Friday update: Food news, Grizzlies, COVID-19 numbers

Got a couple of culinary additions to the Downtown landscape to start off this post. No new restaurants opened, but a couple of existing restaurants have expanded in most delicious ways.

Rumba Room on South Main just south of Pontotoc is no doubt hurting. Social distancing has nixed their popular salsa dance nights on the weekends for several months now. So, they decided to try to bring in some revenue a different way, by offering lunch – a Guatemalan menu. A copy of the menu was posted to Facebook yesterday. On it were

  • Two Guatemalan sandwiches, the Del Campo and the Shuco
  • A chorizo chimichurri burger
  • Chicken chilaquiles
  • Fried chicken sandwich
  • Vegetarian wings
  • Chicken shish kabobs
  • A 3 taco flight (grilled chicken, adobo pork, churrasco)
  • A shuco BLT sandwich
  • Grilled chicken or fish with grilled yams, rice, cucumber salad
  • Rumba salad
  • Chicken, beef, or pork tacos

Anyone want to do a late lunch next week and meet up? The hours were not printed on the menu I saw.

From River Time Market & Deli on Court Square:

I got the baking bug! River Time’s 6 inch Mini Pies! $6.99 – Banana Pudding Pies, Cherry Pies, Peach Pies, Apple, & Chocolate. I will start taking orders on Monday or just come by the Deli on Monday and take a look at our selection in the store.

One more Downtown food announcement, this one from 117 Prime steakhouse on Union:

New to the menu!
Cioppino | mussels, clams, crabs, whitefish, tomato broth, capers, grilled bread
This classic seafood stew has its humble origins in late 19th century San Francisco. The poor Italian-American fishermen there would sometimes come back from a hard day of work empty-handed, and they would rely on the charity of their neighbors to help “chip in” whatever they could spare for a community pot of seafood stew. The same charity would be extended to any other fishermen who had empty nets at the end of the day. That spirit of community and humanity is something that strikes a chord with us now more than ever, and we infuse every bowl of this American classic with that same love and care.
Call us at 901.433.9851 or visit our website at to book a table. We can’t wait to see you!

Let’s get on to sports news… the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the Grizzlies’ final seeding game yesterday, qualifying for a spot in the Western Conference play-in series for the NBA playoffs. Unfortunately the Portland Trail Blazers won their game too. Portland will therefore be the 8 seed and Memphis the 9. Memphis will have to beat Portland both Saturday and Sunday to steal their 8th seed and face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. If the Trail Blazers win either Saturday’s game or (if necessary) Sunday’s, they advance.

The Grizzlies made their 8th and-one (made free throw following a shooting foul on a made basket) of the seeding games yesterday, which qualifies app users for a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich. Check your app for details. The announcers said you had 24 hours to score your sandwich. Tip-off of the game was 3 PM yesterday, so the clock is ticking from some time after there.

NCAA president Mark Emmert has said there will be no fall championships in college sports this year, and that includes football. Bad news for Bama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU, Baylor and other teams that are perennially in the conversation for one of the 4-team playoff slots.

Wonder of wonders, the graphs on the Shelby County COVID-19 data page are working this morning, and there are a couple of key points:

  • The seven-day moving average of number of new cases (third graph from the top) is down to 222. That’s only 42 above the the requirement to open the bars, at 180. It’s down from a high of 405 a month and a day ago. The daily average number of new cases, by date of testing, has been cut nearly a half in one month.
  • The seven-day rolling positivity rate (fifth graph from the top) peaked at 16.3% June 18-20, was still at 16% as recently as July 30, and was still as high as 15.3% four days ago. Since then it has dropped to 14.6%, to 13.9%, to 13.6%. The Health Department needs to see 10% or less to open the bars, so as is the case when the boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there’s beer in Texarkana, we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there. However, getting there looks a lot more possible than it did at the beginning of the week.

Best pandemic DJ name: DJ DanceAlone. He’ll give a streaming performance from Health Sciences Park today from noon to 1.

The fairgrounds will be reimagined as Liberty Park with hotels and a sports complex.

That’s it for now. Keep scrolling if you haven’t read the recap of yesterday’s COVID-19 task force press conference. Back tomorrow with more news.