Neu Concept for Sole Restaurant Long Time Coming

A new restaurant concept for the former Sole Restaurant & Raw Bar in the Westin Memphis Beale Street will be revealed at a special media event Thursday, Oct. 20, across from the FedExForum at 221 S. Third St.

Sole was opened in November 2008 by the owners of Interim Restaurant & Bar. Prior to that it was the Daily Grill – an American chain still associated with many Westin hotels nationwide to this day.

In July, when The Daily News learned the fate of the not quite two-year-old restaurant, Sole’s general manager Mark Youngblood confirmed that the restaurant was changing ownership, but was cautious to not use the word “closing.”

“We are changing the restaurant ownership,” Youngblood said. “The doors will remain open. There will be a different name, we do have a new chef and some of the things that he rolled out are on the menu already. It will be finalized in September.”

But those menu changes were less than apparent. In the interim of Sole and the “something bold, neu” mystery concept that will be revealed later this week, the Westin’s eatery was named, “The Restaurant.”

With the exception of the name “Sole Restaurant & Raw Bar,” missing from the top of the menu, it appeared to be business as usual. The famous smoked gouda mac-n-cheese – with herb bread crumbs & roasted jalapenos – remained an $8 appetizer, the daily specials still included fresh catch fish selections, all spelled out with the same exact font and royal blue color scheme.

I know that because I was there – on a Friday night at peak dinner hour. And with the exception of one other table that wandered in during my meal, my guest and I were the only patrons.

Maybe that’s because “The Restaurant” was sending mixed messages. On the entrance from Third Street, a note explained the establishment would be “closing…for repairs.”

Indeed, the dates of the “closing” had passed. But the evidence of a restaurant in transition remained clear as day for all to see.