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Table Talk: New Sunrise opens next month; Crazy Italians closes
Sunrise Memphis co-owner Ryan Trimm recently decided the restaurant should be open Mondays again. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian file)

Sunrise Memphis co-owner Ryan Trimm recently decided the restaurant should be open Mondays again. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian file)

When Sunrise Memphis opened on Jefferson Avenue in 2017, it served on Mondays briefly — and was also open 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. — but even in those pre-pandemic days, it was a hard schedule to keep. Getting folks to work that early seven days a week was never an easy task.

Not long after, Monday became a day of rest and eventually, COVID shut the restaurant down. When it reopened, its hours were Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This week, co-owner Ryan Trimm decided they were finally ready for Mondays again and quietly opened the doors.


Jennifer Biggs: Popular restaurant takes over Blue Plate space

“Even thinking about it after COVID was too much stress on the staff, but now we’re comfortable enough with who we have that we decided to try it,” Trimm said. “I was pleasantly surprised. We didn’t announce it anywhere and only put a sign on the marquee around 10 a.m. saying ‘Now open on Mondays,’ but we did about 70% of what we did on Tuesday.

“People just stopped in and said they could tell we were open, and they were glad. We were a lot busier than I anticipated.”

The former Blue Plate Cafe on Poplar Avenue has undergone an extensive renovation and will soon reopen as a Sunrise. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)

He’s also been busier than expected at the soon-to-open Sunrise location in East Memphis, coming next month to 5469 Poplar Ave., the former home of Blue Plate Café. The renovations to that building, which started life as a family home in a subdivision built by the late Kemmons Wilson in 1954, have been more extensive than expected.


“We ended up doing a complete renovation, even taking up the flooring and redoing the plumbing,” Trimm said. “We did the kitchen, really the whole place, and, of course, we’re redecorating. It just takes time, particularly with COVID.”

He now expects the restaurant to open within the next six weeks or so, and it will be open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. And, yes, of course he needs additional staff, so if you know someone looking for a job, send them to Sunrise.

Jennifer Biggs: Restaurant reviews return with a real ‘Beauty’

Staff shortages continue to be a big issue for most restaurants and, sadly, it has resulted in the closing of Crazy Italians in Cordova. The news was shared on the restaurant’s Facebook page, along with a candid explanation of the struggles of trying to hire staff in the pandemic. Ultimately, they relied on teenagers, who are now back in school. The farewell message reads in part:

A mozzarella e prosciutto di Parma appetizer from Crazy Italians. (Jennifer Biggs/The Daily Memphian)



“We are sad to be forced to make this decision, but there is hope! We hope you enjoyed our food, videos, and stories.

We hope you will hold good memories of our little place. We will. Grazie for the support, the patience, the curiosity, the nice words, the encouragement. All this will stay with us forever.”

Sorry to see another local restaurant close, and we hope to see the Crazy Italians back someday.

This morning an email came with this subject line, “Best Places for BBQ: Did Your City Make the Cut?”

These come all the time, several times a month. The reason you don’t read about many of them here is because they are ridiculous. I’m not saying all rankings are; if someone from Memphis is a Food & Wine Best New Chef (as Jose Gutierrez, Kelly English, Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer have been), I’ll write about that.

Jennifer Biggs: New Eats: Tuyen’s Asian Bistro on Cleveland becoming a hot spot

If Tripadvisor reports that Flight is the highest-ranked restaurant in customer satisfaction in the country (that’s happened, too), then sure, a story.

But save me from these constant rankings, like this one, which puts Memphis as No. 11 (and Nashville at 4) and also takes the time to point out this fact:

“In addition, Memphis has hosted a Kansas City Barbeque Society Master Series BBQ competition in the last 10 years (2012-2022).”

I’m not picking on Kansas City, which is also a legit barbecue town yet fared only slightly better than Memphis, coming in at No. 10 (Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida, were ahead of us, people), but I need to point out that this is Memphis, and they’re talking about a Kansas City Barbeque competition? Not a mention of the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Come on. That’s just wrong, and I’m not only talking about the spelling of barbecue (with a C, as per AP style).

Like this one, many of the rankings pitches that come in my inbox are just silly. I’ll see it somewhere on social media today and people will be talking about it, and that’s fine. Join in, have fun, agree, disagree, mock the criteria, do whatever you want. But we don’t report on surveys that use Google searches, Yelp reviews and Kansas City barbeque contests as metrics. We like to rank after we’ve tasted the food.

Jennifer Biggs: Karen Carrier’s influence on Memphis dining; Digging into breakfast barbecue

Speaking of, tune in to this week’s Sound Bites to hear about how Chris Herrington and I can’t help but apply rankings to what we eat. The Herringtons apparently love to rank everything; 12-year-old Ben recently ranked the rooms in their home! Ha! 

We talk about it because reviews have returned, more than two years after they stopped because of COVID, and we discuss the process and talk a little about the reviews going forward.

Beauty Shop’s Lucky Pot features saffron, coconut juice, lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger broth, ramen, avocado, watermelon, herbs, peanuts, shiso, cilantro, Thai basil and rai rum. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)

Our first new review was of the Beauty Shop and came in conjunction with the Cooper-Young restaurant’s 20th anniversary, which was celebrated last weekend. Spoiler: I love it as much as ever. 

Another place I love: Tuyen’s Asian Bistro. Tuyen Le, one of the sisters from Saigon Le, has only been open a few weeks but has dealt with her cook leaving just before opening day and hordes of loyal Saigon Le customers eager to get back in. She’s pulled it together in record time, and her food is as good as her restaurant is small.

The South Philly sandwich at Fino’s is now a salad, too. (Chris Herrington/The Daily Memphian)

Fino’s will make any sandwich a salad, as Chris Herrington reports in our weekly $10 Deal. I’d rather have a hearty salad than a sandwich any day, so this is good news for me (and OK, maybe I would rather have the sandwich, but you cut the carbs and calories where you can). 

I hope you read Jane Roberts’ story on the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, and if you haven’t, click here and thank me later. I had the opportunity to ride with and write about this group some years ago and it was a moving experience, one Roberts captures well in her story. Great photos by Patrick Lantrip, too. 

Neil Strebig reports that the food truck Boujee Bistro is opening a brick-and-mortar location in the Court Square space that most of us remember as The Yellow Rose. Now that’s a place I miss; I can’t even begin to count the number of vegetable plates I ate there over the years, and those red beans and rice were killer. 

Peggy Burch tells us about Ephraim Urevbu’s plans for an art gallery with a vegan restaurant in a dilapidated building on Jackson Avenue. Monique Williams of Biscuits & Jams in Bartlett will operate the restaurant. 

Paula Naumcheff says the key to this coconut cake recipe is the coconut milk: “Using coconut milk adds another layer of coconut goodness to this fragrant cake with a rich crumb,” she wrote. (Courtesy

Earlier this week, I also shared the recipe for the coconut cake from Paula Naumcheff’s Sweet Bistro in Cooper-Young, closed but not forgotten, by reader request. Remember to keep your requests coming; so far, I’ve only been told no once, so chances are good I can get your recipe if you let me know what you want. 

Finally, here’s something fun coming up you’ll want to put on your calendar for next week. Crosstown Brewing Company has a new beer to honor the mastodon at the Museum of Science and History, and they’re having a release party on Thursday, Aug. 18 at the museum. You’ll get to drink the new double IPA and see a laser show in the planetarium and enjoy live music by the Lucky 7 Brass Band. Tickets are $35, seating is limited and you must be 21 or older to attend. Proceeds support MoSH’s programs and activities for area students, and you can get yours by clicking here.

Have a great week, and if I’ve already turned you on to the Waffle Game (my current favorite of the daily word puzzles), I have good news: You might not know there’s a Deluxe Waffle released every Monday. It’s a larger puzzle with 7-letter words and you get 25 moves to solve it. Enjoy! 

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