Memphis Barbecue at Arnold's BBQ & Grill Downtown

Memphis Barbecue at Arnold's BBQ & Grill Downtown

Ed. Note: Arnold's BBQ & Grill has had a location at 6721 Shelby Drive for some time now, and in Whitehaven before that. Now, they have a snazzy new spot in downtown Memphis. Contributor Stacey went to check it out. 

When I first heard that a barbeque restaurant was opening in the Monroe Alley between Danny Thomas and Fourth, I thought that might be a little bit too off of the beaten path. But then I remembered that other barbeque place that’s doing pretty damn well over in another downtown alley.**  

Arnold’s is owned by Mike Arnold, and his flagship location is out on Shelby Dr. The downtown location opened in January of this year. A good friend of mine lives close by, and wanted to show his support, so one night we decided to order some dry rib ends to go. Note: Rib ends, also known as rib tips, are a great snack to have in the car, in the fridge, anywhere really.

I gotta say, they were mighty fine with the perfect amount of smoke. The meat fell off of the bone. The sweet and tangy sauce was perfect for dipping. (Even dry, this was a three napkin operation.)

Having had my appetite whet, I couldn’t wait to go back a try a few more things. The restaurant itself looks great. I don’t know if there was anything there before, but you can tell they put a lot of cash into making it look nice. There’s also a nice big parking lot that fronts Madison for those of you who don’t want to brave the alley. It’s table service. Also, Bite Squad delivers for them.

They have all the regular barbeque things—the aforementioned tips, ribs, sandwiches, meat by the pound—as well as catfish, hamburgers, and daily specials. Not to mention, country style breakfast on Saturdays until 2 p.m.

A little overwhelmed by the choices, I panicked. Our lovely waitress, who beamed about how good everything was, wasn’t much help! Ultimately I decided on meatloaf, green beans, and spaghetti. My friend went with the loaded barbeque fries. But then I also ordered some rib ends to go, and a pound of chicken salad, because sometimes I’m smart.

I’ll admit my meatloaf and sides were a little lackluster, but I blame myself for not ordering barbeque. The loaded fries got a better review due to the presence of pork, but again, I think the takeaway is to go with the house specialty.

I forgot to order my rib ends dry, but they were still mighty fine covered in sauce. Just a li'l messier. (I’d say a 4-5 napkin operation.) And wow, that chicken salad lasted me a solid four days. I ate it on crackers, toast, and with some cut up veggies. The pickles were clutch.

Arnold’s seems to be trying out a lot of different things to see what the downtown crowd likes best, so get in there and cast your votes with your dollars. They’re also doing some live music on weekends and there’s a patio just waiting to be broken in. No beer yet, but you can BYOB.

Arnold’s is closed Sunday and Monday. They serve lunch from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Saturday they are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Go There:

Arnold’s Bar-B-Que & Grill

320 Monroe Avenue, Suite 2

6721 E. Shelby Drive

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**I'm talking about the Rendezvous.

About The Author

Stacey Greenberg is a freelance writer who lives in Cooper Young with her two teenaged sons. She’s a contributor to, Edible Memphis, I Love Memphis, and Memphis Travel. She’s also the author of the award winning blog, Dining with Monkeys ( A lifelong Memphian, she loves the fact that she’s never met a stranger here.

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HI — I’ll be in Memphis for then next few days at the Holiday Inn near Beale. What’s good for tonight? Monday 4/23 — 2 days after my birthday? Thank
April 23, 2018 11:24am
Holly Whitfield
Hi Stan! Sounds like fun! I'm assuming you're either looking for additional BBQ recommendations or birthday-dinner type places? There are so many options downtown! Rendezvous bbq is a Memphis institution if you're never been, Central BBQ is another favorite downtown. If you want to go fancy, Itta Bena above BBKings is a "hidden" gem. More upscale options amazing menus: Flight, Catherine & Marys, Gray Canary. Majestic Grille is slightly more casual than those, but has a great, festive historic atmosphere. SOB is more a gastropub vibe, but good food and great cocktails. Hope you enjoy and happy belated birthday!
April 23, 2018 12:42pm