Wimpy's returns to Memphis

Local entrepreneurs Edith Kelly-Green and Jacob Crafton have opened their first Wimpy’s Burgers & Fries in Memphis at 150 N. Avalon in Midtown, and they have plans to open more.

The new restaurant, which held a grand opening late last month, touts all-natural beef burgers that are never frozen, as well as turkey burgers, veggie burgers, shakes, salads, fries and more.

The partners bought the Wimpy’s in Southaven in January 2014.

“New York is my favorite place to visit, and I would always go to the Shake Shack when I was there,” said Kelly-Green. “We thought that was a great burger, and then my partner discovered this place down in Southaven. We ate there, and they have a great burger with fresh beef cooked right in front of you. We thought Memphis could use a great burger place.”

Renovations to the 2,700-square-foot space in Midtown included stripping out and installing new flooring and going with a new vibrant color scheme.

Kelly-Green called on her experience as co-owner of multiple Lenny’s Sub Shops in the Mid-South and Crafton’s expertise from years of working in the restaurant business.

Kelly-Green’s family currently owns six Lenny’s shops making them the largest Lenny’s franchisee in the country, and they have owned as many as 13 locations in years past.

“Wimpy’s is not a franchise yet because we own the two locations. We also own the rights to Wimpy’s Burgers & Fries, so we may look at franchising in the future,” she said. “For now we intend to open them all as company-owned, at least for the short term.”

Opening the new Wimpy’s created 15 new jobs.

The exact locations for the next Wimpy’s are still in the works.

“Commercial real estate is very tight in Memphis right now,” said Kelly-Green. “We really want to go to Whitehaven as our next location. We have a Lenny’s there and think that would make sense. We’re still looking there. It’s just a matter of finding the space. Right now, we’re wide open to other locations in the city.”

Years ago, Wimpy’s had locations in Memphis under different ownership including a restaurant at Memphis International Airport.

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.
Signup for Email Alerts