Downtown restaurant experience big boost in business from holiday weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many downtown restaurants say they had a busy weekend with tourists plus fewer COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Silky O’ Sullivan’s staff told FOX13 they were very busy Saturday night despite the Memphis Grizzles loss that same evening.

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Just around the corner on Peabody Place, more tourists made their way through downtown.

“This was a great weekend. It was our best weekend collectively that we’ve had since we’ve been open,” said Stephanie Westmooreland, Sugar Grits co-owner.

Brunch restaurant Sugar Grits opened in January, after almost a year of setbacks from the pandemic.

Westmooreland said there booked at full capacity the entire weekend, getting traffic from locals, tourists and basketball fans.

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“It was a struggle last year, we couldn’t even get open so that’s part of it. It feels like people are getting back out, we’re doing things to make sure stay safe,” she said.

Sugar Grits staff said this weekend was a good sign of what’s to come with summer tourism.

“We’re counting on the buildings opening up back so we’ll have an influx of people coming toward the city and coming to visit us,” said Rondell Charles Williams, Sugar Grits executive chef.