The Bluff brings the bayou to the Highland Strip

The Bluff Brings the Bayou to the Highland Strip
The Bluff on Highland Avenue is open for business following extensive interior renovations including the addition of a stage, a second-floor mezzanine and multiple bars.
Those additions are joined by other Highland Strip-wide exterior renovations including a new sign for both the Strip and The Bluff.
“Looking at it from the front, you have no idea of the actual size of it,” said co-owner Nickle Smith of the nearly 6,000-square-foot space. “We saw an opportunity with the high ceilings, brick walls, and exposed beams to really do something great in here.”
The Cajun-inspired menu features items like alligator bites, poboys, catfish, all Gulf Coast seafood including shrimp and crawfish and Leidenheimer bread from New Orleans.
“We make from scratch anything that we can like homemade gumbo and etouffee,” said Smith, who grew up in Tupelo and has lived in Memphis for the past two years.
“Everything’s hand-battered and made to order. We really pride ourselves on our food here.”
They will soon introduce a Sunday brunch with live musical entertainment.
“We have huge garage doors that we can open up and give it an indoor/outdoor feel,” said Smith. “Right now, we are also having a DJ here on Thursday nights and live bands on Friday and Saturday nights.”
The Bluff, which employs a staff of 45 features more than 100 linear feet of bars and a large private patio in the back.
“We have three separate bars in the building, including one on the second floor mezzanine, one up front with 12 beers on tap – mostly Memphis local or craft beers from the area – and our largest bar downstairs in the main hall,” said Smith.
“We’ve had a lot of rentals already for the second floor. It has its own private restrooms, we have seven or eight TV’s up there, and you can also see the main room, the stage and the band, so you can have your own private party.”
During the recent renovations the rear parking lot was also upgraded and expanded, and new exterior security features were added throughout the Highland Strip.

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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