For some reason, there is no better location for a neighborhood bar than in a brick building on a city corner. This thought occurred many times in the sodden head of a surly local barman, Aldo Dean, as he passed such a vacant spot, formerly Mike’s BBQ, on his way to work each day in downtown Memphis. With nothing to lose except a quarter, he made a phone call to the number in the window and talked to the landlord, convincing him that he would be better off renting the space to a bartender with dreams of the perfect neighborhood bar than to an architect, who was interested in opening a restaurant at the site. Smart choice – he probably wouldn’t want the bartender to build him a skyscraper, etiher.
Two very eventful years later, after a complete teardown of the interior and a total overhaul and renovation of the whole building, from plumbing to elctricity and flooring to roofing, Bardog Tavern opened on September 19, 2008 at 73 Monroe Avenue.
“They” say that a busy opening night will determine the longevity and success of an establishment. If so, Bardog can expect a long shelf life: roughly 900 people passed over the threshold from 5PM to 3AM on that first day of operation. Considering that the belts for the pulley-driven fans were installed that day; that the kitchen staff fired up the equipment and cooked on it for the first time that night; that the liquor license didn’t come through until noon and about 80 boxes of alcohol had to be unpacked and shelved one hour before we opened – it truly was a grand opening.
It is now one year later, and on September 30, 2009 Bardog Tavern was voted No. 1 in the “Best New Bar” category in the Memphis Flyer Reader’s Poll and Jean Pruett, our star server, was voted No. 3 in the “Best Server” category. If you know us and have tasted our food or had drinks at the bar, we thank you for your support and would like you to know we always strive to make your time with us an excellent experience and a lot of plain old fun.