Tue update: Good news for Full Tilt Poker players, new 70″ TV at Goose, learn about beer via text message, most Memphis CK’s closed

If you had an account on Full Tilt Poker before the government blocked U.S. players from the site on April 15 of last year, there’s good news: You’re going to get your money back. PokerStars, also blocked on April 15, 2011, paid back its U.S. players in a fairly timely fashion, but Full Tilt appeared to be illiquid and unable to pay. PokerStars recently acquired Full Tilt’s assets, and will pay the U.S. government $547 million over a period of three years. Part of this money will be used for repayment of $150 million to U.S. residents who played on the Full Tilt site. More details here.

The Silly Goose has purchased a new 70″ TV, and it will be on the wall in time for football season. The new TV will be hung where the projection TV was in the past.

Beer lovers: LifeHacker reported on a new text messaging service this morning that will help you learn more about the beer you’re drinking. It’s called BeerText.us. You text the name of your beer to 315-679-4711 and the service will text back a description, ingredients, and alcohol content. I put that number in my phone’s Contacts as soon as I saw it! Can’t wait to try it tonight as I work on beers 47, 48, and 49 for my 7th plate at the Flying Saucer.

This isn’t Downtown news, but I want to mention it anyway because I know many of my friends like to stop at CK’s Coffee Shop for late-night food on the weekends. The Memphis Business Journal reports that 10 Memphis-area CK’s have been closed very suddenly. However, if you go to the Poplar/Evergreen CK’s, you’re in luck: That one had a different owner and remains open.

That’s all for now… I discovered that my sandals have a hole in them, so it’s time to hit Payless for a new pair. I’ll be out tonight around 6 as usual.

Mon update #2: Kooky gift card sale, A&R has new website, Gatsby party, douchebag alert, and selected votes I made in the Flyer poll

Like to eat at Kooky Canuck? Like saving money? Then mark Wednesday, August 29 on your calendar. On that day, Kooky Canuck will match every dollar on your purchase of a gift card ($10 minimum). Card sale starts at Kooky’s opening time of 11 AM. Double the dollars you can spend on delicious food like the Maple Flank Steak, the Poutine, or my new favorite the Yonge Street Burger.

(Note to those who will be Downtown on the 29th and are friends with the Nuh-Uh Girl: Expect multiple texts from her asking you to run by and pick up some cards for her, before they run out)

A&R Bar-b-Que has a new website. Not only is the entire menu on there, but you can order online and pick it up from their location at N. Third and Court. They have a pretty extensive menu, so even if pork shoulder and ribs aren’t your thing, you should be able to find something on there that you’ll like.

One thing I forgot to mention in my lunchtime post is that the Blind Bear is planning a Gatsby party. It’s less than a month away, so start planning your 1920s fashion. I’ll try to get more details. I need to remember to pull up Evernote when people tell me this stuff.

Douchebag alert: Former UT head basketball coach Bruce Pearl is joining ESPN. He will be a men’s college basketball analyst, commentating on games throughout the season. The Bruchebag was fired from UT last year for committing recruiting violations, lying to the NCAA about those recruiting violations, telling others to lie to the NCAA, and just being a big douche. The NCAA gave him a 3-year show-cause penalty, of which the upcoming season is year two, so no college can hire him as a head coach without facing penalties itself. I must say I am not excited about seeing Douchey Brucey back on TV. At least we won’t have to look at that ugly orange jacket.

Now that the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis voting has concluded, I’ll share how I voted in some select categories:

Best Grocery: City Market Yeah I know it sounds like I’m voting for CLOSEST grocery, but City Market deserves it. They have Indian food in the refrigerated/prepared food section. They have all kinds of snacks I’ve never seen before in their international foods section. They have a good deli. They have the two most important items of all, Mountain Dew and PBR. They stay open late. I’m a huge fan of their selection and convenience, and am happy to give them my vote.

Best Patio: Silly Goose In previous years I’ve voted for the Majestic (don’t worry, you’ll be hearing about them before this post is over), but the addition of the awning pushes the Goose to the top in my book. Next year, though, I may have to swing my vote to Aldo’s Pizza Pies because of those mist fans.

Best New Bar: Blind Bear This one was one of the easiest votes on the entire ballot. What’s not to like about the Bear? Speakeasy theme, PBR on tap, pool table, Sunday brunch lasts until 6 PM, Tuesday poker, Wednesday trivia, outdoor patio, fantastic veggie plate, pepper jack mac & cheese, awesome staff… I could go on and on.

Best Place to Sing Karaoke: I wrote in NOWHERE!!!!! Karaoke sucks. Although, I like the people at the Double J and probably would have voted for them, had I known they were going to revive karaoke on South Main at the time I voted.

Best Local Website: memphisweather.net I’m a big fan of the radar, the forecasts, and Erik’s explanation of weather events in non-technical terms. Their Twitter account (@memphisweather1) helps keep me aware of bad weather moving in. Great iPhone app too.

Best Service: Bardog I get three steps in the door and there’s Amanda or Melissa or James or whoever’s working holding up a mug of PBR for me. I got a whole new understanding of how ingrained great service is in the Bardog culture when I walked into its sibling restaurant, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, this weekend, and whoever saw me first of Josh or Kyla was holding up a PBR. There are a lot of restaurants Downtown with really good service, but you just can’t beat Bardog.

Best Sports Talk Radio Show: The Chris Vernon Show I didn’t realize how much I missed listening to Verno and Roser on the drive home until he changed stations and times. Now he’s on from 11 to 2 weekdays on 92.9 FM. I tune in on my iPad whenever I get the chance.

Best Steak: Majestic Grille It’s hardly the first time I’ve mentioned this on the blog, but for new readers I want to reiterate – you simply must get by and try a filet prepared by Chef Patrick Reilly.

Best Place to Get a Martini: Majestic Grille It may not have a reputation as a martini bar, but I’d put its martinis up against anyplace in town. In particular, I’m a big fan of the strawberry basil martini. I’m not the only one either – one of my regular readers has been trying to panhandle a strawberry basil martini from me for a couple of weeks now.

I also voted for the Majestic for Best Brunch and Best Restaurant. Zach for Best Grizzly and Best Local Athlete – yeah he was out hurt for most of the season, but based on his community work he got my vote. Max’s for Best Sports Bar. Paula & Raiford’s for Best Place to Dance. I voted for myself for Best Blog (hey, you can’t get Tube Top Month just anywhere, ya know), but I really hope that Best Memphis Burger makes the top three. Seth deserves it for all the work he’s done enlightening the public about burgers, as well as planning the burger fest at Minglewood which is now two months away. Tony Allen for best Twitter account.

My hardest category was Best Sushi. Blue Fin, Bangkok Alley, and Thai Bistro are all really good. I honestly can’t remember which one I voted for.

All right, I’ve been typing long enough. It’s Pint Nite at the place that got my votes for Best Beer Selection and Best Bar. Better get down there.

Mon update: Antonio Anderson celebrity game, jobs, Olympics, poker prize @ Bear, Aldo’s pizzas

Former Memphis Tiger Antonio Anderson will host a celebrity basketball game this Saturday, August 4, at 12 noon at Streets Ministries, 430 Vance. In this post, Anderson describes what he’s been through since he left the University. While I’m sad to hear that a medical condition brought an end to his playing days, I’m very excited to learn that he’s turning toward a career in coaching. Antonio was a team leader who displayed a very high basketball IQ, so coaching is perfect for him. This game is to support his new nonprofit, the Antonio Anderson and Friends Skills Academy. He said in his post that Joey Dorsey and Chris Douglas-Roberts will be there. The @memphisroar Twitter account lists Willie Kemp, Shawn Taggart, Jared Sandridge, Penny Hardaway, and Elliot Perry for the game as well.

This morning I saw a very good Memphis Chamber article about 10 young professionals cooking up success in Memphis. It is exciting to see this city take so many steps forward.

Need a job? The Memphis Public Library posted a huge number of jobs on their site. It looks like this is a weekly thing, so you may want to bookmark the site and check back next week.

The Nielsens indicate that the Summer Olympics opening ceremony was the most watched opening ceremony in Olympic history. Unfortunately it was also the worst opening ceremony in Olympic history.

Jamie has decided on the grand prize for the current poker league at the Blind Bear. Last time it was an iPad, but this time Jamie is going to do something different. The prize will be $500 in gift cards – a $100 card for the Blind Bear plus four more $100 cards for nearby restaurants. Great way to support local businesses. The idea came from Puckett, who I believe is currently near or at the top of point standings. You earn 1 point for showing up and additional points for 1st-3rd place over a 12-week period. At the end, the top nine point earners get invited to the final table, winner takes the grand prize. There are still 3 weeks left in the current league, and a lot of people are hovering around ninth place, so if you’ve played a couple of times you still have a shot at getting a seat at the final table. Jamie says there may be opportunities for bonus points the last three weeks. Poker happens every Tuesday at the Bear at 8 PM.

Last night a few friends and I decided to go to Aldo’s Pizza Pies, but we made a huge mistake – we fooled around at the Blind Bear until 5:25, 25 minutes after Aldo’s opened. “It’s Sunday. Surely the bar won’t be full,” we reasoned. We were WRONG! Every seat at the bar was taken. We did manage to get some seats at the window though.

My friends left for karaoke at the Double J, and I decided I was more interested in eating a pie than watching a shitshow. I ordered the Bring Out the Gump, with garlic and oil, sundried tomato pesto, grilled shrimp, mozzarella, red onion and basil. I ate a couple of slices at the bar, then took the rest home. On my way out the door I handed my friend Beth a slice. One person who was with Beth earlier in the day was too much of a lightweight to make it to Aldo’s, and missed out on the chance for a slice of my pizza. Oh well.

A slice of Bring Out the Gump

While there, we saw someone order the vodka pie, and were very intrigued by the orange-tinted sauce on the pizza. It looked vaguely familiar, and after a few minutes my friend Katie Mac nailed it – “doesn’t that look like the sauce Bardog uses for their Penne Alla Vodka?” As someone who has taken the penne home many times as Paul’s Drunkass Food, I tend to agree. I will have to go back to Aldo’s this week and do some “research” on the vodka pizza to determine if Katie is indeed right about the sauce.

If you’re looking for a good place to watch the Olympics, I noticed that the Flying Saucer had 4 different channels of it on yesterday. Management was very good about responding to requests to change channels when particular sports came on. If you don’t mind cigarette smoke, Max’s Sports Bar’s 10+ TVs are always a good place for Olympic watching too.

It’s Pint Nite at the Saucer, so I’ll be there after work getting some beers done for my next plate. I doubt I’ll make the 7:30 poker game at the Goose, but you never know.

Sun update: BOM voting concludes, key Downtown figure passes away, wine @ Rizzo’s, National Lasagne Day, Haddadi re-signed, Karate Kid, Redbirds doubleheader

Have you taken a few minutes to vote in the Memphis Flyer’s “Best of Memphis” poll? Today is the last day. You can vote here.

Jimmy Lauck of the Little Tea Shop passed away Thursday, 30 years to the day after opening the restaurant. He’s survived by his wife Suhair. The restaurant will be closed until further notice. The Daily News has more details. Condolences, thoughts and prayers to Miss Su and the family.

Rizzo’s Diner has received its wine license, and will be selling a limited selection of wines in the $20-28 range.

Today is National Lasagne Day. Visit Spaghetti Warehouse’s Facebook page for a coupon good for $6 lasagne today.

The Grizzlies have re-signed center Hamed Haddadi. A very good move, in my opinion. He has proved he can go in for stretches of a third to a half of a quarter and give Marc Gasol time to rest. I see the big guy at the Saucer now and then, and he also has been known to get on Twitter and critique my choice of places to eat lunch. Haddadi’s signing will likely be the last move the Grizzlies make in the off-season.

The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is showing The Karate Kid at 12:15 and 2:45 today as part of its summer classic movie series. $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 students. Price includes regular admission to the museum.

There’s a doubleheader at AutoZone Park today. The Redbirds take on the Round Rock Express in both games. Gates open at 3, first game starts at 4. There will be a birthday celebration for Rockey Redbird today too.

Plans for today: Brunch at the Majestic at 11, beer and pool at the Saucer at 12. We got to Aldo’s Pizza Pies right at opening at 5 yesterday and grabbed the best seats at the bar. That worked out well, so I may go back today. Possibly I’ll stop by the Blind Bear at some point too, and it’s not out of the question that I may head south to Double J tonight to witness Robo’s atrocious singing at karaoke night.

Sat update: Opening ceremonies were STUPID, blood drive Monday, Double J starts Sunday karaoke night, fireworks @ Redbirds tonight

So, last night I watched the Olympics opening ceremonies. My opinion was, “You know, I’d probably really enjoy this if I were gay. But I’m not, and this is stupid.” First of all, you had those people dancing around in stovepipe hats in a performance that seemed to go on forever and ever. I thought about asking the Saucer to turn the sound on, but I thought to myself, this is bad enough with the sound off, why make it worse?

Then there was that James Bond sequence in which I guess we were supposed to believe that the Queenster was parachuting into the stadium from a helicopter. The only reason this was at all interesting was because I was hoping for an Owen Hart moment. Does that make me evil? Ugh. I realize they have to have the royal family on since the Olympics are in London, but what a waste. The only member of the royal family I really like is Prince Harry, who uses his royal status to get laid like a rock star.

What really made me think the ceremony was designed for gay men, though, was the introduction of the countries. I sat there and patiently waited for the country with the hottest women on the planet – Romania. They finally get to the R’s and what happens? The camera focuses on this dude in a yellow jacket, who is supposedly a tennis star, almost the entire time. We don’t want to see him!!! We want to see the female gymnasts. I’m going to find out this guy’s name and boo him viciously every time he appears on TV.

The only saving grace was Sir Paul McCartney singing “Hey Jude.” Can’t argue with that. Would have been nice to see another British music legend, Sir Mick, who turned 69 day before yesterday. If I had designed the ceremony, the Sex Pistols would’ve performed “God Save the Queen.”

Check out this interview with The Iron Sheik about the Olympics. It’s much more interesting than the opening ceremonies were.

Okay, on to the news. This first event isn’t Downtown, but it’s not far away, and a Downtowner asked me to mention it. There will be a blood drive Monday morning from 8:30-11:30 at Harcros Chemicals, at 1585 Harbor Avenue on Presidents Island. If you have questions call 901-674-3611. Insider scoop: Stop for lunch at The Port at 1039 Harbor Avenue after you donate your blood.

Double J Smokehouse and Saloon is starting a karaoke night on Sundays from 7 to 11 PM. First karaoke night will be tomorrow. Now, long-time readers will remember how much I made fun of the Blue Monkey’s Saturday karaoke nights last year. However, I support what Double J is doing for the following reasons:

1) Sunday is a much better day to do it than Saturday. Saturday night is the main event of the week. You want your best stuff there. Saturday night is a good night to have a live band, a DJ, TV sound on during football season, no entertainment at all and just let people talk, or really, ANYTHING but karaoke. Karaoke is like lima beans: There’s a place for it on the plate, but no one is going to get super excited about it unless they’re a weirdo.

2) The fact that Sunday night is followed by Monday morning. Alcohol and a live mic are a dangerous mix. I’m not going to name names, but there were a few people at the Monkey who tended to get drunk and turn into complete and total shitshows on karaoke night. Those people have 8-to-5 jobs, so they’ll have to curb their drinking a good bit for Sunday at the Double J.

3) There most likely won’t be a regular texting everyone in his contacts, saying, “What are you doing right now? We’re all down here at the Double J. You should join us. Pretty much everybody we know is going to the Double J tonight. Double J, Double J, Double J.” (Don’t be surprised if you get a text when Dusty opens the Silly Goose early today though)

4) The fact that it’s a saloon may mean that the music selection is better than the average karaoke night. Maybe patrons won’t have to have their ears bleed as they suffer through performances of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and pretty much everything in Neil Diamond’s song book. Then again, I could be wrong; it has the potential to be worse too.

At any rate, it’s one more thing to do on a Sunday night Downtown. Maybe I’ll pop in one of these weekends and find out if Robo is really as awful a singer as I’ve heard. At least I can always count on getting some good grub and a cold PBR at the Double J.

It’s fireworks night at AutoZone Park tonight. The Redbirds play the Round Rock Express at 6:05, with fireworks to follow afterward. Tonight’s game is also a salute to first responders. If you’re a first responder, call 901-722-0270 for discounted tickets.

I have an idea for a TV commercial for Aldo’s Pizza Pies. Aldo could get The Rock to appear in the commercial with him. It could go something like this:

The Rock: “How many draft beer taps do you have on the wall?”

Aldo: “We have thir…”

The Rock: “IT DOESN’T MATTER how many taps you have on the wall!!! You have PBR in 16-ounce cans!”

Three pro wrestling references in one post. I’m on a roll today.

My plan for today is hopefully to get to Aldo’s right at 5 when it opens, so I can get a seat at the bar. Of course, I plan on starting the day at Panda Manda’s bar at Bardog at noon. Probably the Saucer at some point. Maybe Blind Bear later. In other words, Saturday.

Fri update: Cochon Heritage BBQ festival, Blazing Saddles @ Orpheum, International IPA Day next Thursday, Farmers Market, Grizzlies schedule cheat sheet

Forbes magazine has a good article about the Cochon Heritage BBQ festival that will happen Downtown August 31-September 2. The festival will celebrate the pairing of heritage pork with fine bourbon. There will be events the entire three days including a rooftop party, a tailgating party, a distiller’s reception/dinner tour, a BBQ eating contest, a bourbon sampling at Felicia Suzanne’s, and of course the main event which is a heritage BBQ cookoff featuring two dozen all-star chefs. Good to see this new festival receiving some national coverage.

Tonight’s movie in the Orpheum Summer Movie Series is Blazing Saddles. The classic 1974 Western spoof will be shown on the big screen at 7:15 PM. If you bring a can of beans to donate to the Mid-South Food Bank, you get $2 off admission.

Next Thursday, August 2 is National IPA Day. This will be a celebration of India Pale Ale, a hoppy style of beer invented when beer makers added hops to keep the beer from going bad over the long transport to India. Participants are encouraged to share photos, videos, blog posts, tasting notes, recipes and thoughts with the world using the social media platform of their choice. There will be a Twitter hashtag, #IPAday, to help people keep track of the celebration going on around the world.

Not surprisingly, the Flying Saucer will participate in IPA Day. Saucer locations will be doing IPA specials, rare tappings, special flights, and food specials for the day (will vary by location – I’ll try to get more details about what the Downtown Saucer will be doing). The Saucer is also partnering with social beer-drinking app Untappd on a special “IPA Day at the Saucer” badge for attendees.

The theme at the Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow is Peas Be with You. From 9 to 11 kids can create their own miniature greenhouse to grow their own peas. They can take the greenhouse home, put it on the windowsill, and watch the peas grow limbs and leaves. There will also be a tomato canning demo at 10:15. From 9 to 12 the Hooper Troopers will demo hula hooping as a way to stay fit.

Rob Fischer tweeted a really good Grizzlies schedule cheat sheet. He notes things like TV games, Sunday afternoon games, tough stretches, home vs. away over particular stretches, and more. You can follow him at @thefishnation on Twitter.

Plans for tonight: Not sure. Maybe Trolley Tour, maybe Saucer, maybe Aldo’s Pizza Pies, maybe Blind Bear later in the evening.

Opening night at Aldo’s Pizza Pies

Last night I walked over to Aldo’s Pizza Pies and joined some friends on the patio. It was opening night and the mist fans were keeping things cool outdoors. As you can see, a LOT of people showed up to try Downtown’s new pizzeria!

The server came by to take our order, and of course my request was a 16 ounce can of PBR. I didn’t order any pizza, but my friends Danielle and Mallory were nice enough to give me a slice of theirs.

I didn’t get a chance to ask the name of the pizza, but looking at the menu, this appears to be the Gina Bellina. Tomato sauce, goat cheese, mozzarella, spinach, sundried tomato, and black olive. Absolutely delicious. Too often I tend to stick with what I know (supreme, meat lovers) at pizzerias, so it was good to try something different.

Manager Findlay told me that while their long-term plan is to open for lunch and dinner every day, for the first couple of weeks they’re just going to be open for dinner, starting at 5 PM. I don’t blame them for needing a little while to work things out. It seemed like the entire town came there last night!

Very satisfied with my first visit to Aldo’s, and as a bonus, I got to meet Aldo’s mom, who reads this blog all the time. “Sometimes it’s easier to find out what my son is doing by reading your blog, than it is calling him,” she told me. I’ll be back soon, possibly as soon as tonight.

Thur update: Aldo’s Pizza Pies opens today, help Jessica pick a burger, Pyramid-area news, big win for the Grizzlies, Olympics, Green Beetle trivia, bike security, Thursday parties

Well, I didn’t deliver on that evening news post before I went out. I typed most of it and then forgot to hit Publish. Sorry. Extra long post today as a result.

Today’s big news, of course, is that Aldo’s Pizza Pies opens to the public at 5 this afternoon. They will sell 12-inch and 18-inch pizzas, made New York style, perfect for folding over and eating. I was in there Tuesday for Friends & Family Night (and unlike one person who showed up, I was an invited guest) and tried their pepperoni and garlic shrimp pizzas – really good. The white pizza is high on my list to try next. They will sell pizzas by the pie and by the slice. 29 good beers and Bud Light on tap. They’ll have PBR in 16-ounce cans. Bar area that seats about 30, patio with mist fans is under construction. Aldo’s is part of the Bardog/Slider Inn family of restaurants and is located in the ground floor of Barboro Flats, on Main Street just north of Gayoso and across the street from Local Gastropub.

Local social media rockstar Jessica Grammer is transitioning from a vegetarian lifestyle back into one that includes meat. She has not yet had a burger since beginning the transition. Seth from the Best Memphis Burger blog has set up a poll where you can vote for where Jessica should eat her first burger. If Jessica’s name sounds familiar, it may be because she’s one of the organizers of the Salty Dogs runners group that meets every Monday at Bardog, as well as a key organizer of the Bardog 5K.

The people who own 400 N. Front are looking for a new tenant. Currently the building serves as office space for Ericson Group Inc. However, the owners realize that with Bass Pro going into the Pyramid across the street, office space is not the best use of their building. A restaurant or retail space would make more sense, given the high volume of tourists that are expected to flock to the area. Major chain restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory are being explored as options. See this Daily News story for more details.

Congratulations to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation on winning Beyond Sport’s Sport Team of the Year Award. This award is presented for outstanding community involvement. The Grizzlies may not have made a deep run in the playoffs, but they have made a profound difference in the community with their TEAM UP Youth Mentoring and other youth programs. Very well done! I could not be prouder to call the Grizzlies my team.

Who watches TV anymore? If you want to keep up with the Olympics, why not do it the modern way, following the event online. Mashable has 10 ways to do it.

The Green Beetle has posted updated standings in its 7-week trivia tournament. This is all-sports trivia hosted Thursday nights at 8 by Kevin Cerrito. The team with the most cumulative points at the end wins 6 tickets to the Colts vs. Titans game on October 28. Currently the team “I’m Not Gay, But 5 Bucks Is 5 Bucks” is in the lead. Tonight is only the third week, so there’s plenty of time to catch up if you want those tickets. Food and drink specials during trivia.

Downtown is a very bike-able neighborhood, but when you park your bike, don’t use a combination lock to secure it. Lifehacker has a video that shows how to crack a bike combination lock in under 30 seconds. The article also has a link to tips about more secure types of bike locks.

It’s Thursday night outdoor party night. Rockabilly band Hilbilly Casino will headline the Peabody rooftop party tonight from 6 to 11 PM. $10 cover, ladies free before 7.

John Paul Keith and the 1-4-5s bring a timeless mix of rock, country, blues, and R&B to the Madison Hotel rooftop tonight. 7-11 PM, $7 cover, cash bar and small plates available on the roof.

The Rebel on Beale Country Series continues this week. Frankie Ballard will play the stage at Handy Park, Third at Beale, tonight at 7:30. Free admission, and it’s an all-ages show.

Plans for tonight: I’ll make my usual walk down the Main Street Mall about 6. If I see people I know or an open bar seat at Aldo’s Pizza Pies, I’ll go in. If not, I’ll do the Saucer first and come back to Aldo’s later in the evening. If anyone who has my number plans on hanging out at the bar and wants some company, hit me up.

Wed update: Willie Nelson to play Central Station, Beale Street, Peabody rooftop parties, South Main Trolley Tour, Purple Haze, and more

A very cool and unique concert will come to Central Station this fall. Willie Nelson will headline the Railroad Revival Tour, on which musicians travel by train to their concert venues. They will stop at the train station October 22. Most of the venues are outdoors, but Central Station is certainly appropriate, given that Willie is on the tour and the train they call the City of New Orleans stops here. Band of Horses, Jamey Johnson and John Reilly & Friends are also on the tour. For more info, check out this Rolling Stone article.

The Memphis Daily News reports that the lawsuit about Beale Street is still unresolved after 2 years. There were a couple of interesting tidbits at the end of the article:

1) John Elkington and city planners have talked about expanding the Beale Street entertainment district to the north, south, or both. Hmmm… if they expanded north to Peabody Place, then Hooters would be part of the district. That would be kind of odd. Purple Haze, a block to the south, is already considered part of the Beale district and can therefore stay open until 5 PM.

2) Not only is there going to be a new police substation on Beale starting next month, but the police museum is returning too. The museum used to be housed in the space that is now Superior Bar. Glad to see it return – one more fun and free thing to do Downtown.

The Peabody has announced the lineup for its remaining rooftop parties of this season:

  • July 26: Hillbilly Casino
  • August 2: Kid Ego (with special guest DJ Raiford!!!)
  • August 9: Gary Escoe and the Atomic Dance Machine
  • August 16: Ingram Hill with special guests Boys Like Girls and Graffiti 6

Cover charge for each party is $10, except for the one on the 16th which is $15.

Friday the 27th is the last Friday of the month, and that means it’s time for South Main Trolley Tour. Many of the galleries and shops of South Main will stay open from 6 to 9, and there will be sidewalk performances as well. Performers will include Adams Avenue Camerata, Lee Garret, Kris Acklen, Red Planet, Fire Tribe, The Dancing Fire, Nava Sanctum, and Danza Xochitquetzal.

Purple Haze, the nightclub in the former Red Rooster space on Second a block south of Beale, emailed me about a new special they are doing. Starting Friday they will open at 7 Friday-Saturday and 8 the other days of the week. Every day except Thursday, they will have a special until 10 PM where drinks are $2 and draft beer is $1. No cover charge, so it’s a great place to come in and start your evening.

On Thursday they do something different at Purple Haze – Devin Steele and K97 broadcast live for several hours, and when that’s happening they have $4 martinis and margaritas.

Purple Haze also offers a 15% across-the-board industry discount.

I heard I missed some drama last night at the Saucer. One of the people who was there overheard that I and another friend were at Aldo’s Pizza Pies for friends & family night. He proceeded to get his panties all in a wad, mad that he had not received a personal invitation. Not that it stopped him: About 8:00 he showed up anyway. Geeeez. I guess we all need to make sure we have his contact info in our phones, so anytime any of us have an event he won’t miss out on the chance to mooch free food and beer.

Words of wisdom: If you don’t get invited to parties, don’t work extra hard to find out about them and show up anyway. Work extra hard to become the type of person people want to invite to parties. From what I’ve heard about last night’s outburst at the Saucer, someone has a lot of work to do.

Speaking of the Saucer, they have people from corporate in town this week. I’d love to ask someone from corporate why the Memphis Saucer does not carry PBR like six of the other locations.

Plans for tonight: It’s Wednesday night, and the last night for the forseeable future that I won’t have Aldo’s as an option. Maybe I’ll hit Brass Door Bingo (7 PM). Maybe I’ll do trivia at the Blind Bear (8 PM). Or maybe I’ll just hang out at the Saucer and continue work on my 7th plate. We will see. I have more news than I could fit into this post, so check back tonight for an update.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies

Tonight I went to the preview opening of Aldo’s Pizza Pies for friends & family. They open to the public Thursday at 5 and will be in a “soft opening” situation until August 12.

Menu (click for larger image)
Crowd, as seen from the end of the bar
Taps, Part 2
Newspaper on the wall
Kyla with a Pauly Lager – Pacifico and limes
Too many cooks?
View from the front entrance
The Rock would approve.

So, tonight I was invited to the “friends & family” party at Aldo’s Pizza Pies. This is the precursor to the public opening night Thursday; after that they’ll be in soft opening mode until August 12.

Pizza was outstanding, but even better was the service. Kyla, Brooke, and particularly Josh held another beer up when I was about 3 sips from finishing the one I was working on. If that sounds familiar, it’s the way Bardog operates, which pretty much sets the standard for service. I was never wanting for anything.

I asked Aldo about the pizza parlor’s weekend hours and he told me it will open 11 AM Sunday. That could shake up Sunday Fun Day plans. I won’t cheat on the Majestic and come there at 11, but I might cheat on the Saucer and show up at noon. If not noon, shortly thereafter.

All right I’m tired and these pics have taken forever to download. I’ll be at Aldo’s Thursday night. See you there?