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Lenny’s first drive-thru expects 30 pct. uptick annually

Move over roast beef, here comes the Philly cheesesteak.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 27, the former Arby’s at 4740 Showcase at Perkins and I-240 is officially Memphis’ first drive-thru Lenny’s. There model comes after the sub sandwich shops’ drive-thru locations in both Arkansas and Mississippi.

The idea came about when franchisee James Kelly, who currently has 10 locations in the Memphis area, noticed a loyal following paired with decreasing traffic at his Mall of Memphis store. He calls that the “people side” of the equation.

“We wanted to reinvest in this (Showcase) location for our customers’ sake, to make it more convenient and a better environment to give them the deli-fresh experience,” Kelly said.

Then there’s the “business side,” where it made sense to snatch up the second-generation drive-thru space while investing in the area.

“With the economic situation that there is now, a lot of commercial real estate is on sale,” Kelly said. “It’s basic common sense that rent that is spent you don’t get back, and it’d be better to take that money and invest in an asset, such as our own property, our own building, where we can control the environment around us.”

The drive-through strategy is based on research that Kelly’s been exploring with his personal business and other concepts as well. In fact, he hopes to see a 30 percent increase in weekly sales in year over year.

Barry D. Maynard with Trezevant Realty Corp. represented Atlanta-based Arby’s Corp. in the deal, which closed about a month ago.

The former Mall of Memphis location was doing about $700,000 in sales annually, Maynard said, which is extremely strong for a Lenny’s. The new location is poised to do that and more.

“The Nonconnah Corporate Center and Thousand Oaks office building, I assume most of those people are eating Lenny’s,” Maynard said. “They were doing $700,000 without a drive-through and they’re thinking they can obviously go over a $1 million with the drive-thru and some outside seating and what not.”

The No. 1 performing Lenny’s in the country is the Memphis International Airport, Maynard said, which brings in a couple million in revenue each year. But a typical Lenny’s doesn’t perform anywhere near that.

“My buddy Dan Walker owned all of the ones in Nashville,” he said. “A lot of Lenny’s do $350, $400, $450, $500. So $700 is a pretty strong number.”

On The Hall of Mayors

 

There is a certain symmetry to the Hall of Mayors with the inclusion this week of the portrait of former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

With the shift of William Ingram to another wall, all of the mayors under the current mayor-council form of government are on the same wall in the hall — Henry Loeb, Wyeth Chandler, Dick Hackett and now Willie Herenton – the longest serving mayor in the city’s history at 17 years and change.

To be more precise, Jan. 1, 1992 to July 31, 2009.

Ingram was moved to the east wall, next to Edmund Orgill, but it’s not chronological – at least not strictly speaking.

Loeb was mayor under the commission form of government from 1960-1963 before returning in 1968 for one term as the first mayor under the mayor-council form of government.

Conspicuously missing from the east wall is Mayor James Pleasants who served from 1947-1949.

Pleasants was elected but did not serve a full term, resigning in 1949 citing health concerns. Those few years also weren’t particularly good ones for the Crump political machine, whose namesake – Edward Hull Crump — is featured in his younger turn of the century years when mayors served two year terms and Tennessee had a prohibition law which Crump refused to enforce, leading to his resignation as mayor in 1915.

Herenton now has a portrait at City Hall to go with a statue of himself near LeMoyne Owen College in South Memphis. The statue was unveiled during Herenton’s tenure as mayor. He’s not the only mayor with a statue, however.

The statue of E.H. Crump is at the Poplar entrance to Overton Park standing imperiously with one hand atop a cane, the other – holding a hat – on his hip.

In the Memphis Pink Palace museum is a more animated and much smaller prototype that didn’t make the cut. It shows Crump with one arm raised in what was a more typical pose Crump displayed in photographs.

In both, Crump’s likeness is wearing what looks to be a winter coat that can look very warm on a winter day in Overton Park.

Pleasants isn’t the only city leader left out in the cold when it comes to City Hall.

Lt. Col. Thomas H. Harris and Capt. Channing Richards, the two military officials who ran the city during the city’s years of military rule during the Civil War, are not in the hall.

But the hall does include four other non-mayors. And they are the portraits that are usually the backdrop for announcements in the Hall of Mayors.

They were the presidents of the taxing district during the 12-year period after the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemics when the city of Memphis lost its charter.

They are John Overton Jr., Dr. D.T. Porter, David Park Hadden and William D. Bethell.

Their portraits are directly opposite the wall with the four most recent elected mayors.

If you’ve been at or watched on television a press conference in the Hall of Mayors, those are usually the painted faces in the background.

 

Commercial Appeal paywall apparently goes live Oct. 2

Carole Tarrant, editor of The Roanoke Times newspaper in Virginia, tweeted some interesting comments from Commercial Appeal editor Chris Peck today, who spoke at a tablet/mobile strategies conference in St. Louis on the CA’s new paid digital strategy.

Guy Tasaka, a digital media consultant, also was on the panel speaking.

Tarrant tweeted that, according to Peck, the CA’s new paywall goes live Sunday, Oct. 2. There will be a 10-story limit per month, and it will cost $9.95 after that. Interestingly, she attributes to Peck the comment “Don’t expect much traffic impact.”

She said that Peck, in response to the question of whether there will be a different story selection process for the paper’s digital iteration, said “This is still a work in progress.”

According to her, Peck also estimated that $400,000 was spent on consultants, about the same in staff time, to develop the paper’s digital strategy. “Big investment risk.” She also tweeted that Peck said:

“Memphis has steep challenge – poorest big U.S. city. Much room to grow paid digital? Don’t know.”

And

“Proud we haven’t degraded our journalism while pursuing this strategy.”

Tarrant tweeted that Tasaka said “Memphis was never going to see huge digital growth but paid strategy could ‘future proof their business.’”

For more details, see this story by Daily News reporter Sarah Baker.

Timberlake to be honored for eco-friendly Mirimichi

These days, green is the new black. And who better to be on the forefront of the sustainability trend than pop icon Justin Timberlake.

The Environmental Media Association will honor the Millington-native at its Environmental Media Awards Saturday, Oct. 15, in Burbank, Calif., the Associated Press reports.

Timberlake will receive a Futures Award – which represents future environmental leaders in entertainment – for his work with eco-friendly Mirimichi golf course, as well as being green conscious on tours and being an overall environmental activist.

For more on Justin Timberlake’s ever-growing business empire, check out Andy Meek’s Bring Sexy Back article featured recently in thedaily.com.

Rick Perry, at Memphis fundraiser, elaborates on immigration

In an interview with The Daily News after he introduced Texas Gov. and current GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry at a fundraiser in Memphis Wednesday, Tenn. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey defended the recent controversial remarks and stance of Perry over immigration – specifically, over a Texas state law that makes possible a college tuition break to the children of illegal immigrants there.

Ramsey has been an early – and ardent – supporter of the Texas governor.

In one of the recent Republican presidential debates, Perry said opponents of that policy were “heartless”. But Perry walked that back somewhat Wednesday, saying “heartless” probably represented a poor choice of words. Perry said pretty much that same thing to Newsmax, and it got wide play nationally on Wednesday as an apparent softening or position-shuffling by Perry.

At his fundraiser Wednesday at the Memphis Botanic Garden, though, Perry at least got to do what he hasn’t always been able to in the rapid-fire setup of presidential debates, and that is to more fully explain himself on immigration.

“I want to share with you why we did what we did in Texas,” said Perry, whose remarks were videoed by Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas and posted to Thomas’ Facebook page.

Perry said Texas had a need to take some kind of action because of an inadequate response to the immigration issue by the federal government.

“Texas is a unique place, from the standpoint of a 1,200-mile border with a foreign country,” Perry said. “For decades, we’ve had this open border that has allowed people to come into the state of Texas. The federal government is not going to round everybody up and send them back to the country of their origin. That’s not going to happen.

“We made the decision we would rather those young people go to our institutions of higher learning and be educated. You either keep them uneducated and have them on the rolls of the government, or educate them and let them become part of the workforce in that state.”

Ramsey said even if a state like Tennessee wouldn’t have pursued the same policy choice, that doesn’t mean Texas was wrong for doing so.

Ramsey said the states are “50 laboratories of democracy. And until the federal government does its job, the burden is on Texas, whether they like it or not.”

Dansette

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