Thanksgiving update

I promised you a post today, so here you go. It’s going to be a fairly short one though. If you need to buy anything today, I took a walk around the northern part of the Downtown core this morning. Walgreens is closed. Jack’s Food Store is open. The convenience store at Second and Madison is open, but don’t go there if you want Mountain Dew; they’re out. City Market is closed.

The once-a-year Majestic Grille 50% off gift card sale happens next Wednesday, December 4, from 8 AM until they run out. You can buy as many $50 gift cards as you like for $25. There are some restrictions, though: The cards can’t be used until after the New Year, and they can’t be used to purchase alcohol. It’s still worth it, though, because their food for half-off is a value indeed. You must purchase the cards in person, no phone orders, so if you can’t be there Wednesday morning, give your money to someone who can buy the cards for you. These cards will run out fast. I recommend getting there right at 8 if you can, and if not that early by no later than 10 AM.

The Mid-South Food Bank is moving out of Downtown. They acquired a warehouse in Oakhaven that will be their new headquarters. It will amount to a $10 million renovation. I hate to see any business move out of Downtown, but if it helps feed Memphis’ hungry people more easily, it’s a good move.

The Memphis Tigers face Siena at 5:30 today in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic. If the Tigers win, they’ll play the winner of LSU vs. St. Joseph’s tomorrow. On the other side of the bracket are Oklahoma State, Purdue, Butler, and Washington State.

MK who bartends the Double J Loft Bar and who operates Cake Madam posted a yummy photo of a stuffed turkey with apples, carrots, and cranberries on the side this morning… except it wasn’t a turkey at all. It was a cake! She’s clearly very talented, so if you need a custom cake give her a call.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers. In case you’re wondering why I’m not traveling out of town, it’s because of work. We’re having one of our three major national tournaments starting today and running through next Sunday. This time it is in Phoenix. I have them all set up to post results and news remotely, but just in case there’s a problem I have to be able to get to a computer and proxy in to my work computer relatively quickly. I’ll still get my turkey though; heading over to a friend’s house on Mud Island in a little while. He always puts on a fantastic Thanksgiving spread. If my memory is correct this will be the third time in calendar 2013 that I’ve driven the car on a day off. That’s what I love about living Downtown! I usually ride my bike but it’s just too cold. Driving the car means I will have to hold off on the adult beverages until I get back Downtown, but I can do that. By the time the Flying Saucer opens at 5, I will be back down here and then it will be game on. Happy Thanksgiving and Go Tigers!

Wed update: Food Bank needs turkeys, Turkey of the Year glass, car hits gas main near Aldo’s, Thanksgiving pizza, cameras that can hear gunshots, new Memphis vodka, pop-up gift shop

Starting off today’s post with an urgent plea for help. The Mid-South Food Bank needs turkey donations. As of yesterday afternoon, they were 1700 turkeys short. You can drop off a turkey or $15 at 239 S. Dudley through the end of business today.

Thanks to the Flying Saucer for their Beerknurd appreciation party last night. We had a buffet of BBQ pulled pork, slaw, rolls, and cupcakes. (I cleaned my plate by myself but some of my friends had “help” eating their food.) Each Beerknurd also got a free glass of Yazoo Sue. We were told 8 glasses had black dots on the bottom, and those glasses won a prize. I finished my beer, and there was a black dot. The prize was a Memphis Made Brewing Company T-shirt – a very nice prize, but since I already own one I gave it to one of the bartenders. Thanks to the Saucer for a very nice gesture toward its beer club members.

Tonight, by the way, is the “Turkey of the Year” glass night at the Flying Saucer. Buy the glass and see who is 2013’s biggest turkey. Glasses are on sale at 7:00, or earlier if you’re a Master of the Universe with 5 or more plates on the wall.

About 7:55 last night I left the Saucer and walked up the Main Street Mall to my Tuesday poker game at the Blind Bear. I saw two fire chief SUVs in front of Aldo’s Pizza Pies, with a fire truck on standby. Then I noticed that Aldo’s had been evacuated. A car had driven down Main Street and hit a gas main. From what I hear MLGW did an excellent job fixing the damage quickly, allowing Aldo’s to re-open.

The “Slice of the Day” today at Aldo’s is “A Slice of Thanks from Aldo’s,” with house-roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry, and light mozzarella on giblet gravy. Thanksgiving pizza! Here’s a pic.

Two cameras that can listen for gunshots have been placed in Downtown Memphis, with 10 more coming to other parts of the city soon. The cameras can “hear” gunfire, and swivel and capture an image within 1 second. The cameras were paid for with grant money and no taxpayer dollars were spent on them.

From the Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog: A new Memphis-based vodka called Roaring Tiger has hit the shelves.

A pop-up gift shop called Metal and Mink is coming to South Main beginning Friday night for South Main Trolley Tour. According to their Facebook page, they sell “Unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor and art from local artists. Vintage and antique one of a kind jewelry and accessories including fur and leather.”

The office closes at 3 today. In possibly related news, I will be at happy hour at 4. That’ll do it for now. I don’t take Thanksgiving off from blogging, so there should be a post sometime tomorrow.

Tue update: Cocktail Wars promo code, Peabody tree lighting, Operation Tucci fundraiser, web developer job for the Grizzlies

If you’re thinking about going to Dishcrawl’s Cocktail Wars on December 12 at Alfred’s, I have a promo code you can use. You can go to the event website and enter “blackfriday” as the promo code for 25% off any Cocktail Wars ticket or package. In addition to the mixology competition, the Memphis Queens will perform their new single “Unity,” and bottles of liquor will be raffled off throughout the night.

The Peabody Hotel’s tree-lighting will be this Friday, with things happening throughout the day. Here’s the schedule:

11 a.m.: Peabody Duck March
11:05 a.m.: Overton CAPA Choir
11:45 a.m.: Cordova High School Choir
12:30 p.m.: Overton CAPA Choir
1:15 p.m.: Cordova High School Choir
2 p.m.: Overton CAPA Strings
2:45 p.m.: Ballet Memphis
3:30 p.m.: Central Church Children’s Choir
4 p.m.: Memphis Symphony Orchestra with Opera Memphis
4:30 p.m.: Central Church Children’s Choir
5 p.m. Peabody Duck March,
Central Children’s Choir sings “Here Comes Santa Claus,”
Arrival of Santa Claus and his Elves,
Lighting of the Peabody Christmas Tree
5:15 p.m.: Memphis Symphony Orchestra
6:15 p.m.: Paul McKinney Quintet performs STAX classics

The Peabody’s tree stands 30 feet tall and uses approximately 20,000 lights. There is also going to be a lobby gingerbread display.

There will be an Operation Tucci fundraiser at the Green Beetle Sunday, December 8 from 2 to 7. Operation Tucci has turned one random act of violence into random acts of kindness, and now they are spreading goodwill throughout the city. Here’s what you’ll find at the Beetle that afternoon:

* Learn about Operation Tucci
* Buy Operation Tucci t-shirts and more
* Live Music by Fletcher, Bell, & Ward
* Prizes
* Food/Drink Specials
* Free admission
* All ages welcome

There’s a web designer/web developer position open with the Grizzlies. Copeland Coaching has the details.

Tonight is the Flying Saucer’s Beerknurd Appreciation Party, and that’s where I will be after work. If you have a UFO or MOU card, bring it for a free buffet and possibly other goodies. See all you Beerknurds there!

Sun update: Farm truck at Front and Nettleton today, Dishcrawl secret supper, and a bunch of stupid bar notes

This isn’t going to be an award-winning post. I went to Purple Haze this morning about 4:25. It’s considered part of the Beale Street district so it can stay open until 5. I closed down the Flying Saucer, Blind Bear, and Purple Haze tonight.

There will be a farm truck at the corner of Front and Nettleton selling fresh produce from 2 to 5 today. If y’all come out and support the truck will return regularly during the Farmers Market off-season.

Here’s a Dishcrawl blog about their recent secret supper, featuring the cuisine of Brian Michael “Rizzo” Patrick from down South and David Scott Walker from up North.

So yesterday, I started out at Panda’s bar at Bardog as always. This is the conversation I heard from two seats down:

“Our tab at Local was $540 for the four of us. We had 88 Fireballs.”

That’s how us Downtowners do it. Congrats on keepin’ it real in the 38103.

Also at Bardog, I overheard a guy say he bought chicken from Gus’s, then took it to Hooters and had them put their sauce on it. Then he took it home to eat. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever found a reason to go in Downtown Hooters.

Also overheard at Bardog: Slider Inn, Bardog’s sister restaurant, has Frito Pie in a bag. I am calling a cab to Midtown now.

After I left Bardog, I moved on to Blind Bear, where I helped one of the bartenders figure out how to use Siri on her iPhone. “Siri, find me a hooker,” I commanded. It called one of her friends.

The Blind Bear went through 17 cases of PBR in 5 days. Nice to see that people appreciate the Cadillac of beers down here.

All right. Time to enjoy Sunday Fun Day to the fullest, then tomorrow I get in the car and drive to work. Gas prices are a lot like tube tops: I’d like to see them come down. That’s it for now, back tomorrow with another post.


Sat update: New coffeehouse, Shelton sidewalk sale (not clothes), Downtown events tonight, Marc Gasol, blackberry moonshine

A new coffeehouse and French-style cafe will open at 12 S. Main soon, possibly as early as next month. This is the ground-floor space of the Number 10 Main apartment building (formerly the Commerce Title Building) that has not been occupied since Dr. Bob temporarily located there in 2005 to escape Hurricane Katrina. I haven’t said anything about it on the blog yet, but I know some of the people involved and this is going to be a VERY cool cafe. Demitrie Phillips, who was the original executive chef at Bardog, will be the chef at the new cafe, which will be called Cafe Keough. I’ll post more details as the people in charge give me permission to do so.

Shelton Clothiers is having a sidewalk sale today 10 AM-4 PM. The clothing is gone but they have the following items to sell. It’s cash-and-carry, and just make them an offer:

Stereo and speakers
Kitchenware, appliances, cocktail round
Antique table
Functional tables, rugs, mirrors
Cordless phones
Shelving units and hardware
8 ft. Industrial Ladder
Vacuum cleaners, upright/can vac
Six red velvet curtain panels – 7.5ft x 5ft. with curtain rods/hardware

Busy night Downtown tonight. The Tigers have a home game against Nicholls State at FedExForum at 5, and MGMT plays the Oprheum at 8.

If you’re into African culture, there’s another event tonight that you might want to check out. The Center for Southern Folklore is having a benefit for Be Free Revolution featuring handmade accessories from Kenya and Uganda. You can shop for unique gifts while enjoying live entertainment, a silent auction, and food from Paradox Cuisine. It gets started at 7 PM and tickets are $40 for one/$75 for two.

Marc Gasol injured his knee last night. That sucks. We won’t know the time frame for his return until he gets it looked at today. Trading for Kosta Koufos as a backup center in the offseason looks like a savvy move indeed.

The Blind Bear has announced that blackberry moonshine is back in stock. Their regular customer Wingsauce said she would not return until they had the moonshine back, and the owners of the Bear, horrified at the thought of losing “the coolest Indian in Memphis” (according to Wingsauce), rushed out and got more.

About time for me to head to Panda’s bar at Bardog. There’s a walk for St. Jude going on Downtown right now, so perhaps I’ll see some of the walkers at Bardog after they finish. Well, at least the walkers who don’t have kids, because Bardog is 21 and up. Time to walk over there and have some PBR and Fireball with the grownups!

Fri update: Fashion tip from Sesame Street, House of Grace Christmas party, tree-lighting this afternoon, Max’s vs. Beetle bowling challenge, River Inn terrace, Aldo’s patio, ice skating, Grizzlies on ESPN

Sesame Street has been a popular kids’ show for over 40 years, but did you know it’s also a show you can turn to for fashion advice? This morning “T” was the letter of the day on Sesame Street. There was a song about a girl wearing a tam-o-shanter and a TUBE TOP!!!!!!! I am so proud of the show for sending the proper message to the next generation. Hopefully lots of moms were watching the show with their kids too!

Mark the date on your calendar: The House of Grace Christmas party will be Sunday, December 8 at Double J Smokehouse and Saloon. The House of Grace is a home for battered women and their children. Featured entertainment will include Lance Strode, “The Piano Man” Gunnar Sansom, Nancy Apple, RT Scott, Jack Rowell, Nick Garrison, Bradley Riales, Chris Scott, Delta Joe Sanders, and special guest Keith Sykes. There will be a silent auction from 2 to 9 PM. There will be no cover charged, but guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy, women’s clothing, or cash donation for House of Grace.

Don’t forget that there’s a tree-lighting party in AutoZone Park’s “Rockeyfeller Center” plaza this afternoon. It will get started about 4:30. The first 50 kids will receive a special “illuminating” gift. There will also be free face painting, hot chocolate, and donuts. Free donuts? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. They are advertising “special guest appearances” for the lighting as well.

If you’re a regular at either Max’s Sports Bar or the Green Beetle, stop by the bar of your choice to sign up for the Max’s vs. Beetle charity bowling challenge at Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes Friday, December 6. Funds raised will benefit Habitat for Hope.

The River Inn on Mud Island has re-opened its upper-level terrace with changes in place to let it operate year-round. Folding windows will protect guests from heat, cold, and precipitation. The new menu is centered around plates that can be shared, and the terrace also has its own custom cocktail menu.

Speaking of winterized patios, Aldo’s Pizza Pies is winterizing its patio today to allow for seating during the cold months. It will be enclosed by tonight and heated by next week.

The ice skating rink at the Memphis Zoo opens to the public for the 2013-14 winter season tomorrow.

Alert for out-of-town Memphis Grizzlies fans: You can catch your team on ESPN tonight at 7. It’s a home game against the San Antonio Spurs.

That’ll do it for today’s lunchtime post. A few more hours at work and then a very cold weekend ahead. I guess it will be a few months before we’ll see Sesame Street’s fashion tip put to use.

Thur update: Tweet your All-Star vote, Church Health Center Christmas cards, Sally Field at the Peabody tomorrow, more food & beverage trivia, digital content job

If you’re on Twitter, you can vote for NBA All-Stars by tweeting the hashtag #NBABallot along with the first and last name of the player for whom you wish to vote. For example, you could tweet

#NBABallot Marc Gasol
#NBABallot Zach Randolph
#NBABallot Mike Conley

The Church Health Center is inviting everyone to participate in their Christmas card program. With a minimum suggested $10 donation, your recipient will get a full-color card letting them know that a gift to the Center has been made in their honor. This is an easy way to donate to the Center while thinking of those you care about during the holiday season. More info here.

Award-winning actress Sally Field will appear at the Peabody tomorrow, for a luncheon that benefits the West Cancer Center. Tickets are $125. Info on how to get tickets can be found here.

If you missed food & beverage trivia last night at Tamp & Tap, you have another chance to get in on the fun. Just show up at the Green Beetle at 8 tonight. Kevin Cerrito hosts, and the themed trivia is in honor of Downtown Dining Week.

Channel 5 is looking for a part-time Digital Content Producer. Details here.

That’s it for now. Back later today or tomorrow with more news.

Wed update: Jobs, food and drink trivia, American Apparel Groupon, Grizzlies

I’ve heard about several job openings today, so I wanted to post them:

Director – Memphis Talent Dividend and Graduate Memphis

Operations Coordinator at Leadership Memphis

New Memphis Institute is hiring for two positions: Marketing & Communications Director and Program & Events Coordinator

In observance of Downtown Dining Week, Tamp & Tap’s weekly trivia night this evening will be all questions about food and drink. It’s hosted by Kevin Cerrito and start time is 7 PM.

There’s a Groupon for American Apparel going on right now. The Downtown AA store is at South Main and G.E. Patterson. You can get half-off on $40 or $80 worth of in-store or online purchases.

The Grizzlies play a road game at Golden State at 9:30 tonight. Tony Allen is suspended for this game for kicking Chris Paul in the face Monday in Los Angeles. Quincy Pondexter will most likely start in his place.

That’s it for now. After work I’ll go Duck hunting Downtown, then later tonight I’ll find a bar to watch the game.

Tue update: Thanksgiving openings, TA ejected, Central BBQ specials, Beale Street, Flying Saucer Beerknurd party, Flight chef’s lunch specials

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog has put together a list of what’s open on Thanksgiving. This is worth a bookmark for sure.

In case you missed it last night: Tony Allen was ejected for a flagrant-2 foul for kicking Chris Paul in the face in a game against the L.A. Clippers. Allen apologized to Paul before he left the court, and Paul said after the game that he knew it was an accident. The Grizzlies win the game 106-102.

The Downtown Central BBQ location has $10 Ghost River Beer buckets and a $10 nacho/slider bar for tonight’s Tigers game.

Developer John Elkington and City Council member Lee Harris recently had a discussion about the future of Beale Street. Read about it here.

If you’re a Flying Saucer UFO Club member, mark next Tuesday, November 26, on your calendar. They’re having a Beerknurd appreciation party and you can show your U.F.O. (or M.O.U.) card for access to a Beerknurd buffet. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Flight has added daily chef’s plate lunches to their menu. On Monday the chef’s plate will be veal scaloppini; on Tuesday it will be fontina and spinach stuffed meatloaf; on Wednesday, buttermilk chicken; Thursday, crispy Atlantic flounder; and on Friday it will be black angus prime rib. Sides will include praline sweet potatoes, squash casserole, fried okra and white cheddar macaroni and cheese. Lunch is served from 11 AM to 2 PM.

Huge game tonight as the #11 Memphis Tigers travel to Oklahoma State to take on the seventh-ranked Cowboys. Go Tigers! I’m skipping poker at the Blind Bear tonight, because I want to devote my full attention to the Tigers. Then again, I may well end up at the Blind Bear anyway, since it’s a great place to watch basketball.

Thanks once again to all my friends who made my birthday weekend special, and some of whom nearly killed me with kindness. I’m starting to wish Fireball had never been invented. Seriously, though, thanks to all who helped me celebrate, and I can’t put in words how much you all mean to me. All right, time to publish and go run errands. Lately I’ve been a ping-pong ball bouncing between the Saucer and the Bear and that trend will probably continue tonight.

EXQUISITE people-watching Downtown tonight

I hope you weren’t expecting a well-written, organized post this morning, because you’re not going to get one. You  can declare today Suit and Tie Day if you want, Mr. Mayor, but it’s my birthday and I’m declaring today PBR Hoodie and Shorts Day.

I do have one topic I want to discuss. I couldn’t care less about the Justin Timberlake concert Downtown tonight except for one thing: The people-watching will be exquisite. I remember the last time JT played the FedExForum, and as usual I was hanging out at the Flying Saucer. That bar sometimes gets called “The Flying Sausage” because the male-female ratio is often not very good – about 80% male some nights. Not on JT night though: The crowd was about 80% female that night. The window seats at the Flying Saucer are going to be prime real estate from about 3 to 8 PM today.

Where else to go for people-watching?

– Bleu, which is right across from the FedExForum and which is rolling out a line of JT-themed drinks tonight.

– The second-floor patio of Alfred’s

– The patio of the Silly Goose

– Any patio on Main Street. The closer to the Forum the better obviously.

Traffic and parking downtown will be cray cray (wow, that’s the first opportunity I’ve had this month to use the term “cray cray”) so allow extra time. Pro tip if you don’t want to deal with parking near the Forum: Double J Saloon on G.E. Patterson will have their limo shuttling people to and from the concert, so park for free in South Main, pre-game at the J, and catch a ride.

All right that’s all I’ve got. Recovering from the effects of multiple shots. Thanks everyone who posted, tweeted, and texted wishing me a happy birthday. It wouldn’t be a happy one without so many wonderful friends!