Fri update: Million Dollar Quartet, Tiger game time, Brass Door/Mad Earl, How to Use Social Media for Social Good e-book, Lauren back at Max’s today, wellness open house, music and burgers at Hard Rock

“Million Dollar Quartet” returns to the Orpheum for one last run next week, March 26-30. This is the musical that chronicles the recording session that brought Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins together for the first and only time. 2011 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist winner Cody Slaughter plays the part of Elvis in the show. More info here.

Game time has been set for Memphis’ round-of-32 game in March Madness. We tip off against 3-seed Michigan State tomorrow at 1:45 PM on CBS. Now I have to figure out where I’m going to watch the game. I’ve been trying to retweet announcements of bars opening early for basketball from my @paulryburn Twitter account.

The Memphis Flyer has a good article on The Brass Door and The Mad Earl. The Brass Door has improved bangers and rashers for breakfast now, buying its products from a local company that carries the freshest meat, from pigs slaughtered the previous day. (Hey, Coffee John got mentioned in the article!) Meanwhile, the Mad Earl is in its soft-opening phase, open 4 PM to 3 AM every day. Passageways connect the Mad Earl to its next-door neighbor the Brass Door.

Are you involved in nonprofits? Might want to download this free e-book: How to Use Social Media for Social Good. It was posted today by the Cloud4Good team, and explores stories of nonprofits maximizing social media for awareness, fundraising, community growth, and engagement.

If you’re looking for a place to watch the games this afternoon, Max’s Sports Bar would be a good place. Retired bartender Lauren has returned for one day only. She had extra free time on her hands this week since she isn’t busy watching her Tennessee Vols in the NCAA tournament.

There’s an open house at the Church Health Center Wellness Center tomorrow at 1.

Good music at Hard Rock Cafe tomorrow. The local finals of Hard Rock Rising – the Global Battle of the Bands will happen tomorrow night at 9 PM. By the way, I’ve received a tip that Hard Rock has really good burgers, unexpectedly good for a chain. That’s really not too surprising considering everything in their kitchen is prepared from scratch. I need to follow up on that tip soon.

That’ll do it for this cloudy Friday. I’ll be out about 5:30 to watch March Madness, location TBD.

Peabody Hotel releases 2013 rooftop party season details

Yesterday the Peabody Hotel released details of its 2013 rooftop party season, including the band schedule from April through June. Every Thursday night, the South’s grand hotel throws a party on its huge rooftop deck. There is entertainment with top local/regional bands and bands on the rise with current radio hits. Between band sets there is entertainment by CJ and Liz from Q107.5 / 96.1 FM and house DJ Mark Anderson. Here’s the lineup for the April 11 premiere through June 27:

April 11: The 17th Floor with special guest Carly Rae Jepsen *
April 18: DJ Mark Andersonís MATV and the Kaleidophonix with special guest Hot Chelle Rae *
April 25: Dr. Zarrís Amazing Funk Monster
May 2: G3: The Garry Goin Group
May 9: Kevin & Bethany Paige
May 16: Party Planet
May 23: Gary Escoeís Atomic Dance Machine
May 30: Kid Ego
June 6: Seeing Red
June 13: Almost Famous
June 20: The Millionaires
June 27: 5th Kind

Cover is $10 except where noted by an asterisk above, in which case the cover is $15. You get a ticket for your first drink when you pay your cover charge. Hours are 6 to 11 PM, and ladies get in free until 7. You can take in sunset views over the Mississippi River as you party, and you can see the area where the world-famous Peabody Ducks live.

One change the hotel is making this year is carrying the parties into the fall. Although the regular season will wrap up on August 15, there will be additional parties on September 12 and 26 and October 17 and 31.

VIP passes will be available for sale for $125. These get you into all 23 parties of the season. VIPs also get an express path up the elevators and into the parties (new this year), one free drink ticket a week, chef tastings in a private VIP area, and beer specials from Budweiser. Other VIP perks include valet parking, a 20% discount on Peabody logo merchandise in Peabody Deli and Desserts, and a 10% discount in Capriccio Grill and Chez Philippe throughout the rooftop party season.

First party is three weeks away, on April 11, and features special guest Carly Rae Jepsen (“Call Me Maybe”).

Thur update: Hospitality HUB, wine tasting/fundraiser, newspaper for the homeless, convention question, winter weather chance decreases

Yesterday afternoon I was driving down Second Street on my way home from work, and I noticed the Hospitality HUB‘s logo on a building at 82 N. Second. Previously the HUB had been located around the corner on Jefferson next to China Restaurant that closed down. The HUB provides a warm welcome to the homeless people that walk through its doors, greeting them with refreshments, restrooms, and access to lockers and telephones. Workers at the HUB assess each person’s root cause for being homeless. They then help them get the services they need, including help acquiring birth certificates/IDs, shelter vouchers, transportation vouchers, a temporary mailing address, and help getting access to mental health counseling or drug and alcohol counseling.

WREG had a segment on the news last night urging people to just say no to panhandlers. Giving money to the Hospitality HUB is a much better idea. It will help those in need get the service listed above, whereas giving money to a panhandler on the street is likely to do nothing but to enable their dependence on alcohol and drugs. There will be a wine tasting at Jack Robinson Gallery on April 25th to benefit the Hospitality HUB.

Another asset for the homeless in Memphis is a new newspaper by and for the homeless, founded by Rhodes College students. The idea came from a similar, very successful paper in Nashville. Homeless not only write for the paper, but they can become certified as vendors. Vendors sell the paper for $1 apiece. They get 20 free copies to start, and after that they pay 25 cents a copy and get to keep the rest for every copy sold. Badges will identify the vendors to keep people from getting scammed. I’d buy a copy for sure, not only to help someone earn a living but to read it and get a better understanding of their daily lives.

OK, I have a question. Is there someplace where I can get a master list of all conventions going on in Downtown Memphis? The Cook Convention Center lists theirs on their website, but there are also conventions at the Peabody, the Marriott, and probably a few other hotels Downtown. Sometimes I just get curious who’s in town when the Flying Saucer and other bars get unexpectedly packed on the weeknights. Last night I expected it to be slow during the Grizzlies game, and instead it got so busy that I had to take my netbook home so beer wouldn’t get spilled on it.

The winter weather situation looks a lot better than it did yesterday. posted a blog update this morning. Now they’re saying the precipitation won’t start falling until around 4, and the bulk of it will land between 6 and 9. It will change over to all rain before the night’s over. I also looked at the hourly forecast on the Weather Channel’s site, and they never had the temp falling below 36.

I filled out a March Madness bracket this year. I have the Tigers beating St. Mary’s today but losing to #3 seed Michigan State on Saturday (I’ll be quite happy if I get Saturday’s game wrong, though). I have Duke, Ohio State, Indiana, and Michigan in the Final Four, with Ohio State beating Indiana for the championship.

That’ll wrap it up for now. GO TIGERS!

The official Moody Ques 2013 info post is on the site

I just put the official 2013 Moody Ques BBQ team information post on the team website. (Of course, I did an unofficial info post here a few weeks ago.) If you’re a returning team member from 2012, check it out. It’s time to pay your team dues and we have a PayPal link ready for you to do that. We also have an email address ( where you can email any questions you have for the team leaders.

Not a 2012 member but interested in joining? Talk to any team member, or shoot an email to the address above. We’ve already added one person for 2013 and might be interested in talking to other potential members or sponsors. With our current sponsors WordPress and the Blind Bear, this is shaping up to be a good year.

Wed update 2: New coffee lounge/beer bar in Van Vleet Flats, Bluff City Oktoberfest, Winter Storm Watch tomorrow

The Memphis Daily News reported today that a new coffee lounge that will also serve sandwiches and beer is coming to the ground floor of Van Vleet Flats. It will tentatively be named Tamp and Tap. The focus will be on great coffee, but they will also serve a menu of sandwiches similar to Cheffie’s on Highland, and they will carry a couple of beers on tap in their vintage kegerator. The beer will be sourced from “some of the new guys coming online,” which is good to hear. The space will be designed to appeal to people who want to hang out, but in a more low-key environment than a bar or restaurant.

A new festival, Bluff City Oktoberfest, is coming to Riverside Drive the weekend of October 4. It will have two live stages of music, a beer garden with regional craft brews, food trucks, nonprofit booths, local artisans, and a Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned BBQ cooking contest. The event will benefit Samaritan Counseling Centers of the Mid-South. “Like” the festival’s Facebook page for updates. October weather varies but normal high temps on October 4 are still nearly pushing 80. Excellent festival weather and excellent tube top weather.

I wonder how the BBQ contest will go, given that it’s only two weeks after the already well-established Smokin’ Aces contest in Tunica. Will teams be able to turn around and do another one that quickly?

Oh, also, my friend and Daschund lover Air Traffic Mike will be pleased to hear there’s a dog race called “Running of the Weenies” as part of the festival’s events.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the Mid-South starting tomorrow at 1 PM and ending Friday at 7 AM. On March 20? Seriously? One report said up to 3″ of snowfall accumulation is possible. However, winter storms in late March are very hard to predict. See the blog for more details.

Time for beer. Will probably start at Silly Goose tonight to avoid the large pre-Grizzlies crowd next door at the Saucer.

Wed update: Basketball news, and WMC needs a map

The big college basketball news in Memphis last night was not the result of the Middle Tennessee-St. Mary’s game (St. Mary’s won), but the result of a game in a tournament no one usually cares about, the NIT. 8-seed Robert Morris defeated the 1-seed Kentucky Wildcats, coached by former Tigers coach John Calipari. It is now IMPERATIVE that we beat St. Mary’s tomorrow. Think of the message that would send recruits: Come to Memphis, win in the NCAA tournament. Come to Kentucky, lose in the NIT.

At least two bars in the Downtown core will open early tomorrow for your Tigers viewing pleasure. Blind Bear will open at 1 PM, and Silly Goose will open at 1:20. On the south end, Max’s Sports Bar will open at 10:30 tomorrow and Friday, and early all weekend for tournament games. Game time tomorrow is 1:45.

The Memphis Business Journal linked to the 15 most profitable programs in college basketball. The Tigers didn’t make the list, but maybe they will after moving to a better conference. My Arkansas Razorbacks checked in at number 14, despite not having had a season to brag about in several years.

You don’t have to wait until tomorrow to see good basketball. The Grizzlies host the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in the FedExForum. It’s your chance to see two of the NBA’s best teams in a game that is of huge importance in playoff standings.

Someone get the folks at WMC-TV a map! They reported on a car fire at a “Downtown” auto dealership. The dealership in question is It’s All Good Auto (we don’t care about your credit, we care about you) at Third and Peebles. That is nowhere near Downtown. It’s about two miles south of Crump, which is usually considered Downtown’s southern boundary.

Probably a second post after work, check back.

Tue update 2: Big East TV, eighty3 happy hour food, two of the greatest brands ever united under one owner

Big news from the conference formerly known as the Big East, which will include Memphis in the fall, today. They’ve struck a comprehensive TV deal with the ESPN/ABC family of networks. Thanks to this deal, nearly 90 percent of conference-controlled football games (conference games and non-conference home games) will appear on national TV when the contract starts in 2014-15. 63 percent of conference-controlled men’s basketball games will appear on national TV. If you live out of town, it will soon be much easier to see your Tigers on a regular basis. This kind of thing makes our new conference feel like a big deal and not Conference USA version 2.0.

eighty3, the bar and grill inside the Madison Hotel, sent out its monthly newsletter today. The restaurant has some nice happy hour appetizer specials from 5 to 7 PM. They include $1 wings on Monday, $1 oysters on Tuesday, $2 tarragon balls on Wednesday, $2 yakatori on Thursday, and $2 sliders on Friday. They also have a nice menu of mixed drinks at affordable prices for happy hour.

Twinkies and other former Hostess brands should be back on the shelves soon. An investment group is acquiring the brands out of bankruptcy. This investment group already owns one of the greatest brands of all time: PBR.

That’ll do it for now. Time for beer.

Tue update: Tigers news, Thai Bistro closed, Bon Ton to serve dinner soon, smoothies @ City Market, internships @ Church Health Center

Well, it looks like I really did predict the future in my Sunday morning blog post. If St. Mary’s beats Middle Tennessee State in their First Four game, they will play the Memphis Tigers on Thursday. I don’t think it’s a guaranteed loss for the Tigers if we get St. Mary’s. If we bring the energy we will wipe up the court with them. We just can’t be lethargic and sloppy, the way we were against Xavier, and we can’t let the other team come back, as we did with Louisville.

Revised prediction: If the Tigers get St. Mary’s in the round of 64, the Tigers will win if they score more than 70 points. We’ll find out our opponent tonight. MTSU vs. St. Mary’s tips off at 8:10 Central time. Game will be on TruTv.

In other Tiger news, John Martin of the CA (@johnmartinCA) tweeted a link this morning: If APR (Academic Progress Rate) were the measure, the Tigers would be a Final Four team. I’ve heard that Joe Jackson, Tarik Black and others have really made the most of their scholarships to get a fine education. Very smart. A lot of the guys probably have pro ball at some level (NBA, D-League, Europe, China) to look forward to, but it never hurts to have a sound education as a backup. Kudos to Coach Pastner on his players’ classroom achievements.

Sad news: The Downtown Thai Bistro has closed. “Tough strip to survive on,” commented the person who informed me. True. It’s odd how location, location, location is everything, even when it’s only a block difference. A business that would make a killing on Monroe or Union could be a ghost town on Madison. Restaurants that would make piles of money on Main or Second could be all but forgotten on Front or Third. However, I have to give thanks to Seamus, Clay, and all the people involved in the Brass Door and the Mad Earl on Madison. They understand that it will take a while to build Madison as a restaurant/bar destination. I’ll miss Thai Bistro. The times I ate there, they had delicious sushi and Thai entrees.

In more encouraging restaurant news: The Daily News reports that Bon Ton Cafe on Monroe will add dinner soon. They’re open to customer suggestions for items to include on the menu.

Did you know City Market makes smoothies? Saturday morning I ran into a friend of mine who was having a banana, spinach, celery, and pineapple smoothie. That sounded gross but he said it was really good, and that you don’t taste the spinach or celery at all.

The Church Health Center has internships available. There are opportunities in the clinic, child life, development, wellness education and more. This would be a most interesting place to build some work experience. Deadline for application for summer internships is March 30; for fall, June 30.

Looks like enough news is in the queue for a second, after-work post. Check back.

The NCAA matchup I really don’t want to see

It’s about 8 hours from NCAA tournament selection time as I type this. All week long I’ve had a bad feeling that the Memphis Tigers are going to wind up in a 6/11 or 7/10 matchup against St. Mary’s. That’s the team I really don’t want see the Tigers face in the round of 64. The Gaels have been in Gonzaga’s shadow all season and I believe they’re better than most people give them credit for. I worry that they will be what Saint Louis was to the Tigers’ season last year.

I hope I’m wrong. I really want to see Josh get the NCAA tournament win he deserves.

A few pics from yesterday


First green PBR poured at Blind Bear. I went there at 10 AM to watch the Tigers.


Jamie in a kilt

2013-03-16 18.05.55

OK people. Take notes. This is how it’s done. TUBE TOP. Warm weather is here and this is what to wear. Tube Top Month officially begins May 24 but you don’t have to wait. Let’s see those tube tops now.

What a great day yesterday. I started at the Blind Bear, and watched the Tigers’ thrilling victory over Southern Miss in two overtimes. Winning 30 games prior to the NCAA tournament is a huge accomplishment for Josh and the team. I hope Southern Miss gets in. They may not have a quality win but taking the #20 team in the country to two overtimes should be worth something.

After that I went to Mudbugs in March and got a box of crawfish. Of all the crawfish festivals, I think they make the best crawfish. They asked if I wanted taters or corn, both cooked in the crawfish boil. I chose taters. I found two huge new potatoes in my box, along with a slice of smoked sausage and a couple of mushrooms which had been cooked in the boil too. A few people asked, “Why did they have to schedule it the same day as the St. Pat’s parade?” Why WOULDN”T they? With a ton of people Downtown for the parade and the Brass Door party, it makes all the sense in the world.

I walked through Beale about 15 minutes prior to the parade. It was just super packed thanks to the gorgeous weather. I decided to skip the parade – I have an entire closet shelf full of beads already – and instead I took refuge at the Flying Saucer. As the parade let out the Saucer got super busy and I relocated to the Silly Goose, where I took the tube top pic shown above. Seriously, there are people who need to grab the remote control, put Curious George on pause, and take notes on how to dress for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. This is how it’s done.

My final stop was the Brass Door alley party, and I got to see the new bar next door, the Mad Earl. They didn’t have it totally finished so I didn’t take pics. The TVs have been set up, though – seven of them in the main room, and there is not a seat that does not have a good TV view.

Back at it today. I’m up early enough to start at the Majestic for brunch. Blind Bear opens at noon today, so that may be the next stop. I’ve heard that the DeLorentos are worth seeing, so I’ll hit the Brass Door alley party at 3. I also want to hear the Swamp Katz. Missed them yesterday. I’ll also fit the Flying Saucer into the schedule at some point, maybe to watch Selection Sunday at 6. Busy Irish Sunday Fun Day ahead.