Bryant’s (2002)

3965 Summer Ave (at Graham)
Memphis, TN
(901) 324-7494

Essay by Joe York

Bryant'sJust inside the front door, the silly hillbilly hog has got one hand in his overalls and the other on the hay seed he’s sucking. The sign he’s stuck to says he’s on special.

At the tables they’re eating barbecue and breakfast. And while there are different menus for each, it is not entirely clear if they occupy separate spaces.

A waitress walks by with a pot of coffee and a pork sandwich. On the back of her shirt, silhouetted, is another waitress. Above the outstretched arm of the figure with the heart attack hips, written in titanic type, is the word “GRAVY.” Down by her feet is the phrase “Sop It Up. It’s Good.”

The waitress walks to a booth on the far wall. Stapled above the booth is another shirt with a similar sentiment. “Life’s too short for low fat food. Eat at Bryant’s.”

She empties her tray, walks back by, and then disappears behind the counter. I stand for a moment watching the men and women eating and drinking and talking.

An uneasy feeling comes over me, like I am the one being watched. I turn and come face to face with the plaster pig. He’s been there the whole time, smiling with his always about to giggle grin, like the picture of PFC Presley that’s leaning against his loins has got him tickled.


Date of interview:

January 1, 2002


Joe York


Amy C. Evans