Friday update

Pontotoc Lounge at 314 S. Main announced a dinner special for this weekend: fried catfish tacos with jicama-corn salsa and cilantro-lime creme. It’s a perfect dish for date night, and your expert bartenders can recommend a cocktail or a glass of wine to pair with the dish.

Save the date: Bardog Tavern will have its 12th birthday celebration Wednesday, September 16 from 6:30 to 10 PM.

Much of Downtown lost power for a second time Thursday evening, forcing many restaurants to close. At fault was an underground network fire at Second and Gayoso that damaged MLGW equipment. As of early Friday, most customers have had their power restored.

Skating is back on the riverfront and there are free skate rentals at Beale Street Landing tonight 6:00-8:30.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, I would encourage all of you to check out Commerical Appeal food writer Jennifer Chandler’s review of Edge Alley.

1989 movie Harlem Nights will be shown on the big screen tonight at the Orpheum with socially distanced general admission seating. Pick a seating area to accommodate the size of your group (6 or fewer). $8 adults, $6 children under 6 but the movie is rated R so you might want to think about not taking the kids.

The Memphis Flyer has a very helpful frequently asked questions about voting in the November 3 election. If you can’t wait until the Third to flush the turd, early voting begins October 14.

Memphis 901 FC picked up a road win in North Carolina last night. The playoffs still look unlikely with only five matches remaining to catch up 8 points. Next match is Sunday at North Carolina FC, 5 PM.

Two Millington men have been charged with repeatedly targeting a homeless man with abuse in Downtown Memphis, allegedly shooting fire extinguishers and throwing rocks at him on multiple occasions. Since those men like coming Downtown so much, I hope the courts reserve a room with all the amenities for them at 201. Dropped the soap, I’ll get it!

A pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle at North Main and A.W. Willis last night.

Jon Mullins & Ryan Clark play Dinner & Tunes this evening at Tin Roof.

And now it’s time for what we’ve all been waiting for…

Thursday 9/10 COVID-19 press conference recap

Programming note: From now on, I’m only going to do same-day recaps of these task force press conferences if there is significant news about reopening limited-service restaurants or lifting the stupid restrictions on full-service restaurants. Otherwise, I will roll the recap into the next morning’s post.

Health Department Deputy Director David Sweat says there is broad availability of testing right now, with up to 9500 available slots per week. Therefore, anyone who feels as though they should be tested should not hesitate to avail themselves of community testing sites.

Sweat offered the following about trends in the spread of COVID-19 within Shelby County: Inside the I-240 loop transmission is decreasing, but when you go eastward and northward out toward the ‘burbs the opposite is happening.

Sweat said the biggest concern as we pass the 6-month milestone of the first positive test in the county is that complacency or fatigue will set in. We have to stay the course to beat this disease.

Sweat was asked about the city of Los Angeles’ announcement that trick-or-treating will be canceled for Halloween this year, and if such an announcement was possible for Shelby County. Sweat said he did not anticipate anything of the sort. He did say that there will be communication packets distributed to parents, as well as to organizations that might choose to host Halloween or fall celebration parties.

County health officer Dr. Bruce Randolph was asked if he had heard any word about Shelby County Schools resuming contact sports. He said the health department had not been in contact with SCSD about the matter, but it is still the department’s position that contact sports are high-risk at this time.

Doug McGowen, city COO, and Dorcas Young-Griffin, director of the Division of Community Services for Shelby County, offered resources to those in need of financial assistance because of the pandemic.

Assistance for individuals:

  • MIFA offers grants of up to $800 to assist with rent, mortgage, and utility expenses
  • Welcome to Memphis offers up to $300 for those in the hospitality industry who lost work
  • ArtsMemphis offers Artist Emergency Fund grants of up to $1000
  • can offer assistance with rent payments. Young-Griffin cautioned that although evictions will not proceed (where tenants have income of $99K or less and have notified their landlord), rent and fees will still pile up and will still be there at the beginning of 2021.
  • MLGW moratorium ends Monday. You’re encouraged to call 901-544-6549 and work out a plan. If you can give them a partial payment or work out something monthly, they want to work with you.
  • If you need help with utility payments beyond working out payment, contact the Shelby County Community Services Agency or MIFA.
  • The State of Tennessee emotional support hotline can connect you with a counselor 24/7: 1-844-507-0144

For businesses, the City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance offers grants of $10K-$25K through its Small Business Stabilization Program.

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