Memphis – Country or Metropolis?



As you would expect in the mid-south, the people cherish a country lifestyle. This is true to the extent that the Cooper-Young neighborhood has a bit of a confused identity. This is a good thing when a country lifestyle coexists with big city amenities.

Cooper-Young takes its name from the two streets intersecting towards the southern boundary. It’s a place where you see children on skateboards, bicycles, and romping around on the back streets and alleys. However, when evening comes, you’ll find adults converging on the area to be entertained by first class dining, theaters, and live music venues.

Still, the residents show an on-going interest in sustainability, gardening, arts, and friendly community. The neighborhood is a co-mingling of young professional newcomers, longtime residents, and college students.

Panoramic view of statue of Ramses at entrance of Pyramid Sports Arena in Memphis, TN

Panoramic view of statue of Ramses at entrance of Pyramid Sports Arena in Memphis, TN

Nights Come Alive With Adult Activities

This small town in the middle of the city transforms into lively nightlife during the evenings and night. That’s when you find young people spilling out of restaurants onto the sidewalks as they roam from one venue to another.

With its Irish pub, coffee shop, cat shelter, two bookstores, a drum shop, school, antiquing, a record store, French bistro, massage therapists, art galleries, a pizza place, and a brewery all in a few easily walked blocks, Cooper-Young is beginning to resemble Overton Square which is a mile north across Union.

Cooper-Young has International Flair

Attractions such as Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Alchemy and the Beauty Shop, Celtic Crossing, and The New Ballet Ensemble have been covered by prominent national media such as Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today’s Top 10 Pubs in America, and CNN.

Along with a taste of the international, Cooper-Young retains the feel of a small town in the city. Residents still grow gardens and share cucumbers and tomatoes with neighbors. There are still small town watering holes where locals gather over a beer with friends. Still others thrive on raising a family or starting their own small business. The area is eclectic to say the least.

Diversity in Business and Entertainment

While keeping up with the times to attract the younger crowd, Cooper-Young retains its roots within the 180 business spaces making up the community. Some are well over 100 years old. While constantly evolving, the business community is made up of some 21 restaurants, 34 retail businesses, and 27 businesses connected with arts, media, or music.

Beginning 28 years ago, the Cooper-Young Festival (held in September), only attracted a few thousand attendees at first. Recently, the festival has attracted over 130,000 people to the neighborhood. The streets are shut down so that visitors and residents alike can interact with each other as well as more than 430 vendors, including live music, yard sales, and food trucks.

You won’t be disappointed even if you only come to see the galleries murals, and folk-art decorated front and back yards scattered throughout the area. Come – enjoy the country in the city atmosphere.

Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or if you have a question.

photoAuthor bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 10 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. With the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.