Rizzo's Diner co-owner to open Downtown cocktail bar

A historic Downtown building at 115 Union Avenue that was restored in 2012 for mixed-use will finally utilize its ground-floor commercial space when a new cocktail club, Tailors’ Union, opens this spring.

This week the Pocket LLC and 115 Union LLC received a $25,000 exterior improvements grant from the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Center City Development Corporation Board for streetscape improvements leading up to the new bar.

Improvements to the Union Avenue façade will include painting wood panels and trim at the entry door, repairing and repainting the canopy ceiling, and upgrading canopy lighting, as well as adding a double-sided projecting sign, window graphics and a vintage-style tile entry.

The adjoining November 6th Street Alley to the west will get improved fencing and decorative lighting.

“Ideally we wished we had control of the entire alley because then there was a lot more that could’ve been done in the alley,” said building owner and First Choice Sales & Marketing Group President Tyrone Burroughs, who also co-owns Downtown’s Rizzo’s Diner at 492 S. Main St.

The cocktail club is going into a 6,200-square-feet commercial space, and interior construction, kitchen and bar equipment and furnishing are complete.

Burroughs finished an historic preservation, adaptive reuse project of the five-story, 25,000-square-foot building in 2012. The second through fifth floors feature 23 apartments, dubbed “The Lofts at Union Alley,” averaging 600 square feet, and the successful project is 100 percent leased.

The final upcoming renovations to the property are expected to soften the alley’s inhospitableness and improve the Union Avenue pedestrian experience.

The street corner should be bustling with new life later this year, as the new 117 Prime steakhouse and bar next door at 117 Union Avenue is also expected to open soon.

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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.