New restaurant puts the “Sea” in Cooper Street

If you’ve been to Cooper-Young lately and smelled something new in the air, it was probably the culinary stylings of the recently opened Elwood’s Shells.

The name “Elwood” may sound familiar to you. That’s because owner Tim Bednarski is the same mind behind the Elwood’s Shack – a hole in the wall cinderblock building near the Lowe’s in East Memphis. He’s brought his delicious vision to Midtown with all-new menu items.

Elwood’s Shells has an eclectic selection, including upscale New Orleans eats as well as po’boys and, of course, oysters. Bednarski’s aim is to emulate the great eats of his childhood growing up in Galveston, Texas and visiting family in NOLA. Having already proven himself with the brisket at Elwood’s Shack, the native Texan now hopes to wow the 901 with his Louisiana gumbo.

The restaurant sits at 916 Cooper St., the free-standing building that once housed the Jasmine Thai eatery. It opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast and stays open until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours are more limited, opening from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.  Breakfast is served daily until 10:30 a.m. and includes the signature dish Eggs Elwood – a cathead biscuit  topped with poached eggs, fried green tomatoes, lump crab meat and hollandaise sauce.

The now-famous name Elwood comes from an old family name. Uncle Elwood was, according to Bednarski, was a great cook. A long-running joke that someone should name a restaurant after him became a reality when Bednarski opened Elwood’s Shack. Thanks to the cult following garnered by the delicious food, Bednarski was able to further honor his uncle by bringing his talents to Midtown.

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