Rocking the Suburbs: Collierville Town Square

Posted by Holly Whitfield | October 7th 2009 4919 0

(Let me be honest with you for a second – even though I’m a total Midtown girl, I grew up in Cordova (one of several suburbs of Memphis). In an effort to include some of the unique things happening in the Memphis suburbs, I’d like to introduce a new feature: “Rocking the Suburbs”)

Yesterday, I made the drive out to Collierville, one of Memphis’ outermost suburbs. I’m pretty sure it’s the only suburb that makes me feel like I’ve actually left Shelby County and wound up in a totally different, adorably quaint place. My mom used to work in Collierville, so my brother and I spent a lot of time on the town square as kids. It’s changed a little (there’s no more retro drug store) but I’m happy to report that it’s still a great place.

My first stop was Square Beans Coffee.  The owners of the independent shop, Walt and Kelli Geminn, are just as sweet in person as they are on Twitter.

Square Beans is very cozy – it’s almost like having coffee in Walt and Kelli’s living room. When I was there, there was soft jazz playing and TCM on mute on the TV. There are plenty of tables, comfy chairs and couches and wall outlets.  The best part of the decor was the leg lamp. It’s not just for Christmas anymore.

They’ve got a full lunch menu (all of the sandwiches looked delicious, especially the tomato / mozzarella / basil), but I settled on some tomato soup and an apple cider.  There are also plenty of baked goods and a few side items that looked tasty (I almost had the pasta salad and the fresh fruit salad).

By the time I was ready to leave Square Beans, it had stopped raining enough for me to walk over to check out the old train depot next to the Square. Some of the trains are open for visitors, and I highly recommend at least going inside the sleeper car. For a train, the accommodations are fairly luxurious.

Kelli at Square Beans tipped me off to a boutique in the square called Paisley. It’s about a year old and is owned by 19 year-old Ashley Hood.

Ladies, if you’re the kind that pines for an Anthropologie less than three hours away, you should definitely check out Paisley. The clothing is of similar style and quality (and the pricing seemed a bit more reasonable). Paisley has a huge selection for a relatively small shop. Right now, they’ve got a lot of gorgeous winter coats, summer clothes on sale and some very cute winter accessories. Once again, I’ve fallen in love with a coat:

The town square is packed with stores like this – independently owned specialty shops that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.  I’m going to have to head back to Collierville soon because I didn’t get the chance to eat at the Silver Caboose, the Dairy Barn or JaJa’s (which I’ve heard wonderful things about). Before I head back, what’s your favorite thing in Collierville?

Go There:

Collierville is about 45 minutes from downtown Memphis. I recommend taking 240 and 385, but Poplar also goes all the way out to the town square.

Square Beans Coffee

103 North Center Street
Collierville, TN 38017
(901) 854-8855

112 N Main St
Collierville, TN 38017-2618
(901) 853-4911

Show Comments


  1. Amy says:

    loooooove you for admitting you grew up in the ‘burbs. when i was still a miserable teen living in germantown i would get so sick of my friends claiming to “live” in midtown. hello! your family’s 4 bedroom house is not anywhere near midtown!

  2. Alys says:

    So glad you went to Collierville. I have the pleasure of actually growing up in midtown and having a grandmother who lived in Collierville. We would literally pack a lunch to go to Collierville when I was a girl because there was no easy way to get there from Peabody Avenue! It is truly a quaint treasure in our community.

  3. Walt Geminn says:

    Hi Kerry,

    Just wanted to says thanks for coming to visit and writing such a nice article about us, Paisley and the Square. Hope to see you (and your readers) again soon. Keep up the great work you are doing to show the world how cool the Memphis area is! – Walt

  4. Herbie Krisle says:

    Is it OK to say I love EVERYTHING about Collierville? I’ve been called a ‘closet midtowner’ by my midtown friends, but Collierville is just incredible. A small town feel still and almost everywhere, almost everyone knows your name…. or at least pretends that they do! Many nice independent busineses and restaurants in town to choose from and the town square is a great place to take pictures… all decorated for fall, and the winter wonderland look of the square is not too far away. Come out to see for yourself.

  5. Corey says:

    My mom got married in Collierville– the picture of that train car reminded me because we waited inside there before the ceremony, which was in the park by the train. Very cool place.

  6. Walt Geminn says:

    FYI y’all Square Beans now serves gelato AND we are open til 10 PM Thurs-Sat – come on out!

  7. […] now, the only YoLo location is in the Collierville town square, but there’s a second YoLo opening in East Memphis in the next few […]

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