(WMC-TV) – Just four months from now, Memphis residents and tourists alike will get to dine with an unobstructed view of the Mississippi River and dine at Beale Street Landing's upcoming restaurant.
The restaurant, on Riverside Drive at Beale, will be called Riverside Grill and Dockside Bar and it will be operated by a longtime Beale Street restaurateur.
Builders are laying down the elbow grease at the heel of Beale for the opening of the Bluff City's new waterfront restaurant.
"It's going to be casual dining, but fun," said Benny Lendermon, president of the Riverfront Development Corporation. "They're going to take advantage of the sunsets."
Lendermon said the group tapped Bud Chitton of Blues City Café to run what will be Memphis' only restaurant at the edge of the floating dock named Beale Street Landing.
"This won't be Blues City Café II," said Lendermon. "This'll be its own different, special restaurant - a taste of Memphis called Riverside Grill."
Lendermon said the restaurant will serve four different boats scheduled to dock at the landing this summer.
"Every time that boat comes in, 400 passengers will get off, another 400 will get on," he said.
The overall project is on an aggressive schedule. Group tours of Beale Street Landing are already underway through mid-April. At the end of April, the landing will be fully operational and the restaurant will be up and running before the Fourth of July.
"Riverfront Development Corporation brought fireworks back to the river, after a year of absence, and it will be a continuing thing," Lendermon said. "We're trying to figure out how best to coordinate that right now and it will depend on the construction of Beale Street Landing.
Lendermon says the landing will be more than worth its price tag, which began at $20 million and now exceeds $40 million.
"There's a reason Memphis has not been connected to the water for the 200 years it's been here: because the riverfront fluctuates 57 feet and it's not easy," he said.
The Riverfront Development Corporation will give tours of Beale Street Landing. They're allowing groups of 10 people at a time through mid-April.