The historic spot has been serving guests since 1919.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
August 27, 2019
Courtesy Arcade Restaurant

If you're hungry in Memphis, there's no shortage of tantalizing eateries to tuck into and feast.

But if you're looking to dine in one of Bluff City's most historic haunts, now is an excellent time to eat at The Arcade Restaurant, self-proclaimed as Memphis' oldest café. This past Saturday, August 24th, the restaurant celebrated its 100th anniversary of being in business, and toasted the occasion with a festive block party. Even sweeter? A portion of the proceeds from the celebrations—which featured "100 cent" specials as a hat-tip to the centennial—were donated to St.Jude's Children Research Hospital. Some of the 100-cent fare included fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches with fries ( a nod to former regular, Elvis Presley), Greek salad with the restaurant's homemade dressing, and a stack of sweet potato pancakes.

"For 100 years, half the life of our vibrant community, The Arcade Restaurant has stood stoically," Shelby County Historian Jimmy Rout told News Channel 3, WREG Memphis. "The Arcade has withstood The Great Depression, endured WWII and war rationing, persevered during our civil rights struggle, and survived urban renewal. The Arcade is the ‘grand dame' of the neighborhood."

Courtesy Arcade Restaurant

The Arcade was founded in 1919 by Greek immigrant Speros Zepatos and has stayed in the Zepatos family for four generations. Even Memphis mayor Jim Strickland toasted the special occasion, stopping by and hailing August 24th as "Arcade Memphis Day."

A very happy anniversary to this cherished Memphis institution, Zepatos family. We're still dreaming of lazy breakfasts at the window seats.

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We hope this vaunted Memphis landmark—and important part of our nation's civil rights history—is around for another 100 years of beignets, greasy spoon breakfasts, and the Zepatos' family hospitality.

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