A complement to the article, Become familiar with Beale Street’s deep-rooted history before you go, please find below some of the other photos from my November 2021 trip to Memphis.
Thank’s for looking!
Beale Street between 2nd Street and B.B. King Blvd.
Pictured above, from left:
- B.B. King’s Blues Club at 143 Beale Street in a 1920s-30s era historic building
- B.B. King’s Company Store at 147 Beale Street
- 154-156 Beale Street, a 1920s-30s era historic building currently home of Miss Molly’s Soul City Cafe, the Beale Street Merchant’s Association and Beale Sweets Sugar Shack.
All the color photos on this page were taken on a cool Sunday morning when very few people were around.
Above, from left:
- Looking west from around the middle of the block.
- 167, 165 and 163 Beale Street. The Pig on Beale (167) is a popular barbeque joint. The A. Schwab soda fountain at 165 Beale and dry goods store at 163 Beale are in a c. 1880 building.
- A view of 154-156 Beale Street from a different angle.
- The Blues Hall Juke Joint at 174 Beale Street. Built during the 1919-1938-era.
- Rum Boogie Cafe at 182 Beale Street. Built during the 1919-1938-era.
- A side view of Silky O’Sullivan’s at 183 Beale Street. Also built during the 1919-1938-era.
Beale Street between B.B. King Blvd. and 4th Street
- The large white c. 1890 building (209-207) on the corner has been home to the frozen daiquiri hotspot, Wet Willie’s, for over 30 years. Next door, the c. 1890 building (205) has been home to Dyer’s Hamburgers since 1912. The red building at 203 Beale was built in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
- Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe & Honky Tonk at 310 Beale Street. Mr .Lewis, a charter member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, opened the multipurpose party place in 2013. The building is not a historic structure, although it has an appearance that fits in nicely with the nearby 90- to 130-year-old structures.
- Another building from 1890, 197-201 Beale Street has been home to Alfred’s on Beale since 1986.
- The c. 1913 Daisy theater at 329 Beale Street.
- The c. 1923 Monarch Saloon building has been occupied by the Memphis Police Department Entertainment District Unit since 1997.
- The c. 1936 New Daisy theater at 330 Beale Street.
- The Coyote Ugly saloon at 326 Beale Street sits between the New Daisy and the Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe & Honky Tonk. It’s one of 13 U.S. locations of the famous bar brand, and it opened in 2006 in the one -story building that I believe was built in the 1920s and restored in the 1980s.
A good number of both historic and modern sites are found within walking distance of Beale Street. Most of the historic places featured in my article, Enjoy a self-guided historic-places sidewalk tour in the heart of Memphis, are within a mile.
Below, take a look at these other places that are in the area surrounding the Beale Street entertainment district:
From top left:
- The c. 1927-28 Orpheum Theatre at the corner of Beale and South Main was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
- The FedEx Forum which was completed in 2004, is home to the Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) and the University of Memphis Tigers basketball teams. It’s located adjacent to Beale Street to the south.
- The Smithsonian Institution-developed Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, located on the B.B. King Blvd. side of the FedEx Forum complex.
- At the corner of Beale and 2nd, the large c. 1900 Lansky’s Building is now home to the local Hard Rock Cafe and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame museum.
A present day Lansky Bros. is also found there. Lansky’s is famous for being Elvis’s favorite menswear store from the 1950s to the 1970s. Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis also shopped at the building back in the day.
- The c. 1910 Fire Station No. 3 building is currently the home of Memphis Music Initiative, an important youth-development organization.
See the nearby Clayborn Temple and “I Am A Man” Plaza
The church, located south of the FedExForum, and only about 1,500 feet from Beale Street, is very significant both for its historic construction/architecture and the role it played during the civil-rights movement during the late 1960s.
At the time of its completion in Oct. 1892, the Romanesque-revival structure was the largest church in the South and home to Second Presbyterian. The African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased the building in 1949 and renamed it Clayborn Temple.
The famous 1968 civil rights movement signs that read: “I AM A MAN” were created by the church’s pastor. The building was individually listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It sat vacant from 1999 to 2015, but a strong movement now exists to preserve it. See clayborn.org.
St. Patricks Catholic Church
If you enjoy historic places, this other 120-plus year old church is also just south of the FedEx Forum. I believe this old Catholic church has a Romanesque appearance, as well.
Back to the main Beale Street article.