Tennessee Brewery revived

The event that saved the Tennessee Brewery from imminent destruction appears to be heading for a comeback.

Last spring's "Untapped" event--widely considered a rousing success for raising awareness of the structure--will be resurrected this spring as "Revival." Last year's six-week pop-up event attracted visitors four days a week, Thursday-Sunday, with its beer garden, food trucks, live music and more.

While details are scarce, a Facebook page for the Tennessee Brewery features an "R" logo as its image and has added a new tagline, "Back by Hopular Demand." A hashtag, #breweryrevival, also has launched.

According to the Facebook page, "This spring, The Revival celebrates the promising future of this Memphis landmark." 

Memphis entrepreneur Billy Orgel purchased the Brewery at 495 Tennessee St. for $825,000 in November, and will launch a full-scale redevelopment later this year. Project plans--which include both new construction and renovation--call for 142 housing units, a 280-space public parking garage and 8,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

"When I left Memphis four years ago ... I never would have dreamed that visionary projects like the revival of the Tennessee Brewery could be possible. Since I've come home, it's clear to me that this town is teeming with creativity and vision that is totally unique anywhere in the country," Orgel's son, Benjamin Orgel, said in a statement. "The 'Untapped' event was one great example of this, and it's the kind of thing I want my future in this city to be all about."

Untapped isn't the only recently announced revival worth celebrating. Through an agreement with the City of Memphis, the Children's Museum of Memphis (CMOM) will restore, operate and care for the 100-year-old Grand Carousel.

The prized attraction, last seen before Libertyland’s closure in 2009, will be shipped from Memphis to Carousels and Carvings in Marion, Ohio, where it will undergo a two-year restoration. With a target opening date of 2017, CMOM will build a glass building in its own front yard to house the carousel.

The museum reportedly has raised the necessary funds to pay for the refurbishment and has launched a capital campaign to come up with the money for the new building construction. 

Read more articles by Jane A. Donahoe.

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