Jul 312011
 

A couple of days ago, I posted that a new tattoo parlor called Skull X Rose had opened on Second next door to Raiford’s. Since I don’t have tatts, I knew I’d never be able to personally review it. However, a couple of friends of mine went there last night. They were very happy with the work they had done. They told me it’s open noon to midnight, and unlike many tattoo parlors they accept walk-ins.

Fun night last night. After an afternoon at the Brass Door, I went to the Saucer where about 40 of us said goodbye to our friend Gary. He’s moving to the West Coast. About 11:30 I tried to take three friends to the Brass Door, but they had closed at 11 because it was their soft opening. So back to the Saucer we went, where I ended up staying ’til the lights came on. Then I went home… of course, Bardog was on the way home.

It’s Sunday Fun Day, which means business as usual but one extra stop this week. Majestic Grille for brunch at 11, Saucer at noon, and Huey’s at 8:30 PM to hear British Invasion cover band Jeffrey and the Pacemakers. We had a huge Sunday Fun Day at the Saucer last week, with probably 20 people from our extended Downtown group showing up at some point in the afternoon. Here’s a pic from last Sunday of Christy chowing down on chicken fingers.

Time to hit Publish, drink a Mountain Dew Throwback, get dressed and get the day started. I have several posts waiting in Drafts, so I may publish one or two of them from my phone this afternoon.

Jul 302011
 

This afternoon some friends and I checked out the Brass Door, the new Irish pub that opened today. It’s in the old Tobacco Bowl building on Madison across from the First Tennessee building.

Food menu

Drink menu. They have a full bar.

Mezzanine

Fried goat cheese balls

B.E.L.T. (E. = Egg)

Fish & chips. This was my lunch and the curry dipping sauce is awesome.

Every bar needs a value drinking option (this is a complaint I had with McGuinness; they didn't have one). PBR, $2.50 for a 16 ounce can.

This is a little nook behind the main upstairs bar. Seats about 5 and you have your own private TV.

View of the upstairs from the mezzanine

Very impressed with this place. If you knew it used to be the Tobacco Bowl, you’d see some elements that were carried over. Otherwise, you’d have no idea this used to be a cigar shop. There’s a downstairs too. I didn’t take photos of it because they’re currently using it as a storage area. It’s going to be really nice though. It’s as big as the upstairs, maybe even a little bit bigger, with a bar whose size is equal to upstairs.

Only slight negative is that the upstairs men’s room is a one-seater (don’t know about the women’s). That’s going to make for some lines outside the door. I assume there are additional bathrooms downstairs, although it isn’t open yet.

One big bonus: It’s NONSMOKING! We talked to the bartender about this and he said they’re trying to “redefine what an Irish pub is.” Good for them. There is no reason for any bar to open as a smoking bar in 2011. There’s a side door to the alley where you can easily step out and smoke. With the Beetle and the Brass Door both opening nonsmoking and the Saucer going that direction, it’s becoming increasingly clear that smoking is an artifact from an era whose time has passed.

They’re open tonight “until everyone leaves” (so you’ll be open until 9 AM then?), then they’re taking the day off tomorrow to discuss what worked and what didn’t, and Monday they’ll start regular hours. They’re still figuring out things like happy hour and whether they’ll be open for Sunday brunch. Main TV was tuned to soccer and a lot of people were excited about the Manchester United vs. Barcelona match that came on at 6.

Jul 302011
 

South Main Trolley Night last night was absolutely off-the-chain fun. Despite the heat, turnout for the monthly event was extremely good. My shirt was drenched with sweat, but I didn’t care.

In Harry’s Detour courtyard, Michael Patrick was handing out spring rolls, there was a lemonade stand, and at 7:30 there was a Memphis movie costume contest.

Nikki and Josh, winners of the costume contest as a scene from Black Snake Moan

Lots of other stuff was going on too. Bravo had its opening event at the MPACT Memphis offices. Those who wore orange got free beer and wine. I don’t own any orange, other than that horrible jacket I wore when I was “Bruce Pearl” for Halloween last year, so I passed. I wandered in the Memphis College of Art gallery to get out of the heat, and enjoyed the excellent graduate student exhibit. There are some seriously talented people going to school there!

About 8:30 we ducked into Max’s Sports Bar to get out of the heat. “A couple of beers here, then I’ll head north to defend my Foursquare mayorships at the Saucer and Bardog,” I thought. That never happened. Max’s was so much fun that I didn’t want to leave!

Elvis and Lee at Max's

Across the street, Harry’s Detour had its final night. After the restaurant closed, Chuck came over to Max’s, where he was presented with a gift for all he has done for South Main.

Later in the evening, several of us ended up on Max’s back deck. I noticed that it offered a lot of excellent opportunities for planking. It seemed like an especially excellent idea because of the umpteen beers I had consumed by that point.

I wanted to plank the rail of Max's deck but my friends talked me out of it. Spending Saturday morning in the hospital would not have been fun.

I then settled for a safer plank, across two of the benches.

Chad planked Max's grill.

Thanks to Lauren for driving me home, as the 12-block walk home would have been iffy at best, given my condition.

Fun day ahead. I want to give the Brass Door a try, and hopefully take some photos and post them later this afternoon. It’s a friend’s last day in town visiting, and another friend’s going-away party at the Saucer. Another weekend of excitement in Downtown Memphis!

 

Jul 302011
 

Last night at Trolley Night I ran into Seamus, and he told me the Brass Door, the new Irish pub on Madison, will open for business today at 11. It’s between Second and Third in the old Tobacco Bowl building. Can’t wait to see the place.

Jul 282011
 

Sorry I didn’t get a post up at lunchtime. I spent most of my lunch hour voting in the Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. If you haven’t voted yet, tomorrow is your last day.

It looks like the Brass Door Irish pub won’t be open this weekend after all. My friend who had a birthday party scheduled there for Saturday sent a message postponing it, because the bar won’t be open in time. Disappointing, because I really was looking forward to checking the place out, but with all the red tape involved in opening a new bar, I’m not very surprised.

U of M football coach Larry Porter and basketball coach Josh Pastner will throw out first pitches at the Redbirds game Monday, August 1. There will be special club level and dugout seats set aside, for $21 and $16, that will include a meet-and-greet with the coaches after the first pitches are thrown. Call Preston at 901-722-0289 or Alex at 901-722-0271 if you’re interested in this ticket deal.

Kerry from the I Love Memphis Blog conquered the Kookamonga Challenge  at Kooky Canuck last night. Okay, she had a little help… normally a person has to eat the entire 7 1/2 pound burger, including 4 pounds of ground beef, by themselves in less than an hour. Kerry got to assemble a team to help her. Still, though, they each put away a pound of ground beef plus bun and trimmings in just over 23 minutes. Not bad at all!

British Invasion cover band Jeffrey and the Pacemakers will play Huey’s Downtown at 8:30 Sunday night. Songs from the Beatles, Animals, Kinks and bands of that era. I’ve heard them a couple of times and they’re really good. I’ll have to take it easy early in the day on Sunday Fun Day, and try to last long enough to at least hear their first set.

Plans for tonight: Taking a week off from poker at Max’s Sports Bar. Lately people have had to get there by 6:05 to get a box to play the 7:00 tournament, and I don’t feel like making a mad dash down there. Besides, I want to try one of the three new flavors of the Saucer’s wings – Mojo (Cajun), Asian, or Atomic (super hot). They still have the Buffalo style they had before, if you were a fan of that sauce. Not sure if I’ll just hang out there all night or move to another bar; guess I’ll just make it up as I go along.

Jul 282011
 

The 3rd annual Breakaway/Bardog Tavern 5K is coming up next month, on Sunday, August 21 at 9 PM. Proceeds from the race will benefit St. Jude. You can find full details about the race, and information on how to sign up, here. $30 to register in advance, $35 same day.

First 350 to sign up get a free T-shirt and beer mug. After the race, Bardog’s 3rd birthday party will be in Center Lane, or as locals call it, “Scratchy Alley,” the alley next to the tavern. The past two years, this has been one of the best summer parties of the year, with outdoor beer sales, a cookout, a dunking booth, and other events to benefit St, Jude.

Jul 282011
 

As I was driving to work yesterday morning, I noticed that a tattoo parlor had opened on Second. The sign says it’s called Skull X Rose and it’s located in the building next to Paula & Raiford’s Disco, just south of Madison. I don’t have any tattoos myself, but I have to agree that it adds to the rich diversity of Downtown to have a tattoo shop a block from the Main Street Trolley line. Welcome to Downtown Memphis!

Jul 282011
 

Last night as I was drinking a beer at the Flying Saucer, I noticed that the food menus had been replaced. I took a look and found they had made their first significant revisions to the menu since 2006.

The main thing is that the pizza and wing options have been greatly expanded. You now get to choose from four different wing sauces, and instead of ordering one of four pizza slices with pre-chosen toppings, you can now build your own.

I got to sample a couple of the Atomic wings last night, and they are good. They have more of a delayed heat, rather than burning your lips as soon as your lips touch them. Three minutes later, you still know you’ve eaten an Atomic wing. Heat is roughly comparable to the honey habanero wings at Max’s Sports Bar. I’ll be ordering a full bowl of the Atomic wings soon. They come with celery, carrots and blue cheese.

Hummus and pita bread has been added as an appetizer. The wraps have been removed from the menu, although the Hippie Hollow lives on as a pita sandwich.

Overall, menu changes look good, and will give me some new things to try. Plus, the food will be much more enjoyable than it used to be, since bar patrons no longer have to breathe cigarette smoke as they eat. Kudos to the Saucer on the positive changes they have made this month!

Jul 272011
 

Tomorrow morning, cable channel IFC will air an episode of “Young Broke & Beautiful” which features the city of Memphis. Rapper Al Kapone will give the host a tour of the city. Stops will include Earnestine & Hazel’s, STAX Museum, and Paula & Raiford’s Disco. More details about the episode can be found here.

The show airs at 6 AM Eastern/5 AM Central. No way I’m getting up at 5 AM to watch TV, but then, that’s what DVRs are for.

Jul 272011
 

It’s nice to see someone giving teachers the recognition they deserve. Tomorrow night, the Peabody will offer free admission to their rooftop party to the first 107 Memphis City Schools teachers who show a valid ID. They’re doing it in conjunction with Q107.5 (hence the number 107).

Seventh Sundown will be on stage, and the buffet theme for the week will be “Latin Flavors.” Buffet (included in price of admission) will have a fajita bar, tortilla chips with queso and guacamole, and black beans. In VIP there will be make-your-own fish tacos, chicken quesadillas and cheese enchiladas. $10 cover at the door includes first drink; ladies free until 7.

I have more details on the festivities happening at South Main Trolley Night this Friday from 6 to 9 on South Main. First of all, there will be another cook-off, as a local amateur cook will see if he or she can compete with pro Chef Michael Patrick. This will happen in the courtyard of Harry’s Detour, and words of advice: MAKE THIS AN EARLY STOP at Trolley Night. They will be handing out samples so the crowd can vote on a winner, and you do not want to miss Michael Patrick’s food. Free samples? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Also on Harry’s Detour lawn, there will be a Memphis movie costume contest at 7:30. Dress in honor of a Memphis movie, or dress as a character from a Memphis movie, for the chance to win prizes from local retailers.

American Dream Safari will offer historic tours at Trolley Night. Find Tad and his ’55 Caddy outside Arcade Restaurant. $20 for a car load; the Caddy holds 4-5 people.

Trivia at the Silly Goose had its biggest night I’ve seen since I started attending. The place was pretty well packed. Our team the Rapscallions had its biggest turnout yet as well, with about a dozen people showing up to play. We had a strong first two rounds, but dropped to third place late in the game. The question that killed us – what group overtook the Beatles within the past five years as the all-time leader in music sales? We thought of many bands old and new (U2, Stones, Black-eyed Peas), but no one came up with the obvious answer – Led Zeppelin. Charles threw a riddle in as well: What travels the world without leaving its corner? Answer: A postage stamp.

Plans for tonight: I’ll probably stop by the Silly Goose’s luau party, which starts at 9. Don’t know if I’ll make it until 1 to see “who got leid the most” though.