On May 31, 1940, Joe Foppiano's Grill was the scene of one of the city's most famous crimes. A local gambler and shady businessman named Bob Berryman cornered a nightclub bouncer named John Phillips inside the restaurant and killed him with a sawed-off shotgun.  

When the cops hauled him off to jail, Berryman told the police, "There has been a grudge for some time."  Berryman claimed his motive was self-defense. The sensational courtroom drama that ensued lasted for weeks, with many witnesses claiming that John Phillips had beaten them senseless without provocation. Nonetheless, Berryman was found guilty.

A couple of years later, Foppiano's closed and a furniture store opened in its place.

The entire block that contained this building and others was torn down in the 1960s and today it's an annex building for Memphis, Light Gas and Water.

SOURCE:  Ask Vance Blog, Memphis Magazine

Click here for the complete tour of south Main

Please contact us if you notice something incorrect or missing from this page at getdown@downtownmemphis.com or 901.575.0561