Tuesday update

There are a lot of events coming up this weekend in Memphis as we wrap up the spring festival season.

Perhaps the biggest party is Memphis Italian Fest. It’s not Downtown, unfortunately; it’s out east at Marquette Park, at the corner of Park and Mt. Moriah. Hours are

  • Thursday, June 2: 4:00-11:00 PM
  • Friday, June 3: 11:00 AM-11:00 PM
  • Saturday, June 4: 11:00 AM-11:00 PM

This festival is a lot like BBQ Fest in that it’s a cooking competition, teams build private booths, and the festival is definitely more fun if you know people on teams and get invited to their booths. They have live music all three days, authentic Italian food by Italian Rebel and Pete & Sam’s that can be purchased by the public, cooking demos, other food vendors (including Pronto Pups), “Luigi Land” carnival area with rides and games, bocce, cornhole, volleyball, and a raffle for a 2022 Chevrolet Equinox LS.

The other big event coming up is Mid-South Pride 2022, celebrating the area’s LGBTQ+ community June 2-5. Activities include

  • A Drag & Drive at the Summer Drive-in Thursday, June 2 at 7 PM, showing To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar! Following the movie there will be a drag show.
  • The Big Gay Dance Party, Crosstown Theater, Friday, June 3 at 8 PM
  • Pride Festival, Robert Church Park, Saturday, June 4 from 10 AM to 5 PM
  • The Pride Parade, Beale Street, Saturday, June 4 at 1 PM
  • The Grand Marshal’s Drag Brunch, Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe on Beale Street, Sunday, June 5 at 11 AM

The Memphis Craft Food & Wine Festival is this Sunday at The Columns at One Commerce Square. Enjoy bite-sized tastes of local and regional artisanal food products paired with wine, beer, and cider. A VIP all-access ticket gets you tastes from 2 to 7 PM, while a general admission ticket buys you a 5 to 7 time window.

On a related note: Feast & Graze will have shortened hours this week as they prepare for the craft food & wine festival: 11 AM to 2 PM, with deliveries possible but limited. They have a CFWF10 coupon code you can use for $10 off festival tickets.

Magician Grant Freeman brings An R-Rated Magic Show to the Halloran Centre this Friday. Tickets are $28-$44.

Mouserocket and Ibex Clone play the River Series at Harbor Town Amphitheater Saturday, June 4.

Elmwood Cemetery will offer a mausoleum tour Saturday at noon. Mausoleums are above-ground burial tombs and there are nine on the cemetery grounds. $20. This is a 90-minute walking tour, so wear comfortable shoes.

The night before, at 8:15 Friday, Elmwood will show Casablanca in its Cemetery Cinema series. The TigerQue food truck and the Tipsy Tumbler beverage truck will be on site.

In this week’s Street Food column, the DM’s Chris Herrington presents his top finds at the Memphis Farmers Market (8 AM-1 PM Saturdays at Front & G.E. Patterson) and the Cooper-Young Farmers Market.

The DM has a look back at the Memphis Mushroom Festival that happened at Shelby Forest last weekend.

The NCAA baseball regional playoff brackets were announced yesterday.

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

Sunday update

Why we can’t have nice things in the Downtown core anymore

Yesterday I ran into a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a couple of months. She told me a story that saddened me, but really didn’t surprise me at all.

She and her husband had gone to a popular Downtown restaurant for Saturday brunch. The server came to take the order of the people at the next table over, a large group, and many of them ordered steaks cooked well-done.

The people at that table became agitated when food came out to other tables before their food came out. Again, they ordered steaks cooked well-done. That is going to take longer than a steak cooked medium-rare. The people at the table got extremely loud, as though they were trying to turn the entire restaurant into their audience.

Then they called the manager over and requested that their steaks be comped because they took so long to cook. The manager said he couldn’t do that, and they got even louder.

When they needed water, they didn’t flag down their server and say, “Excuse me, miss, could I get some more water?” They stood up, waved their glasses in the air, and yelled out, “WATER!”

Their behavior surely crushed their servers’ morale. It also ruined the normal pleasant, low-key brunch vibe for everyone dining in that area of the restaurant.

But they didn’t care about that. Nobody in the room mattered except their group.

Now, rude customers are not a new thing. Ever since I lived Downtown I’d see rude customers at weekend brunch once or twice a year…

… but since the pandemic restrictions were removed, it seems like I encounter rude customers at brunch every weekend.

Sometimes multiple groups of rude customers at brunch every weekend.

This is why some restaurants are discontinuing brunch. You know, the funny thing is, with autogratting turned on, it’s easily possible for a server to make $400 or more in tips on a Sunday brunch shift. But, many turn down a payday that lucrative because they can’t bear to subject themselves to that kind of abuse on a weekly basis. So some restaurants down here struggle to field a staff to work brunch shifts.

That is also why some restaurants put things like “No modifications | No remakes | No exchanges | No refunds” at the top of their brunch menus. Believe me, they don’t want to be that strict. But it’s the only way to head off ugly confrontations like the one I described above, confrontations that absolutely take the Fun out of Sunday Fun Day for employees and respectful, courteous customers.

I really don’t know what the solution is, other than to just accept that Sundays are not as fun as they used to be. If you have thoughts I’d be interested in hearing them. paul@paulryburn.com

On to the news…

The Flying Fish has got a deal going on this weekend (through Memorial Day). 4 pounds of crawfish, with corn and taters, for $25. Not that hungry? You can get 1 pound for $8.95 this weekend. The Fish’s crawfish aren’t quite as good as those from some of the pop-up boils around town – they apply the seasoning after the boil, rather than in the boil. But you can get them anytime the Fish is open, not just for a few hours on a particular day, and it’s late in the season so the mudbugs are huge.

Classic country/rock & roll fiddle band Hillbilly Mojo plays the Blind Bear from 6 to 9 this evening. It isn’t clear from the Facebook event listing whether the band will play on the patio or inside. I hope it’s inside.

You know…
I’m not a patio person
I’m not a dog person
I’m not a smoker
That makes me kind of a weirdo among the Downtown group.

Vintage 901 will have a boutique wine tasting on the grounds of the James Lee House at 690 Adams on Saturday, June 11 from 5 to 7. Wines and tapas with a Southern flair will be served. $75. Purchase tickets

Well, butter my biscuits, it’s National Biscuit Day.

Six people were shot in Downtown Chattanooga last night.

The Memphis Redbirds will host the Iowa Cubs in a 6:35 game tonight at AutoZone Park. There will be Memorial Day fireworks following the game. The ‘birds will wear Armed Forces Day hats tonight to honor our country’s heroes. If you come to the game hungry, a specialty ticket ($32 field box/$34 dugout) will get you an all-you-can-eat buffet of cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies, soft drinks, and water.

This coming week is the official celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee (70 years on the throne). It’ll be interesting to see if Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, try to make the celebration all about them.

That’s all the news for today. Heading to brunch at one of my usual locations in a bit. Memorial Day is usually a slow news day, but if there’s anything to report I’ll be back with a post.


Saturday update

Congratulations to Soul & Spirits brewery on North Main, which took home 9 awards at the Tennessee Championship of Beers recently:

  • Gold medal: Bring it Home Premium Lager
  • Gold medal: Smoke Stack Smoked Dark Lager
  • Gold medal: Hound Dog Hefeweizen
  • Silver medal: Spanish Harlem Copper Lager
  • Silver medal: Sour Finger Fruited IPA
  • Silver medal: Danke Oktoberfest
  • Silver medal: Morning Judge Double IPA
  • Silver medal: Cupid Chocolate Stout
  • Brewery of the Year

Soccer fans: The Brass Door will show the Champions League finals today at 2.

Nashville Voyager recently did an interview with South Main Sounds’ Mark Parsell.

There will be a block party in the South Main District today. The 5th annual Hoedown on Huling will run from noon to 10 PM and will feature a photo booth, a dunk tank, and cornhole. The Tacotitlan food truck will be there noon to 5 and the Pok Cha’s Egg Rolls truck 6 to 10. Bands:

  • 3:00: Amber Dunn
  • 4:30: Black Sea Flats
  • 6:00: Dynaflow
  • 8:00: Big Barton

Tech site MakeUseOf had a couple of good articles this week to help you audit your security.

SaborCaribe will be closed through Monday for the holiday weekend.

Feast & Graze at 55 S. Main has added maple herb walnuts to its collection of treats.

Insomnia Cookies has a deal going on through end of day May 31: Buy 12 Classic cookies and get 6 more for free.

Gizmodo explains why this is likely to be an unusually active hurricane season.

Reminder: Today is the grand opening of Sam Angel Original Arts, 10 S. Main St. Suite 100, 4 to 9 PM. Come view the work of artist Angela Samson while enjoying food and drinks.

Today is International Hamburger Day. Dyer’s, Earnestine & Hazel’s, Majestic Grille, Kooky Canuck, and Huey’s would be my recommendations to celebrate.

You can shop at Marketplace in Motion, an event hosted by Arrow Creative, at Loflin Yard today beginning at 11.

That’ll do it for today. I’m going to hit the usual brunch spots then head south to Hoedown on Huling. Back tomorrow.

Friday update

A specialty ticket to the Redbirds tonight ($21 field box/$24 dugout) gets you all-you-can-eat mac & cheese this evening, along with bacon bits, buffalo chicken, ham, broccoli, green onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, hot dogs, chips, soft drinks, and water. The Iowa Cubs are tonight’s opponents and the first pitch is set for 7:05.

El Mero Taco and Tastee Fruitee Smoothies will be the food trucks in Health Sciences Park today from 11:30 AM to 1 PM.

Elite Total Wellness will be closed Saturday through Monday for the Memorial Day weekend.

Lifehacker has a list of food deals you can get for the holiday weekend. They’re national chains, but there are a few on there Memphians might be interested in – Marco’s Pizza, Captain D’s, Taco Bell.

There’s a new food truck at the Memphis Farmers Market on Saturdays: Dynamic Duo. Their signature item is their Memphis AF Burrito which comes with Mol-e-Que sauce, smoked pork, scrambled eggs, smoked poblano, and fire-roasted corn. That sauce is made with 30 ingredients and is a combination of molé and barbecue sauce.

From Food & Wine: What’s the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink?

That’s it for now. Sorry this post is a bit late, but I had some other writing to do this morning. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

I’m now able to talk about a couple of things I’ve hinted at in this blog recently.

About two months ago I mentioned that Mud Island could expect some yumminess coming its way soon, from a name you already know. Jennifer Biggs of the Daily Memphian broke the news yesterday: Cocozza is coming to the former Movie & Pizza Co. space in Harbor Town. Cocozza is the “ghost restaurant” Patrick & Deni Reilly operated in the Majestic Grille space during the pandemic when restrictions made it cost-prohibitive to operate as the Majestic. It featured an Italian menu with red sauce as its centerpiece. The new restaurant will offer the original Cocozza menu plus some additions (veal parmesan!!!)

About a week ago, I posted that a popular Downtown nightspot was changing its closing time from 3 AM to 1 AM, and I said it would not be the last time I would report a restaurant in the Downtown core changing its hours. That has now been confirmed by the DM’s Biggs in the second piece of news she dropped in her article. The Majestic Grille’s Sunday brunch will come to an end Sunday, June 5. Effective June 13 they will offer lunch and dinner service Monday through Saturday and be closed on Sunday. From Biggs’ article:

After talking with (employees), it was clear that although Sunday brunch is profitable, it’s a stressful service that’s bad for morale, (co-owner Deni Reilly) said.

I’m rather ashamed to admit that I haven’t had brunch at the Majestic since the pandemic restrictions were lifted. However, the quote above is quite consistent with what I’ve observed at other Sunday brunches at businesses not far from the Majestic.

Memphis Chess Club is now offering free delivery on orders over $25. Now you have no excuse for not trying their hand-crafted pizzas. I’m thinking about stopping in there today and grabbing a pizza for lunch.

B.B. King’s, which had been closed for a few days due to a fire, announced yesterday that its doors are open.

Reason #12561 why Downtown is a cool place to be: I was at karaoke night at Blind Bear last night, and none other than our own Downtown Neighborhood Association president got on stage and performed “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. Excellent illustration of the fact that we have fun here. Cheers, Eli, you sounded great!

If you go to The Greyhound, the bar inside the Hilton Garden Inn on Union across from AutoZone Park, be sure to post a pic of your dish or cocktail and tag The Greyhound in your post. If you do that, or if you post a picture of yourself with Gerry the Greyhound (a small greyhound statue they have there) and tag it #greyhoundrevamped, you will receive a free dessert.

Hmmm… sounds like Gerry the Greyhound needs to meet Perjorie T. Roll.

The Brass Door will be welcoming the Irish Ambassador tonight at 6:00. Join him and give him a warm Memphis welcome.

Thumpdaddy headlines the Peabody rooftop party tonight.

On Thursday, August 12 at the Halloran Centre, Ted Torres Martin will present Aloha from Memphis, a unique remake of Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii in its 50th anniversary year. The performance will be part of 2022 Elvis Week festivities.

The Redbirds game last night was suspended due to weather and will resume tonight at 6:05 PM. Tonight’s regularly scheduled game will start no earlier than 7:05 and will be a 9-inning game. Gates open at 5:30. It’s Throwback Thursday presented by the greatest beer in the world, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Enjoy $2 PBRs and $1 hot dogs tonight.

There will be a referendum on the August ballot as to whether term limits should be extended to allow Memphis City Council members and the Memphis mayor a third term. I will be voting NO on that question. We do not need career politicians at the city government level.

From ABC 24: Downtown restaurant Curry N Jerk is still feeling the effects of the pandemic. Like many other restaurants in the Downtown core, it is having trouble finding people who are willing to work Sunday brunch.

Lane closures for new ramps in the I-55/Crump area will begin June 6.

The Edison Apartments near Jefferson and Danny Thomas caught on fire this morning.

Amber McCain Duo plays Live at the Tracks at Central Station Hotel tonight at 6:30.

That’s it for today’s post. Back tomorrow with more.

Wednesday update

Congratulations to the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant on making the All-NBA Second Team. He is the first Memphis player since Marc Gasol in 2015 to make an All-NBA team. If he makes All-NBA next year, he’ll be eligible for a supermax contract extension.

The Redbirds host the Iowa Cubs in a day game at 11:05 today.

Memphis International Airport is adding a nonstop flight to Cancun for the summer. Too bad Chandler Parsons isn’t still a Memphian, he’d be lovin’ that!

Memphis 901 FC has added more $1 tickets for its next home match on Saturday, June 4 against Atlanta United 2.

Weird: You can order an Oreo cookie/RITZ cracker mashup online starting tomorrow at 11 AM.

Tonight is the finale of Strangeways Wednesdays, a free party in the Edge District at Stop 345 from 5 to 7 PM.

  • Free food from Smoke & Ice and Luxx Events
  • Free drinks from Strangeways Cordials
  • Free wine from Rootstock Wine
  • DJs including a guest from across the Atlantic
  • After-party

GROSS: Miller Lite charcoal is a thing. No kidding, a reduction of that awful piss-water beer is used to coat the briquets. We now know what the members of the Squeal Street BBQ team will be grilling with on Memorial Day.

You could win a basketball autographed by the 2021-22 Memphis Grizzlies by supporting the Alzheimer’s Association. The ball and display case were donated by the Zepatos family, owners of Memphis’ oldest restaurant, The Arcade. Every $12 donation earns you one entry to win the ball and case, and you can donate $12 as many times as you like. Use this link to donate and enter. The final day to donate is June 1. There are other prizes as well including dinner for 4 at The Arcade.

The Broom Closet is looking for local artisan products to carry. They don’t do consignments, but instead they purchase artisans’ work for their stock. If you are interested, you can use the contact form on their website (please, no phone calls or walk-ins) to schedule an appointment.

The Renasant Convention Center is hiring a National Convention Center Sales Manager. The successful candidate will have 2 or more years in the hotel/convention industry, great organizational skills, and Microsoft Office proficiency. If interested, email your resume to sshaw@cushioncorp.com.

The Peanut Shoppe will be closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week for maintenance.

Have you wanted to volunteer in the community, but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Contact the Volunteer Experience Manager at Volunteer Odyssey and she’ll help you find your path. It boils down to three easy steps:

  1. A one-on-one “Exploration Meeting” to deep-dive into your interests and passions
  2. Following the meeting, the Volunteer Experience Manager will brainstorm which organizations best meet your needs, and she’ll send you a personalized Volunteer Match Sheet with the names of 4-5 nonprofits
  3. You choose whichever (or all) you’d like to work with, and the Volunteer Experience Manager will set it up

A part of Union Avenue in Downtown Memphis will be dedicated to legendary Memphis DJ Bobby O’Jay.

The DM reports that Shapiro Architects will move its headquarters to The Edge District at 435 Madison. They’ll occupy the third floor of the building, and staff will be able to walk downstairs and get a beer: The second Memphis Made taproom will open on the ground floor. Shapiro’s move brings 23 jobs to The Edge.

There will be a Downtown Memphis flea market Sunday, June 5 from 8 AM to 5 PM. It will be located at 115 Jackson (I believe that’d be the corner of Main) and admission will be $5.

Shelby Forest hosts a mushroom festival this weekend. There will be a lot more going on than just mushrooms – the festival is a celebration of nature. Yoga, cooking demos, education seminars, live music, face and body painting, vendors, and more.

Swing for Spring, a free community swing dance lesson by Cat’s Ballroom, happens this Saturday at 7 PM at Fourth Bluff Park.

There was a report of a carjacking last night at Monroe Avenue and B.B. King Blvd. A bright orange Jeep was reported taken.

Police Chief C.J. Davis gave an update to the City Council yesterday on her first year in office and plans for the next year. Good news for Downtown: She is adding another 30 officers to Entertainment District staffing.

That’s it for today. Better grab an umbrella if you go out this morning. Back tomorrow with more.

Tuesday update

WREG has a look at Big River Market, the new grocery that will open on Tennessee Street next month. Great news: They plan to stay open until midnight on the weekends, great for those who want to pick up a late-night snacky snack after a movie at Powerhouse or a few drinks down the street. They plan to have quality grab & go food, Bain BBQ, and locally-made products by food entrepreneurs.

There was a fire at B.B. King’s this past weekend. They are not yet sure if they are going to get open for Memorial Day weekend.

Scooters are going to be banned soon in Harbor Town. That neighborhood is a private community, so the streets there are considered private. The city will draw up a geo-fenced boundary and provide it to the scooter companies. Once the boundaries are implemented, e-scooters will power off when ridden within them.

Action News 5 reports that Arby’s is selling a burger for the first time ever. The Wagyu Steakhouse Burger is made with a combination of ground beef and Wagyu beef. It’ll be available through the end of July.

The Gray Canary will offer a Post-Trolley Night Happy Hour from 9 to 10 this Friday. Stop by after you browse the shops of South Main for late-night bites and drinks.

Curtis Givens’ All-White Affair will return to Mud Island River Park on July 16.

Photo album by the CA: Poor People’s Campaign marches through the streets of Downtown Memphis

Akina McKenzie, Andrea Benz, Jacob Church, Ted Horrell, and Jeff Hulett play the Trolley Night edition of Songwriter Night this Friday, May 27, at 7 PM at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main.

Edible Memphis has released its updated guide on what to see, do, and eat in 48 hours in Memphis.

South Point Grocery now has its own beer. The folks at Hi-Wire created easy-drinking beer Point Lager for the grocery store. Pick up a 6-pack of 16-ounce cans for $8.99.

From The Onion: Woman who doesn’t want to be hit on shouldn’t be hanging out at a bar taking drink orders

End of an era: New York City removed its last public pay phone yesterday.

The #JusticeForJohnnyDepp Twitter hashtag has been viewed more than 1000x more than the #IStandWithAmberHeard tag, by a score of 15 billion for Johnny to 8.2 million for Amber. This trial is of interest to me because Heard is suspected of having the covert form of narcissism. Some of the things she has said – e.g. “I’m not having this discussion” – are textbook narcissistic utterances.

Today is National Escargot Day. French bistro Bishop in Central Station Hotel has them, prepared with persillade, butter, country ham, and gizzards.

Congratulations to one of my favorites on earning a perfect grade! Max’s Sports Bar scored 100 on its health inspection last week.

You can now buy Mighty Mississippi River postage stamps.

The Memphis Fire Department unveiled its new Memphis Tigers-themed truck this week.

A 13-year-old St. Jude patient designed his own monster truck. The truck, featuring patient Calvin’s artwork, will be at the Monster Jam World Finals this week.

Grab the rain gear if you go out this afternoon. Rain is expected through Thursday morning, and there’s a small possibility of severe weather tonight and tomorrow. Flooding is also a possibility.

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

Monday update

South Point Grocery has expanded its hours. Effective yesterday, the grocery is open 8 AM to 9 PM, seven days a week, and the deli is open 11 AM to 7 PM, seven days a week.

I had an idea yesterday that I would pay a monthly subscription for: The How Busy Is It Cam. There are times when I’m considering a change of venue to a place like Blind Bear or Silly Goose or Bardog, but I wish I knew what it looked like inside:

  • If half the bar seats were open, I’d go right over.
  • If only one bar seat was open, but it was next to a friend of mine or an attractive female, I’d go right over.
  • If all the bar seats were taken, and unknown random customers were standing behind the occupied seats waiting to order drinks, I’d stay put where I was.

If I could look in on my phone and determine how crowded, that’d aid my decision. It’d also help bars keep consistently full. Someone needs to build this.

The National Civil Rights Museum launched a new exhibit this past weekend: Solidarity Now, a look at the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign. It’ll be on display through the end of July. Leaders of the modern Poor People’s Campaign are in town today and will head to Church Park on Beale Street, where they will discuss the needs of the poor.

From Fox 13: Planned improvements in public transit in Memphis will make 39% more jobs reachable in one hour or less. Percentages will go up even more for minority and low-income residents.

Paulette’s has some good entrees for its Monday night three-course dinner for $23.95 tonight: stuffed chicken and bang bang redfish. View full menu

Today’s Lucky Penny Day. In Memphis you can celebrate by telling a local university’s men’s head basketball coach you appreciate him.

In the news: Woman fires shots at club after being denied entry. It was a club on American Way, but thinking, “Was it Downtown?”, I clicked into the article to see the location. Prior to 2020 that thought never would have crossed my mind.

Yesterday almost turned out to be a day I’ve been dreading for five and a half years.

I headed down to Max’s Sports Bar at 11:30 for their final crawfish and shrimp boil of the season. The bartender announced the first batch would be ready at about 12:15. I went ahead and purchased a ticket for a pound of hot boiled shrimp. They’re less work to eat than the crawfish and a better value per pound.

The cook came in and announced, “Ready!” and I jumped out of my seat and shoved my phone in my pocket, and made a beeline to the back patio, getting the jump on everyone else inside who’d purchased crawfish and shrimp tickets. I hate waiting in line!

I reached in my pocket and pulled out my ticket for shrimp. I felt my phone in the pocket as well, and in the very bottom…

… a hole.

…. and not a troll.

After more than five years, it had happened. I had lost Perjorie T. Roll. My only hope was that she fell out on my way to the patio to get shrimp, and she was somewhere inside. But I felt it was much more likely she had fallen out somewhere on the sidewalk on Main, in which case she’d likely have been picked up before I could get back there to look.

Dejected, I walked with my box of shrimp back to my bar seat. I scanned the floor with my eyes as I walked back inside, but Perjorie was not on the floor.

I returned to my seat and put the shrimp box on the bar next to my beer…

…. and Perjorie. I had torn a hole in my pocket when I got up and shoved my phone in it. A kind soul had seen her on the floor, knew she was my troll, and returned her to me.

Disaster averted.

The shrimp were outstanding as were the corn, taters, and sausage. They had a side of pineapple cooked in the boil as well, but I turned it down for the same reason I never order pineapple on pizza. If you like what you see, too bad – you’ll have to wait for February 23 for another crawfish boil at Max’s.

That’s it for now. Got a friend’s birthday to celebrate today so I’m getting out early. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

Reminder! Today’s the last crawfish boil of the season at Max’s Sports Bar. I think they said they’re opening the doors at 11:30 today (five hours early on a Sunday) and the first batch should roll out around 12. You can get boiled shrimp if you prefer those to crawfish. Both come with corn, sausage, and taters.

Best attempt to get free food I’ve heard in a while: “Can I get another salad? The one I was eating blew away,” from a customer sitting on a patio, on a day when the winds were 20 mph gusting to 30.

The DM reports that there is a new pop-up restaurant, Flame MaLaTang, open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Monday, in the Viet Hoa Food Market at 40 N. Cleveland. Why am I reporting this in a Downtown blog? Because Groove on Demand has extended our idea of how far Downtown extends. For $1.25 each way (and your first 10 rides are free) you can hit the businesses of Crosstown without ever setting foot in a car that you own.

Note that Flame MaLaTang serves ONLY spicy dishes, which is great news for me, but may not be for you. You can customize the spicy Chinese soups, adding veggies, noodles, pork, fish, and shrimp. The same people who own Flame Ramen on Union own this business.

I have to admit that corn-on-the-cob is an interesting ingredient in soup… what do you do, pick it up out of the soup with your hands and eat it?

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID Week-in-Review. Note that adults 50 and up are eligible for a second booster, and kids 5-11 have been approved for a first booster. The trend of the numbers indicates June is gonna be bad COVID-wise in Shelby County.

Sign of the times: A popular bar in the Downtown core has moved back its closing time from 3 AM to 1 AM because the very-late-night crowd is so unruly. I do not expect this to be the last time I report a bar/restaurant is scaling back its hours for similar reasons. We can’t have nice things down here anymore.

There’s a Kayak Memphis Harbor Tour departing from the lower Mud Island boat ramp this morning at 11.

The Hyatt Centric is holding a pool party Saturday, May 28 from 11 AM to 4 PM. Your $75 ticket includes access to the only resort-style pool Downtown, a DJ, 2 drink tickets, and classic grilled food like burgers and hot dogs. This is a 21 and up affair. You can rent a cabana for up to 6 people for the party for $600.

Today is Bitcoin Pizza Day. 12 years ago today, someone paid 10,000 bitcoin for a pizza. If he’d gone hungry and held on to that bitcoin, today it would be worth about $300 million.

Elevation Memphis plays the Coach House Stage today at Loflin Yard at noon.

There will be a free bass fishing seminar at Bass Pro at the Pyramid Saturday at 10:30 AM. Expert Ryan will share his secrets including the best bait and the best rods.

That’s the news for today. Gonna go get me some boiled shrimp. Back tomorrow.

Saturday update

Congratulations to Memphis Grizzlies power forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. on being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for 2022. He edged out Miami’s Bam Adebayo in the voting for the final spot on the first team.

Uh-oh: Shelby County’s status for risk of COVID changed from Low to Medium this week. As of Saturday morning, Shelby is one of only two Tennesse counties not rated Low for risk.

The final event of Memphis in May, the Great American River Run, happens next Saturday, May 28. Unlike Music Fest and BBQ Fest, this event will remain Downtown, and there will be a half-marathon, 10K, and 5K, with $8500 in cash prizes for winners. Everyone who finishes gets a medal, a shirt, and admission to an after-party with food and beer.

Action News 5 reports that the DMC will keep Beale Street security in place all summer long. The security has been effective to the point that it is being studied by another large city, Milwaukee.

If you go out to eat or drink today, be extra kind to your server (and tip extra fat). It’s National Waiters and Waitresses Day.

Today is also World Whiskey Day. I haven’t been in there since it reopened this week, but pre-pandemic, Belle Tavern was THE place to go to sample whiskeys and whiskys of the world. It’s open today from 4 to 10.

Keep an eye on the weather if you have plans for the late afternoon or evening. Storms are expected and they will last into the early hours tomorrow.

Lots of families will be Downtown this weekend as the Cannon Center and the Renasant Convention Center host high school graduations.

It’s Family Fun Day at the Metal Museum 11 AM-2 PM today. Hands-on activities, metalsmithing demos, and food trucks.

There will be a Garden Walk through Elmwood Cemetery Sunday at 11. It’s sponsored by Midtown Nursery and is free to the public. You’ll get to meet the volunteer cradle gardeners of Elmwood. Eat at Eric’s food truck will be on hand as well as beverage cart Tipsy Tumbler.

Steve Lockwood & Old Dogs perform on the front porch of South Point Grocery today at noon. If you’re hungry or thirsty, you can grab a sandwich from the deli or a beer from the singles case.

There will be a Nature Walk departing from the pollinator pod at Riverside and Beale today at 4 PM. Ranger Allison will guide you through the flora and fauna along the riverside. This event helps you earn a River Quest stamp toward the Pollinator Party, Say Yes to Trees, or Birds on the Fly(way).

The Mid-South Baha’is are having a global conference entitled Building Vibrant Communities at the Renasant Convention Center today.

Ken Houston Duo plays The Vault tonight at 8.

That’s all for today. Despite the high being 92 I’m taking my PBR hoodie with me today so I’ll have something to cover my head if we have storms. Back tomorrow with more news.