Monday, October 16, 2017

Weird Bathrooms of Memphis

Published October 19, 2017 on The I Love Memphis Blog

I Love Memphis gets weird today thanks to contributor Stacey – who searched across the city for the most interesting restrooms in all the land – ranging from funky to fancy. Guess where you’ll find each restroom and then scroll to the bottom for the answers.

I did my best to not include any images that had obvious vulgarity, but keep in mind this post may require some appreciation of bathroom humor or tolerance for a scribbled swear. These bathrooms are a mix of women’s/men’s/unisex but there are enough hints it shouldn’t be too biased no matter which room you use.

1. Groovy

This dive bar is known for its art, so it only makes sense that the women’s room would also be a work of art. (Not sure why such attention to detail did not carry out in the men’s room. Maybe the artist got tired?) However, this psychedelic landscape could prove problematic depending on how much one has been drinking.

2. Argggh

Once upon a time, this bar’s ladies’ room had a lovely poster of Audrey Hepburn facing the porcelain throne. Now, there’s a rheumy-eyed pirate creepily staring at you.

3. Welcome to The Funhouse

this is truly the weirdest bathroom in Memphis

These legendary funhouse bathrooms – both men’s and women’s – have survived various incarnations of this restaurant space. No one knows if this M.C. Escher inspired tiled masterpiece was created on purpose or by necessity, but those prone to vertigo may want to steer clear.

4. What Is Even Happening

Two toilets facing each other in the ladies’ room. How is this a thing?

5. Yikes

Once home to a solid group of old timers, this much loved dive bar has been reclaimed by the young and hip. Here you’ll find a great juke box, a pretty messed up but playable pool table, and one of the most notorious bathrooms in all of Memphis. Fellas, too many beers affecting your ability to direct the stream to its intended target? No worries, what happens on the floor here, stays on the floor here. (Hey, things could be worse, it could be carpeted!)

6. He Said It

The bathrooms at this late night stop are among the cleanest in town, believe it or not. While the women’s room is rather boring, save for a little political graffiti, the men’s room is a shrine to a former employee. Apparently, he was known for his witticisms. A long time regular tells me that the list that covers all four walls was a work in progress for many years while he was still alive and slinging hot wings.

7. What Wondrous Graffiti

Home to artists, poets, and comics, this bar’s bathrooms were once a place of inspiration thanks to the literary thoughts scrawled on the walls. These days, the women’s room contains campy drawings of both male and female nether regions, and the drunken scribble centers on calling out men for their bad behavior. If the complicated and time consuming graffiti in the men’s room is any indication, many men have sought refuge there.

8. Hello Beautiful

Clearly a woman (or a very smart man) added this little touch to the ladies’ room at this newish downtown watering hole. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile and has probably resulted in a quite a few women inadvertently striking up a conversation with a brick wall.

9. Ladies lounge

This is the best kept secret on this famous street, at least for the ladies in need of a clean place to take a pitstop. Come up the fire escape and walk right in, whether you plan to dine or not. (Shhh!) This bathroom could easily be mistaken for a swanky cocktail bar thanks to its luxurious seating area and romantic lighting. Speaking of if walls could talk…I imagine quite a bit of gossip and shenanigans have gone on in here.

10. Refurbished

One of midtown’s fine dining establishments is undergoing a total refresh, and that includes the bathrooms. This recently redone ladies’ room has handmade wallpaper and a nice little side table for your purse and phone.

11. Shiny and New

Looking for a classy place to leave that oak barrel-aged overflow? These bathrooms are super brand-new and so shiny. It appears they’ve taken the same care in designing the restrooms as they have the rest of the facility.

12. Artsy

Technically not a bar, but you can get a free drink here one Friday a month. Two unisex bathrooms serve as private galleries of sorts as they feature fine art by two of this establishment’s “regulars.” Tad Lauritzen Wright’s most recent show, “The Politics of Power,” which consisted of single line drawings, extends into one bathroom. (Greely Myatt’s work, which includes a zipper in the wall, graces the other.)

1. Canvas
2. The Cove
3. Midtown Crossing
4. Westy’s
5. Lamplighter
6. Alex’s Tavern
Former employee Sonny was known for his witticisms (aka “Sonnyisms”).
7. P&H
8. The Dirty Crow
9. Itta Bena on Beale Street
10. Tsunami (Part-owner and artist Colleen Couch Smith did the redesigning, which includes freaking handmade wall paper!)
11. Old Dominick Distillery
12. David Lusk Gallery

Have more quiz ideas for Memphis? More weird bathrooms? Leave em in the comments.

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