Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

The Commercial Appeal

By Jennifer Chandler

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118.

Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail component to her 17-year-old business.

“I started Sweet LaLa’s out of my home kitchen back in 2001,” Young said. In 2014, she formed a partnership with JIFF, a juvenile intervention facility in Downtown Memphis, to expand the business while helping the community. For the past four years Sweet LaLa’s has baked its cookies out of JIFF’s kitchen, employing JIFF students.

Her new bakery will continue her mission of making a difference. Embracing the theme “make life sweeter,” she will highlight philanthropic food ventures like Thistle & Bee and Shepherd’s Haven pottery. She will also carry locally and regionally-made sweet treats by various food artisans.

The retail space at Regalia Center is close to 3,000 square feet and includes an upstairs special event space. The bakery, retail space and cafe will be on the ground floor. The bakery will offer her signature cookies, plus other baked goods, soft serve ice cream, a coffee bar and light breakfast items.

 

Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

Capitol View first downtown district to earn Green Globe certification

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New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

The Daily Memphian

By Jennifer Biggs

The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months.

“We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will start with when we open it,” Flores said.

He’s hired a chef and recipe developer who works for a family-owned chain in Texas as a consultant and she’s helping Flores  bring trends from Texas to Tennessee. Dishes currently under development include Tex-Mex smoked tuna, a ribeye fried in a tortilla and Mexican spaghetti.

Flores owns about 20 restaurants, most of them in small towns within an hour’s drive of Memphis – Covington, Oakland, Atoka and so on, but also a few in Georgia and one in Knoxville and another in Chattanooga. All the places in the Memphis area, including one on Germantown Parkway and one in Downtown, are called Margaritas. They used to be Las Margaritas, but Flores changed the named a year or two back.

“Every sign cost me $3,000 more with the Las,” he said.

Besides an updated menu, he’ll have a bar program that will include a variety of margaritas as well as other cocktails. He plans to be open by May.

Jonathan Aur of Boyle represented the landlord and Margaritas in the transaction.

 

Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

Capitol View first downtown district to earn Green Globe certification

March 08, 2019

Nashville Post The developers of Capitol View in the North Gulch have announced that the mixed-use urban district is the first in downtown Nashville to earn the Green Globe certification for new construction. Capitol View earned the certification for the reduction of environmental impacts and use of environmental efficiency practices, particularly for mixed-use building The […]

Three years later, Boyle Development in Germantown Moving Forward 

Memphis Business Journal

By Jacob Steimer

A 50-home development on Germantown’s border with Memphis is moving forward after years of slow progress.

Boyle Investment Co.’s Allelon development first received the Germantown Planning Commission’s approval in September 2016. On March 5, Boyle will return to the Commission to make a change and get its final plat approval, so it can finally start construction of homes this year.

The delay was primarily caused by rain and soil issues, Boyle vice president Gary Thompson said.

“We’ve had exorbitant rains since April 2017,” Thompson said. “[And], we had a ton of bad dirt [that] we could not process affordably so we had to end up hauling [that] away.”

While going through this extra long process of site preparation and road installation, Thompson said one message came through loud and clear from potential buyers: the neighborhood should be gated.

The original plan was to not gate the neighborhood, which would allow the City of Germantown to pay for road maintenance instead of residents. But, Thompson said people willing to pay $700,000 or more for a house in Germantown — and the builders willing to build them — are now insisting on gated neighborhoods.

“I’m not a particular fan of [gates],” Thompson said. “[But], the plus for the citizens of Germantown is they won’t have the costs of maintaining the roads and the drainage. … [And] it gives [residents] some sense of security at night.”

The homes are set to range in size between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet.

Thompson is hoping construction will start on the first 10 or so homes in May and be finished early next year. From there, he expects between 10 or 15 homes will be built per year, barring a recession.

For that to happen, though, Memphis’ rain streak will have to end, which doesn’t seem likely to happen soon.

“This week we’ll probably be washed out completely [and then] we’ll need three to five [clear] days before it’s dry enough to work. [But], we’re not going to get that [next week],” he said.

Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

Capitol View first downtown district to earn Green Globe certification

March 08, 2019

Nashville Post The developers of Capitol View in the North Gulch have announced that the mixed-use urban district is the first in downtown Nashville to earn the Green Globe certification for new construction. Capitol View earned the certification for the reduction of environmental impacts and use of environmental efficiency practices, particularly for mixed-use building The […]

Healthy East Memphis Office District Can Absorb Some Loss to Downtown

The Daily Memphian

By Tom Bailey

There’s a bit of “robbing Peter to pay Paul’’ in FedEx Logistics’ decision to consolidate its headquarters operations from scattered East Memphis sites to Downtown Memphis.

But the good news for Memphis is that Peter, also known as the East Memphis office submarket, is pretty wealthy and can absorb the loss.

Even better news is that of the initial 680 jobs FedEx Logistics is moving to its Downtown headquarters, 350 are coming from outside Memphis.

Still, the shuffle involves some Memphis subtraction. FedEx Logistics will vacate 25,000 square feet in the Crescent Center, and about 65,000 square feet total in the Primacy I and Primacy II office buildings near St. Francis Hospital.

The Crescent Center is the curved, nine-story building of polished granite and tinted glass on Poplar at Ridgeway.

The Crescent Center is one of the highest-quality office buildings in Memphis and has “very little’’ vacancy now, said Steve Guinn, vice president in Memphis for Highwoods Properties, the owner of Crescent Center.

“Twenty-five thousand feet coming back is not insurmountable,” he said. “It’s not a blow.”

In the language of commercial real estate, Crescent Center space is “Class A.”

The building is so high-end that one of the restaurants built at the foot of it, Capital Grille, doesn’t just offer salmon for lunch but “seared salmon with avocado, mango and tomato salad with champagne vinaigrette.” The menu lists not just a cheeseburger but one that’s a “blend of short rib, chuck and brisket by Pat LaFrieda.”

For many years now, companies with the means have wanted to be in East Memphis far more than anywhere else in the city. That’s why the average asking price there of nearly $27 a square foot for a Class A lease is substantially more expensive than any other submarket, according to the latest stats assembled by CBRE.

By comparison, the average asking lease rate for Class A space is $17.93 in Downtown, $19.13 in the Tenn. 385 Corridor, $19.50 in Midtown, and $19.37 in Northeast Memphis.

The low vacancy rate for East Memphis Class A space, just 7.4 percent, reflects the demand there. The average Class A vacancy rate for all Memphis office districts is 10 percent, and is 15 percent in Downtown Memphis.

FedEx Logistics is not even the largest tenant in the Crescent Center, which is like Alabama football. Crescent Center doesn’t rebuild after the stars move on, it reloads.

And reinvests. Highwoods recently started a “several million-dollar” construction project renovating the “hardscape’’ area on the grounds of the Crescent Center.

“We are redoing the courtyard in the rear of the building,” Guinn said. “And doing the entry areas. All the hardscape around the building is being redone. We’ll have tenant-amenity areas in the back, in the courtyard, with big shade structures, benches.”

The Crescent Center’s occupancy rate is about 95 percent. And among all Highwood Properties’ Class A buildings in Memphis, totaling 1.7 million square feet, the occupancy rate is 92 percent, Guinn said.

There’s no need to shed a tear for East Memphis in the wake of the FedEx Logistics announcement.

“With Class A vacancy along Poplar being 4 percent, don’t worry about it,” said Ron Kastner, senior vice president for the commercial real estate firm CBRE in Memphis.

East Memphis accounts for 40 percent of the city’s 24 million square feet of Class A and Class B office space, Kastner said. That’s double the next largest submarket, the 18 percent of Class A and B space in the Tenn. 385 Corridor. Downtown has 14 percent of the space.

Often when companies consolidate office space they achieve efficiencies and wind up with a smaller footprint than the sum of the previous locations.

That is not the case with the FedEx Logistics consolidation and move into Downtown’s Gibson Guitar Factory. The renovation will expand the Gibson building from 154,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet.

The move also is triggering the mixed-use development next door to the Gibson Factory of The Clipper, which will cost $250 million and entail a 200,000-square-foot office tower, 250-room hotel and 50,000 square feet of retail.

“The buzz of Downtown and excitement of Downtown is like none other,” Kastner said. “I don’t think any of the other (office submarkets) have the offering of providing an exciting workplace for employers to house their employees.”

The key to maintaining and improving occupancy rates in all Memphis office districts is recruiting new, white-collar jobs from out of town, not moving them from one part of the city to another, said Mark Halperin.

He’s executive vice president and chief operating officer for Boyle Investment Co. The venerable company’s portfolio of Memphis office buildings is anchored in East Memphis.

“It’s not been as profitable as you might guess,” Halperin said of being a landlord of East Memphis office space. “The real estate taxes are extremely high. We’ve not gained a lot of ground.

“We’ve had good occupancy. But we need growth. We need more people coming from out of town, not just musical chairs.”

With new technology, businesses are more productive with fewer people and less space. “We have to have growth, beyond organic growth,” Halperin said.

One episode of musical chairs within Memphis involving ServiceMaster, Thomas & Betts and Sedgwick has left Boyle with about 200,000 square feet to fill.

So even out East, Halperin said, “there’s a good bit of space available … There’s good space in the community that’s not Downtown. We need all of it occupied.”

FedEx Logistics’ new headquarters Downtown is good for Memphis, he said, adding that Memphis would be a different place were it not for FedEx and its widespread community involvement.

“FedEx, in my view, is the economic engine that drives the whole community,” Halperin said.

Developers have recently announced plans for three or four big office buildings for Downtown.

In addition to The Clipper, a 200,000- to 400,000-square-foot office tower for One Beale is to be built by Highwoods Properties once an anchor tenant is found.

And Union Row developer Kevin Adams plans to build two office buildings at Union and Fourth. One is to be speculative and the other build-to-suit for a yet-to-be-named tenant. Those buildings, part of the $950 million mixed-use Union Row development, would total about 350,000 square feet.


“I don’t know if you can build all that space speculatively without tenants,” Halperin said. “I don’t know if the capital markets and equity markets will support that or not without anchor tenants.”

Still, all the activity is good for Memphis, he said.

“If the playing field is level, I don’t have much concern” about negative effects on the East Memphis office market. “But if there are tons of incentives to move people out of the suburbs to Downtown, at some point I don’t know if it’s sustainable.”

The suburbs pay a lot of taxes, which the entire community needs, he said.

So far, the FedEx Logistics project Downtown is to receive  $34.5 million in tax breaks and grants.

Halperin said he supports Downtown but at some point, giving incentives to companies to move from one part of Memphis to another becomes counter-productive.

“I’m a big fan of our leadership in the community,” he said. “We’ve got good leadership and I want to be supportive of that.”

Some Downtown officials have said there’s a lack of Class A speculative office space Downtown, indicating that inventory needs to be built to attract new businesses.

“Inventory costs a lot of money to carry – taxes and insurance and maintenance cost,” Halperin said. “Empty buildings are expensive for people who own them.”


Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

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March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

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Developers Closely Watch Germantown’s Plans for Golf Course

The Daily Memphian

By Tom Bailey

January 25, 2019

A cyclist cruises down the entry drive to Germantown Country Club during his routine 10 mile route. Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the golf course frequently bike or walk through the courses golf cart paths. (Houston Cofield/Daily Memphian)

The venerable Boyle Investment Co. is among the development companies closely watching what Germantown and the property owners want to do with Germantown Country Club’s 180 acres.

So is Kevin Hyneman Cos., which has transitioned over the years from building starter homes by the hundreds to subdivisions of $1 million-plus houses around Nashville.

Some developers are watching to see if club members might buy and maintain the golf course, or to see if the city will purchase it for a public park.

If those things don’t happen, developers will watch to see which real estate broker markets the property and what the timetable and process for a sale would be.

And even if the property is offered for housing, some developers will take Germantown’s temperature before diving in. The suburb has proven to be difficult – or cautious – toward developers who propose new things, whether they be apartments, high density or in this possible scenario, changing a golf course into high-end housing.

“I would pursue this with extreme caution,’’ Hyneman said Friday. “Right now, Germantown is a very difficult environment to be a developer out there. … The environment there is volatile and emotions are so high, it will run some people off that normally have an interest.”

Boyle Investment Co.

Whether the 86-year-old company becomes involved in any redevelopment or not, Boyle has a point of view that no other firm could possibly have: Boyle developed Germantown Country Club (then called Farmington Country Club) and the surrounding residential neighborhoods from agricultural fields a half-century ago.

“It was the first thing I worked on in 1968 or ’69 when I came to work at Boyle,’’ said Russell Bloodworth Jr., now an executive vice president. “I worked on one of the golf pavilions.”

The family trust that owns the 18-hole course with clubhouse, tennis courts and a swimming pool announced the club will close Feb. 28.

Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo has said the city will study the possibility of buying the property for a park. A parks master plan steering committee will meet about the issue Feb. 9 to make a recommendation.

TOM BAILEY: Germantown starts study of possible golf course purchase

Otherwise, Palazzolo has said he would oppose the property being rezoned for commercial uses. The site has underlying, residential zoning for lots that are at least 15,000 square feet.

Boyle Investment Co. has a large portfolio of high-end commercial, office and residential developments.

“We are certainly interested in particularly larger parcels that are well-located,” Bloodworth said. “We would be interested if that was in the best interest of Germantown and the surrounding residents; that would be key.”

Boyle has been “watching the situation to some degree” since club members were informed of plans to close.

“If it did not become a park or continue as a golf enterprise and was to be developed for a different use, I would assume the use would need to be residential,” Bloodworth said. “And the mayor was clear that was his perspective as well.”

The Germantown Country Club is under new management with possible development plans for the golf course which may include a new neighborhood community. (Houston Cofield/Daily Memphian)” src=”https://www.boyle.com/api/image/5503/740″ border=”0″ data-largeheight=”2182″ data-largewidth=”3000″ data-large=”/api/image/5503/960″>

The Germantown Country Club is under new management with possible development plans for the golf course which may include a new neighborhood community. (Houston Cofield/Daily Memphian)

The property bounded by Farmington to the south, Kimbrough to the west and Wolf River Boulevard to the north has rolling hills and mature pines and oaks.

“It could be terrific” for development of new houses, Bloodworth said. “It does have some challenges because you have got to be really thoughtful about all the adjoining homeowners if you did do any development.

“I’ll be happy if it remains open space and will be happy if it’s well and beautifully developed, but won’t be if it’s not.”

Bloodworth has weighty credentials. A graduate of the University of Virginia who studied environmental design at Yale, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Lambda Alpha real estate fraternity in 2010, was inducted into the Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors in 2009, and is a past president of the Memphis chapter of the Urban Land Institute.

He describes the theme running through Boyle’s residential developments as “great attention to the natural landscape and the environment.’’ The company also imposes some architectural control that raises the quality of the house designs in its developments, he said.

“All of those things need to be employed no matter who does it at the Farmington community, if the city mothers and fathers decide they are open to actually having it developed.”

Among the leafy, residential developments Bloodworth and Boyle have built over the decades are: additions to River Oaks such as The Cloisters and Gardens of River Oaks, and Green Shadows and Blue Heron, all in East Memphis; Schilling Farms and Spring Creek Ranch in Collierville; and The Pinnacle and Allelon, both in Germantown.

A residential redevelopment at the golf course could be special, Bloodworth indicated.

“The main thing that would make a wonderful development to me is the small pockets … small clusters of houses and open space where you’d need buffering between existing homes and what is now the course.”

Kevin Hyneman Cos.

Hyneman has done the rough assessment and math, which shows a residential redevelopment of the golf course could work financially, he said.

Only about half the acreage is buildable because of flood-prone areas, meaning about 150 houses could be built, he estimated.

Like Bloodworth, Hyneman said he would be happy if club members bought and kept the course open or the city bought it for a park.

“It’s an emotional piece of property for the city, citizens and a lot of people that hate to see it be developed for residential development. I think it’s highly likely the city will be able to put together a deal,” Hyneman said.

But if that doesn’t happen, “we’d be bidding on the property,” he said.

It’s challenging these days for a private golf course to succeed. Owners of the semi-private Stonebridge Golf Course have defaulted on their loan and the Lakeland course is scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps next month. Colonial Country Club has closed one of its two courses with plans to redevelop it.

“It’s just hard for a club to make money these days,” Hyneman said. “You’ve got deferred maintenance, you can’t continue to increase the dues and maintain the club.”

Hyneman’s rough calculations for redeveloping the site include estimating the cost for asphalt, curbs and gutters, grading, drainage work, and amenities like walls and a possible pool.

To absorb the costs and make a profit, he said, “you’re looking at million-dollar houses.”

Build out would likely take 10 years, he said. “You’ve got to put forth the time and effort to manage the elevations (exterior appearance of the houses), the streetscape, and maintain. It’s not something you develop, sell the lots and walk away.”

Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

Capitol View first downtown district to earn Green Globe certification

March 08, 2019

Nashville Post The developers of Capitol View in the North Gulch have announced that the mixed-use urban district is the first in downtown Nashville to earn the Green Globe certification for new construction. Capitol View earned the certification for the reduction of environmental impacts and use of environmental efficiency practices, particularly for mixed-use building The […]

Lululemon Replacement at Regalia

Memphis Business Journal

By Jacob Steimer

East Memphis’ Regalia Shopping Center has a new 3,000-square-foot tenant.

Zenith Health and Aesthetics recently signed a lease for the Boyle Investment Co.-owned space that was formerly home to Lululemon.

Zenith — owned by Phillip Zeni — will treat varicose veins and multiple other vascular problems, according to a news release. The location is set to open in spring 2019.

Graham Reese and Ben Fant are designing the Zenith space. Boyle broker Jonathan Aur represented his company in the lease.

Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

Capitol View first downtown district to earn Green Globe certification

March 08, 2019

Nashville Post The developers of Capitol View in the North Gulch have announced that the mixed-use urban district is the first in downtown Nashville to earn the Green Globe certification for new construction. Capitol View earned the certification for the reduction of environmental impacts and use of environmental efficiency practices, particularly for mixed-use building The […]

Regalia’s “Sip & Shop” Event to Raise Money for Scholarships

Daily Memphian

By Tom Bailey

The “Sip & Shop at Regalia” event will offer guests tastes of foods and beverages from the center’s restaurants and other businesses, as well as live music, sales and door prizes.

The event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct., 18, is a fund-raiser for the Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust. The organization provides need-based scholarships for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade at Memphis-area private schools.


Regalia Shopping Center, 6150 Poplar, is at the northeast corner of Poplar and Shady Grove.

Regalia businesses providing food and beverages include Great Wines & Spirits, Owen Brennan’s, Salsa Cocina Mexicana, Ronnie Grisanti’s Italian Restaurant, Paradise Café and Sweet LaLa’s Bakery.

Among the stores participating in the event are Dazzle, Destination Maternity, Eye Spectrum, A Fitting Place, The Find – Designer Home Outlet, Oak Hall, RSVP Stationers/RSVP Baby, Southern Couture and Vineyard Vines by Oak Hall.

Jeremy Shrader Quintet, Slowfire and Memphis University School’s Beg to Differ will provide live music.

Tickets are $20 per person online at sipandshopregalia.eventbrite.com through Wednesday, Oct. 17, or $25 the day of the event purchased either online or at Regalia. Those buying a ticket early will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate good at Regalia businesses.

Boyle Investment Co. manages and leases Regalia.

Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

Capitol View first downtown district to earn Green Globe certification

March 08, 2019

Nashville Post The developers of Capitol View in the North Gulch have announced that the mixed-use urban district is the first in downtown Nashville to earn the Green Globe certification for new construction. Capitol View earned the certification for the reduction of environmental impacts and use of environmental efficiency practices, particularly for mixed-use building The […]

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open a Retail Location in East Memphis

The Commercial Appeal

By Jennifer Chandler

Life is about to get a little sweeter in East Memphis.

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and café in Regalia Center. The bakery and café will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118.

Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail component to her 17-year-old business.

“I started Sweet LaLa’s out of my home kitchen back in 2001,” Young said. In 2014, she formed a partnership with JIFF, a juvenile intervention facility in Downtown Memphis, to expand the business while helping the community. For the past four years Sweet LaLa’s has baked its cookies out of JIFF’s kitchen, employing JIFF students.

Production will move to the new space at the corner of Poplar Avenue and Ridgeway when the new bakery opens.

The retail space at Regalia Center is close to 3,000 square feet and includes an upstairs. The bakery, retail space and café will be on the ground floor.

The bakery will offer her signature cookies, plus other baked goods, soft serve ice cream and light breakfast items. Lisa and Luis Toro of Bending Neon are helping Young develop a coffee menu for the café.

“We will also be featuring local sweets and foods such as Backhouse Foods dessert toppings, Bluff City Toffee and Shotwell Candy Co. caramels,” Young said. These items will be available individually or in specially designed gift boxes.

“Our goal and motto is ‘to make life a little sweeter,’” Young said.

The upstairs space will be used for special events and community gatherings that Young hopes will give customers an “in the kitchen” experience.

“We believe being in the kitchen inspires great relationships and great conversations,” she said.

Peter Warren with Warren Architecture is the architect for the space and Natalie Lieberman of Collect + Curate Studio is the interior designer.

Sweet LaLa’s should open in the beginning of 2019. In the interim, its cookies will still be available in retail shops and restaurants across Memphis as well as by special order at sweetlalas.com.8

Recent News

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open in Regalia

March 12, 2019

The Commercial Appeal By Jennifer Chandler Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and cafe in Regalia Center on March 22. The bakery and cafe will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118. Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail […]

New Restaurant Going in Corner Spot in Cooper Young

March 11, 2019

The Daily Memphian By Jennifer Biggs The northeast corner of Cooper and Young that most recently housed Strano has a new tenant coming. Jose Flores will open a Margaritas there in the next few months. “We are very excited about this spot. It’s going to be Margaritas, but we’re going to have new dishes that will […]

Capitol View first downtown district to earn Green Globe certification

March 08, 2019

Nashville Post The developers of Capitol View in the North Gulch have announced that the mixed-use urban district is the first in downtown Nashville to earn the Green Globe certification for new construction. Capitol View earned the certification for the reduction of environmental impacts and use of environmental efficiency practices, particularly for mixed-use building The […]

New Eats: Ronnie Grisanti’s Italian Restaurant Opens at Regalia Shopping Center

The Daily Memphian

By Jennifer Biggs

After a couple of weeks of serving a limited menu to invited guests, Ronnie Grisanti’s Italian Restaurant opens its big mahogany doors and its full menu to the public Friday, Sept. 28.

Judd Grisanti opened the restaurant named for his father to honor him and the Grisanti ancestors who cooked for generations of Memphians before him, starting with Judd’s great-grandfather, Rinaldo.


The space in Regalia has been home to Mikasa, Circa by John Bragg, Southward and most recently, Heritage Tavern & Kitchen. Grisanti signed a lease in March, hoped to open in the summer and quickly saw that an extensive remodel would push the date until the fall.

The bar is a double-L shape, seats 24 and includes an oyster bar. The dining room is atmospheric, warm and inviting, intimate despite seating more than 130 in booths along the walls, tables in the center, a large table that can be curtained off for a private party and an upstairs room that can also be private.

“We wanted something cozy, a place where you come and you might want to stay all night,” Grisanti said. “We definitely want everyone to feel at home.”

It’s a typical Grisanti’s menu but done in what Judd calls “antico and nuovo” style, taking old dishes and giving them a new spin. A few of the items from the full menu include pasta dishes such as spaghetti, ravioli, manicotti and more; there’s the beloved Tuscan butter appetizer, fish entrees, chicken, steak, pizzas and veal – picatta di vitello, vitello di parmigiana, saltimbocca and even vitello antico nuovo, a veal chop cooked sous vide then seared and served with a demi-glace.

I recently dined at a soft opening with a limited menu.

We started with calamari fritti, a plate of crisp rings and tiny tentacles served with marinara and lemon-aioli; very nice. The polpette tre amici is a plate of three meatballs in a Pomodoro sauce that was flavorful, but the best appetizer at the table was the toasted ravioli, soft pillows stuffed with a blend of meat, herbs and spinach. The pasta was substantial enough to hold it, but tender and velvety, perfect for topping with or dipping in the Tuscan gravy.

Grisanti’s zuppa di Isabella is a personal favorite: Poached lobster in an asparagus bisque that is both light and lush. The flavor is bright and fresh, yet the creamy soup is decadent in texture and generously topped with shellfish. We also tried the Original Miss Mary’s salad, one found in any Grisanti’s restaurant and a Caesar tossed with a black garlic dressing.

For our main courses (secondi, on this menu), we chose salmone all’arancia, parmigiana de melanzane (eggplant parmesan) and manicotti – which was the favorite at our table. It’s an old Grisanti dish comprising large tubes of pasta filled with house-made salsiccia, beef, spinach and mozzarella di bufala nestled in a pool of meat gravy that was deep and rich in color and flavor – a perfect old school Italian dish.

The tiramisu was a solid example of the classic Italian dessert, but the ricotta cake was the star. It’s a light cheesecake served with a Grand Marnier honey sauce, whipped crème fraiche and berries. It was an excellent choice, but I’ll also try the affogato on my next visit.

At the bar, we sampled two classic cocktails that were both expertly poured. The Boulevardier and the Negroni were top notch, made with good liquor and served as expected in nice glasses. The wine list is extensive and ranges in price from the very reasonable to pricey.

The restaurant was intentionally not full on soft openings, which are generally family and friends or media events designed to let the staff in the kitchen and the front of the house work out the kinks before a restaurant opens to the public. As such, it’s hard to gauge the noise level for a full house, but my guess is that despite the tall ceiling, the booths, tablecloths and the separation of the bar and the main dining room will keep the noise at a reasonable level.

Ronnie Grisanti’s , 6150 Poplar Avenue, opens Friday, Sept. 28 at 5 p.m. Hours will be Monday through Saturday 5-10 p.m. There is valet parking and the restaurant will begin serving lunch within a month

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The Next Generation: Ronnie Grisanti’s at Regalia

The Commercial Appeal

September 25, 2018

The new Ronnie Grisanti’s is a labor of love.

“I knew my father wanted one more restaurant. I had to do this for him,” said chef and owner Judd Grisanti with tears in his eyes.

The Grisanti family has been serving its beloved Northern Italian fare in Memphis for more than 100 years. Judd’s great-grandfather Rinaldo opened his first Memphis restaurant in 1909. Over the years, the family has grown and branched out, and there have been several Grisanti-owned restaurants — each one loved by its customers.

“After my dad passed away last year, I decided it was time to open a new Ronnie Grisanti’s,” Judd said.

Judd went in search of a new location, considering spots all up and down the Poplar corridor.

“I knew I wanted about a 4,000- to 4,500-square-foot space.  One where I can be involved from the front door to the back door. A place I could really wrap my arms around,” he said.

A location in Regalia Shopping Center offered just what he was looking for in a restaurant. He approached Mike Miller, the owner of Heritage Tavern, and eventually made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“This space felt like home to me,” Judd said of the location that once was Mikasa Japanese Restaurant. “When my children were little, we’d come here for sushi. Like it was yesterday, I remember them making mini sushi rolls for my then 2-year-old daughter.”

The new restaurant is scheduled to open Sept. 28.

Fans of the original Ronnie Grisanti’s will be relieved to know Judd plans to serve many of his family’s most popular dishes. That said, the menu will have a modern touch.

“I am calling my new recipes ‘Antiquo-Nuovo,’” Judd said. “I am taking old world recipes and making them with modern ingredients and techniques.”

Judd has invested in such modern cooking equipment as sous-vide immersion circulators, smoke guns and even a new state-of-the-art pasta machine.

Just like when his father was in charge, Judd plans to make all the restaurant’s pasta in house.

“Our pasta machine of 30 years broke this summer,” Judd said with a look of heartbreak on his face. “I wish we could still use it but it would have cost more to repair it than replace it.”

The new machine should make pasta-making more efficient, but it’s obvious Judd would have chosen sentimentality over efficiency on this particular piece of equipment.

“We will be making homemade ravioli, tortellini, tortelloni and even linguine with squid ink,” said Judd when asked to mention a few of the pastas they will prepare by hand.

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Developers Boyle and Crews plan 180-home project in Collierville

Memphis Business Journal

June 18, 2018

Two well-known local developers are teaming up to bring 180 new homes to Collierville.

A joint venture of Boyle Investment Co. and Crews Realty recently submitted an outline plan for the large neighborhood to the Collierville Planning Commission. The location — just north of Bailey Station Elementary and another recently proposed project — was a no-brainer, Boyle’s Gary Thompson said.

“[Collierville] is one of the hottest places in our metro area,” Thompson said.

To fit the 180 homes onto the 81 acres, the developers are requesting permission to use smaller lots — some as small as narrow as 50 feet wide — than Collierville allows by right. Thompson said this would go unnoticed from the neighborhood’s exterior because he and his partners plan to leave in place many of the property’s large trees and use 100-foot-wide lots on the periphery of the property.

The project is “not anticipated to have any significant impact to the operations of the adjacent roadway network,” a traffic study performed by Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc. reported.

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Unusual Furniture Store The Find Moving to Larger Space in East Memphis

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By Tom Bailey

An unusual local furniture store has succeeded in doing what its growing base of in-the-know customers love doing: Hunt and capture.

The Find — Designer Home Outlet needed more space than its 5,000 square feet on the Highland Strip. The five-year-old family-owned business launched a search for just the right spot and found 12,400 square feet at Boyle’s Regalia retail center on the Poplar Corridor in East Memphis.

The move from 531 S. Highland to 6150 Poplar will happen by this fall.

That’s similar to the kind of search-and-find experiences that The Find’s customers enjoy.

The business owned and operated by Chris and Neala Hester has access to weekly shipments of furniture that manufacturers have closed out, overstocked or judged to have minor imperfections.

“We get one or two pieces of a particular style, but we get it at a significant discount,” Chris Hester said, adding that he’s got some exclusive agreements with some manufacturers.

“So it’s only that one piece that we would have,” he said. “Most of it is not something you will find at another furniture store in Memphis but you might. Even if you do, it’s going to be significantly less (here).”

The Hesters consider themselves highly selective on what mid- to high-end brands they sell. They also are choosy in selecting specific items of a brand. The result is a showroom of pieces that “are not something you typically see in the Memphis area,” Hester said.

One reason why: Every day The Find’s social media manager posts photos or videos of a handful of new items that the store received.

First come, first served.

“We often get told there is the thrill of the hunt,” Hester said. “And we will oftentimes have a few people competing over one piece within the store.”

Not every customer is alerted by social media. The Find draws a strong word-of-mouth business as well, Hester said.

The store will fill a space in Regalia shopping center that has been empty for about 15 years.

A building permit that became public about a week ago shows the renovation of the Regalia space will cost more than $300,000.

 “We couldn’t have found a more perfect user,” said Jonathan Aur of Boyle Investment Co., the Regalia landlord.

The existing stores in the retail center offer clothes, boutiques and restaurants.

“Furniture is one of those things that people can still — while they do buy online — go sit on and check out,” Aur said. “From all angles it’s fantastic. I think it will drive people to the center.”

The way retail has evolved, the kind of “experiential shopping” offered by The Find is increasingly important, Aur said.

The Regalia space The Find will occupy has been vacant so long in part because its configuration is so unusual. The front is tucked into a corner behind a patio. Also, the store space is unusually deep and angled.

The last tenants there were a toy store and salon.

“We’re lucky to literally find the perfect tenant for that space,” Aur said.

The Hesters don’t mind at all that their spot at Regalia is deep in a corner not easily seen from Poplar.

“In fact, we like the location,” Chris Hester said. “Not only the shopping center location but we like the location in the center, being tucked away. Because we’ve always been a destination spot here on the Highland Strip…

“… That goes with our name: Being a find.”

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