Fri update: Davis-Kidd, new restaurant/club in Quetzal space, Redbirds fun for kids, Sunday No-Fun Day for grownups, poker editorial and more

Today’s first item isn’t Downtown news, but it’s sad news… the Daily News reports┬áthat Davis-Kidd bookstore is likely to close after its parent Joseph-Beth goes through bankruptcy. I hate to see Memphis lose another bookstore. Then again, probably the last 20 books I bought were from Amazon (and most of those Kindle books), so I guess I helped contribute to the decline.

The CA reports that a new restaurant called Sky Grille will open in the old Quetzal space on Union near Marshall. It will be a family restaurant serving Huey’s-style food from 11 AM to 10 PM, then it will turn into a club with DJs, VIP rooms and even a bikini contest on Thursday. They say they will have free valet parking and a shuttle to various points Downtown. I always hope new businesses succeed Downtown, but the concept for this really sounds all over the place. They’re going to have to do many things well from the beginning, rather than focusing on doing one thing well (like Huey’s did with its burger) and then expanding from there. Nevertheless, I wish them luck.

Big weekend at the Redbirds. Saturday is fireworks night (game starts 6:05). On Sunday, there will be an Easter egg hunt at 1:00 before the game begins at 1:35. Kids will be able to get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, and can run the bases after the game.

What are the grown-ups going to do on Sunday? The Saucer doesn’t open until 5. Two days away and I’m at a loss for ideas.

Great editorial from former Senator Alfonse D’Amato: Make online poker legal? It already is. If poker is a game of chance, as the Justice Department seems to think, then the average Joe could enter a tournament and have the same chance of winning as Phil Ivey. If that’s the case, how come Ivey has won tens of millions of dollars and I’m sitting in a cubicle?

Congratulations to my friends on the Squeal Street BBQ team, who had a special guest yesterday for their cookout at Shelton Clothiers. Mayor Wharton stopped by for a bite. I stopped by for a bite later in the evening, and the BBQ sliders were delicious.

Plans for tonight: No idea. I guess I may stop by the toga party at Max’s Sports Bar, where they’re giving out prizes for most authentic, best accessories, most likely to be a Roman God, etc. If there’s a prize for not caring enough to find a toga to wear, I might win.

Outta here for now. Happy Good Friday!

Memphis in May 2011 iPhone/Droid app now available

The Memphis in May app for the iPhone and Droid is now available in the App Store (and whatever the equivalent of the App Store is on the Droid). Even if you have the 2010 app, you’ll still need to download the new one.

I got it this afternoon and it’s very cool. I went straight to the BBQ Fest section, scrolled to my team, and found our booth. Then I looked at the Music Fest section. You can search by time or by artist, and you can build your own personal “My Schedule” and then share it with friends so you can arrange to meet up.

There are also sections for Sunset Symphony, and for the honored country, Belgium.

The app is free, so if you plan to attend any of the Memphis in May events, this is worth a minute to download.

Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub to start new trivia night next Tuesday

Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub, located at Jackson and Main in the Pinch, has announced that they are starting a new weekly trivia night next Tuesday, April 26. Trivia will begin at 8 PM and wrap up around 10.

Trivia will be hosted by Kevin Cerrito. Prizes for first, second and third, and a prize (which I hear is a pitcher of beer) for the best team name.

My trivia team, the Rapscallions, has played Tuesday trivia at the Flying Saucer since September 2005, but next Tuesday we’re going to take a break and try Ferraro’s. The Saucer adopted a new format recently, some of which doesn’t make much sense. (For example: A “beer question” where the first team to answer gets a beer. The team sitting nearest the trivia guy nearly always wins, and how does a team split ONE beer anyway?) We’re going to explore other options.

There’s a limit of 8 players per team at Ferraro’s, and since our team is often bigger than 8, we’ll have to decide how to handle that – split into two teams or something. Then again, I think we may actually see new team members, because unlike the Saucer, Ferraro’s is SMOKE FREE. We had people who wanted to play trivia with us, but the smoke bothered their eyes and stunk up their clothes. Not a problem at Ferraro’s. Also, since it’s smoke free, all ages can come and play.

(For people who insist on smoking, there’s a patio)

One person on Twitter compared it to the old Poplar Lounge trivia nights, but better. There will be beer specials, and they have PBR. I’ve eaten at Ferraro’s one time, and the calzone was excellent. Hoping I can talk a teammate or two into splitting a pizza on Tuesday, as I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ferraro’s pies.

For updates on Ferraro’s trivia night, “Like” them on Facebook and follow @cerrito on Twitter.

Thur update: Rooftop parties, MLGW app, new photo blog, yogurt place about to open

Rooftop party season gets into full swing tonight as the Madison Hotel starts their “Sunset at the Madison” Thursday night parties. Elmo & the Shades play tonight. Rooftop tapas menu, sophisticated drinks. Doors open 5:30, live music 6-10. $7 cover.

The Madison is adding a second party this year – “Moonlight at the Madison.” From 10:30 PM to 1 AM, DJ Tommy Austein will entertain. Cash bar continues, late night menu. $5 cover and Sunset attendees extend their party for free.

Over at the Peabody rooftop, one of the most popular bands they book, Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster, will perform tonight. Get down with ’70s and ’80s disco and enjoy a buffet of ’70s favorites like pigs in a blanket and fondue. In the VIP secion, the buffet will consist of deviled eggs, mac & cheese, and ham/asparagus rollups. $10 cover includes first drink, ladies free before 7.

If you hold a VIP season pass (buy them at the entrance for $75), the Peabody will occasionally have VIP pre-parties in the Corner Bar. There’s one tonight from 5 to 6. It will be a Bud Light Happy Hour. Complimentary Bud Light, Crispy Chili Glazed Chicken Wings, Bar-B-Que Pork Sliders, Spicy Traditional Pepperoni and Mozzarella Pizza.

(Disclosure: The Peabody gave me a VIP pass for the season.)

(John D: “Whaaaaaa? Complimentary Bud Light at the pre-party? Paul, can I borrow your pass?”)

There will be an after-party in the Corner Bar to which the public is invited (i.e. it’s not VIP only), from 10 to 12 with DJ Witnesse. 10 to midnight, benefits the Memphis Music Foundation.

In other news: If you’re one of the ones without power, MLGW has an iPhone app that you can use to check for status updates. (Of course, you’ll have to find someplace with power to charge your phone.)

Cool new street photography blog: seen memphis.

The CA reports that the new frozen yogurt shop on Main will be open Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Second post on the way, about a new trivia night Downtown. Plans for tonight: Probably a warm-up beer at the Saucer, then a trip to Shelton Clothiers to eat Squeal Street BBQ at the Third Thursday party. Possibly Peabody rooftop to hear Dr. Zarr afterward, depending on weather.

Parties! Parties! Parties!

Despite being Easter weekend, a weekend that is usually slow entertainment-wise, the rest of this week and this weekend is pretty well stacked with parties going on Downtown. Here’s a summary.

Tonight FedExForum will host the watch party for the second Grizzlies vs. Spurs playoff matchup. Screens will be set up outside and in the lobby, and food and drinks will be available in Jack Daniels’ Old No. 7 bar. Details here.

Tomorrow night, the Third Thursdays block parties return to the block of Main between Peabody Place and Gayoso. It’s free from 5:30 PM until close, with retail discounts and food and drink specials at area restaurants. Performers this month will include Memphis Jazz Trio, Copper Possum, and Eric Hughes Trio.

A particularly good deal at the block party will happen at Shelton Clothiers. When you stop by and give at least a minimum $5 donation to LeBonheur, you’ll get to enjoy beer and BBQ from Squeal Street BBQ until it’s gone. All you can eat? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Friday night, the South Main District will have a block party, with great specials and selections of art and apparel. Hours will be 6 to 9 PM.

Saturday there will be a big party at Max’s Sports Bar from 2 to 10. “Concert in the Courtyard” will feature music by Dynaflow, Deering & Down, and Jimmy Davis. $3.50 New Belgium Draft, $2.50 Rolling Rock, crawfish by the pound. Grizzlies game shown at 7:30 on their 10 HDTVs inside and 2 HDTVs outside. Free to get in the bar, $5 to get on the patio.

As you can see, even though it’s Easter weekend, there’s still plenty to do.

Happy birthday to our friend Dennis, who is a frequent Downtown visitor with his wife Mary Pat. Dennis turns 50 today.

Apologies if I’m behind on e-mails, getting stuff on the blog that’s been requested… have been dealing with car repairs the past couple of days, and recovering from weekend festivals. Should be back on more of a normal routine from here on out.

Good news for those live Downtown but work elsewhere: Lunchbox Eats to open on Saturdays

I went to the food truck festival in Court Square, but the lines were so long that I didn’t feel like dealing with them. (This is a good sign that the food trucks will be successful.) So I decided to take a walk to one of my favorite eateries that I never get to enjoy, Lunchbox Eats.

Lunchbox Eats is on Fourth just south of Linden, a little out of the way but worth the walk. I had the Third Period Smoking Birds sandwich, consisting of turkey, chicken, and duck on buttered bread (it’s a turducken in a sandwich). I got a huge bowl of mac & cheese as a side.

Definitely one of Downtown’s best lunch spots, but I rarely get to eat there. The drive from Horn Lake, where I work, and back simply takes too lunch for an hour lunch. However, while eating I got some good news. Lunchbox Eats will start opening on Saturdays from 11 AM to 7 PM. Now Downtowners who can’t make it down here for lunch will have a chance to enjoy this amazing restaurant. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really need to!

Tue update: Food truck fare, new restaurant to open on Beale

This weekend, I took Monday as a vacation day to recover from hot wing fest/crawfish fest. It unexpectedly turned into a 4-day weekend, as I had the car in the shop for repairs and it wasn’t ready by the end of the day yesterday. I picked a nice day to be off, because it enabled me to walk over to Court Square and check out the food truck demonstration.

Lots of people out, and about seven vendors. I got there right at noon, probably the busiest time. The line for Fuel Cafe’s truck, serving the restaurant’s famous bison burgers, was about 30 deep. There’s a reggae band playing in the gazebo and people were having a good time. It’s actually kind of hot outside today!

The food truck demo was part of the CCC’s Downtown Alive series. Here’s the lineup for the rest of April (click the image to zoom in for full size):

Hmmm my camera seems to be leaving a smudge on every image. May have to invest in a new camera before BBQ Fest gets here. Will certainly need it then.

In other news, the Memphis Business Journal reports that a new restaurant is coming to Beale Street. Johnny G’s Creole Kitchen will open at 156 Beale by the end of April. It will serve traditional Creole fare including jambalaya, red beans and rice, etoufee, po’boys, and 8 different kinds of gumbo. Prices will be affordable, starting at $6.95 for entrees. The restaurant is in the former Alley Katz gift shop space.

Sorry I’ve been blogging a little less than usual lately. Been living it up at festivals and friends’ birthday parties, and fretting about having to spend vacation days dealing with car repairs. Hopefully I’ll resume my normal schedule tomorrow.

Food trucks get a test run in Court Square tomorrow

There will be a food truck party in Court Square tomorrow from 11 to 2. Fuel Cafe, YoLo, Rolling Pit and A Square Meal on Wheels will vend tomorrow, and there will be live reggae as part of the Downtown Alive! series.

The event happens as a new ordinance, designed to make it easier for food trucks to operate, makes its way through City Council. It will have its third and final reading tomorrow. Everyone come out and show your support for the food trucks!

I still need to type up a recap of the weekend but for now I’ll just say this… GO GRIZZLIES!!!!!!!!! We are no longer the lovable losers, but a team that is a legitimate threat to anyone. Great job, guys! How awesome would it be if the FedExForum is still hosting Grizzlies games in June?

Pics: Hot Wing Fest and Memphis Brewfest

Yesterday I started the day at the Southern Hot Wing Festival, then rode a very slow trolley north to Memphis Brewfest at AutoZone Park. Here are a few highlights of the day:

Hot wing eating contest

“Would you like a little beer?”
The Max’s Sports Bar booth
Pluck U
Sarah and Boo serving wings for Pluck U
The Fox 730 booth
Bicycle Bobby and Mike working the grill at Max’s
John D enjoying a Bud Light as he chats with Skippy
Pete the Trivia Guy at Memphis Brewfest
Post-Brewfest at the Saucer. Christen and John D
Katie Mac

I’ll post a more detailed recap of yesterday later… right now I have to get ready for Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest on the river. Weather is much better than yesterday, so come on down!

Happy birthday Moody

I love it when I don’t have to travel far to go to a party. Last night, after a little pre-game beer at the Saucer, the gang gathered in the lobby of Number 10 to celebrate our friend (and my neighbor) Moody’s birthday.


Her goblet says "Birthday Bitch"
Otto getting down
A "before" photo of the food, meaning pre-Nuh-Uh Girl.
Nikki sharing an intimate moment with the birthday girl
Moody taking a drink after a roll of the dice game fell her way.
Contest: Caption this pic.
Too good a photo not to post. This will probably reappear during Tube Top Month.
Moody getting down

Full album (110 pics) here. Time to shower and get dressed for Hot Wing Fest. The camera is on the charger and there will be more pics.