Wed update: Bar Rescue scouting Memphis, Grizzlies and Hustle news and more

I heard some interesting scuttlebutt last night at one of my favorite bar’s happy hours. Bar Rescue called the bar’s owner and inquired if he would like his bar to be “rescued.” Bar Rescue is a show on Spike TV starring industry expert Jon Taffer. Taffer and his team travel the country, finding bars that were once the place to go but which have since fallen on hard times. Taffer’s team comes in, tackles the core problems, often re-brands the bar, gives it a grand re-opening, and reports on how the bar is doing weeks later.

The show works because of Taf’s brutal honesty. If the owner is too drunk to know what is going on in his own bar, Taffer will call him out on it. He’ll call out staff that are comping so many drinks that they drive the bar into the red. He’ll call out kitchens that have food costs of 60%, or worse, don’t know what their food costs are. He’ll call out cooks, bartenders, and servers who claim to be big shots but who clearly are full of BS. However, Taffer also recognizes raw talent. There have been shows where he will look at a line cook making $7.25 an hour and maybe six months out of jail, and see someone who works hard and takes pride in what he does. Taffer will reward that effort with a chef’s jacket and hat and tell him, “You’re the new kitchen manager.” I am not a TV person but I will binge watch Bar Rescue.

So anyway, I started a thread on Facebook, and found out from another bar’s GM that the Bar Rescue people have cold-called over 100 bars in Memphis. That makes sense because the bar I was in when I found this out is in no way failing (nor is the bar where that GM works). I’d like to see a Memphis episode but I can’t think of anywhere Downtown that needs that kind of help.

D’oh! Likely starting Grizzlies point guard Ben McLemore is out 12 weeks with an injury from a pickup game. The Grizz traded for McLemore in the off-season. We’ll have him back by November, but still, we are one injury away from the draft lottery. Some analysts already have Memphis projected as a lottery team.

In better news, the Grizzlies have announced their pre-season schedule. They will start off at home vs. Orlando on October 2, and will have home games vs. Houston October 11 and New Orleans October 13. They’ll have road games at Philadelphia October 4 and Atlanta October 9. The season will start mid-October, a little earlier than past years. I wonder if they’re doing that to eliminate some back-to-backs, particularly ones where a coach might sit a star player to rest him.

News about former Tiger Austin Nichols:

That would be good, for the Hustle to have a known name. Maybe Nichols can regain his passion for basketball.

The Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis voting is now open.

Last night I stopped by Bardog Tavern, curious to see who got Melissa’s Tuesday happy hour shift. While there, I noticed a new promotion they have going on: Buy a shot of Breckenridge bourbon and be entered in a drawing to win this snowboard.

As for who got the Tuesday happy hour shift, it was Taylor. Taylor is a relatively new bartender but she is jumping into the Bardog family with both feet… she has volunteered to have her head shaved at Monroe Avenue Fest on Sunday, August 20, with all donations going to the kids of St. Jude! There will be donation buckets at the festival, but you can also donate online or bring money by Bardog and tell them it’s toward Taylor’s head shaving. Any amount is appreciated but if you donate $100 or more, you get your name on the Big Baller Board.

By the way, I am going to be talking about Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Fest a lot the next two weeks… it’s a cause I believe in, an event put on by good people who have always been good to me. It is my pleasure to give this event my support.

The I Love Memphis Blog has great suggestions on where to get oysters in Memphis, including several places Downtown.

The Peabody will hold an eclipse viewing party on the rooftop 11 AM-2 PM Monday, August 21. A minimum donation of $5 to St. Jude gets you a pair of eclipse viewing glasses. Also available for purchase: boxed lunch, eclipse cookies, moon pies, novelty ice cream bars, assorted beverages, and a full bar.

The Redbirds play Omaha tonight at 6:35. There’s a $15 off special on the all-inclusive Owner’s Seats next to the dugout.

Book swap party today at Cossitt Library, 5-6:30 PM. It’s in celebration of National Book Lovers Day.

A little Twitter humor to close out this post:

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