Improving the South Memphis & Soulsville Community

Derrick Craig and Mickell Lowery share their vision!

by Dianne Withers

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Two graduates of Lemoyne-Owen College, Derrick Craig and Mickell Lowery are sharing their vision for a development designed to uplift the South Memphis and the Soulsville area.

“The building has a history of having a impact on the community as it once included the neighborhood laundry mat and a convenient store. However the structure along with the lot next to it has been vacant for many years. Both Craig and Lowery see an opportunity for this building to have an impact on the area and to once again become a place where the community meets.”

Craig, whose mother recently passed away and Lowery are planning to open a Soul Food restaurant at 969 E McLemore across the street from the Soulsville Stax Museum. They are asking community residents for ideas for other uses for the facility. The building has three areas and while the restaurant will fill part of the structure, there will be room for two additional businesses.

New Soul Food restaurant & more

Derrick Craig and Mickell Lowery are sharing their vision for a development designed to uplift the South Memphis and the Soulsville area

Opening a restaurant will be in honor of Craig’s mother Johnnie Mae Craig who was a Marine veteran who had always wanted to serve great tasting food to her customers. She also worked at Buck Mail as the first African American woman tractor trailer driver, this is where she continued her love for food cooking for the postal employees during their banquets and retirement dinners.

Craig and Lowery would like to hear ideas from the public on how the remaining portion of the building should be used. Please share your ides with mickelllowery@gmail.com or you can call him at 901 623-9022.

Mickell is also running for the Shelby County Commission, District 8. That’s the seat of County Commissioner Walter Bailey who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Working with his classmate, Lowery says this development is one of the many ways he is supporting community development in District 8, which includes North and South Memphis, Frayser, Downtown and parts of Central Gardens.

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