Bryant’s breakfast in Memphis will reopen on Wednesday after being closed for 4 months
Bryant’s Breakfast is more than just a place to find a mighty, fine breakfast. It is one of those “unique meeting places in Memphis”.
For more than 50 years, Bryant’s Breakfast has served hungry Memphians and is a hangout for people from all over the city.
Prior to the pandemic, diners were in rows winding their way through the dining room, often extending to the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.
Freshly baked Mediterranean cookies, fluffy pancakes, full breakfast plates, omelets, and decadent cinnamon rolls are a handful of the menu items that guests would patiently wait for.
After closing for about four months, Bryant will reopen Wednesday morning.
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Brent Westbrook, a lifelong Memphian, has dined at Bryant’s for as long as he can remember. As an adult, he regularly comes to Bryant for breakfast with his teenage sons. “This is the crown jewel on Summer Avenue. It’s definitely a place worth waiting in line for, ”he said at the restaurant’s practice run on Tuesday.
This legendary family-run restaurant in Memphis has changed hands – but it won’t change its signature menu of semolina, country ham, biscuits with gravy, and other downhome items.
Bryant’s Breakfast, which serves “Real Food Since 1968”, was sold in early March to veteran restaurateurs Judd and David Tashie, cousins who own and operate the Ciao Bella Italian grill in East Memphis and also own part of the venerable Park Avenue Pete & Sam’s restaurant. They also recently purchased La Baguette, another decade-old Memphis restaurant facility.
Bryant’s is located in the summer of 3965 and will be closed in late November due to COVID-19 restrictions. In December, owner Phil Bryant, whose parents had started the restaurant as a grill place more than half a century earlier, announced that the restaurant was up for sale. He later discovered that he had undergone cancer treatment and that the restaurant had become an emergency.
Paul Tashie, Judd’s father, is grateful to his son and nephew for saving the restaurant. “This is a point of contact for so many. To see it die would be an injustice, ”he said, adding that he has been a customer for decades.
Judd Tashie said not only does the menu stay the same, but the staff too. He and David Tashie have brought back most of the original team that previously worked at Bryant’s.
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“All the regulars are back. Diane, Jeff and Nolvia are all here, ”said General Manager Richard Lucchesi. “Amanda Rodrigo, who we call the ‘Biscuit Queen’, is making the cookies again. We hope if he feels like it, Phil [Bryant] will come and sit at the counter. “
Lucchesi said to ensure the food stays exactly the same as it was owned by the Bryant family, they all kept the same vendors, including local suppliers like Turner Dairy and Charlie’s Meat Market.
Another thing that hasn’t changed is that Bryant’s is just cash. “We wanted to leave everything as it was,” said Judd Tashie, adding that he could potentially add an ATM to the restaurant.
“Summer Avenue is arguably the most international street in Memphis. Food and faith are the glue that brings these different cultures together, ”said Father Ben Bradshaw of St. Michael Catholic Church as he blessed Bryants on the Monday morning before it opened.
I’ve always thought that eating together was good – it’s about community and that’s what Bryant is about. “
Currently the restaurant is only open Wednesdays through Sundays. Tashie said he plans to expand on Monday and Tuesday as the business grows.
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter for The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.
At a glance
Where: 3695 Summer Ave.
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 5 a.m. – 2 p.m. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Phone: (901) 324-7494
Note: Cash only