And, like Sears that came before it, Concourse is ushering in opportunities never before seen in the Crosstown neighborhood.
Crosstown Concourse is currently 30 tenants strong with nearly every one of them tied directly to the health and wellbeing of the city— and our three latest tenants rounding out 2016 are no exception. Bonded by the values and the vision of the project, these three additions bring expanded food and wellness options to the retail component of our quickly assembling vertical urban village.
Rende Bechtel’s parents met at Sears Crosstown, while working in the optical department together in the 1970s. Four decades later, Bechtel is returning to work in the same building, but as the owner of Madison Pharmacy, one of the very few independent pharmacies left in Memphis.
Bechtel worked for years in a chain pharmacy, never considering owning her own until a larger chain bought out her workplace and made working conditions less than desirable. By 2011, she had begun looking for a way out and found her way to Madison Pharmacy, which had been open for eight years and was about to be put up for sale. Within six months, it was hers.
In the years since then, Bechtel has built a reputation for Madison Pharmacy on putting friendly faces and genuine concern for each patient into a pharmacy environment.
“It is not uncommon for our patients to develop a friendly, personal relationship with our staff,” says Bechtel. “And a personal relationship ensures great service.”
Madison Pharmacy will be located right next to Church Health on the west end of Concourse and will provide not only the same services and products you find at chain pharmacies, but also consistent access to needed medications that most chains don’t normally keep stocked. Add to that their extensive customized medication services— even for pets— and you have a truly unique pharmacy experience nestled right within the largest healthcare provider in Concourse.
“When we heard about the development, we knew we wanted to be a part of it,” Bechtel says. “We’re excited to be a part of something so fabulous, so multifaceted.”
Mama Gaia— a fast-casual, wholly vegetarian dining concept— will make its very first home in Crosstown Concourse.
“We love what the City of Memphis is doing to revive areas like Crosstown,” says Mama Gaia co-founder Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling. “The vertical urban village and Mama Gaia have a similar goal—bettering people and the environment— so we can’t think of a better place to start out.”
Phillipp and his wife Cru, herself a professional chef, created Mama Gaia with the goal of “serving up dishes that are naturally designed to nourish your body and satisfy your hunger.” Their 2400 sq ft restaurant, designed by local architecture firm Archimania and located off the west atrium of Concourse, could be the first restaurant of its kind to offer an all-organic vegetarian menu in the city.
“The space will offer a clean, comfortable, and sustainable design,” Phillip continues. “It will feature modern elements, including diverse seating and table arrangements, and an outdoor patio. As with our menu, we hope to provide an atmosphere that takes customers on a journey that inspires happiness and an enthusiasm for healthy eating.”
“We’re confident that the people who live, work and play inside the space, will love to come in for a fresh, organic meal they can feel good about eating.”
When Concourse opens, the couple say they look forward to being a part of the positive impact the development can have on the surrounding community.
“Memphis is our home, so we take great pride in seeing it improve in all aspects. The opening of Crosstown Concourse is such a great thing for our city,” says Phillipp. “It’s creating hundreds of jobs and giving many businesses a new home to thrive.”
“The second I heard about Crosstown, I knew I wanted to be involved.”
So said Scott Tashie, owner of I Love Juice Bar, when he opened his first location on South Cooper St. in late 2015. Sensing a need in Memphis for more health-conscious options, Tashie introduced a diverse offering of juices, smoothies and light foods to making healthy eating “no-excuses easy,” even offering an app to add even more guilt-free convenience for their grab-and-go clientele.
“We saw a need in the Memphis dining scene and felt the I Love Juice Bar concept perfectly suited folks living a health-conscious lifestyle and seeking quick, healthy juice options that are cost-effective,” said Tashie upon the opening of his first location. Their new storefront location in Crosstown Concourse will offer these same benefits, bringing them to an area of town that has been previously underserved in that regard.
The juices and smoothies offered at I Love Juice Bar all have health benefits due to their unprocessed, locally sourced ingredients, but even more notable are their essential oil shots meant to aid the body in restoring deficiencies, such as the Digestive Aid, the Sniffle Stopper, and the Energizer. Customers can also choose to concoct their own juice creation or choose from a selection of gourmet vegetarian fare.
“The best minds in Memphis are behind this incredible project,” says Tashie. “I’m thrilled that I Love Juice Bar will be part of this concept, particularly since our mission to promote healthy living perfectly fits with Crosstown’s vision.”