Thursday update

Great news for the southern stretch of the Main Street Mall. The Royal Furniture building at the corner of Main and Gayoso is going to be turned into a 178-room boutique hotel. Local developer Tom Intrator will be partnering with Dream Hotel Group out of New York on this project. The plan is to turn the existing structure into “a very, very high-end restaurant,” with the hotel rising above it. There will be a lobby lounge and a coffee shop in the structure, and also a rooftop bar.

This is fantastic news. There are multiple hotels lining the Main Street Mall, but as of now they are all north of Monroe, where entertainment options right out the front door are somewhat lacking. People walking out of the future Dream Hotel will be able to walk to Local, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Blind Bear, Center for Southern Folklore, Bluefin, the Majestic Grille, the Orpheum, the Silly Goose, Flying Saucer, Margaritas, Kooky Canuck, and Automatic Slim’s in under 2 minutes. It will be good to have more tourist pedestrian traffic on that part of Main, and will show tourists that there is more to do Downtown than just Beale Street.

Voting in the 2019 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll is now open.

This is not a Downtown thing, but I want to pass this along to make people who help those in need aware: The pantry at Caritas Village, 2509 Harvard out in Binghampton, is full. Those who need food can come by and get free rice, canned potatoes and canned pimientos, pickles, coffee, mac & cheese, all kinds of seasonings, maple syrup, ketchup, and fresh local okra and peaches.

The Redbirds throw the first pitch at 7:05 tonight at AutoZone Park, with thowback prices of $2 beers and $1 Polk’s hot dogs. The Memphis Redbirds will take the field as the Memphis Chicks with throwback uniforms, and Chicks mascot Blooper will be there. College students with valid IDs can get $5 Bluff tickets tonight.

Don’t forget, Saturday is back-to-school backpack giveaway night at the Redbirds:

This is a fantastic time to go to a Redbirds game if you are a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Two key players for the Cards, Marcell Ozuna and Matt Carpenter, are playing for the Redbirds this week on rehab assignments.

Pop, rock and New Wave band The M-80s headline the Peabody rooftop party this evening. $10 to get in, $20 VIP. Admission includes a buffet of Sloppy Joes and assorted chips. Those in VIP get a second buffet of chicken sliders, beef sliders, steak fries, and a cheese display.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. will have its beers in more Shelby County locations soon. For their first five years of operation, Memphis Made self-distributed, starting with 6 locations and growing to 300. However, as head brewer Drew Barton described it, “it’s time to send our distribution off to college.” They are partnering with local distributor Ajax to expand their products’ reach within the county.

There’s finally some relief for the family of Christopher Phillips, a friend of many Downtowners who was killed in a hit-and-run in an Overton Square crosswalk two years ago. Joanna Goodfellow has been charged with aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, and driving while her license was suspended or revoked. She has also been charged with tampering with evidence. It has been claimed by people who knew the victim that after the accident, she hid her car among cars at a local dealership (note the last name).

This is very cool: A local teacher (and member of the Downtown poker community) was one of only 24 selected, out of more than 300 applicants, to attend the 2019 Air Force Robotics Academy. Krisma Smith mentors the robotics team at Marion Junior High School. She was flown to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio to receive mentoring training and to take a tour of the robotics facility.

It sickens me that the leaders of Congress won’t even consider a bill funding preventions against foreign powers interfering in US elections, even after it has been said by nearly every expert on the matter that such interference happened in 2016. We are rolling out the red carpet for Russia. It’s like Scar letting the hyenas live in the Pride Lands.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.