Monday update: Eclipse parties, National Night Out and more

A solar eclipse will happen on Monday, August 21, with Memphis getting about 90% coverage. Over the weekend I learned of two watch parties celebrating the eclipse. Ghost River will have a free watch party from 11:30 AM to 2 PM. Bring your own chair, lawn chair, or blanket. Memphis Mojo Cafe and MEMPops will be on site, and the taproom will be open if you’re thirsty. Starting August 4, they will be selling eclipse-watching glasses for $3. At 5 PM they will have an “I Survived the Solar Eclipse” party.

By the way… over the weekend Ghost River posted a list of beers they currently have at the taproom, and they came up with one of the most clever beer names ever. They have a gose on tap, which they named Howzit Gose. Great name, great style of beer. I need to get down to the Ghost River taproom to drink some Gose soon.

On the 21st, LYFE KItchen will host a twilight luncheon from noon to 2 to celebrate the eclipse with a thematic menu and a champagne toast. More info

I strongly suggest taking the 21st as a vacation day, not only because it is the eclipse, but also because it’s the day after the Breakaway Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue Fest. It will be nice to have that as a recovery day. I’m taking Friday the 18th off too, because a four day weekend is nice to have every once in a while.

I learned a little inside secret at a great Downtown business. Saturday a friend offered me a spicy cashew which was really good. “It’s from the Peanut Shop,” he told me. “They don’t normally carry them, but if you call them in advance they can make a batch. They can make any nut spicy. It’s a Mediterranean seasoning they use.” Hmmm, useful information to know. I love spicy food.

The SMA sent out a list of vendors donating food to National Night Out tomorrow from 6-8 PM under the Farmers Market pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson: Aldo’s Pizza Pies, A Moveable Feast & Hog Wild, The Arcade, Café Pontotoc, Cash & Carry Wholesale Grocery, Dirty Crow Inn, Jerry Lawler BBQ & Grill, LYFE Kitchen + Chisca Bar, Majestic Grille, Malco Theaters, Margie’s 901 Homemade Ice Cream, Cakes & Treats, Memphis Farmers Market, Pirtle’s Fried Chicken, Pyramid Wine & Spirits, Rizzo’s, and Stepherson’s On The Go. Michael Clayton will perform a magic act, and Semi-Average Joe and Taylor grace will perform live. The food and entertainment are free but donations to the North Main MPD substation are appreciated. Be sure to thank a police officer if you attend!

Cafe Pontotoc has officially confirmed that the restaurant will indeed close in several weeks, after their employees have had time to find other jobs. They are looking for someone to make Cafe Pontotoc their own.

Miss Cordelia’s is hiring two office managers, a cafe team member, and a full-time prep cook. Apply in person. In other Miss Cordelia’s news, Kebob and El Mero Taco will be the food trucks on site there Wednesday from 5 to 8.

The Peabody is up for Best Historic Hotel in USA TODAY’s Readers’ Choice poll. Vote here.

That’s it for now. Today doesn’t seem as Monday-ish as most Mondays, which is good. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday recap: Big Baller Board, tour of Jerry Lawler’s on Beale

It’s that time of year. Yesterday I pulled up a seat at the bar at Bardog at 11 AM and slapped a Benjamin on the bar.

“I hope you don’t think you’re getting change for that,” said Bloom.

“No, it’s for the kids,” I said. Three weeks from today, the Breakaway Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue Fest will raise money for St. Jude. They are taking donations in advance. Anyone who donates $100 or more gets their name on the Big Baller Board at Bardog. My donation got my name on the board.

If you can’t make it to Bardog to donate, you can donate online. Do me a favor… there are teams competing to see who can raise the most donations. If you don’t already have a team when you donate online, I would appreciate it if you would select “Send Bob to the Dunk Tank” from the “Are you donating toward a team?” dropdown list.

After Bardog I got lunch at Havana’s Pilon, the Cuban place at Madison and Second. I got the Picadillo, the ground beef, over Congri black beans and rice with a side of boiled yucca. Huge portion for $8. Great value.

After lunch I headed to the Blind Bear, where I was joined by my friends Jeremy and Jeana. Jeremy and Jeana were recruited to join the Moody Ques back in March by our Deputy Director of Public Relations. “We just went by Bardog,” Jeremy told me. They showed me a photo.

Not surprised at all to see a BBQ teammate join me on the Big Baller Board. The Moody Ques are the most giving, caring BBQ team in Memphis.

After we finished our beers, Jeremy and Jeana asked, “Do you want to walk around Beale Street with us?” I hadn’t been to Beale in a while and it was a beautiful day out, so I came along. On the way there I noticed that the Silly Goose, now able to serve drinks on its area of Peabody Place, had added umbrellas to the tables out there, providing much-needed shade.

We walked down Beale looking for a place to go. “King Lawler’s?” Jeremy suggested. Believe it or not, as big a wrestling fan as I am, I had actually never been in Jerry Lawler’s bar. Beale Street just is not on my radar very much. Happy for a chance to check the place out, I agreed.

“You’ve never been here? I’m going to see if Randy will give you a tour,” Jeremy said. I knew immediately who Randy was.

Randy Hales was the founder and booker of Power Pro Wrestling that operated in Memphis in the 1990s. He is currently the manager of Jerry Lawler’s place on Beale. While the servers went to get Randy, I ordered a large Budweiser (they didn’t have PBR on draft) and the Deputy Director of Public Relations tried on a crown.

Being a sports bar, there were many TVs at Jerry Lawler’s, most of which were tuned to the ESPN family of channels. However, a few of the TVs showed classic moments from Memphis wrestling. In 1982, NWA World Champion Ric Flair came to town and he got some company as Lance Russell interviewed him:

Randy came over and introduced himself and the four of us went downstairs. I was like a kid in a candy store, and having read Lawler’s autobiography, I had lots of questions. Randy told stories about Jackie Fargo and how “The King” got his nickname. He told us how “Soul Man” Rocky Johnson’s son wanted to break into pro wrestling in 1996. Not wanting to ride his dad’s coattails, he took the name Flex Kavana. His first match was in Kennett, Missouri, right down the road from Jeremy and Jeana’s farm. When he got good enough to get called up by the WWE, he took his dad’s first name and his grandfather Peter Maivia’s surname: Rocky Maivia. Eventually he would shorten his ring name to The Rock.

I got to sit on the set of The Jerry Lawler Show, which ran for many years on Channel 5. I interviewed the Deputy Director of Public Relations of my BBQ team, who chose to stand on the coffee table.

Back upstairs, I sat on The King’s throne.

Back at the bar following the tour, I thought to myself, WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN COMING HERE? How many lifelong fans of pro wrestling have a wrestling-themed bar, owned by a living legend of the business, a quarter mile walk from their home? I get it that the clientele is mostly tourists, but just think of the conversations I could have in there, trading memories and stories. I’m not saying I’m going to make it my main hangout or anything, but I can see myself in Jerry Lawler’s place a couple of times a month. I want to try the deep fried ribs sometime. My friend Eric Hughes plays live music there from time to time, so perhaps I will go see him.

Thank you so much Randy for the tour, and thanks to Jeremy and Jeana for the idea.

Excellent Saturday. Now it’s time to follow it up with an excellent Sunday.


Street drinking and Saturday news

The cold front has passed through and this weekend we can expect sunshine with highs in the mid 80s and lows in the mid 60s, unseasonably cool for Memphis this time of year. Great weekend for patio drinking… or street drinking! When the pedestrian promenade opened on Peabody Place last month, everyone was under the impression that the Silly Goose would be able to serve drinks to people sitting in their section of the promenade. However, a nearby business (gosh I wonder who that could be) complained to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, who informed Goose staff that they had to apply for a separate permit to be able to serve on the promenade. Yesterday I was in there for happy hour, and the bartender told me the permit had just arrived.

If you haven’t made it out to Edge Alley at 600 Monroe yet to check out the biscuits, the coffee, and the shopping, Place at the Table has a review you need to read: Breakfast at Edge Alley

Clean Comedy Experience comes to the Halloran Centre with shows at 4 and 8 today (tickets $20-45). This is your chance to get some laughs without having to hear any offensive words (you know, the kind of words you would hear if you attended one of White House communications director Scaramucci’s press conferences). It’s comedy with honor, class, and dignity.

Bigger Music comes to the Ghost River taproom tonight from 6 to 9. Baily Bigger brings the acoustic guitar and vocals, and Wyly Bigger brings piano and vocals as they perform some of their originals as well as their favorite covers. There is no cover charge to get in and this is a family-friendly show.

The times for the 3-on-3 basketball tournament for the Memphis Police and Fire Departments have been announced: 4-7 PM today and 2-5 PM tomorrow. Come out and cheer the people who keep us safe.

Memphis Parkour will give a demonstration tomorrow, Sunday, July 30, at Your Inner Yogi, 10 N. Second #102, from 1 to 2 PM. The Parkour demonstration will be across the street in Court Square as part of their “Move Memphis!” weekend. The goal is to promote Parkour as a healthy and safe form of recreation that promotes fitness. Pre-register here to get in a raffle for prizes.

By the way, when I clicked on that link, I saw that Your Inner Yogi currently has an intro deal running: 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $19.

The area’s largest and most requested bridal show returns to the Cook Convention Center tomorrow: the Memphis Pink Bride Wedding Show.

The FDA is considering lowing nicotine levels in conventional cigarettes to non-addictive levels. So let me get this straight… right now I can go out and buy a product that is known to contain addictive levels of a drug, and the use of that product has been shown to take years off the average person’s life. But I can’t go to an online poker site, have them pull $5 plus a 50 cent table fee out of my PayPal account, and enjoy three to six hours of a poker tournament, with the chance to win more than my entry back if I survive into the money (potentially many many times more if I’m the last player standing)?

BBQ teammates, if you did not receive an email this week, let me know. We are restructuring the team a bit and gearing up to compete in Best Memphis Burger Fest. There were rumors that the team was finished, but that was merely a momentary lapse of reason.

The Mooch finally forced Reince Priebus out of the White House yesterday. Politico has the analysis. So much fun to sit back and watch all the infighting among the wackadoos. Donald, you’ve outdone yourself; this is the best season of The Apprentice yet, and great job getting it on all cable networks rather then just restricting it to NBC.

That’ll do it for now. Off to the usual Saturday spots.

Friday update #2

I’ll start off today’s second blog post with a random rant. There’s a skill kids aren’t taught in school, but probably should be: How to read maps (doesn’t have to be a paper map, can be a map app on a mobile device) and establishing a good sense of where north, south, east, and west are. It kills me when I give people directions and I’m like, “So you go two blocks east on Union and…”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know which way is east.”

“You see that thing over there? That’s the river. If you’re going toward the river you’re heading west. You know this because West Memphis is on the other side of the river. So if you want to go east you figure out where the river is and go the opposite direction.”

It’s a skill that’s probably less important now that GPSs are common, but I’m still glad I learned it. Kind of like, I’m glad I learned how to do long division even though I have a calculator on my phone.

Update on tonight’s Redbirds games: Gates open at 5, last night’s suspended game starts back up at 5:35, then tonight’s game begins. I posted all that this morning, but here’s an important update: Since Thirsty Thursday ($2 select draft beers around the park) was interrupted, it continues tonight! Also since tonight is Ladies’ Night, $3 wines available to ladies during both games. Yay Redbirds for giving their fans a wallet-friendly ballgame experience. Here’s a link to the Redbirds’ rain policy.

@FrankMurtaugh had an interesting stat: All nine St. Louis Cardinals who started last night’s game were former Memphis Redbirds.

Tonight’s one-night only appearance by Austin-based smoked meats and Texas BBQ producer Micklethwait Craft Meats at Memphis Made Brewing is a big deal apparently. The Memphis Flyer has coverage of Micklethwait’s trailer tour through the U.S., and the event is mentioned by Chris Herrington in The 9:01 as well.

Heh. I looked up Micklethwait’s Austin restaurant and the hours are “11 AM – til it’s gone.” That’s a sure sign that there is good BBQ there. Wonder if my friend Chicken Fried Steak Rodger will put the mutts in an Uber and head out to Memphis Made for some Texas BBQ tonight.

The sales tax holiday in Tennessee is underway and continues through Sunday. No sales tax this weekend on clothes, school supplies, and art supplies costing $100 or less, or on computers costing $1500 or less.

I had a cross-bred jalapeno/Thai chili pepper last night. The grower wasn’t trying to be the Luther Burbank of peppers, but they were growing next to each other and it just happened. Let’s just say I was drinking water for about 15 minutes after I sampled the pepper.

Rut roe:

“This week has been Trump’s worst week ever as president,” I thought last Friday, “until next week.” That proved to be true. Also, thinking the same thought today seems relevant.

That’s it for now. It’s my second post today, so keep scrolling for more.

Friday morning update

A new homeless women’s workplace/shelter is being planned for 333 Adams. It will be called The Merging Bridge and you can help support it by attending or cooking for a chili cook-off Saturday, September 2 from 11 AM-2 PM. Entry fee per team (1 to 4 people) is $40 and goes up to $50 August 11. Team spots are limited so do not delay to enter your team.

Tin Roof will have a Wet ‘n Wild Party Saturday 11:30-6:30. 22 foot water slide, DJ Stringbean, tiki bar, promo girls from Fireball and SoCo with shot specials, prizes and giveaways. There will be patio food including burgers, hot dogs, and turkey legs. Tickets are $5 on the website or $10 at the door.

The third annual Memphis Grilled Cheese Festival has been announced for November 5 at the Hi-Tone. Teams will compete to see who makes the best grilled cheese and tomato soup. Nice to see them move this festival forward a month. On November 5, the average high in Memphis is 67 so unless we hit a cold front, it’s still festival weather. In previous years it’s been in December.

Last night’s Redbirds game had to be suspended due to weather. It will resume tonight at 5:35 PM, followed by a second 7-inning game. Fans who had tickets for last night can exchange them for a ticket to a future game. Fans who have tickets for tonight get to see both games.

Memphis Farmers Market has announced its 2017 Farm Fest at Loflin Yard Sunday, September 24 from 5 to 8 PM. Star and Micey will be the live entertainment. You will be able to enjoy food from some of Memphis’ finest restaurants, and Wiseacre beer will be served. A new vendor at Farm Fest this year will be Old Dominick Distillery, providing two signature cocktails. Another new vendor is Kendra Scott Jewelry, offering a $50 jewelry pull. Every piece of jewelry will be guaranteed to be worth $50, but some will be worth much more.

Speaking of the Farmers Market, watermelons are in season at this Saturday’s market. Live music by Tod Nations 8:30-10 and Melinda Milligan 11-12:30. The Market happens every Saturday at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson under the pavilion, 7 AM to 1 PM.

Trip-hop skate night happens tomorrow, Saturday, July 29, 7-9 PM at RiverPlay. The Arepa 901 food truck will be on site.

Local Memphis has a great story on the fundraiser to repair Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos that was held at Rizzo’s last Sunday. New timetable on reopening Maciel’s is 5 weeks.

Wrestling fans: ESPN has announced a date and time for a long-awaited “30 for 30” documentary. “Nature Boy” will examine the life of multi-time NWA, WCW, and WWE world champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. They interviewed numerous people for the documentation including current WWE performer and Flair’s daughter, Charlotte Flair, as well as The Four Horsemen, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and Mick Foley. Watch a full trailer here.

Speaking of wrestling, one of its slang terms is “cutting a promo.” That’s when you get on the mic, bash your opponents, and tell the world that you (and your clique, if you have one) are the best in the world. Currently, the world’s best at cutting a promo is not even a wrestler, but rather a fighter: Conor McGregor. However, new White House communications director Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci is starting to give McGregor a run for his money. Mooch cut a promo on Reince Priebus and Steven Bannon last night, calling Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” and said “I’m not here trying to suck my own cock” like Bannon. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the president.” Damn. This is a White House official, speaking in an official capacity. And you know his boss LOVED it. Then again, if it leads to Priebus and Bannon being booted out of the White House, I guess I’m with Team Mooch for the time being.

Overnight the Republicans’ final effort to kill Obamacare failed 49-51 with Sen. John McCain, “The Maverick,” casting the deciding no vote. FiveThirtyEight has analysis.

Time for work. Possibly back at lunchtime with a second post.

Thursday update #2

Happy Thursday, everyone. I did a massive news post this morning with tons of Downtown and Memphis-related news (and a picture of the troll). That leaves only a few local items for this lunchtime post before I start commentary on the raging dumpster fire in Washington. Make sure you don’t miss this morning’s post if you’re here for the Downtown news.

Memphis Afro-Carnival is presenting its first ever Carnival Weekend today through Sunday. Tom Lee Park will be transformed into a carnival village with thousands of people from different walks of life. On Saturday see people from around the world dressed in beautiful costumes, and there will be performances by Caribbean, Indo and Afro artists including Kes the Band, Machel Montano, Wizkid, Raja Kumari, and more.

The Memphis Youth Got Talent finale is tonight at the Cannon Center. Admission is 3 canned goods or 1 jar of peanut butter, with donations going to the Mid-South Food Bank.

Get the Memphis Tigers football schedule as your phone background:

More compliments from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Where would the Cardinals be today without the Redbirds?

Today, on “America: The Reality Show,” the New York Times reports that girls/women were brought into the US and worked illegally for Trump Model Management with only tourist visas for many months before obtaining legal work visas. Some were as young as 14. They were placed in NYC apartments with many of their fellow models as roommates, and charged exorbitant fees for rent, trainers, and other expenses.

Mooch vs. Priebus. Might want to pop some popcorn before you read this one.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said there would be holy hell to pay if President Trump fires AG Jeff Sessions, and that it would be “the beginning of the end” of the Trump presidency if he removed special counsel Mueller. Graham is drafting legislation with bipartisan support requiring judicial review if the president attempts to remove any counsel investigating him or his staff.

That’s it for this post. Hopefully a quiet day at work then out to Silly Goose happy hour. Back tomorrow.

Thursday update

I paid a visit to Las Margaritas last night. It was about 9:30 and I wanted a quick late-night snack before going home. I got the Las Margaritas Dip.

It was a huge bowl of white cheese dip with ground beef, onions, and peppers. Many American-Mexican places have something like this on their appetizer menu, but the difference is the size of the portion! I could barely finish a little more than half of it. Salsa was really good and the chips were nice and fresh and thin (sometimes so thin that they broke off in the Las Margaritas dip, but that was okay). This will be one of my regular orders at the new Mexican restaurant. As for the service, it was pretty darn fast. You’ll notice I hadn’t even poured my salsa when the dip came out.

… And no, in case anyone was wondering, I did not order the jumbo margarita. 9:30 is a little too late to do that when I have to be at work the next day. I got a Mountain Dew. They carry Pepsi products.

The Big River Crossing Half Marathon is coming to Tennessee and Arkansas Saturday, October 21. This will be the first race to cross the Harahan Bridge. It will support Peer Power, an institution that empowers scholars through peer-to-peer tutoring.

It’s All You Can Eat Wings night at the Redbirds this evening. A special ticket gets you all-you-can-eat wings and sides as well as ballpark hot dogs, and one Coca-Cola product or bottled water per ticket. It’s also Thirsty Thursday with select $2 beers around the park, and college students can show ID for a $5 bluff ticket.

The View from Here is tonight’s film in the 15 Film Series at Clayborn Temple. It’s about four friends who went to explore Europe in the summer of 2015 – however, a neuromuscular disease kept one of the friends bound to a wheelchair. The film explores spatial justice and accessibility as the friends visit some not very accessible places. The film starts at 7 and includes a panel discussion.

Innovate Memphis has a Commute Options Ambassador position newly open.

Cafe Keough, the European-style cafe on the Main Street Mall, is hiring baristas. Apply in person at 12 South Main.

Hal and Julie Lansky, co-authors of the book “Come on in, Young Man!” will have two booksignings, at Lansky at the Peabody Saturday, August 12 from 2 to 4 PM, and at Lansky Bros. at 126 Beale Street from 2 to 4 PM Wednesday, August 16. The book is a children’s book telling the story of Bernard Lansky and the lifelong friendship he formed with a new customer named Elvis Presley one day in 1952. Hal is Mr. Lansky’s son and Julie is Mr. Lansky’s granddaughter.

Southern Avenue is the featured entertainment at tonight’s Peabody rooftop party. It looks like Spanish food is the theme, with your admission including a buffet of assorted pintxos. If you’re in VIP there’s an additional buffet of traditional paella, tortilla espaniola, and chorizo stuffed mushrooms. Drink specials are a raspberry margarita, and Firefly peach sangria moonshine. $10 to get in, ladies and hotel guests free before 7.

The Daily News has an article on the revitalization of the Redbirds this season.

Infographic on how to eat a crunchy taco. I completely agree.

Details have been announced for WWE Raw coming to FedExForum Monday, August 28. The main events – and we are still a month out, so this is very much subject to change – will be a Street Fight between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman, and an Intercontinental Championship match between Dean Ambrose and The Miz. The two biggest names in WWE, Brock Lesnar and John Cena, will appear, as will Raw GM Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Bray Wyatt, Finn Balor, Matt & Jeff Hardy, Alexa Bliss, and Sasha Banks.

By the way, if there was any doubt that UFC fighter Jon Jones is a complete idiot, he recently said he’d like to fight Brock Lesnar. Lesnar would murder him. Not enough cocaine in the world to dull the pain Jones would be in after that match.

Just putting this out there for people who own or manage Memphis bars, an idea that has worked in other cities:

Tip from one of my fellow Blind Bear regulars: Order the Bear Balls (mozzarella balls; similar to cheese sticks, but balls) and the sausage and cheese plate. Cut one of the Bear Balls in half, grab a piece or two of sausage, and make a sandwich out of it. That sounds decadent.

Here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry about human trafficking. This is a topic you may hear more about in the coming weeks. Ties to a certain modeling agency based in Midtown Manhattan may be part of the story.

That’s it, off to work. Having that Mountain Dew so close to bedtime produced some interesting dreams, but I got a good night’s rest. Possibly back at lunchtime with a second post.


Wed update #2: Taproom happenings, ladies’ night at the Redbirds, Trolley Night and more

Couple of interesting events coming up at local brewery taprooms this week. Tomorrow night, Thursday, July 27 at the Ghost River taproom, Danny Broadway will be back to teach another painting class (click the link to see the painting you will paint). Painting will start at 6:30 but they recommend you get there by 6:00. $30 cash or check. Reservations are preferred but not required. Email to make a reservation. Eddy’s Pepper food truck will be on site.

Friday night, Memphis Made Brewing Co. and Goner Records welcome Micklethwait Craft Meats to the Memphis Made taproom. This is a highly-rated BBQ and smoked meat restaurant from Austin, Texas. Founder Tom Micklethwait, prior to opening the restaurant, was in a band called the Hex Dispensers that played Gonerfest in Memphis. Music by Hot Tub Eric Plumley and Goner DJs, with a live set by Tyler Keith from Oxford at 6 PM.

Friday is going to be Ladies’ Night at the Redbirds, with special guest Like Pell of “The Bachelorette.” He’ll be signing autographs 6:00-6:45 and 7:15-8:00. First pitch at 7:05. There will be a block party with Scott Sudbury in the plaza. There will be FOUR specialty tickets you can purchase for this game.

  • The Fantasy Suite ticket gets you a private meet-and-greet with Luke Pell, an autographed picture, a glow-in-the-dark Memphis Redbirds martini glass, and a buffet menu including wine and draft beer.
  • The Painting in the Park ticket gets you into a painting class by Pinot’s Pallete Cordova where you will paint a Redbirds-themed canvas and wine glass. It also gets you a Field Box seat and a buffet including wine and draft beer.
  • You’ve got a ticket to ride… a specialty ticket that includes a bike ride with CycleBar Germantown, as well as a field box ticket and a buffet with wine and draft beer.
  • The 1st Impression Rose ticket gets you into the VIP line to meet Luke Pell, autographed picture, the glow-in-the-dark Redbirds martini glass, field box seat, and the buffet with wine and draft beer.

Sounds like there could be a lot of ladies on the prowl hitting the nearby bars around 9:30-10 PM Friday… keep that in mind fellas.

In preparation for Elvis Week, South Main Trolley Night will have life-sized cutouts of The King all over South Main this Friday night from 6 to 9. Elvis songs will be playing over their new sound system. South Main Sounds at 550 S. Main will have a Trolley Night Special with performances by Jack Moran, Mara Daniele, Freeman Shane Weems, and Zak Baker with Leigh Baker. Bailey Bigger will be playing in front of 465 S. Main. Art Village Gallery at 412 S. Main will show off the vibrancy of West African culture for home and fashion with a duo pop-up shop. Discounts on selected T-shirts at Sache.

An employee of Cafe Pontotoc has told me that over the weekend, they had an employee meeting where they learned that the restaurant would close in two months.

Author Diane Thomas-Plunk will sign her book Opal Saturday at noon at South Main Book Juggler. Opal is a collection of short stories about life in 1950s rural Mississippi. The depth of the characters and the layered plots have been complimented, and Thomas-Plunk was deemed a “favorite” by NPR in its Three-Minute Fiction contest.

Kaspersky has announced a new free version of their anti-virus program for PCs. Absolutely DO NOT INSTALL that software. If you do, you will be running FSB (Russian intelligence agency) spyware. Use one of these free programs instead. I like Malwarebytes especially.

That’s it for now. Out at Silly Goose happy hour after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wed update #1: Edge Alley opens this morning

Edge Alley, a new coffee roaster and cafe concept that has four micro-retail bays, opens to the public this morning at 7. Curious about what kind of food they will serve? The Memphis Flyer’s Hungry Memphis Twitter account has information:

Expect a transformation over the next year at the Cossitt Library at Front and Monroe, with plans to turn it into a community hub. There will be a coffee shop, an outdoor patio, and art and music. This is funded by the $5 million Reimagine the Civic Commons grant, the same grant that brought us RiverPlay.

Speaking of RiverPlay, police officers and firefighters will compete in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the pop-up park July 29 and 30.

For those of you who take Lyft home from the bars, now you can have the driver stop at Taco Bell on the way home.

Tonight is the final free Envision Memphis bootcamp at RiverPlay. Class is for those 18 and over. No RSVP is required; just meet at the Gear Shack on Riverside Drive between Jefferson and Court at 6 PM.

There’s a Pure Barre pop-up class at Miss Cordelia’s at 6:30 PM tonight. Be sure to bring a mat, water, and a towel for the class. This event is part of their Food Truck Wednesday series, and Stanley’s and Sushi Jimmi will have trucks on site.

The Redbirds play Salt Lake City tonight at 7:05. There’s a $15 off special for the all-inclusive Owner’s Seats by the dugout.

Yay… Adobe is finally killing off Flash. The technology will be dead by 2020. Long overdue.

Check back around lunchtime, because I expect to have a second post.

Tuesday update

Looking for something to do with the kids this week? Disney’s The Little Mermaid is live on stage at the Orpheum tonight through Sunday.

All Central BBQ locations will be closed today for the company’s annual employee Christmas party.

The original Karate Kid movie will be shown at 8:30 tonight on the big screen at Beale Street Landing. The movie is free to the public.

The Food Network published a list of the best hotel bars in the United States. Twilight Sky Terrace made the list.

In other hotel bar news, The View atop the Residence Inn at the Marriott is now open on Wednesdays.

Dollar King Cotton hot dogs tonight at the Redbirds. First pitch is 7:05.

A subpoena has been issued that will compel Paul Manafort to testify IN PUBLIC tomorrow before the Senate Intelligence Committee. I truly hope they make him testify under oath, so they can get him on perjury charges if he lies (he will).

That’s it for this post. Back tomorrow with more.