Lobster tots @ Cousins Maine Lobster

Sunday I led off at Blind Bear, wanting to pre-game for the Bardog alley party a bit before walking over. About 12:30 I wandered that way, and the first thing I saw as I entered the alley party was the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. More specifically, I saw the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck as I had never seen it before.

There was NO LINE!

I couldn’t believe it. Previous times I have seen this truck around Downtown, there has been a line of 15, 17, 18 people or more. Sunday, though, I hit it at exactly the right time. I knew I had to order something. I decided a sandwich would be too hard to walk around with, so I got the Lobster Tots, totchos with big pieces of lobster. Let me tell you, this food truck absolutely lives up to all the hype it receives. It’s a bit pricey for food truck fare, but worth the money. If you get a chance to hit up this truck, by all means do it.

I had another yummy treat later in the day: Blackeyed pea fritters from Felicia Suzanne’s. Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic, but they were so much yummy, cheesy goodness. If you eat at Felicia’s and find these on the menu, do not pass them up! Don’t forget, Felicia’s has 25 cent martinis when you order lunch on Fridays.

My compliments to Aldo, Eric, Melissa and all the organizers for what seemed to be the best alley party Bardog has thrown in its 11 years. Everything ran smooth as silk. It’s just too bad it was so blasted hot. I’m sure that kept some people away.

Loflin Yard is doing White Claw Wednesday tomorrow starting at 7. $3 Claws. Ugh… this is the worst fad to hit the bars Downtown since people were hunting Pokemon on their phones. What sucks for me personally is that most of my trivia team will probably abandon me tomorrow night so they can go to Loflin and post videos of them shotgunning the Claw to Facebook.

Memphis will honor late, great DJ and entrepreneur Robert Raiford with Robert “Hollywood” Raiford Day in Floyd Alley next to Paula & Raiford’s Disco, 14 S. Second, from 5 to 8 PM Friday.

That’s it for this post. Back soon with more news.

Sunday update

After yesterday I am making an executive decision regarding the content of this blog. I will no longer promote pub crawls that are corporate, for-profit, and organized by people who don’t live in Memphis. Multiple bartenders have said that the margarita pub crawl last night was the worst pub crawl they have ever experienced. It was said that the yahoos that participated in the crawl killed the vibe in the respective bars, ran the staff ragged, and didn’t tip. I guess they thought that their entry fee to the event, which ranged from $19.99 to $29.99 depending on when they paid, entitled them to not have to tip.

Let’s review my standards for deciding if an event is one I want to promote on here:

  1. Does the event make Memphis a more vibrant, interesting place?
  2. Are the organizers good people?
  3. Do the organizers associate with other good people?

In this case the answer to 2 and 3 is “No idea” and the answer to 1 is definitely “No.” I looked at the organizers’ Facebook page and they were promoting bar crawls in New York. No interest in helping them in the future.

NOTE: Locals who organize bar crawls and those who organize bar crawls for charity – YOU GOOD! You’re going to continue to get plenty of support from me. Everyone mark the first Saturday of December on the calendar. That is the date for Stumbling Santa, an awesome Downtown pub crawl that sees thousands of toys donated to kids who would otherwise not have a Christmas.

Bar owners, especially those who own bars that are not on Main Street: I understand these pub crawls are a lucrative source of revenue, and therefore it is in your best interest to book them. However, I would like to suggest that during the hours these crawls happen, you put your bartenders on salary at the rate of $20/hour to fairly compensate them for the amount of work they have to do. Clearly the pub crawlers themselves are not going to provide this compensation.

Come out to the Bardog alley party (officially named the Monroe Avenue Fest) today between 12 and 5!

  • Raffles for some sweet prizes
  • Food trucks, including New Wing Order and Cousins Maine Lobster
  • Live music by Drunk Uncle
  • Dunking booth
  • Face painting (Buddha volunteered; he will probably be painting Gene Simmons faces)
  • Grandma’s meatball eating contest at 4
  • Craft beer tent
  • VIP lounge with Jameson and air conditioning
  • Dabbles for donations – get your hair cut for a good cause
  • Grizzline drummers
  • Sliders and other grilled goodies for sale
  • Proceeds go to the kids of St. Jude

The festival is in front of 73 Monroe, the block of Monroe between Front and Main.

Nearly half of Americans don’t change their underwear daily. Well that’s nasty.

The Beach Within Reach party, rescheduled from a couple of weeks ago due to weather, happens this afternoon at Carolina Watershed. Slip & Slide, watermelon eating contest, Dad Bod contest, blended drinks.

There’s sunset yoga in the park at 51 N. Front tonight at 6. Bring a yoga mat because the yoga will be done on a grassy surface. Water and sunscreen would be good to bring too. YOGA!

That’s it for now. Going to pre-game at Blind Bear for a little while then head to the Bardog party about 12:30. Back soon with more news.

Saturday update

It looks like the rumors that Raymond James will be moving out of its building at 50 N. Front, first reported by the Daily Memphian back in February, are true. The DM reported this week that the company has signed a lease on an East Memphis building. The main reason for the move is that Raymond James alleges the landlord has failed to maintain the elevators. This is a loss for Downtown, as 600 people worked in the building at the time the lease was signed in 2015.

In the Daily Memphian’s Bar Talk this week, Jennifer Biggs learns how to make A Little R & R, one of the craft beverages on the restaurant’s new cocktail list.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to link you to this CA article about Boulevard Souvenirs. The last independently-run Elvis souvenir shop on Elvis Presley Boulevard, its owners have resisted attempts by Graceland to take over the space and the souvenir business. They are now planning to open a second store at 676 Marshall, just a short walk away from Sun Studio.

The Peace and Love Tour comes to the Orpheum Wednesday, September 4. This is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, with a national touring company performing songs that were played there. Expect to hear the music of Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills and Nash and more.

A new record label and a combination recording studio and coffee shop will be coming to Downtown Memphis. An L.A. talent manager and two partners will open the business at 123 South Court Avenue, facing Court Square. The business will be structured so that up-and-coming artists can earn income in the coffee shop as baristas while they work on their music career.

Third Eye Blind will play the Orpheum Tuesday, November 19.

There’s a margarita bar crawl AGAIN today??? Wasn’t there just one last Saturday? I mean, I understand why bar owners agree to be venues for these things – gets a lot of traffic in your bar (and thus a lot of money spent) at a time of the day when it usually wouldn’t be that busy. Really craps things up for the regulars though. Geez… 910 people listed as going.

There’s a dog show today starting at 4 PM at Loflin Yard.

This morning I’m using Google StreetView to take a virtual walk through Seward, Alaska, a town of about 3000 an hour south of Anchorage. I’ve got a friend visiting there right now. Seems like a nice place! They’re expecting a high of 72 today. I wish we were expecting that here in Memphis.

One more reminder: I hope you can make it to the Bardog alley party tomorrow (Breakaway-Bardog 5K + Monroe Avenue Fest).

That’s it for now. Back soon with more news.

Tuesday update

Aloha from Memphis happens tonight at the Halloran Centre. In January 1973, Elvis hosted a special concert called Aloha from Hawaii, broadcast to nearly 40 countries around the world. Elvis tribute artist Diogo Light, from Brazil, will perform music and songs from this special.

Primas Bakery + Boutique on South Main has announced that Party Platters are now available, just in time for football season.

The New Wing Order food truck folks have announced that they will have the truck at Monroe Avenue Fest this Sunday.

Soccer supporters group Bluff City Mafia is having a brainstorming session tomorrow evening at Brass Door to come up with new songs to sing and chants to chant during Memphis 901 FC matches.

The Memphis Business Journal has a look inside the new Slider Inn to open in South Main soon.

Tin Roof on Beale has announced a Labor Day party Sunday, September 1 with bands and DJs all day.

Wendy’s is bringing back spicy chicken nuggets. Here are two ways to get them for free.

It’s official: The Moody Ques are entering Burgerfest Memphis. Come join is at Tiger Lane Saturday, September 21.

All right, gotta cut this one short. Sorry if the blog posts are a bit sparse this week but I’ve  got business to take care of.

Sunday update #2 (if you’re not a wrestling fan you can skip this one)

I did a news post earlier today; scroll down to find it. I wanted to get it up quickly because it had events that begin as early as 11 AM today. This is going to be all wrestling, so if you’re not a sports entertainment fan you can skip it.

Those of you who are a fan of the Classic Memphis Wrestling program, you were probably disappointed when you turned on CW30 yesterday at 11 AM and it wasn’t on. Bad news: The show has been taken off CW30 permanently. Jerry Lawler explained that it had become too expensive to keep the show on the air.

Good news, though: Lawler is uploading all the episodes to his YouTube channel. To be informed when a new episode drops, follow the Classic Memphis Wrestling Facebook page.

I watched part of NXT Takeover on the WWE Network last night, and it was outstanding as always. They always hold a NXT Takeover event the night before a major pay-per-view (SummerSlam is tonight) and the next generation of WWE talent gets to show off what they can do. They often outshine the quality of wrestling on the main card. Part of the reason why is that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon keeps his hands off NXT, leaving the organization’s operation to Triple H, who in real life is an executive vice president with the company. Trips has more of an old-school mentality and makes the product more about the wrestling than what you find on the main shows.

That may be about to change, though. NXT has gotten so good that major television networks are interested, and the show is rumored to be moving to FS1 this fall. If that happens, it believes that Vince McMahon will start getting involved with NXT. Uh-oh. That could be trouble. I don’t want to see elderly women giving birth to hands on that show.

Fantasy booking time!

WWE Monday Night RAW has a problem. Their Universal champion, Brock Lesnar, is so dominant that he should almost never lose. However, that has caused fans to become bored with RAW: Not only because Lesnar is so dominant, but because WWE lets him have a part-time schedule, the Universal title going undefended for months at a time. Ratings are dropping. Taking the title out of the picture decreases interest. WWE needs to take the title off Lesnar and put it on someone who’ll be on TV every week and who will defend the title on all the pay-per-views. But who?

My suggestion is that they look to history. In 1992-93, WCW had a dominant heel champion who steamrolled over everyone he faced: Big Van Vader. At 6’5″ and 452 pounds, Vader had a natural advantage over the men he faced. He beat Sting. He beat Ron Simmons. He beat Cactus Jack. He beat Davey Boy Smith.

Finally, by the fall of 1993, it looked like an opponent had risen up who might actually be able to beat Vader: Marion, Arkansas’ very own Sid Vicious. At 6’9″ and 317 pounds, Sid had the power to match Vader. Sid was booked to win the title from Vader at Starrcade, WCW’s biggest pay-per-view of the year, in November. However, fate intervened. In late October, Sid got into a scuffle with Arn Anderson in a hotel room, in which he tried to attack Anderson with a pair of scissors. Arn was very popular in the locker room, and WCW head Eric Bischoff had to acquiesce to a near-universal demand that Sid be fired.

That left Bischoff with a problem: Vader was now left without a Starrade opponent, ad had already beaten all the top babyfaces in the company. None of them would be a believable opponent for Vader one more time. People wouldn’t pay to buy a match they’d already seen several times.

However, there actually was one babyface Vader hadn’t beaten yet: Ric Flair. Flair had just started wrestling again for WCW, not being able to for quite some time because he had to let his WWF non-compete clause run out. In the meantime, he hosted a talk show called Flair for the Gold.

So Flair challenged Vader to a title match, and Vader just laughed. Vader pointed out that since he started wrestling again, Flair hadn’t racked up enough victories to qualify for a world title shot.

So, Flair put his career on the line vs. Vader’s title, and Vader, seeing a chance to retire one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, agreed.

Now that was a pairing that would draw big box office money. For one thing, fans loved Flair, even when he worked as a heel. The other thing was, fans sensed they might really see the last match of Flair’s career. At 6’1″ and 242 pounds, Flair wasn’t the physical match for Vader that Sid Vicious was. Also, Flair was 44 years old at the time, and had accomplished pretty much everything there was to do in the wrestling business. It was entirely believable that Flair would retire and ride off into the sunset.

Vader brutalized Flair in the Starrcade match, but Flair got a fluke roll-up for three and win the title.

I think WWE should employ a similar strategy to get the title off Vader. Get a  challenger who the fans love and will get behind, and make it someone who is of believable retirement age and who has accomplished most everything there is to do in the business.

The trouble is, though, most people of the right age on WWE’s main roster wouldn’t be suitable. AJ Styles (42) just turned heel and has more work to do with Anderson and Gallows. Randy Orton (39) is a heel and although the fans respect his work, they don’t love him the way WCW fans loved Flair. R-Truth (48) is someone the fans love but they wouldn’t buy him as a Universal title contender.

This past Monday, however, an interesting event occurred. Samoa Joe came out and took the mic. People had been pegging him as the mystery attacker who tried to drop a load of heavy equipment on Roman Reigns. Joe said that he’s a bad man, but there are limits to what he is willing to do to an opponent, and trying to kill an opponent is crossing the line in his eyes. While Joe was taking, Regins was shown getting out of a car and almost being run over by a mystery attacker. Joe ran to the parking lot and summoned help for Reigns, showing compassion for his longtime foe. This looked like the beginning of a face turn for Joe.

Brock Lesnar has beaten Joe on multiple occasions, so it is reasonable to believe that if Joe asked for a title match, Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman would simply laugh and say Joe doesn’t have the record to deserve a title match. Joe could then offer to put his career on the line.

This would draw big interest and spark ratings and PPV buys. Like Flair, the fans just love them some Joe, even when he’s a heel. They buy into his character, chanting things like “Joe’s gonna kill you” (ironic, I guess, given what he said last Monday) when he’s in the ring. Also, fans truly would believe that they might be about to see Joe’s last match. At 40, Joe has accomplished nearly everything to do in the business. He’e been TNA World Champion, he had a great run in Ring of Honor, he’s been NXT champion, and he’s been the United States champion. If he retired, he’d be able to look back on a long and successful career.

Having Joe beat Lesnar at Survivor Series would give the WWE a fighting, full-time beloved babyface champion as they enter the busy Royal Rumble/Wrestlemania season. Ratings would be strong, PPV buys would go up, and Joe merchandise would sell.

Of course, if Joe goes back to being a heel at SummerSlam tonight, this won’t work.

Thanks for reading. Apologies if there are typos, but I’ve run out of time and don’t have time to proofread.

Sunday update #1

I have an idea for a T-shirt for one of our local companies that makes them:

Kyrie and KD
Board Man and PG13
LeBron and The Brow
The Beard and Russ
Steph and Klay
Ja and Jaren

I used that as my trivia team name one week, but it didn’t win because people thought it was too long.

Statistic I found on social media yesterday: 24 kids went home from St. Jude last week, cancer-free. Now they have their whole lives ahead of them, and their families won’t face a mountain of medical debt, because St. Jude never bills for treatment. Want to help make sure it stays that way? Either run in the Breakaway-Bardog 5K next Sunday or come to Monroe Avenue Fest and make a donation.

Yeah, I’m going to be talking about that event a lot this coming week. Here, I’ll even give you one more reason you should go: The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck is going to be there.

Exposure Memphis happens at FedExForum Thursday, August 29 from 6 to 8 PM. Presented by New Memphis and Independent Bank, this is your chance to learn about over 150 Memphis businesses and organizations. The Beale Street Flippers will perform. Now, in past years they have had a celebrity kickball game, but since the event is not at AutoZone Park, they don’t have a diamond. So they’re switching it up this year and doing 2019 Bicentennial Games, a take on the Olympic™ Games with your favorite local celebrities.

(Kudos to them, by the way, on capturing the spirit of the Olympic™ Games without violating any trademarks)

The W.C. Handy House at Fourth and Beale is once again open to the public. W.C. Handy, considered the father of the blues, lived in the house during his time in Memphis.

Elvis: Ultimate Gospel happens at the Halloran Centre today at 11 AM. David Lee, a former Grand Champion Elvis tribute artist, will perform gospel, the music Elvis always said he loved doing the most, as The King.

Oh, dear Lord. Pabst, seeing the success of White Claw, is getting in the seltzer game with PBR Stronger Seltzer. It clocks in at a whopping 8%. This is one Pabst product I won’t be trying.

Carolina Watershed is having a kids’ hour today at noon. There will be $2 hot dogs, a water slide, yard games, eating contests, and a photo booth. For adults there will be drink specials.

Get an extra card when you bring your dog to bingo today at Loflin Yard. 4-6 PM.

Primas Bakery + Boutique will host a Finding Nemo tea party today at 1:30. Participants get a Nemo-themed platter of a a French macaron, a Petit Four, a donut and a cookie. The movie will be shown and there will be tea, coffee, and punch.

There will be sunset jazz in Court Square today from 6 to 8. Family-friendly and free. You can bring your own food or visit the food trucks that will be there. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome.

Elvis fans: Backbeat Tours is doing Hound Dog Tours all this week. They start from Alfred’s at 197 Beale. Visit Humes High where Elvis went to school, Sun Studio where he recorded, the Overton Park Shell where he performed, the Memphian Theater, the Chisca Hotel where “That’s All Right Mama” was played on the radio for the first time, and the Audubon Drive House. There’s an option add-on tour of the apartment in Lauderdale Courts (now Uptown Square) where Elvis lived with his mother as a teenager.

All right, since I have some time-sensitive items in this post, I’m going to hit Publish. I have a couple of wrestling-related news items and I also want to do some fantasy booking. That post will be up in a little while.

Saturday update

One of my favorite follows on Facebook is Edible Memphis. They have the inside scoop on what’s happening in the Memphis food scene. This week they had details on the new Slider Inn/Slider Out that is soon to open in South Main.

First thing – Edible Memphis got clarification on the name of the restaurant. The two buildings facing Mulberry will be Slider Inn, and the back yard facing Main will be Slider Out. They plan to use the back yard for things like movie nights and food trucks. That is very unusual, for a restaurant owner serving a full menu to want food trucks on his site.

Everything on the original Slider Inn menu will be on the new restaurant menu, and there will be additions to the menu both places. These include lobster dishes, egg rolls, a Chilaquiles buffet, and brunch on the weekends.

They didn’t give a target date for opening, but they hope to have operations going before fall. Hmmm… fall begins around September 21…. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in them hitting that time frame. Aldo is a busy man these days. Not only is he opening Slider Inn/Out, he’s taking over The Dirty Crow Inn on Crump. And, of course, there’s the matter of a 5K and alley party happening at his original restaurant, Bardog, a week from tomorrow.

Every few days I check the participant list for the 5K… good, not seeing the name of the person who stirred up drama at the 2018 alley party. The ’19 party will be much better off without her histrionics.

Nice to see soccer supporters group Bluff City Mafia featured in the headline article of The Daily Memphian today. (They misspelled Magan Hall’s first name though.) It’s just incredible how Memphians have come to love soccer in such a short period of time. Memphis 901 FC has its only home game of the month, tonight vs. North Carolina FC, at 7:30. If you can’t make it to the game, it’ll be broadcast locally on CW30.

There will be an art march and party called Artery 2.0 today from 5 to 8. The art march begins at 5 in Court Square and will go down Maggie H. Isabel Street, Stereo Alley, Rendezvous Alley and General Washburn’s Escape Alley to tour the new art installations there. The march will wrap up at Madison Avenue Park across from the Brass Door, for a little pre-partying with the soccer supporters. First 100 people to meet in Court Square get two free drink tickets.

The Daily Memphian has a profile of Memphis Tiger Precious Achiuwa. From Nigeria, Achiuwa is the other 5-star recruit in this year’s class besides James Wiseman. Some sources have him as a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

I’m hearing from members of my BBQ team that the team competition aspect will return to Burgerfest Memphis this year. After taking over Best Memphis Burger Fest from Seth Agranov and his crew and changing the name, the organizers did not have a cooking competition in 2018. According to a group text I received, it will be on Saturday, September 21. We haven’t decided for sure yet but it looks like there is interest from the Moody Ques in competing.

Got an insider tip for those of you who dine at the Blind Bear: If you hate ketchup, you can ask for garlic aioli instead for dipping your fries.

A man was arrested for trying to skip the Beale Street bucks cover charge that is in place weekend nights. He tried to climb to the top of Jerry Lawler’s club and hop a fence to avoid paying. Dude, what a mug shot! I didn’t realized MPD used Snapchat filters.

Elvis Week is underway. A friend of mine was speculating that Elvis Week may get smaller as the years go on, because the people who grew up listening to his music are in their 70s and 80s now and are probably less likely to travel.

Don’t forget Wednesday is Elvis glass night at Flying Saucer. If you want one, I recommend getting there no later than 6:50, and informing your server or bartender that you want a glass as soon as they go on sale at 7.

The Grizzlies will have a one-day-only garage sale at FedExForum from 2 to 7 in the afternoon. Proceeds from the sale will benefit St. Jude.

South of Beale has its 10th birthday party all day today.

Historian Jimmy Ogle has possibly his final two walking tours of Downtown today, exploring Madison Avenue (meet at the law school at Front and Madison) at 11 AM and then The Edge (meet at Sun Studio) at 2 PM.

Tug’s has some specials this week for Elvis week: Peanut butter and banana sandwich, a “hound” dog with cheese and bacon, a “King” Burger (double meat, double cheese, extra mayo, the way Elvis liked it) and banana pudding. They have Elvis-themed drink specials too.

The Rusty Pieces have returned from their road trip and will be performing at Blind Bear today and the next two Saturdays. 10 PM show time.

Sorry if I seem a bit not-myself this weekend. I need to make a transaction in one of my monetary accounts, but my financial advisor with the company is the kind of person who always lets his phone calls to voice mail and then either calls back days later or not at all. It’s stressing me out. Oh, and also, I learned I have a poppy seed allergy lately after eating that hot dog for lunch. I felt sick for hours. Anyway, between those two stressors, I didn’t sleep a wink last night despite the fact that I lay wide awake in bed from 11:45 to 8:00.

Things will get better, though, because I have great friends at Bardog to look forward to shortly. I may head down to the South of Beale party at some point. Back tomorrow or Monday with more news.

Thursday update

Well, it was bound to happen. The War of the Foodies has broken out on Facebook.

A couple of weeks ago, the Memphis Sandwich Clique group sprung up on Facebook. It is a place where people could post photos of their favorite Memphis sandwiches. All the group’s creator asked was that people be as descriptive as possible, and only post sandwiches from locally-owned restaurants. This is a great way to promote local businesses. I know that Sam’s Deli and RAWK’n Grub are two that have benefited greatly from the exposure. I searched past blog posts and posted three photos of gyros from Cafe Med on Kirby Parkway near Poplar, a restaurant overlooked by many because Petra, which serves a similar menu, is nearby. Best gyros in town, in my opinion.

In addition to posting their favorite sandwich, members can ask for recommendations, which is where the trouble began. Someone posted, asking what is the best Memphis sandwich with bacon on it. I definitely had an opinion on this! The Mr. Crunch open-faced breakfast sandwich on Pontotoc Lounge’s brunch menu, with sous-vide bacon more than an inch thick, Mornay sauce and cheese, is phenomenal. That was an acceptable reply; since you can’t pick the sandwich up, I was pushing boundaries a bit, but I was still promoting a great local business.

However, a friend of mine replied, “Baconator,” the sandwich from Wendy’s with extra bacon. That earned him a 24-hour ban from posting to the group for violating the “no chains” rule. He responded by forming his own Facebook group, “There are many other foods besides sandwiches that are great.” Only 2 days old, the group already has 433 members. They are making all kinds of good food posts, and as is the case with Memphis Sandwich Clique, people are discovering a lot of local restaurants as a result.

The only thing I hate about it is the personal attacks. The founder of the non-sandwich group has called the founder of Memphis Sandwich Clique a “douchey hipster” among other derogatory names. The non-sandwich founder claims his Baconator post was actually not a violation of Memphis Sandwich Clique rules because the Wendy’s in Memphis are locally owned. While that may be true, I think it’s a dubious excuse. Wendy’s is not a locally owned chain in the sense that Huey’s and Pirtle’s are.

I’m not pleased with the behavior on the Memphis Sandwich Clique side either. Specifically, members on there have been bashing the place where the non-sandwich group founder works, Max’s Sports Bar. Ironically, Max’s is exactly the kind of place Memphis Sandwich Clique was formed to promote. Max’s has a full menu of steamed sandwiches and is owned by a local who wants nothing more than to give his community a place to come together and bond over sports, beverages and food. I hope many people discover it because of the new non-sandwich group. (I just hope they discover it on a day that’s not College Football Saturday when the place is already packed to the gills.)

Can we all just get along? Both groups are an asset to the city, and if we can all just be excellent to each other there is a vast opportunity to discover some great Memphis food and support area businesses. On the other hand, if the discussion continues to devolve into bashing and name-calling, people are going to get fed up and both groups will wither away.

In related news: Front Street Deli is offering 10% off to members of Memphis Sandwich Clique this month.

The Memphis Grizzlies have announced their preseason schedule. The home games are

  • Sunday, October 6 vs. Maccabi Haifa
  • Tuesday, October 8 vs. New Zealand Breakers
  • Monday, October 14 vs. Charlotte Hornets

The preseason road games will be the Spurs on October 16 and the Thunder on October 18.

Jennifer Biggs of The Daily Memphian has a look at the Bi Bim Breakfast at Sunrise Memphis. It’s a breakfast taste on the classic Korean dish bibimbap.

The South Main Association has now lined up a speaker for their Tuesday, August 13 meeting at Malco Powerhouse, and they didn’t have to look far to find one. Thomas Gandee, GM of the theater, will speak. 6:00 social, 6:30 presentation, and following the meeting there will be half-price tickets for SMA members who want to stay and see a movie.

Max’s Sports Bar is now booking fantasy football draft parties. When you book your party at Max’s, you get a free draft kit plus 15% off all food and drink during your party. Call 901-528-8367 to make your reservation.

The second-to-last Peabody rooftop party of the season happens tonight, with the Ghost Town Blues Band headlining. $10 general admission, $20 VIP. Admission includes a buffet of Tex-Mex pork nachos and chips. VIPs get a second buffet of tequila flank steak, chicken quesadillas, guacamole and chips.

Improv Underground returns to the Brass Door Friday, September 6. The show will be in The Cavern downstairs and will start off with members of the Bluff City Liars competing for your laughs in short-form style. Then select cast members will perform long-form comedy. $5 cover, and although the Door allows all ages, the show is recommended for 18 and up because of the content.

There will be a CitizenFEST interest meeting at the Cossitt Library, Front and Monroe, Tuesday at 6:30 PM. The first CitizenFEST brought a diverse group of Memphians together to discuss ways they could be good citizens who bring positive change to their community.

Cigar store Robusto by Havana Mix will have happy hour with K97 DJ Big Sue today from 4 to 6, doing a remote radio broadcast as they gear up for the Beale St. Cigar Festival on Labor Day weekend. Lots of $5 drink specials today.

The folks at metaphysical shop The Broom Closet report that South Main is once again open to through traffic. It had been closed between G.E. Patterson to St. Paul for all but local traffic while renovation of the new Central Station Hotel took place. I know the owners of the businesses on that block across from Central Station will be very relieved.

Local brewery Wiseacre has announced its Oktoberfest will be Saturday, September 28.

There will be a back-to-school sunset skate night at Tom Lee Park Saturday, August 17 7:30-9:00.

I want to warn everybody of a Facebook scam that is going around, a post titled, “Honor your pet who is no longer with us. What was their name?” Name of a childhood pet is a very common question used in identity theft. Don’t give out this information. Worse, some people use their pet’s name as passwords on websites. That makes it doubly bad to freely share this information (and you really should change your password).

LGBTQ-friendly bar Atomic Rose is starting Hangover Hangout on Sundays. They will have a $10 breakfast buffet from 11 to 2. They’ll have drag bingo from 1:30 to 3, followed by a tea dance from 4 to 8. What the hell is a tea dance? Let’s ask Wikipedia.

Grizzlies Night at the Redbirds will happen Thursday, August 22 at AutoZone Park. The Redbirds will wear special Grizzlies-themed jerseys, which they will autograph and auction off after the game. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Redbirds Community Fund and the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation. There will be a specialty ticket for this game ($49 dugout, $48 field box, $55 club) that includes

  • A ticket to the Grizzlies Night at the Redbirds game
  • A Terrace IV ticket to the Grizzlies 2019-20 season home opener, to be sent electronically at a later date
  • A ticket to the Triple-A National Championship Game at AutoZone Park on September 17
  • A ride on the elevator to the top of Bass Pro at the Pyramid

Starting next Thursday, Loflin Yard will host a weekly 4-7 event called Dog Days of Summer. Each week a different charity will be chosen, and a dollar from each beer sale will be donated to that charity. For the initial event, Memphis Humane Society will be the charity.

I saw the weirdest sport on ESPN2 yesterday. Trolley drivers run their trolleys into huge inflatable bowling balls, propelling the ball forward where it knocks over huge inflatable pins. We need this in Memphis! Imagine what a signature event this would be for a neighborhood like The Edge or Madison Heights.

I normally stay out of the discussion on the Save Tom Lee Park and the Festivals Facebook group, but this week a point was raised on there which was quite valid. Due to his stated stance on Tom Lee Park (scrap the plans to renovate it and do away with Memphis River Parks Partnership), there is concern that Willie Herenton could win the mayoral election, despite the fact that King Willie was a much worse mayor during his last term than Jim Strickland is now. Let me tell you something: Willie doesn’t give a damn about Tom Lee Park. He is an opportunist who is hijacking this issue to get votes. He’s using the people who support keeping Tom Lee Park the way it is. Don’t be fooled.

Cheers to Neil Hines, proprietor of Neil’s Music Room out on Quince, for his decision to make his bar nonsmoking effective August 15. Excellent decision that is good for the health of his patrons. In the years I’ve been down here, two of my favorite bars, Silly Goose and Max’s, have gone nonsmoking. Although there was griping, business has gone up at both bars. The people who swore they’d never go to those places again, still go.

Rocker Sammy Hagar visits Memphis for a gig as the honorary Peabody Duckmaster:

A friend of mine ordered these recently: Psycho Pickles. These are pickles which come in a jar with six ghost peppers to make them super hot. The longer you wait to eat the pickles, the hotter they become. Once you’ve eaten the pickles, you can use the ghost peppers for cooking. Sounds delish!

Grizzlies Prep academy students are looking for adult lunch buddies.  A lunch buddy meets with one of the boys at the academy one day a week and has lunch with him. Lunch buddies serve as role models for the boys, helping to point them in the direction of success and preparing them to be college-ready. If this sounds like something you would want to do, spots are available!

I don’t know if I have any vegetarians who read this blog, but on the off-chance that I do, I want to share with you a vegetarian special that Venga, the Mexican restaurant in Puck Food Hall, has all this week.

This taco has black bean, corn, poblano peppers, and zucchini with crispy fried onions, cotija, and crema.

Overheard at the Silly Goose yesterday: “Hey, is this your bra that you left here the other night?”

Rizzo’s is collecting school supplies to be distributed to nearby schools at the end of the month. Any donation large or small is appreciated.

Great quote I saw on Facebook yesterday: “A lot of problems in the world would disappear if we talked to each other instead of about each other.” Very true. It kills me how people who want to understand what’s on my mind ask my friends instead of coming directly to me and asking me. My friends are not mind readers.

Another long post finished. Back tomorrow.