Front St. Deli's Lee Busby dead at 59 - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Front St. Deli's Lee Busby dead at 59

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(WMC TV) - Tom Cruise put his restaurant on the map.

Four decades of joyful customers made it a success.

His brother Larry confirmed Lee Busby, owner of Front St. Deli, 77 S. Front St., died Tuesday of a massive blood clot at Methodist University Hospital. He was 59 years old.

Busby entertained loyal customers for 37 years, winning them over with his wide smile, quick wit -- and with delicious chicken salad sandwiches, plate lunches and milkshakes at the intersection of Front St. and Union Ave.

"He loved that corner," said Larry Busby. "He loved his customers, and he loved his friends."

His restaurant got a boost when a scene with Tom Cruise and Holly Hunter was shot at the customer counter for the 1993 film The Firm.

"People that are movie freaks, especially Tom Cruise fans, they still come in here from all over the world," Busby said last March. "They see the movie, they want to see where he stood, where he ate. It's amazing."

Front St. Deli is a perennial top-spot on Andy Wise's Restaurant Scorecard. It earned the High Score of the Week last March, a Top 5 Best Chili nod last May, and it is among the high scores in Andy's report this week with a 99.

Busby's funeral is Friday, March 8, at Grace St. Luke Episcopal Church, 1720 Peabody Ave. Visitation is at 1 p.m. Service starts at 2 p.m., with a private burial to follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.

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