Memphis restaurant south of Beale moves location to downtown
South of Beale just made a big move just steps from its original location.
The popular downtown restaurant opened Monday at its new location at 345 S. Main St. Located in the recently renovated historic building that was once the Ambassador Hotel, the new South of Beale (known as SOB by most) is the next chapter in this downtown area. restaurant opened a little over 11 years ago.
“It’s more of an upscale casual restaurant than a bar,” said Ed Cabigao, restaurant owner with his wife Brittany. “When we first opened it was more like a gastropub bar. As the business grew, we got a better understanding of who our customer was. The new restaurant is the iteration.
The Cabigaos purchased the building from 345 S. Main in late 2019. At the time, the building was an empty shell, with all three floors down to the posts. The building has now been transformed into a full service restaurant with ten apartments on the upper floors.
A new look and a bigger space
The restaurant now measures 5,000 square feet compared to 1,700 square feet at the original SOB and has a gathering lounge for those waiting at a table, a large private dining room, and a patio.
The new restaurant has a more modern feel than the original SOB location.
Ed Cabigao describes the space as having a more contemporary design, but points out that they added retro touches to honor the historic building.
As you step into the space the first thing you notice is the beautiful bar that runs the length of the dining room. The facade of the bar is covered with silver tin tiles as a nod to the history of the building. Moody dark blue walls are accented with pops of yellow. Exposed plaster walls are behind a lounge area with a trendy sofa. 1950s dining-style light fixtures hang above the comfy banquettes.
A revisited menu offering revisited classics
The menu has also been slightly revised. Cabigao said it was bigger than the original downtown SOB menu. He added that the menus for Downtown and East Memphis (open September 2020 at 5040 Sanderlin Ave.) will be the same.
Entrepreneur Anthony Fenech has worked with the Cabigaos to develop dishes with an adventurous touch.
“Dishes like our Soul Bowl are a good example of our version of fried chicken,” Cabigao said. This signature fusion item features Korean fried chicken with a drizzle of honey on a bed of kimchi cabbage.
A New York Strip is also a new addition to the menu. “This cut is a bit more upscale,” Cabigao said. The strip is served with a side dish of macaroni and Gouda cheese and a butter made with herbs.
Popular dishes like Duck Fried Rice, General Tso’s Cauliflower, and Zaka Bowl have permanent places on the menu. Spicy popcorn regulars know and love will also be served with several vegetarian and gluten-free options.
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The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with Sunday brunch only to start.
Brunch will feature a variety of items, including a Colorado-inspired breakfast burrito with green chili and braised pork and SOB’s ‘Loco Moco’ (a Hawaiian-inspired rice and beef patty dish. / Filipino).
The cocktail and wine list has been enriched. “We’ll have more cocktails and even a reserve wine list, and a little less beer,” Cabigao said of the changes. A Smoked Old Fashioned that is presented to the table in a cloud of smoke is a drink he predicts will be a popular order downtown due to its success in East Memphis.
The Cabigao have rented the ten apartments upstairs to an Airbnb operator. Cabigao predicts that they will be a popular destination for those who wish to visit the city center. “Since the street has become very busy, the apartments are intended for an Airbnb or a hotel.”
The building at 361 S. Main St. has been leased to Good fortune company. The dumpling and ramen restaurant is slated to open at the end of the summer.
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.
In one look
South of Beale
Or: 345 S. Main St.
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
In line: sudofbeale.com
Telephone: (901) 526-0388