The closing night of the Memphis Boot Camp was also the opening night of Tennessee Brewery Untapped, a six week activation project at the historic and vacant Tennessee Brewery. With the building slated to be demolished, several partners in Memphis worked together to present an alternative vision and use for the space. It’s not a complete answer - they haven’t filled every room in every floor or figured out the long term financials. They are starting with something light, quick, and cheap which, if proven successful (so far so good), will help guide what the space could become in a rising Memphis. Using some key principles of good public space design they equipped the empty brewery with: movable chairs, things to lean on, food, drink, and entertainment. In doing so, the collaborators created a beer garden courtyard. They built furniture and planters out of reclaimed wood and tires. With some hung lights and shade trees, this is a comfortable spot to sit and enjoy a drink and food-truck special in the afternoon or evening. Walk inside the brewery, and you'll find the bar serving local beer on tap and more space to socialize.
There are many spaces in our cities that have wonderful starting materials like this - whether buildings, parks, plazas, or streets - that could come alive with a bit of seating, comfort, and food and drink. You may be surprised how much activity you can attract simply by sending the message that people are invited to linger. You’ll see here that TN Brewery Untapped has lots of lingering.