And after a couple of cocktails, you may find yourself, well, trembling if you stumble upon the giant eyeball of the Salvador Dali-esque security building painted by Mary Norman. Trimble Place


Let your sweet tooth dance while telling your body it’s a healthy jig. At YoLo you’ll find triple chocolate yogurt (low-fat!) with toppings that range from Oreo pieces to pineapple and blackberries. 6 S. Cooper


Hot dogs and Mexican food may seem like an odd pairing, but at Chiwawa, the pair blend seamlessly when washed down with an adult sno-cone spiked with booze. Try a fried avocado Chubby Vegetarian Taco (named for Memphis magazine photographer Justin Fox Burks) or a spicy vegan Bianca Dawg (named for Memphis Flyer reporter Bianca Phillips). 2059 Madison


Step into Maggie’s Pharm and inhale the scents of the Seventies from herbs, candles, soaps, spices, and oh, the essential oils. Mix a little Aphrodite with, say, Juicy Peach — and voila, your very own perfume.  13 Florence at Madison


A stalwart in the Midtown culinary scene, Memphis Pizza Café is a perennial winner in the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis poll — Best Pizza since 1994, seriously — that has expanded across the city, earning every bit of its fame. 2087 Madison


It doesn’t have quite the comfy claustrophobia of the old place across the street for two decades, but Le Chardonnay still offers plenty of vino for wine lovers, whether you like it in a bottle or a box. 2094 Madison


A taste of the subcontinent in Overton Square, Golden India rewards adventurous Memphis palates with a great weekday lunchtime buffet and meals of curries, Tandoori meats, kababs, naan, korma, palak paneer, gulab jamun … excuse us, we’re hungry now. 2097 Madison


Twenty years ago, Boscos opened Tennessee’s first brewpub. You can still buy growlers to-go at Boscos Squared, a popular match for the pub’s wood-fired oven pizzas, and enjoy locally made draft beers. Don’t give up the Ghost (River, that is). 2110 Madison


The first retail store in the “new” Overton Square, The Attic is the brainchild of stylish and savvy Alexandra Rushing, who also owns The Ivory Closet on Mud Island and makeup line Adel Amor. Rushing was coincidentally featured in the Memphis Flyer’s 2013 “Hotties” list. 2121 Madison


Back in the dear ole Seventies, this spot occupied by Bar Louie was Lafayette’s Music Hall. Now folks are applauding again — at the handsome interior, windows great for people-watching, a biiiig fine bar, and plenty of good eats. 2125 Madison


Yes, Local is a pub with an impressive beer selection, but the food is a step up (try the burger or lobster tacos) and second-floor tables are friendly perches for people-watching. 2126 Madison


It’s safe to say that Dabbles is not dabbling. This hair salon has been making Memphians more attractive since 1988. 19 N. Cooper


Dinner and a movie? Piece of cake (well, cheesecake) at Studio on the Square. Whether it’s the latest “art-house” film or a star-driven blockbuster, a movie is merely part of the experience, one a glass of wine never hurts. 2105 Court


Stressed out trying to make sense of all the places we’ve listed here? Hey, you should have sat in on some of our planning meetings. Put the magazine aside for a few minutes, and put your mind at ease with a visit to Calming Influence, which offers “massage of body and mind.” 74 N. Cooper


Elephants. Lions. Howler monkeys. Stingrays. Eagles. Golfers. Concerts. Hikers. Bikers. Bird watchers. The Old Forest. Sculptures. Paintings. Art galleries. Picnickers. War memorials. Lakes. If you can’t find something to do in Overton Park, good grief, you aren’t even trying.  

Compiled by Kenneth Neill, Frank Murtaugh, Marilyn Sadler, Greg Akers, Anna Cox, Susan Ellis, Chris Davis, Bianca Phillips, and Louis Coggans

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