Friday update

There is a lot going on tonight! Let’s have a look:

Tool brings their North American Tour to FedExForum tonight at 7:30.

Over at the Halloran Centre, Robert Moody and The Orchestra Unplugged will explore the evolution of music from the 9th century to modern times. Show starts at 7:30 and tickets are $35.

The semifinalists for the International Blues Challenge have been announced, and you can buy a wristband tonight to get into many clubs in and around Beale Street to hear them perform. Get your ticket for the finals tomorrow at noon at the Orpheum.

There will be a Youth Showcase of blues artists on Beale today 2:30 to 8 PM.

It’s South Main Trolley Night, with many of the shops in the South Main Arts District staying open until 9 or later. In addition to mingling with neighbors, some of the venues will offer live music, hors d’oeuvres, booze, and/or discounts.

Our Memphis Tigers will return to the national spotlight tomorrow, hosting a noon game vs. UConn that will be broadcast on CBS.

Seafood dealers say this crawfish season could be among the best ever. Don’t forget, there’s a boil at Max’s Sports Bar tomorrow, with the first batch coming out shortly after noon. Opening time is 11 if you want to grab a good seat to watch the UConn-Memphis game.

Jaren Jackson Jr. will be suspended for tonight’s Grizzlies game at New Orleans. He came off the bench in the Wednesday fight involving Jae Crowder. He did not enter the fight, but he got enough steps away from the bench that he met the NBA standard for the suspension. Marko Guduric will be suspended tonight as well. We will have to wait to see how Jaren matches up with Zion Williamson.

Bruce VanWyngarden has announced that he will soon retire as editor of the Memphis Flyer, although he will continue to write. Thanks for all you have done for Memphis over the years, Bruce. Enjoy some well-deserved time to yourself. I’m sure I will see you around on Twitter.

Congratulations to Feathers Spa at the Peabody. Spas of America recently released their list of top 100 spas, and Feathers came in at number 6. Feathers was the only spa in Tennessee to be listed. If you’re trying to figure out a Valentine’s Day gift, a Feathers gift certificate would be a good one.

Jennifer Biggs has a lunch at a Downtown restaurant featured in her $10 Deal this week: the soup and salad at McEwen’s.

The Memphis Flyer recently had a taste of the new wing sauces at the New Wing Order food truck.

That’s the news for now. Time to put in some hours at work and then the weekend begins. Back tomorrow.

Thursday update

Kooky Canuck is the place to be for lunch today. The Canadian participants in the International Blues Challenge will come together to perform in the Great Canadian Polar Bear Blues Showcase. The show starts at 11:30 AM. Get some poutine while you listen to the blues.

There’s another showcase going on at the same time, a Women in Blues showcase over at Alfred’s.

If late-night blues are more your thing, check out the Endless Blues Showcase at Blues City once the second day of IBC quarterfinals wrap up at 11 PM. There’s also a late-night Galaxie Showcase at B.B. King’s.

In other music-related news, Goner Records will host a pop-up sale today at Cafe Keough, 12 S. Main, from 2 to 5 this afternoon. Come check out their selection of blues and R&B records and get a coupon for their location in Cooper-Young.

The Grizzlies reached .500 last night with a road victory against the New York Knicks. They still hold eighth place in the West by 2 1/2 games, the San Antonio Spurs having won last night also. The team most likely to challenge Memphis for that final playoff berth, though, is not the Spurs, but rather the New Orleans Pelicans, currently 5 games back of Memphis. With #1 draft pick Zion Williamson having recently returned to the team, New Orleans is more dangerous than its record indicates. The Grizzlies take on the Pels in New Orleans tomorrow night at 7.

It’s Game Night at cigar bar Robusto by Havana Mix tonight. Jenga, spades, and dominoes will be on the menu.

This is the biggest indicator yet that the print media business is going the way of the dinosaur: Warren Buffet got out of the newspaper business this week.

A map of Uptown’s upcoming Snuff District was released by developers yesterday. In addition to new townhomes, the design includes a riverwalk extension, a new river park, and a promenade.

I really like MPD’s new strategy of fighting back against interstate shootings, road rage, and aggressive drivers. Instead of holding radar guns on the side of the road, they are going to drive in unmarked cars along with the flow of traffic. They’ll be on the lookout for drivers tailgating, passing on the shoulder, speeding excessively, and otherwise driving aggressively. Those are the people who make the interstate so dangerous, not the guy doing 63 in a 55.

Off to work. Afterward I plan to watch some of the impeachment hearings, which will be in their final day of Q&A before a vote is taken on whether to call witnesses. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Healthy 901 Festival will happen Saturday, April 18 from 10 AM to 3 PM in the Overton Square courtyard. It is free to attend and will feature the following:

  • Cooking demos by local chefs, who will give you plenty of tips on how to cook healthy
  • Free fitness classes all day long – try as many as you want
  • Local health experts will be on site to share tips: medical care, diet, personal care, fitness

Sounds like it’s worth a trip to Midtown! Mark that date on your calendar!

As part of International Blues Challenge week, Grammy nominee Janiva Magness will sign copies of her book Weeds Like Us today at the Blues Foundation headquarters on South Main from noon to 1. She will also do readings from the book and a Q & A.

There’s a Pacific Northwest Blues Showcase today at Club 152 beginning at 11:30 AM.

It’s the first of two wristband nights for the IBC quarterfinals tonight on Beale. Grab you a wristband and get entrance to over a dozen clubs and hear some of the world’s finest blues.

The Memphis Tigers play UCF on the road in Orlando tonight at 6 PM in what is a must-win game if the Tigers want to stay on the bubble. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The Memphis Grizzlies improved to 23-24 with a 104-96 win over Denver last night, pulling within one game of .500. That moves them into a 2 1/2 game lead over San Antonio for 8th place in the Western Conference standings. (Isn’t it nice that I don’t have to link to Tankathon to discuss the Grizzlies’ relevance in the standings this year?) The Grizzlies will have their chance to get to .500 tonight at Madison Square Garden, taking on the New York Knicks (13-35 and missing rookie sensation R.J. Barrett). Grizzly Bear Blues has  a game preview.

The Daily Memphian has a report on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company’s return to the Orpheum next month. The Orpheum’s current VP and COO. Dacquiri Baptiste, left the Ailey dance company to take her position at the theater and is happy to be reunited.

South Main Sounds will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a special show Friday, January 31 at 550 S. Main at 7 PM. Musicians will include Bree Ogden, Dan Montgomery, Andrew Ryan, Amy Jamison and Scott Southworth Music. Friday is also South Main Trolley Night so there will be plenty to do in the area.

The Memphis Flyer has a look at things to eat and drink at the Arrive Hotel at 477 S. Main. In the hotel you will find two bars, a bakery, and a coffee shop. The lobby bar, Bar Hustle, has a drink called Bird Graveyard. That is fantastic! (Instagram to the rescue if you don’t get the inside joke.)

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


Tuesday update

I learned a valuable life lesson yesterday. I got to work and realized I left my fob that I use to buzz into my apartment building at home. I had it on my keychain but after 17 years, it finally fell off and I’ve been too lazy to go by the office and get it replaced. So I ran back home (I live across the street from work, so it’s not a big deal to do that). I figured, it was no problem to get in without the fob – I’ll just call my own apartment number on the call box and use my phone to buzz myself in.

“Missed call,” my phone informed me, never ringing. “Hello, this is Paul. I’m not available right now, but if you’ll leave your name, number and a brief message I’ll call you back,” I heard from the call box speaker.

You may remember a few months ago I accepted the option to send calls from phone numbers not in my contacts straight to voice mail. AT&T offers it and I think other carriers do too. It’s wonderful. No more phone ringing 7 times a day from spammers who want to sell me a home warranty or tell me that my Social Security number has been “suspended.” But I forgot to add my own building’s call box to my contacts! Something to think about if you live or work in a controlled-access building.

Max’s Sports Bar is getting ready for its spring Tuesday night cornhole league. There are currently 4 spots for teams open out of 14, so if you want to enter a team get down to the bar ASAP and let them know. There will be specials for participants including

  • $4.24 Tito’s handmade vodka
  • $4.25 Jager
  • $12 buckets of Miller Lite

I guess the distributor has a deal with Max that Tito’s has to be cheaper than any other special.

In other Max’s Sports Bar news, they’re having the first crawfish boil of the season this Saturday, and Glaze Hardage and his team will be back doing the cooking. I have no problem saying Glaze has one of the BEST crawfish boils in town and you will not be disappointed if you are a crawfish lover. They have the perfect amount of spice, enough to make your eyes water a little as you eat, and they put corn, taters, and smoked sausage in the boil too. The first batch usually comes out a few minutes after noon. Get there early to get a seat (first boil of the season usually gets really crowded, no matter the weather) and tell Bjarni you want a box of crawfish as soon as they’re ready.

I discovered a restaurant Downtown that I did not know existed yesterday on Facebook. It’s called Downtown Soul, and it’s open 7-4 Monday-Friday, serving up daily soul food specials for lunch. Mmmm… neck bones on Thursday… may have to check that out this week. For those of you who are chitterling fans, they have them on Friday. The restaurant is at 200 Poplar Suite 105, an address that suggests it’s right across the street from Memphis’ most well-known address.

A permit has been filed for a truck called Axes on Axles to be parked outside 182 Beale, near Beale and B.B. King, today through Saturday. This is a truck where you can throw axes inside a closed trailer. Come check it out if you’re going to the International Blues Challenge that starts today, or even if you’re not.

There’s a bill in the Tennessee state legislature that would allowed tipped employees to earn minimum wage plus tips, as opposed to the current $2.13 an hour plus tips.

The Daily Memphian has a look at bracketology and where the Memphis Tigers stand in the hunt for an NCAA tournament seed following several losses this month. Sigh… this is not going to be fun, but we need to root for the Tennessee Vols for the remainder of the regular season, so Memphis’ road win against them will carry more weight. Visit for more analysis of the Tigers’ tournament chances.

The Grizzlies host the Denver Nuggets tonight at 7 at FedExForum. Around the league, San Antonio lost a third straight game, giving the Grizzlies a full 2-game cushion for 8th place in the West.

Edible Memphis has a great story about Comeback Coffee in The Pinch. I’m going to have to take the laptop up there one afternoon in the near future.

The Washington Times has a report on our senator Marsha Blackburn’s behavior during the Senate impeachment trial. At times she has been seen reading a book as the trial was ongoing, and at times she slips out of the chamber to schmooze with Fox News. This woman is an embarrassment to her state. There’s nothing wrong with being conservative, but represent your state well, as our other senator, Lamar Alexander, does.

That’s the news. Back tomorrow.

Monday update

A big THANK YOU to one of my Facebook friends for sending me the photo below, proving that the King’s Palace Cafe Tap Room was charging nearly $14 for a Big Ass PBR on College GameDay, November 2, 2019. (Click the image to see it in a larger size)

I’m not going to speculate whether they upcharged for the special event, or whether this was an every-day price. I don’t go there enough to know. Nor am I going to tell you, do or don’t go to the Tap Room. That is for you to decide. All I am going to do is point out that the Tap Room has been known to charge nearly $14 for the same amount of domestic beer you can get for $6 not far away.

Got news on a couple of service industry open positions. First of all, Cafe Keough is hiring and is willing to train. That’s a neat job because you’d be part barista and part bartender. Also, Keough does not stay open late at night so you wouldn’t be getting home at 3 AM. It’s at its busiest during morning coffee time and at lunch. Cafe Keough is located in the ground floor of the Number 10 Main apartments.

Secondly, The Nine is hiring servers. This is the Thai restaurant on Union just west of Huey’s.

I went to the Silly Goose yesterday to hang out at B-RAD’s bar, and discovered that Dylan had been experimenting with sandwiches in the wood-fired pizza oven. He brought out a sample for Perjorie T. Roll to try.

This is the “Bitch, Please,” named for Tony, one of Brad’s Sunday regulars. It has Calabrese, pepperoni, mozzarella, house pickled peppers, olives, and mayo. Damn was it good! The potential of that wood-fired oven seems practically unlimited. They plan on doing some experimentation with pasta too.

The Grizzlies won their last two and the Spurs lost their last two, giving the Grizzlies a game and a half margin for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Full standings

The Daily Memphian has a really good piece on the history of the Bluff Walk, now beloved by Memphians but at one point a controversial proposal.

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

Sunday update: International Blues Challenge week

The International Blues Challenge returns to Beale Street this week. Hundreds of blues solo acts, duos, and bands will be in Memphis, hoping to win the competition, get signed to record labels, and network with people in their industry. Some of the best blues music in the world will be on or around Beale for five consecutive days.

The action kicks off Tuesday night with the International Showcases. The international night has been described as “the sleeper of IBC,” the night many people miss because they haven’t arrived in town yet. This is the night to hear people’s interpretations of the blues from around the continents.

Wednesday and Thursday are the quarterfinals. Buy a wristband and get access to all the blues you want in the clubs on Beale Street. Acts play quick sets so there is plenty of time to pick and choose.

Friday you can buy a wristband to the semifinals on Beale Street, and again hear multiple acts in multiple clubs. The finals are Saturday at noon at the Orpheum.

One other event I want to point out is the Canadian Polar Bear Blues Showcase at Kooky Canuck Thursday starting at 11:30 AM. Canadian blues musicians in town for IBC will perform. This is always a fun event and you can get some good Canadian dishes like poutine, maple flank steak, and the Yonge Street burger.

Complete schedule here. Some of the best music you will ever hear is right down the street, so don’t miss out.

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


Saturday update

Well, I messed up. I had a news post ready to go yesterday morning, and I did everything except hit the Publish button.  When you get done reading this post, keep scrolling for day-old news.

Save the date: On Saturday, April 18 from 3 to 7 PM, Wiseacre Brewing Co. will hold their annual Taste the Rarity event. Described as a “weird beer fest for weird people,” this festival will have tastings from different breweries, live music, and food trucks. More details to come, but this is known to be one of the best brewery taproom events in the city, so go ahead and mark that date on your calendar. As soon as the link to buy tickets goes live, I will post it.

The Grizzlies got back to their winning ways last night in Detroit. At 21-24, they are still in 8th place in the Western Conference, holding off San Antonio by half a game. The Grizz are back home tomorrow, Sunday, January 26, with a 5 PM game against the Phoenix Suns. Be one of the first 10,000 in attendance and score a free Grizzlies rally flag.

As for Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers, they will host SMU in a Coaches vs. Cancer Game today at FedExForum at 3. They are looking to get back on track after this week’s blowout loss to Tulsa. Another loss and the Tigers will be on the NCAA bubble. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.

River Time Market & Deli on Court Square has introduced a new sandwich, The Fourth Bluff.

It’s a roast beef sandwich topped with American cheese, pickles, red onion, and lettuce, with Thousand Island dressing. Think of it as a deli version of a Big Mac. I’m gonna have to give that a try next week.

The Yazoo concert series continues tonight in The Lounge in the Basement of 3rd & Court Diner with Outer Ring and Nettie Parr. Enjoy soulful jazz and Yazoo beer specials.

Bleacher Report has an update on the Andre Iguodala trade wars. It’s too bad that Iggy does not want to play for Memphis now that they are emerging as a possible playoff team, but it’s understandable that he wants to chase one more ring.

Yesterday I took advantage of the Silly Goose’s $10 happy hour pizza special to try one more of the new pizzas on the menu. This is the Fungus Amoungus.

This pie is a celebration of all things mushrooms. It’s topped with a mushroom medley, duxelles, bacon, herbs, and truffle oil.

(On a side note, I used the memory helper “there’s a fundus amundus” to remember one of the parts of the stomach in 12th grade AP Biology class.)

Mushrooms are a polarizing pizza topping – maybe not so much as pineapple, but most people either love them or hate them. I love mushrooms on pizza, so this was fine with me. Delicious, probably my third favorite on the menu after the Louisiana Saturday Night and the pesto shrimp pizza. (Sorry, Big Cheese, you’ve been bumped down to fourth.) But DAMN did it ever give me indigestion! I got in bed at 11:30 and it took me until 1 to get to sleep, then I woke up at 3 and still had it. I even felt it a bit when I rolled out of bed this morning, and had to make a Walgreens run for an emergency Mountain Dew to get me feeling better.

Between losing packages and putting mail in the wrong boxes, the U.S. Postal Service found time to create a St. Jude Forever Stamp.

Animal lovers: There’s a lattes for lorises event going on at Tamp & Tap until 3 today.

Royal Rumble predictions

Tomorrow is the Royal Rumble, the second biggest WWE pay-per-view of the year. The highlights of this pay-per-view are 30-man and 30-women battle royals, the winner of each getting a shot at the champion of their choice at WrestleMania. This year is unusual in that the WWE World Champion, Brock Lesnar, has chosen to enter the men’s Rumble at the number 1 spot to prove his dominance.

Men’s Rumble prediction: Drew McIntyre will eliminate Lesnar, turning face (good guy) in the process. However, McIntyre himself will be eliminated. The winner will be Tomasso Ciampa, who will raise the perception of the NXT brand by challenging its champion, Adam Cole, rather than challenging Lesnar or The Fiend, the Raw and Smackdown champions. With Lesnar coming out of the Rumble without a WrestleMania opponent, McIntyre will be built up for a title match.

For the Iron Man of the Rumble, who lasts the longest and scores the most eliminations, my pick is NXT UK champion WALTER.

Women’s Rumble prediction: Ronda Rousey will make a surprise comeback and win the Rumble. The only question is, will she come back as a face or a heel? If she’s a face, she will challenge Smackdown women’s champ Bayley. If a heel, she will challenge Raw champ Becky Lynch.

Universal Title match: The Fiend will beat Daniel Bryan in some nefarious way (lights going out, someone crawling up into the ring through a hole, etc.) Bryan will offer to put his career on the line for one more title match at WrestleMania.

That’s it for now. Keep scrolling to read the Friday news I forgot to publish. Back tomorrow with more.

Friday update

(Saturday, Jan. 25: Well crap I forgot to hit Publish before I left for work.)

The city of Memphis has announced that from Monday, January 27 to Monday, February 10, Beale Street between Front and Riverside will be closed daily from 9 AM to 4 PM. This closure will allow for sewer infrastructure to be installed for the One Beale project. Note that those of you who work 8 to 5 schedules will not have your commutes affected.

Blue cheese lovers, don’t forget that Wiseacre’s Bleus, Blues, and Brews pairing event is tomorrow. $20 gets you a whole lot of cheese samples paired with some of Wiseacre’s “weirdest and wildest” beers, live blues music, and a mini-tour of the brewery. They will also talk about fermentation’s role in making both beer and blue cheese.

In the next couple of days I’ll have a link to another upcoming Wiseacre event… for now, I am trying to gather additional info on that one… even though Wiseacre events currently involve a Lyft or Uber to Broad Avenue, remember, you are supporting a future Downtown business. Same goes for when you Lyft or Uber to Cooper-Young to support Memphis Made.

Last night I was watching one of the sports channels, and they said that the odds of New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson winning NBA Rookie of the Year dropped form 16-1 to 8-1 after Wednesday night’s debut. Fear not, though, Grizzlies fans: Oddsmakers still have Ja Morant as the ROY favorite at -700. If I’m doing the math right, that means they think there’s a seven-eighths chance Morant will win the award, a one-ninth chance Williamson will win, and a one-in-72 chance the award will go to someone else.

Redevelopment of Handy Park is underway, the Tri-State Defender reports. Good to hear! That open-air park, at Beale and B.B. King right at the center of Beale Street’s entertainment district, has so much untapped potential. The article notes that the Downtown Memphis Commission has recently raised its percentage of contracts awarded to businesses owned by women and minorities from 20 to 25 percent. That’s good to hear as well.

The Lounge, in the underground bar in the building that also houses 3rd and Court Diner and the Indigo Hotel, now has its own Facebook page. Tonight The Lounge has Funk Friday with drink specials and live funk music by the A-440 Band. Next Thursday Yazoo Brewery presents LAPD playing funk and soul as part of the brewery’s Concert Series. There will be drink specials that night as well.

Congratulations to Don Estes on winning Longshot’s first-ever shuffleboard league, going completely undefeated. Don was one of the first people to see potential in South Main many years ago. Haven’t been to Longshot yet? It’s in the Arrive Hotel building in 477 S. Main, with the entrance around the corner on Butler. Great food, five shuffleboard tables.

I know I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating: Chris Herrington’s weekly Grizzlies mailbag alone is worth the price of a $7/month subscription to The Daily Memphian.

Got a couple of pieces of Silly Goose news:

  1. Jessica tells me she’s close to talking the kitchen into doing an alternate cauliflower crust for their wood-fired pizzas. It has been requested several times and would allow for a gluten-free option.
  2. Come by there this weekend hungry for a special culinary treat.

Garry Goin Presents Road to Memphis at the Halloran Centre tonight. Tickets are $35.

Trolley Stop Market is in the final days of selling all its restaurant equipment. Everything must go, they say, and all offers will be considered. Give them a call at 870-815-9519 to find out what’s available, or come by Trolley Stop Saturday 1/25 1:30-5:00 PM or Monday 1/27 9 AM to 3 PM.

Eric Hughes Trio plays the Blind Bear tonight, 10 PM.

Devil Train plays bluegrass jazz jams tonight at Loflin Yard, 10 PM.

Tin Roof has a Resolution Ruiner Party tonight. Come try their decadent new Moon Pie Split dessert with banana pudding, butter pecan ice cream topped with bourbon caramel and chocolate syrup. Andrew Cabigao Trio kicks off the live music, followed by Chad Bearden and a special guest. DJ Epic spins in the Green Room.

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

Club Six-1-Six sold, a food rumor, and more Thursday news

As a former patron of legendary 1990s night spot Club Six-1-Six, and as your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, I am excited to link you to this Daily Memphian article saying that the complex of buildings that made up the nightclub has been sold. The new owners have already redeveloped other properties in The Edge. They are said to be excited about the future of the live-work-play potential of the neighborhood. The nightclub complex consists of four properties.

  • 598 Marshall. In Six-1-Six’s heyday this was a live music venue.
  • 600 Marshall. This was the main dance club.
  • 616 Marshall. This was Six-1-Six’s pool room. It shared a kitchen with 600 Marshall.
  • 631 Madison. This was “The Dungeon,” a smaller dance club accessible from 600 Marshall through a staircase.

Those buildings have all kinds of potential, and not just in their former role as a nightclub. I noticed that a Memphis chef I follow on Facebook seemed particularly excited about the sale, and seemed to have advance knowledge that it would happen. I wonder if that is a harbinger of things to come.

I knew there had to be one out there somewhere on the Internet… The Impeachment Drinking Game

Two places on Second Street where you can get steak are Texas de Brazil and Kooky Canuck. I heard a rumor yesterday that there might soon be another place on Second where folks can get steak, although not on the same block. If it happens, it would not be the first restaurant under its name in Memphis.

Even more Edge District news from your number-one source… this Saturday Evelyn & Olive will host Reggae Live beginning at 6:30 PM. All genres will be represented.

Bleacher Report released its NBA mid-season awards this week. If the season ended today, find out who they would name the Rookie of the Year.

The developers of the Snuff District have announced that the public will retain access to the Wolf River Harbor in that area, and intend to build a pedestrian path near where Keel dead-ends, providing river access.

Food truck New Wing Order is taking advance orders for wings for people throwing watch parties for the NFL championship game February 2. The deals include

  • 50 wings for $45 ($5 off)
  • 100 wings for $90 ($10 off)
  • 150 wings for $135 ($15 off)
  • 12 buffalo chicken tacos for $40 ($8 off)
  • 12 avocado tacos for $50 ($10 0ff)

Contact them at the New Wing Order website before February 2 to place your order. Orders can be picked up the day of the game at Redeemer Baptist Fellowship (5340 Quince) or for a fee, they can deliver.

Boozy gummy bears, a candy the Moody Ques BBQ team is all too familiar with, are in the news. Haribo, creator of gummy bears, has sued to block a Spanish startup from selling an alcoholic version of the product.

That’s the news for today. Already working on tomorrow’s post. See you then.