Fri update: Trolley Night, Polar Bear Plunge, how much snow it takes to close schools, Nextdoor and the Redbirds hiring, find your Williamsburg, sea bass demo

Tonight is Trolley Night on South Main. Many of the shops will stay open until 9 PM or later. This month there will be live music inside Douglas & Associates, Sache, Art Jamn, D’Edge Art, Grawemyers and New World Connection Cultural Center.

Tomorrow will be the annual Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-off at Mud Island River Park. The event benefits the Special Olympics and things get going at 10:30 AM. The plunge into the chilly Mississippi happens at 3.

From Gizmodo: County-by-county map of how much snow it takes to cancel school across the U.S. All of West Tennessee is in the green (any snow) area.

Need a job? Community app Nextdoor is hiring community organizers for Memphis.

The Redbirds are hiring as well. They’re looking for bat boys, boardwalk attendants, and new members of the RedHots promo team. More info here.

Williamsburg is considered the “hipster” area of Brooklyn. From Gawker: Find the Williamsburg of your city. For Memphis, it’s a tie between South Main, Cooper-Young, and Overton Square.

From WREG Live at 9: Chilean sea bass cooking demo by Chez Philippe.

That’s the news and now we’re only a few hours a way from a much needed weekend. Take it easy and I’ll be back with more news tomorrow probably.

Wed update: Dog Groupon, Super Bowl, Soup Sunday discount, Rizzo’s brunch, wine in groceries, $9.84 credit card scam, the mess in Atlanta that could have been avoided

I try to check Groupon every morning to see if there are any deals Downtowners might be interested in. No Downtown deals, but I know a lot of dog owners read this blog, so I want to mention a deal I did see: Home dog boarding from You can browse profiles of local dog lovers who will board your dog while you’re away. The Groupon deal is good for up to 63% off.

Time for a few pieces of Super Bowl news: I have learned of two more Downtown restaurants offering take-out platters for Super Bowl house parties. Double J is offering 48 sliders for $48, with choice of two sides excluding asparagus. You can also get 24 sliders and 5 dozen wings for $99, or one dozen wings for $9.

If you want sushi at your Super Bowl party, Bluefin has a catering menu.
If you plan to order catering from any restaurant for your party, best plan is to call as far in advance as possible.

If you want to get out to watch the Super Bowl, the Flying Saucer will have Pint Nite all day and evening for Super Bowl Sunday. From opening time at noon until closing time at midnight, almost all draft pints on the wall will be only $3. Pint Nite will also happen on Monday as usual.

People ask me from time to time if the Downtown bars get uncomfortably packed for the Super Bowl. No, most don’t. There is so much competition between all the bars that day that most of them are average-busy, probably a little busier than the typical Sunday but not packed to the gills. Still, it’s a good idea to get there an hour (or more) early to get a good seat, wherever you go. If your destination is known as a good place to watch sports (e.g. Max’s Sports Bar), may want to get there even earlier.

Discount on tickets for Youth Villages’ Soup Sunday ends January 30. Get tickets here.

Eat Local Memphis has good coverage of brunch at Rizzo’s Diner. Nice photos of the meatloaf sandwich and the catfish benedict.

In the news: Wine-in-groceries bill passes committee vote in TN house

From WMC: Beware of $9.84 charges on your credit and debit cards, often listed as from “customer support.” This is a small charge scammers use to determine if a card is active. If you get one of those $9.84 charges it is a sign you may be about to be hacked. I have enabled text alerts on my phone so I will know about those charges on my card immediately.

You’ve probably heard about the snowstorm in Atlanta that caused 940 accidents and left people stranded in their cars overnight. The deal was, they knew 1-2 inches of snow was predicted for the city, but it hadn’t started by morning rush hour so everyone went to work and school as normal. STUPID. Don’t listen to all those people who say, “Wait, we’re closing offices and schools because it MIGHT snow?” Listen to your intuition. If YOU think it’s going to get bad, stay home and keep your kids home from school. By the way, says we might have an icy weather event next Tuesday or Wednesday.

That’s it for Wednesday’s post. I’ll be out after work, probably leading off at the Silly Goose.

Tue update: Tamp & Tap games, Green Beetle specials, Silly Goose anniversary, career coaching, Felicia Suzanne’s, Hard Rock

I got more information on the gaming systems at Tamp & Tap. Kevin Cerrito who does the Wednesday night trivia there reported that they have an N64 as well as an original NES, and a great game selection too.

The Green Beetle emailed to let me know that going forward, they will have $3 Wiseacre drafts (Ananda and Tiny Bomb) and $6 Beetle Burgers all day on Tuesdays.

The Silly Goose will have its 5th anniversary party this Thursday. Start time is 9 PM. Congrats to the Goose on hitting 5 years.

If you’ve ever wondered what a career coach can do for you, check out this interview on Action News 5. My friend Angela Copeland talked about her coaching service. I was just talking to her the other day about some of the consulting she does, and believe me, if you want to jump-start your career, you should talk to her.

The Eat Local Memphis blog has a good post about Felicia Suzanne’s. It talks about the new patio and “the shack out back.”

It’s official: The Hard Rock Cafe move has been confirmed. The Hard Rock has filed a permit for $2.5 million in renovations to the building at 126 Beale. The article says the building last housed EP Delta Kitchen in 2008, but that’s incorrect: It was the short-lived Republic Nightclub after that.

That’s it for now. Time to go run errands in the freezing cold. Most likely I’ll be out at Blind Bear poker tonight at 8.

Mon update: Out to Lunch on Beale Street, fire truck brownouts, closings, live hangover-free, Tamp & Tap, queso fondue @ Flying Saucer

Join Mayor Wharton for “Out to Lunch on Beale Street” this Friday, January 31. At 11:30 AM the Mighty Souls Brass Band will promenade down Beale. At 11:45 the Grizzlies Claw Crew, Rockey Redbird, the Amurica photo booth, music and more will be at Handy Park. Join the mayor for lunch and rediscover America’s most iconic street.

Follow @mmfa1784 on Twitter to learn which fire trucks are browned out each day. Today there’s just one browned-out truck, in South Memphis.

Downtown is losing an auto repair shop. Madison Automotive at 440 Union will close at the end of this week. The shop’s Covington Pike location will remain open.

Walking down Madison this morning, I noticed that the space formerly occupied by Jack Yacoubian Jewlers near Second Street is for lease. That block is starting to experience a comeback, with the Brass Door, Mad Earl, and Havana’s Pilon all thriving. Hopefully something good will go in there.

Saw this on Facebook yesterday: Follow these tips and live hangover-free for the rest of your days

I saw on Twitter that Tamp & Tap has a Nintendo 64. Pretty cool.

The Flying Saucer has some new menu items, and I tried one yesterday: Queso fondue.

Photo Jan 26, 3 59 11 PM

You get your own pot of fondue, with ham, bratwurst, veggies, and pretzels to dip. This is a LOT of food! TWo people could easily split it and get plenty to eat.

That’s it for now. Everybody keep warm; next two days are supposed to be bitter cold.

Sat update: IBC, E&H, Central BBQ, games at FedExForum

Today is the finals of the International Blues Challenge. It starts at the Orpheum at noon, with doors opening at 11 AM. Tickets are $42.50 (while supplies last) and an IBC pass will also get you in. There will be a silent auction at 11 AM. The best self-produced CD winner will also be announced at this show. The best blues in the world are right down the street today.

There are a few more IBC events to wrap things up. Tonight at 8:30 there will be an all-star Jam with Dennis Jones at the New Daisy on Beale Street. At 10 there will be a VizzTone Blues Party at Rum Boogie Cafe. That party will be hosted by by Bob Margolin featuring Candye Kane, Laura Chavez, Little G Weevil, Dennis Gruenling, Long Tall Deb & Colin John, Bob Corritore, Gina Sicilia, Gracie Curran, Tad Walters, Chuck Cotton, Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt. $5 cover.

Tomorrow there will be a Blues Brunch at 10:30 at the Majestic Grille. Out-of-towners, if you’re undecided about this, GO. The Majestic has one of the best brunches in the city.

Got an update from someone who dropped by Earnestine & Hazel’s last night and talked to people who work there: They plan to be open every day now, although they may not be open for lunch. This is mere speculation on my part, but if you want to experience E&H as it has existed for the past 22 years, you might want to do it sooner rather than later. Actually, it could be argued that E&H as it existed for the past 22 years no longer exists, now that a few key employees have been let go. I don’t want to name names but they were as much a part of the place as the jukebox and the records on the walls. If any of those let go are reading this: My heart hurts for you and if I can do anything to help you, please let me know.

I mentioned that all three of Aldo’s restaurants are selling party packs for Super Bowl parties at home. Add one more restaurant to the list: Central BBQ. They’ve got meat trays, sandwich packs, wings, and more. They suggest calling your preferred location as soon as possible to reserve your order. The phone number for the Downtown location is (901) 672-7760.

Two games at the FedExForum this weekend. Tonight at 7 the Grizzlies take on the Houston Rockets, a back-to-back after getting a road win over the Rockets last night in Houston. Tomorrow the Memphis Tigers host the USF Bulls at 1 PM.

Almost time for my usual Saturday Bardog stop. Not sure if Panda will be back or if we’ll have one more week of Brooke, but either way I won’t be disappointed. Got a double birthday party to attend for two friends at the Blind Bear at 9, so I’ve got to be careful to wake up early if I take a midday “halftime” nap. Outta here for now. Congratulations to the blues artists who made it to the finals.

Fri update: Earnestine & Hazel’s, Eric Clapton coming to Memphis, Family Dollar odor, more credit card theft predicted

Last night I received a message from one of my Twitter followers. She’d tried to go to Earnestine & Hazel’s last night but it was closed, and she asked if I knew what was going on. I didn’t, but several people on South Main gave me details. Here’s what I have been told (this came from customers, not anyone who works there):

  • They let two employees go, and as a result have been closed several nights a week
  • They are taking cash only now
  • They were open Monday but were closed other days this week.

If I learn more about what’s going on there, I will update.

Eric Clapton has been announced for an April 30 Mud Island Ampitheatre concert. Tickets will go on sale next week.

WREG reports that a bad odor has been leaking from Family Dollar on Main. It has been smelled next door at DeJaVu, and the chef is worried it will turn away his customers. A lawyer whose office is nearby has also complained that his clients smell the odor as soon as they walk into his lobby.

Bad news for those who purchase with plastic:

That’s all for now. I am SO ready for this weekend and will be out at the usual spots a little before 6.

Thur update: Central pint night, ticket lottery for Wicked

Brrr it’s cold outside! This morning I learned something that Northerners probably already know: When it’s well below freezing, don’t leave the house with wet hair. I had to stop for gas and by the time I finished pumping, I had icicles forming in my hair.

Tonight is Thirsty Thursday, the weekly pint night at the Downtown Central BBQ location. Yazoo is the featured brewery this week, and there will be $3 pints of its Gerst beer. 22-ounce bombers of the brewery’s limited-edition 10-Year IPA will be available as well, although probably not for $3. Central puts out complimentary “bar bites” during the event. Tonight they will include pork butt sloppy joes, fried chicken skins, and possibly BBQ poutine. More info here. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The Orpheum has announced a lottery for $25 tickets to Wicked, which will run January 29-February 16. 2 1/2 hours before each performance, people can show up at the box office and have their names placed in a lottery drum. 30 minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of $25 orchestra seats, cash only. Limit two per winner, and winners must present valid photo ID at the time of signing up and when claiming their prize.

Short on time, so short post today. Don’t forget that the quarterfinals of the International Blues Challenge are still going on and there are $10 wristbands on Beale that get you in all the IBC venues today.

Wed update: New Corner Bar specials, college basketball recruitment map, vote for Copeland Coaching, Fix the TN beer cap

The Peabody’s Corner Bar has revised its happy hour specials, which run from 5 to 7 PM Monday-Thursday. They have something different each night. Here’s the lineup:

– Monday is 3×3 Monday Mania, with a selection of martinis, margaritas, and mojitos for $3 each.

– Tuesday is Blues, Brews, and Booze for Tennessee Tuesdays with a selection of Tennessee beers and spirits for $3 each. The options change but examples from last night include Yazoo Hop Project #73 and Prichard’s Fine Run. There is live blues music.

– Wednesday is Winedown Wednesday with a selection of house reds and whites for $2.50, $5, and $7 each.

-Thursday is Girls’ Night Out with a selection of pink drinks for $3.

Former CA writer Dan Wolken (@DanWolken on Twitter) tweeted a very interesting map: Where college basketball teams recruit. You can filter by conference, team, or position.

I’ve been forgetting to ask my readers to follow this link and vote for Copeland Coaching to receive a $25,000 small business grant. I’ve mentioned my friend Angie Copeland, who has been mentoring job seekers for 9 years, a few times on this blog. I’ve known her for the entire time she has been coaching and she is a valuable resource to turn to for advice. If you would take a minute to vote for Angie I would appreciate it very much.

With recent law changes in Mississippi, Tennessee has the most restrictive beer cap in the Southeast. Anything over 5% ABV brewed in Tennessee is considered liquor by the state. This hurts area brewers because some of their best craft brews are well above 5%. Find out how you can help fix the beer cap here.

The Memphis Flyer 20 Under 30 issue is out. I haven’t seen the full list yet, but congratulations to radio host Chris Vernon’s sidekick Jon Roser on his inclusion. Roser is one of the people who keeps it real in Memphis.

I notched a win at the Tuesday night Blind Bear Texas Hold’em game. It was a weird night. We had flops of 3-3-3 twice in one night, very unusual. I had starting hands of 7-2, 7-3, 7-4, and 7-3 in a row. Those are among the worst hands in full-table Hold’em and it’s amazing that I won given all the garbage I was dealt. However, I was also dealt pocket Kings a couple of times and those helped a lot. I added another $50 gift card to my stash, although the real value of poker night is all the wonderful friends I have made there, much more so than the prize winnings. By the way, the rumor that I bought a round of pepper jack mac & cheese for the bar with the $50 is not true.

In case you missed my morning update, don’t forget that there’s some great music on Beale tonight at the IBC! $10 wristbands!

Excellent music on Beale tonight

Just a quick note to remind everyone that the quarterfinals of the International Blues Challenge are tonight and tomorrow on Beale and surrounding clubs. This is an international competition that bands had to qualify for in advance, so everyone competing is quite talented. There is a $10 wristband on sale tonight that will get you in all the clubs where IBC bands are performing. This is one of your best chances of the year to hear some great live music, so if the blues are your thing, take advantage of it.

Tue update: Grizzlies Groupon, National Beer Can Appreciation Day, Chinese restaurant, two Downtown bars offering game-viewing food packages

There’s a Grizzlies game Groupon going on right now. You get a game ticket, a T-shirt, and a bottomless popcorn in the deal.

Friday is National Beer Can Appreciation Day. The Flying Saucer (both Downtown and Cordova) will have a variety of canned craft brews available from 11 AM to close.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blogger discovered a Chinese restaurant inside City Hall. Amazing that I’ve lived Downtown for 12 years and never knew about it.

Bardog Tavern is offering a package for $99.99 that will feed 8-12 people for a Super Bowl party at home. It consists of

20 wings
20 original Memphis sliders
20 hot dog sliders
chorizo cheese dip
spinach & artichoke dip
homemade chips

Stop by the tavern at 73 Monroe or call 901-275-8752 to place your order.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies is also offering a game package that feeds 8-12, for $89.99. You get

2 appetizers
family-style house salad
3 large specialty pizzas

Call 901-577-7PIE or stop by 100 South Main to place your order.

That’s the news for now. I’ll be out at the Blind Bear at 8 for their poker night. I’m getting low on gift cards so I need a win tonight.