New owners of Nineteenth Century Club plan another sushi restaurant

Restaurateurs Shon and Dana Lin, owners of three area Redfish Sushi Asian Bistro locations and the original local Kublai Khan Mongolian Stir Fry in Southaven, have purchased a building at 7733 Winchester Road in Southeast Memphis for their second area Kublai Khan location.

They bought the building, which was formerly a T.G.I. Friday’s, for $1.5 million from WHC Leasing No.1. Co., administered by Michael Lightman Sr. A complete overhaul of furniture, fixtures, and equipment, along with an exterior transformation, will take place over the next few months leading up to a possible May opening.

“The Lins propose to renovate this property into a Kublai Khan Mongolian Stir Fry Grill and Sushi Bar, just like the one that they have at 7204 Airways Blvd in Southaven,” said Sam Zalowitz, owner of Zalowitz Commercial Realty LLC, and commercial real estate representative for the Lins. “We are looking for future locations in the East Memphis-Poplar Avenue corridor and Northeast Memphis-Wolfchase, Lakeland and Eads. We only look to buy land or existing buildings for conversion.”

Related: "Inside a Memphis mansion's $4 million conversion into an exclusive restaurant"

Lin’s Investment LLC, headed by Shon and Dana Lin, currently owns three Redfish Sushi Asian Bistros: one in Lakeland that opened in 2009, one in Olive Branch that opened in 2015, and one that opened in Midtown last year when the Lins rebranded their upscale Japanese-French fusion restaurant Izakaya on Union Avenue.

The couple had previously completed a nearly $3.5 million renovation of that restaurant’s location – a three-story, 16,000-square-foot mansion that had formerly been the site of the Nineteenth Century Club, a women’s activist group and social club, from the mid-1920s until the early 2000s – following protests from the community to restore the property instead of demolishing it.

The Lins also formerly operated a New Hunan Chinese Buffett in the Eastgate Shopping Center until their lease was terminated to make room for the relocation of Burlington Coat Factory.

“They would like to replace the New Hunan in the same vicinity as its former location at 5052 Park Avenue if they can find another site to purchase,” said Zalowitz.


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