He was a fixture on Beale Street and at the Memphis in May Barbecue Festival - but Thomas 'Silky' Sullivan will perhaps forever be known as the man with the goats.
Thomas 'Silky' Sullivan pictured right — Photo courtesy of Silky O'Sullivan's
Anyone who has ever visited Beale likely stopped at Silky's for a 'diver' - gallon-sized bucket filled with a bizarre if tasty mix of beer, grenadine, rum, and something the bartenders call 'mystery zig zag' - we have no clue what that is. And if you were in Silky's, then you probably saw Silky himself, holding court sitting on a custom made throne, or chatting up folks outside his establishment at the corner of Beale and 3rd.
Silky was seemingly always in his house - a gorgeous old Beale Street bar that has a brick facade, where the words "Memphis barbecue" and "Irish pub" somehow worked together. The pub's dueling pianos and divers were only overshadowed by the bar's beer-drinking, tower-climbing goats. A goat on the tower — Photo courtesy of Silky O'Sullivan's These goats actually drink from bottles as well as cups - although we've never shared, but have seen it done - and seem to have no problems climbing their tower, as it's reported that not one of the goats have ever fallen off or even appeared unsteady - unlike some of the patrons.
While Silky will no longer be found on his throne, it's hoped that the tavern will remain a Beale Street icon.