Unveiling Something Bigg At The African Place

New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos

My homeboy Otis Logan is one of Memphis’ best young drummers, so when he told me he would be playing for a singer named Bigg Smith at The African Place, I was intrigued, as I didn’t know the singer or the venue, but I made plans to attend. As it turned out, The African Place is the former Cafe 581 which had an extremely brief run about four years ago, and it is not usually a music venue, but rather more of a shop/gallery for imported African goods. All the same, the place was packed to overflowing, with a very small space for the band. The show opened with a few songs from an R & B singer named Lamar, but Bigg Smith proved to be an amazingly talented singer, with a warm voice that exudes confidence, and the backing band was first-rate as well. Smith’s repertoire included some originals, as well as covers ranging from Aretha Franklin to Jeffrey Osborne. All too soon it was over, but it was a Friday evening well-spent.


Today was the grand opening of a new restaurant called Cafe 581 in the Uptown neighborhood of Memphis, and so I drove down to check it out. The restaurant is in a pair of old houses in the Greenlaw neighborhood that have been joined together by a new structure where there is a bar. There’s also an outdoor patio with trees, and a stage for live bands. The current menu is relatively small, but the bacon cheeseburger I had was quite good. I was told that there will be events like “Hip Hop For Adults” and live music performances. 

Today was the grand opening of a new restaurant called Cafe 581 in the Uptown neighborhood of Memphis, and so I drove down to check it out. The restaurant is in a pair of old houses in the Greenlaw neighborhood that have been joined together by a new structure where there is a bar. There’s also an outdoor patio with trees, and a stage for live bands. The current menu is relatively small, but the bacon cheeseburger I had was quite good. I was told that there will be events like “Hip Hop For Adults” and live music performances.