European Charm at Cafe Keough Downtown

Posted by Holly Whitfield | January 2nd 2017 10619 0

Updated March 2018

When you walk in Cafe Keough downtown for the first time, I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised and enchanted by the tall ceilings, aged tile floors, and general ambience of the place.

According to this article from the MBJ, Cafe Keough’s owner Kevin Keough is also a minority owner in Karen Carrier’s Beauty Shop – which is a very good thing in my opinion. It’s at 12 South Main, in the Commerce Title Building across the street from Felicia Suzanne’s.

They have breakfast items like bagels and pastries, salads and sandwiches from about $10 to $15, and several coffee options, all of which you order at the counter. They also have a full bar.

They’re open every day for breakfast, coffee, lunch, and early dinner/cocktails. The hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Here’s their French Onion soup.

It feels like a neighborhood cafe, like somewhere that has regulars who’ve been going there forever. When I went, there were several tables of folks on their lunch breaks, and a few people working on laptops.

The long bar/counter and style of chairs gave it a diner feel, but the Corinthian columns and tall ceilings made it more upscale.

soup and sandwich lunch special from Cafe Keough

Go there:

Cafe Keough
12 S. Main Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38103


Show Comments


  1. Amanda says:

    I visited there today, too. My husband and I shared the salami sandwich with a side salad and the french onion soup. The sandwich and salad were wonderful! The soup was just ok. I probably wouldn't get it again. The place was airy and large compared to what you would normally expect from a french-style cafe, but we enjoyed it. Note to the working crowd: there are very, very few outlets available! 

  2. Dan Spector says:

    Very glad to hear the big corinthian capitals make a good impression: > gave it a diner feel, but the Corinthian columns and tall ceilings made it more upscale.

  3. Ashlyn says:

    I'm definitely trying this place before work tomorrow. My house is right at tamp and tap so I'll have to compare. 

  4. Laura says:

    Not a fan of Beauty Shop at all.  Overpriced mediocre food.  Don't know if I'll try this place or not.  Probably not.

  5. Ginger Ragan says:

    Great coffe and chocolate croissant!!

  6. So excited to see new businesses opening in historic buildings! Looks great, we look forward to checking it out.

  7. Amanda says:

    The French Onion Soup was delicious. Wish they had a soup/salad combo.

  8. Hillary says:

    Looking forward to trying this weekend! I hope they are open sundays..

  9. Aaron Bak says:

    The space looks great! If the owner is the "same guy" from Beauty Shop, you would be referring to Karen Carrier who owns Beauty Shop, Bar DKDC, Mollie Fontaine's, etc. If she is indeed the owner, I'm sure she would enjoy the credit.

  10. Holly Whitfield says:

    I got my info on ownership from the Memphis Business Journal article that I linked to in the post (http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2013/11/22/cafe-keough-kevin-coffee-bar-downtown.html). I know Ms. Carrier owns the Beauty Shop and the others (some of my fav spots!) so I was looking into details about why the MBJ article phrased it that way. Yesterday afternoon the MBJ posted a second article further confirming this and explaining that he is a minority owner of the Beauty Shop (http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2014/01/03/cafe-keough-kevin-south-main-memphis.html), presumably along with Karen Carrier. I've edited the post so no one else gets confused!

  11. Martskers says:

    I don't get downtown much these days, so I'm unlikely to check this place out. Nonetheless, it struck me from the pictures that with all that space to spare they could have provided bigger tables. It's not like postage-stamp-sized tables are going to make that cavernous space feel any more intimate. Also, why Keough. Certainly not because it's French. 

  12. Andy says:

    Kevin Keough, a former co-owner of the Beauty Shop, is the owner of Cafe Keough.

  13. Michele Keough says:

    Because Keough is our Family Name, and no it is not French, it's Irish.

  14. paul says:

    I live in the same building @ 10 s main and i have been to Keough's a few times and the food has been good.  I find the tables too small and the stools at the bar are just not very stable to me.  I guess the idea is to give it that coffee house look and feel but it is a big place I think it could be more than it is.  I like to sit at a table and read a menu and order my food from a waiter or waitress. Standing in line and reading from the wall menu always makes me feel rushed and more so if other people are behind me.

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