Monday update

OK, folks, buckle in, it’s rumor time. I heard a really interesting one this weekend. Let’s take a moment to talk about corporate restaurant chains and how they manage risk.

Starbucks loves to open stores, lots and lots of them, in dense urban areas with considerable foot traffic. However, not every such area is an ideal fit for a Starbucks. Opening a store, having it underperform for a couple of years, then shutting it down has a negative impact on the corporate bottom line. Starbucks likes to avoid such situations.

So, what corporate does is keep an eye on local coffee shops in those dense urban areas. If a local coffee shop proves successful for a period of a few years, then corporate has the proof it needs that a Starbucks location would work in that immediate area.

That’s believed to be why we have a Starbucks at Main and Monroe. Starbucks watched a coffee shop on that block of Main for several years and its success indicated that a Starbucks would thrive in a closely nearby location.

Now, in the case of Main and Monroe, Starbucks was able to establish a win-win with a local hotel – Starbucks got a location on one of Downtown’s prime corners, and the hotel got to advertise that guests could get their morning Starbucks fix without ever stepping outside.

What if such a win-win is not possible, though?

In that case, I’m told, Starbucks looks for a business within the immediate vicinity (like, a 2-minute or shorter walk away from the local coffee shop) that is willing to sell. They buy the business, shut it down, take over its lease, and open a new Starbucks location there.

I’m told that Starbucks is impressed with another local coffee shop and is searching for a location nearby and may have identified a space.

Have you heard what I’ve been hearing? Feel free to hit me up at or on social media and we can discuss.

The Grizzlies ended a 3-game losing streak with a 127-102 victory at Sacramento last night. The win came despite three players – Dillon Brooks, DeAnthony Melton, and Yves Pons – entering COVID health & safety protocols. Desmond Bane came through big with 28 points and John Konchar got his first start and double-double.

The Grizzlies remain in 4th place in the West and are avoiding play-in scenarios by 4 games, that being their lead over the 7th-place L.A. Lakers. The Grizzlies travel to Phoenix tonight for an 8 PM game with the Suns.

University of Memphis athletic director Laird Veatch put an exact number this weekend on how many players on the men’s basketball team are vaccinated: 11 (out of 17 on the roster). However, some of the 11 are redshirts and players out with injuries. Unvaccinated players have to enter COVID protocols, and therefore be unavailable to play, whenever one of their teammates tests positive for the virus.

Thinking back to my teaching days at the university… Oh, man, trying to schedule make-up exams during the age of COVID would be a nightmare. My sympathies to those instructing classes during the age of COVID – especially to my fellow math teachers, because it’s near impossible to give take-home exams in math classes.

The Liberty Bowl parade is on Beale Street today at 3. REMINDER: Ask how much a beer is before you order it. Some bars on Beale are known to implement enormous upcharges on event days. Under no circumstances should you be paying double-digits for a 32 oz. cup of domestic beer.

Interesting job listing I found this morning: Intelligence analyst for the state of Tennessee. You’d be analyzing data and following leads to help find missing children. Fulfilling and stimulating work but since it’s a government job the pay is kind of crap.

If you’re a fan of Memphis wrestling, you might want to make Jerry Lawler’s Bar & Grill on Beale Street your New Year’s Eve plan. “The King” himself will be there, as will “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart.

The Moxy Hotel will host a Midnight Memories New Year’s Eve party Friday. They’ll start off with drag queen bingo at 7, followed by a performance by singer Raheem Imam. Champagne toast at midnight.

That’s it for now. I’m going to get some writing done, explore the capabilities of my new HomePod Mini, then get out around noon.