Beale Street Landing’s Multi-Million Dollar Restaurant Sitting Empty

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(Memphis) After spending $42 million to build Beale Street Landing, only half is being used.

Planners wanted a restaurant to draw tourists, but that section is empty.

Memphis CVB President Kevin Kane's company put in the only bid to put a restaurant in this part of Beale Street Landing, but the company pulled out before construction was complete, saying this spot was no longer attractive to them.

“That deal never materialized,” said Kane.

So instead, it sits empty.

A sign says a restaurant is coming, but a gate is blocking the empty space.

“The company that I have an investment in looked at it, but it never got to the contract phases,” said Kane.

Kane pointed out the space’s drawbacks, saying Beale Street Landing is kind of isolated, and for restaurants, it's good to be around other businesses.

He also says there is limited parking, and the space will be out of commission frequently for special events.

“Between people who run restaurants and run RDC, they probably couldn't come to an agreement on the vision for the project,” said Kane.

It's Kane's job to promote the city and encourage tourism in places like Beale Street Landing.

Right now, the Riverfront Development Corporation is taking bids and looking for a restaurant to come in.

Kane says the space is more suited for someone who can also cater special events.

He says several other groups are looking at moving into the spot right now and it could be great for them, just not his group.

Until a restaurant group fills the space, it will only be half open as a souvenir t-shirt shop and riverboat check-in.