Daily Briefs

By Updated: March 15, 2019 5:08 PM CT | Published: March 14, 2019 5:15 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

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 "healthier" cocktails. 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.”

-Tom Bailey

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


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