Though it's only been open for two weeks, Local Gastropub's new Overton Square location has already earned legitimate hot-new-place status.
Local's new building is the old Yosemite Sam's building at the corner of Madison and Cooper. If, like me, your last fuzzy memories of that building involved a fishbowl of Long Island Iced Tea and some sloppy karaoke, just know that things have changed – a lot.
The building was completely gutted and re-done into a swanky but cozy two-story pub. Downstairs is a little more restaurant-like, with plenty of booths and tables and giant, square bar where Yosemite's dance floor used to be. Upstairs is more of a lounge with leather chairs and couches, a long bar and tons of TVs. When I was there last night, every single one of them was set on the Grizzlies game, so no matter where I moved, I could see it perfectly. The night crowd is mostly dress-shirt-and-jeans-clad young professionals, having dinner, huddling over their beers with friends or watching the game.
The menu has also changed a little bit with the opening of the new location. To be clear, both locations have the same menu, but it's been revamped with some new dishes and specialty cocktails.
I tried the Basil Antique ($9), mostly because I thought it sounded the strangest: balsamic vinegar, basil, honey and prosecco. (Mind you, I thought it was the strangest until I saw the Velvet Elvis, a purple drink that involves tequila and lavender syrup). My ale-colored drink was served in a champagne flute, and it was a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, and just fizzy enough to make it seem light.
For a snack, I ordered the lobster tacos ($12) at bartender Diana's recommendation. They're not like taqueria tacos in the same way that Local isn't like the Lamplighter. These are fancy tacos.
Unless you plan on sharing these, they're also not a snack. Three hardshell tacos come packed with chunks of fresh lobster and topped with pico de gallo, slices of avocado (mine were a little bit past ripe) and cheese. Imagine a Mexican version of a lobster roll. I've got two of them sitting in my fridge right now and I'm already daydreaming about eating them when I get home later tonight.
Local Overton Square is open every day from 11 a.m. until 3 a.m., and their kitchen stays open late (as in, past 10 p.m.) every night. With most of the food ranging between $9 and $21, it's not super cheap, but it's not too much of a splurge. They've got 16 beers, eight of which are normal beers and eight of which are high-gravity (more than 7 percent alcohol by volume). Both levels are non-smoking, and they offer complimentary valet parking on Madison.
Local Gastropub Overton Square
Memphis, TN 38104