Amelia Gene's, View of Bar and Dining Room
Amelia Gene's, View of Dining Room
Amelia Gene's, View of Dining Room
Amelia Gene's, Ceiling Reflection
Amelia Gene's, Exterior View
Amelia Gene's, View of Interior and Exterior
Amelia Gene's, View of Kitchen
Amelia Gene's, View of Bar and Dining Room
Amelia Gene's, View of Dining Room
Amelia Gene's, View of Dining Room
Amelia Gene's, Ceiling Reflection
Amelia Gene's, Exterior View
Amelia Gene's, View of Interior and Exterior
Amelia Gene's, View of Kitchen

Amelia Gene’s

Memphis, TN

Amelia Gene's, an adaptive reuse restaurant in an historic local ironworks and machine shop, is now a fine dining establishment in Memphis paying homage to the city's rich industrial heritage.

Tasked with repurposing the city’s oldest operating foundry, once bustling with the hum of machines manufacturing horseshoes and parts for carriages, steamboats and machinery, The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry created an elevated restaurant concept centered around a dramatic focal point – a custom-designed chandelier made of warm amber glass and dark textured stone that hangs in the main dining room.

Initially built in 1879, the industrial building was sold to the Carlisle Corporation in 2017. A 6,065-square-foot adaptive reuse project, the now-restaurant is part of One Beale, a hospitality and retail-centric development in the heart of Downtown Memphis. The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry worked with Carlisle Restaurant Group to come up with a design concept that honored the venue’s history of craftsmanship while simultaneously providing an unexpectedly modern and inviting restaurant. The raw, rugged steel and concrete of the existing building was kept as a backdrop to the warmth of the open kitchen and textured fabrics.

The pièce de résistance in the space is undoubtedly the handmade chandelier that hangs above the main dining room, emulating the flickering lights of the embers utilized by both the Blacksmith and the Chef. A polished copper canopy is directly above the custom chandelier, reflecting a warm glow on the restaurant below.

Visitors of Amelia Gene’s can expect an up-close look at the back-of-house magic, as the dining room gives way to a large expo kitchen, highlighting a custom live-fire grill and the original machinery kept throughout the design. An oversized copper hood serves as the awning to the kitchen with a large wine wall directly adjacent, emphasizing the restaurant’s exclusive wine offerings.

From the street, the expansive bar can be seen through the windows, drawing passersby in with its charred wood, copper and blackened steel structure that illuminates the glowing bottles. The shelves on the back bar extend to the ceiling of the double-height space and is juxtaposed by a radiant ivory onyx bar top highlighted with framing projectors from high above. Tall windows, kept from the original construction, flank either side of the bar and add visual depth.

The shell of the building was intentionally left raw and industrial, exposing the concrete walls, rough brick, beautiful windows and original machinery. Plush furniture, velvet drapery and moody lighting create a warm, inviting environment that marries the modern interior to the innovative cuisine. Gas lanterns are dispersed throughout the perimeter of the restaurant, furthering the dramatic ambiance.

project scope

6,065 SF adaptive reuse restaurant

CLient

Carlisle Restaurant Group