Thursday update

Yesterday I went to Blind Bear for their lunch special, a chicken fried steak with garlic mashed potatoes, jalapeno cream gravy, and fried okra.

This was so good. The jalapeno cream gravy was not spicy at all, but you could tell the jalapenos added a distinctive flavor. Plus, my troll liked the gravy because jalapenos are the same color as her hair.

I hear they’re doing another lunch special 11 to 2 today, honey habanero chicken with mashed potatoes and orange glazed carrots. I won’t be there for that one but I bet it will be good.

Popular painting class Paint & Get Lit is back at the Silly Goose tonight at 7. Artist David Yancy will lead the class through a painting experience, with happy hour until 8 for class participants.

From the CA: New brewery Grind City Brewing Co. intends to change the game in Uptown. There will be a taproom, a beer garden, and an outdoor stage for festivals. Owner Hopper Seely has dreamed of owning a brewery since high school.

Random thing I learned from Twitter yesterday: Richard Kline, who played neighbor Larry on the TV show Three’s Company, is in the cast of Waitress performing at the Orpheum this week.

Political scientist Michael Nelson said it’s time to bet on MATA. If sports betting were legalized in Tennessee, 30 percent of the proceeds would go to local governments, with half of that money earmarked toward transportation. A great public transportation system is the hallmark of a great American city. Let’s make this happen.

Drunk Grammar happens tonight at Loflin Yard. Compete for prizes to see who has the best grammar.

Robusto by Havana Mix is hosting Capricorns & Cigars tonight.

I got Best Team Name at trivia last night.

(In best Wimpy voice) “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamberder today.” In case you don’t get the reference, Donald Trump tweeted about the 1000 (actually more like 300) “hamberders” he served the members of the national champion Clemson football team.

In other Trump news, he dropped sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a cohort of traitor and convicted criminal Paul Manafort. Trump also announced that he wants to eventually withdraw the U.S. from the NATO alliance. Daddy Putin must be mighty pleased with his boy in the White House this week.

That’ll do it for now. Off to get a haircut for the first time in six and a half months. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Hungry Memphis blog reports that one of South Main’s best restaurants will be closing temporarily. Rizzo’s will close for about a month because a tree is growing into the north wall, making repairs necessary. Sunday brunch on the 20th will be your last chance to get in there before the closure.

The good news is that Rizzo’s won’t be totally gone during that month. They will do a pop-up at Fuel the 25th and 26th, and then from January 29-February 21 they will have a pop-up location inside the 409 South Main food hall. Chef Michael Patrick arranged the pop-ups so that his employees would not have to go without work during the month that the restaurant is closed.

Those of you who are susceptible to colds and the flu might want to stock up on vitamin C, because the weather this weekend is going to be exactly the kind that makes folks sick. Saturday there are going to be thunderstorms with highs in the low 60s. Saturday night, however, the temperature will plummet to the mid to upper 20s and there could be some light snow overnight. Sunday the temperatures won’t recover much at all during the day and will fall to the low 20s that night.

Amidst all the news yesterday I missed that the hit Broadway musical Waitress has started its run at the Orpheum. There are shows through Sunday.

South of Beale is seeking a full-time cook. They want someone with at least 2 years experience and a passion for the food industry, someone who is reliable and who has reliable transportation. To apply, visit SOB’s Careers page, or stop by the restaurant between 2 and 5 PM to apply in person.

The Hilton Garden Inn across from AutoZone Park will open tomorrow. The Daily Memphian has a look at the hotel’s greyhound theme.

The Daily Memphian’s Geoff Calkins has a great piece of analysis on how there’s no easy fix for the mess the Grizzlies are in. It’s Adoptable Pet Night tonight as the Grizzlies host the Milwaukee Bucks. Free Grizz Girl & Puppy poster to the first 5000 fans. Tip-off is at 7 PM.

Wiseacre is hosting a Bleus, Blues, and Brews Tour and Pairing Saturday, January 26. The focus will be on blue cheese, and there will be pairings of Wiseacre craft beers with various cheeses. They will talk about how fermentation plays a role in the making of both beer and cheese. Cost is $20 and includes beer sampling, plenty of cheese, and blues music. There are tour times at 4 PM and 6 PM, and seating is limited so if you want to attend, don’t hesitate to make your reservation.

There’s a site called Pay It Furloughed where you can buy a beer for a federal worker furloughed by the government shutdown.

Say Cheese and Soi Number 9 will be the featured trucks at Food Truck Wednesday tonight at Cordelia’s Market. 5-8 PM.

That’s it for now. Heading out to Blind Bear for the chicken fried steak and jalapeno cream gravy lunch special the cook told me they would have today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Apologies for taking a rare two days off in a row. As I mentioned in a recent post, I read a book last week that changed my life. It answered all the “Why did this happen to me?” questions I had about events the past four and a half years that previously made no sense. It felt like, although I had never met her, the author wrote the book just for me and I wanted some time to reflect upon it. If I had spare money lying around, I’d buy a copy for every member of the crew that sits at the corner table at Max’s Sports Bar. I know several of them have asked my close friends “What’s going on with Paul?” several times over the past few years, and this book would provide the answers.

A lot of news has piled up during my time away from the blog. Let’s go…

The Commerical Appeal is getting a new hone. Having consolidated its operations with sibling papers in Nashville and Knoxville, the CA no longer needs the massive building they have out in The Edge District on Union Avenue. They are moving into the third floor of 119 South Main, in the space formerly occupied by Oden. If the 119 S. Main address sounds familiar to my readers, it’s because the ground floor is occupied by one of the businesses mentioned most frequently on this blog – the Blind Bear. CA employees, when you move into your new digs, check them out for their weekday lunch. Or, if you can’t get away from your desk, they’re on UberEats.

This isn’t set in stone yet, but Marcus the cook at the Blind Bear told me he’s going to try to have a lunch special at the Bear this Wednesday – chicken fried steak with jalapeno cream gravy, mashed potatoes and okra. If that happens my troll and I will be there for sure. You know how I feel about chicken fried steak!

Here’s a recap of WWE Monday Night RAW from FedExForum last night. I didn’t go but it was said to be an above average show, setting the RAW brand up to go in new directions for 2019.

Before Monday Night RAW, a number of WWE Superstars toured the National Civil Rights Museum and presented a $10,000 donation on behalf of the company. Very cool move.

My friend Michael Butler, a talented photographer and author of the One901 blog, wants to pick one lucky couple to do a Valentine’s Day photo shoot, along with his creative team. Shoot a picture to one901blog@gmail.com by January 21 to enter for a chance to win.

Friends of mine are looking to rent their 3 BR/3 BA condo at 575 S. Front. This would be just south of G.E. Patterson, right across Front from the Memphis Farmers Market. They are awesome people and would be great landlords.

Good show coming to The Dirty Crow Inn this Saturday night: Brad Birkedahl makes his debut there. Lots of good rockabilly and Elvis. Brad spends a lot of time playing Beale Street.

The CA has an editorial by Congressman Steve Cohen: It’s time to abolish the Electoral College

Grizzlies announcer Pete Pranica has tips on how to get picked as the FedEx Fan of the Game and receive great prizes:

Coredlia’s Market is having a Girl Scout Cookie and beer pairing on February 27.

The CA’s Jennifer Chandler has a look at 3 meatless lunches for under $10, and you can get one of those lunches Downtown: the grilled portabella mushroom sandwich from Central BBQ.

The Downtown Flying Saucer has a grilled lamb taco on special all week long this week. Sounds yummy!

Ballet Memphis has a job opening for a Donor Relations Manager.

The CA has a review of Justin Timberlake’s recent Memphis show.

If you’re looking for a reason to go to the Peabody’s Sunday brunch buffet, here’s one for you: chocolate covered bacon.

Sunday I thought back to a very Memphis-y game I had in my childhood: Pass the Pigs (originally called Pig Mania). The game has two dice, shaped like pigs, and you score points (or lose your turn) based on the position in which the pigs land. If I had known I would one day be on a BBQ team I would not have given that game away.

The Millennium Tour comes to FedExForum Sunday, March 24.

Statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight has a great piece on why Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke have more upside than Biden or Bernie. Between them, they appeal to five key bases that are vital to electing a Democrat in 2020: The Left, millennials, African-Americans, Hispanics, and party loyalists. A Kamala/Beto ticket sounds like a winner to me. Some say Beto should be the presidential nominee because he has the “it” factor that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had, but Sen. Harris has more relevant experience and it’s time to have a woman of color in the Oval Office. Beto is young and there will still be plenty of time for him to be the nominee in later elections.

By the way, I am not a Bernie supporter anymore. He’s too soft on Russia. I believe “hawk on Russia” has got to be the number-one quality in a presidential nominee, given all that has happened since 2016. I also am not a fan of any Democratic candidate over 70, except Joe Biden and that’s only if he promises to serve for one term and picks a youthful, progressive running mate .

All right. Finally to the end of this long post. I need to not skip days and let news build up in the future. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update: News and the great pizza debate

If you have general admission tickets for the Justin Timberlake concert tonight, you must enter FedExForum at the east doors on Fourth Street, across from Robert Church Park. At that entrance you will be given your wristband.

Walk With Elias: The Commercial Appeal interviewed WWE superstar Elias ahead of Monday Night RAW at FedExForum.

Hard Knot Designs, makers of rustic home goods, are the featured shop at today’s Small Shop Saturday at Ghost River noon to 4 PM.

Drafts & Laughs with the Comma Comedians returns to Memphis Made Brewing Co. tonight.

The fine folks at MemphisWeather.net have published the 2018 Memphis climate summary on their blog. Interesting reading if you’re a weather nerd like I am.

A Facebook friend of mine posted an article about a new device that is getting Kickstarter funding: The Pizza Fork. This is a utensil that combines a rolling pizza slicer wheel and a fork. It allows you to slice off a bite of your pizza slice then pick it up without need for a knife. So it’s time to discuss an issue I have brought up on my blog in the past, one on which I have strong feelings.

Should pizza be eaten with a knife and fork (or The Pizza Fork), or should it be eaten using your hands?

Well, first of all, if the pizza crust is too soggy to pick up with your hands without the cheese and toppings falling off, then yeah, in that case you pretty much have to use a knife and fork. But that’s an exception and also a sign that you need to visit a different pizzeria in the future.

The answer to the question, as I see it, is on an individual basis. Let’s say that it’s Sunday afternoon, and you’re home by yourself, sitting on the couch in your underwear watching the Bears play the Steelers. The Domino’s guy just delivered a pizza to your door.

If you eat the Domino’s pizza with a knife and fork, then it is perfectly fine to use a knife and fork when you go to a nice restaurant like Spindini and order pizza.

However, if you eat the Domino’s pizza using your hands, then you should also use your hands when eating pizza at a nice restaurant.

I know that many of us had parents or teachers who taught us, “A gentleman/lady does not eat food with his/her hands.” But come on, use some common sends. Yes, it is bad manners to grab a Brussels sprout out of the bowl and pop it in your mouth. But pizza? For heaven’s sake, it’s pizza. It was meant to be eaten with hands.

Just my two cents on this highly important debate. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Yesterday I went over to the Court Square food truck rodeo with no particular lunch in mind. After looking over the selection, I decided to visit the Soi Number 9 food truck.

I went up to the window and ordered the Khao Soi Noodles – egg noodles with stewed chicken in a yellow curry sauce with onion, pickled greens, onions and a lime. The lady at the counter asked my name so she could call it out when the order was ready. When I told her it was Paul, she said, “You write a blog?” Yep, this was not my first visit to Soi Number 9 and I have blogged about good past experiences with them.

My food was ready in about 10 minutes and she asked if I wanted a cup of Thai hot chili sauce to take with me. I love spicy, so of course I’m not turning that down!

What a beautiful presentation! As it turned out, I did not need the hot sauce. I don’t eat a lot of yellow curry and was pleasantly surprised to find it was hotter than I expected. All the flavors worked so well together and it was a delicious lunch. As is often the case with food truck Thursdays, I couldn’t finish all my food so I had leftovers.

The CA reports that the historic Ambassador Hotel on South Main will be renovated into apartments, about half of them being rented out using AirBnb, with a restaurant on the ground floor. The developer says there is a high demand for short-term rentals in the area, which is true, especially during Music Fest and BBQ Fest. A “well-known hospitality company” is said to be interested in opening the restaurant and further developing the South Main food scene.

The Man of the Woods is back at FedExForum tomorrow night at 7:30. Justin Timberlake already made one tour stop here in 2018, but demand was so high that he added a second date. There’s always some excellent people-watching Downtown on the nights of JT concerts. Many women tend to dress to the nines for his shows.

Great post by Holly of the I Love Memphis Blog on the soon-to-open Greyhound, a new craft cocktail bar in the Downtown core. What’s up with the name, you ask? The bar is inside the new Hilton Garden Inn across from AutoZone Park on Union, on the site where the old Greyhound bus station used to be located. Holly reports that gin drinks will be a specialty.

Vance Lauderdale of Memphis magazine has a look at Madison and Main in the early 1900s.

Classic 1952 movie Singin’ in the Rain plays on the Orpheum’s big screen tonight at 7.

The Andrew Michael family of restaurants is having a Guest Chef Series in 2019. This will include two of their Downtown restaurants. On Sunday, January 27, Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street in St. Louis will be in the Gray Canary’s kitchen. On March 4, Catherine & Mary’s will host Rebecca Wilcomb of New Orleans restaurant Gianna.

The MBJ has a sneak peek at what is going on with redevelopment of the former Wonder Bread bakery space over in The Edge. The project’s 290 apartments should be ready to be occupied by May of next year.

Downtown Yoga is having a Galentine’s Day Celebration on Wednesday, February 13 at 6:45 PM. This is a 45-minute restorative yoga class that will be a celebration of female friendships. After the class there will be sweets, beverages, and flowers. Everyone, both women and men, are welcome. YOGA!

Job news: Explore Bike Share has two positions open, a Membership Marketing Director and a Development Manager.

Well here’s something new and different: There will be a Water Lantern Festival at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Riverside Park, just south of Downtown, on Saturday, May 11.

If you live or work Downtown and have thought about purchasing season tickets for the Memphis Express, the city’s new pro football team, next week would be a good time to do it. Call 901-881-3344 between 9 AM and 5 PM January 14-18 from a Downtown location to order season tickets, and a special gift will be delivered to you within 30 minutes or the tickets are free. Certain restrictions apply.

Bluff City Life has a segment introducing viewers to the owners of the new Downtown Nutrition shop on the Main Street Mall.

That’s it for now. I read a life-changing book this week, a book that made a lot of things make sense that previously made no sense. I may talk about it on here at some future point, but for now I want to get out and tell my friends about it. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

For all my readers who frequent Bardog Tavern, please keep general manager Rico in your thoughts this week. Tuesday afternoon he was in a motorcycle accident. He’s recovering in the hospital, and is said to have injured his knee and messed up his right arm and thumb. Get better soon, Rico! Next time I go in I will play some Bee Gees and some Earth, Wind & Fire on the jukebox in your honor.

Cardinals Caravan returns to AutoZone Park Friday, January 18. The event is free to attend, with gates opening at 5:30 and program at 6:30. Among the guests will be former Redbirds manager/current Cardinals first-base coach Stubby Clapp, as will fellow Redbirds and Cards alum Jason Motte. Current Cardinals players Jordan Hicks, Tyler O’Neill, Austin Gomber, and Adolis Garcia will attend, as will Cardinals broadcaster Ricky Horton. There will be autographs for kids 15 and under – there will be a ticketing system, so get there early to get your ticket. There will be a Q&A session and a raffle. This event has a history of getting canceled due to snow and ice, so let’s hope for warm weather for the area between St. Louis and Memphis that day.

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts ECU at FedExForum tonight at 8. Can’t be there but want to keep up? There’s now an Official Memphis Tigers app with live stats, streaming video and audio, alerts, scores, and stories. The app is free to download and install.

While we’re on the subject of apps and smartphones, WMC Action News 5 warns of a new scam affecting Apple device users. Scammers spoof a phone call from Apple saying there is a problem with your device. They are after your personal information. Apple never places unsolicited calls to its users.

The new Downtown men’s grooming parlor Baron’s Man Cave is almost ready to open and is now accepting appointments online. The man cave is located at 50 Peabody Place, Suite 101 between Front and Main.

The Downtown Memphis Commission is hosting a Downtown Parking Study Open House at their building at N. Main and Adams, Thursday, January 17. The time is listed as 5:30-6:30 AM but I’m pretty sure they mean PM.

New nonstop flights to and from Memphis International. Via Airlines will be here on June 25 with nonstop flights to Austin and Pittsburgh.

Cupcakes and Craft Beers, a beer dinner featuring three savory and one sweet cupcake by Two Girls and a Whip, returns to the Ghost River taproom Thursday, January 24. Each cupcake will be expertly paired with a Ghost River beer. Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance.

Beginning today and for about three weeks, Mississippi Blvd. will be closed to through traffic between Danny Thomas and Lauderdale for sewer work.

The City Council has spent some time on what it would mean if sports betting were legalized in Tennessee and specifically on Beale Street. Although most of the revenue would go to the state, Council members supporting the resolution want to make sure Memphis keeps a fair share.

Chris Vernon announced that all the episodes of The Chris Vernon Show are now on YouTube and you can access them by subscribing to the grindcitymedia channel. His team has been doing an insane amount of work, he says, archiving everything.

The Flyer has a report on the investor who bought the Royal Furniture building and what his plans for the space might be.

That’s it for now. Off to Court Square for Food Truck Thursday. Back tomorrow with more news.

Want to learn to play bridge or improve your game? Opportunities coming to Downtown Memphis

(This is my second post of the day. Scroll down if you’re here for my Wednesday Update news post)

Have you ever thought about learning a game your grandparents may have played, duplicate contract bridge? Or, do you already know how to play and are interested in improving your game? Well, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to do that in Downtown Memphis toward the end of March.

Many of you know that I used to work for the company that sanctions the card game bridge. That company sanctions three national tournaments per year, one each in the spring, summer, and fall, and the spring national tournament is coming to Memphis, at the Cook Convention Center Downtown, March 21-31. Although the main focus of these events, called NABCs, is on top-level players competing to win prestigious titles, they also offer plenty for new, novice, and intermediate players. I want to spotlight some opportunities you will have there to learn and improve.

  • There will be free two-hour lessons Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 at 10 AM. This will be followed by BridgePlus+, where you play a limited number of hands to practice what you learned. There is no card fee for BridgePlus+.
  • Learn Bridge in a Day, the afternoon of Saturday, March 23, is a seminar that does what it says – it will have you comfortable playing the game and understanding the basics by the end of the day. There is a fee for this course. Register here. The teacher, Patty Tucker, is considered one of the very best teachers in North America.
  • Notrump in a Day, the successor to Learn Bridge in a Day, is the afternoon of Sunday, March 24, also taught by Patty Tucker. Bridge contracts played without a trump suit have to be played a little differently than contracts where there is one. This course will teach you how. There is a fee for this class as well. Register here. These courses have been around for several years and feedback from students who attended has been excellent.
  • Celebrity speakers almost every day. Unless the times have changed I believe these are at 9:15 AM and 6:45 PM. The speakers are some of the best bridge teachers out there, and they will discuss various strategies for those at the newcomer and intermediate levels to improve their game. If you gave specific questions about your game, by all means find out if Jerry Helms is doing his “Ask Jerry” seminar.
  • Pop-up bridge bookstore at the Convention Center. Plenty of books and other materials to take your game to a higher level no matter where you are on the learning curve.
  • Newcomers play free Friday, March 22. A newcomer is someone with no more than 5 masterpoints, the measure of success in the bridge world.
  • 0-5 newcomer games every day, although there’s a card fee on days other than the 22nd.
  • Half-off special: Those with 100 masterpoints are less can buy an entry to a game March 22-24 and receive a half-priced entry to a game March 29-31.
  • Partnership desk: You need a partner to play bridge, but if you don’t have one, no problem. Just come about an hour early and they’ll find a partner for you.
  • Hand records are available for most games. These allow you to go back over the hands you played and think about how you might have played them differently/better.
  • If you’re 25 or  younger, inquire about a junior membership to the league for only 5 bucks. That’ll get you the right to have your masterpoints recorded for an entire year, and you also will get online access to the league’s highly acclaimed monthly magazine, The Bridge Bulletin – not only the current month issue, but back issues to at least 2005 and they may have added more.

In case you’re wondering how I know so much about these events, I sat cat-a-corner to the Education Manager in cubicle land. Although I’m not with the bridge league anymore, I still encourage anyone who’s interested in learning a highly addictive mind game to give bridge a try.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Memphis Business Journal broke a big news story yesterday. A developer has acquired the Royal Furniture building at Main and Gayoso, and is going to build it up into a hotel and restaurant. I kind of had a feeling that was going to happen sooner or later. That parcel of real estate is too valuable to remain a low-volume furniture store. I mean, when you need a new bedroom set, who thinks “let’s go Downtown and find one” anymore?

That block is ideal for a hotel. If you think about it, that block hosts an array of businesses about as diverse as any in the city. You’ve got a sub shop, an elegant upscale restaurant, an Asian restaurant, an ice cream shop, a museum of Asian and Judaic art, a center for regional arts and culture, a 1930s style speakeasy, a clothing shop, and a post office. It’s a block walk from a grocery store and a hair salon. Piece of advice for whoever becomes the concierge at the new hotel: Partner up with the Center for Southern Folklore. That place is a hidden treasure that many tourists never hear about.

Explore Bike Share is offering a special through the end of January: Purchase an annual membership to the bike share for only $60. This is perfect for people who want to get fit, but who enjoy the great outdoors more than they do the gym.

There was a preview of the auto museum in The Edge neighborhood last night, and people posted photo of some beautiful classic cars. The museum will soon open to the public. I hear there will be an auto detail shop as well.

The Daily Memphian reports that Carolina Watershed is changing its focus and hours of operation. The operators of Loflin Yard have entered into a management agreement to run Watershed, the silo bar and restaurant on East Carolina Avenue. Watershed will only be open to the public on Saturdays (4 PM-midnight) and Sundays (11 AM-10 PM). They will focus on building up private event business during the week, and plan to add a covered pavilion that can accommodate 200 people and which can be used even in inclement weather. Bookings for private events at Watershed can be made through PartyMemphis.com.

Well this is interesting… BLDG Memphis, along with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, is starting a community development book club and its first meeting will be January 18 at the MMDC office, 656 Madison. The book to be discussed with be The Color of Law: Forgotten History of How Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein.

Pontotoc Lounge has rolled out a new January menu. Don’t worry, the Mississippi Pot Roast that everyone loves is not going away. It’s joined by Turkey Roulade, Fish & Chips, Bucarelle Pasta, and homemade Pork & Beans with pork shank. “Dacon” was listed as one of the toppings of the Bucarelle Pasta, and after Google searching “dacon” and coming up empty-handed, I inquired what that was. “Duck bacon,” they replied. Color me intrigued!

That’ll do it for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update: We have photos! (bitches hate snitches)

Thanks to the clandestine photography skills of a Downtown resident, I now have photos of all three of the crew who have been attempting robberies down here. The two women approach a man at a bar, and convince him to leave with them to “go have some fun.” Outside their male accomplice is waiting with a gun to rob the victim. They were on Beale Street last night, the male looking very out of place in a trench coat in 63 degree weather.

This morning I emailed a sergeant at the North Main substation with whom I have communicated about these people, and forwarded the photos. He is issuing a be-on-the-lookout and also forwarded the photos to the violent crimes unit to see if they have any matches to the photos.

The photos are also now in the possession of people associated with the following businesses: The Brass Door, Bardog, Belle Tavern/117 Prime, Local Downtown, Blind Bear, Kooky Canuck, Flying Saucer, Silly Goose, King’s Palace Cafe/Tap Room, Mt. Handy’s Blues Hall, Rum Boogie, The Pig, Pontotoc Lounge, Civil Pour, Green Beetle, and Max’s Sports Bar. Basically, these people should assume that if they enter any bar in the Downtown core or South Main, people who work there have seen their photos and been warned about them. As a friend of mine would say, you bitches are D-U-N done. Get out of my neighborhood or go to jail.

If you want copies of the photos email me at paul@paulryburn.com or hit me up on Facebook. If I don’t know you personally, tell me your reason for wanting the photos and send me a link to a social media account of yours so I can make sure you’re not one of the criminals or their associates. Apologies if you requested copies of the photos and I haven’t sent them yet. I was up until 3 in the morning on Facebook Messenger responding to requests.

I didn’t make it to see Jake “The Snake” Roberts last night but I saw photos and it looked like an awesome show. On to the news…

An intimate evening of songs and storytelling with Sarah McLachlan, featuring Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, has been announced for the Orpheum for February 22.

The Orpheum has selected a winner in their Waitress the Musical pie baking contest.

This wouldn’t be my first choice of places to work Downtown, but if you need a job, Bluefin posted that they are looking for a bartender who can work until midnight.

Trolley Stop Market is also hiring.

Betcha two-thirds of the people who apply don’t follow the directions.

Camy’s is also hiring. Must have restaurant experience. Hit them up on Facebook if interested.

If you haven’t had a chance to try the excellent food by my friends at the New Wing Order food truck, head to Cordelia’s Market on Mud Island tomorrow night, Wednesday January 9, between 5 and 8 PM. They will be one of the featured trucks for Cordelia’s food truck Wednesday.

The Brass Door has announced Winter Hibernation Hours for Mondays until February: On Mondays they will close after lunch.

Loflin Yard is bringing back Bring Your Dog to Bingo Day on Sunday, January 27 and it will be a once-a-month thing from here on out. Bring your dog and get an extra bingo card. Cerrito Bingo happens every Sunday at Loflin from 5 to 7 PM.

For those of you who love Memphis because of the great live music here, mark the dates January 22-26 on your calendar. It’s the International Blues Challenge at venues on and around Beale Street. Some of the best unsigned blues artists in the world will come here to compete for record contracts. The first day, January 22, is considered by many to be the “sleeper” day of the week many people overlook, when there is an international blues showcase on Beale.

Also keep your eye on Kooky Canuck’s social media. They invite the Canadian blues artists for a daytime showcase every year.

Primas Bakery and Boutique is having a Valentine Truffle Tasting on February 9. Ticket gets you a flight of four chocolate truffles, flavors including Nutella, salted caramel, white chocolate raspberry, and chocolate peanut butter. Those over 21 will get complimentary wine.

The Blind Bear has announced its 7th birthday party for Friday, January 25. $6 specialty cocktail specials, $5 food specials, $3 shot specials, music by Kaleidoworld, photographer on duty to document the fun.

If your idea of entertainment is to watch a mentally deranged orange shitgibbon fling verbal poo, turn on the TV tonight at 8. President Trump will brief the public on border security. It’s believed he will declare a national emergency. Isn’t that a step dictators take en route to assuming absolute power?

It’s beautiful outside! Why can’t it stay that way all day? It’s shorts weather out right now but temperatures are predicted to drop into the mid 40s by evening. I’m going to get out and enjoy it while I can. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update: More on the two women targeting men at Downtown bars

EDIT Tuesday 10 AM: Oops forgot to hit Publish yesterday. Check back for a Tuesday update post in a few hours. We now have photos of all the robbers described below.

My blog’s readership drops off by about 40% on the weekends, so I want to repeat a paragraph of a safety alert I made in yesterday’s post. After communicating with some people I am becoming increasingly alarmed and concerned about this.

I am again hearing stories of two women targeting men at bars in the Downtown core (neighborhood bars, not Beale Street, although they may go there too). Both women are African-American, and the one who does the approaching is about 5’8″, lighter skinned, straight long blond hair, very nicely dressed. The other one is 5’3″ to 5’4″, dark hair, darker skinned, a bit heavyset. Their male accomplice wears a shirt that is about two sizes too large and untucked, perfect for hiding a gun. He generally remains outside, but will come in the bar for a minute to give the women more money to buy drinks or when they want to point out a target to him.

I also posted this to Facebook. These women and/or their accomplice have now been identified as having been seen in or around the following bars in the past year:

  • Blind Bear
  • Bardog
  • Flying Saucer
  • Local Downtown
  • Printer’s Alley

You’ll notice that some of my very favorite homes-away-from-home appear on this list. In no way am I saying, don’t go to these places. In fact, when I meet tourists and I ask them where to go, the Bear and Bardog are usually the first two places I tell them. If they mention being into beer, I send them to the Saucer. I want to see all these businesses do well and prosper. I am not trying to hurt their businesses by mentioning them here. I am pointing out a problem that is hurting their businesses.

So, I have a request to bar owners, managers, and bartenders. I know it can get busy at times and you cannot control every little thing that happens in your bar. But, to the extent that you can identify them and know who they are, PLEASE STOP SERVING THEM. In restaurants in Tennessee (and technically all the places I listed are licensed as restaurants except maybe Printer’s) you can refuse service to anyone, without reason. If we can take away the spaces in which these people operate, that may convince them that Downtown is not the most convenient neighborhood in which to run their scams.

Also, bar owners that employ doormen: If a man comes in with an untucked shirt a size or two too large, why not asked to see his waistband? That’s not discrimination, that’s protecting your patrons from someone who may be trying to bring a gun in your business.

I have a photo of the heavier of the two women that I am willing to share with Downtown bar owners, managers, bartenders, and servers. However, I must know you personally in order to share it with you. A friend of mine tried to take a selfie with the taller, more attractive woman recently. She refused, which is a dead giveaway that they’re up to no good and are trying to keep their identities concealed.

Again, apologies for calling out particular businesses publicly on here, but this is a case where we’ve all got to work together to eliminate evil from our neighborhood.

On a better note… I am super, super excited about tonight. A couple of months ago, one of my BBQ teammates contacted me. He said retired pro wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts is doing a show at the Hi-Tone – comedy, stories from the road, and Q&A. So he bought four tickets not only to the show, but the VIP meet & greet preceding it. He asked if I wanted to go. You bet I did! Jake was one of the top wrestlers of the 1980s. He would bring a burlap sack to the ring. After knocking his opponent out with his signature move, the DDT, he would open the sack and pull out a 12-foot long live snake named Damien, who he would place on his defeated opponent’s body.

There was much sadness on social media this weekend as longtime employees and regulars mourned the closing of Club 152 on Beale. Inside sources indicate 152 might be not quite as gone as we believe, that it may re-open under a different concept.

Semi-Average Joe will supply the tunes at Sunday brunch at Sunrise Memphis this coming Sunday, January 13. Music starts at 10 AM.

One of my readers asked me to let everyone know that the cleaners across from Bardog on Monroe Avenue, in the Shrine Building, is back open and they have really good people running it. Word has seemingly not got out as well as they hoped that they were back open, and they would appreciate your business.

The main library at 3030 Poplar kicks off a new series on Saturday, January 26 from 1 to 2 PM. The first presentation of the series is called Birth of the Bluff City and will explore Memphis from 1819 to 1865. Drawings, historical maps, and photographs will be used to explore Memphis as it was from the year of its founding up to the eve of the Civil War.

Also happening on the 26th – but at 4 PM so you’ll be able to do both if you choose – is a French macaron tasting at Primas Bakery & Boutique on South Main. Each ticket includes a flight of four macarons, with the flavors being Churro, Nutella, Orange Creamsicle, and Key Lime. Complimentary wine will be available for participants 21 and up. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Chandler Parsons is leaving the Grizzlies indefinitely and that is just fine as far as I am concerned. He was offered a three home game stint with the Grizzlies’ G-League team the Memphis Hustle, as a way to evaluate his health and level of play since returning from injury. However, players with more than three years of NBA experience have the right to refuse such assignments, and Parsons did just that. I started to type “what a piece of work that guy is,” but it’s obvious “Chandler Parsons” and “work” do not belong in the same sentence. Compare him to Jevon Carter, who spent months driving down to Southaven to practice with the Hustle and then back to Memphis to practice with the Grizzlies. Carter is all heart, grit and grind. Parsons is all about posting #Chancun pics to social media.