Thanksgiving Day update

Gobble gobble! Here’s a list of what places will be open after you get done dining on turkey. Beale Street:

As for the Downtown core hotspots, Flying Saucer opens at 5, Blind Bear at 6, Silly Goose at 7. I haven’t confirmed this but Bardog usually opens at 5 on Thanksgiving and serves a Thanksgiving dinner special. Brass Door is closed today.

By the way, Brass Door has an item on its bar menu called “Irish Nachos.” Hand cut fries covered with beer braised onions, corned beef, and cheese dip. Yum!!! I must try those soon.

Got beer news from a couple of great Memphis breweries. Ghost River will have a release party/retirement party Saturday, December 2 from 5 to 10 PM. SMASH Test Dummy is a Double IPA and Dummy’s daddy Mike, the beer’s brewer, is retiring. Just one more of many reasons for Downtowners to celebrate the first weekend of December!

Chocolatier Phillip Ashley takes over the Wiseacre taproom this Saturday 2-5 PM. For the past year he has been collaborating with the Wiseacre brewers on Charlemayne, a barrel aged Belgian Stout with Peruvian cocoa ribs and orange zest. This week Wiseacre returned the collaboration favor, going to Phillip Ashley’s place and experimenting with cocoa butter, melted chocolate, caramel, cream, brandy and beer to come up with a batch of super fancy chocolates. Both the beer and the chocolates will be for sale at the taproom on Saturday.

The Madison Hotel will be laying off over 30 workers in January. It will temporarily close its restaurants eighty3 and Twilight Sky Terrace for improvements. The hotel itself will remain operational through this period.

Statistic site FiveThirtyEight says this Saturday’s Iron Bowl matchup between Auburn and Alabama could be their biggest game ever. There are playoff implications for both schools and for Georgia. I am rooting for Alabama to clobber Auburn Saturday, and it’s not because I’m a huge Tide fan or have anything against the Tigers. However, if Auburn misses the SEC championship and the CFB playoffs, Arkansas is more likely to woo Auburn coach Gus Malzahn away to Fayetteville.

Lifehacker suggests that you should get drunk and cause a scene today at family Thanksgiving. Someone’s going to do it, might as well be you, and as they point out, if you strike first then you get to set the tone and tactics.

Vanity Fair has an exclusive on the intelligence President Trump let slip in a May 10 meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak. The intel was passed to the U.S. by Israel, and no doubt once it was shared with the Russians, it made its way to Iran, Israel’s sworn enemy. Hurry up, Mueller… we have got to get this narcissistic, sociopathic kook out of office soon.

Getting some housecleaning done as I wait for a Friendsgiving event that starts at 5… looks like the cherry pie is going to make it there after all. I’m off tomorrow and you know what that means – BARDOG BARDOG BARDOG. They’re going to see a lot of me the next two weeks, as I am extending Celebration Weekend next weekend through Tuesday, December 5. That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow if there’s enough news for a post.

She’s my cherry pie, cool drink of water such a sweet surprise…

This morning I got to Horn Lake a bit early and picked up a really nice-looking cherry pie for a Friendsgiving event tomorrow. All morning I’ve been thinking about that pie. Mmmm… all I have to do is walk outside and open my trunk to get it.

If I show up to Friendsgiving tomorrow with bottled water as my contribution, you know what happened to the pie.

Sunrise Memphis will open at 670 Jefferson in the old Neely’s space on Monday. Foods like sausage, bacon, grits, pancakes and hashbrowns are expected to be featured. A Bi Bim Breakfast appears to be slated for the menu as well. There will be a grab & go case, and a jukebox with classic tunes has been added to the space. “Like” Sunrise on Facebook for news and updates.

The monthly Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting will happen at The Arcade Restaurant next Tuesday, November 28 with social at 6:00 and meeting at 6:30. The theme will be “The Latest Grit ‘n Grind News” and the speaker will be Jason Wexler, President of Business Operations, Memphis Grizzlies. Wexler is responsible for all aspects of the business behind the team. Come hear Grizzlies news and updates on improvements to FedExForum, followed by a high-energy Q&A. Appetizers by The Arcade and a cash bar. Free for DNA members, $10 for non-members.

Grizzlies 6-game Holiday Packs go on sale today. Games in the packs include the MLK Day game with the Lakers and a game vs. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Recipients of the packs will get, in addition to tickets to the six games, a Grizzlies scarf and a $10 Bass Pro gift card. Five seating options are available, ranging from $15 to $99 a game.

Chip Kelly has turned down the Tennessee head football coaching job. No reasonable person would want to be in charge of that dumpster fire of a program. I’m thinking about going down to Max’s Sports Bar on Saturday to root for Vanderbilt to hand the Vols an 8th straight SEC loss. Maybe Vol fans will decide to stop associating with losers and then the Vols will have no fans… nah that’ll never happen.

Not a whole lot of news today, pretty normal for the day before Thanksgiving. I’m out of work early this afternoon and I plan on staying out late. Happy Thanksgiving, just in case I don’t find sufficient news to report tomorrow.

Tuesday update

A City Council member is introducing an ordinance that would allow people to walk down Main Street, from A.W. Willis to G.E. Patterson, with a drink in their hand. Hmmm. Interesting idea but I’m not sure how I feel about it. As the people at the Arcade said in the news story, I worry that it would change the relaxed character of Main Street. I can handle my neighborhood turning into Amateur Night on New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, and Music Fest, but not year ’round.

The Memphis Flyer and Memphis Business Journal have articles on the new food hall at 409 South Main. It is already open and is having its grand opening Saturday, December 2. It will contain seven restaurant and cafe concepts. I went to a similar food hall in Little Rock earlier this year and have become a big fan of food halls. The grand opening is yet one more reason to celebrate the first weekend of December!

Here’s a today-only deal at Pyramid Liquor on A.W. Willis:

Those hot chips are gooood. Better have a cold drink handy though. You will need it!

Holly has a list of places open on Thanksgiving in Memphis.

Insider tip I got this past weekend: The mussels at the Brass Door are really good. You get a big portion for your money and they come with a cream wine sauce and Irish bread for dipping.

If you love to listen to the Chris Vernon Show, you can now watch it as well, live at noon. You can either watch on the Grizzlies website or watch on the Grizzlies mobile app.

Downtown Memphians, Black Friday is your opportunity to see the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ affiliated developmental league team, without getting in your car. The Hustle normally call Southaven’s Landers Center home, but Friday they will play a home game at FedExForum at 7.

Also on Black Friday, 2018 Memphis in May Beale Street Music Fest passes go on sale. A limited number of 3-day passes will go on sale for $105 on Friday.

Goat yoga has found its way to the Memphis area. The Flyer reports that once a month you can do yoga with goats on a farm in Rossville. YOGA!

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest party nights of the year, and the Silly Goose will have DJs:

The Memphis Tigers host New Orleans tonight at FedExForum at 7.

Pizza with Santa is back at Aldo’s Pizza Pies Downtown Saturday, December 16 from 12:30 to 3 PM. Kids can drop off their Christmas lists to Santa and decorate cookies. Amurica will be there for photos. Aldo’s is requesting the donation of an unwrapped, unopened toy or a monetary donation for Toys for Tots.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more.

Downtown Dining Week brunch at Rizzo’s

Downtown Dining Week wrapped up yesterday, and I stumbled upon quite a value. I went to Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick for brunch. I took a seat at the bar and Colin handed me a Downtown Dining Week menu. “Three courses for brunch, that’s a good deal for $20.17.” I thought.

Then I looked at the top line on the menu. I was wrong about the price. It wasn’t $20.17. It was $10.17.

Whoa!

I started off with Chef’s signature cheeseburger soup. For my main course I selected crawfish eggs Benedict topped with spinach. I finished my meal with a dessert of bananas Foster french toast. All of it so good!

To drink, I started off with one of Colin’s Bloody Marys, then ordered a bottle of champagne and made mimosas.

An incredible deal on some amazing food. Kudos to Chef on doing Downtown Dining Week right. I will definitely be back there soon to try the regular brunch menu… maybe even as soon as this coming Sunday.

Sunday update

I had a great birthday. Bardog, Blind Bear, nap then Blind Bear again. I never made it to South Main but plan to be there at some point today. Thanks to all those who helped me celebrate.

I realize I’m several years late to the party on this, but for the first time I sat through John Paul Keith’s entire set last night. Damn! He is excellent! Go hear him if you haven’t done so already.

RIP Malcolm Young.

Back tomorrow with a post with actual content. Or maybe Tuesday.

 

Saturday birthday update

Downtown’s holiday storefront decorating contest kicks off today. Businesses in the Downtown core, South Main, The Edge, South End, the Pinch, Uptown, and Mud Island are invited to decorate their storefronts and share on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #downtownmemphisholiday and tagging @downtownmemphis. The DMC will monitor the hashtag and in January, five winners will be chosen. Storefronts will be judged on overall aesthetic, originality, and effort. A $200 prize will go to each of the five winners.

In addition, 10 people will be selected who post photos of or with their favorite storefront decoration to social media. Each will receive a $50 dining certificate to the Downtown restaurant of their choice.

Ghost River is now selling metal carabiner mugs for $15 at the taproom. Just clip, trip, and sip.

Today at 5 is the holiday tree lighting for Downtown Memphis. The tree is at the corner of Main and Peabody Place. A special St. Jude patient will serve as honorary tree lighter and Richard Ransom will emcee. Appearance by Fabled Santa, carolers, hot chocolate and S’mores, holiday items for sale, Letters to Santa drop-off box.

The Jason Motte Foundation hosts a Cornole Challenge today in The Columns next to One Commerce Square at 5:30. The event benefits the West Cancer Center. $150 to enter a team of two, $50 to be a spectator. Food and beverages are included in the cost of admission, and there will be a special auction with one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

Memphis Riverboats is hosting a Thanksgiving cruise tonight. This is a two-hour cruise with Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. $60.91 adults, $50.91 kids.

A group of people at Max’s Sports Bar ordered 7 chocolate salty balls last night and a comment was made, “Good old salty balls, salty balls Tennessee.” Is that one for each SEC loss, plus one for the inevitable loss to LSU today? Makes sense, I guess. One for each SEC win certainly wouldn’t be much fun.

Kate Campbell plays the Center for Southern Folklore tonight. 8 PM, $20 at the door.

The Grizzlies host the Houston Rockets at FedExForum tonight at 7.

Side note to Kris & the crew – my apologies for not making it down to Hernando today. If it was any other day I’d be there, but due to leap years this is the first Saturday birthday I’ve had since 2006. I am excited about partnering with you guys and hope to meet you soon.

A couple of years ago I found a historical site where you could look up the weather for any day, for any city. It said on the day I was born, the high in Little Rock was 66, the low was 39, and it rained a bit. Sounds a lot like what is expected for today in Memphis! I can’t believe I’m about to put a leather jacket on when it’s 71 outside. I wonder how many won’t pay attention and will put on shorts.

Birthday dranks! Bardog, the D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear. Tentatively South Main next, but I have a feeling that I may have to delay my South Main visit until tomorrow. Back tomorrow (or maybe Monday) with more news.

 

My weekend gonna be all like…

 

I’m pretty excited about having 10 of the next 17 days off! This weekend is my birthday weekend, then next weekend I have 4 days off in a row for Thanksgiving. The weekend after that, since it is a big Celebration Weekend I am taking Monday-Tuesday, December 4 and 5 off for a super-sized celebration! If anyone reading this works at Bardog, better order an extra keg of PBR.

Big honors for the Memphis Redbirds and AutoZone Park this week. Ballpark Digest named Trinity Sports Holdings, the parent company of the Memphis Redbirds, Organization of the Year for 2017. A major factor in the award was the re-branding that the Redbirds did prior to the start of the season. The new branding retains the association to the St. Louis Cardinals, but it also is a nod to the culture of Memphis, with musical notes and neon sign images similar to signs found on nearby Beale Street.

New Ballet Ensemble Nut Remix runs at the Cannon Center today through Sunday.

Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science is tonight at the Orpheum. Brown will mix science, music and food into two hours of pure entertainment.

South Main Sounds Songwriter Night #72 is tonight at 550 S. Main. Lydia Waldrop, Adam Neal Gowdy, Kyndle McMahan, Blake Meeks and Carol Plunk will perform.

Uplift!, an evening of aerial arts, acro and dance by local performers, will happen tonight starting at 7:30 at Clayborn Temple. Proceeds will benefit community programming as well as yoga and mindfulness in the schools.

SneakerCon comes to the Cook Convention Center tomorrow. With 50,000 sneakers under one roof, this is the place to buy, sell, or trade sneakers. You can also meet your favorite YouTubers and get your sneakers authenticated.

If you want to eat at The Front Porch restaurant in Beale Street Landing one more time this year, better get there this weekend.

One more reason to celebrate during Celebration Weekend, the first weekend in December: Those of you attending the Stumbling Santa pub crawl starting at the Flying Saucer at 7 PM on Saturday, December 2 can now keep partying all night. Tin Roof will host the Stumbling Santa after-party in the Green Room 11 PM-5 AM.

The Silly Goose has a new menu:

I commented on Facebook that the Goose changes their menu more often than some people change their underwear. All kidding aside, though, this is a particularly good menu. They brought back the tacos which were a crowd favorite, while keeping the burger, a recent popular order. Those pastas sound interesting too.

All right, a few more hours of work and then it’s party time! Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Want to do a quick project that benefits others, and get free Aldo’s pizza?

Rhythmic Circus comes to the Orpheum tonight, presenting Red and Green, a celebration of holiday music and memories. There will be a beatboxing version of “The Grinch,” a full-cast performance of “Linus and Lucy” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and a medley called “Toy Soldier March.”

Ghost River will have A Future Everything showcase at its taproom this Saturday, November 18, a day of music, food, and beer featuring 10 Tennessee-based artists. $5 to get in. Yippie Trippie & the Porkstars will be the food truck and from noon to 4 there will be a Small Shop featuring Mama Jody’s. They will have the Grizzlies on at 7 and while the game is on there will be a $1 off special on Grindhouse Cream Ale (my favorite Ghost River beer!)

The annual Important Meeting will happen at Ghost River the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24. If family obligations around Thanksgiving get you down and you need an excuse to get away, tell them you have an Important Meeting to attend. There will be live music by the Michael Brothers 2-4. Food truck for 11 AM-3 PM to be determined and then Yippie Trippie & the Porkstars will be there at 4.

Isn’t it funny how you have to have some kind of obligation to get out of family stuff? You can’t just say “I have the opportunity to go do something fun.”

We’re nearing open enrollment at work, and with my mom no longer around to be my life insurance beneficiary, I am identifying some good charities to put down as partial beneficiaries. With recent stories about Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Roy Moore and others, I have decided to name RAINN as one of the beneficiaries. RAINN is a wonderful organization that offers support to survivors and secondary survivors of sexual assault. I hope nobody reading this ever has a need for this resource, but I want to make you aware that it exists and I would encourage you to learn more about it.

Wayne Risher from the CA is reporting that the Downtown Memphis Commission has named interim CEO Jennfer Oswalt as the permanent leader to run DMC.

Ghost Hunts USA will explore the Haunted Masonic Lodge at Fourth and Court Saturday, February 3 from 7 PM to 2 AM. The building, erected in 1914, is considered one of the most haunted in the city. The toast of society in its heyday, the home of this secret fraternal order is full of mystery and intrigue. Learn more and register here.

This almost never happens: There are still spots left for the sushi class at Memphis Made Brewing Co. this coming Sunday. I guess people have their minds on turkey rather than sushi. I’ve heard these classes are outstanding.

In other Memphis Made news, starting this weekend you can get a 16 oz. can of any of their beers fresh out of the tap room.

Blind Bear has added a $2 PBR special during poker nights for those playing. I think Jeannette is trying to lure me back to the poker table.

Arkansas sources I follow on Twitter indicate that winning both remaining games, Mississippi State and Missouri, will be the only thing that would prevent football head coach Bret Bielema from being fired. Memphis coach Mike Norvell is said to be their second choice as the next head coach, behind Gus Malzahn.

Rep. Steve Cohen and other House Democrats have filed articles of impeachment against the Trumpster. My first reaction was, “Isn’t that premature? We haven’t yet heard of one thing ongoing investigations have uncovered about Trump.” But now I’m wondering, do Steve and his colleagues know something we don’t know? Is it about to be Mueller time? Mueller’s team is scheduling an interview with top adviser Hope Hicks. Usually, top advisers to a target get brought in for interviews toward the end of an investigation. If it starts raining indictments, those articles of impeachment are going to be hard for Republicans to ignore.

All right. Time to get through the afternoon at work, then out to Silly Goose for happy hour. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

This week there is some good news for the homeless in Memphis who would like to work and earn money so they can get to a better place in life. A very successful program called Work Local, based on one in Albuquerque and implemented by the city along with the Hospitality HUB, is expanding from two days a week to five.

In related news, the Hospitality HUB is asking for donations of gently used backpacks to hand out for the holidays. You can drop them off at their office at 82 N. Second. If you’re feeling generous, you can put some winter gear in the backpacks. The HUB is a wonderful organization that offers the homeless various services, including assistance getting IDs and birth certificates, shelter vouchers, bus passes, job interviews, housing referrals and more.

Java Cabana has been a Cooper-Young staple since 1992. I went there now and then when I lived in Midtown. Although not a coffee drinker, they had a cinnamon milkshake that I enjoyed. The coffee house is soon to branch out, opening Java Cabana West in the new food hall at 409 S. Main. Join them for their grand opening party Saturday, December 2 from 8 AM to 8 PM. It’s just one more reason why the first weekend of December will be a huge Celebration Weekend. Stop by Java Cabana West after the St. Jude Marathon or the Beale Street Holiday Parade.

The Memphis Gooners will host a watch party for the North London Derby, a soccer match between Arsenal and the Spurs, at the Brass Door this Saturday, November 18, starting at 6:30 AM. Try a BELT or a breakfast burger and the bar will be open too. This will be a charity drive benefiting the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, so bring a little cash to donate. The Gooners’ “friends” the Memphis Spurs will be joining the party too.

The Brass Door is also accepting donations of boys’ and girls’ jackets and cold weather gear today and tomorrow 11-9 and Friday 11-4. These will go to Memphis Inner City Rugby, traveling to Murfreesboro for the state championship this weekend. There’s nothing worse than stepping onto a rugby pitch, needing to change the course of a game, when you are cold, so let’s help get Memphis what it needs to bring home that state title.

Another Grizzly is getting some love from a national source, and this time it’s Dillon Brooks. CBS Sports reports about the praise the rookie is getting from his teammates and coaches for his professionalism, poise and competitiveness.

Why go out to the big-box stores in Cordova on Black Friday when you can shop local Downtown? On Friday, November 24 from 6-9 PM, Stock & Belle will host Black [Label] Friday + Trolley Night with Memphis fragrance company Moseley. There will be a meet & greet with company founders Richard and Holly Hardin, and art by local artist Beth Winterburn will be on display. The Sushicide food truck will be parked outside.

The Grizzlies host the Indiana Pacers tonight at 7 at FedExForum. JaMychal Green is expected back from ankle injury rehab tonight.

Professional soccer is coming to Memphis. The city has landed a United Soccer League expansion team, which should start play in Memphis in 2019 and home games will be at AutoZone Park.

That’s it for now, back tomorrow.

Tuesday update: Peabody Thanksgiving options, Tyreke Evans’ improvements recognized and more

The Peabody will be serving up four different options for Thanksgiving next week. Check out the massive selection at their overflowing Thanksgiving brunch buffet in the mezzanine! 10:30-2:30. The cost is $76 adults plus tax and grat, $28 for kids 5-12.

If you want a more traditional sit-down dinner, try Thanksgiving at Chez Philippe. This is a four-course dinner with two choices for entree (one of which is of course turkey) and for dessert. $95 per person plus tax and grat. Seatings from 3 to 8 PM.

For something more casual, there’s Thanksgiving at Capriccio Grill. $45 plus tax and grat, $19 for kids 12 and under.

if you want to have Thanksgiving at home, call 901-529-4000 and order the Peabody’s Thanksgiving to go. The package is $125 and includes a 12 lb. whole turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Order by November 17. Pick up at the valet drive 11-5 PM Wednesday, November 22.

Free pizza and cheap beer for service industry folks:

Here’s a piece of good news: Of all the major metros in Tennessee and Kentucky, Memphis is the only one whose hotel occupancy is on the rise.

I’m seeing a lot of people starting to get excited about the Memphis Tigers’ football team’s prospects: A New Year’s Day appearance in the Peach Bowl now seems within reach. However, this Saturday the Tigers need to have tunnel vision and focus for 60 minutes on nothing else but beating SMU. SMU is better than its 6-4 record looks. They lost by only 3 points on the road against Navy. They lost by only 7 against UCF, a better result than Memphis itself had. They could definitely play the role of a spoiler if the Tigers look too far ahead. Sorry to be a party pooper but I’m starting to hear us adopt a “IT’S GONNNN BEEEE ARRRR YEARRRRR” mentality like fans of a certain team on the other end of the state do every year… and then it’s never their year. It’s one week premature to start dreaming.

Let’s have a look at how fans of that team on the other end of the state are reacting to Butch Jones’ dismissal.

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts Little Rock tonight at FedExForum at 7.

Nice to see a Grizzly getting some love from my favorite statistical analysis site, FiveThirtyEight: Tyreke Evans is back

Vance from Memphis magazine has a column on the origins of the name of the Green Beetle at Main and Vance, and possible other Green Beetles that existed in Memphis.

Got the Beatles’ White Album stuck in my head this morning: “Her name was McGill, and she called herself Lil. But everyone knew her as Nancy. Doo de doo de doo de doo de doo de doo…” I guess there are worse things, could be Nickelback. That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.