The Metropolitan Planning Commission will this week vet plans for a 222-room, eight-story hotel with a street-level wine bar, submitted by architects Ragan-Smith Associates on behalf of the tract's owner, RMR TN-West End, a local arm of Memphis-based real estate investor Robert M. Rogers.
What does Music City need less of? Record stores! What do we need more of? Street-level wine bars! For many audiophiles, the legitimacy of 2400 West End died when the F.Y.E.-Tower switch first went down (i.e., roughly four years ago, when F.Y.E. won the location’s 5-year lease at auction). I’ll admit it: Other than going to see Mr. Belding do karaoke there and the time a couple months back when I bought my lady-friend a copy of Pineapple Express, I haven’t really visited F.Y.E. since the change. Still, a record store closing is a record store closing, and now — with no Cat’s, Tower, Great Escape, F.Y.E. or Turtle’s — Grimey’s is the only record shop in what Grimey’s honcho Doyle Davis calls the “downtown/midtown/West End area.” “I think this shows the way things are going,” says Davis. “The only stores hanging in there and/or thriving are indies and I can’t for the life of me imagine anybody opening a new record store but some delusionally passionate music fanatic, i.e. one of us.”