MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just a day after owners announced Local on the Square restaurant and bar would close on October 28, it appears another owner is already planning to move in.
Tim Quinn Jr. said he and his wife Tarrah will open Madison Tavern in that space at 2126 Madison Avenue in November. He said the new restaurant will be a friendly neighborhood establishment serving craft beers and affordable meals.
Quinn said they are taking over the remainder of the lease from the owner of Local on the Square, which has three years left on it. They plan to start painting and adding new furniture in the space as soon as Sunday.
Local on the Square’s decision to close after 11 years took some businesses in Overton Square by surprise.
“It’s been sitting there since I been working at this location, so to see a bigger name of the Square close down that suddenly is pretty surprising,” said Peter Vidrine, who manages Memphis Pizza Cafe. “It feels like it definitely happened quick.”
The owner of Local on the Square gave no specifics when posting the announcement on Facebook, saying, “It’s been an amazing 11 years with all of you at Local on the Square. Thank you, Memphis for your longstanding support, the relationships forged and the memories made. We have cherished being a part of Overton Square, and wish the next business much success in this beautiful, historic building!”
It’s unknown if the closing is related to an incident in August when a customer reported finding live maggots on her food.
Vidrine said he hates to see another Overton Square business close down.
“It’s not the only one that’s done that. Belly Acres, who’s behind us, they shut their Midtown location down as well, so it’s kind of a second one in a short amount of time,” he said.
Belly Acres cited staffing, lack of customers, and safety issues for its closing in September. In addition to Belly Acres, Paulette’s remains for lease as does the site once occupied by Hopdoddy Burger Bar.
But the news that Madison Tavern will soon occupy the Local on the Square site is good news for Robert Driver, the general manager at Lafayette’s Music Room.
“What’s good for the Square is good for Lafayette’s and vice-versa so we hope to see somebody else filling up that spot soon and have some healthy competition going back on,” Driver said.
We reached out several times to LPI Management which leases property in Overton Square about any updates on possible tenants for businesses that are now closed. We have not heard back.