A couple of alternatives to Amateur Night, where to get blackeyed peas tomorrow, and Wednesday news including two new Downtown businesses

New Year’s Eve is a holiday I normally don’t get excited about in the least… that is, until an interesting piece of news came across my Facebook news feed a few days ago. One of the Bardog bartenders posted that Bardog will open at 8 AM New Year’s Day. Oooh, now that has a lot of people-watching potential. There will be service industry people just getting off work, having spent hours cleaning their bars that got trashed by Amateur Night partiers. There will be people just getting out of house parties in the neighborhood that carried on late into the night. The hours of 8 to 10 AM tomorrow could be a FUN time at Bardog. I kind of want to be there to see it.

So, here’s what I’m going to do… I’m going to an early dinner friends are throwing at Van Vleet Flats. When they go out, I will go home, and be in bed by 10, getting a full night’s rest in time to be at Bardog at 8. (I’ll probably be briefly awakened by fireworks/gunshots at midnight.) It doesn’t bother me at all that I won’t be awake and out as the calendar rolls over to 2015.

Now, here’s a tip for those who DO want to be out at midnight. Recently I got asked, “Where’s a place Downtown that’s laid-back New Year’s Eve, where I can just go relax and chill with friends?” At the time the question was asked, I had no answer… every place I go in the Downtown core gets ridiculously packed with amateurs. However, I received a tip last night: Go to the Downtown Blue Monkey. They don’t advertise the place as a New Year’s Eve destination, and it’s far enough away from the entertainment district that it’s off the amateurs’ radars. They have a full bar and don’t upcharge drink prices on New Year’s Eve, and their food menu is very good.

On New Year’s Day tomorrow, the Flying Fish will include a side of blackeyed peas for good luck for every person who dines at the restaurant.

Paleo/primal/whole foods business Bedrock Eats has signed a lease for 327 S. Main in the former Frank’s Market and Deli space. If you’re not familiar with the paleo/primal food concept, it’s pretty much the exact opposite of the smothered chili cheeseburger with fries served at Bedrock Eats’ next door neighbor the Green Beetle. They hope to have the doors open by March.

The owner of a vacant building at 72 Madison hopes to put a coffee shop and roastery on the ground floor, and convert the two upper floors into apartments. That building is right across from the Metro 67 apartments at the corner of Center Lane. I had to look it up on Google StreetView; despite living right around the corner for 12 years I didn’t even know that building existed. With the law school and a hotel right down the street, a coffee shop should do really well there.

Memphis restaurant workers can get free flu shots by taking their pay stubs to any Memphis-area Walgreens. More info here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Start Co.’s small business accelerator programs, they are holding a “Stop Dreaming, Start Building” Q&A session on January 15. Details here.

There are some good sales going on at the Peabody right now. For men, Lansky at the Peabody has 40% off select Robert Graham shirts and select sportcoats, and Lansky 126 has 40-90% off select sportshirts. For women, there is 40-75% off select tops, dresses, denim, and shoes. The stores are open until 6 today and will be open 10-6 tomorrow for New Year’s.

The Memphis Tigers are about to tip off against the Houston Cougars at the FedExForum to kick off the regular conference schedule. Cougars pack a mean punch, as some of us learned all too well in 2014, so the Tigers better bring their A-game.

The office is closing at 3, so I will have time to get in a couple of hours of PBR before I go to my friends’ dinner party. See you in 2015 and if you go out tonight, don’t drive drunk and try not to get puked on by the amateurs.