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Arkansas filmmakers working on documentary about Memphis’ Rendezvous restaurant

The story of how this unique restaurant was established and how it has remained in operation for more than 70 years intrigued filmmaker Jack Lofton and Ruth Whitney.
Credit: LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS - stock.adobe.com
panoramic shot of actor with clapperboard in front, isolated on black, black and white

An old-time coal chute and a man named Charlie Vergos changed dining in Memphis and throughout the South almost six decades ago.

In 1948, Vergos co-owned Wimpy’s, a “three and meat” restaurant in Memphis. When the owners couldn’t agree on how to run the business, Vergos opened a sandwich and beer shop in the basement of the same building which was across the alley from the world-famous Peabody Hotel.

In the basement, Vergos found an old coal chute and he converted it into a smoker to flavor ham. He named his makeshift cafe Rendezvous. He would eventually invent dry rub ribs and it would become one of the most famous restaurants in the United States.

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