Tue update: Grizzlies schedule and Grannies and Grandpas, urban garden, church for sale, Third Thursday party

Yeah no lunchtime update post. There just wasn’t a whole lot of news as of 1 PM today.

I’ll start with a couple of Grizzlies notes. First of all, the 2011-12 schedule was released today, and you can see it here. Good to see we’re at least getting a few appearances on ESPN during the season.

Also, one of my favorite Grizzlies-related groups is looking to add some new members: The Grizzlies Grannies & Grandpas. They are the 50-and-over dance team that performs hip-hop routines during breaks at home games. These grannies and grandpas can GO, and are every bit as exciting on the floor as the Grizz Girls. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be one of them, there will be tryouts tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20.

Great article in the CA about Memphis City Gardens at Central Station. If you live in an apartment or condo and don’t have a yard, this project will offer you space to have a garden of your own. Very very neat concept.

This Thursday, July 21 is the monthly Third Thursday party on the block of the Main Street Mall at Peabody Place. Live music by Tonya Dyson & Green Onions, Soul Survivors, and the Vic Reid Quartet. It starts at 5:30 and participating businesses will have food and drink specials and retail discount. This is a good party to do a little pre-gaming before you head to the Peabody or Madison roof, or to Country on Beale.

Want to buy a church? Historic Clayborn Temple, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave several speeches, is for sale according to the Memphis Business Journal. They’re targeting a foundation or nonprofit for a buyer. Before you jump at the cheap $1 million price tag, though, be aware that the church will cost another $4 million to renovate.

Plan for tonight: A couple of happy hour beers at Bardog, then over to the Silly Goose for their 8:00 trivia.

Mon update: Hell’s Kitchen, Door of Hope writers, cool job open, Memphis vacation package giveaways and more

Good article in the Commercial Appeal today about Memphian Jonathon Plumley, who competes on the new season of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. The show premieres tonight at 7. Plumley has landed in the kitchen of the Green Beetle since filming the show. They’ll have a watch party tonight, with Plumley’s signature dish punch-drunk chicken being served. Best advice is to get there a little early to get a seat.

Speaking of the Beetle… I hate it when I look back at a weekend and think what I didn’t do, but should’ve done. I regret not hanging out there either Friday or Saturday night, between about 9 and 1, just to see what kind of crowd develops. They have PBR in 16-ounce cans, so I certainly wouldn’t have trouble finding something I like to drink. Given that they’re nonsmoking, a different locals’ crowd will develop than, say, the crowd at Bardog or Max’s. I need to check it out for sure next weekend. I’ve been looking for a regular Friday/Saturday night default hangout for a while and the Beetle could well be it.

Another good article in the CA: The Door of Hope writers’ group came to the defense of Memphis. The writers wanted to speak about their Memphis experiences, in response to the negative appearances the city has made on Forbes magazine lists lately.

The Peabody has a cool job listed today. It’s a concierge/assistant duckmaster job. You’d be a concierge 3 days a week, and duckmaster 2 days. Obviously you’d need to have excellent people skills for this one.

The CVB is giving away four Memphis vacation packages. View them here and fill out the form to enter to win the package of your choice. There’s a River package, a Family package, a Music package, and an Art & Culture package.

Kerry from the I Love Memphis Blog is assembling an all-star eating team. They will take the Kookamonga Challenge, attempting to eat 7.5 pounds of burger at Kooky Canuck on July 27 at 6:30 PM. She has three people for the team (including herself) but is looking for a fourth. If you’re interested in being on her team, details are here.

There was a #memphishoes hashtag trending on Twitter this morning. That’s “hoes,” not “shoes.” Yeah that’ll make our city look good.

Congratulations to the U.S. ladies on an amazing World Cup run. They may not have taken home the gold, but they made America care about women’s soccer the way the Grizzlies made Memphis care about NBA basketball. Just a fantastic job by the U.S. team.

My plan for tonight: I’ll probably drink a couple of happy hour beers at Bardog, then on to the Saucer for Pint Nite, then the Silly Goose at 9 for poker. Other stuff going on: Trivia night at Bar None (7:30), half-price pizza and wine at Spindini.

The summer of giveaways

Lots of stuff being given away at Downtown bars this summer. So far we have

  • Mich Ultra golf bag at Max’s Sports Bar
  • Fat Tire bike at Bar None
  • Yuengling kayak at Flying Saucer
  • Abita Brewery trip at Flying Saucer (trivia prize)

And now, the latest giveaway is this:

Bardog Tavern is giving away this iPod speaker tower (fire hydrant not included). Buy a Bud Light through August 18 and get an entry to win.

There’s lots to be won this summer, so come on out and drink you some beer! Note to whomever distributes PBR in Memphis: Where are YOUR prizes? Time to step up!

Free beer

I was cleaning the gigantimous junk-fest that is my kitchen counter yesterday, and I found this:

Wooden nickel redeemable for a free beer at Boscos. Now, the thing is, I haven’t been to Boscos in two years, and wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t make it there for another two. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great bar. It’s just that getting there involves driving a car.

So, I might as well give the free beer away. First person to find me after 12:30 PM today and ask for the wooden nickel gets it. No fair “calling it” via email or Facebook message or whatever; you have to physically find me and ask for it.

Voodoo chicken nachos @ Johnny G’s Creole Cafe

I’m a huge fan of nachos, and after a recent trip to Johnny G’s Creole Cafe on Beale Street, we may have a new contender for best nachos Downtown.

These nachos have their Voodoo Chicken, the same dish served as an entree over rice, atop nacho chips with melted white cheese and fresh jalapenos. I love that. FRESH jalapenos. Not ones that have been sitting in a jar for six months.

The price? $6.95. Same as the entree. Can’t beat it. The Drunken Chicken is available as nachos as well. Next time I’ll give that a try.

Second Fri update: Max’s to open early for women’s World Cup, Beetle blog, majority of Americans want public smoking banned, V3 Fights to honor officer

Good news for soccer fans Downtown: Max’s Sports Bar has announced that they will open at (Edit: I had 12 noon here, but now Max has posted an opening time of 12:30) on Sunday. The Women’s World Cup soccer final is at 12:45, and Max’s will be open with the sound on and the PBR flowing. If you’re a serious sports fan, there is no better watch spot in Downtown Memphis.

The Green Beetle has its own blog now at greenbeetleblog.blogspot.com. It’s maintained by the great-granddaughter of Frank who founded the Beetle in 1939. Very cool! Many bars have a Facebook and Twitter presence, but I think a blog is a great way to get news out, and also to get people more familiar with the owners, management and staff.

By the way… one thing I’ve been forgetting to mention about the Beetle is that they have a kids’ menu. That means they’re SMOKE FREE! Good for them. A new poll out reveals that for the first time, a majority of Americans support a ban on public smoking. Hopefully in a few years, public smoking will be as completely extinct as the woolly mammoth. I guess smokers will complain about their “rights” (such as the right to kill fellow bar patrons with secondhand smoke, and the right to stink up everyone’s hair and clothes), but public opinion is turning against them.

The upcoming V3 Fight night at the FedExForum, on July 23, will honor fallen MPD officer Timothy Warren. A portion of each ticket sale will go toward the fund for his family. Before the main event, featuring MPD officer and two-time defending champion Brian “The Law” Hall, a group of officers invited by V3 Fights will be honored in the octagon.

The work week is over, and Harp is the Fire Sale tonight at the Flying Saucer. Of all the Saucer’s beers, it’s closest in taste to PBR, so I’m quite happy to enjoy some $3 Harp pints. May swing by Bardog later, where their “Dog of the Day” is a Volcano Dog with cheddar, onions, and sriracha. Any hot dog with sriracha is sure to be a winner!

Fri update: Bloggers review Beetle and Majestic, free chicken, Shelton sale, Redbirds, Hard Rock interactive tour bus, Downtown fire

A couple of my fellow bloggers have posted some good reviews of Downtown restaurants. Kerry from the I Love Memphis Blog checked out the Green Beetle, and you can read her review here. One of her friends ordered the sausage & pepper po-boy, which is next on my list to try. That potato salad looks yummy! When I think of sausage & peppers, I can’t help but think of the time The Situation cooked them for dinner on Jersey Shore.

The Beetle, by the way, will be on the news on ABC 24 tonight at 5 PM.

You don’t have to take my word for it that the Majestic Grille’s brunch is one of the best around. Just ask Wendy, one of Memphis’ best food bloggers. She had the smoked salmon hash, an excellent choice. Her friends ordered the flatbreads. Tip for Wendy, in case she’s reading this: Try the breakfast flatbread, next time you go. I’ll be at the Majestic for brunch this Sunday, followed by Sunday Fun Day at the Saucer. Yeah I could vary my Sunday routine like some people are doing, but why mess with perfection?

There’s a new Popeye’s at 4201 Hacks Cross today. It’s the 2000th restaurant in the chain, and to celebrate, the new location is giving away 2000 pieces of chicken. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. She works nearby.

Shelton Clothiers and Christine by Shelton Clothiers are having a “flash sale” this weekend only. At Shelton, suits, sport coats, and a select group of summer merchandise (in stock only) will be 50% off. Down the street at Christine’s, the entire store is 50% off.

Big weekend for the Redbirds. Tonight they’ll have a doubleheader and collect funds for the Officer Timothy Warren Fund. Tomorrow, two Navy T45 Goshawks will fly over prior to the game, and there will be a swearing-in ceremony for 25-30 Air Force recruits. There will be fireworks after the game tomorrow. First game starts at 5:05 tonight; tomorrow’s game is at 6:05.

The Hard Rock’s 40th anniversary tour bus will be parked outside the restaurant on Beale today, from 2 to 8 PM. Hard Rock has some of the most coveted pieces of rock’n’roll memorabilia, and this is your chance to see it in an interactive display.

A boarding house where a lot of Downtown’s career panhandlers/scam artists stay caught on fire yesterday. Well, I guess now when they tell you they’re homeless, they’ll be telling the truth. Not sure how extensive the damage is, but it took firefighters 54 minutes to get the blaze under control.

Plans for tonight: TBD. That tour bus actually sounds kind of cool. May wander down to Beale and check it out. Hmmm maybe I’ll visit my mug at the Tap Room while I’m in the area.

Thur update: Hell’s Kitchen watch party featuring Green Beetle cook, potato salad, rooftops and more

One of Downtown’s very own chefs will be a contestant on the new season of Hell’s Kitchen, which premieres at 7 PM on Monday, July 18. The Green Beetle’s Jonathon Plumley will be one of the 18 competitors. The Beetle will have a watch party. Come by a little before 7 to grab a good seat and enjoy some good food and good beer. Best of luck to Jonathon! His signature dish is listed on the Hell’s Kitchen site as Punch-Drunk Chicken.

If you’re a fan of Woot.com, there’s a Woot-off going on today. I plan to keep my eye on it, and hopefully snag the Bag of Crap I’ve long dreamed of.

Last week on Facebook, I posted a suggestion: Try Bardog’s potato salad instead of their fries. It’s some of the best potato salad I’ve had. Last night, a friend who normally doesn’t like potato salad tried it, and agreed with me. The fries are awesome too, but the potato salad is a welcome change of pace now and then.

It’s Thursday night party time. On the Peabody’s roof, Ryan Peel and Alexis Grace will perform. There will be a “Friends with Benefits” movie promotion with screening passes, prize giveaways, a game station and themed specialty cocktails. Buffet theme is “favorite American snacks” with mini pizzas, grilled cheese sandwiches, kosher dill pickles, potato chips with onion dip, and tortilla chips with salsa. In VIP they’ll have southern fried chicken fingers, jalapeno poppers, a wheel of cheddar with assorted crackers, and spinach dip with pita chips. $10 to get in includes first drink; ladies free until 7; $50 for VIP pass that gets you in for the rest of the season.

Marcella Pinilla will bring her Latin jazz fusion to the Madison rooftop tonight. Doors open at 5:30, live music 6-10, sunset at 8:15. $7 to get in, with cash bar and tapas menu available on the roof.

Josh Kelley and Heidi Newfield play Country on Beale tonight at Handy Park at 7:30. Hollywood Disco on Vance does a Country on Beale after-party every Thursday, with doors opening at 9, beer bust, hottest cowgirl contest.

I have the U.S. government to thank for killing my attendance at rooftop parties this year. Since they busted my favorite poker sites, the only place I have to play a 10-person, single-table freezeout tournament is at Max’s on Thursday nights. It’s only for a $15 bar tab, but it’s fun, it’s poker, and I get to play with friends. That’s the likely plan for tonight.

PBR news

I just learned that Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub has $1 PBR from 4 to 6 PM Monday-Thursday. I get home from work to take full advantage, but wanted to pass the info on to my readers.