Re-treat Yo’self: The Best of Memphis Team Retreat

Company retreats often conjure images of trust falls, years-in-review, and unrestrained debauchery. Our retreat to Memphis did not disappoint. Over a four-day weekend, Team ThreeSixtyEight indulged in all the great beer, food, and nightlife Memphis has to offer. We made new friendships with each other and with a few Tennessee natives.

If there is anything we learned from our trip is that a schedule is great, but being flexible, and staying away from tourist traps make for the best experiences.

Here are our recommendations for your next trip to Memphis.

Too busy to read the whole blog? Skip ahead.

 

Wiseacre Brewery

Our introduction to Memphis began at Wiseacre Brewery, and they provided a great first impression. Wiseacre’s building is skirted with a broad deck populated with picnic tables that would be great for warmer weather. Two concrete silos tower in the parking lot. While they are no longer in use, they immediately invoke brewing vessels and foreshadow the big personality of the Wiseacre brand.

From a branding standpoint, we loved the label designs for each beer, which matched the great taste profiles, and we took home a few of the posters to hang in our office. From the knowledgeable staff and wall-sized window exposing the brewing process, Wiseacre Brewery is a prime example of the customer experience we like to see from a local company.

What the team had to say:

“Really awesome place to hang out and have a beer. The atmosphere in the tap room is approachable and fun, and they have a ton of cool merch. Wiseacre was definitely my go to beer on the trip.” -Shelby

“Really liked this place. They had some super cool artwork for their brews.” –Kara

“Has an approachable, authentic vibe to it compared to some breweries. Beer was great, and they also had a food truck there serving delicious food.” -Corey

Gus's Fried Chicken

You know the fried chicken is good when a group of Louisianans suggest it to people back home. Gus’s is a chain in Memphis, but unlike fast-food chains, you get a real family vibe inside this little pocket of a restaurant. As Phil said, “Hole in the wall with a BIG SURPRISE! This fried chicken was awesome”

The chicken definitely reminded us of old-fashioned, homemade fried chicken with a kick of heat that you’d think would be too much for anyone outside of Louisiana, but apparently Memphis can hang with the spice.

What the team had to say:

“The chicken had just the right amount of spice and crunch! If you’re looking for a hometown, backyard vibe with food that’s finger lickin good, Gus’s Fried Chicken is the place.” -Shelby

Creative Works

One of the highlights of our trip was getting to met Josh Horton and Dan Price of Creative Works Memphis. Their aim is to nurture the creative community in Memphis by building relationships. From monthly meetups to their annual conference, Josh and Dan challenge creative people to aspire to not only be great creators, but to create with the purpose of impacting the community at large.

Their Creative Works Conference is much like our upcoming quarterly conference, Assembly Required. Dan and Josh were very encouraging, and we noticed many parallels between Memphis and Baton Rouge. Just like them, we hope to develop the creative heart of our city, and to inspire working relationships between agencies so we can all help shape the community.

We’re very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet both Dan and Josh, and to hear about their successes with Creative works. It is quite amazing what they accomplish with just the two of them organizing and maintaining the meet-ups and conference. And Josh gave us some great suggestions about how to spend our time in Memphis.

What the team had to say:

“I was really inspired by their workshops with high school/college aged kids in Memphis to help them learn about how they could have a role in the creative scene. They saw a lack of a creative community in Memphis and they’re making a difference. It really made me hopeful that we can do the same for Baton Rouge.” -Kara

Ghost River Brewery

We spent most of our second day at the house, reviewing the past year and collaborating on an exciting new company website. But later that night we visited Ghost River Brewing to play Connect Four and Cards Against Humanity. While there, we handed out awards such as “Most Likely to Steal Your French Fries” and “The Only Person Born in the 1970s Award.”

Our new friends from Creative Works created the branding for Ghost River, and we’re fans of their lantern logo. We have two stickers from Ghost River to give-away at a later time. Keep a lookout on our Facebook for details.

What the team had to say:

“Great spot for us to wind down…” -Jeremy

“I liked the fact that they had board games and entertainment.” -Corey

“Beer was good but the atmosphere was even better. They have long picnic style tables with plenty of board games to play. Outside patio was looking cool too.” -Phil

Hog and Hominy

If you’ve never had tapas, you should book your trip to Memphis now and make sure your first stop is Hog and Hominy. This restaurant is part of a row of eateries at the beginning of a little neighborhood. Each could be just another home on the street, but you’ve never had an experience like this at a friend’s dinner party. The plates here vary from savory, tender octopus to sweet potato with chorizo, and their pizzas carry big flavors on thin crust.

Hog and Hominy is best experienced with a large group so you can taste everything on the menu. Between thirteen people, we each had a taste of at least ten different dishes. However, that variety comes with a high price tag, and luckily it was one of the meals paid for by the company. Our waitress was incredibly pleasant and was a pro at creating order out of our chaos.

What the team had to say:

“I didn’t know half the things I was eating but it was goooood. I’ll only go again if daddy pays.” -Bo

“Food was great! They have a lot of options for people with food allergies, too! Still dreaming about my drink(s).” -Hailey

Babalu

Our experience at Babalu is proof that detouring from the schedule is sometimes the best choice. Branded as tacos and tapas, Babalu is so much more. The place was too packed to seat a table of thirteen with any haste, so we all bellied-up to the bar.

The bar tenders served on-point bloody Marys and Bloody Marias (a Bloody Mary with tequila, cilantro, and a cayenne rim), and kept their great personalities as they hustled to make drinks for our rowdy group, the rest of the bar, and the entire restaurant. They even convinced us to try the burger, and it was a great addition to an already fire meal. From the table-side guacamole and braised beef short ribs to the bomb-ass Baba Burger, we all left full and happy. This is another great place for sharing plates with people who like each other, which luckily we all do.

What the team had to say:

“This meal was actually one of my favorites, which was surprising because we kind of chose it last minute.” -Corey

“That burger still has me shook.”-Jay

“That guac tho!” –Tara

“Tableside guac, bloody marys and the ribs were my highlight. Really cool place in a hip area of Memphis.” -Phil

Winchester Bowl

It seems that Saturday was the day to learn that schedules are for losers. We found Winchester Bowl after the wait for a lane at the Bass Pro pyramid was over two hours. Nothing creates camaraderie within the company quite like splitting people into teams to compete against each other in bowling.

Yet, the varying levels of ability (Phil being a former pro-bowler and all) added some comic relief to what could have been a heated competition. While Winchester Bowl might seem out of the way, we felt welcomed there, and we didn’t have to wait for lanes or beer. The night crowd might be different, but the place was perfect for a weekend afternoon of bowling.

What the team had to say:

“I felt very nostalgic there so it worked for me. Please note if you need a smaller weight ball you have to ask for it. #littlepplprobs” -Hailey

Loflin Yard

While Loflin Yard offers the outdoor open spaces and string lighting of most beer gardens, we were surprised by the variety of other experiences we had there. The location once housed the horses that pulled carriages, much like those still in operation around Memphis.

Once you enter through the smaller front bar, you come upon a deep ravine where the horses used to drink from a little stream. Then you snake your way past the food counter into the gravel yard, and there sits the old stable, a large warehouse with another bar and a stage for live performances.

That night we caught Summer Avenue, a quartet of incredibly talented high school kids who rocked with the spirit of Weezer and played a couple great Beetles covers.

What the team had to say:

“This is one of those places I wish we had here in Baton Rouge. It’s like three places in one, so if you get tired of one place, just walk over like 50 ft to the next place. Also, the cocktails are on point.” -Corey

“The place was not only gorgeous and causal, but there was something for everyone. It was truly a family place with a lot of seating and lounging area as well as a performance stage. Most bartenders were up for making whatever your favorite drink is, and they made them right! Try the Romaine Salad and the Cheese board. Trust me on this!” -Hailey

Beale Street

Beale Street is a cheap knock-off of Bourbon Street with none of the soul or character, and with a cover charge at every door it doesn’t leave much in your pocket for drinks.

What the team had to say:

“Bourbon St is way better. I didn’t even step in puke. Cool bands though and the beers were reasonably priced.” -Jay

“Band we saw was cool, but the street itself barely counts as cool. You had to pay a cover to go in ANYWHERE – where are the step-in daiquiri shops I ask thee??” -Tara

Paula & Raiford's Disco

There’s a lot to be said about Paula & Raiford’s Disco, so I’ll just let the team say it:

“First night was insane because we were the first ones to arrive and it got crazy. Second night was invaded by frat boys who ripped a hat off my head. NO THANKS. Also, pro tip: check the hours of parking garages in Memphis or you’ll have to pay a $125 fee to get a boot off your car.” -Bo

“NO RAGERTS!” -Kara

“This place was like a blast to the past! I loved the atmosphere and the music that they played. It was a good mix of music from the 70s to those classic 2000s songs you can’t help but sing to.” -Hailey

“My experience is two-fold since I went twice in one freaking weekend. This place is a double-edged sword because it can be really cool and hip when it’s not crowded, but when it gets taken over by group of frat boys, it’s really just another loud ass club. My suggestion would be to go when there’s not a huge event going on, making it feel more authentic and diverse.” 🔥-Corey

We promise we were productive and didn’t just eat and drink our way through Memphis. But even if we did, we hope our insights into the best food and drink spots have been helpful.

Our takeaway from this trip is that it’s best to avert obstacles as a team and to roll with the changes. Memphis was a great choice, even if it wasn’t our first, and we didn’t do anything to make that first Monday morning back in the office an awkward experience for anyone.

Check out the video below for a behind the scenes of our trip. I mean, company retreat.

Interested in talking more about or experiences in Memphis? Please contact us – we’d love to chat.

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Dusty Cooper

Dusty may be in his thirties, but he is fresh to marketing and the ThreeSixtyEight team. Moving around the country from Louisiana to Phoenix to New York City, he gained over a decade of experience in photography, digital production, and creative writing. Then, after living in Thailand for two months, he returned to Louisiana to earn his Master’s in English. Now, he has combined his many hobbies for the good of ThreeSixtyEight and the community at large.