Wednesday update: Please support Alcenia’s

Soul food restaurant Alcenia’s needs your help. Due to convention center construction, access to the restaurant is blocked in all but one direction, owner B.J. Chester-Tamayo posted. Access to the restaurant from Front Street and from northbound on Main are completely blocked, she said. Those are the directions most of the tourists will come from, and it is killing her business. She has been told the closures will continue into 2020.

You can get there by taking Jackson (first street north of I-40) west-bound from either Second or B.B. King Blvd. Please, if you get a chance, go by there and support this longtime Downtown business. Redevelopment plans indicate The Pinch will enter a boom period in a few years, and it would be a shame if one of the neighborhood’s pioneering restaurants of modern times didn’t survive to take part in that prosperity.

Sage will have a watch party for Saturday’s 2 PM Memphis Tigers vs. Tennessee basketball game. Ken Mack will be the special host and the musical experience will be curated by Big Sue and DJ Alpha Whiskey.

A must-read: New Florida State head coach Mike Norvell’s thank you letter to Memphis

Memphis 901 FC has announced its second of three Fan Forums, this one coming to Cooper-Young. It will be at Celtic Crossing on Thursday, December 19, with program starting at 7:30 PM. Tim Howard, Craig Unger, and Tim Mulqueen will be there to answer questions and lay out the team’s plans for 2020.

Nice to see Memphis in this graphic:

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra brings Magic of Memphis Holiday Spectacular to the Cannon Center the evening of Saturday, December 21 and the afternoon of Sunday, December 22.

You can pick up a Christmas Every Day/Mongo for Mayor ’86 button on eBay.

The reign of the King could come to an end. Jerry Lawler will put his career on the line next month as he faces Arkansas Heavyweight Champion Matt Riviera in a title vs. career match. If he wins, Lawler will not be the oldest wrestler to ever hold a championship; Pat Patterson had a very brief run with the WWE 24/7 Championship recently, and The Fabulous Moolah held the WWE Women’s Championship in her 70s.

Momma’s, “the diner & dive off I-55,” is now hiring all positions: managers, bartenders, servers, cooks, and dishwashers. This is one of the Aldo family of restaurants, a great company to work for. Apply in person at 855 Kentucky (at the corner of Crump) between 2 and 4 in the afternoon.

Ballet Memphis’ Nutcracker begins a 4-day run at the Orpheum tomorrow.

The Blue Suede Brigade will offer a free tour of Beale Street at 11:45 AM today. Learn about the street all the way from its 1841 beginning to plans for the future.

That’s it for today. Back tomorrow with more.

Tuesday update

Let me start off this post with a look at the forecast for today, and then I will explain why this is highly relevant to Downtowners.

Rain mixing with light sleet/snow, then a chance of early afternoon light snow; minor accum. possible. High 36, low 27.

Early afternoon light snow: Remember, everyone, there’s $2 Fireball at Bardog when it’s snowing.

At another restaurant in the Aldo family, Aldo’s Pizza Pies Downtown, Pizza with Santa will happen Saturday from 5 to 7. There will be crafts, cookies, and photos with Fabled Santa. In return for the hospitality, they ask that you bring an unwrapped gift for Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis.

On Thursday, December 19. Miss Cordelia’s has its annual Holiday Party from 6 to 9 PM. Hot chocolate bar, local food samplings, beer, cheese, and wine. They will accept Toys for Tots donations during the party.

I don’t know if I have any readers who are vegetarians, but on the off-chance that I do, they should check out this Food & Wine article: 9 foods you thought were vegetarian but actually aren’t.  Since beer – some beers – are on this list, I went and did a little research. PBR is vegetarian.

WREG reports that a Nigerian citizen who had been living in Ghana has been extradited to the U.S. and will stand trial in Memphis for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity theft. The defendant has been accused of being involved in scams including romance, fake checks, gold buying and more. I’m glad to hear this guy is off the Internet.

Atomic Rose has announced their New Year’s Blow Out.  Chicago video DJ Ricky Sixx will provide the music. Go-go dancers and custom mixed videos will help you roar into the twenties. $10 cover, first 25 get in free. The club opens at 6 with happy hour specials until 9, and then the party starts.

The remodeling of the Renasant Convention Center is more than halfway done, and the center should be open by fall 2020, reports WMC Action News 5. The convention center’s new title sponsor was announced last month.

There will be a cocktail dinner featuring Tattersall Distilling tonight at Bar Ware. 4 course dinner by Chef Kevin Quinell, each paired with a Tatersall cocktail.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Back tomorrow with more news.


Monday update

It’s official! Memphis plays Penn State in the Cotton Bowl at noon on Saturday, December 28. Let’s go Tigers! A 13-1 finish and a defeat of a Big Ten powerhouse would be a nice way to wrap up the season.

As for the Liberty Bowl, they did well too. The projected matchup I saw was Iowa State vs. FIU, and I thought, “Ugh, boring.” But instead, the Liberty Bowl pleasantly surprised us with a Kansas State vs. Navy matchup. Inviting an AAC school who is one of the Tigers’ favorite opponents was a smart move. For once we get to cheer for Navy in the Liberty Bowl.

The Sun Bowl is now the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl. My God.

If I had told you at the beginning of the season that Memphis would end up in a more prestigious bowl game than Alabama, would you have believed me?

You can have a buffet lunch with Daily Memphian writer Jennifer Biggs at 3rd and Court diner this Friday. Cost is $25.85 and you can come anytime between 11:00 and 2:30. There will be Memphis music spun by DJ Jared Boyd.

Cafe Keough at 12 S. Main is hiring full-time and part-time baristas.

Tyler Perry’s “Madea Farewell Play Tour” makes its return to FedExForum on Friday, February 7.

Congratulations to St. Jude on hitting its fundraising goal of $12 million for Saturday’s Memphis marathon.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to link you to this MBJ article about the possible sale of the Memphis Cycle & Supply Co. building at Monroe and Laudersale to a Chattanooga developer.

Well damn… Willie Nelson has quit smoking weed.

The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be at the Memphis Farmers Market’s holiday market this Saturday. Of course, with Slider Inn only a short walk away, Cousins is no longer your only option for a lobster roll.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron advised his good friend Lane Kiffin not to take the Ole Miss head coaching job. It’s said that Orgeron told Kiffin a certain “fit” was required at Ole Miss, and he didn’t think Kiffin had that fit. I completely agree. Kiffin is the kind of coach who needs to work for a school that will let him be himself. That’s not Ole Miss.

The Daily Memphian sat down and talked with developer Tom Intrator, who has major plans for the Pinch District, the Downtown core, and South Main.

A few weeks ago I wrote that some people were planning to open a bar called Board to Beers that would be Memphis’ first board game bar. They now have a Kickstarter in place, raising funds so they can move into their building in January. They also have planned a pop-up board game night at Memphis Botanic Garden this Friday 6-10. $5 cover charge for the pop-up night. Local beer and food from 9 Dough 1 will be available. This is an all-ages event, and they welcome requests for particular games and you can also bring your own.

I got invited to a Dirty Santa party this coming Saturday, and in a followup post in the Facebook event listing, they said it’s a pot luck. Pot lucks are always challenging for me, because I don’t cook. So I started thinking to myself, what could I buy at City Market or Walgreens to take down there? Then I remembered something… I live right down the street from The Peanut Shoppe! So I’m going to go in there and get an assortment of Christmas nuts and chocolates, and that’ll be my contribution for the pot luck. Now I have to figure out what my Dirty Santa gift will be. Anyway, if you’re shopping for holiday gifts and treats, don’t forget the Peanut Shoppe, as I almost did!

Time for work. Back tomorrow with more news.


Sunday update

For the first time in history, the Memphis Tigers football team are champions of the American Athletic Conference, having handed Cincinnati a second straight loss, 29-24. The Tigers will most certainly finish in the rankings as the highest Group of 5 team and will receive an invite to the Cotton Bowl.

The CFP committee will announces its final rankings, and the top four teams, today around 11:15. At 2 the selections for the non-playoff New Year’s Six bowls (including Cotton) will be announced, followed by the matchups for the rest of the bowls. The CFP rankings will be streamed live on the ESPN app.

Mike Norvell is headed out to Florida State, exactly the kind of program I predicted he’d be drawn to. The Seminoles have a rich football tradition but have not been a top-tier team the past few years, partly due to the dominance of Clemson. Norvell is the man who can guide FSU back to the top of the ACC.

Lane Kiffin to Ole Miss? I like Kif but he’s not going to be successful in a conference where you have to play Alabama, Auburn, and LSU every year. Kiffin was the favorite at Arkansas but he chose Ole Miss instead. I hope this doesn’t lead to Arkansas hiring Butch Jones.

Let’s get on to the news: Kansas City becomes the first major city to make public transportation free. Memphis, if you want to become a world-class city, this is the way.

Well crap… the Memphis vs. Tennessee basketball game is at 2 next Saturday. That conflicts with the Beale Street Christmas parade. Going to have to figure that one out.

WREG reports that a man was detained after driving a car through St. Jude Marathon barricades. What is wrong with people?

The Peabody is serving up some holiday drinks at both the lobby bar and the Corner Bar. Choices include a Snowflake Martini, The Grinch, Milk & Cookies, and a Winter Bourbon Smash.

Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.



Saturday update

Special guest post
by Perjorie T. Roll

NOTE FROM PAUL: Perjorie T. Roll is my personal assistant and Senior Deputy Director of Public Relations of the Shoulder trophy-winning Moody Ques BBQ team. Today is her 3rd birthday. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she pointed out that it’s been a while since she did a guest post. So here we go. I hope I don’t regret this.

Howdy everyone! I’m Perjorie, Paul’s troll. Today is my birthday! It’s also St. Jude Marathon day. I decided not to run this year because my legs are not that long. Massive respect for all the people and trolls who are pushing it to the limit for the kids today.

Yesterday a friend told Paul and me that he recently went to Flava House Lounge, a new restaurant at 95 S. Main #105, next door to Local in what Paul believes is the former Downtown Nutrition space. It’s owned by the same people who run Flava House on Kirby Parkway and our friend said the food is quite good. Here’s a look at their menu. They have a pretty wide range of chicken wing sauces to choose from. When Paul orders chicken wings, I like to stand next to them because the celery is the same color as my hair. They’re BYOB and have set-ups with cups, ice, and juices. Also, they’re a hookah lounge with happy hour hookahs only $15.

Insomnia Cookies on Beale Street is now open. You can get warm cookies to go with your Big Ass Beer or Call-a-Cab until 3 AM.

And now, I would like to present to you my top five bridges to stand under in the city of Memphis.

  1. The bridge over the creek at Loflin Yard. So pretty and serene.
  2. The Cooper-Young railroad trestle. I know that’s pretty touristy but I like it because when I get done standing under the bridge, I can go get a slice at Aldo’s and a beer at Memphis Made.
  3. The railroad bridge at Southern and Josephine. Because I’m ‘hood and shit, yo.
  4. Any of the bridges on I-55 between Crump and 240. It’s fun to watch stupid truck drivers realize their truck won’t fit under the bridge and the cops have to close down the interstate while they back up.
  5. The railroad bridge over G.E. Patterson. I like to stand under this bridge on Saturdays when the Farmers Market is open nearby. This bridge is also near Malco Powerhouse.  I hope they show the new Trolls movie there when it comes out in 2020.

Turn your TV to ABC for Cincinnati vs. Memphis in the AAC championship game today at 2:30. So many teams named Tigers and Bulldogs and Cougars… and yet not one team named Trolls. You’d think someone would seize on to such a fabulous marketing opportunity. Perhaps the Tennessee Vols wouldn’t suck so much if they changed their name to Tennessee Trolls.

Oh, who am I kidding? Yes they would. In other football news, I’m rooting for Oregon in the Pac-12 game and Baylor in the Big 12 game because their uniforms are the same color as my hair. In tomorrow’s NFL games, I like the Seahawks, the Packers, and the Jets.

The MBJ has an article on Rizzo’s riding the wave of Downtown with Chef Michael Patrick’s decision to open for lunch Tuesday through Friday. With Arrive Hotel open across the street and Central Station Hotel open a block away, foot traffic on South Main has picked up considerably. The meat-and-three for lunch is outstanding. I like the veggie plate because the foods are often the same color as my hair.

The Blind Bear put up its Christmas tree yesterday.

This is a photo of Mary dragging the tree from the storage room to its location up front. Mary: “This is what you get when you get a bunch of drunk people trying to put a Christmas tree back in the box.”  I like Christmas because the trees are the same color as my hair.

Drew & Ellie Holcomb’s Neighborly Christmas makes a stop at the Orpheum tonight. Tickets are $34.50-$74.50.

Fun for the entire family down the street from the Orpheum, at the Halloran Centre at 3 PM, for a performance of A Cup of Tea at Christmas. Each character in this 4-part show has a particular present they want for Christmas… but they have to remember it wouldn’t be Christmas without peace, love, joy, and trolls.

A poverty expert says that funding public transportation is critical to bringing the city out of poverty. So true!

We’re a little over two months away from Trolls LIVE! at the Cannon Center. Do you have your tickets yet?

One high school has added an adulting class where students learn to do things like paying bills, cooking for themselves, and changing tires. I wonder if there’s a high school somewhere that has a trolling class?

As your number-two source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to inform you that Venezuelan restaurant Sabor Caribe is now baking ham breads (panes de jamon). If you don’t like raisins or olives in your bread they can customize it to your taste. Call 901-425-5889 on 901-303-2886 to order.

Recommended: Mondays with Q Whiskey Tastings at Belle Tavern. You can choose from two whiskey tastings:

  • A single malt from Benriach, the 10yr Unpeated, the 10yr peated Curiositas, and the 12yr Sherrywood
  • Booker’s, Little Book 2, and Little Book 3

These tastings are only available on Mondays. Q is so sweet. She always asks “where’s the troll?” when Paul forgets to take me out of his pocket and stand me on the bar.

Stumbling Santa, the annual Downtown pub crawl, starts at the Flying Saucer tonight at 7. Dress up as Santa and bring a toy for the Porter-Leath toy drive.

Ariana Grande plays FedExForum tonight.

The Memphis Tigers basketball team has an away game at UAB at 4:30. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.

That’s the news for today! Paul says we’re leading off at Blind Bear today because Bardog tends to get overrun (pardon the pun) with runners on marathon day. We may wander over to Bardog later in the afternoon once the crowd has cleared out. Paul will be back tomorrow with more news. If anyone wants to buy me a birthday drink today I like PBR and shots of Jameson.

Friday update

A few more St. Jude Marathon updates:

  • The Silly Goose will open at 10 tomorrow. As I previously mentioned, they will have recovery tools and massages for runners, and a DJ starting at noon.
  • Show your race bib at Slider Inn for $1 off all drafts, all weekend long.
  • Someone was asking about the course maps. Here they are. If you live Downtown and need to get out of Downtown between 7 AM and 2 PM, I would recommend allowing 2 hours. No I am not kidding.
  • I haven’t confirmed this is happening, but in past years there’s been a guy on S. Front handing out cans of beer to the runners. Can you imagine getting stopped by an officer while you’re running a race to cure childhood cancer and getting cited for an open container of Miller Lite?

Here’s a quick review of my previous updates on the marathon:

  • Brass Door will open at 7 and runners can drop bags there
  • Loflin Yard will open at 8. Mimosas, hot drinks, to-go breakfast items
  • Kooky Canuck will open at 9
  • Automatic Slim’s will open at 9 (their normal opening time)
  • Free parking for Downtown employees at a lot on Court between Fourth and Danny Thomas. Use Jefferson to get in and out

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, I have one more traffic impediment to tell you about. The intersection of Monroe and Marshall will be closed all day Saturday through Sunday morning. The reason why is they will be doing upkeep over the art installation that hangs over that intersection. Couldn’t they have found another day to do that?

Yesterday I was sitting at the Silly Goose when several police cars with sirens blazing sped by. The reason why? A man attempted to rob Bank of America at the corner of Main and Peabody Place, near the Downtown Christmas tree. He didn’t get anything and fled north on Main. A friend of mine reported seeing “some weird characters” loitering around the bank about an hour before the robbery. He was going to use the ATM there but decided not to.

City-ordered mediation between Memphis in May and Memphis River Parks Partnership has concluded. I’ll let you click through to the article to read the full list of agreed-upon points, but I want to touch on a few:

  • A traffic light will be installed on Riverside halfway between Beale and Georgia, to allow pedestrian traffic to safely cross. GOOD! That will slow traffic down on that street. As I have mentioned in the past, the posted speed limit of 35 on that part of Riverside is an absolute joke. Drivers get mad at you if you’re not doing at least 47, 48 or so. I would guess the Huling Ave. staircase would be the location of the light.
  • The park’s “tailout nature area” on the south end is still planned, with play areas and play equipment. I have a feeling that may push my BBQ team’s booth northward. The shoulder teams usually occupy the southern end of the park.
  • A mutual non-disparagement agreement has been put in place between the two sides. Again, GOOD! As Majestic co-owner Patrick Reilly pointed out, the personal attacks on the people in charge of both sides were disgusting.

Developer Tom Intrator, who is working on multiple projects in The Pinch, the core, and South Main, wants to bring national brands Downtown. That immediately drew some harsh comments on Facebook, saying, who is this New York developer to come in here and think he knows what Memphians want? I don’t totally agree. I don’t want Downtown looking like the Saddle Creek shopping center in Germantown, but I think a mix of local and national brands is best.

However, what I would advise Mr. Intrator to do is bring in national brands that fill in gaps in the Downtown experience, rather than competing with existing businesses. For that reason I am not thrilled that national yoga studio chain YogaSix is one of the first brands he plans on bringing here. Downtown already has two locally-owned yoga studios, Your Inner Yogi in the core and Downtown Yoga in South Main, that are much loved by their students. I would hate to see Intrator’s development put one or both out of business.

The Memphis Farmers Market is having another holiday market! The Homegrown Holiday Market will happen under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson on Saturday, December 14 from 9 AM to 1 PM. For those of you who have Dirty Santa parties – and some of my readers have one that evening – this would be a good place to pick up interesting gifts.

A Memphis Flyer writer recently paid a visit to Longshot, the new shuffleboard bar in the Arrive Hotel. Excellent food, reasonable prices, and they have PBR.

FM 100’s Deck the Hall Ball with Rob Thomas is tonight at the Orpheum.

Jimmy Stephens Jr. will play a Christmas show tonight at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, at 7:00. Join him, won’t you? Tony Manard, Rice Drewry, Bailey Bigger, Alice Hasen, Amber Dunn, and Paul Waits will be there and there will be CDs for sale.

That’s it for now. Off to work, then I’ll get out where I’ll hopefully see some runner friends from out of town. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

More early openings for St. Jude Marathon Saturday:

  • Loflin Yard will open at 8 AM and is on the race route, around mile 8. They will have mimosas and hot drinks, and they will also have to-go foods like muffins and breakfast burritos available.
  • Kooky Canuck will open at 9 AM.
  • This isn’t an early opening, but Automatic Slim’s opening time is always 9 AM on the weekends. I have not had their brunch but have heard very good things.

This is in addition to previously reported openings:

  • Brass Door – 7 AM – food and drinks plus runners can drop their bags there
  • Silly Goose – 11 AM – massages and recovery tools for runners. DJ starting at noon.

I want to remind all my readers that The Peanut Shoppe is open for business and is a fantastic resource for holiday candy, nuts, and treats. They have decorative holiday tins in which to put your candy, and you can get just about everything you need there to stuff a Christmas stocking. They are wonderful local people. Due to construction two doors down, visibility of their entrance has been partially blocked lately. This has hurt their business a good bit, with many people not realizing they are open. If you need holiday candy or nuts, please keep them in mind! They are on the Main Street Mall, at 24 S. Main halfway between Madison and Monroe.

For my fellow history lovers, this would be a good time to follow the @RealTimeWWII Twitter account if you don’t already. They tweet news from World War II in real time, one day at a time, as if you were actually living in that era. They start in 1939, go through until 1945 and then start over. As of today, they are tweeting the news from December 5, 1941, with the neutral United States building up its navy in anticipation of entering the war against Germany. You know what’s going to happen December 7, (If you don’t, you should.)

The Daily Memphian has a first taste of Bishop, the French brasserie in Central Station, in Jennifer Biggs’ New Eats column this week.

Dave Chappelle‘s tour stops at the Orpheum this evening.

That’s it. Kind of a short post today because I got up late again. Back tomorrow with more.

Marathon info: Early openings, free parking for Downtown employees, Uber/Lyft locations + Wednesday news

I’ve been asked to compile a list of what Downtown bars and restaurants will open early and/or do something special for the runners of the St. Jude Marathon this Saturday. Here’s what I have so far:

  • Brass Door will open at 7 AM and will offer runners a place to drop their bags
  • Kooky Canuck will open early (getting clarification on what time)
  • The Silly Goose will have a Post-Race Party. Flow Cyro will be there with recovery tools, including theragun and normatec boots. Belinda Hobbs will be there for runners in need of massages, and there will be post-race pizza and pasta. DJ starts at noon. (Goose opens at 11 on Saturdays now; I will try to find out if they will open earlier than that)

Know of another bar opening early for the race? Email me at or hit me up on Facebook. If needed I will update the list above tomorrow or Friday.

Downtown Memphis employees who need to get Downtown, find a parking spot, and get to work on Saturday: There will be free parking on the lot at 272 Court Ave. (between Fourth and Danny Thomas) for Downtown employees. Enter from Jefferson Ave. only, due to road closures. If you plan to arrive Downtown between 9 and 11 AM, expect delays.

Streets closed Saturday will include B.B. King Blvd. (Carolina to A.W. Willis), Second (Beale to Butler), Front (Monroe to Georgia), Riverside Drive (Channel 3 Drive to Court), and Union (Danny Thomas to B.B. King).

Uber/Lyft locations Saturday:

  • 272 Court Ave., the aforementioned parking lot
  • S. Lauderdale between Beale and Union
  • S. Front between Monroe and Union (6:15-10:00 AM)
  • Tennessee Welcome Center (115 N. Riverside)

Info above (other than bar openings) was provided by the DMC’s Safety Coordinator.

On to the news. Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick has brought back their lunches. They are open 11 AM-2 PM for lunch Tuesday-Friday effective yesterday. I saw photos posted to Facebook of Tuesday lunch and it looked delicious.

The Memphis Flyer has the info on Bishop, the new Ticer/Hudman restaurant to open in Central Station Hotel mid-month. I did not know that the restaurant was named for late COGIC bishop G.R. Patterson, whose namesake street borders the hotel.

The Daily Memphian reports that the Orpheum will screen the 1946 classic It’s A Wonderful Life on Monday, December 9.  Three cans of food for the Mid-South Food Bank will get you admission to the movie. Most recommended donations include cans of tuna or chicken, jars of peanut butter, and canned fruit or vegetables.

The Union Mission announced that women’s recovery program Moriah House is seeking a counselor. The job description is long so I’m just going to copy and paste:

Moriah House, a women’s recovery program, is currently looking to hire a highly motivated, biblically trained counselor to join our team. This position is a two tier position which is; administrative assistant to the Director and counselor. The prospective candidate would have a consistent pattern of following the Lord Jesus a reputation of compassion and a heart for discipleship. The prospective candidate needs to possess great leadership skills, administrative skills and experience with counseling women from various backgrounds. The clients we serve are dealing with one or more of the following issues: drug addiction, alcohol addiction, crisis pregnancy or victims of domestic violence. If you are interested in this position please contact Ariyana Rimson at

Heh… copy and paste… that’ll give one of my readers something to talk about… and a way to avoid talking about why he hasn’t been seen at Silly Goose happy hour in over three months.

Oh! Speaking of the Silly Goose, I got to try another product of the wood-fired pizza oven, and this one’s not a pizza.

This is artichoke kale dip, baked with five cheeses: Gouda, Fontina, Parmesan, mozzarella and cream cheese, with wood-fired bread service (“our sexy house bread” as Daniel calls it). Normally I stay away from anything with kale in it, but a good chef can do magical things with kale, and that’s what happened here. So much cheese! I guess technically this qualifies as an appetizer, but you probably won’t need a meal after you finish this. (What you will need is a nap.)

There will be a Holiday Night Market at Friday, December 20, 4:30-7 PM at River Garden, the park on N. Riverside near Jefferson. Last-minute shopping, food trucks, drinks, fire pits.

Chris Tomlin will perform Christmas songs of worship at the Orpheum tonight. Tickets start at $23.

The Grizzlies start the first game of a long road trip tonight. They’ll be in Chicago to battle the Bulls at 7.

Today is National Cookie Day and Makeda’s Cookies at 488 S. Second will have cookie samples and specials all day (9 AM-7 PM).

The December edition of the Master Taster’s Club happens tonight at the Peabody. This month’s club, held in the Peabody Corner Bar, will feature tastes of the holidays and bubbles.

That’s the news. Back tomorrow with more.



Tuesday update

No post yesterday because after 5 days off, my body had shifted back into a weekend schedule. I got up late and barely made it to work on time.

The Memphis Tigers return to the home court tonight, hosting Bradley at FedExForum at 8. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.

The South Main Association will have its annual Holiday Party in the grand ballroom of the Central Station Hotel this Sunday at 4 PM. This will take the place of the December monthly meeting. There will be food by chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of the hotel’s restaurant Bishop, and seasonal cocktails by Old Dominick. Free for SMA members, $10 for non-members.

Crosstown Brewing Co. hosts a Christmas ornament craft workshop Sunday at 2 PM. For $10 you get a beer and everything you need to make ornaments out of beer cans.

River Time Market & Deli on Court Square now has soup in three sizes. Get a small for $3.99, a medium for $5.99, or a large for $7.99. Follow the deli on Facebook to find out their daily soup offerings.

ATCK (All The Cool Kids), featuring a DJ set by A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys as well as DJ Lux, comes to Tin Roof Monday, January 27.

In other Tin Roof news, they will host the official pre-party for WWE Smackdown Friday, January 3. Join them at 5 PM then walk over to FedExForum for the show.

Another WWE brand, NXT, will be in town next month. They will come to Minglewood Hall Thursday, January 23. This will be a house show, not a live TV broadcast. NXT used to be the WWE’s developmental brand but has been considered more than that since they got their new TV deal this fall. Although lesser-known, the performers on the NXT roster often put on better matches than you’ll see on the more established Raw and Smackdown brands.

Another poker night is coming to Downtown. The River Rat Rounders will host Texas Hold’em games Thursday, December 5 and 12 at Loflin Yard at 7 PM. Players will earn double points in the Rats’ poker league those nights. Winners of the main game and the turbo each week will get $50 bar tabs, a Horseshoe Casino comp, and a card guard.

More Loflin Yard news: FreeWorld will hold its 33rd annual Holidaze celebration there on Friday, December 20. There’s no cover charge but everyone is encouraged to bring canned good donations for MIFA. Dr. Herman Green will be there… his appearances have become more limited, so having him there should be a real treat.

Downtowners’ dream of being able to go to a full-service grocery store without having to travel to Mud Island or Midtown took a step closer to reality yesterday. Tax incentives were approved for Union Row, and a grocery store is among the expanded plans.

A man shot at security guards at Margaritas on Saturday night. Ugh… one more reason for me to avoid that place.

Off to work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

I want to start off this post with a link to a meal preparation program that has helped a friend of mine embrace healthy eating. It is called Eat Amplified, and a subscription is not required (although they do offer the option). They will talk to you, if you wish, and build a custom meal plan to address your health goals, or you can pick out what you want online. My friend who uses this service had tried keto and other diet plans and could never stick to them. With Eat Amp’d, he says, he has eaten delicious meals, has never felt still hungry after eating, and he’s learned what a reasonable portion size is and has stuck to his diet, even through Thanksgiving. Check out their a la carte page for an idea of the variety they offer.

A second friend of mine, female, a generation younger, and with totally different health goals recently tried this program and seems to love it too. I’m told that you put in your order by 4 PM Thursday and they do all the shopping for you and prepare your meals for the following week and deliver them to your door.

The Memphis Tigers have announced the men’s basketball team will return to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas the week of Thanksgiving 2020, and the field will be stacked. Other teams participating will include Creighton, Duke, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Utah, good ole West Virginny, and fellow AAC member Wichita State. No matter how talented Memphis is, Penny will have a tough time navigating through that slate. It’ll get the Tigers’ strength of schedule up there, that’s for sure.

Tickets are now on sale for next Saturday’s AAC championship game at the Liberty Bowl. Cincinnati will play Memphis for the title and a probable invitation to the Cotton Bowl at 2:30 on ABC.

I’ve said this once before already, but I want to again extend appreciation to the DMC and Beale Street officials to moving the Downtown holiday parade off the first Saturday of December. For years, no one cared about being in front of a TV for football that day. However, with Memphis now a perennial contender for the AAC championship, it makes perfect sense to let everyone watch the game and have the parade the following Saturday when football season is in the down-time between championship games and bowls. I plan on being at my usual spot, King’s Palace Tap Room, to watch the parade on the 14th. Wonder if the South Main “fam” will watch another parade at Tin Roof?

It’s December 1, and that means it’s time to take a look at non-basketball events coming up at FedExForum this month.

If you’re the type of person who goes to a Grizzlies game at FedExForum now and then, may I suggest the following:

  • Friday, December 13 vs. Milwaukee Bucks: First 5000 fans get #12 Ja Morant and #13 Jaren Jackson Jr. socks
  • Sunday, December 29 vs. Charlotte Hornets: First 5000 fans get a retro fanny pack. I guess Bloom will have to get someone to cover her shift at Bardog so she can add to her fanny pack collection

Cheers to the folks of Deal Cancer Out, who raised $5700 at their Central BBQ Downtown Texas Hold’em tournament yesterday. I saw photos and there were a massive amount of giveaways from local restaurants. The top three places paid out prizes but I bet most of the participants left with something.

Starting next Sunday, Regina’s Cajun Kitchen at 60 N. Main will have Soul Food Sundays. The menu will change from week to week, and there will be live jazz and gospel and games on the TVs.

South of Beale is looking to hire an A.M. Bartender. This position will work mainly 10 AM-4 PM and will make $8/hour plus tips. Bartending experience and a current ABC license is required. Bring your resume and ask for a manager 2-4 PM any day.

That’s it for now. I will start off at B-RAD’s bar today, then decide whether to head south to Slider Inn or stick around the core for the Downtown tree lighting. Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.