Overton Square thrives, with live piano and international fare on deck

There was a time when Overton Square was the go-to destination to hear live music in Memphis. Those times may again be on the horizon with the planned reopening of the Lafayette Room and the newly announced Zebra Lounge to be opened later this year.
 
The Zebra Lounge, founded in 1929, is a piano bar concept from Chicago and has just signed a lease for 1,440 square feet at 2114 Trimble Place. Located on the south side of the square, it has direct pedestrian access to the parking garage and the outdoor stage and concert area.
 
According to the bar's website, "The bar will feature local Memphis musicians every day of the year, adding to the ongoing revival of Midtown Memphis."
 
In other Overton Square news, Babalu Tacos & Tapas is due to open June 16, as reported in the Memphis Business Journal. The Jackson, Miss.-based restaurant has taken over the 5,000-square-foot former TGI Friday's space at 2113 Madison Avenue, extensively redesigned with a $575,000 renovation.
 
Babalu Tacos & Tapas is owned by Eat Here Brands LLC, which also owns the brands Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Interim Restaurant and Bar. A portion of the proceeds from Babalu's opening will go to ArtsMemphis and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.
 
Adding to the international fare, just across the street at 2110 Madison Avenue, in the former Paulette's restaurant space, the Bavarian-style Schweinehaus, with outdoor beer garden, is set to open in August.
 
Over the past few years, Loeb Properties Inc., Overton Square's landlord, has made an aggressive and successful run at revitalizing the square, which is also home to live theater, retail outlets and a planned boutique hotel.
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