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Restaurants to Donate Proceeds to Memphians Affected by HIV/AIDS

More than 7,000 men, women and children in Shelby County are living with HIV/AIDS, about half of which are not receiving the care they need.

That’s why chef Kelly English and manager Jeff Frisby of Restaurant Iris are co-chairing the fourth annual Dining Out For Life – a one-day dining fundraiser to support the programs and services of Friends For Life.

Local restaurants will donate 25 percent to 100 percent of proceeds on Thursday, April 26 to help people affected by HIV/AIDS live well. Click here to see the list of participating restaurants.

To learn more about Memphis’ observance of World AIDS Day, read reporter Aisling Maki’s story here.

Andrew Michael Nabs More Attention

The guys at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen are making headlines again.

The Tennessean has featured the upscale eatery at 712 West Brookhaven Circle and its unique culinary experience.

“Have fun when you eat,” said Michael Hudman, who owns the restaurant along with childhood friend Andy Ticer. “Try new things, and be respectful of the whole animal.”

Just last month, the duo was nominated for Food and Wine magazine’s People’s Choice: Best New Chef Southeast, a list recognizing America’s 10 most brilliant, up-and-coming chefs each year. Hudman and Ticer were also one of five regional restaurateurs to participate in February’s Cochon 555 competition, and were recently nominated as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundations’ Best Chef Southeast award.

Andrew Michael isn’t the only Memphis restaurant gaining attention in Nashville. Check out “Memphis: Six more tasty stops” with vignettes on hotspots from Downtown to Germantown.

LUCB Approves Crescent Center Zoning to Include Two Upscale Restaurants

The Land Use Control Board unanimously approved Thursday, April 12 a planned development to add two upscale freestanding restaurants to the Crescent Center office building site at Poplar and Ridgeway.

“It went very well, there was no opposition, and we are trying to schedule our City Council meeting now – it’s going to be either May 1 or May 15,” said Steve Guinn, vice president of Raleigh, N.C.-based Highwoods Properties Inc.

Those build-to-suit restaurants will be an 8,946-square-foot The Capital Grille in front of the Crescent Center’s attached garage along Poplar to the west and a 9,231-square-foot Season 52 at the corner of Poplar and Ridgeway. Both restaurants are new to the Memphis market.

Seasons 52 currently operates 22 locations in 13 states. Menus change four times a year, and none of the dishes exceed 475 calories. The new restaurant will create approximately 100 new jobs in the area.

“We are excited to bring Seasons 52 to Memphis,” Seasons 52 president Stephen Judge said in a release. “It is an ideal setting for our guests – people who celebrate living well while enjoying upscale dining, shopping and entertainment.”

Highwoods acquired the 337,916-square-foot Crescent Center for $52.6 million from an affiliate of Behringer Harvard in July 2010, marking the biggest local commercial real estate deal in the past six years.

The staff report for the development states, “without question, a successful restaurant will attract customers from beyond the immediate vicinity.”

Guinn said both restaurants will be open outside of office hours, a concept that’s proven to be in much demand in the Poplar/240 corridor.

“In fact, that’s probably when most of their business will be done,” he said. “A few tenants and a few of our customers had mentioned (a concept) like that to us, but it was pretty much driven by demand for additional high-quality restaurants in that area.”

Upscale restaurants in the immediate area include River Oaks Grill at Poplar and Interstate 240, Amerigo Italian Restaurant in Park Place Center, Circa by John Bragg and Ruth Chris’ Steak House in Regalia shopping center, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Poplar not quite to Massey heading east.

Crescent Center is operating at approximately 90 percent of total occupancy. The construction of The Capital Grille will result in the loss of parking spaces, but at that level of building occupancy, there are some 500 spaces in the three-level parking deck that are not used.

Multi-Market CRE Conference Brings Spotlight to Memphis

Commercial Advisors LLC is hosting some 115 Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate brokers from around the country this week at The Peabody Memphis for the 2012 Multi-Market Conference.

It’s the first ever conference by the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance focusing exclusively on multi-market clients – meaning clients who have locations and requirements in multiple markets around the U.S. and around the world.

The attendees are real estate professionals representing companies of all sizes with locations in multiple states, but who use one real estate expert to represent them in all of those states. In short, these are high-powered professionals with great influence over location decisions for their clients.

The fact that the national management group agreed to have this conference Monday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 17 in Memphis was a big win for the Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors local office and for the city, said marketing director Melissa Alexander. Other cities of consideration were Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas.

“We have about 115 real estate professionals who have signed up to come share ideas on how to better serve and expand their multi-market business. We were expecting 50,” Alexander said. “We are very excited about having these guests come to our city and are doing everything we can think of to make them feel welcome. Our goal is that they all leave with the belief that Memphis and Tennessee are great places for businesses to locate.”

Slated conference topics include lease administration, project management and consulting; technology tools for multi-market accounts; doing business internationally; and successfully marketing your team/client relationship management. Attendees will also get the chance to tour the FedEx Super Hub at midnight.

Canine Carnival Benefits Memphis Humane Society

The Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County will host the Trot for Spot Pet Parade and Canine Carnival Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Humane Society’s facility, 935 Farm Road.

Well-behaved dogs are invited to participate in a half-mile pet parade, and owners are urged to dress them up as creatively as possible to compete for awards such as best costume, dog/owner lookalike, best bark and best trick.

The carnival will also include a doggy DJ, a dog training session, canine unit demonstration, dog cool-down stations, an agility course and an awards ceremony. Activities for the kids will include a craft table, game station, face painting and a Dalmatian bouncy castle.

General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children and includes admission to the Canine Carnival. Dogs are welcome. Separate fees apply for parade entry.

All proceeds from Trot for Spot will benefit the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County. Participants wishing to register for the event in advance may visit www.memphishumane.org for more information.

Dansette

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