Mesquite Chop House, Spindini Uses Interactive iPad Menus

Guests at Spindini and the Mesquite Chop House locations are now being introduced to an interactive wine and beverage menu when they sit down at the table.

The River City Management Group restaurants are using Uncorkd, a digital wine list and beverage menu application for the Apple iPad. Diners are able to view product descriptions, tasting notes, and recommended food and wine pairings at their fingertips.

Known for their prime steaks and chops, Mesquite Chop House currently has two locations, in Downtown Memphis and Southaven, with a third restaurant set to open in Germantown in mid-August.

Spindini, 383 S. Main St., concentrates on traditional Italian food prepared with a modern twist.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our restaurants,” CEO of RCMG Preston Lamm said in a statement. “This was something that instantly enhanced the experience for our diners while maintaining the excellent service and warm atmosphere that our customers have come to expect.”

The Uncorkd application was developed by Chicago-based Ideavation. The goal is to make the wine-selecting-process less stressful.

Uncorkd claims restaurants that use its app see their wine sales increase by 20 percent or more.

The state of women-owned business

Tennessee came in 17th on a list of the 50 states as ranked by growth in the number of women-owned businesses from 1997 to 2012, with the Volunteer State seeing 56 percent growth in the number of those firms during that period.

That’s according to a new “State of Women-Owned Businesses” report commissioned in March by American Express OPEN.

As of 2012, according to the report, there are more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in theUnited States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing 7.7 million people.

The report is based on published information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Other findings: The number of women-owned firms is currently growing at 1.5 times the national average. Also, while women are starting businesses at a rate higher than the national average, their firms remain smaller than average.

New Elvis app takes users on a tour

A new “King Me: The Elvis Tour Mobile App” that’s now available in the iTunes store for Apple device users and in the Google Play store for Android users will allow users to go on a journey of discovery to all the places that influenced the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

It’s a part travel guide, providing information for users to create their own Elvis pilgrimage itinerary that includes tour tips, hours, admission prices and more. There’s also other goodies like rare photos.

China Delegation Visits Memphis

More than 30 government officials and businessmen from China came to Memphis Friday (July 27), gathering at the Peabody hotel to hear presentations from state and local economic development officials.

They represented mostly mid-sized Chinese businesses, the leaders of which have expressed an interest in investing in bioscience and logistics industry projects in the U.S. And Memphis was one of only a few cities on their recent U.S. swing.

The visits reflected an important fact about the relationship between China and Tennessee. China is the state’s third largest export nation behind Canada and Mexico, and Tennessee exports to China accounted for $2 billion in 2011.

To bring the Chinese delegation here, the Greater Memphis Chamber’s International Development department worked with the Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department, the China Investment Promotion Agency, the Tennessee China Development Center and the West Tennessee Industrial Association.

Little Tea Shop Owner Dies 30 Years After Restaurant Takeover

James “Jimmy” Phillip Lauck of The Little Tea Shop died Thursday, July 26. He was 77.

Lauck purchased the restaurant at 69 Monroe Ave. on July 26, 1982, 30 years to the day of his passing, according to The Little Tea Shop’s Facebook page. The Southern-style eatery was founded in 1918.

Lauck’s wife, Suhair “Su” Lauck, originally from south Jerusalem and a Memphis resident for more than 40 years, oversees the restaurant and prepares all of the food herself.

“My wife is from the Middle East, and cooking is very dear to her,” Jimmy Lauck told The Daily News in 2004.

The Daily News extends its sympathy to Suhair and The Little Tea Shop family, who have lost someone very dear to them. As one Facebook post put it, “Jimmy Lauck made Memphis a better place.”

The Little Tea Shop, a favorite of local politicians, judges, bankers and lawyers, will be closed until further notice.