Saturday update: Sinners for Saints, help 3 kids live a great story, Eric Hughes CD party and more

As a media contact for the Downtown Memphis Commission, I receive copies of permits granted for events in the area the DMC oversees. Yesterday I was very pleased to see a permit for the annual Sinners for Saints Halloween Ball in my email. If you want to “go big” on Halloween (or actually, the Saturday before, the 28th) there’s no better way to do it. At the corner of Madison and Danny Thomas, at Stop 345, Brinson’s, and Tad’s indoor trailer park with the street blocked off, there is something for everyone. Aquanet, Charvey Mac, karaoke, songwriter’s showcase, food from some of Memphis’ best restaurants, beer, wine, punch, 3000 craft Jello shots, a DJ, costume contest with big prizes.

Better still, when you “go big,” your $50 entry fee (in advance; $60 at the door) is not going into the pockets of some skeevy nightclub promoter. Sinners for Saints is a fundraiser for the Church Health Center.

A GoFundMe has been set up to fund the college education of Downtowner Eric Janssen who passed away Monday in Chicago. Donate to help ensure that his kids get to live a great story the way their dad did.

If you came to Memphis to hear the blues, I have a destination for you tonight: The Warehouse at Front and G.E. Patterson. There’s no signage but it’s in the back of the green building of the northeast corner of the intersection. The Eric Hughes Band will celebrate the release of their CD “Meet Me in Memphis” starting at 7 tonight. The CD brings together many different Memphis musical styles. Following the band performance there will be a musicians’ jam.

The Gibson Guitar Factory is looking to sell its building and move into a smaller space. The current building has way more space than they need, including a lounge that has not been used in years. That lounge is a sweet space and would be perfect for a nightclub similar to the old Isaac Hayes club in Peabody Place Mall.

Grind City Media has a recap of the Memphis Hustle open tryouts:

The Hustle have training camp this coming week and then their lone pre-season game October 30.

Arby’s has venison sandwiches nationwide as of today.

UT football coach Butch Jones made his annual visit to Memphis for a speech at the Touchdown Club. Having fallen on hard times in Knoxville, he came to Memphis looking for some love. However, Memphis did to Butch what Georgia did to his team: shut him out.

More info on the burlesque show at Bardog Tavern on Halloween night: It will be called Spooky BOO-bees and will be hosted by Kitty Wompas. Show at 9, costume contest at 11, and drawing to win the hearse parked outside at midnight. $5 Jameson Irish Whiskey Caskmates Stout Edition all month long.

The Rusty Pieces play Loflin Yard’s Front Porch Series today at 3.

Steph, Klay, Draymond, and KD come to town tonight as the Grizzlies host the Golden State Warriors tonight at 7.

Leading off at Blind Bear at 11 then over to Bardog at 2 for the first stop of a pub crawl in celebration of Eric’s life. Come join if you knew him. It’ll end at Earnestine & Hazel’s around 5. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update


What a win last night for the University of Memphis football team. Sky’s the limit now… Double-digit win season? Trip to the AAC championship game? Top 15 ranking? Peach Bowl? Chance for Memphis to blaze the trail that leads the AAC to equity with the Power Five? All within the realm of possibility, and most analysts didn’t see those things in the Tigers’ future before the season started.

My plan was to watch the game at the Blind Bear, but I was reminded that their big annual charity poker tournament was last night. It’s a great cause and I’m thrilled they have it, but it also meant the place would be super-crowded with people I don’t know. I decided I would have to come up with Plan B for the Tigers game.

Luckily for me, I have a very resourceful troll.

(there was supposed to be a photo of my troll here but WordPress keeps giving me “HTTP error”)

My troll found us a place with the Tigers on a huge TV over a bar, with sound. There were 9 more TVs and they had the NFL Network. Where were we? More details coming soon…

Headline in one of the news feeds I check: Peabody, ducks go pink for breast cancer survivors. “Surely they didn’t dye the ducks!” I thought. No, but the ducks march on a pink carpet instead of the usual red one.

Guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen plays the New Daisy tomorrow night for his World on Fire tour. Doors open at 7, show at 8.

The Memphis Flyer has details on the Memphis Bigfoot Festival happening tomorrow night at Memphis Made Brewing Co.

The third in the series of Ghost River Dock Parties happens tonight at 8 at Main and Crump. Tonight: Crockett Hall & the Infidelles. “What do they sound like? Think late ’60s Beatles,” writes the Ghost River staff. The Infidelles were one of the last bands to record with Willie Mitchell before he died. Family-friendly, pet-friendly patio, and the Gourmade food truck will be on site. $5 cover.

Ghost River, by the way, is once again hiring for their taproom. They’re looking for someone who loves people, music, food, trivia, and good vibes. Nice to see a taproom where “being awesome” is a requirement to work there.

Here’s a photo of that Kalua Pig hot plate Ghost River has every Friday at its One Poke Pop-up Lunch:

Keep on truckin’ is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. It’s late in the season, but farmers are still truckin’ their fall produce to the Market for you to purchase. There will be farm fun at the kids’ craft table 8 AM to noon. If you won an auction item at Farm Fest, it will be at the Market for you to pick up. Go to the information table to claim your item. Live local music all day long. The Market runs Saturdays through the end of this month under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson, 7 AM to 1 PM. Although next week is the last regular market of the season, they will be back with a Holiday Market December 9.

Look for dynamic light shows on the Big River Crossing bridge at 7, 8, and 9 PM Saturday, the one year anniversary of the crossing’s opening. It was accessed 250,000 times in its first year.

In related news – Riverside Drive between Union and Beale will be closed 5 to 9 AM Saturday for the Big River Crossing race.

The Flyer has an article about the 1.2 mile paved section of the Wolf River Greenway that opens at the north end of Mud Island Saturday. By 2020 the Greenway will span 36 miles, connecting the Mississippi River to Fayette County.

For those of you who care about my whereabouts, I’m not going to lead off at Bardog tomorrow as I usually do on Saturday. I have to be at Bardog at 2 for a pub crawl, so I will lead off at D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear at 11 tomorrow instead. Later in the day I will be at Max’s Sports Bar where there will be plenty of people dressed as Bozo the Clown in Tennessee Vols attire.

That’s all for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update: Brewery road trip recommendation and more

Being a native of Little Rock, I follow the @WooPigBrewey Twitter account to keep up with beer news in central Arkansas, and was recently reminded of a brewery I visited back in January: Lost Forty Brewing in east Little Rock. I would definitely recommend that place as a day trip for my beer-loving readers. What separates Lost Forty from most breweries is that they don’t bring in food trucks. Rather, they have their own kitchen. Their menu is the best beer-bar menu I have ever seen – better than any iteration of the Saucer, better than McGuinness’ menu when they were Downtown, better than Gordon Biersch’s menu when they were Downtown. Highlights include

  • House-smoked turkey salad sandwich
  • House-made bratwurst
  • Petit Jean bacon and cheese dip
  • Open-faced fried Italian bologna sandwich with an egg on top
  • Smoked jalapeno Pimiento cheese
  • House-smoked turkey Reuben with Swiss, sauerkraut, and homemade Thousand Island
  • Hoppin’ john hummus

Check out their entire menu on Facebook if you like what you read above. The brewery is about a 10-minute walk or 2-minute drive from Downtown Little Rock. By the way, their beer was outstanding too, and their brewers couldn’t be nicer. As I was leaving Lost Forty, one of the brewers was outside getting some fresh air, and he was so excited when he learned I was from Memphis and asked all about the craft beer scene here.

The Memphis Flyer reports that tater tots are now available at all Huey’s restaurants. Hmmm really? I just might have to get a Huey Burger and some tots to take home tonight.

A month or two ago it became widely known that agents of the TV show Bar Rescue were cold-calling bars in the Memphis area. For those not familiar with the show, industry expert Jon Taffer and his team will come into a bar, renovate, train staff and make staff changes if needed, redesign the menu, and (in most cases) re-brand, hoping to turn the bar’s fortunes around. As I said, they were cold-calling, reaching out to bars that clearly do not need Taf’s help. They called the Silly Goose, for example.

Well, it looks like Taffer may have found his Memphis episode. Tuesday afternoon he posted

Come join me tonight at 6:30pm CT
GameTime Sports Grill
11695 US 70
Arlington, TN 3802
“It might be stressful .”

All-levels yoga class to benefit Grizzlies Prep tonight at Ghost River:


The Downtown Memphis Commission has acquired an option to purchase the building that was the former home of Murray’s clothing store at 18 S. Main on the pedestrian mall. They have put out a Request For Proposals to occupy the building. They want a full renovation with commercial/retail on the ground floor and residential or office space above. They want a tenant who will start work on the building within 120 days of agreement, and who will add foot traffic and vibrancy to that block of Main.

Great trivia night by Charles at the Blind Bear, who asked a question about the movie Trolls last night. “Who said, ‘No troll left behind?'” Although not a big movie watcher myself, I knew the answer to that one – Poppy.

Jerry Lawler’s Bar and Grill on Beale will have a Halloween party Saturday, October 28. Live music by Chris Hill at 9, $3 Fireball all night, and a costume contest with $500 cash to the winner. Speaking of Lawler, don’t forget that there’s a free wrestling show tonight at Handy Park at 7. He’s main-eventing vs. Buff Bagwell.

Also, speaking of Halloween, the Downtown Memphis Commission has a great Halloween guide.

Something to keep in mind if you have floor seats for Grizzlies games:

Great post by a former Memphian: Hey Chandler, this is how you win over Memphis basketball fans. It’s all stuff that can be done off the court, and most definitely Z-bo-inspired. I was disappointed when Parsons bricked free throws early on, but from what I hear, he is working as hard as he can. When Marc Gasol says, “Booing Chandler is booing Mike and me,” that’s all I need to hear to cheer for Chandler Parsons.

Great speech by George W. Bush today. More and more I am coming to understand what a patriot the former president is. We need to return to being a nation of decency and inclusion.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out at happy hour at Silly Goose after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wed update: Go Grizzlies, aquarium proposal, Maciel’s open and more

Second post in a row with BIG NEWS: An aquarium has been proposed for Mud Island. Local firm Archimania put together the proposal and it is said to be “world-class,” offering the chance to study groundwater, fish and fowl along the Mississippi. If we get the aquarium on Mud Island and the Brooks Museum relocates to Front and Union, we will have come a long way toward the re-thinking of the Memphis Riverfront that has been discussed the past year.

Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos is back in business, finally! They will be open 11 AM to 8 PM today.

Authentic reproductions of Christopher Columbus’ ships, the Nina and the Pinta, will be docked at Beale Street Landing today through Monday. Come take a tour of the ships and grab some food at The Front Porch.

The CA has a beautiful article celebrating the life of Eric Janssen, a former employee and a man who lived and breathed Memphis. Eric died from an accidental fall in Chicago Monday. Eric was a newspaper employee who was an early adopter of digital media. Long-time readers may remember that in 2006, I did a blog for the CA called Deal of the Week picking the best deals from the Sunday advertising inserts in the newspaper. Eric offered me that gig.

If you’re going to the Grizzlies home opener tonight, get there early, because Playa Fly and Gangsta Blac will be performing pre-game. 7 PM tip. In other Grizzlies news, this thank-you letter to Memphis from former Grizzly/current New Orleans Pelican Tony Allen is well worth a read.

Save the date: Ghost River celebrates its taproom’s first birthday Saturday, November 4. They will have a giant Small Shop Saturday with many vendors (click the link for a full list) 1-6 PM. Live music by Cameron Bethany and MAKEMADBEATS from Unapologetic starting at 8. Sushicide Squad food truck noon to 5, El Mero Taco 6 to close. Hourly giveaways (click the link for a full list; must be present to win).

Five-time Grammy winner Marty Stuart plays the Halloran Centre tonight at 7:30. Get there early, though, because at 6:30 Empire Distributors will host a tasting for a cocktail called the ’55 Makers Punch, made with Maker’s Mark, in honor of Stuart’s song “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’.” Live music by Nancy Apple in the lobby prior to the show.

Two Girls and a Whip have added a Pina Colada cupcake to their selection. It’s in the case today.

Living Colour will perform at the New Daisy next Wednesday, October 25.

That’s it for now. Tonight I will be at the Silly Goose for happy hour, but it may take an extra minute to get a beer as the place will be swarmed with Grizzlies fans pre-gaming. That is a first-class kind of problem that I am happy to have! Back tomorrow with more news.

Brooks considering move Downtown + more Tuesday news

BIG NEWS today: The board of the Brooks Museum of Art, facing space issues and other issues in their Overton Park location, is considering moving the museum Downtown. One of the suggestions in a recent study on what to do with the riverfront was the inclusion of “an iconic cultural asset.” There’s interest in the Brooks being that asset. This would be the biggest news for Downtown since we got the Grizzlies.

I Love Juice Bar will be the first retail tenant in the Tennessee Brewery project. It will open next spring. The juice bar already has locations on South Cooper and in Crosstown Concourse.

Beale Street beacons: The new Beale Street smartphone app interacts with 100 beacons placed at various locations on and around Beale, Once notifications are turned on, when you get near a beacon you get information including historical context, news on upcoming events, special offers, and coupons.

Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian John Mulaney will be on stage at the Orpheum tonight at 7.

Coach Fiz is giving away 500 tickets to the Grizzlies home season opener tomorrow night. The giveaway happens at FedExForum’s Grand Lobby today at 1:30. Limit two tickets per person. Every fan attending the home opener gets a Grit Grind Forever growl towel.

Pink Floyd fans, put Saturday, October 21 on your calendar for Oh, by the Way, Which One’s Pink? at Wiseacre Brewing Co. It will be an evening of Pink Floyd songs by Mister Adams. Admission is free and of course there will be great craft beer to drink.

Memphis Blues Society’s 2017 Battle of the Blues Challenge happens this evening and tomorrow evening at Club 152. It will feature youth, solo/duo acts, and bands competing under International Blues Challenge rules. The winning youth act, solo/duo act, and band will qualify for the 2018 IBC in January.

South Side Supper Club plays Belle Tavern tonight from 7 to 10 PM.

Many people don’t realize that Swarm by Foursquare, the app in which you check in to venues and become “mayor,” is still around. For the past two years I have been involved in an intense (but friendly) battle for the mayorships of two Downtown bars, Bardog Tavern and Earnestine & Hazel’s. I will get those mayorships back for good, but for the worst possible reason. Goodbye, my friend. It was a pleasure talking with you over beer and Soul Burgers on Saturdays. Your love for our city was apparent in everything you did. Glad we got to be BBQ teammates this year.

On a happier note, happy birthday to Coonass NEAL! His birthday party is Downtown tonight and I wouldn’t miss it, so that’s the plan. Back tomorrow with more news.

Win this hearse + Saturday news

My favorite Bardog Tavern promotion is back! You could be the owner of 225 beautiful inches of hearse. All month long, you can enter a raffle for chances to win. Cost to enter is $1 for 1 ticket, $5 for 7 tickets, or $10 for 20 tickets. This looks to be an early to mid ’90s model Cadillac Fleetwood. I looked it up and this thing gets 17 MPG city/26 MPG highway, which is actually a little better than I expected.

What a game last night. Most of us know the Grizzlies as the team that grits and grinds. The Grizz are known for scoring in the 80s and 90s but having such good defense that the other team scores less. Last night, however, was completely different, as Memphis put up 142 against the New Orleans Pelicans, earning a 41-point margin of victory. The new-look Grizzlies are going to be fun to watch if this keeps up all season.

Congratulations to Flight restaurant at Main and Monroe on being named one of the country’s top 25 fine dining restaurants in Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice poll. Flight is known for its “flights” that allow you to try small portions of multiple entrees in one sitting – perfect for people who like variety. They have wine flights too.

Random thing I learned yesterday: There is a bar in Louisville called Troll Pub Under the Bridge.

Volleyball is back at Tom Lee Park.

Loflin Yard will host Howl-O-Ween Sunday, October 29 from 3 to 7 PM. There will be a pet costume contest at 5. Stop by the Hollywood Feed booth when you get there to register your pet. There will be prizes and goodie bags.

The Side Street Steppers will bring their retro hootenanny style to The Front Porch restaurant at Beale Street Landing tonight from 6 to 8.

Memphis interstate highways need this:

A retired professor at the Wharton School of Business and Finance said the Trumpster was the “dumbest ——- student I ever had.” The professor said Trump thought he already knew everything. Yep, that’s our president. That’s the man with the nuclear codes.

Off to do my Saturday things. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update #2

South Main Sounds Songwriter Night #68 happens tonight 7 to 9 PM at 550 S. Main. Shannon LeBrie, on her way back to New Orleans, will join Skylar Gregg from Nashville. There will also be two veterans of the songwriter night performing, Paul Waits and Regional Nash Next winner Amber Rae Dunn.

Happy Friday, YOGA! Downtown Yoga is having a Fall Flash Sale where you can get 10 classes for $99. Use the promo code FALL.

Good gourd, we’ve got gourds is the theme of this week’s Memphis Farmers Market. Buy some decorative gourds to spruce up your home, and also buy some edible members of the gourd family – pumpkins, winter squash, butternut squash, acorn squash – to serve for dinner. Live music all day long. There are only three Markets left in the season – last one is Saturday, October 28. Wonder if the last one will be a “dress up for Halloween” market? You know I had a lot of fun with that last year. The Market is at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson the next three Saturdays from 7 AM to 1 PM.

Old Dominick will host a Hocus Pocus Halloween Party tomorrow from 7 to 11 PM.

Loflin Yard has a Porch Series during October on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, featuring performances on the porch of the Coach House. Tomorrow from 3 to 6 South Side Supper Club will be the featured band. There is no cover and you can grab a beer or fall cocktail to enjoy along with the music.

Per the Grizzlies, Chandler Parsons is out for tonight’s pre-season game vs. New Orleans for personal reasons.

Yay… got my fall vacation scheduled figured out. I usually take my birthday and days around it off, but this year my birthday is on a Saturday so I won’t spend it in a cubicle in any event. I decided to instead take Monday-Tuesday, December 4-5 off. There’s always a lot to celebrate the first weekend of December so I figured I’d make it a long one!

Donald Trump said he met with the president of the U.S. Virgin Islands, not realizing that he is the president of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

That’s it for now. This is my second post, so keep scrolling down for more news and thoughts on what makes a great food competition festival.

What makes a good food festival? + Friday news

Seth of Best Memphis Burger Fest asked a really interesting question to competitors of his food festival and others on Facebook: What is most important to you about competing in a food fest? Is it prize money that at minimum covers the entry fee? Cool trophies? Bragging rights? Qualification into another festival? Something else? I responded on Facebook but I figured I’d post here as well and go into more detail.

(By the way – in the answer below I am speaking as Paul Ryburn, a guy on a food competition team. NOT as spokesman of the Moody Ques)

In order of importance as I see it:

Bragging rights – You betta’ believe I have been doing lots of bragging about my team’s trophies in Specialty Burger and Bloody Mary this week. Some people on the Facebook thread seemed to think bragging rights are not a big deal. Let me tell you, though, when you earn the right to tell people that your team makes a better anything-goes burger than LBOE… that’s kind of a big deal.

Ability for teams to bring in whatever kind of beer they want – A food festival without PBR is like a day without sunshine. Please don’t take my sunshine away.

(Goal for the weekend: Serenade a can of PBR with “You Are My Sunshine”)

Prize money – A major category win should have a cash prize greater than or equal to cost of entry. Minor categories, not necessarily. So first in Veggie Burger at Burger Fest should at least pay back entry cost; first in Bloody Mary doesn’t necessarily need to. Second and third in major categories should pay out something although it shouldn’t have to cover the entry.

Cool trophies – these are always fun to put on display. However, I would prefer holding an ACME Trophy Co. Model #SX94Z rather than an imaginative trophy that looks like the competition item if I’m not allowed to hold a PBR in my other hand.

Qualification into another festival doesn’t matter to me in the least. Yes, back when Burger Fest was affiliated with the World Food Championships, it would have been cool to qualify, but mostly for bragging rights. Having to take days off work and figure out how to haul our equipment down to the WFC host city would have been quite a pain.

On to the news…

Heels and Faux Killas headline the Dock Party series this week at Ghost River tonight at 8. $5 cover, family-friendly, patio is dog-friendly. Ghost River, by the way, announced that bottles of Midnight Magic Black Ale will soon be in stores.

Tony Allen returns to FedExForum tonight as the Memphis Grizzlies host the New Orleans Pelicans in a pre-season game tonight at 7. I mistakenly referred to this as a regular season game in a few conversations earlier this week. The Pelicans will return for the first regular season game next week.

Former Memphis Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter has been indicted on four counts of taking upskirt photos of women at the church where he was a leader.

Whatcha gonna do, brother, whatcha gonna do… It’s going to be a new world order tonight when Hulk Logan plays The Front Porch, the restaurant in Beale Street Landing, tonight from 6 to 8, brother. I wonder if Mr. Logan plays “Eye of the Tiger” or “Voodoo Chile”?

That’ll do it for now. Off to work. May do another post at lunchtime.

Thursday update

Memphis Madness, introducing the 2017-18 Memphis Tigers basketball teams, is tonight at FedExForum. There’s a meet-the-players autograph session at 6, followed by team introduction and a scrimmage at 7. There will be a dunk competition, former Tigers men’s and women’s players, and performances by Memphis Pom Squad, Mighty Sound of the South, iHeartMemphis, and Gabrielle Nicole. The event is family-friendly. Tickets are $5, with free admission to kids under 12 and U of M students.

This weekend, Old Dominick Distillery and Dream Bars are teaming up to transform the distillery into witchy digs straight out of Salem. Tonight at 7 there will be Hocus Pocus Trivia.

Mark the calendar for next Thursday. YOGA!

Pontotoc opens next week at 314 S. Main in the former Cafe Pontotoc space. It will be run by Daniel Masters of the Silly Goose. There will be jazz music and initially it will only be open for dinner, adding breakfast, lunch, and brunch later.

The Brass Door is hiring servers and bartenders who can bring warm hospitality in an Irish setting. They are taking applications today, tomorrow, and Saturday 11 AM-3 PM. The Brass Door is at 152 Madison between Second and Third. They ask that you apply in person rather than call. The Brass Door has brought the folks who run the Majestic in as consultants for the Irish pub’s re-opening.

Local artist Kong Wee Pang has been selected to lead a lighting and mural installation on the I-40 underpass at the Cook Convention Center.

Grizzlies owner Robert Pera has indicated that he expects Tony Allen’s #9 jersey to be hanging in the rafters at FedExForum next to Zach Randolph’s #50 one day. That is an idea I can totally get behind.

Any of my readers been to Esperanza Bonanza in Marion, Arkansas, particularly the BBQ competition? We’re looking for a spring regional in which to compete. I posted this question to Facebook and Heath from Victory Lane BBQ responded that it is a good one. That tells me two things: 1) It must indeed be a good competition if Victory Lane enters; 2) Our chances of becoming grand champion out in Marion are likely about 0.01% if Victory Lane enters. :mrgreen:

Trump dumped: Donald Trump’s planned visit to England next year has been downgraded and will no longer be a State Visit. That means there will be no pomp & circumstance, no state dinner, no military parades, he won’t spend the night in Buckingham Palace, and he very likely won’t meet the Queen. By contrast, the Queen had lunch on her 90th birthday with President Barack Obama.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out at Silly Goose happy hour after work. Back tomorrow.