Amelia Gene’s

“If you survive long enough, you’re revered –
rather like an old building.”

– Katharine Hepburn


Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design


Memphis, Tennessee



Amelia Gene’s, an adaptive reuse restaurant located in a historic local ironworks and machine shop, is now a fine dining establishment in Memphis, paying homage to the city’s rich industrial heritage. The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry worked with the Carlisle Restaurant Group to masterfully blend the old and the new at Amelia Gene’s. The raw, industrial shell of the building, with its concrete walls, rough brick, and original machinery, stands in stark contrast to the plush furniture, velvet drapery, and moody lighting that adorn the interior. This unique juxtaposition creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for a memorable dining experience.

The handmade chandelier that hangs above the main dining room is the star of the space. It emulates the flickering lights of the embers used by the blacksmith and the chef. A polished copper canopy above the custom chandelier reflects a warm glow on the restaurant below.

At Amelia Gene’s, dining is not just about the food, but also about the experience. Guests are invited to witness the culinary magic up close, as the dining room opens up to a large expo kitchen. Here, a custom fire grill and the original machinery, thoughtfully preserved in the design, take center stage. The oversized copper hood, serving as the kitchen’s awning, and the extensive wine wall, showcasing the restaurant’s exclusive wine offerings, further enhance the interactive dining experience.