Young Ave. Deli
In any given day or night, you’re likely to find a crowd at Young Avenue Deli — a hodgepodge of people eating, drinking, laughing, listening to live music, or enjoying the patio. Opened in the mid-nineties, Young Avenue Deli has become a quintessentially Memphis locale, attracting locals and tourists alike for its menu of tasty eats, extensive beer selection (nearly 40 on tap and more than 100 bottled and canned varieties!), and totally Midtown feel.
Owner Tiger Bryant, who also owns the nearby Soul Fish Café, another C-Y mainstay, took the reins at Young Avenue Deli in 1998. He says part of the Deli’s appeal and ability to endure lies in its accessibility and in the neighborhood itself, citing that people come to the area for its diversity of offerings and stay for its welcoming, comfortable feel.
“There’s really no spit and polish in Cooper-Young,” Bryant says. “It’s kind of come-as-you-are, whether that’s in a tuxedo after a party, or after work, still in your work clothes.”
It’s safe to say that anyone who considers themselves a true Memphian has indulged in a pile of the Deli’s how-are-these-so-good fries. Or won a game of pool or foosball while listening to a perfectly picked soundtrack via the internet jukebox. Or caught up with old friends over a few local beers served up by the now-familiar bartenders.
You might run into “Angry Bob” (if you’ve seen him, you know) or see local musician Harlan T. Bobo sitting solo sipping a pint. Or you may not recognize a single person there, but either way, it’ll feel a bit like a home away from home. “I’ve been in the restaurant business for a long time, and Cooper-Young is definitely one of the more accepting and welcoming neighborhoods in Memphis, whether you’re a millionaire or someone on a student’s budget,” Bryant says. “It’s just a mix of it all.”