Only in Memphis: Lit Restaurant Supply
Remember the first time you saw a teacher outside of school as a kid, and how weird and disconcerting it was to see them outside of their normal environment? That’s kind of what’s it’s like to walk into Lit Restaurant Supply on Union Ave. Those red pizza delivery bags that you usually only see at your front door? They’re shrink wrapped in plastic and stacked on a shelf. Those small brown bowls that all Mexican restaurants use for salsa? They’re called “monkeys” and stacked fifteen high. The same goes for high chairs, red plastic tumblers, napkin holders and pitchers.
Lit is a kitchen wonderland. It’s two giant rooms filled with chafing dishes, deep fryers, chairs, bottle openers, giant bottles of spices, and ice sculpture molds. They’ve also got food. You can pick up a six pound can of tomatoes, a massive bag of raw pasta and those square pizzas that I thought were only available in school cafeterias.
Lit has been open downtown for 60 years. While the store is geared towards restaurant owners, it’s open to the public and there’s no minimum purchase. It’s a great place to stock up on party supplies – they’ve got disposable shot glasses, paper plates and napkins. (It’s worth mentioning that there’s a second store, Lit Junior, on Summer Ave. that’s carries more food and is geared more towards the non-commercial shopper.)
When I stopped in today, I picked up a glass bottle with a pour spout (perfect for olive oil), a wall-mounted bottle opener, a bag of tootsie rolls, and a glass mug shaped like a boot.