Daily Briefs

By Updated: March 14, 2019 6:08 PM CT | Published: March 13, 2019 3:52 PM CT
  • Cookston's Memphis BBQ Co. to open Lake District restaurant
  • Cafe featuring agave syrup to open in E. Memphis
  • Humane Society to host annual Fast & The Furriest 5k Run
  • Loewenberg College of Nursing to host ACEs Symposium
  • Chelsea Clinton to visit Memphis Zoo in support of new children's book
  • Women’s Foundation announces 2019 Legends Award honorees
  • Memphian to make difference in city through art, business, and music 
  • Shelby County Opioid Summit comes to Memphis Thursday 

Cookston's Memphis BBQ Co. to open Lake District restaurant

Melissa Cookston is expanding her Memphis BBQ Co. chain into The Lake District, the 160-acre mixed-use development being built on the site of the former Belz Factory Outlet Mall in Lakeland.

The seven-time world barbecue champion announced her plans Thursday, saying the 5,500-square-foot restaurant would open in summer 2020. It will be the third Memphis BBQ Co. location, following the flagship restaurant in Horn Lake, Mississippi, and a location in Dunwoody, Georgia.

Cookston, who was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2017, has authored two cookbooks: “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room” and “Smokin’ Hot in the South.” She also owns Steak by Melissa, a steak restaurant in Southaven.

The Lakeland project marks her first restaurant in Tennessee.

“Expanding into Tennessee has been a goal of ours for some time, but we wanted to make sure our first impression was big, bold, and memorable,” she said in a release. “When we learned about The Lake District, we knew this was it; the vision aligns with our commitment to serving the best barbecue you've ever had.”

The Lake District, which is being developed by Los Angeles-based Gilad Development, is slated to include retail and restaurants; 75,000 square feet of office space; two hotels; multifamily units, including age-restricted apartments; custom-built homes; and a 10-acre lake. The first phase is expected to open in 2020.

Last March, Gilad Development announced the project’s first tenant would be The Stock Market, an independently owned, upscale grocery store. Malco Theatres Inc. is planning a 38,000-square-foot movie theater; other tenants include Gould’s Salon and Spa, Osaka Japanese Restaurant, Gloss Nail Bar, Brick House Fitness, Mojito’s Latin Restaurant, Crave Bistro, Crave Sweets and Hollywood Feed.

-Kate Crawford

Cafe featuring agave syrup to open in E. Memphis

A café that specializes in agave-sweetened syrups is to open in June where E’s 24 Hour Café closed at 3139 Poplar, near East High.

Agave’D Café will open in the freestanding, 1,247-square-foot building, part of Shops of Chickasaw Gardens, according to a release from landlord Loeb Properties.

 Agave is a succulent plant found in Mexico and parts of the Southwest. The café will serve house-made agave syrups in sweet teas, lemonades, coffees, Italian sodas and more.

Business owner Lacey Lauterio first opened Agave’D in Los Angeles using agave syrups to make cocktails she says are healthier. The business started in LA-area farmers' markets and expanded to sales of the natural agave syrups to hospitality businesses in LA and Las Vegas.

Having moved to Memphis last year, she’s now opening a café-style storefront.

“… Because agave syrup is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, we can use less calories to sweeten our drinks,” Lauterio said in the release. “It’s a win-win for your body and for your taste buds.”

Humane Society to host annual Fast & The Furriest 5K Run

The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County will host its 10th annual The Fast & The Furriest 5K Run on March 16.

The run is the only certified 5K run where dogs are not only welcome, but are encouraged to join. The event brings together between 800 to 1,000 animal lovers racing with their dogs each year, according to a release.

Participants can choose to compete in the 5K with or without chip timing, or stroll in a one-mile walk.  Each participant will receive a commemorative Humane Society’s The Fast & The Furriest 5K Run shirt along with their registration.

After the race, participants are encouraged to relax and enjoy the afternoon on the Humane Society lawn with an awards ceremony, music and food vendors.

For more information contact Kristen Walker at 901-937-3943 or at

-Natalie Martin

Loewenberg College of Nursing to host ACEs Symposium

The Loewenberg College of Nursing will host the ACEs Symposium: Awareness to Action, Friday, April 5, from 8 a.m. to noon in the Holiday Inn Ballroom at the University of Memphis. 

The symposium, funded by the Urban Child Institute, will feature keynote speaker,Wendy Ellis, the project director for the Building Community Resilience Collaborative at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

For more information, email Michelle Wright, ACE/PAM project manager for the Loewenberg College, at

The event is free and open to the public, and you can register online for it here.

-Natalie Martin

Chelsea Clinton to visit Memphis Zoo in support of new children's book

Chelsea Clinton is stopping at the Memphis Zoo next month in support of her new children’s book, “Don’t Let Them Disappear: Twelves Endangered Species Across the Globe.”

The tour stop is scheduled for April 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the zoo’s Teton Trek exhibit.

“Don’t Let Them Disappear” introduces young readers to 12 endangered animals – including rhinos, tigers, whales and pandas – and highlights what makes them special and what threatens them. It also provides tips on how to help prevent the animals from disappearing completely.

Tickets are $25, which includes one presigned copy of the book and admission for up to four family members. Additional books will be available to buy at the event but will not be signed.

Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, is the author of several children’s books, including the New York Times bestsellers “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World” and “She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History.”

Tickets and more information are available on the Memphis Zoo’s website.

-Kate Crawford

Women’s Foundation announces 2019 Legends Award honorees

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis’ 2019 Legends Award honorees are Meri Armour, Rev. Cheryl Beard, Claudia Haltom and Dr. Indurani Tejwani.

The Legends Award Reception is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at The Columns at One Commerce Square. Tickets are available.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the awards, which pay tribute to women’s visionary and innovative work. In addition to the event, art and prose are created in the honor of each woman; those will be unveiled at the reception.

Armour, the outgoing president and CEO of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, will receive the Innovation Award.

Beard, a minister of the Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church and advocate for children for families for more than 30 years, will receive the Catalyst Award.

Haltom, who retired after 17 years in the juvenile court system, founded A Step Ahead Foundation, a nonprofit that provides long-term, reversible contraceptives to women without the means to afford them. She will receive the Catalyst Award.

Tejwani has supported women and children in Memphis for more than 50 years as a philanthropist, obstetrician and gynecologist and is a founding member of WFGM. She will receive the Philanthropy and Leadership Award.

 “We are proud to honor four women who have made it their life’s work to make Memphis a better place,” said WFGM executive director Ruby Bright, in a release. “This year we are honoring a trailblazer in education, a champion for social justice, an advocate for children and a committed philanthropist. Each legend is very deserving of this honor.”

-Elle Perry

Memphian to make difference in city through art, business, and music

A native Memphian is determined to make a positive difference in the city and nationally through art, business, and music with his movement, “RESPECT MY CITY.”

The movement was organized and founded by Memphian, James Davis, and is an effort to "get Memphians to appreciate and value their city more, while at the same time leading to the city key decision makers and influencers,” according to a release.

“Memphis is a great city with a lot of progression, but unfortunately the drawback is that there’s the negativity that gets more of the focus and attention,” Davis said in a release. “This negativity – poor economics, an underserving educational system and substantial race-relation issues has been a big part of the Memphis narrative, locally and nationally. In order for Memphis to really propel forward, then Memphians have to stand up more for the city in which they live.”

The movement will “shed light and positivity” on some of those key components in Memphis, according to a release.

In addition, the movement is a celebration of the city with the Memphis Fusion Art Show & Mixer, the Business Connect Weekend and the Celebrate 901 Concert. These events will take place at different venues around the city, and there will also be community pop-ups to get residents from all over to embrace the positivity in their immediate districts.

For more information, click here.  

-Natalie Martin


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