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Landmark and Legend
Memphis, TN
Here we note legends-in-their-own-time and landmarks as they transition into history


 
Hi-Tone Cafe
1998-2013
 
The Hi-Tone Cafe at 1913 Poplar Avenue in Memphis, near Overton Park, has announced its closing.

The fairly nondescript building is not believed to be in jeopardy but apparently the Hi-Tone
Cafe became a landmark for Memphis music lovers since its opening in 1998. The Commercial Appeal called it "the hub of the Memphis music scene."

The current owner of the cafe says a combination of building maintenance costs, declining attendance, and difficult and high costs of booking out-of-town acts led to the decision to close the venue effective February 28, 2013. In The Commercial Appeal's article about the closing, it called the cafe the city's "premier club venue" and that its demise is a "major blow to the Memphis music scene." Jonathan Kiersky, the club's owner says he will continue to promote shows independently under the Hi-Tone name but not at a fixed location.

Before it was the Hi-Tone, the building served, among other uses, as the karate studio where Elvis Presley studied the martial art. The future plans for the building are unknown.