RIP Silky, plus Friday news

Today one of the true legends of Downtown Memphis, Silky Sullivan, passed away. Silky was proprietor of Silky O’ Sullivan’s, an anchor of Beale Street for years. Silky loved a good party and knew how to throw one – and he threw one in his bar every night, with dueling pianos, an Irish theme, Diver buckets to drink, and neon palm trees and pet goats in the courtyard.

Silky could frequently be seen holding court on his throne on Beale in front of his bar. In particular, he was known for throwing St. Patrick’s Day extravaganzas, with the blessing of the kegs, the receiving of Irish dignitaries, and the raising of the goat. His courtyard was always packed for St. Pat’s, and in years when the weather was warm you could even spot a few tube tops.

Rest in peace, Silky, and thank you for all you did to make Downtown a fun place to be.

And now, let’s get on to the news…

It’s Trolley Night on South Main Street tonight, as it is the last Friday of every month. Galleries, shops, and restaurants will be open from 6 to 9, and many will have appetizers, wine, beer, discounts, fashion shows. There will be live music by Misty Rae at ArtJamN, and by Kitty Deering at D’Edge. There will be art demos at American Apparel, the Folk Alliance, the fire station lawn, Main at Butler, and Main at Nettleton. The Streetdog Foundation will set up next to Earnestine & Hazel’s with adoptions and merchandise, and the Memphis Roller Derby League will make an appearance. If you’ve never been to a Trolley Night, May is a great month to check it out before the weather gets super hot in the summer.

Ever want to sit on the field and watch a movie at AutoZone Park? You can on June 15. The park will screen The Sandlot at 7:30 that evening. Third-base seats will be available for those who don’t wish to sit on the field. If you sit on the field, you’re encouraged to bring a blanket. There will be a trivia contest with a pair of PF Flyer sneakers as the prize. After the screening, fans will have a chance to meet the writer/director. He will be signing a variety of items with proceeds going to charity.

The Travel Channel’s “Burger Land” visit to Memphis will air Monday at 8 Central time. The show toured Dyer’s and Alex’s, and got local commentary from Best Memphis Burger blogger Seth. Here’s a preview.

Plans for tonight: I’ll probably start out at one of my bars where I’m Foursquare mayor in the Downtown core (I regained the Silly Goose last night). Then about 7:30. I’ll decide whether to stay put or head to South Main. All right, off to do something I haven’t done on a lunch break this week: eat.

Thur update 2: Brunch with the Redbirds, Eagles concert, Havana’s Pilon, MiM loses valuable exec, petition for Grizzlies license plate, metal fest on Beale Saturday

On Sunday, June 9, AutoZone Park will hold Brunch with the Redbirds. For $40 you will get a club-level seat for the 1:35 game, and a brunch buffet from 12:30 to 2:00. Check out this spread:

AZP Bloody Marys and Mimosas
Classic Eggs Benedict
Brioche French Toast with Macerated Berries
Grilled Country Sausage and Biscuits
Rendezvous Famous Dry Rub Ribs
Rendezvous BBQ Nachos
Chef Carving Rendezvous Beef Brisket
Picnic Style Fried Chicken
Horseradish Cream and Silver Dollar Rolls
Country Scrambled Eggs
Rashers of Apple wood Smoked Bacon
Savory Slaw
Pasta Salad Primavera
Fresh Sliced Melon and Berries
Assorted Muffins and Pastries
Chef Preparing Bananas Foster

All you can eat? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. Ticket ordering information can be found here. Ladies, this sounds like a great day for you to put on a tube top and enjoy brunch and the game.

The Eagles have been announced for an October 14 concert at FedExForum.

Kerry went to Havana’s Pilon, the new Cuban restaurant on Madison, and had good things to say about the ropa vieja. I’ve been incorrectly omitting the apostrophe-s when typing the restaurant’s name. The restaurant’s menu is now available online.

The CA reports that Memphis in May executive vice-president Diane Hampton is leaving after 15 years. Thanks Diane for all you have done to grow this month-long celebration. Diane personally helped me out in 2001, when the person I attended Sunset Symphony with was too drunk almost to stand, much less walk the quarter-mile to her car. Diane gave us a ride in her golf cart.

There’s a petition to the state of Tennessee to start making a Grizzlies license plate. Over 1500 people had signed as of noontime today.

The annual Scion Rock Fest will happen Saturday on Beale Street. 32 metal bands will play in five different venues. Venues, bands, and festival info can be found here.

Fun day at work, working on some cutting-edge stuff. Now it’s time to follow that up with a beer.

Thur update: Oklahoma fundraiser, Itta Bena Groupon, Peabody party, Italian Fest, pork “on the stone” @ Silly Goose, AAC logo, pigeon news

A local fundraiser for the Moore, Oklahoma Public Schools is being organized. SAVE THE DATE: It will happen Friday, June 14 and it will be Downtown. More details to come. Money will go directly to the school district to rebuild damaged/destroyed schools rather than going through a third-party organization like the Red Cross.

There’s a Groupon for Itta Bena that is available for the next three days. Itta Bena is an elegant restaurant on the third floor of B.B. King’s Blues Club, and is one of the hidden secrets of Beale. You have two options for this Groupon: $49 for a contemporary Southern dinner for two (one appetizer, two entrees, two desserts), or $25 for $50 worth of contemporary Southern food for two or more.

Kid Ego plays the weekly Peabody rooftop party tonight. There will be a hot dog buffet. (Two tourists from Georgia were in the Goose last night and mentioned they were VERY EXCITED about that hot dog buffet. Mmmkay.) Those in VIP will have a hamburger buffet, chicken-onion-pepper skewers, and grilled vegetables. Drink special will be Svedka cherry with Coke for $4. Doors open at 6, $10 cover includes first drink, ladies free until 7.

This isn’t a Downtown event, but a lot of people are going to the Memphis Italian Festival this weekend. It kicks off at 4:30 today and goes all day tomorrow and Saturday. The festival is in a large park out east at Park Avenue and Mt. Moriah Road. Format is similar to BBQ Fest, where teams build booths and compete.

Last night I watched pork cook “on the stone” at the Silly Goose.

Photo May 29, 7 50 43 PM

It’s really neat. They give you several spices and seasonings which you can choose to sprinkle on your meat, and then it cooks on the stone right in front of you. They have filet and chicken on the stone as well. They were going to have salmon but apparently that didn’t work out. While at the Goose, the bartender asked if I’d come sit in her section Friday night if she wears a tube top.

The American Athletic Conference, of which Memphis will be a member this fall, debuted its new logo today. The @memphisroar Twitter account commented that it looks like it was designed with WordArt. Well, you know, it kinda does.

Pigeon news: Pigeons peck for computerized treat

There’s enough news for a second post today, so check back 5:30-6:00ish.

Wed update: Okla. fundraiser, $5.29 Redbirds tix, soccer, rare beers, Cuban food, Main-to-Main secures matching funds

All Coyote Ugly locations are having an Oklahoma storm relief benefit today. 100% of the proceeds go to Red Cross storm relief. The Coyote Ugly location on Beale opens at 4 PM today.

Want to see a Redbirds game for cheap? It’s 529 Day at AutoZone Park. In honor of the TNStars College Savings 529 program, select Redbirds tickets will be on sale for $5.29. Game is 7:05 vs. Albuquerque. It’s going to be a warm night at the ballpark. Wearing a tube top would be a good way to stay cool.

Soccer fans: The Brass Door will show Ireland vs. England at 2, Belgium vs. USA at 7. No Brass Door Bingo tonight but it will be back next week.

The Memphis Flyer has a really good article about the Grizzlies roster in order of prognosis of return.

The Fuzzy Brew blog has a post about the rare beers at the Flying Saucer’s 16th birthday party. Although it’s billed as a one-day-only event, there are still some “leftovers,” so you still might have time to try one of these beers.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blogger visited Havana Pilon. That ropa vieja looks good.

The Daily News reports that a milestone has been hit securing matching funds for the Main-to-Main project. This will spur the construction of a pedestrian bridge to West Memphis and much-needed improvements for the Main Street Mall.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out after work about 5:30.

Tue update: Lionel Hollins’ status, Grizz does a good deed, Downtown booming, tube top news and more

The Grizzlies’ season has come to an end, after a 93-86 Game 4 loss to the San Antonio Spurs last night. Despite the series sweep, all I can say is CONGRATULATIONS to the Grizzlies on their best year ever. 56-26 and a trip to the Western Conference Finals – we’ve never done that well before. A fine year and I can’t wait for the 2013-14 season to start.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Coach Lionel Hollins’ future is uncertain. His contract is up June 30, and as of yet the organization has not offered him an extension. If he doesn’t return, he will have plenty of suitors: The L.A. Clippers, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Milwaukee Bucks are said to be interested in talking to him.

Touching story on CBS Sports: Grizz healed the broken heart of a little girl after the Grizzlies’ loss last night.

From Fox 13: Downtown Memphis booms during May’s events

Tube top news from Celebuzz: Courtney Stodden’s tube top is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen

I’m no longer a triple mayor of Downtown bars. Congrats to my friend Katie Mac, who stole the Foursquare mayorship of the Silly Goose from me yesterday. I still have the Flying Saucer and Blind Bear mayorships.

Power was out in parts of Downtown this morning due to a substation being down. It was restored about 11 AM. This was just in time for the Peabody, whose duckmaster nearly had to walk the ducks down 12 flights of stairs.

For the first Tuesday in several weeks, there is nothing standing in the way of me playing poker at the Blind Bear at 8. Looking forward to getting back to the table and playing with my friends. I’ll probably pre-game at the Saucer about 5:30 after work.

Memorial Day update

Roglly won the award for Best Dressed on Blind Bear's Patio yesterday evening.
Roglly won the award for Best Dressed on Blind Bear’s Patio yesterday evening.

Happy Memorial Day! If you’re looking for something to do this afternoon, the Redbirds have a 1:05 matinee game. If you show a Chick-Fil-A value meal receipt, you can receive $6 off the ticket price today. There are also specials for the joint purchase of a ticket and a Malibu can cocktail. Opponent is the Round Rock Express and gates open at 12.

Another option is the grill-out on Twilight Sky Terrace, the lounge atop the Madison Hotel. From 11 to 4 they’ll be grilling burgers and dogs. The regular menu will be available too.

The big event of the day, of course, happens at the FedExForum tonight at 8. Western Conference Finals Game 4, Grizzlies vs. Spurs. No team has ever come back from down 3 in a conference final series. Therefore, the beginning of history being made starts tonight. As usual, I will be at the Blind Bear watching the game. Go Grizzlies!

Sun update: Free Jeffrey and the Pacemakers show, a duck in a bucket, Havana Pilon praise, and more

Last night was the first-ever Grizzlies watch party during Tube Top Month
Last night was the first-ever Grizzlies watch party during Tube Top Month

The Paul McCartney concert is this evening at the FedExForum. It’s a stop on his “Out There” tour. Even if you don’t have tickets to see Sir Paul, you should come to the FedExForum plaza around 5. British Invasion band Jeffrey and the Pacemakers will be playing Beatles songs and hits from other popular 1960s British bands. These guys are accomplished musicians and have played with some of the industry’s biggest names. The show is free to the public.

Add one to the “weird things you see Downtown” file. Yesterday I saw multiple reports that Friday night, a man had been walking around Main Street carrying a live duck in a Home Depot bucket. Then Patrick from the Majestic Grille posted a video and yep, it was absolutely true. There was a mallard hen inside a painted bucket. You just don’t get this kind of entertainment in Collierville, folks.

One of my neighbors tried Havana Pilon, the new Cuban restaurant on Madison near Second, Friday evening. I asked her how it was and she said the food was “fab” and very reasonably priced. I’ve got to get in there and try it soon. She said the hours are 7 to 7 Monday through Saturday.

Yesterday I started at Bardog as usual. It was pointed out to me that one of the other bar customers was waiting for me to finish my beer to see if I’d order another one, and then as soon as I did, he did too. I started paying attention, and yep, that was happening. About 2:30 I asked Panda for my tab as quietly as possible and slipped down Scratchy’s Alley on my way to the Flying Saucer, hoping to get away from him. Not 30 seconds after I took a seat next to my friends at Saucer, he was hovering behind us.

One of my friends suggested he slow down on the drinking, as he was quite hammered by that point. He responded by ordering a car bomb and a 25 ounce can of beer. Initially he stayed a couple of people away from me, but he soon found reason to talk to my BBQ teammate sitting next to me, leaning on the back of my chair so as to invade my personal space as much as possible. I finally had to move away from my friends to get away from him. When he was done with his beer he crushed the can and angrily slammed it on the bar, then shoved it in my general direction. Passive-aggressive MUCH? Since he watches Grizzlies games at the Saucer and I watch them at Blind Bear, I thought I’d be free from him in the evening, but no, he followed me to Bear too. Fortunately my BBQ teammates occupied all the nearby seats and he had to sit at the other end of the bar. Disappointed that he couldn’t pester me more, he left at halftime. Seriously? WTF is wrong with people? I think he blames me for not being on the BBQ team this year, when he should blame his own long-standing pattern of inappropriate drunk behavior.

Due to laundry not getting done in time I won’t make it to brunch at the Majestic today. I’ll probably lead off at Saucer at noon, then at 3 I have to go to a BBQ team leadership wrap-up meeting at Blind Bear. I’m not a member of the LLC behind the BBQ team but I get invited to these things anyway. Actually, one of our first-year members (and I wish she were my stalker instead of a creepy middle-aged dude) had a really good suggestion I want to pass on. After that I’ll catch Jeffrey and the Pacemakers on the Forum plaza, and plans TBD after that. Maybe Silly Goose, although I have reason to believe it will be an absolute shitshow tonight. At any rate, it’s a Sunday not followed by a work Monday, and I’m going to make the most of it. It’s going to be a beautiful day in the mid 80s and I hope to see some tube tops!

Tube Top Month plus Saturday news

2013-05-24 21.14.04Welcome to Tube Top Month, which began at 5 PM yesterday. Tube Top Month is a celebration of the greatest women’s fashion item ever invented, the tube top. From today through July 4, every post on this blog will mention tube tops or will feature a photo of a tube top. Tube Top Month had its first year in 2005 and was originally the month of June. In 2010 one of my readers suggested I expand it to include the Memorial Day and July 4 weekends. I thought that was an excellent idea.

For our first photo we have an established tube top superstar, Jessica who was working a rare Friday shift at the Silly Goose last night. Want to be in the blog? Put on a tube top and come find me. I have the camera phone on me at all times.

Sunset Symphony is changing its scheduled event times this evening to accommodate the Grizzlies game. Symphony will begin at 7, fireworks at 8:45, then they will show the game on the stage’s big screen at 9. By the way, a tube top would be a great choice of clothing for tonight in Tom Lee Park.

The Memphis Flyer has a good article about Tamp & Tap, the coffee shop/biergarten which will open in Van Vleet Flats soon. I did not realize it is being opened by Taylor Berger, the entrepreneur who opened Chiwawa in Midtown recently. That place has been a runaway success and hopefully Tamp & Tap will be too.

The Redbirds are giving away unique Memphis Belle T-shirts to the first 2000 fans at AutoZone Park tonight. The shirts celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Memphis Belle’s 25th combat mission. There are discounted tickets for veterans tonight, and after the game there will be fireworks set to Big Band era music. Gates open at 5, first pitch at 6:05.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll most likely watch the game at Blind Bear as usual. Go Grizzlies! Let’s see those growl towels! And those tube tops!

Fri update: Club 152, Grizzlies watch party in Handy Park, Sunset Symphony, seats for military at Redbirds, USA Today article on Memphis

Breaking news: Club 152 has been allowed to reopen. It will be open as of 5 PM today following an agreement just signed in Environmental Court.

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Wharton announced that there will be huge LED screens in Handy Park broadcasting tomorrow’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Game time is at 8 PM. The park would be a great place to be if you don’t have a ticket to see the game in person. Handy Park is at the corner of Third and Beale.

Meanwhile, over in Tom Lee Park, the final event of Memphis in May will take place. Sunset Symphony is the most laid-back of the Memphis in May events. Patrons are allowed to bring their own coolers and picnic baskets in, and you can bring blankets and sit on the grass. There are bands all afternoon, and when the sun sets, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra performs and then there are fireworks. If you don’t feel like bringing your own, food and beverages will be sold by vendors. Read the FAQ to find out what items you can and can’t bring in. This is a really good event for date night or for a family outing.

AutoZone Park and the Redbirds are honoring our military by designating 26 seats in the first three rows of section 106 for service members. Military will be able to purchase those seats at a 50% discount by showing their military ID. Row 1, seat A in that section will be wrapped in black with the POW/MIA logo. It will be marked “Reserved in Memoriam” and will remain permanently empty.

Good USA Today article: Memphis: A Basketball Haven in a Football Region

That’ll do it for now! Tube Top Month starts at 5 PM.

Thur update: Light up Downtown for the Grizzlies, Peabody rooftop party, Dylan ticket deal, McCartney plaza party, Marc Gasol, new Silly Goose menu

Mayor Wharton has proclaimed tomorrow GRIZZLIES DAY and is asking everyone to wear your Grizzlies colors, jerseys, or team gear. He is also asking everyone Downtown to leave their lights on Saturday night. The Goodyear Blimp will be in town to cover the Western Conference Finals, and we want Downtown to shine.

Gary Escoe’s Atomic Dance Machine plays the Peabody rooftop tonight. On the buffet: pasta salad, deviled eggs, and Southern fried chicken legs. VIP buffet: Southern fried chicken tenders, potato salad, ham & Swiss sliders. The Budweiser of Memphis beer tasting in VIP will feature Yazoo beers this week. $10 to get in, cover includes first drink, ladies free before 7. It’s a beautiful rain-free day and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it if you decide to kick off Tube Top Month a day early.

Tomorrow is Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday. The first 20 fans to come to AutoZone Park tomorrow and purchase tickets to his July 2 concert here will receive a free slice of birthday cake and four tickets to any Redbirds game in August.

The Paul McCartney concert is this Sunday at the FedExForum. Prior to the concert, starting at 5 PM, there will be a plaza party featuring the 1960s British Invasion band Jeffrey and the Pacemakers. Attendees will be able to buy Paul McCartney and Grizzlies merchandise, and brats, beer, and soft drinks will be sold.

Congrats to Marc Gasol for making all-NBA second team, although I think he should have been first team.

The Silly Goose has revised its menu again. Here’s a look at the new food menu: (click to see enlarged size)

Photo May 22, 7 37 21 PM

New to the menu is a choice of meats cooked “on the stone.” They actually bring it out to your table and it cooks on a hot stone right in front of you. I watched Chris the manager try it out several weeks ago and the filet looked really good. You get your choice of several sauces and a side. They put the hot stones away at 10 PM, which is probably a good idea given how crowded it gets in there at night.

Speaking of the Goose, I hear the PBR is good there. I think I’ll walk down there and have one.