Eric Mathews

Founder and CEO, Start Co.

 “I believe that density is destiny.  For our entrepreneurs, partners, and friends being downtown is a strategic advantage for our work.  It is a great live, work, play environment to build the jobs of tomorrow and showcase Memphis to those who visit us from around the globe.”

 Downtown Favorites

Cocktail: Katie's Old Fashioned @Cafe Pontotoc

Must See: The National Civil Rights Museum

Pub Grub: Amazing Island Club @ Bardog Tavern

Andrew Bartolotta

Director of Digital Media, City Current

 “As a transplant from Chicago, I'm no stranger to the big city life. Downtown Memphis offers the feeling of a larger city with a unique atmosphere of boutique shops, indelible museums and art, and delicious restaurants.”

 Downtown Favorites

Cocktail: Beautiful Lady, Terrace at the River Inn

Date-Night Restaurant: Majestic Grille

“Memphis” Food: Central BBQ Turkey Nachos on homemade chips

Brandon "Eso" Tolson

Freelance Art Director/Graphic Designer/Musician

 “I came to Memphis to finish my bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Design Arts at Memphis Collage of Art. I started doing design work with Choose901 in association with City Leadership located at downtown at Peabody Place. Working downtown has given me the opportunity to check out restaurants, bars, business and events that are happening.”

 Downtown Favorites

Dive Bar: Earnestine and Hazel’s

Favorite Place to See Live Music: New Daisy Theatre

Dessert: White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake from Cheesecake Corner

Cara Greenstein

Public Relations Coordinator, Doug Carpenter & Associates

 A native Memphian who recently returned after a four-year stretch in Austin, Greenstein lives and works in the heart of her new South Main neighborhood. She is energized by the vibrancy of Downtown’s redevelopment and growing food scene, which she frequently covers on her award-winning food blog, Caramelized.

 Downtown Favorites

Cocktail: Orion’s Belt, Madison Hotel Rooftop

Brunch: Crab Cake Benedict, Majestic Grille

Coffee: Almond Milk Latte, Cafe Keough

Daniel Master

Owner, Silly Goose

 “I’ve had the pleasure of serving and imbibing with the downtown regulars and locals for over a decade now.  There is nothing I would rather do.”

 Downtown Favorites

Cocktail: Vieux Carre, Silly Goose

Pub Grub: The Green Beetle

Favorite Place to Take in the River: From a Kayak

Deni Reilly

Co-Owner, The Majestic Grille

 “I’m proud & happy to be raising our family in Downtown Memphis. Our neighborhood has a ton of kids of all ages. We live, play and work Downtown and wouldn't have it any other way.”

 Downtown Favorites

Pub Grub: BELT, The Brass Door

“Memphis” Food: Fried Green Tomatoes, Alcenia’s

Family-Friendly Restaurant: Majestic Grill, of course!

Elizabeth Cawein

Founder and CEO, Signal Flow PR

 “Signal Flow is a boutique media and marketing firm that caters to musicians and music businesses. Our offices are downtown, in the historic South Main Arts District (502 S. Main), and our client list includes fellow downtowners like the Rock'n'Soul Museum and Memphis Music Hall of Fame and Visible Music College.”

 Downtown Favorites

Date-Night Restaurant: Itta Bena

Favorite Place to See Live Music: Mud Island Amphitheater

Breakfast: Black Americano and a BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese croissant) at Little Cafe Eclectic

Gilbert Barnes Carter, III

Founder and Executive Director, The First Year Foundation Incorporated

“I have fortunately and proudly made Memphis my permanent home since September 8th, 2001. I live on the eastern end of downtown Memphis adjacent to the Medical Center district. I am a member of the Vance Avenue Collaborative.”

Downtown Favorites

Brunch: Deja Vu

Party Spot: The Piano Bar inside of the Westin Hotel

Favorite Spot to take in the River: Martyr’s Park

Jacqueline Green

Leasing Professional, Blair Tower Apartments

 “I am a Southern belle who loves Memphis! I love exploring and finding new places to dine which leads my palette downtown frequently.”

 Downtown Favorites

Client Meeting Spot: Bleu Restaurant and Bar

Best Place to See Local Art: Jack Robinson Gallery

“Memphis” Food: Gus’s Fried Chicken

Jade O'Brien Miller

Freelance Artist

 I'm simply just me, floating around downtown each day on my bike finding all the hidden treasures. I grew up around the corner in Lemonye Garden and my Grandma would take us down to the Main Street Mall where I played in the fountains and fed the pigeons with the leftover popcorn from the peanut shop. Memories.”

 Downtown Favorites

Best Place to See Art: Memphis College of Art’s Hyde Gallery

Live Music: SugaShack

Client Meetings: Bleu Restaurant

Joan Robinson

Realtor Associate, Crye-Leike Realtors

“Born and raised in New York, I moved to California after graduation from college. 15 years ago the company I worked for moved me to Memphis. After all these years no one could drag me away from Downtown. Currently, I’m an Affiliate Broker for Crye-Leike Realtors, and I am a member of South Main Association and have been on the board over the years. Presently I chair the monthly meetings along with special events. I’m a member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association and have also served on the board. I’ve also worked with the Downtown Memphis Commission on several events. I love Downtown!”

 Downtown Favorites

Best Place to See Live Music: Beale Street! (My favorites are Silky’s and BB King’s)

Sports Bar: Max’s

Best Place to Take in the River: Any rooftop downtown. (Try the Madison or Peabody Hotels or the River Inn at Harbor Town.)

Joanna Harris

CFO, Envision Memphis

“I love the local vibe here. People smile, say hello and remember you. Downtown Memphis is saturated in history and it's amazing to see locals bringing energy back into the area. I've always been involved in the arts and music here - Memphis has so much talent in so many genres, I feel lucky to be in its midst. I love fitness because it gives people the energy to participate fully in everyday life.”

Downtown Favorites

Pub Grub: Westy’s

Patio: South of Beale

Best Place to See Local Art: National Ornamental Metal Museum

Julie Lansky

Lansky Bros.

“I live and work downtown. I am the third generation in my family's retail business that my grandfather, Bernard Lansky, founded in 1946 at 126 Beale Street. Known as the Clothier to the King (Elvis), Bernard cultivated a legacy that attracts people from around the world to our shops still today.”

Downtown Favorites

Brunch: Sunday’s at The Peabody Hotel

“Memphis” Food: Dry Ribs, Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous

Outdoor Patio: Terrace at River Inn

Kontji Anthony

Anchor/Reporter, WMC Action News 5.

 “I’m a 10-year Memphis transplant from New York. I plan to make Memphis my home through retirement. For now, downtown is where I play!”

 Downtown Favorites

Cocktail: The Mississippi Mule, Peabody Grand Lobby

Must See Downtown: A mid-day stroll down Beale Street is a must.

Coolest Place to Get Your Photo Taken: “I Am a Man” Mural on South Main St.

Kyle Wagenschutz

Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Manager, City of Memphis

“I’ve been working in downtown Memphis for the past five years and work to make it more friendly by bicycle and on foot every day.”

Downtown Favorites

Best Place to Grab Dessert: Cheese Cake Corner

Pub Grub: Bar Dog

Place to take the Family: Beale Street Landing

Linn Sitler

Memphis and Shelby County Film Commissioner

“I have worked downtown since 1987. I have promoted downtown around the world through client movies, television shows, and commercials, all of which showcase great downtown locations”

 Downtown Favorites

Best Place to Grab Dessert: Peabody Hotel

Party Spot: Earnestine and Hazel’s

See Live Music: B.B. King’s

Mark Akin

Co-Owner, Envision Memphis.

“I’ve been downtown a little over 10 years. I was lucky enough to bartend for a very long time at The Majestic Grille and I got to know this community so well by slinging drinks and food. I love it downtown. I was taken in here and I want to give back to it. Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to be a part of this community.”

Downtown Favorites

Date Night Restaurant: Cafe Pontotoc

Place to take a break from the Bustle: Memphis Park

Place to get your Photo Taken: NOT 201 Poplar! Ha.

Downtown is like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood… on crack. I just love this place. I came down here ten years ago as a broke homeless screw up one month off drugs. I found that I was not only welcome, but encouraged and expected to both participate in, and contribute to, this community. I started out working at Starbucks in the old mall, and now I own a gym. I'm not sure that would have  been entirely possible for me anywhere else. I sincerely believe that if you work hard this neighborhood will take care of you. Plus it's impossible for my kid to get into trouble down here. Everyone knows him.  Store owners will actually run outside their shops and yell at him to study hard and be safe. It drives him nuts and makes me happy.”

Mark Jones

Freelance Writer and Filmmaker

 “My partner and I lived in downtown for about 4 years. I've had an office off and on in downtown for about 10 years. I directed a movie on Mud Island  - Fraternity Massacre at Hell Island and parts of my other films in downtown Memphis.”

 Downtown Favorites

Client Meetings: AutoZone Park

Place to See Local Art: All the Public Art on South Main Street

Party Spot: “Downtown is one big party to me.”

Nisha Powers

President, Powers Hill Design

"I work at the Brinkley Plaza Building at Main & Monroe. I moved the Memphis area in 1997, and though I lived in Cordova, I desperately tried to get a Downtown branch office open for the Germantown company that I worked for. That didn't work, but when I started my own business, I had my heart set on having the office on Main Street. I love the experience that being downtown affords me and my staff!  Also, I love taking Amtrak to Chicago with my girlfriends on a Friday night, then come back Monday morning, take the trolley in from the MATA station to my office, and get to work. Another of my favorite things about downtown is that I'm in walking distance from my son's daycare. I love getting him on a cool day and going for a walk on Main Street.”

Downtown Favorites

Place to take in the River: Tom Lee Park during Sunset Symphony

Client Meetings: McEwen’s on Monroe

Brunch: Lobster Pups at Rizzo’s Diner

Patrick Reilly

Owner, The Majestic Grille

Twelve year resident and business owner downtown.

Downtown Favorites

Best Place to See Live Music: Rum Boogie Cafe

Party Spot: Paula Raiford’s Disco

Best Place to See Art: National Ornamental Metal Museum

Tad Pierson

Owner, American Dream Safari

 “Tour Guide, Road Ethnographer, and Urban Anthropologist. I live downtown in what is perhaps America's first Indoor Trailer Park. I operate my tour company, produce my art, and live in my studio/work space.”

 Downtown Favorites

Breakfast: Sweet Potato Pancakes, Arcade Restaurant

Cocktail: White Magnolia, Peabody Grand Lobby

Patio: Cafe Keough

Tonya Dyson

Recording Artist and Founder of Neosoulville

“Since graduating college I've always held a job downtown, from the Center of Southern Folklore to Memphis Flyer to Memphis In May. In addition to that, Neosoulville produces several events Downtown.”

Downtown Favorites

Place to See Live Music: SugaShack

“Memphis” Food: Chicken and Dressing, The Little Tea Shop

Weirdest Spot Downtown: Bass Pro…but, hey, people love it!

Tonya Tittle

Owner, Energy Fitness

“I’m a mother, wife, business owner, athlete, friend, christian and downtown Memphian. In 2002 my husband Mark and I started Energy Fitness, a boutique personal training & nutrition studio which is located on South Main Street. We really enjoy that our business helps us connect with our community to make a positive difference in client’s lives through physical fitness and nutrition.

I have called Downtown Memphis home for almost 2 decades and feel like there is so much more to learn about the history, architecture, music, parks and people. Living both Downtown Memphis as well as having a business on South Main really connects my family and me to the community.  I absolutely love the diversity of the people, the culture and vibrant energy that Downtown Memphis offers.  I love that my zip 38103 is the safest in the city. It’s great to buzz all around downtown on one-way and side streets by car, bike or foot.  It makes getting to your destination a lot easier than fighting the crazy traffic out east.”

Downtown Favorites

Wierdest Spot: the Bocce Ball Court

Family Friendly Restaurant: Tug’s

Best Place to take in the River: My kayak

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