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BLOCK 2: PONTOTOC TO VANCE

299 South Main, Longinotti Hotel (Pearl's Oyster House)

The 24-room Longinotti Hotel was built here in 1895 by a Genoa, Italy immigrant brothers August and James Longinotti. Apparently, the Longinotti's also tried their hand at making and distributing "fine whiskey" from the hotel. The hotel became the Manhattan Hotel in 1948 with the Manhattan Cafe on the ground floor, until the hotel closed in 1954.

This is now the site of Pearl's Oyster House.

Source: Historic-Memphis.com

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300 South Main, Main Street Fruit Stand

The Digital Archive of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center

The Digital Archive of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center

This row of buildings date back to 1920.  300 South Main was, during its early years, the Main Fruit Company.  Their ads boasted  "We are Dealers in all kinds of Fruit, Cigars, Tobacco.  Try our Home-made Italian Spaghetti, Chili Mack and Chili Con Carne!"  

Notice the mural on the Pontotoc side of the building.  This mural called "Taking Care of Business," was created by a group of students under the supervision of celebrated local artist George Hunt. It was one in a series of murals created around the city during 1983, and one of only two murals remaining from this project.

302 South Main was a former barber college.

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303 South Main, Memphis Rumba Room

Thirsty? Just Whistle! 303 South Main was one of the many facilities that was producing Whistle Brand Soft Drinks during the 1920s. After a dispute, a partner in Whistle started his own soda company which became a more familiar brand today, 7Up.

Today you can work up a thirst at The Rumba Room, one of the best dance floors in the city!

Watch a quick video about The Rumba Room

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322 South Main

The Merchants Hotel once occupied this corner of South Main and Talbot and was listed in the 1860 Memphis City Directory as one of the city's 18 hotels at the time. At some point the building was torn down and this corner was vacant for several years.

The new infill condos that you see today were built in the mid-2000s.

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

325 South Main, Green Beetle and Franks Market

Constructed around 1906, this Beaux Arts style building is distinguished by its ornate cast stone window arches and decorative pressed metal cornice and trim. 

Plate lunches cost 15-cents when the Green Beetle opened in 1933. It was also a known popular speakeasy during the final days of Prohobition. Legend has it that Machine Gun Kelly, a Memphian, came into the Green Beetle one night and shot up the joint, leaving bullet holes in the paneling behind the bar.

"Big" Frank Liberto and his wife Mary bought and operated the Green Beetle in 1939, making it the oldest operating tavern in Memphis. Frank also had Frank's Liquors next door and operated both until the 1970s.

Today Frank and Mary's grandson Josh Huckaby operates the Green Beetle, which slogan is "Have a beer here, your grandfather did." You'll find signature dishes on the menu that are a nod to Josh's grandparents - Mary's Lasagna and Frank's Big Burger.

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