Beale Street Landing prepares for grand opening

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The final touches are being put on Beale Street Landing.  After ten years of design and construction, the restaurant, park, and river view are just two weeks from the grand opening.

Tables and chairs are going in at the Riverfront Bar and Grill. It's the last space to soon open at Beale Street Landing, Memphis' newest river attraction right next to Tom Lee Park.

"All the other amenities that Tom Lee Park doesn't have we have put down here, the restroom space, the places for people to sit, the places for people to get to the water, a food venue," Riverfront Development Corporation President Benny Lendermon, who has been overseeing the project through ups and downs, said.

"We had Katrina come in and drive up cost of river construction. We had the fall of the economy in 2008," Lendermon said.

Still, he says it turned out just like they wanted. Kids now visit the playground where water fountains will soon flow and spectators can get the closest ever view of the river.

"There are places for people to be on top of the island and stand out over the water when the water is high," Lendermon said.

English tourists Eddie and Maureen Cappleman are sold.

"Memphis is a famous city and you have a famous river, the Mississippi as well. That is what attracted us. I wanted to see the Mississippi. I have read about it in all the books," Eddie said.

More tourists are coming since three boats now dock here every week, and people are using that big hump over the restaurant and gift shop as an exercise challenge. The tall structure on top of the building is an elevator for ADA requirements.

There have already been several weddings at Beale Street Landing, all overlooking the mighty Mississippi.

"It's gonna be nice and enjoyable and convenient and you can enjoy this wonderful sunset that we all forget as Memphians. We get used to the river and forget how impressive the river and the sunset are," Lendermon said.

The grand opening of Beale Street Landing is slated for June 27th and 28th, and will include several stages with live music, as well as boat rides for the public.

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