It Starts with a Square

2-Minute Tuesday – Chris Thorn of P.O. Press

BY Master User

Welcome to another installment of Tour Collierville’s 2-Minute Tuesday!  This week, Hannah sits down with Chris Thorn, co-owner of P.O. Press Public House & Provisions, to talk about food, wine, and the Square.

Watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Chris Thorn Interview Transcript

Hannah:  I’m Hannah with Tour Collierville’s 2-Minute Tuesday, and we’re here with P.O. Press’s Chris Thorn. Chris, thanks for being here.

Chris: Absolutely.  How are you doing?

H: So great.  How are you?

C: I’m doing well.

H: So excited to have you here. Excited to see you opening the doors to your new restaurant.

C: We are as well.

H: So, it’s kind of an interesting name—the P.O. Press—where did that originate?  Where did you come with that?

C: So, P.O. Press Public House & Provisions is the full operating name of the restaurant.  Where we’re located, that building was the original Collierville post office, and then after that served as the offices and set up for the Collierville Herald, so P.O. as in post office and then press just referencing the newspaper.  On the logo, too, we were able to work in like an antique basket press for wine, which is my background—shameless plug—and we have just kind of rolled with that.  So, it’s just a little nod to the Americana and the history of the Square.

H: Okay, really interesting.  So, you are a Collierville local?

C: I am.  So, I’ve been I’ve been a Collierville resident for almost 25 years now.  I’m originally from Boston, but it was, you know, not very old when we got down here, so I spent most of my life in Collierville, graduated Collierville High School, kids, house, whole nine yards.

H: So, 25 years long time to be here.  How do you think that the Square has changed over the last 25 years?  Do you see improvements?

C: Yes, very much so.  Super happy with kind of where the direction has gone.  I wish it had been long like… I wish it hadn’t taken so long to get to where we are now, but the speed at which things are moving, growing… the commitment that Collierville’s made—and I think even the residents have made—has been awesome.  And now seeing all the local businesses, or just the growth in local business, on the Square is definitely one of the main reasons we picked this location.

H: What’s unique about your restaurant?

C: The uniqueness is just going to be more for the area.  So, you know, it’s a chef-driven concept that’s sommelier supported.  Those restaurants exist everywhere.  What the unique piece is is that we’re unique for Collierville.  We’re going to be the first thing in Collierville to put all of those elements into one restaurant: the chef, the curated wine list, a high-end craft cocktail program, a commitment to service standards and our guests that I don’t think Collierville’s seen yet, at least not my 25 years.  And so that’s where I think the uniqueness is going to come in.  But other than that, it’s good food, it’s good company, and it’s good booze.

H: So are you going to have a full bar?

C: Oh we will, you know, not necessarily in the same vein as a bar.  We refer to it just as our cocktail program.  I’ve hired two incredibly talented individuals to take over that program and run it, and what they’re going to do is contemporary riffs on classic cocktail techniques.  And so what you’re going to get is you’re going to get some friendly cocktails that you’re familiar with; some contemporary riffs, so to speak, which are taking popular cocktails and putting our spin on them; and then you’re going to get a house rendition, which is going to be a little bit more creative, invigorated.  That’s where we’re coming back and sourcing local groceries, which is what is kind of how we refer to them: some local honey, local mint, local pears, there’s even local garlic that’s worked into a cocktail.  So super interesting from that perspective, but they’re also there’s about a 150-bottle wine list in addition to a rotating food menu that sources, obviously, local produces and proteins as well.

H: Okay so are you going to be full service every day, lunch and dinner?

C: Eventually yes.  So just as of right now, because we are owner operators we’re going to run dinner from Monday to Saturday night, and then on Sunday we’ll do a brunch, and then we’ll close Sunday evenings.  And the Sunday evening closure won’t change.  We are family.  We all have families.  And that’s kind of where we’re going to put our stake.  And then we’d like to be open for lunch January 1st at the latest, but that’s just going to kind of be on how well we can get trained up and make sure everything’s going well and make sure that we can provide a full guest experience for the customer.

H: And so you’re also—you said you’re close to opening.  So, when are you looking to open your doors?

C: I’m going to go ahead and tell that camera “October 1st” so it’s on the record, but just keep up with us on Facebook and Instagram @POpressTN for more updated timelines on that.

H: We’ll definitely be following you and make sure we’re keeping up to date with all that to make sure we can all support all the local businesses out here.  We are excited to have you coming in.

C: We’re definitely happy to be here, and we can’t wait to meet you.  (points at camera)

H: Well, Chris, thanks so much for being here for this 2-Minute Tuesday, and we look forward to seeing you open your doors.

C: Thank you for having me.

September/October 2021 Tour Collierville Magazine