What would you like to see at the intersection of Cooper & Young?

When the news of Dish closing hit the streets, the internets were buzzing with speculation and high hopes of what could possibly fill the newly vacant space at the Cooper & Young intersection. In my head I have always played that game called “If You Could Have Anything in Cooper-Young, What Would It Be?” so I played along accordingly this time, too, via Twitter.

The Commercial Appeal put the question out there.

“Wish List: What would you like to see take Dish’s place at the corner of Cooper Young?”

And the answers ran the gamut. My personal responses were:

  • A market with fancy deli meats and a good microbrew selection. I guess what I’m thinking of is something that already exists, kind of like Frank’s Market & Deli on South Main; however, I will say that if such a market were to exist, I hope it would also carry the necessities, such as ibuprofen, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products – you know, for the times you feel like hoofin’ it instead of getting in the car to scurry out to Walgreens in times of emergencies. Yes, there are other markets in the neighborhood, Midtown Market and the on-and-off-again market on Barksdale, but as far as I know, neither of those have ever sold prosciutto. Maybe Au Fond will sell the spiced & cured meats of my dreams.
  • A brewpub with good, but casual, dining options. And preferably one that doesn’t turn on the loud music on Friday and Saturday nights. I’m looking at you Celtic Crossing, besides Celtic doesn’t brew its own. Really, I only suggest this because I know someone who is moving to the neighborhood very soon, and he is a brewmaster at a brewery, and I want him to make his beer happen in Cooper-Young.
  • Hot wings. I know there are wings at Young Avenue Deli, Soul Fish and Central BBQ, but I feel the world could always use more. Also, I have wings on the brain because my team will participate in the Southern Hot Wing Festival again this year in April. (Thank you for bearing with me during that shameless promotion. )
  • 24-hour home cookin’ joint with a crazy selection of meat & 3s and a killer cheeseburger. A 24-hour diner. I could really get behind this. Thankfully, we do have Au Fond now, which will satiate those cravings for breakfast at the intersection and which will also provide for another family-friendly space. But I also like the idea of being able to order turkey with mashed potatoes and green beans at 3 a.m. after a night of soaking my sorrows away at the Deli. Are there ordinances that would prevent such a 24-hour restaurant from happening at the intersection?

Other Memphians chimed in and suggested anything and everything from a burrito joint to a pancake house, but overall, a Cuban restaurant was the type of business mentioned most. I can’t help but think that countless daydreams of the infamous Cuban from Soul Fish had something to do with this suggestion.

By the way, if you eat meat and have never tried that sandwich before, I also can’t help but think that you’re losing at life right now. OK, I don’t really think that, but even still, the Cuban at Soul Fish is definitely worth your time and money.

So what would you like to see at the intersection? Leave your answers in the comments!


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  1. I think CY’s landlords should approach the Memphis College of Art with a low rate in order to attract a student gallery. It would add more activity and art to the intersection.

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    • I doubt the property owners would seek out a way to lose money, but if we reversed the situation and had the art college humbly ask for the space, then maybe? I wonder if there’s a way to get a tax break for doing such a good deed? I am not smart in these matters of taxes and such.

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  2. Great ideas! A brewpub in the hood would be soooooo great!

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  3. I like the idea of a speciality shop – the type that used to make up Overton Square. Cooper Young has a unique vibe, and I feel specialty shops (versus chains) add to the uniqueness of the neighborhood.

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  4. I think the area could use a good typewriter repair shop. It’s next to impossible to get a typewriter fixed these days, or even to buy one. If that doesn’t happen, my wife would like to see a fur cleaner there, or possibly a Starbucks.

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