The Tioga team is proud to be Bluff City residents but even more proud to be located in Memphis’s Pinch District. For this month’s Top 10 with Tioga, we asked our employees to share their favorite parts of our charming neighborhood nestled just north of Downtown Memphis.
1. Rich history
The Pinch District was Memphis’s first neighborhood, a melting pot of Irish immigrants who came to America to escape the Great Potato Famine of the mid-1800s. The district got its name from the “pinched gut” of the hungry residents who lived there. The Pinch was home to Memphis’s earliest Irish, Italian, Russian and Greek immigrants and was the center of the Jewish community through the 1930s. It was also Memphis’s first commercial district.
2. The Pyramid
Another draw of the Pinch is the Pyramid. Constructed in 1991 and initially known as the Great American Pyramid, the building was originally a 20,142-seat arena for entertainment and sporting events, standing 321 feet tall with base sides of 591 feet. After sitting vacant for more than a decade, the Pyramid was re-opened in 2015 as a Bass Pro Shop featuring an indoor swamp, bowling alley, shooting range and hotel.
3. Planned redevelopment
Propelled by the success of the Pyramid’s Bass Pro Shop, Memphis, and specifically the Pinch, has seen a resurgence of development in the past few years. Plans and proposals for building in the Pinch, including housing, dining and offices, are released almost weekly. Tioga is proud to see more people jumping on the Pinch bandwagon! One example is the renovation of the Cook Convention Center, renamed the Memphis Convention Center. Slated to be completed by the fall of 2020, the updated convention center speaks to the evolving nature of Memphis’ needs regarding tourism. A couple blocks from our office, we love watching the transformation day by day.
4. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude, the world-renowned pediatric cancer center, is located in the Pinch. Founded by entertainer Danny Thomas in 1962, St. Jude’s mission is to find cures for childhood cancers and other diseases through research and treatment. About 7,500 patients are seen annually, and no family ever receives a bill for their child’s treatment. Announced in 2018, St. Jude’s most recent development is a 625,000-square-foot advanced research center. With 2021 slated as the completion date, the $412 million facility will feature state of the art labs focusing on immunology, neurobiology, cell and molecular biology, gene editing, metabolomics, advanced microscopy, epigenetics, genomics, immunotherapy and RNA biology, stocked with cutting edge technologies and resources to accelerate discovery. This facility is sure to bring more people to the Pinch, and we’re here for it!
Our location allows us to easily access the downtown area, and the introduction of Birds and other scooters have made that even more possible! Bird scooters normally line the street in front of our office, so if we ever want to go somewhere, they are normally available.
6. Free on-street parking
Parking is an issue in most large cities, and Memphis is not an exception. It’s even more seldom that free parking is available in a metropolitan area. The Pinch District, however, doesn’t have this problem. So, if you’re looking to explore a new coffee shop or try out a restaurant, the Pinch makes it easy!
7. Character of our building
Being located in an older neighborhood has its perks! Our building is a charmer, and we’re thankful to call it home. When we moved in, we added modern accents and design elements, while maintaining the architectural integrity of the building, which was constructed in 1904. We love how our historic neighborhood seamlessly integrates the old with the new.
8. Comeback Coffee
Speaking of new coffee shops, the Pinch is home to countless new businesses thanks to the redevelopment of our city. One of Tioga’s favorite places to frequent is Comeback Coffee! Located right across the street from Tioga’s headquarters, it’s the perfect location for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up – whether that be in the form of caffeine or a snack.
Another staff favorite is Alcenia’s! This soul food mainstay in the Memphis restaurant industry is a local favorite and every visitor is welcomed with a kiss and hug from owner B.J. Everyone at Tioga is a big fan!
10. Access to Mud Island and the Mississippi River
Not only do we have easy downtown access, but the Pinch District is within walking distance to Mud Island and the Mississippi River! Mud Island is a small peninsula surrounded by the Mississippi River to the west and the Wolf River Harbor to the east. Mud Island is home to countless Memphians, wonderful stores and restaurants and two amphitheaters.