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Restaurants: Fresh Slices Sidewalk Café and Deli

Midtown’s Evergreen neighborhood boasts one of the most hidden gems in the city.  Ike and Willie Logan’s Fresh Slices Sidewalk Café and Deli has been serving the area since 2004.
 
 Carlee McCullough

Midtown’s Evergreen neighborhood boasts one of the most hidden gems in the city.  Ike and Willie Logan’s Fresh Slices Sidewalk Café and Deli has been serving the area since 2004.  While most businesses seek the busiest street available to locate their business, Fresh Slices takes the opposite approach and prefers to be off the beaten path.

With sales over seven figures per year, Fresh Slices has been good to the neighborhood and the neighborhood has been good to Fresh Slices.  Patrons often dine there three times per week. The Logans are hopeful of replicating the success of their location at 1585 Overton Park at two new locations, 8556 Macon Rd. and 6600 Stage Rd.

Ike Logan has been in the restaurant business for 35 years.  Having worked for chains such as Bennigan’s and Logan’s Roadhouse, he was more than adequately prepared to bring tasty and affordable dishes to the community. Serving an extensive menu, with cocktails of wine and beer, Fresh Slices has something for most patrons.  

Carlee McCullough: Having served on the corporate side of the food industry, what initially attracted you to the restaurant business?

Ike Logan: I love being around people, I’m very good with hand-eye coordination, and I have a good sense of business for managing a business.

C.M.: When and where did you open your first restaurant?

The Logans: Sept. 1, 2004 was the grand opening of our first location at 1585 Overton Park in the Midtown Neighborhood of Evergreen in Memphis.

C.M.: Now that you have three locations, how has the experience been so far?

The Logans: When you know you have the knowledge and skills to see your plans come through, it’s very rewarding.

C.M.: What is your secret to running a successful restaurant?

The Logans: Knowing every position in your business and being able to work in that position as good as the employee in it.

C.M.: Most startup businesses experience challenges.  What have been some of your challenges to running your own business?

The Logans: Finding good people, staying on top of sales, managing labor, and keeping your creativity for recipes.  The recipes change all the time because your guests change.

C.M.:  What do you consider the successes?

The Logans: We have opened three restaurants and are growing the businesses. We also are rewarded by having the opportunity to speak with inner-city children about becoming entrepreneurs.

C.M.: Fresh Slices has patrons that dine in multiple times per week.  What are your secrets to keeping customers coming in regularly?

The Logans: Know your guests, give great value to your product, keep a clean restaurant and clean restrooms.

C.M.: Most small businesses have experienced a shortage of funding.  Have you experienced that and how did you remedy the problem?

The Logans: (We) have had cash-flow problems…all small businesses have had this problem at one time or another.  However, it doesn’t mean that you go out of business.  It does cause you to get more aggressive toward sales, labor, and the things that affect the bottom line.

C.M.: Now that you have multiple locations, what are your future plans for the restaurants?

The Logans: Nurture the restaurants that we have and grow sales daily.

C.M.: If you could change anything that you have done in the past, what would it be?

Ike Logan: Everything that I have gone through in my life has made me who I am. I would not change a thing.

C.M.: There are so many others that are considering the restaurant business, what advice would you provide others interested in the food service industry?

The Logans: Learn as much as you can about the restaurant business, be hands-on, go to culinary school, if possible, and start small.

C.M.: Any closing words of wisdom?

The Logans: When starting a business small is better, and love what you’re doing.

(For more information about Flesh Slices Restaurant, visit freshslicesrestaurants.com.)

(Please send your questions to Carlee McCullough, Esq., Contract Compliance Officer, City of Memphis-Office of Contract Compliance, 125 N. Main St., Suite 546, Memphis, TN 38103 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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