A bright blue couch, vintage style chair, decor, and artwork of dogs in the cool hidden bar in Memphis.

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Crosstown Concourse Memphis: 7 Top Reasons To Visit The Cool Urban Village

Crosstown Concourse Memphis is an urban living and entertainment space where history meets modern concepts. The iconic Crosstown Concourse in Memphis midtown is a bustling hub of activity that is a destination in itself for dining, shopping, and more.

I had the opportunity to go on a hosted private tour of Crosstown Memphis to learn all about its history and how this cool development came to be.

The entire complex is quite impressive, and I only wish there were more developments like it across the country!

The core of the building is the old Sears Crosstown building, home to Sears Roebuck.

The building had been sitting unused for about 20 years before renovations began to what it is today.

Front view of the Crosstown Concourse Memphis building that used to be the Sear building with its cool architecture from the past.

In addition, you’ll see remnants of the old building incorporated throughout the complex which is neat to see.

During your visit to Memphis Crosstown Concourse, you’ll see how this historic building has been transformed to include restaurants, a café, art galleries, shops, a brewery, a hidden bar, and a music lab.

Whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, mouthwatering cuisine, or an immersive cultural journey, this is the place to be. It is a setting where community, food, music, and art come together in a fun and cohesive way.

Get ready to find out what to do in Crosstown Concourse and why it is one of the most unique things to do in Memphis!

A vibrant art mural of a woman's face and flowing black hair with a red background inside the Crosstown Concourse in Memphis, TN.

What Is Crosstown Concourse Memphis?

Crosstown Concourse is a multi-use complex or village where someone can essentially live, work, eat, and socialize in one spot.

The bottom floors of the building are designated for restaurants, shops, art, and music with the upper floors residential apartments.

Included for the tenants living there is an onsite dentist, health center, gym, high school, performing arts center, and other businesses.

The front entrance into Crosstown Memphis with a modern staircase built into the existing historic building with an open center atrium.
Looking down at the open center atrium and several floors of living space in Crosstown Concourse, Memphis.
Standing on the original balcony to the old Sears building looking out towards downtown Memphis from Crosstown.

Although these are all outstanding amenities if you live here, anyone from the community or visitors to Memphis can dine and hang out here.

I really enjoyed my day eating, grabbing a beer at the Crosstown Brewery, and exploring the nooks of art and music.

There is even a radio station that is headquartered in the building! Local station WYXR, 91.7FM a station playing a wide span of genres in a partnership between the University of Memphis, The Daily Memphian and Crosstown.

The three pillars or focus of Crosstown for the community are Education, Arts, and Health.

7 Reasons To Visit Crosstown Concourse Memphis

1. Fascinating History Of Crosstown Memphis

Sears Roebuck or more commonly referred to as Sears is a department store that has seen better days.

Over the past few decades countless Sears department stores have closed their doors and most of us might only know them for the place to get home appliances.

But back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Sears Roebuck was the premier shopping catalog where you could get essentially everything.

And I mean everything from clothes, appliances, toys, jewelry, and EVEN A HOUSE! Yep, they sold kits with all the essentials to building a house DIY.

Think of Sears Roebuck as the original Amazon where it was a one stop shop for all your daily needs except you had to shop via a catalog versus the internet.

Low lighting of two pale green chairs and a small table inside against a large window looking out to the balcony of a floor for residents in Crosstown Concourse in Memphis, Tennessee.
An old photograph showing how there used to be a disco on the ground floor of the old Sears building in Memphis, TN.

In 1927, the concept of shopping modernized to open up physical stores made possible by the implementation of the railroad system in the United States. The railroad allowed for goods to move from one part of the country to another swiftly.

The site of Sears Crosstown in Memphis was one of 10 mega distribution stores in the United States that served as a shipping hub in addition to a department store on the bottom floor.

The architecture, the stories, and historic significance of the building are quite remarkable. Sears closed its doors at this location in 1993 until reopening as Crosstown Concourse in 2017.

I am so happy that Todd Richardson had the vision to take on this ambitious project and turn a once abandoned building into one of the hippest places to visit in Memphis!

Tip: Many of the old houses surrounding Crosstown Concourse were built with the “kit” you could buy through the catalog!

2. Crosstown Concourse Restaurants

I don’t know about you, but my incentive to visiting somewhere is usually great food.

Luckily Memphis Crosstown Concourse has you covered there! Everything from Southern cuisine to BBQ, and just fantastic grub can be found here.

There are 11 restaurants in Crosstown Concourse in addition to the other eateries and bars I will mention further along in this post.

A huge red popsicle painted on the floor inside MEMPOPs popsicle shop in Crosstown.
A row of outdoor tables and chairs along the front porch and across from several eateries at Crosstown Concourse, Memphis.

Wolf River Brisket – A modern twist on Southern BBQ combining flavors from Texas to South Carolina.

The Mad Grocer & Deli – Want an awesome sandwich? Head her for top-notch deli sandwiches, salads, and other great selections.

Farm Burger – Bite into a juicy burger sourcing grassfed beef from local farmers.

Abner’s – Offers up tasty fried chicken that will make your mouth water!

Global Café – You can taste an array of cuisines from all over the world in one spot.

SriMu – The place for getting craft cheeses made for all eaters including regular, paleo, vegan, and dairy free options.

A huge sign in green letters spelling out GRASSFED above Farm Burger restaurant on same floor as the art galleries.
Wolf River Brisket restaurant with an entrance at the front of the Crosstown Concourse building and a the logo to the building above on the entrance covering.

Lucy J’s Bakery – Just what you need when you are craving breads, cookies, cakes, and croissants!

MEMPops – These hand-crafted pops are a delicious treat especially on a hot day.

Pop-A-Roos – If you prefer salty and sweet, you can get the best gourmet popcorn in Memphis!

Sweet Magnolia Gelato – Find high-quality gelato and sorbet including some unique flavors too.

Vibe Foods Superfood Bar – It doesn’t get healthier than getting a smoothie, bowl, bone broth, and more!

3. A Space For Art To Flourish

As art is one of the primary pillars at Crosstown Concourse Memphis, it’s no surprise that it is a space to inspire creativity and insight.

Everywhere you look you will get a glimpse of stunning art murals or installation that leaves you in awe.

Walking through the art galleries between huge pillars and a white neon sign that says Today and Always in the Crosstown Concourse building, Memphis.
A very long art mural stretching the entire wall filled with abstract and colorful cartoon like characters in the art gallery at Crosstown.

What I particularly like about the art throughout the concourse is how it integrates the new with the old architecture of the previous Sears Crosstown building.

If you enjoy unique art, then this is one of the best places to visit in Memphis for it. Two main art galleries on the 2nd floor feature works by local Memphis-based artists and those from all over the world.

Various exhibits will showcase throughout the year so check their site for what is going on during your visit.

And if you happen to be an artist yourself, you can come here to create with several seating areas and workspaces regardless if your craft is drawing, painting, digital, or woodworking.

Two very unique and popular things to see are the red staircase and “that one bathroom”.

The modern bright red staircase with light wooden steps leading to the 2nd floor in the old Sears Crosstown building in Memphis.
Looking down at the spiral of the red staircase from above on the 2nd floor.

The red staircase is quite eye-catching for its bright red hue curving its way up to the next level.

And “that one bathroom” as it’s known on social media has a LED light installation that is perfect for a selfie backdrop…

Gallery Hours: Open Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday from noon to 6:00 pm.

READ MORE: 9 Best Museums In Memphis To Visit!

4. The Coolest Hidden Bar

One of the coolest hidden gems in Memphis is The Art Bar, a small bar tucked behind a section of the Crosstown Concourse.

Unless you know about it, you would never know it’s there! With its speakeasy-ish vibes it definitely has a sultry setting for a classic or signature cocktail.

Once cozy nook with couches, coffee table and low lighting against an old brick wall in colors of burnt orange inside the cool Art Bar, a hidden bar within Crosstown Concourse.

It also happens to be connected to The Green Room, an intimate area for live music performances. If you’ll be attending a show, make sure to order a drink at The Art Bar before or after.

The low lighting combined with retro décor and modern accents adds to the cool factor of hanging here.

So, if you are looking for one of the best Memphis midtown bars, then make sure The Art Bar is on your itinerary!

A neon green sign that says room against a dark green wall for the Green Room space.
Very vintage chairs, side table, and lamp against green drapes all in avocado green color at The Green Room in Memphis, TN.

Art Bar Hours: Open Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday from 5:00pm to midnight, Friday – Saturday from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am. Closed on Monday.

5. Memphis Listening Lab

Up on the 2nd floor is the Memphis Listening Lab, a super unique room that embodies the history and love of music in Memphis to the public.

The Memphis Listening Lab resembles a library but instead of books, shelves are lined with albums. The bulk of the initial collection was donated by the co-founder of Ardent Records, John King.

You’ll find thousands of albums, CDs, and 45rpm singles all ready to be listened to with available head phones.

Front entrance the Memphis Listening Lab with bright striped colors in orange, black and white and sign that says Memphis Means Music.
Inside the Memphis Listening Lab with shirts for sale, a row of headphones, and shelves of records.
A circle of comfortable chairs in a circle and a shelves of records in between old pillars of the building cozy for listening to music at the Memphis Listening Lab inside Crosstown Concourse.

The sound and equipment in the listening lab are state of the art with cozy chairs to sit and well listen to music…

In addition to listening to music, there is a production studio and Southern Grooves recording studio next door.

An old photograph of what the Music Listening Lab looked like before the renovation to the old Sears building and a record player beneath it.
A vintage vibes inside the Southern Grooves recording studio with a drum set and colors in orange, brown, and white in Memphis.

Southern Grooves recording studio is in what used to be the Sears cafeteria but today it is a premier recording studio creating Grammy award-winning music.

It has a very vintage theme with its bright orange color and wood accents that feels quite groovy…

Memphis Listening Lab Hours: Open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Hours can vary for special events.

READ MORE: Top Museums In Memphis For Music!

6. Grab A Beer At Crosstown Brewery Co.

Although not inside the Crosstown Concourse building itself, the Crosstown Brewery Co. (CBC) is just steps from it in its own adjacent building.

With its indoor/outdoor seating areas, it is a relaxing setting to grab a beer solo or with friends.

A popular Memphis made beer, you can get a beer on tap or from one of their vibrant artsy cans.

Front view of Crosstown Brewing Co with dark gray and yellow letter of name and logo in Memphis, TN.
A cold beer in a clear glass on a table and the bar and brewery of Crosstown Brewing in the background.

It doesn’t hurt that each beer has a fun name ranging from Pizza Party Pale Ale to Malt Liquor Man, Animal Frequency, and 74 & Sunny.

As with the main Crosstown building you get a strong sense of community and a place to come together. In this case to share great beer and company…

Brewery Hours: Open Monday & Tuesday from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Wednesday – Saturday from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

READ MORE: 7 Best Breweries In Memphis To Sip Craft Beer!

7. Sip Coffee At French Truck Coffee

Every city I visit I get excited about finding great coffee and French Truck Coffee is one of the best Memphis coffee shops in my opinion.

Located in the bottom floor of the building, French Truck Coffee is originally from New Orleans, LA but for Memphis locals it is a treat to have this delicious coffee.

With a focus on roasting small-batch and freshly roasted coffee, you taste the quality of the beans immediately.

The bright pale yellow colored walls of French Truck Coffee bar inside Crosstown Concourse location in Memphis.
The pick up counter at French Truck Coffee with my coffee in yellow with the truck logo on it.

Initially the owner, Geoffrey Meeker decided to deliver the coffee to local businesses via a tiny antique yellow French truck. Hence the name French Truck Coffee!

You can’t help but love the pale-yellow splashes of color reminiscent of the French yellow trucks.

Whether you need a morning cup of coffee to start your day, or an afternoon pick me up, this Crosstown coffee bar will perk you up!

French Truck Coffee Hours: Open Monday – Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Overall Impression Of Crosstown Concourse

I think it is an amazing concept that has been executed well combining living spaces with work, dining, the arts, and entertainment.

If I were to move to Memphis, I would definitely want to live here. But in the meantime, visiting this cool urban village will do…

A piano on a pale pink and seafoam green rug with a beautiful art installation in the same colors hanging above resembling a chandelier.

Where To Stay In Memphis

Each of these hotels is in walking distance or quick Uber to all the main Memphis attractions.

The Peabody Memphis

Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis

Hotel Napoleon

Moxy Memphis Downtown

Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel – if you are in town for a convention, Renasant Convention Center is across the street

FAQ On Visiting Memphis Crosstown

Where Is Crosstown Concourse?

Crosstown Concourse is located in Memphis, Tennessee in the Midtown section of town about 3 miles east of downtown (Beale Street).
Address: 1350 Concourse Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Crosstown Concourse Hours

The main Crosstown Memphis building is open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm but individual businesses and eateries may have varying hours.

Can Anyone Visit Crosstown Concourse?

Yes! Crosstown Concourse is open to everyone whether a local or visiting from out of town. It is a great place to spend with friends, family, or a date night.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Memphis?

Memphis is a town that you can visit any time of the year but if you want to be able to walk around and enjoy outside venues, the spring through fall months are the best. Always carry a small travel rain jacket or umbrella just in case it rains!

The summer months will get up into the 90s so if that is too hot for you then stick to the spring and fall months.

What Is Memphis Known For?

Memphis is known for many things, most notably great hospitality, awesome BBQ, Beale Street, home of the blues, and Elvis Presley’s Graceland.

How To Get Around Memphis?

If you are staying in downtown Memphis, you can get around by foot, the trolley, or even an Uber/Lyft.

Some of the attractions listed in this post are too far to walk, so you would need to take an Uber/Lyft. Or you can rent a car for the day and see all the places outside of downtown in one day.

Is Memphis Safe?

The quick answer is yes, but there are pockets of Memphis that I would not feel comfortable visiting.

I traveled solo and did not have any issues feeling completely safe at all times. But I did stay mainly in the downtown areas or took an Uber to areas further out.

For areas that I was unsure, I took and Uber/Lyft as the status of a neighborhood can change quickly.

And like any big city, trust your intuition and don’t go out alone at night in areas you aren’t familiar with.

Is Memphis Worth Visiting?

Yes! There is so much history, culture, incredible food, great music, and things to do in Memphis that it is worth adding to your bucket list.

Side view of the old Sears building now the Crosstown Concourse with a flower planter in front in Memphis.

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Vanessa Shields

Vanessa Shields is the founder of Traveling Ness helping people with trip ideas, itineraries, travel planning, and boosting confidence for female travelers to take a solo trip. She has been a travel writer and content creator since 2019.

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