Loflin Yard brings new concept Downtown

Downtown residents, workers and visitors have a new spot that mixes the feel of a neighborhood hangout with an outdoor oasis in the heart of an urban setting.

Loflin Yard is a restaurant and bar destination in the South End of Downtown Memphis. The concept sits on roughly an acre at 7 W. Caroline Ave. Opened April 7, the concept is owned by Memphis investors Taylor Berger, Doug Carpenter, Andy Cates, Michael Tauer, Brad Barnett, John Planchon and Thomas Whitehead, much of the team that brought the wildly successful Untapped concept to the Tennessee Brewery building in 2014.

Customers will enter through the “Safe House,” originally the Loflin Safe & Lock Co. That space holds the primary bar and kitchen space. A curated wine list is held in the Safe House. The menu is designed by executive chef Andy Knight and reflects the rustic vibe of the business. Beef brisket, pork tenderloin and trout are served family-style. Sausage and cheese boards are available, and S’mores and homemade ice creams are dessert highlights.

The landscaped lawn features fire pits, picnic tables and the Coach House, which at one time was a barn that housed carriage horses. It features a tin-covered wooden deck for additional seating.

As far as the Untapped beer garden concept, Carpenter said comparing the two projects makes a lot of sense. But the Loflin Yard concept wasn’t an attempt to repeat the Untapped magic. In fact, when Carpenter toured the property that would become Loflin Yard he didn’t know there was an idea in place.

“In a matter of days we put together the investor group,” he said. “There are similarities in the projects but this will be a long-term operation. There are a lot of attributes of Loflin that are similar to Untapped. A really unique physical space. There’s nothing like it in town. It has this fantastic combination of indoor and outdoor space.”

The property sits over part of the bayou where the outdoor space will take advantage of the peacefulness surrounding a small waterfall.

“We didn’t create the bayou; it exists,” Carpenter said. “Just like we didn’t create the brewery. It was there and asking for a response. … When you’re out there and the waterfall is making sounds and the smokehouse smells, you feel like you’re out of the city.”

The deck spans the bayou on both sides and can be winterized so patrons can use it year-round.

Milwaukee transplant mixologist Mary Oglesby leads the beverage program that features only local draft beer along with wines, spirits and special cocktails.

Read more articles by Lance Wiedower.

Lance is a veteran journalist with more than 16 years of experience in newsrooms in the Memphis area as a reporter and editor, including most recently as managing editor of The Daily News. He regularly contributes to The Daily News, including a biweekly travel column, The Daily Traveler. 
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