Friday update

A woman was seen peeing outside Waterford Plaza this week. If you’re not on Nextdoor, this is the kind of vital information you’re not seeing from your neighbors. Better join now!

Happy Friday, everyone! Today is the day when many of us will miss out on the experience of jetting out of the office early to mid-afternoon in anticipation of the long holiday weekend.

This next item, I’ll title, “Just because you can do something, doesn’t make it a good idea.”

I was shown a Facebook post where the person posting said “looks like… a reunion soon” (implying, this weekend) and tagged approximately 20 other people. About five more commented and said that they want to come too.

Now, the Phase 2 Back-to-Business rules allow purposeful gatherings of up to 49 people, so legally, there is nothing wrong with their plan. But is it smart? Will all the people in this meetup have masks on? (Mine’s in the washer as I type this.) Will they practice social distancing, refraining from hugs and handshakes among those not in their immediate household? Will they refrain from taking a big group photo, as they are known to do?

Furthermore, will they put restaurant and bar staff in the uncomfortable position of having to play social police? I had a discussion with a Downtown bartender last Saturday about how much they hate this. If they tell a crowd of 25 people they need to disperse, that affects their tips. On the other hand, they’re aware that Code Enforcement is actively out, even on weekends, ensuring that the rules are being obeyed. Shelby County Health Directive 4, issued Monday, lists parameters for specific services and businesses. Page 9 lists parameters for restaurants and limited-service restaurants (many of the businesses we think of as “bars” are licensed as limited-service restaurants), and says that groups should be limited to no more than six people. Those of you who go out, please follow these rules voluntarily, rather than putting it on staff to enforce them.

Dr. Bruce Randolph, Shelby County health officer, in yesterday’s COVID-19 task force press conference, flat-out said that what we do this weekend will play a large part in determining when we move to the next level, meaning Phase 3 and eventually beyond.

Delayed gratification is the name of the game. We can have the Redbirds and Memphis 901 FC back this summer. We can have Music Fest and BBQ Fest this fall. We can have a full season of TIger football. We can have Cher in concert at FedExForum in September. We can have Shinedown and Willie Nelson at the Orpheum this fall. We can have live music at restaurants. But all of these things depend upon us making smart decisions now.

On to the news… want to stock up on sweet treats for the holiday weekend? The Peanut Shoppe can help with that.

Robusto by Havana Mix, the Downtown cigar bar featured on the TV show Bar Rescue, has a unique opportunity for the right person: They are looking to hire a Humidor Specialist. They want someone passionate about cigars, tobacco, and accessories who loves people and has previous sales experience.

Ghost River has some specials going on this weekend in the taproom: 6-packs for 20% off, and 32-ounce Crowlers for $8.

From Max’s Sports Bar:

We’re back! Starting today at 4:30, we will be open for patio and courtyard seating (no seating inside).
Our new temporary hours will be
Sunday – Thursday 4:30-11:00
Friday 4:30-12:00
Saturday 11:00-12:00
See you guys soon!

Smart move by Max to enlist the great outdoors as his ally in re-opening. There is plenty of space to socially distance and he has TVs on the patio to watch sports, if any are on.

Got two pieces of food truck news. First of all, I found out more info about that 117 Prime food truck. It will be all over the city the next several days, serving Philly cheesesteaks as well as chicken and vegetarian versions.

Several times now I have posted about delicious Lockdown Lunches and Quarantine Cuisine dinners by MK, which she has been making from scratch and delivering during the house arrest and beyond. Yesterday I saw her post something about a food truck and I asked her, “There’s going to be a food truck?” and she replied “YES!” This is great news and I’ll post details as I learn of them.

The Blind Bear is the latest place to return seats – well, half of them, spaced out – to its bar. Socially Distant Perjorie was excited to get to hang out with her buddy Tre again.

Memphis and Arkansas State already have a home-and-home scheduled for 2020-2023, and now they’ve added another:

High Ground News recently spoke to Volunteer Odyssey on how to help during a pandemic.

Sad news for beer fans:

That’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow or later today with more news.