The Early Word: Starbucks wins in court, but board rejects Whataburger

Bianca Phillips By , Daily Memphian
Updated: June 14, 2024 6:21 AM CT | Published: June 14, 2024 6:21 AM CT Premium

Happy Friday, Memphis. It’s June 14, which is both Flag Day and National Bourbon Day, so cheers to America, y’all. It’s also opening night of Tone’s Juneteenth celebration, which kicks off with a spades tournament. And the con-man-inspired musical, “Catch Me if You Can,” opens at Playhouse on the Square.

You could spend the whole day in Crosstown on Saturday, but bring your wallet. There’s the Crafts & Drafts festival on the Crosstown Concourse plaza, a vintage clothing sale at Blue Suede Vintage and Bendy Beast Fitness is hosting a grand opening — all within one block. If you’ve got money left, head Downtown for the first End of All Art pop-up.

Sunday is Father’s Day, and you can treat dad to a plant-based meal at the Memphis Vegan Festival. But maybe buy him some bourbon, too, because, with dads, every day is National Bourbon Day (or at least that’s the case with my dad). For more weekend fun, check out the To-Do List.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Starbucks in a case that stemmed from union organizing at the Poplar Avenue and Prescott Street location. It’s a decision that may make it more difficult for a federal agency to intervene when a company is accused of illegally interfering with union organizing. In 2022, seven Memphis Starbucks employees were fired, which they alleged was in retaliation for their votes for union representation. Later that year, a U.S. District judge ordered Starbucks to reinstate the workers, and last year, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling. Starbucks then appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled this week that federal courts must show that fired workers are likely to face irreparable harm if not reinstated while their case is in court. 

Midtown Whataburger fans, you may have to drive to Germantown Parkway to get your Triple Meat Whataburger fix. The Land Use Control Board rejected a plan to build a new Whataburger at the site of the old Crump Station police precinct on Union Avenue. The plan included a drive-thru, which the LUCB deemed inconsistent with the city’s design guidelines for the area. (Nevermind that Union is already a sea of chain-restaurant drive-thrus.)

Plus, the Foote Homes redevelopment hits a milestone, friends open a Japanese ramen chain and we’ve got your last-minute shopping guide for foodie fathers.


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Bianca Phillips

Bianca Phillips

Bianca Phillips is a Northeast Arkansas native and longtime Memphian with two decades of experience in local journalism and public relations. She’s a diehard morning person who spends her free time training for marathons and ultras. And she’s the author of “Cookin Crunk: Eatin’ Vegan in the Dirty South.”


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