An Early Look at Memphis

A new Crystal City restaurant showcases regional barbecue specialties "with an upscale twist."

Spare ribs, served wet or dry, are the signature dish at Memphis Photographs by Jeff Martin

Slideshow: An Early Look at Memphis  

If it’s a no-frills barbecue pit you’re picturing, look again. Opening December 1 in Crystal City, Memphis is a suburban restaurant with ample booths and barstools, where you can order Tennessean-style spare ribs, yes, but also a portobello sandwich or goat cheese fried in panko. 

Owner Chris George grew up in Memphis, where, he says, “pork is king.” But he lives near the new restaurant, housed in the former Mackey’s Pub space, and he designed it to fit the neighborhood. “The menu obviously has those Memphis roots, but taken in an upscale direction,” he explains. His father, William George, is the restaurant’s sole investor; sister Yolanda handles the marketing.

At the core of the menu are combination platters with barbecued proteins (chicken, pulled pork shoulder, North Atlantic salmon, beef brisket, shrimp) and a choice of sides.

Memphis is located at 320 S. 23rd Street in Crystal City.