My autumn move to a Downtown Memphis townhome was met with the realization that, like most of my neighbors, a stereotypical "backyard" wouldn't exist. In exchange for the traditional green lawn I had once enjoyed in my childhood suburbs, my backyard is now defined as the mighty Mississippi River. I fall in love with the neighborhood more and more each day; but just last week, I realized I would no longer need to sacrifice the nostalgic backyard feeling.
Loflin Yard instantly became my backyard.
The inviting and invigorating environment epitomizes Southern comfort. Time stops when one takes a step on the Loflin Yard grounds. I have twice already intended to "stop by" after work or on a weekend afternoon and, two hours later, find myself in deep conversation with new and old acquaintances. It's wonderful, truly.
And, of course, the drink options are incomparable for the Memphis landscape. Barrel-aged cocktails are practiced and, in my opinion, perfected by bar lead Mary Oglesby from Milwaukee. Though she's been in the craft cocktail business for years, Memphis is now her new home (and drawing board) in the category. I'm especially fond of the Barrel #2, the rested gin martini with lemon.
If you're with a friend or group, curated wine bottles are available inside the original Safe House building. Pick out a bottle of rosé, take it to the bar to be corked and chilled in a galvanized tin, and tote it around. The freedom is exhilarating and authentically hospitable.
The menu is succinctly Smoke House-focused--smoked pork tenderloin (above) and smoked trout are the shared main course stunners. Crispy peanut slaw, grilled corn and the grilled romaine salad are a few other menu stand-outs. I'll be frequenting the cheese board on Wednesday and Thursday late afternoons, as well. It's refreshing to watch the preparation from the screened-in kitchen and, upon ordering, take the trays out to the lawn or under the Coach House porch.
I already find myself craving the smoky flavors, and I've already decided the Smoke House will be my new fragrance of the season since I inhabit the lawn so often. Apologies, Prada.
Join me in my and Memphis' backyard later this week?