Just to save a little scrolling:The Four Flames (Coach House)
- 1085 Poplar
In 1958, Lessie Gates took a 19th c. mansion on Poplar and transformed it into one of the most elegant restaurants in Memphis. She named it The Coach House and it was quite a place - even had an antique coach displayed in a glass case outside the main entrance. When it opened, Gates said, "For a long time I have felt there was a definite need in Memphis for a restaurant of this kind. One that would combine an exclusive dining service, deluxe-course dinners, and an appropriate setting."
The new restaurant offered private dining rooms, floors of brick, huge mirrors, and "treasures from this country and abroad." The courtyard out back was turned into a French-style open-air café.
In March of 1965, Lessie Gates was murdered in a back room of her restaurant. Police determined she had been killed by one of her employees . She had become so popular and well-known that the crime shocked the city. A few years later, the Coach House building became home to another equally famous restaurant, The Four Flames, which was consistently rated as one of the best restaurants. The four white columns out front, topped with gas flames, became a Memphis landmark. The restaurant menu featured pheasant under glass, and poached salmon. The restaurant closed in the late 80's. Today The Four Flames building is the Child Advocacy Center.The Elvis Connection: In 1971 Elvis hosted a cocktail reception at Graceland for honorees of the Jaycees. Afterwards, dinner had been arranged by Elvis at the Four Flames. Bouquets of fresh flowers and candelabras, with place cards signed by him were present on each table. Dinner was served by white-gloved waiters. During dinner an intoxicated Al Capp, the famous cartoonist, came in and there were words all around about him not being invited. Obviously this put a damper on the rest of the evening?
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