The Edge District, a neighborhood situated between the Medical District and Downtown core, has gained a very popular Memphis restaurant: Chef Tam’s Underground Café.
Since opening in March 2017, chef and owner Tamra Eddy has been serving her creative and delicious soul food cuisine out of a 1,200-square-foot house in the Cooper-Young area. The new location is at 668 Union Ave., just west of the historic Blues City Tours and Sun Studio.
“Cooper-Young has blessed us, but now we are ready for the next steps,” Eddy said. “I plan to include everything on my current menu, plus add some new items and a full bar,” she added.
Chef Tam’s Underground Café is now a 5,000-square-foot destination. Whereas her dining room once could only sit 40 guests, she can now seat up to 150.
But on Dec. 27, Chef Tam opened up her doors for a sneak peek of her new space and I was honored to have been in the building.
As you approach the restaurant, you’ll be captured by a bright red sign that reads Chef Tam’s Underground Café – Est. 2017. Once through the doors, you’ll be immediately hit with the aromas of your favorite Chef Tam cuisine.
The new location also features a spacious waiting area as well as a Soul Food Super Store that includes Underground Café merchandise, Chef Tam’s seasonings and your favorite nostalgic candy.
On the way to your table, you’ll probably be distracted by a festive hallway decorated with beautiful lights, blown-up recipes and paintings of Chef Tam and her inspirations – the many cooks in her family.
“My father owned a restaurant, my paternal grandmother was a professional baker, and my maternal grandfather owned a barbecue restaurant and was a pit-master,” Tam told me in a previous interview. “They have all passed away, however every time I step into the kitchen, I stand on their shoulders.”
In this new space, much like the old one, she continues to show appreciation to her ancestors, making sure they are included in the details of the restaurant.
The hallway leads to the main dining room, which is now fully equipped with a bar, several tables and also a live music stage.
Also there are two private dining rooms, including one on the second floor, that can be rented out for private events. There’s also a fabulous semi-private dining area that overlooks the stage.
“My team and I have worked extremely hard to create an amazing experience in an absolutely stunning environment,” Chef Tam said.
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