Find Your Mojo on Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn.

Beale Street in Memphis is a place with mojo. It flows freely in the breeze buoyed by the rhythms emanating from places like B.B. King’s and the Rum Boogie Cafe.

Memphis Beale StreetBut, I unexpectedly found some mojo in a place called A. Schwab, a funky old mercantile store that’s reveled in the Beale Street mojo since 1876.

There’s so much to love about Schwabs. It’s an immigrant success story – Abraham Schwab coming here from France to live the American dream. This is the only original business left on Beale Street.


An Original Beale Street Business


Beale Street MemphisYou’ll find a mish-mash of everything for sale on the two stories here and that’s part of the fun. There’s vintage clothing and old-fashioned candies, along with an old-fashioned soda fountain. The soap collection is pretty rare and apparently includes several lines that Mr. Schwab personally enjoyed more than 100 years ago.


Memphis Beale StreetI loved the bow ties for sale, handmade from his grandma’s sewing scraps, by a little boy named Moe – Moe’s Bows. Darn if they weren’t cute! And quite popular in a city  where bow ties are fashionable thanks to hometown boy Justin Timberlake.

Memphis Beale StreetAs I was admiring Moe’s Bows, the sign pointing upstairs caught my attention:  “Mojo.”  That deserved some investigating.  

The mojo for sale at Schwab’s is a selection of incense, candles, herbs and charms. It’s an unexpected, interesting collection for Memphis.

Everything about Schwab’s represents the idea of mojo – Abraham Schwab setting out to America to find his way; a store that today doesn’t conform to the ordinary; that allows a little boy named Moe a place to sell his bows; a place where candy like my grandma kept at her house is still for sale; a place where the blues wafts in on the air each time the wooden door squeaks open.

 That’s a place with mojo. It’s not something you can buy or sell. It’s just something you have – and A. Schwab’s on Beale Street in Memphis has it.




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