A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE BEETLE
Frank Liberto’s motto was simple: “Treat everyone with respect, give good service, serve good food at a reasonable price, and people will come back:’ The 29 year old son of Italian immigrants had a 4th grade education, a small loan, and a work ethic as hungry as his patrons, so in 1939 The Green Beetle Cafe was born, only a few blocks from the Orpheum Theatre.
For more than 30 years Frank whipped up food in the kitchen while the love of his life, Mary, served patrons out front . Together they made The Green Beetle a Memphis landmark known for ‘The Green Beetle Burger: cold beer, and an atmosphere drawing the likes of Elvis, Dezi Arnez, and Hank Williams Sr.
The late 60s were tough times in Memphis. The once friendly cafe became a honky-tonk, a juke joint, and as one article wrote “a dive, where bar fights were as common as tattoos” . This made it difficult for Frank to keep night help and decided to close the doors in 1971, but not before ensuring the name would live on. The deed states any establishment at 325 South Main must be named Green Beetle.
Over the next four decades the establishment changed hands several times until 2011, when Josh Huckaby decided to take his shot at the family business. Josh, the grandson of Frank Liberto, returned The Green Beetle to its roots, 72 years after his grandfather first opened the doors. Today Josh’s hard work has put Green Beetle back on the map. You can still find him cooking up a storm in the kitchen and because of that, the mouthwatering Green Beetle Burger is a Memphis favorite once again. Sit back and enjoy a family tradition at the Oldest Tavern in Memphis.