Kimery Wealth Management

When asking a potential client to entrust you with the fruits of their labor – their wealth and financial well-being – they will consider a number of things: a company’s track record, reputation, the institutional knowledge, competency and professionalism of its staff. And, believe it or not, a company’s physical environment holds a significant amount of sway in establishing confidence in a wealth management firm.

Our task with Kimery Wealth Management in Memphis was to impart a feeling to visitors that they are walking into a well-established, solid and successful business. Kimery is a privately-owned investment advisory practice that specializes in family wealth advising and institutional consulting for individuals, family groups, and non-profits. They provide sophisticated investment strategies; likewise, the space from which they provide these services required a sophisticated approach.

Clients entering Kimery’s offices step into a refined receiving area in which marble floors and tasteful lighting impart a timeless aesthetic. We avoided trends in colors and accents, opting instead for a neutral palette and the understated elegance of lilies. By telling a cohesive design story throughout this commercial space, we achieved our client’s vision for a space that conveys a sense of roots and stability, qualities that go a long way in establishing trust when finances are involved.

Art and Function of Lighting

Flip a switch, the light goes on. Flip it again, the light goes off. We do it almost mindlessly, taking for granted the strategy involved in properly illuminating a space. Whether residential or commercial, a great deal of thought goes into the art and function of lighting in environmental and architectural design.

Humans need to see clearly and comfortably to function, and generally the activity that will take place dictates the way in which the space will be lit. In all cases, the scale of the space is a primary consideration, and we establish contrast by varying the light levels throughout, creating lighter and darker areas – not just for aesthetic purposes but also for the distinct uses within the space. In commercial design, however, the space is lit in a fashion that isn’t always task-oriented, but directionally oriented in order to highlight a product or create atmosphere.

In restaurant spaces, lighting helps achieve the mood one is promised with their dining experience. There is a delicate balance to strike, with too much or too little lighting causing frustration in customers whose meal is marred by a garishly lit table or the inability to see their food or dining companion. We find that too often dining rooms are over lit and believe that as a general rule the most soothing lighting strategy for restaurant patrons is one in which just 25 percent of your light is utilized. Color palette, surface textures, available natural light, hours of operation and focal points/points of interest are just a few of the factors taken into consideration when developing an overall lighting strategy as the goal is to achieve a cohesive look and feel in mood throughout the entire space.

Much the way proper lighting enhances a customer’s experience in a restaurant, it also can create a positive experience in a retail setting. The same basic principles apply, with shoppers’ perceptions of the space and merchandise influenced by a well-executed lighting scheme. Again, levels of brightness should be varied. Spotlights are used deliberately, as are backlit panels, to showcase certain merchandise, with the overall lighting design appropriate to the brand and vibe of the store.

The art of lighting involves creativity, of course, but knowledge of its effects on a subjective level indicates a true professional. Graham Reese Design Group marries art and function to ensure that from every angle your business is seen in the best possible light.

Best Seat in the House- Binion’s Steakhouse at Horseshoe Casino in Tunica

If you’re looking for a dining experience with a little Las Vegas flash but only can get away to, let’s say, Tunica, then you’re in luck. Jack Binion’s Steakhouse at Horseshoe Casino in Tunica has upped the ante on fine dining in the Mississippi Delta region and, because Graham Reese Design Group had a hand in designing the elegant restaurant and bar, we can give you a little insider information about the best seats in the house.

The elegant restaurant strikes a balance between big-city chic and Southern charm, offering intimate tables for a sexy, romantic dinner or seating that gives you a peek behind the scenes. The semi-open kitchen view provides patrons the opportunity to watch the chef and staff bring the menu to life as they create decadent dishes as lavish as the decor. Those who wish for a little privacy can sink into a luxe leather banquette; groups can pull up to a large table in the spacious dining room for an incomparable culinary experience.

Binion’s cocktail lounge is a sophisticated spot in which one might think he is in Vegas if he didn’t know better. Red leather and heavy onyx lend a cool vibe and the illuminated bar provides just the right amount of warmth in an elegant space that opens to the casino floor. Grab a drink and watch the action — or join the action. It’s just steps away.

Whether the occasion is business or pleasure, a memorable dining experience awaits at Binion’s Steakhouse in Tunica, where Vegas flair and big-city aesthetics meet tastefully in a Mississippi Delta casino.

Considerations in Commercial Design

When it comes to commercial design, one size does not fit all. Every project is unique, with its own style, brand and function to consider. While there is no cookie-cutter solution, one can approach each project with a philosophy that guides the design. The core of the philosophy is functionality, around which the various other elements of commercial design will take their cues.

Typically, Graham Reese Design Group’s clients seek an upscale, boutique feel in which rich materials, understated design elements and sophisticated lighting are prominent. Regardless of the scale of the project, a business’s fundamental purpose will serve as the launching pad for our job of interpreting their brand identity in a physical space. After the primary function has been determined, we are tasked with making the space serviceable as well as visually pleasing.

Exceptional commercial design will result in an innovative and inviting branded environment with minimal wasted space. Appropriately laid-out corridors that make navigation easy is vital for customer experience. Design that is conducive to employee productivity is also imperative. Graham Reese Design Group likes utilizing glass where possible to take advantage of the benefits of natural light, which are not only aesthetic but also known to play a part in worker efficiency. Additionally, it is wise to consider incorporating areas that allow people to gather by providing employees with perceived “support spaces” in which coworkers can congregate.

Finally, but certainly not last, Graham Reese Design Group places an emphasis on creating a signature lobby. It is not only a customer’s first impression, but it also marks the beginning of an enterprise’s entire space and sets the tone for the experience one can expect beyond the lobby. If commercial design is executed properly, the foundation of functionality will naturally support a business’s personality as expressed through its brand story.

The Best Seat in the House: Agave Maria

Location, location, location. You hear that phrase time and again in regard to real estate, but in terms of restaurants and bars? Why not? The best seat in the house is prime real estate in a popular eatery or watering hole – only the location doesn’t affect price, just a patron’s experience. Whether the best table provides an excellent vantage point from which to see and be seen or is tucked into a romantic nook, those who score premier seating will feel like the most important people in the place.

At Agave Maria in Downtown Memphis, Graham Reese Design Group created a branded environment that interpreted the restaurant owner’s vision of “Tijuana Chic” – an elevated dining experience in a funky, authentic atmosphere. With details like tufted leather, splashes of fuschia and a taxidermied bull overlooking the dining room, Agave Maria sets itself apart from the typical Tex-Mex restaurant both on the plate and in the decor.

Within this relatively small “kitchen and cantina” are several spots that can be considered best in the house: three booths in the front and the booth in the back provide views of the bar and dining room, as well as the activity of a bustling downtown seen through the windows facing Union Avenue. The high booths are comfortable and intimate, which encourages longer visits, and illuminated by handmade pendant lights from Mexico that make the food look as amazing as it tastes. The wide tables provide elbow room, and comfortably accommodate larger groups meeting up for happy hour. Elevated a step above the floor tables, the booths also provide patrons a measure of privacy while dining and people-watching.

Graham Reese Design Group gave personality to a space by executing their client’s vision for an authentic yet hip experience. The attention to detail ensures that, while there’s not a bad table in the place, customers who get the best seat(s) in the house will feel like VIPs.

Best Seat in the House: Local on the Square

Restaurant and bar design specialists are tasked with balancing flow and function in a space’s layout, so who better to reveal the best seat in the house than these pros? Graham Reese Design Group has been designing restaurants and related hospitality projects for over 22 years, so they truly have the inside track to some of the best seats in Memphis. If they tell you, for instance, where you’ll find the best seats at Local on the Square, then you know you won’t be disappointed if you head right to the ground-floor bar the next time you visit.

Local’s first-floor bar is not simply a waiting room where you pass the time until your table is ready elsewhere. It is the place for folks who want to Eat and Drink Like a Local in Memphis to see and be seen. Views of the room and patio and a community table located nearby make the seats at the bar the house’s choicest spots.

The easily-accessible U-shaped bar provides an excellent vantage point for people-watching as well as engaging with other patrons. There are no corners, just an organic flow that has stood the test of time in barroom design. The wrap-around bar provides customers the opportunity to watch their bartender in action; likewise the customers are always front-and-center as the bartender never has his or her back to anyone while working within the U. Patrons who wish for less interaction with fellow tipplers might choose a seat at either end of the U. If you enjoy getting to know your neighbors, a spot in the middle enables interaction left and right and naturally facilitates conversations, if you are so inclined.

Head upstairs if you are looking for a more cozy spot to sip and socialize. The comfy lounge chairs by the fireplace provide an excellent view of Madison Avenue and Overton Square, as well as a great position from which to watch the game of the day on television. Score one of these premiere spots and Happy Hour just got a whole lot happier.

Generally speaking, the best spots in a bar or restaurant are a matter of personal preference. But interior architecture is deliberate, so trust the experts at Graham Reese Design Group and belly up to bar or claim a lounge chair upstairs the next time you head to Local’s Midtown location.

The Art and Function of Floating Ceilings

Floating ceilings are a trending design element, and they bring both style and function to any space. Adding a floating ceiling to a space will engage corridors and rooms, so that it isn’t just a plain and flat ceiling. This design upgrade is also relatively inexpensive to do, for the impact it will have.

Adding a suspended ceiling has a two way design function. Not only can you dress up your flat ceiling, but you also have the opportunity to conceal any wiring or piping, to avoid negative visual impact. Using a suspended ceiling will also add an engaging and dramatic impact, incorporates a way finding tool, and adds importance to an area of your space. An example in my portfolio is the High Cotton Brewery Tap Room, where I added a floating ceiling above the bar, utilizing colorful wood planks for design, while also highlighting one of the most important areas of the room.

Adding a floating ceiling to a commercial building can also highlight prominent areas for guests, like a reception area or a conference room. When I am designing a commercial office, I prefer to use floating ceilings in design, as the floor and walls need to remain functional. A suspended ceiling allows room for “play” in my design, and helps add an essence of contrast and design without compromising the function of the office. One of my favorite commercial spaces where a floating ceiling added a powerful design element to the space is at Metropolitan Bank, above the reception desk.

Adding a suspended or floating ceiling adds an incredible impact to the design of any space, while also easy on the wallet. I appreciate this design element’s ability to not only add dimension to any space, but provide function to those who use it.

Kooky Canuck

Kooky Canuck is a Canadian restaurant that brings a distinct theme to the city of Memphis. When the restaurant decided to move locations downtown, I took advantage of the opportunity to take his cleaner line, and further advance it by showcasing rustic elements of a classic Canadian Pub, while also hinting a more sophisticated look. Various ceiling heights and floating wood panes give a great composition of space, and I really enjoyed working with the original brick walls and arch to create this space.

Starting with the bar, I used this element as a statement piece for the space. This oversized bar is complete with a red lacquered backdrop and TV’s . There is a secondary element at the bar, as the interior of the restaurant is divided, there is a front and back half of the restaurant. The front of the restaurant is cozy with banquettes and booths, so if the bar is empty, it still looks and feels inviting.

The restaurant is divided into two halves, which allowed me to design for multi functions of the restaurant. The front portion of the space is where the bar and banquettes are, and provide a sophisticated yet cozy dining experience. The back half of the restaurant is filled with tables and chairs, specifically for big groups, like the Mississippi Queen riverboat tours or the City bus tours. This part of the restaurant makes Kooky Canuck the only place in Downtown Memphis that can accommodate that large of a group, and gives them a chance to eat the famous Kookamonga Challenge, which is to eat a 10 pound burger under an hour.

Using dramatic elements in this Canadian restaurant allowed me to add a sophisticated element to a classic Canadian pub. Whether you are touring Memphis as a guest, or a local wanting to enjoy a Memphis classic, the new location is definitely one to visit.

Grizzlies Players Family Lounge

When the Grizzlies players and their families come to the games at the FedEx Forum, they often have families and younger children to consider. Often times, long events can put stress on younger children, so the Grizzlies Ordination felt the need to a family lounge for the players’ families and kids. The key to designing this space was to give function and comfort to these families as they watch the games. This space was designed to cater to both the parents and the kids, and the resulting design was sleek and simple.

I began by creating a more workable kitchen with a breakfast bar, and added another restroom. A secondary nursery was added to this space for the smaller kids. I also added a secondary playroom for the Children that are too old for the nursery, complete with a lower wall so that the parents could easily keep an eye on their kids while they watch the game. Although most of the family members go into the stadium to watch the game live, I felt it was important to add oversized TV’s to this lounge, so that parents with restless children could still see their family members play, and so parents visiting the kitchen do not miss any vital plays.

Designing this space required a lot of focus on functionality. It was important to take into account how the space was to be used by families, and to make a stylish but comfortable lounge for parents and children to enjoy was key. For the parents, I made sure there would be easy access to both the basketball games and the children. For the children, I gave all age groups a place to either play or sleep. I was happy to add another project to my portfolio for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Best Seat in the House – Folks Folly

A nice advantage to designing restaurant spaces, is knowing the best places to sit in order to enjoy all of the elements that the room has to offer. Graham Reese Design group is kicking off the “Best Seat in the House” series, giving you the expert insight on the best seats in Memphis.

Folks Folly Prime Steakhouse is an intimate steak restaurant in East Memphis, and a local tradition when it comes to fine dining. This place offers legendary steak, live music from their grand piano, and valet service; the perfect spot for any occasion. These elements can be amplified, if you know where to sit.

In its small, intimate bar scene, there are two seats in which to enjoy all that this space has to offer. The first seat is a table just across from the stairs that lead into the room. This spot allows guests to see everyone and gain the full experience without being too close to the grand piano or the bustle of the entrance to the room.

The second spot is the last seat on the u-shaped bar. This spot is difficult to reach initially, but once you are there, it gives you a comfy “womb-like” feeling. This seat is intimate and tucked-away, while still allowing guests the ability to be a part of everything. Sitting at the end of the bar also gives you the perfect angle to get all of the bartenders attention.

From both of these highly desirable viewpoints, you can enjoy the rich wood interior, cozy appointments and glowing, active fish tanks. With a good glass of wine or scotch, some good dinner companions and an impeccably prepared Folk’s Folly filet, you will feel like you are living the high life. Enjoy!

The Orchid

A quick way to tell if Graham Reese has designed a space, is to look for an orchid. This flower is a go-to with this design group, because no matter the space, an orchid will add a sensual and simplistic element to any space; commercial, retail, or otherwise.

This flower will instill a zen or comforting feeling to your guests, which is why it is the flower of choice in our spaces.

The Story Behind the Design – 20twelve

20twelve is a high-end clothing store in the Broad Avenue Arts District of Memphis, Tennessee. With its posh interior and upscale brand offerings, it is often referred to as “Barney’s on Broad.” To get this experience, it was the responsibility of the Graham Reese Design Group to convert a space into an experience.

Chantal Johnson, the owner of 20twelve, was hoping to emulate the style of Tom Ford. Tom Ford freely uses French gold in his design, so when it came to the Broad Avenue store, using this metal was the first motive. Rich, exotic woods were also incorporated into the space, along with oversized herringbone floors. Suede walls were placed behind the product shelves to add texture, and rich, sleek metals were placed on the walls to make the high quality items stand out.

To add to the experience, the ceiling of the space was painted with the paint from an Audi Q7 for a ultra high-gloss finish. The ceiling was also adorned with an intricate rail system for a custom chandelier. This rail system allows the chandeliers to be moved about the space for different design looks. This creates a fresh experience for shoppers when they visit.

The high-end design of the space is made to reflect the designer fashions that are sold in the store, and gives the customer the sophisticated shopping experience that they would find on a trip to New York City or Paris. Without this attention to detail, the customers of 20twelve would not have the same experience, and the consumer “buy-in” we are looking for would be lost.

5 Things You Should Know about Restaurant Design

When it comes to designing a restaurant, the expert eye focuses on 5 main elements to draw in customers. At Graham Reese Design Group, restaurant design is an important facet to the portfolio, and there are key things to consider when designing a restaurant space.

1. Create an arrival

How to make an entrance feel like an arrival is something I believe is an extremely important part of the design no not leave out. An entrance should feel more like an arrival to your guests, and if possible, separate from the main dining area. The entrance to a restaurant should give the essence of a grand entrance, or a foyer, or staging area to their dining experience.

2. Create perspectives

The restaurant should have three distinct places to dine; the main dining area, the bar, as well as a lounge. This gives your guests the opportunity to enjoy your restaurant from different perspectives, and so they can find what is most comfortable for them and their occasion.

3. Keep operations in mind

While I like to focus on the customer perspective when designing the space, it is also key to keep in mind the operations of the restaurant. From a big picture standpoint, how the food and drinks go from point A to point B is crucial to having an efficient restaurant, and how the back of house will operate in relation to the front of house. The atmosphere of the restaurant will mean nothing to the customers if the space isn’t able to run efficiently. Design plays a huge role in efficiency.

4. Allow room for table adjustment

How to determine the number of seats in a restaurant is solely based on an operations standpoint. The restaurant must have the ability to quickly turn tables, and the number of seats that are able to be put in the space will directly reflect that.

5. Create a seating variety

For visual depth, it is important to add variety in the seating. Banquettes are important to this visual depth. Another facet to focus on when it comes to seating in your restaurant is the ability and room to move the seating around and adjust according to different sized parties and event seating. Not having enough room or variety will not allow flexibility to the seating, so it is key to make sure that that is noted in the design.

When designing a restaurant, it is important to consider the customer perspective to the operations of the space. Each element of the design as a whole plays an important role in making a space into a successful and delightful environment for guests as well as employees.

What’s Hot in Retail Design

The goal for any retail design is to create a space that makes your guests not just buy, but “buy in.” The design should make them buy in to your story, your brand, and your offerings. When designing a retail space, it is important to focus on the customer experience and how it relates to your story. It is not simply placing products for sale throughout the space. The experience is what will keep the customers returning to your space as loyal patrons.

20twelve is a high-end retail store in the Broad Avenue Arts District of Memphis. Without creating an environment of sophistication using sleek metals and French gold, the customer would not buy into the experience.  Wiseacre Brewery and High Cotton Brewery are two tap rooms local to Memphis TN. These two spaces are excellent storefronts that exemplify brand storytelling and customer experience. The spaces don’t sell beer, they sell a night out with friends in a great atmosphere. All of these spaces require different elements that create an experience that customers will not find elsewhere.

To accomplish a retail storytelling experience, quality design that is relevant to the brand is key. Using pictures, graphics, and art will allow the customers to feel a part of the experience as soon as they enter. Focusing on colors, materials, and flooring also adds to this.

Design is a key element of telling a brand story and drawing customers into a experience. This encourages them to be as passionate about your products as you are. We want people to buy, so we need people to buy in.

The Story Behind the Design – Tamp and Tap East Memphis

Tamp & Tap is a coffeeshop and tap room local to Memphis Tennessee. The first location is in the urban, downtown core, and the second is in an upscale office building. When it came to designing the second location, it was important that the space needed to be designed to reach a different market than its downtown counterpart.

To cater to the upscale business clientele in the building, I incorporated neutral materials, marble, and tufted bar fronts around the space. This space was meant to stray away from the average, dumpy “grind house”, and boast more of a well-travelled, big city feel.

A key feature of this space is the large conference room table on the main floor, with a floor -to-ceiling  transparent screen. This area allows customers an escape from their daily office space, and it gives them a space suitable for work while giving them a change in environment. The screen offers privacy, while the transparency of it keeps guests from feeling trapped or confined.

It is important to keep in mind the demographic of your customers when you are designing.  By providing a sleeker and more elegant coffee cafe for Tamp and Tap’s second location, the customers have a more comfortable and functional space, and the design finishes are continuous with that of the building.

See Inside: Kooky Canuck’s new Downtown location

Oh, Canada! Kooky Canuck is ready to reopen in Downtown Memphis after a slight move.

Formerly located at 97 S. Second St., Kooky Canuck will make its debut at 87 S. Second St. on Friday, Nov. 18, following final building inspections.

“Essentially, it is the same great, fantastic food that people are used to, and it is a whole new beginning,” said Shawn Danko, president of Kooky Canuck.

It was revealed in August that Kooky Canuck would relocate, and a regional Mexican chain, Las Margaritas, would take its old spot.

Now, one day away from wrapping up a 17-day remodel on Kooky Canuck’s new 87 S. Second St. home, Danko said they were actually able to do more with less. The restaurant is 4,000 square feet, which is 1,000 square feet shy of what they previously had, but Graham Reese of Graham Reese Design Group was able to capitalize on the footprint.

“What we tried to do was reincorporate some of the icon items that [Danko] already had, [such as] the logs from the wall,” Reese said. “The other thing we were really doing is breaking down the space so that it has various layers.”

The restaurant has a seating capacity for 140 people, with seating available at the bar, booths or tables located in a side room that can accommodate large groups. The layout breaks the space into three different dining experiences.

“It is a woodsy look, but it also has this industrial feel with steel plates … so it is a mix of what Shawn had done in his last restaurant and the evaluation of that; taking a few items from what he did out in Cordova; and then bringing it over here but in a different application,” Reese said.

In addition to an expanded bar, customers can expect to see technology upgrades with 70-inch TVs, opposed to the 32-inch models at the previous location. A 12-tap draft system that will feature a wider selection of local beers was also added.

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Downtown Kooky Canuck Preparing to Move

Kooky Canuck is moving next door. Montgomery Martin Contractors recently filed a $689,000 building permit to convert the ground floor of 87 S. Second St. By October, Kooky Canuck will vacate its home of 11 years at 97 S. Second St.
Owners Shawn and Lana Danko will expand draft beer offerings and add a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.

Graham Reese Design Group is handling the design.

Cutting-edge salon opening in Midtown

Pavo Salon is about to debut its new “cutting-edge” Midtown location.

An Aveda Lifestyle Salon, Pavo will be housed at 2157 Central Ave. — in the same shopping strip as Urban Outfitters — and will open its doors Nov. 17.

“It was certainly time for us to expand our brand first and foremost,” said Scot Robinson, co-owner of Pavo. “But the other part is, with all the growth that is happening in Midtown, we felt like Midtown was lacking a high-end, very heavily service-oriented salon.”

Robinson and Shawn McGhee founded Pavo in 2000. Their first location was in the Laurelwood Shopping Center.

The new 2,400-square-foot Midtown salon features 15 stations. Facial waxing and mini spa services are offered, but no massages or nails. The Pavo in Laurelwood includes a full-service spa.

“We want our culture to transcend between both places, obviously, but we are also looking to elevate our service,” Robinson said. “So you will no longer see a front desk when you walk in. It will be more like Apple and AT&T, more of a concierge type service. So that is something new that we are bringing to the salon world.”

The salon features a minimalist design that utilizes products that are brand new to the market, like state-of-the-art metal cabinetry.

Graham Reese of Graham Reese Design Group handled the interior and said the design is very fashion forward.

“It is kind of that industrial chic that I think is a new look for salons,” Reese said. “It is not too prissy. It is going to have a great Midtown feel and what Midtown is about, which is not the mainstream.”

Robinson said the salon will have 11 employees to start with and plans to grow that number to roughly 20. Three new stylists were recruited from the Aveda Institute Nashville and two more came from other salons. The remaining employees are current Pavo workers.

The Midtown Pavo will be open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Monday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The energy and excitement that has been around it has certainly been nice,” Robinson said. “What more can you hope for when opening a business?”

The property is owned by Charlie Ryan via Central Cooper Gateway Inc.

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Inside look at new East Memphis restaurant

East Memphis is about to get a little cheesier — but in the best of ways.

Mac’s Burgers, located at 4698 Spottswood, is planning to serve what restaurant owner Lee Adams calls a “gourmet burger and mac-n-cheese bar.”

“We are trying to bring the Midtown food scene out East,” Adams said.

Adams, of Adams Restaurant Services LLC, also owns Dan McGuinness, TJ Mulligan’s and Last Burger on Earth (LBOE).

Graham Reese Design Group is handling the interior on Mac’s, and Brett Wyatt Construction is in charge of building. Adams did not want to give an exact figure but said renovation costs are around $300,000-$500,000.

Part of that renovation is for wooden garage doors that will allow the outdoor patio seating to flow into the restaurant. In total there should be dining space for around 140 customers. Mac’s menu items will range from $5.95-$12.95, and 10-12 draft beers will be available, with a focus on local brews.

“This place probably isn’t going to be the spot where you have 20 guys sitting around the bar drinking pitchers of beer watching ball games,” Adams said. “I see more of families dealing with this place.”

However, if you’d like to watch a game, Mac’s will have that covered. The restaurant plans to mount TVs throughout the space with the option for a larger projection screen that can come down in front of the bar.

For all the loyal Dan McGuinness patrons, don’t worry. Now located next door at 4694 Spottswood, the Irish pub trimmed down to accommodate its 4,200-square-foot Mac’s neighbor, but all the pool tables and games are still there. Customers who want to order food at McGuinness will be handed a Mac’s menu, and the food will be brought to them.

Mac’s will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Adams says people at McGuinness after the Mac’s kitchen closes are welcome to order takeout from any restaurant in the area and have it delivered.

“You’re late-night parting and it’s one o’clock in the morning and you want a pizza, call Dominos,” Adams said. “We don’t care.”

Construction on Mac’s should wrap up the end of May, with a projected opening date for mid-June.

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Developer lines up construction team for $4M Downtown Memphis rehab

The developer behind a planned $4 million, mixed-use rehab project in Downtown Memphis has assembled his construction team as he lines up financing.

Earl Blankenship, chairman and CEO of Mercury Investment Management, said he hopes to close on a loan by the end of January, then secure a nearly $410,000 payment-in-lieu-of-tax incentive from the Downtown Memphis Commission, to begin renovating the buildings at 85, 87 and 91 S. Second St.

Cendown Ltd. LP — a partnership that includes Blankenship and the Canale family, owners of D. Canale & Co. — plans to convert the buildings into 16 apartment units and two restaurants by the end of 2015, as I previously reported.

The company is currently seeking a $2.2 million building permit for “interior renovation” at 85 S. Second St., foreshadowing the closure of the loan, Blankenship said.

The permit unveils the construction team: Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC will be the general contractor and Graham Reese Design Group will be the architect. Also, Blankenship added, creative design firm Farmhouse will provide the branding and marketing for the project.

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Tamp & Tap Preparing East Memphis Location

Tamp & Tap, the popular Downtown restaurant and coffee shop, has applied for a building permit for its East Memphis location.

Tamp & Tap applied for a $244,494 building permit through the Office of Construction Code Enforcement for its location at 6070 Poplar Ave. inside Highwoods Properties Inc.’s Triad Centre III office building in East Memphis.

Earlier this year, Tamp & Tap, located at 122 Gayoso Ave., inked a lease for 2,785 square feet in the office building on Poplar near Shady Grove. Dan Walker Associates Inc. is the contractor, and Graham Reese Design Group is the architect.

Office move heralds new future for Marston Group

When The Marston Group PLC, a Memphis-based certified public accounting and financial consulting firm, held an open house in recent weeks at its new digs, the evening portion of the event lasted from 7 till later in the night, with the last person leaving around 10.
[Click to view]

The Marston Group PLC offices at 1661 International Drive in the building known as the Colonnade.

The next day, when senior partner and CEO Chip Marston talked about the event, the energy and excitement from the night before was still there – about how far his firm has come and about what is on the horizon.

“We wanted to celebrate with clients and give them a chance to visit with each other,” Marston said of the festivities Jan. 23, which included breakfast, lunch and evening gatherings to celebrate the firm’s move to 1661 International Drive. “It’s a fun space. It’s bright, warm and inviting. There’s also a tremendous amount of art in our office, artists that all have Memphis roots.”

The company moved to the second floor of the 89,000-square-foot, four-story building there known as the Colonnade. It was a relocation from Primacy Parkway that was needed because the firm’s clients and business have grown, and The Marston Group wanted to rethink the functionality of its workspace and layout design after being in the same place for almost 20 years with three expansions.

Marston described the new space as a better match for the firm’s corporate identity and more convenient for clients – as well as a “brighter, more vibrant office environment inside.” Graham Reese of Graham Reese Designs helped fashion the space and make it a good fit for the accounting firm’s more than 25 employees.

“It’s going to be a very dynamic year for us,” Marston said, referring to both the new office and the fact the firm is continuing to add to its ranks.

Recently, for example, The Marston Group – which was founded in 1985 – added Terry Courtenay as a member of the firm’s practice.

Courtenay, a certified public accountant, has experience providing tax and advisory services to predominantly family-held businesses, and he’s worked with a variety of businesses, including in the fields of real estate and agriculture.

“Over the last year, Bill Drummond also joined us from Ernst & Young to lead our audit and financial reporting area,” Marston said. “And Terry Courtenay merged his practice into ours. We have both of those guys providing experience and leadership now, and we’ve also added a senior manager in the financial reporting ranks, plus others. We really deepened the bench and broadened our service offerings.”

The Marston Group works with both individuals and companies, with the individuals often being members of multigenerational families who own companies, trusts or estates.

The firm’s services include accounting and consulting, tax preparation, general business consulting, litigation support for contract disputes and divorces, and also the attest function, an independent review of data and research from an audit.

Besides accounting, the firm is known for its mentorship. Senior leaders make themselves available to provide expertise and advice to a number of startup-related and entrepreneurial initiatives around town, including Marston and Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Dickey taking on mentorship roles for last year’s Everywhere Else Startup Conference.

“Many of our clients were entrepreneurs who grew their ideas into successful businesses,” Marston said. “We feel passionately about community involvement and helping companies get started on the right foot. Our staff has donated a tremendous amount of time to be mentors.”

On his biography page on the firm’s website, Marston has included a quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca: “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” It reflects what he presents as the evolving nature of the firm and its work – and its adaptability.

“People like to say that death and taxes are the only thing that’s certain – but the other thing to add to that is change,” Marston said. “We’re constantly evolving as a company. Our new space reflects that. We wanted it to be productive, relaxing and energizing. We wanted clients to be comfortable and warm at the office. And it’s fun. We’re having fun.”

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