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Monday, June 27, 2016

Yates open Joe's Downtown Market just off the square

Saturday, November 24, 2012

State Gazette photo/Vanessa Cain As the sidewalks and streetscapes of downtown Dyersburg continue to evolve, merchants in the downtown district are making changes as well. Just this month, local entrepreneur Joe Yates and his wife, Patty, stretched their business repertoire to include a unique eatery just steps from Veterans Square. Joe's Downtown Market offers good food, a friendly atmosphere and a variety of merchandise for residents who work in the downtown district -- and those who wish to make it a lunch destination.
For over six decades, General Appliance and Furniture Company has stood as an anchor to the downtown district. With the Yates family leading the business and serving at the forefront of downtown development, it is no surprise that Dyersburg's newest lunch destination is also a Yates family project.

Joe Yates understands marketing and the importance of a big kickoff. So it may come as a surprise that he and his wife, Patty, chose to open their new downtown eatery, Joe's Downtown Market, with very little fanfare.

"We wanted to be able to open up and iron out as many wrinkles as possible," said Yates, who chose to avoid long lines and disgruntled customers by choosing a 'soft' opening. "There is a big difference between the appliance and furniture business and the restaurant business. But I've seen others open up and I've listened to what people have said about why (those restaurants) didn't work for them."

According to the feedback Yates received, the top three reasons for the failure of a new restaurant are poor food quality, a long wait or receiving the wrong food.

By choosing the finest and freshest ingredients, Yates eliminated the first problem.

"We are buying the best food they put out, so there won't be a problem with the quality of the food," said Yates. "The rest is up to our staff. My job is to pat you on the back and say 'hello' and try to figure out how to make (your experience) better."

Located across the street from General Appliance and Furniture and an easy walk from Veterans Square, Joe's Downtown Market is tucked between General Appliance's satellite showrooms.

The Yates have played up the appeal of the historic building, while offering a fresh look. The new space is a destination that boasts the easy atmosphere of a neighborhood hangout.

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., offering breakfast items, fresh fruit, sandwiches, soups, salads, sweets, fruit cups and other snacks.

The menu's signature item -- the steamed sandwich -- hails from Joe's college days.

"When I was at Knoxville, there were two places that offered steamed sandwiches," said Yates. "One of those places was literally 100 yards from my dorm room. (Here in Dyersburg), Hamilton's had a steamed sandwich and I wanted to bring back some of that flavor."

Along with the menu's distinct flavor, those who stop in also receive a warm welcome from Joe, Patty, and the staff at Joe's Downtown Market.

"We've been fortunate. Patty and I have been able to travel a lot with our kids," said Yates, who said the restaurants they have enjoyed most -- even in big cities -- are restaurants with a neighborhood appeal. "We wanted to service the people who work downtown -- and those who would like to come downtown. But we also know one other thing. We want it to be more than just a restaurant. We have wi-fi available, so you can just hang out and see who else comes in the door."

In addition to good, quality food, Joe's offers a variety of furniture items, accessories, wall art, Yankee candles, Christmas decorations, college football accessories and a sample of goods from other local merchants.

On Fridays throughout the Christmas season, local musician Joseph LeMay will play in Joe's front room.

"We want people to come in and be able to buy accessories, wall art, or a bag of potato chips," said Yates. "We also have products from Pennington Seed and Supply and Bad Bob's to help our local entrepreneurs."

Yates, who serves as president of the Downtown Dyersburg Merchants' Association, said the members of the organization have long been interested in drawing more businesses to the downtown district.

"The one thing that everybody says is that we need more businesses downtown," said Yates. "And, here lately, that we need somewhere else to eat. (We chose to do this) to fulfill a need, and to put our money where our mouth is. We'll throw that idea on the wall and see if it sticks. I'm self-serving. I know the more people I bring into this place, the more will walk across the street. The more businesses -- even furniture stores -- we have downtown, the more people will come. Whether I sell anything or not, we want downtown Dyersburg to succeed for us and for everybody."

Yates said he and Patty have been working on the concept for the restaurant for approximately nine months. Once they began the actual construction, the process took about six weeks.

"My wife has been the overseer, an instrumental part of making the menu what it is," said Yates. "We try to put out a good product at a good price. My supplier says I am too cheap, but I'd rather have repeat business and let someone see they got a fair price."

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Hope this turns out to be a win-win for both the business and downtown. I love sea-food, hint,hint.

-- Posted by Mister-D on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 10:48 PM

Great job Joe and Patty! We wish you all the success for the future. We will visit soon.

-- Posted by HiredGun on Sun, Nov 25, 2012, at 10:28 AM

Yeah they will make ur experience better alright... Maybe they will follow u around the restaurant like they do at the appliance store... Had a guy following me around acting like he was dusting... i had purchased a t.v. from them once and it went completely out after2 months. i took it back and they told me the warranty expired... I didn't dispute it, thought that was poor that they sold me a bad product, but anyway, talking about it on a job, and had a white guy str8 up tell me that he bought a t.v. from there and dropped .it at home and shattered it and they gave him another brand new one.. bottom line, when i come home, i won't be eating there...

-- Posted by DMASE on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 11:02 AM

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