Friday update

Yesterday I was very excited to post that a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge with an entrance on November 6th Street was being planned. The entrance would be just steps from my back door. Today, however, plans for that project may be in doubt. The project’s developer is being accused of bribery in Palm Springs, California. The same developer is also working to redevelop buildings at 477 S. Main (former MCA building) and a former bank building on Madison into boutique hotels. I hope those projects still happen.

Meritan, Inc. is an organization that provides compassionate assistance to those suffering from the effects of aging, injury, illness, developmental or intellectual disability, or critical family situations. They promote well-being and independence. Tonight they will host Meritan Celebrates Mardi Gras at the High Cotton taproom from 6 to 9. Your suggested donation of $10 gets you a High Cotton on tap-beer, king cake, a pint glass, a koozie, and beads. The Southern Delight food truck will be on site and it is trivia night as well.

A pop-up park is being planned for Riverside Drive, the summer equivalent of the Fourth Bluff Ice Rink that operated this winter. It would be in the area of Riverside and Jefferson and would have basketball courts and food trucks. It’s being planned by the Riverfront Development Corporation. Yeah, they were such able stewards of the taxpayers’ money on the Beale Street Landing project, why not throw some more money at RDC? By the way, work on the park could temporarily close that part of Riverside.

Here’s a full transcript with video of President Nutcake’s press conference yesterday. NOTE: You may think you’re on The Onion’s website as you read this. You’re not.

At the time of the Garth Brooks concert a couple of weeks ago, people asked me if I was going to any of the shows. I replied, “Nah, as far as country goes, the classic stuff is great. Johnny Cash and George Jones and Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard. Jerry Reed’s stuff in the ’70s was good. East Bound and Down and tunes like that. Country was even good when 9 to 5 came out in 1981. But sometime in the early ’80s, country started to suck and it has been that way ever since. You can’t hear good country music in concert anymore.”

Well, maybe I was wrong about that. The Malpass Brothers play the Halloran Centre Friday, March 17. Their music is steeped in the tradition of the legends I mentioned above. “If you like cornbread & hushpuppies, you’re going to love the Malpass Brothers,” it is written on the Orpheum/Halloran Centre website.

You don’t have to wait until 3/17 for country music at the Halloran Centre though… there’s country music on 2/17, tonight, at 7:30. Kathy Mattea, the Acoustic Living Room featuring Bill Cooley will be on stage at the Halloran Centre. She’s in the music hall of fame in good ole West Virginny and she has had 16 songs in the Top 10.

Big Don’s Three Piece Chicken and a Biscuit Blues Band plays King’s Palace Cafe next Tuesday, February 21, at 8 PM. I have no idea if they’re any good but based on their name alone, I felt the need to mention them.

Happy travels, YOGA! The Madison Hotel has introduced in-room yoga for its guests. Certified local instructors lead the sessions, which can be 30 or 60 minutes long. Sessions must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.

I have withdrawn my application to be a judge for 901 Jalapeno Popper Throwdown. Last night friends of mine on one of the other BBQ teams said they will be competing, and I want to be free to hang out with them all day long without the appearance of a conflict of interest. I don’t want people calling me Paul “Rex Tillerson” Ryburn, after all. Looking forward to a full seven hours of jalapeno poppers and great craft beer! It’ll be weird drinking something other than PBR on a Saturday afternoon.

Sad to hear about the passing of George “The Animal” Steele, the turnbuckle-eating monster who wrestled in the WWF in the 1970s and 1980s. In real life he was a schoolteacher with a Master’s degree who wrestled during the summer months when the kids were out on vacation. In his early days in the ring he wrestled under a mask as The Student so that his identity would not be revealed to his students.

A very happy birthday to one of my very favorite bartenders, Jessica! Come see her at the Silly Goose for happy hour tonight (and TIP HER well). I plan on being there and so does my troll. Come hang out with us!