South of the tracks: U of M seeks improved path between campuses

By , Special to the Daily Memphian Updated: October 04, 2018 1:26 PM CT | Published: October 04, 2018 10:03 AM CT
<strong>Brad Wilbanks moved his Sam&rsquo;s Deli to 645 S. Highland in late June. &ldquo;This place was a real rat hole,&rsquo;&rsquo; he said of the building. Friends warned Wilbanks he moved to the &ldquo;sketchy&rsquo;&rsquo; side of the tracks, but he sees opportunity there. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s only sketchy if you live in fear. I don&rsquo;t live in fear.&rsquo;&rsquo;</strong> (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)

Brad Wilbanks moved his Sam’s Deli to 645 S. Highland in late June. “This place was a real rat hole,’’ he said of the building. Friends warned Wilbanks he moved to the “sketchy’’ side of the tracks, but he sees opportunity there. “It’s only sketchy if you live in fear. I don’t live in fear.’’ (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)

Just south of the tracks on South Highland Avenue, the new Sam’s Deli restaurant churned out huge sandwiches for a lively Friday lunch crowd. Country music filled the room, as well as the mountings of five deer heads, a big bass and bobcat. A dozen diners, including one accompanied by his dog on the front deck, consumed sandwiches so big that half a ham-and-cheese could not quite fit into a carryout box.

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Brad Wilbanks Cody Fletcher Sam's Deli University Neighborhoods Development Corp. University of Memphis
Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey retired in January as a business reporter at The Daily Memphian, and after 40 years in journalism. A Tupelo, Mississippi, native, he graduated from Mississippi State University. He has lived in Midtown for 36 years.


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