Sat update: Downtown Works, more Most Arrogant Bar info, and more

The Downtown Memphis Commission posted a great video this week entitled Downtown Works. It features a number of Downtown employeers discussing the reasons that they are glad their offices are here. To quickly summarize some of the points that were made:

  • Plenty of hotels nearby, so out-of-town clients and co-workers can stay within walking distance to the office
  • Able to walk to dry cleaner, doctor, dentist
  • See people you know every time you walk down Main
  • Discuss projects with clients at the corner of Main and Monroe, instead of in an office
  • Walk to the river when you need to get away from it all
  • Redbirds lunchtime special games
  • Employees at a business that is not 8-5 feel safe; have had no security issues
  • Two-thirds of all law offices in Memphis are Downtown, as is the law school
  • Abundance of restaurants, museums, entertainment, Grizzlies games to take clients to

As someone who used to work Downtown in the Falls Building, I’ll add a few points of my own:

  • Ability to walk home for lunch, if you also live Downtown
  • If you need a snack, you’re not limited to the vending machine – Walgreens, City Market, Jack’s Food Store are walkable on a 15-minute break
  • The Court Square lunchtime entertainment series the DMC runs in the spring. Great exposure to Memphis arts and culture
  • Ride the trolley to South Main for lunch (or if you work in South Main, ride the trolley to the core)
  • We’re on a double circuit so it’s nearly impossible for the power to go out due to storms

Anyway, to get back to the video, if you’re at all interested in moving a business of any size down here, or starting a business down here, I highly recommend you watch the video. For more information visit You can also call 901-575-0540 and ask for Paul Morris who runs DMC. He was my neighbor in my building for five years, and he is super accessible and easy to talk to. Sometimes you’ll see him cruising down the Main Street Mall on a Segway, on his way to appointments or meetings.

OK moving on to other stuff… I feel like I owe the Blind Bear an apology. Yesterday I was the password, and it turned out to be one of those very rare days when I didn’t get there at all. What do I mean when I say I was the password? Well, normally on Friday and Saturday nights there’s a $5 cover after 8 PM. However, in speakeasy style, if you tell the doorman the correct password, you get in for free. Last night you had to say “Paul sent me” to beat the cover. “Like” Blind Bear Memphis on Facebook to learn what the password of the night is. You can also come to trivia on Thursday and in between rounds, Charles will tell you the passwords for the weekend.

Bardog Tavern provided more information in its quest to be named Most Arrogant Bar in its latest edition of its Bark and Herald e-newsletter. Every time you drink an oak-aged Stone Arrogant Bastard through November 24, you’re voting for Bardog to be named the Most Arrogant Bar. If Bardog wins, Stone will give the bar a Beer Bash, and you will be invited. There will be Stone swag given away throughout the voting period. In a little while I’m going to walk over to Bardog and help them win the contest. If there are any PBR or Fireball contests going on I’ll probably help Bardog win those too. My usual drinking buddy and “DAWG” John D got his new PS4 yesterday so I have a feeling I may be drinking alone today.

Memphis Made’s new beer Fireside Ninja is now on tap at the Flying Saucer (I incorrectly called it Flying Ninja last night on Twitter).

This is pretty cool: A Bluetooth device that calls your phone if somebody touches your bike. As bike commuting increases in Memphis devices like that one will be useful.

That’s it for now. Congrats to the Grizzlies on handing Marc’s brother and the Lakers a loss on their home court last night.


Fri update: Redbirds news, electronics recycling, jazz festival, valet parking at Belle Diner, Most Arrogant Bar, more turkeys for sale, Full Tilt repayment deadline

A deal was announced this morning for the Memphis Redbirds to be bought by their parent team, the St.Louis Cardinals. The city of Memphis will buy AutoZone Park. Details here.

There’s an electronics recycling drive happening at Central Station this afternoon from 3 to 6:30.

There’s a jazz festival coming to Downtown next week. The Memphis International Jazz Festival will happen on South Main November 21 to 24.

Belle Diner has announced that it will have complimentary valet parking on Friday and Saturday nights, beginning tonight.

Help Bardog win the title of Most Arrogant Bar in America. Each pint of Stone Arrogant Bastard that you purchase between today and November 24 helps Bardog win. There will be daily Stone specials.

Central BBQ is selling smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving. They are $39.99 and are 12-14 pounds. Last day to order is November 22. I’ve previously posted that Lunchbox Eats and Flying Fish are also selling turkeys.

If you were a U.S. poker player on Full Tilt Poker and the site owes you money, you have until tomorrow to file a claim.

I had a good time at the Blind Bear last night listening to Charvey McLemore. The Nuh-Uh Girl was there and as usual, she went around seeing what everyone was having to eat. Here are a couple of pics:

Photo Nov 14, 10 50 50 PM

Photo Nov 14, 11 03 47 PM

Wrapping things up at work in preparation for a three-day weekend. I decided that Monday in a cubicle was not really the way I wanted to spend my birthday, so I put in for a vacation day. Right now, it’s time to hit Publish and head to Target, where I’ve discovered that they sell bacon jerky. That would make a great late-night snack so I’ll be bringing several bags home today.

Thur update: New bookstore, Lunchbox Eats cooking for Thanksgiving, Downtown Dining Week, Bleu unveiling JT drink brands, Trolley Stop Market changes, Charvey McLemore tonight at Blind Bear

There’s a new store on South Main selling new and used books, gifts and greeting cards. It’s called South Main Book Juggler and you can view their Facebook page here. These are owned by local Downtowners who are really good people, so please support them!

Lunchbox Eats is taking orders for complete Thanksgiving dinner for 6 people. They have two complete dinner options, and they are also selling entrees and sides individually. Their food is outstanding and I would be all over this if I had people to feed. The restaurant is taking orders through Thursday the 21st, and you can pick up your food Tuesday-Thursday, the 26th-28th.

Over on the Hungry Memphis blog, there are picks for the 5 best deals for Downtown Dining Week. If you want to try any of these places, get on the phone and make reservations NOW. Some of the best restaurants may be down to 5:30 and 9:30 seating times if they’re not already booked solid. Do not delay.

Bleu is hosting a launch party for Justin Timberlake’s new drink brands on Monday, November 18. Of course, that’s the day JT will be in concert at the FedExForum. (It also happens to be my birthday!)

The Flyer reports that changes are happening at Trolley Stop Market. There will be changes made to the space itself, as well as changes to the menu. The restaurant plans to show Tigers and Grizzlies games on screens (although they’re not turning into a sports bar), and they want to have live music on the weekends.

Plans for tonight: I will be at the Blind Bear at 10 to hear Charvey McLemore. By the way, the Bear has moved its trivia night to Thursday, and Charles will get it started at 7:30 tonight. $25, $15, and $10 gift cards to the top 3 teams, and beer for the best team name. Whether or not you do trivia, come on out at 10 and catch one of Memphis’ most talented musicians!

Tue update: New FedExForum restaurant/nightclub, free makeovers at Shop Girl, new chefs, Ignite Memphis, mixologists announced for Cocktail Wars

Fly Lounge opens tomorrow night in FedExForum. It’s the brainchild of chef Kelly English and nightclub entrepreneur Steve Adelman. It will stay open late after Grizzlies and Tigers games and will offer sleek banquet seating, a freestanding center bar area, VIP accommodations, top-of-the-line service and live music from nightly guest DJs. Tomorrow from 9:30 to 1, after the game, there will be a party in the lounge hosted by Mike Miller, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley. More info here.

Shop Girl New York will host a Trish McEvoy makeup event on Friday (3-7 PM) and Saturday (11 AM-5 PM). Come by for a complimentary makeover. Appointments are preferred (731-664-1842) but walk-ins are welcome. Wine and cheese will be served. Free wine and cheese? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The Flyer has an article on the new chefs at Downtown restaurants Bleu and the Blind Bear.

The sixth volume of Ignite Memphis happens next Tuesday, November 19. The idea is “enlighten us, but make it quick,” with presenters having five minutes to talk and slides auto-advancing every 15 seconds. It will take place at Crosstown Arts and your ticket includes beer, wine, and food.

The mixologists who will be competing in Dishcrawl’s Cocktail Wars at Alfred’s on December 12 have been announced. Many Downtown restaurants will be represented, including Mesquite Chop House, Rum Boogie, King’s Palace, Alfred’s, Automatic Slim’s, Bardog, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, and Green Beetle. Buy tickets for Cocktail Wars here.

Plans for tonight: It’s the final table for the Blind Bear’s 16-week poker league, and I have a seat at the table. Last time I sat down at a Blind Bear final table, I walked out with a new iPad. The prize this time around is $500 in Downtown restaurant gift cards. If you didn’t make the final 10, come on down anyway, because there will be a side game. Good luck to my nine opponents and I’ll see you tonight.

Mon update: Charvey McLemore @ Blind Bear Thursday, free Craig Brewer film download, Cash Saver beer news, Grizzlies watch parties, fried turkeys, slider crawl review, jobs and networking opportunities, random pro wrestling video, bonus poker chips for veterans

Monday’s the day of the week when this blog usually gets the most views, and I’ve been holding back this live music recommendation until today so the most people will see it. Charvey McLemore plays the Blind Bear Thursday at 10 PM. Several of my friends raved about him, and when I caught his performance at the Green Beetle this summer I understood why. His vocal range and talent are off the charts. You will not regret coming to this performance, even if you have to stay up a bit later than usual.

Filmmaker Craig Brewer is offering free downloads of his first feature film, “The Poor & the Hungry.” Here’s how to get it.

Beer news from the Fuzzy Brew blog: Cash Saver on Madison unveils a 96-foot cold beer box. They will also have a growler fill station coming soon.

The I Love Memphis Blog has the list of 2013-14 Grizzlies watch party schedule for away games. I hate to be negative but as a Downtowner, this list pretty much sucks. The only watch party Downtown is December 13 at the Rendezvous.

If you don’t feel like cooking for the holidays, the Flying Fish is taking pre-orders for fried turkeys. The turkeys are 12-15 pounds and are $40 each. Ask a manager for details.

Dishcrawl Memphis has posted a recap of its slider crawl that happened Downtown last week.

I see that @CopelandCoach has been tweeting about jobs and networking opportunities in Memphis. Follow her if you want to read about them in the future.

Random pro wrestling video of the day: Ox Baker, at over 300 pounds with the look of a devil, was one of the most vicious villains of the 1970s and 1980s. His “heart punch” was said to have killed two opponents. Here’s a video from February 1981 of Ox Baker as a contestant on The Price is Right. The Ox “comes on down” at about the 6-minute mark in the video. Even the most evil of bad guys can use some nice wicker furniture, you know.

If you’re a veteran, you get 2000 extra chips tonight at the Mad Earl’s poker games. 6:30 and 8:30 start times.

Thanks to all the veterans reading this for your service. That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at the usual spots tonight.

Sat update: Buttercup Birthday, Barking Lot art, crepes, Veterans’ Day, Journey tribute, another harvest party, Grizzlies, two new Memphis Made beers

2013-10-31 21.03.27
Wingsauce (on the right in photo above) announced last night that she is the coolest Indian in Memphis. Just in case you were wondering.

Today’s blog post starts with a birthday announcement. Happy birthday to Buttercup the Duck, who turns one year old today. Buttercup is the duck that was born with a deformed foot, and a 3-D printer was used to create a prosthetic foot for him so he can walk like a normal duck. He’s having a birthday party today, and those in the Memphis area are invited.

Local artist Chris Little will unveil his new artwork at The Barking Lot from 2-4 PM today.  The new work will serve as a mascot to welcome visitors. There will be treats for dogs and light snacks for humans. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. The lot is at the corner of Main and Jefferson.

Hungry Memphis blogger Susan visited Monsieur Demarcus French Creperie for lunch with two of her co-workers yesterday. Of course, they had the crepes, and were quite happy. The creperie is in the former Neely’s space on Jefferson.

The American Legion Post I will have a Veterans’ Day parade on Second Street Monday morning between 9 AM and noon. The parade will run from Exchange to Monroe.

Speaking of Veterans’ Day, WMC posted a list of places around Memphis offering free or discounted meals or free services for veterans on Monday. Downtown restaurants participating include Spaghetti Warehouse, Hooters, and Denny’s.

There’s a Journey tribute show at the New Daisy tonight. It will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Purple Heart Homes. Showtime is 7 PM.

Meanwhile, over at Earnestine & Hazel’s, there will be a Harvest Party at 8 that is a benefit for the Cotton Museum. Live music from the Earnestine & Hazel’s House Band, dancing, a piano sing-a-long upstairs, classic Memphis food, a silent auction and an open bar.

The Grizzlies have a home game against the Golden State Warriors tonight at 7. Hey FedExForum, isn’t about time you update your event schedule on your website will all the Grizzlies and Tigers games for the season?

Memphis Made Brewery has announced the release of two new beers next weekend, Fireside Ninja and Harvest Porter. Details here.

The Tigers did well in an exhibition against CBU last night. I was pleased to see that Dominic Woodson hit all 7 of his field-goal attempts. He didn’t make Coach P’s weight target this season (Woodson is 6’10” and 310) and wasn’t expected to play much, but injuries forced Pastner to reconsider. Woodson is about the same size as center Dwight Stewart from the 1994 National Championship Arkansas team, and Stewart had no problem being a major contributor. I hope Coach will give the big guy a chance.

Plans for today: Well, the birthday party I’ve been invited to this evening is entitled “Fireball Overdose.” That could be trouble. I better have some warm-up shots this morning at Panda’s bar at Bardog to get ready. As I’ve learned from marathon runners, training is of paramount importance in any endeavor.

Fri update: Elliott’s closing, dumpsters, BB’s open, Bonnie Raitt, parking meters, Streetdog Foundation fundraiser, see who’s tracking you online, Nutcracker Groupon

Sad news to report this morning. Elliott’s, the burger joint open for lunch and breakfast on S. Second Street, will close on November 22. Although best known for its burgers, I was an even bigger fan of Elliott’s breakfast sandwiches and burritos. The MBJ reports that layoffs at nearby Downtown businesses (including me, five years ago) have slowed the breakfast and lunch crowd, and as a result the restaurant is unable to pay the usage fee to comply with the new Downtown dumpster ordinance. If you’re not familiar with the Downtown dumpster ordinance, this article has an explanation.

BB King’s club on Beale Street is back open today. It has been closed since early October due to a fire. They will have hot food, with the Will Tucker Band performing at 5 and BB King’s All-Stars at 9.

Bonnie Raitt plays the Cannon Center tonight. Details here.

WMC-TV recently took a look at the new Downtown parking meters that will accept credit and debit cards.

Howl at the Moon, a fundraiser for the Streetdog Foundation, happens this Saturday at The Warehouse on G.E. Patterson. Live and silent auctions, live music, food, Amurica photo booth and more.  Visit for tickets. $30 in advance, $40 at the door.

The trainer who is in town for work this week shared an interesting link which I thought I would pass along. Ever wonder who is collecting data on you while you are surfing the web? If you use the Firefox browser, the Lightbeam plugin will show you a graphical representation. You would be surprised how many companies are interested in your surfing habits.

The Memphis Tigers host CBU in an exhibition game tonight at the FedExForum. Forward David Pellom will not play, and will be out with an injury for five weeks.

There’s a Groupon for The Nutcracker by Ballet Memphis at the Orpheum December 13 or 14. $23 for tickets with a face value of $45.50.

Time to hit Publish and go eat. We’re having a chili cook-off at work, so there should be some good stuff out there. I’ll be out at the usual spots Downtown around 5:30.

Downtown Dining Week preview

nuhuh-photoforblogSpecial guest post
by the Nuh-Uh Girl

It’s T minus 11 days until Downtown Dining Week, one of my favorite times of the year. By the numbers, DDW is 7 days of 30+ restaurants offering 3 course dinners for $20.13, November 17-23.

This week is a great opportunity to try out places you haven’t been before, eat at places that are normally more expensive, or just eat at a favorite place on the cheap. My personal strategy is to visit the places that are usually a lot pricier, for example Felicia Suzanne’s, Chez Philippe, Itta Bena, Bleu, Majestic. However, don’t discount (pun intended) the more casual places, as the chefs, owners, and staff will often go above and beyond to provide a unique dining experience this week.

I could go on for quite awhile on how I pick restaurants, but instead I will just provide some tips on the best way to maximize your dining experience.

• Check out the menus at Compare them to the restaurant’s regular menu – Are the dishes new? Standard? Same “fanciness”? Decide what you want and filter from there.

• Make reservations! If a place takes reservations, odds are they will book up before the week even starts. Call or use OpenTable – just be sure to follow any specific instructions on the DDW or restaurant website. That being said, if you are not going to use a reservation, please be sure to cancel. There will always be someone on a waiting list that would love the opportunity to attend the dinner.

• Please tip appropriately. Keep in mind that a normal meal could cost anywhere from 5-10x more than the $20.13 price tag. I always try to tip on what a real meal would cost, so the restaurants and servers will continue to support this project.

• Several places will have drink specials, so check their websites if that aspect would sway you one way or the other. Also, regular menu options may vary, so if anyone in your party is not interested in DDW, check that before you go.

• If you don’t mind sharing food (which we all know I don’t), go with at least one other person, order one of each choice per course, and try everything!

• Be prepared to eat a lot, especially if you go out every night. And be prepared to spend more than the $20.13. With tip, tax, and drinks, your final bill could be $40-$50 (or more).

• This year, several places had added lunch options for $10.13. Unfortunately, I do not work downtown, but I will try to gather some feedback for next year.

• Be patient! Almost all of the places I have gone have provided the same dining experience as a normal night. But of course, there are always unforeseen things that happen, especially with higher than normal table turns and new menu items. Give them a break and take your time to just enjoy the food and company.

• Check the event schedule downtown and plan accordingly. Justin Timberlake is at the FedEx Forum Monday, November 18. The Tigers play Saturday, November 23.

• If you drive, many places are offering $1 parking for those participating in DDW. See for details.

Overall, ENJOY! The culinary scene in Memphis continues to grow and improve every year. Take this time to truly appreciate some of the best restaurants the city has to offer. Oh, and take pictures of course! You are going to want to brag to people that decided not to go. If you see me, come stop by, say hi, and give me your opinions on the food!

In the meantime, check out the variety of dishes we got to try last year. Stay hungry my friends!


Mon update: Trolley fire, Memphis Made beer to go, Tiger suspended, Court Square tour, Downtown Dining Week guest post coming

A trolley caught on fire near Madison and Bellevue this morning. Four ambulances had to be called to treat passengers for smoke inhalation. The Madison Avenue line is expected to be closed for the rest of the afternoon.

If you want to take some Memphis Made beer home, you can bring a growler to Tamp & Tap and they will fill it for you. This is a limited-time offer, because when they get their wine license they will have to discontinue the growler sales due to state law.

Tiger Kuran Iverson has been suspended by the NCAA for the November 14 opening game against Austin Peay. This is a result of an unauthorized summer league game he played in.

Historian Jimmy Ogle will give one of his free Tuesday walking tours tomorrow, touring Court Square and the surrounding areas. Meet up with him at 11:45 AM if you want to participate.

Usually I don’t allow guest posts on this blog, but I am going to make an exception this month. The Nuh-Uh Girl has asked to do a guest post for Downtown Dining Week, and I think that is an excellent idea. However she wants to do it is OK with me, whether before, during, or after the week, or multiple times if she wants. I know of no one who takes full advantage of DDW more than she does, sometimes eating multiple dinners in one night.

The Grizzlies take on the Boston Celtics tonight at the FedExForum at 7. Fans who attend will receive a free magnet schedule for the 2013-14 season courtesy of First Tennessee.

The Dirty Dozen had over 500 attend their Halloween party at Earnestine & Hazel’s Friday night and raised a lot of money to help keep the bar in operation. Great job!

Back to work. I’m in my final week of training. After work I will be out, most likely leading off at Melissa’s bar at Bardog.