The Peanut Shoppe, a Memphis landmark since the ’50s, is closing Dec. 31

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Summer Avenue landmark that's been open for 58 years will close its doors at year's end.

The Peanut Shoppe at 4305 Summer Ave. was initially opened by Planters Peanuts to compete with the Stuckey's stores, famous for their pecans.

"It's been kinda part of my life. I can't really escape it," owner James Burge said.

Burge originally started working at the Peanut Shoppe when he was 17 but after getting to know people at the famous Pop Tunes record shop that was next door ended up working there for 32 years and then came back to buy the store.

"I think people enjoy it because it's so iconic," Burge said.

Burge says in the early days of the Peanut Shoppe there was no expressway, Summer Avenue was Highway 70 to Nashville and the first-ever Holiday Inn was built just right up the street.

"It's a pretty historic street," Burge said. "A lot places are opening up here, so it's going to be a good part of town at some point again, it's just a little too late for us."

Burge says the decision to close was not taken lightly, but with his age, the rising store cost and the decreasing customer count, among other things, it was time for other adventures.

Although the landmark will be closed by the end of the year, fans can still buy peanuts and experience the nostalgia at the Downtown location on South Main Street.

Burge plans to spend his days volunteering at homeless shelters in the area, like Room in the Inn.