Fri update: Parking scammer, Soup Sunday, Lionel Richie Groupon, neck tattoo, Tenors cancelled

I want to alert everyone to a fake parking attendant scammer who has been very active this week. His name is Joe and he is about 50, bald head, about 6’4″, thin. He’s been wearing a green jacket with a hood recently. Several locals caught him scamming a tourist yesterday and chased him down the Main Street Mall and got the tourist’s money back. Later in the evening a bartender told me he tried to scam her as well. If you park on a lot and an attendant asks you for money, ask the attendant for proof that he works on the lot. Any attendant who is legit will understand why you are asking.

Youth Villages’ Soup Sunday is this Sunday from 11 AM to 2 PM at the FedExForum. I’ll give my usual advice: If you’re going, get there at 11. Lines will get long by 11:20, so get a head start. Also, in the years I’ve been the most popular restaurants start to run out of soup around 12:30, so figure out what restaurants’ food you really want to try and go to their booths first.

If you’re thinking about going to the Lionel Richie concert at the FedExForum, today would be a good day to buy a ticket. There’s a Groupon for the concert going on right now, for a $61.69-value ticket for $30.

If you’re going to see the Grizzlies play the Clippers tonight, get to FedExForum early. First 5000 people get a free Grizzlies neck tattoo. As an added bonus, Tony Allen returns to the team tonight after a month being sidelined by injury.

Sunday night’s performance of The Tenors at the Orpheum has been cancelled. Refund information here.

That’ll wrap it up for now. The end of the work week is near and I am ready for some PBR.

Wed update: Volunteer Expo, airport on Twitter, more Blind Bear menu changes, Panda returns, new menu items coming to Aldo’s soon

If you’ve thought about volunteering in Memphis but are not sure where to get started, there’s an event for you next Tuesday. The annual Volunteer Expo will be held next Tuesday, February 25, at the Oak Court Mall. Many nonprofits will be on hand, all in one place, so can communiuty members can learn how to get involved. It’s organized and sponsored by Volunteer Mid-South. More info here. The event is free to the public.

Memphis International Airport is now on Twitter at @flymemphis. This is a very encouraging sign that airport management is more open to feedback from the public than they have been in the past.

The Blind Bear has tweaked its menu once again. The turkey burger, the BBQ baloney sandwich, and the fried egg bacon cheese sandwich from the original menu are back. The crawfish pepper jack mac & cheese and the poutine from the most recent menu were popular and are sticking around. “If there was anything from any of the old menus you’d like back on, let me know in the next couple of days,” Jeannette told me. “We’re finalizing the menu this week and not changing it again for 2 years.”

If you’re a fan of Bardog bartender Panda, she is back at work. Come see her during happy hour Tuesday through Friday.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies has announced that new small plates, brunch items, and cocktails will be coming to the menu soon.

I’ll close this post with a hearty CONGRATULATIONS to my friends Colin and Whitney who got married in Las Vegas this afternoon. They bought the webcast of the wedding, and I took a few minutes away from programming to watch. Beautiful service and I wish them a lifetime of happiness.

Outta here for now, home from work, time for beer.

Tue update: Cafe Keough Commerce Club, Music Fest lineup released Thursday, The Tenors, Brewfest needs volunteers, give input on MATA’s next CEO

Cafe Keough has announced its new Commerce Club. When you drink 60 different eligible beverages at the cafe (limit 2/day), you’ll be immortalized with a shadow box on the wall. You can put anything you want in the box, but keep it PG-13 because the cafe does allow kids. You also get a $25 tab the day of your box’s unveiling. There are other bonuses for the completion of more boxes, including a top hat when you complete your tenth box. If interested in signing up, go in the cafe and ask a manager for details.

Music lovers, keep your eyes on the news Thursday. That will be the day Memphis in May announces the lineup for Beale Street Music Fest.

The Tenors, as seen on PBS, will perform at the Orpheum on Sunday at 7:30. More info here.

Memphis Brewfest, the annual April beer festival in AutoZone Park, is looking for volunteers. Find out how to volunteer here.

Your input is needed. Help MATA find its next CEO by filling out this survey.

From the MBJ: Tennessee has the highest taxes on beer in the U.S. BOOOOOOOOOO

Home from work. I’m leading off at Bardog tonight because PANDA IS BACK! Couple of beers at her bar, one at the Saucer, then on to the Blind Bear for total domination at poker.

Forty Irish car bombs

As a friend of mine is fond of saying, “Well, this day sure took a left turn in a hurry.” That would describe yesterday pretty well.

About 4:00 I found myself at the bar at the Silly Goose. I hadn’t even meant to be there; until a few minutes before I had been down the street at the Flying Saucer. However, three of us decided it was time for a venue change after an unwanted guest attempted to join our conversation. We told him we were going to the Beale Street Tap Room, then walked to the Goose.

I noticed that Dusty, the bartender, was lining up pint glasses along the bar. Then he lined up a shot glass next to each pint glass. “What’s going on?” I wondered.

I soon had my answer. We have friends getting married in Las Vegas this week, and the groom was in the house. It was his last full day in Memphis as a single man. In his honor, someone had purchased forty Irish car bombs – a round for the entire bar. Needless to say, the Goose turned into one giant shitshow not long after the car bombs. (It could be argued that it was a shitshow even before the shots were passed out.) There were high-fives being passed around, more shots, and that Giant Jenga game falling over again and again. It’s the kind of spontaneous fun that is known to break out in Downtown Memphis on a Sunday afternoon.

Somehow I managed to make it to the 6:30 poker game at the Blind Bear. While we were playing, I snapped this pic of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating.

Photo Feb 16, 6 50 59 PM

As for news to report, well, there really isn’t a lot. Wicked ended its run at the Orpheum yesterday. Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with some Downtown news to report. I’ll be out after work, leading off at happy hour with Melissa at Bardog.

Saturday recap: Rediscovering Bardog, out-of-town friends

You know, this month I have really rediscovered what at great place Bardog Tavern is to hang out. It’s not like I didn’t know this: I’ve been coming every Saturday for years, and for the first year and a half Bardog was open I hung out there most every day. In recent times, though, it seems like I haven’t paid as much attention to this great locals’ bar – also the closest bar to my front door – as maybe I should have.

There were several reasons why. For one, Bardog was the first of the new locals’ bars to open in the Downtown core. As places like the Silly Goose and Blind Bear opened later, my attention was divided.

Another reason was that the law school opened. When I went in Bardog 2011ish the place would be packed with law students. It became a situation where I’d walk in and not know anyone of the 100 people there, as opposed to the old days when I’d know half the people sitting at the bar.

A third reason was my addiction to Foursquare. If you check in at a venue more than anyone else over a two-month period, you become “mayor.” As “mayor” of both the Flying Saucer and Blind Bear (and for a while in 2013 the Silly Goose as well) I felt obligated to go to those places to defend my mayorship. That left little time to visit Bardog.

This month, though, I’ve been going back more and the place really feels like home. It’s no longer super crowded with law students. I know half the people at the bar like I did in the early days. I’m rediscovering great food like their sliders and their deluxe grilled cheese. Of course, the staff there is just awesome. Aldo knows how to hire good people.

Another plus is that Bardog rides the PBR train. I can go in there and get my favorite beer on draft for $3.

Yesterday was full of reasons why I enjoy being at Bardog. I got there at 11 and started the day with my “DAWG” John D. We’re the two constants on Saturday morning; you never know who else will show up. They had the Tigers-UConn game on ESPN and our friend Mike showed up to watch. Then our friend Buddha came in. A little later in came our friends Misty and the Nuh-Uh Girl, who had just finished the Move It Memphis 5K.

Mike ordered one of the brunch specials, a lump crabmeat omelet. The Nuh-Uh Girl tried a bite from his plate and said it was very good.

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A bit later in the day, our friend Buddha ordered one of the best appetizers on Bardog’s menu, four meatballs which are Aldo’s grandmother’s recipe, along with a slice of bread for dipping in the marinara sauce. Here are a few pics of the Nuh-Uh Girl finishing Buddha’s balls off.

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There was a lot of Fireball being consumed, which led me to take an early “halftime” nap. I got back out at 8:30 and went back to Bardog. I wasn’t there long though. I got a text from one of my BBQ teammates who told me to come to Bluefin for a “VIP surprise guest.” There were two surprise guests, actually, two of the crowd that hung out on the Number 10 Main rooftop in the summer of 2005. They have both gone on to very successful business careers, and both live in the Chicago area now and were back in town for a visit. That summer was a blast. There was a chef in the building who cooked for his family of 4 on the rooftop grills, and would always cook extra for the neighbors. We’d bring wine to share with the chef and his wife, and that always made conversation interesting. In one such conversation in late May, after much wine I decreed that June 2005 in my then 1-year-old blog would be a special month – “Tube Top Month,” a tradition which continues to this day.

About midnight I powered on my phone to check the time. “The streak may get broken today,” I thought. I had a streak of checking in at the Flying Saucer on Foursquare going for 293 days in a row. That included a couple of days when I was sick and had to call in to-go orders (too bad you can’t get beer to go) to maintain my streak. I was having a good time with my friends, though, and wasn’t going to leave. If the streak gets broken, so be it, I thought.

However, about 12:30 everyone paid their tabs. There was a lot of sushi left over. Too bad the Nuh-Uh Girl wasn’t there for leftovers. Those tempura rolls looked really good. I need to get by Bluefin and try them soon. The group decided Raiford’s was the next stop. I did not have enough gas left in the tank for dancing, so I said my goodbyes and made it to the Saucer for consecutive checkin 294.

I’m making a resolution that from now on, I will not let Foursquare dictate where I hang out. If I break consecutive-day streaks or lose mayorships, I will not worry about it. However, since I’m so close to 300 I will hold on to the Saucer streak until Friday.

I got another treat in the form of an out-of-town visitor at the Saucer: My friend Joe, who is a pilot, has been based out of Indonesia for the past 6 months. He’s back in town for a week and it was good to catch up. He and I both like spicy food so we had that to talk about. He showed me a pic of a sumptuous seafood meal and told me it cost him US $2.62.

I finished back where I started, at Bardog. What a great Saturday and a great reminder of how much I love my life Downtown.

Time to go get checkin 295 done and then figure out the rest of the day.

TV alert: Tigers at UConn at 11 on ESPN

Turn on ESPN at 11 this morning to watch the Memphis Tigers take on UConn. This is a very important game for seeding in the American Athletic Conference tournament as well as the NCAA tournament. UConn beat us at home last month and the Tigers need to get their win back. A win would mean that we have beat 4 teams that were ranked in the top 25 at the time, which would look good to the selection committee. A loss could have us looking at a 9 or 10 seed in the NCAA tournament.

I’ll be watching the game from my usual Saturday morning seat at Bardog Tavern. Go Tigers!

Fri update: Traffic alert for Saturday, Morrissey coming to the Orpheum, duck sweets, curler face-plants, scammers use love to get cash

If you live Downtown and have to drive tomorrow morning, allow extra time. The Move It Memphis 5K/10K will happen tomorrow morning from 10 AM to noon and streets will be blocked for the runners for periods of time.

Concert news: Morrissey has announced a May 27 date at the Orpheum. My “DAWG” John D must be giddy with joy over this announcement. Every time a bartender at Bardog gives John a couple of bucks to put in the jukebox, I know I’m about to hear some Smiths.

The Peabody Pastry Shop has Valentine’s Day ducks waiting for you.

From Bleacher Report: Russian curler Andrey Drozdov hits a bullseye – with his head. Ouch!

There’s a warning out from the FBI that the person you meet on social media and fall in love with may be a scammer. Sadly, this has happened to at least one of my Facebook friends. The person being scammed gets messages from an American working overseas whose profile matches her interests. The conversations get romantic and the scammer professes his love for the victim. He may even send flowers and gifts to her home address. They make plans to marry soon when he returns to the States. However, then a “tragedy” occurs in the scammer’s life, often a sick relative. He can’t afford to pay, and he asks the victim to send money. He may also ask her to forward packages and cash checks for him, and the victim willingly does so, not knowing that she is participating in the shipment of stolen goods and money laundering. If you get messages like this on Facebook or other social media, watch out.

Ladies, a tip for tonight: Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” like a tube top. Outta here for Friday. I hope those of you who celebrate V-Day have a good one.

Thur update: Reason for early parade time, Wiseacre @ Bardog, Kudzu Groupon, Monster Jam, South Main public art, Dominic Woodson suspended, berries @ Miss Cordelia’s

As I logged into just now to make this post, WordPress informed me that two of the top search terms that lead to my blog are “tube top” and “girls see through shirt dunk tank.” I really need to find a way to monetize that.

After I posted about the March 15 St. Patrick’s parade on Beale Street yesterday, one of my readers messaged me a possible reason why the parade is at 2 PM this year rather than the usual 4 PM. The American Athletic Conference tournament will be at FedExForum this weekend and the championship is at 5 PM. Moving the parade time back will allow people to attend without being late for the game.

Wiseacre Brewery will be at Bardog from 5 to 7 tonight. There will be specials and giveaways. I love how Bardog puts an “M” next to local beers on its draft beer board. That makes it easy for out-of-towners (and residents too) to tell what the Memphis products are.

Speaking of Bardog, I had their deluxe grilled cheese sandwich last night, which comes topped with ham and bacon. At $6.99 it’s a very affordable and very tasty dinner. It comes with Bardog’s award-winning fries or potato salad. First time I’ve had the deluxe grilled cheese in a couple of years, and I had forgotten how good it is.

There’s a Groupon for Kudzu’s going on right now. $8 for $16 worth of food.

Monster Jam comes to the FedExForum this Friday and Saturday. If you’re still trying to figure out what to do on your date for Valentine’s Day, here you go.

From the Flyer news blog: public art could be coming to South Main.

Memphis Tigers forward Dominic Woodson has been suspended indefinitely. Woodson has been warned in the past about the foul language he uses, and when he used that language on the bench where fans could hear it, Coach Pastner sent him to the back early. Woodson won’t be going to the Saturday game at UConn and won’t be brought back until Coach is convinced he has made a permanent change.

If you’ve seen the TV commercials for Shari’s Berries (and how could you miss them, they’re everywhere) but prefer to shop local, Miss Cordelia’s has chocolate-covered strawberries.

That’ll wrap up this Thursday post. I’ll be out after work, probably leading off at the Silly Goose as I usually do on Thursdays.

Wed update: Parades, Cafe Keough, Lionel Richie, performing arts center

Today’s post will start off with information about a couple of parades coming to Beale Street in March. On March 8, the second annual Grizzlies Dribble Parade will take place on Beale. For $35 you will receive a Grizzlies basketball, a T-shirt, and a ticket to the 7 PM game against Charlotte. A portion of the proceeds will go to Youth United Way of the Mid-South. More information here.

The Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day parade will happen one week later, on Saturday, March 15. This will be the first parade since founder and spirited leader Silky sullivan passed away, and everyone involved wants this to be the best parade ever to make Silky proud. The time has been announced as 2 PM, odd because in previous years it has begun at 4. They are still looking to add bands and dance teams. Email the organizers at if interested.

Cafe Keough received some praise from former Downtown Memphis Commission president Jeff Sanford in a tweet this week. He complimented the lunch, salads, sandwiches and soups, and said it looks like a place in the Village in New York City. The cafe is in the Number 10 Main building, on Main between Madison and Monroe.

FedExForum has announced that Lionel Richie’s “All the Hits, All Night Long” will come to the arena on June 18. CeeLo Green will be the special guest.

The Orpheum has filed a $10.2 million permit for construction on a new Centre for Performing Arts at 225 S. Main, currently the parking lot south of the theatre. The centre will offer advanced performing arts education programs. More info here.

A new band of snow has fired up over Crittenden County as of 1:00 and it looks like it may be headed this way. We may not be done with winter weather quite yet so everyone be careful on the roads today.

Tue update: Stufz test at Green Beetle, Central BBQ Thirsty Thursday, new homebrew supply shop, MSO kickstarter

You may have seen one of those “As Seen on TV” commercial for a device called Stufz. Stufz is claimed to be the easy way to make a gourmet stuffed burger. Tonight, Action News 5’s Andy Wise puts Stufz to the test at Downtown restaurant the Green Beetle, making stuffed versions of the Beetle’s burgers. I hear there will be a special guest judge helping out, someone who is an expert in the local burger community.

This Thursday, the Downtown Central BBQ will tap the last available Memphis Made Humbucker IPA keg on earth (for now) for the weekly Thirsty Thursday event starting at 4 PM. This beer is a limited edition IPA with generous portions of Amarillo hops. The Memphis Made Brewing Co. held this last keg back specifically for their friends at Central. There will also be Memphis Made Lights Out and Plaid Attack on draft for only $3, and if you buy one of those beers you get to keep the Memphis Made/Central glass. There will be fresh fried chicken skins, pork rinds, and homemade potato chips to snack on at the bar. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Speaking of beer, a new homebrew supply shop is set to open at 2881 Poplar in the Chickasaw Crossing shopping center.

You may have heard that the Memphis Symphony Orchestra is in a state of financial crisis. If you want to donate to support the symphony, you can do so here on Kickstarter. Of course, you can also support by going to buying tickets to performances.

The Grizzlies host the Washington Wizards at 7 at the FedExForum. SportSouth will be the local TV for this game.

I’ll be at poker at the Blind Bear tonight at 8. Expect a “winner winner chicken dinner!” post to Facebook about 10:45.