On its opening weekend last Sunday evening, Paul and I visited Loflin Yard — a new bar and eatery in Downtown Memphis. Loflin Yard defies categorization as a place to eat, drink and hang out. While Loflin may be inspired by the concept of Bacchanal, the funky wine bar and eatery in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, the owner-developers made sure this space is Memphis made.
Your first order of business is to order drinks in the Safe House bar. The Safe House once supported three-generations of the Loflin family’s locksmith business memorialized with a glass countertop of old keys and a massive safe. Pick out a bottle of wine, a local craft beer or one of Loflin’s barrel-aged cocktails (we ordered a bottle of Chenin Blanc to share). With drink in hand, you’re ready for the Yard.
Venture onto the covered patio which spans the beautifully landscaped Gayoso Bayou creek and take in the view of Loflin Falls. Find a seat at a picnic table, an Adirondack chair or a stacked rubber tire. By this point, the savory scents from the outdoor smokehouse should draw you back to the Safe House to order food from the back window.
Business on opening weekend must have been brisk. The kitchen sold out of the Cheese Plate and Sweet Potato Salad. No worries. We ordered Beef Brisket (⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2), the Watermelon Salad (⭐️⭐️⭐️), Crispy Peanut Slaw (⭐️⭐️⭐️), and Street Corn (⭐️⭐️⭐️). Take a few setups back to your seat with your order number. Staff will find you when your food is ready.
Your food comes on large metal trays for all to share. The brisket lived up to the savory wafts from the Smoke House. The sweet watermelon, peppery arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction provided a fresh counterbalance to the creamy and spicy peanut slaw and roasted corn.
After all that great food, we were ready for something sweet to drink. Our group tried the Mezcal Negroni (made with tequila instead of gin) and the Boulevardier (like a Negroni but with bourbon). ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Other than simple relaxation, Loflin Yard offers recreation: horseshoes, a dart board, and a ring toss between the columns of the Coach House. The ring toss consists of releasing a metal ring at the end of a string hung between two columns on the front porch of the Coach House in the hope that the ring will fall onto a hook on the side of column. The ring toss attracted several guests who celebrated success in overcoming gusty wind conditions.
Two of the co-owners who were present during our visit, Taylor Berger and John Planchon, told us the interior of the Coach House will be completed on Friday of this week. The space will offer additional restrooms, private event space, and ping-pong tables.
The fun in this unique space is just beginning.