At the heart of almost every great region is a great city, and at the heart of every great city is a great downtown. People in Memphis recall a time when our downtown was not so great. A lot of people have worked hard to improve it, and of course, there's still a lot of work to be done. But in that group of downtown supporters, perhaps no one was more stubbornly pro-downtown than Charlie Vergos.
Mr. Vergos passed away this week at the age of 84. His world famous Rendezvous restaurant has served Presidents and paupers, and they all had to eat off of that alley in downtown Memphis. Vergos resisted every call to follow a lot of other businesses out to the suburbs. One of his sons recalls that there was a time in Memphis when they used to say anyone downtown was either lost or looking for the Rendezvous.
Fortunately, a lot of us found the Rendezvous, and because of Charlie Vergos and other like minded people, Memphis has a thriving tourism business downtown and hope for even greater things in the future.
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