Hot Spot Guide: Broad Avenue Arts District
Broad Avenue Arts District in the Binghampton neighborhood is another area that has gone from almost empty to exciting (even bustling on some nights) in the last few years. If you haven't been to Broad Avenue in a while, here's a guide to what's going on.
For this guide, I'm just talking about commerical/retail places along Broad Avenue (not the residential area of Binghamptom) generally between Hollywood and Scott Street. If you think I've left something major out, just shoot me and email or leave a nice comment and I'll check it out!
1. Shop. The main thing to do on Broad Avenue is to shop. Many of the shops are also studio/workshop spaces where you can get crafty, and I've marked those with an (*).
Made in Memphis stickers at Five In One Social Club.
– 20twelve is a very upscale fashion and home goods boutique that feels like it should be on 5th Avenue in NYC.
*- Bead Couture sells handmade jewelry, beads, and supplies, and offers workshops in all kinds of jewelry making techniques.
*- Broad Strokes is a furniture refinishing and paint shop offering paints, glazes, waxes, and classes, plus furniture that's already been refinished.
– Found Studio/Olio Collection is a thrift-store style boutique with one-of-a-kind real vintage clothes, tons of accessories, and locally-made gift items. Post: Four Newish Places to Shop in Memphis.
– Hollywood Feed has tons of locations across the Mid-South, but Broad Avenue is the original. Get your pet food in bulk or small bags, take advantage of the self-service dog wash or full-service grooming.
– Memphis Guitar Spa offers guitar restoration, repair, and custom builds. Their refinishing and rescuing of old guitars will make even the music novice swoon.
– My Heavenly Creations offers handmade, all-natural soaps, lotions, bath bombs, and candles for men and women.
– Nabers Interiors is an interior design studio and furniture and home goods retail store.
– T. Clifton Art is an established art gallery and framing shop. When you stop by, don't forget to say hi to Argus, the giant St. Bernard mix who watches over the gallery.
*- Five-In-One Social Club calls itself "kindergarten for grown folks" because it's a place where you can meet up to make fun things. They have studio hours and classes every week, plus loads of local art and apparel. Post: Join the Five In One Social Club.
– Ronin Design and Manufacturing is an art, design, and tattoo studio with an edge. Owner and artist Babak Tabatabai also does some woodworking, sculpture, and offers vintage action figures. (Source: article in Click magazine pg. 92).
– Victory Bicycle Studio is kind of like if a bike shop operated in an upscale art gallery space. They offer bicycles, repairs, professional fitting, and cycling performance analysis.
2. Eat and Drink. There are several spots to satisfy your appetite before or after a day of shopping.
Oysters at The Cove.
– Bounty is a farm-to-table restaurant that serves dinner and brunch with a focus on fresh ingredients. Post: Bounty on Broad is now open.
– Broadway Pizza has been a Memphis – and Broad Avenue – institution since 1977. They serve a ton of hearty pizzas, plus wings and sandwiches. I've heard the "spaghetti and catfish" plate is great.
– The Cove is a nautical-themed bar with fancy cocktails, underrated food, plenty of live music, and a unique atmosphere. At some point in the evening, the bar becomes 21-and-up and does allow smoking. Post:
– Three Angels Diner is a favorite for fresh veggies, juicy burgers, and brunch and breakfast specials. Post: Veggie Plate From Three Angels Diner.
– Wiseacre Brewing is one of Memphis' two taprooms, and good spot to have a enjoy beer brewed on site, grab a snack from a food truck, hear a local band. It's also a great party venue. Post: Wisacre Brewing Opens Memphis' First Taproom.
3. Studios. Living up to its name, the Broad Avenue Arts District has quite a few artists and artisans who work here. Most of their studios are only open to the public by appointment/membership only or may have special hours, so call ahead before you show up and knock. I just think it's neat to know what's going on.
Photo from AM Photography/Memphis Bombshells studios. Photo by AM Photography via @memphisbombshells on Instagram.
– Adam Benet Shaw is an accomplished artist, painter, and illustrator. His private studio is open to the public by appointment only.
– AM Photography is the studio of wedding, beauty, and boudoir photographer Amanda Hill (who also is the photographer for Memphis Bombshells, in the same space.)
– Archicast has been around for 30 years and is one of the best architectural reproduction and life casting companies in the U.S. (They did the interiors at Cafe Keough.) Post: 365 Memphians Days 342 – 344.
– Creation Studios has been rocking Memphis photography and videography for family, wedding, fashion, and commercial photography for almost 15 years and they just moved to Broad from Bartlett this year.
– Euro Imports repairs and services luxury and European cars.
– Forge is going to be one of Memphis' most unique spaces once it opens in late fall 2014. There are plans for gallery space, artists' studios, equipment for building structures and prototypes (think 3D printers, laser cutters, soldering iron, and a software lab), and coworking/workshop spaces.
– Greg Touliatos & Associates is a landscaping company with a long Memphis legacy, with an private office on Broad Ave.
– Karen Adams Designs is a nationally known designer of stationery, invitations, and gift items. The studio is not open to the public, but you can check out her work here or at local gift shops.
– Memphis Bombshells is a photography studio that offers retro-pinup styling classes, photo shoots, and parties. The studio shares space with Amanda Hill, owner of AM Photography.
– Metalworks is a custom furniture and architectural metal studio. They've made a lot of the funky, colorful bike racks you've seen around town, in addition to elaborate custom metalworking projects.
– Muddy's bakery on Broad is the place where the Muddy's Bake Shop magic happens. Do not line up here for cupcakes…it's only open to the public on special nights like Broad Avenue Market nights. Post: Have some Prozac.
– Splash Creative is adjacent to Broad, on Sam Cooper at Bingham Street. I'm including it here because the advertising and communications firm often opens their office for use as an art gallery or book release party during events.
– West Memorials has been designing and creating custom monuments, gravestones, and statues for over 15 years.
4. Get Moving.
– Collage Dance Collective is a ballet company and school that offers classes for all ages, plus regular company performances. Post: Collage Dance School's Escapade.
– Memphis Martial Arts teaches a variety of classes to kids and adults, including Kung Fu, Kempo, Aikido, and Jujitsu.
– The Hampline is a two-mile long extension that will connect the Greenline to the existing Overton Park pathways and go right through Broad Avenue.
5. See some public art.
– The "I Love Memphis" mural at the corner of Scott Street and Broad Avenue was designed and painted by MCA graduate Michael Roy. Lettering was done by Memphis artist and muralist Brandon Marshall.
– The "Enjoy Your Worries" comic-inspired mural on the side of the train container bridge is next to Wiseacre Brewing and was done by Brandon Marshall.
– The oft-photographed "Memphis is Tennessee" mural is part of a wall of paintings just north of Sam Cooper and Hollywood.
– The "Broad Avenue Water Tower" has been a symbol of the area for decades and will undergo a "refinishing" of sorts this year.
– The "This is We" mural on the north side of Broad was painted by Guillaume Alby.
6. How to get there. The Broad Avenue Arts District is north of Sam Cooper Blvd., between Hollywood and Scott Street. As for parking, there is very limited street parking on Broad Ave in front of the stores and along the fence on the north side of the street. There are a few small lots here and there.
More things to do in Broad Avenue Arts District. The new Water Tower Pavilion provides a space for all kinds of events, including the Dance on Broad series, concerts, spoken word performances, and more. There's usually a beer/wine bar and food trucks. Go here for the calendar of upcoming events. In addition, Broad Avenue hosts occasional night markets, plus Spring and Fall Art Walks where businesses host open houses and more artists and artisans have booths selling their wares. Those are a must-do.
Also: Bianca Phillips wrote this incredible article in the Memphis Flyer last year that goes into more detail about the entire community of Binghampton, of which the Broad Avenue Arts District is just a part.
I tried to be thorough, but there's a possibility I left something out. Tell me your favorite Broad Avenue spot, something nearby I should add, or share your Broad Avenue memories.