Here’s some upbeat news for your manic Monday.
Alchemy – the newest restaurant to set up shop in Midtown Memphis’ Cooper Young district – officially opens Monday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. It’s been open for a few days according to its Facebook page, but this will be its official opening to the public.
Alchemy is a venture from McEwen’s on Monroe’s operating partners Bert Smythe and John Littlefield, as well as Erling Jensen’s former chef Karen Roth and Soulfish’s Ben McLean.
The eatery replaces the 5,200-square-foot space at 938 and 940 S. Cooper St. that was formerly occupied by Grace and Au Fond Farmtable – a side-by-side restaurant endeavor started in 2007 by Ben Vaughn. Grace shut its doors in December 2010, followed by Au Fond’s closing this past June.
Smythe told The Daily News in July that the then yet-to-be named concept would be heavily bar- and small plate-focused, featuring seasonal items and an array of creative cocktails, wines and craft beers.
By definition, alchemy is, “the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter, especially that of base metals into gold.”
Whether the partners chose that name based on the chemistry behind cocktails, or whether they’re figuratively setting out to turn metals into gold (given the short-lived fate of the former concepts), one thing’s for sure, Midtown has yet another food and wine destination to add to its booming entertainment portfolio.
Smythe said the kitchen will be open late and the atmosphere will encourage “grazing.”
“We want it to hip, but we don’t want it to be pretentious,” Smythe said. “Midtown has thriving independent restaurants and it’s got a great mix of people.”