Cooper-Young's newest bar, Alchemy, has cocktails, small plates, and a I-can't-believe-this-is-Memphis atmosphere.
Alchemy definitely looks cool. It takes up two storefronts (the ones previously occupied by Grace and Au Fond), and it's got a huge square bar, couches, bar tables and plenty of regular seating. It's warm and inviting, and it's got that soft, pretty lighting that makes everybody look good. Inside it was packed – all of the tables, most of the bar space and every inch of couch was taken up.
Though they serve wine and beer, Alchemy seems like it's aiming to be a destination cocktail bar. I tried the Whiskey Smash from the small (for now) signature cocktail menu. It was a little like a fancified whiskey sour, a little bit sweet and a little bit strong.
While you could easily make a meal out of the small plates on Alchemy's tapas-style menu, everything seems designed for sharing. The menu has plenty of options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I had already eaten dinner, so my date and I shared three of the cheese plates (I tried to take pictures, but though the lighting makes people look quite fetching, it's not so good for food photography).
The bar just opened a few weeks ago, so it's been pretty busy every night. I tried to call for reservations, but they don't take them. The kitchen is open nightly until about 1 a.m.
Memphis, Tenn. 38104