Bardog, Slider Inn, Aldo’s Pizza, Momma’s temporarily closed

Packed House Productions, the company that runs what most of us locals think of as “the Aldo family of restaurants,” released the following statement this morning.

To Our Friends & Family,

Packed House Productions (PHP) restaurant and bar group – consisting of Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Bardog Tavern, Slider Inn, and Momma’s – learned on Wednesday, July 1, that an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

This employee does not work at any one specific establishment but does appear and has a presence at all of them at various times. The individual is not exhibiting any symptoms, is not a member of the customer-facing wait staff or kitchen crew, and has subsequently begun quarantining. Out of an abundance of caution and commitment to doing the right thing concerning our hard-working employees and loyal customer base, we made the decision to shut down all establishments, when, after conducting a cursory contact tracing inquiry, we saw this as a good opportunity to request every employee that works for us to be tested for coronavirus.

What this means for us:

While temporarily inconvenient, we look at this as an attempt to establish some semblance of baseline as we reckon with and navigate this new normal and try to responsibly move forward in a community fashion. In doing so:

– If employees test positive, they will follow recommended guidelines.
– Employees who test negative will return to work.
– Service hours may be modified based on staff availability.
– We will consistently provide socially-distanced, sanitized, and indoor and outdoor dining and drinking, regarding the safety of all as our most important concern.

What this means for you:

When we re-open, our businesses will persist – as we have done since the beginning of this pandemic – in being industry leaders that provide safe and healthy environments for all employees and customers.

Precautions set in place for both customers and staff will continue to include (but are not limited to):

– Temperature checks upon entry
– Masks required to be worn properly by staff at all times and by customers upon entry and while navigating the premises
– Hand washing/sanitizing between each guest interaction; regular staff inspections
– Non-communal table items, including QR menu codes, personalized condiments, and more
– Enforcing social distancing
– Sanitation stations

Fortunately, our industry has always been predicated on high standards of sanitation and cleanliness, and you’ve always trusted us with your health. You know we’re not going to start letting you down now. Please stay tuned to our social media channels for the most up-to-date information regarding our reopenings.

We can’t thank you enough for being faithful and look forward to meeting up soon for that drink or pizza, as we have so many times before.

– Your pals at PHP

Much love to everyone who works at any of the affected locations. I have no doubt precautions will be put in place to ensure employee and customer safety when they reopen.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that another Downtown business, not part of the PHP group, has also closed temporarily due to a positive COVID-19 test; however, I have not been by the business nor spoken to the owner to confirm its closure, so for now I will decline to name the business.

Everyone BE SAFE if you go out this weekend.

Thursday update

The trivia team had a clean sweep last night, winning first place in July 4/summer trivia by nearly 50 points and best team name. The name was “Nate would lick your toes if they had mustard on them.”

Great news for my East Memphis readers: You’re getting your own South of Beale location, permanently. The owners announced yesterday that they will take over the former Interim space and will open in August. For those of you who’ve never ventured Downtown to eat at the original SOB, here’s the menu, but there are only three words you need to know: Duck Fried Rice.

The Redbirds had already announced they weren’t coming back this season, but now it’s official league-wide: There will be no Minor League Baseball this year. While the majors can get by on TV deals, minor leagues are a butts-in-seats business and with distancing restrictions, it just doesn’t work.

In a very wise move, city leaders decided to limit e-scooter operations for the Fourth of July weekend. Last week, when people were drag racing on the streets of Downtown, teenagers on scooters were seen weaving in and out of the traffic. Beginning tonight, if you try to ride a scooter in the riverfront or entertainment district between 10 PM and 5 AM, the scooter will be programmed to slow to a halt.

The Post Office is considering closing the office in the Peabody Place office tower, meaning those of us in the heart of Downtown would no longer have a walkable option. If you’re not in favor of the move, get on USPS’s Contact Us page and leave feedback.

No movies at Malco Powerhouse for a while longer. Malco has delayed all Memphis theater openings.

The Memphis Flyer brings back Memphis Burger Week August 5 to 11. During this week you can get some of the city’s best burgers for $5.99.

Because of the coronavirus, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will go virtual this year. Runners will download an app and use it to track their progress.

River Time Market & Deli on Court Square now offers snack trays.

This is great news: Google is planning an upgrade to its Chrome web browser that will make it much less memory hungry. For people with older or low-cost computers that will make their Internet experience so much better.

All right, everyone. We’ve got a three-day weekend, but… the virus is here. As in, multiple members of the extended Downtown family have tested positive for COVID-19. I’m not saying, don’t go out, but if you do go out, be extra careful. Wear your mask, stay six feet apart from people not in your group. I know you’re all sick of hearing that but right now it’s super important. If you find yourself crowded by inconsiderate people who have no sense of social distancing, I recommend you get the F out of Dodge as quickly as you can do so.

That’s it. Back tomorrow if there is any news to report.

Wednesday update

In the COVID-19 task force press conference yesterday, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said that the task force is considering restrictions on social gathering locations such as bars. You know, Sunday I praised Bardog for their precautions, and I realized I missed a big one: That PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED sign at the door. It gives them control over where people go in their establishment. With that measure in place, you don’t get groups of eight to ten people walking right in, maskless, and walking right up to the bar and crowding those who are sitting there, properly socially distanced, following the rules. Perhaps a solution which would allow bars to remain open during Phase 2 is to require all bars to have a doorman during all of the operating hours. Yes, that would put an additional person on the payroll, but it’s less expensive than closing down!

You know, the thing about bars is, EVERYBODY who comes there thinks THEY are the VIP. They take the mindset of. “Yeah, there are rules, but I know people here, so…” There are no VIPs during a pandemic. If you go to a bar, put your mask on before you enter. Sit six feet away from people not in your group. If all the bar stools and all the tables are full, and you are told there is nowhere to seat you, leave. Don’t argue. Don’t put the employees in the very uncomfortable position of playing bad cop.

Restaurant news: The Tennessee Brewery announced yesterday that By The Brewery (@bythebrewery) will open in the brewery’s own tap room, serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch.

This video is worth watching: A brawl over social distancing broke out at Little Rock restaurant Saltgrass Steak House.

Outdoor dining seating has been set up on the block of Main between Gayoso and Peabody Place.

These seats let you enjoy a meal outdoors from one of the many restaurants nearby. This will be especially good for patrons of Margie’s 901 ice cream whop, which does not have any seating.

Could the National Ornamental Metal Museum leave Downtown? The museum has received a recommendation as the new tenant for Rust Hall, the building in Overton Park recently vacated by Memphis College of Art.

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog has lots of information about the Quintessential Summer Celebration on the river happening today through Sunday.

The city unveiled its Reimagining the Memphis Police Department website yesterday. You can file a complaint, learn about measures they have adopted, see demographic data, and apply to be on CLERB (Citizen Law Enforcement Review Board).

Flight restaurant issued an apology yesterday after accusations of racism.

This is a long article but it is very insightful: How dollar stores became magnets for crime and killing

Loflin Yard will start doing Fido Fridays this Friday 4-7 PM. Bring your dog and get 2 for 1 happy hour.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my duty to inform you that Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe has decided to revert to to-go only, citing rising COVID-19 numbers.

Celtic Woman – the 15th Anniversary Tour has been announced for the Orpheum Sunday, Aprul 25, 2021.

I hope none of you have a trip to he Big Apple planned, because Tennessee has landed on New York’s list of states requiring a 14-day isolation period if you travel there.

River Time Market & Deli will be closed this Friday-Sunday for the holiday. Monday they will reopen with new hours of 11 AM to 7 PM. These will be temporary hours Monday-Friday.

You know what I said about there being no VIPs during a pandemic? I take that back. Health care workers are the VIPs.

Back tomorrow with more news.


Tuesday update

Nominations are now open for the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis 2020 awards. There are several publications that run “best of” awards in this city, but the Flyer poll is the gold standard. Let your voice be heard!

Chris Herrington’s observations in Midtown this weekend match mine Downtown for the same time period. It’s not that a large number of people are anti-mask or anti-social distancing; it’s that they’re apathetic. Wearing a mask is important, but it’s less important to them than ordering another vodka cran or going to a pool party. I hate to say it but I think it will take a rollback to Phase 1 to get people to pay attention.

I’ve decided I’m going to start taking Sundays off from going out. My observation this past Sunday was that there is too much risk and too little reward. I have a number of books to read that I expected to get to during the house arrest, but didn’t because Memphis re-opened a couple of weeks earlier than I thought we would. That’ll be my plan for this Sunday and the next few, unless something unexpected and fun comes my way.

Memphis 901 FC has made a return to full-contact training. Players and staff were tested for COVID-19 last week and all the tests came back negative.

Now that the schedule has been released for the NBA’s seeding games, the Grizzlies are still favored to make the playoffs, but not by as much as they were previously. They were at -155 (bet $155 to win $100), but now I see them at either -115 or -120. The New Orleans Pelicans, with the easiest schedule of any team in Orlando, are probably the biggest threat. Zion Williamson’s a nice kid, I’m sure, but I’m going to be rooting for teams that play the Pels they way I root for whomever is playing the University of Tennessee.

Loflin Yard is bringing back Girls’ Night Out on Thursdays. From 5 to 10 PM ladies can get half-off bottles of wine and large cheeseboards for the price of a small.

The new version of Apple WatchOS will be able to detect hand washing motions and will remind you to wash for 20 seconds. I’m sure local health experts like Dr. Manoj Jain, Dr. Alisa Haushalter, and Karen from Facebook will applaud this new feature.

Very interesting article worth a read, especially those of you in the restaurant industry: Our ghost kitchen future

Protesters continue to camp outside Memphis City Hall in protest of the Memphis Police Department budget. They’ve been there a full two weeks now. Damn, one protester quit her job so she could protest full-time. That’s commitment. The protesters say that if some of the money used to fund the police is diverted to meet everyone’s basic needs, crime will decline in Memphis. The protesters have also created a community garden outside City Hall.

If you ate at Babalu at Overton Square last week, you might want to go get a COVID-19 test. The restaurant is closed indefinitely after an employee tested positive for the virus. The employee’s last shift was Friday.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Monday update: “a critical point”

Mayor Strickland posted a COVID-19 update yesterday, in which he said, “I believe we are at a critical point in our fight against this virus.” With case numbers, positivity rates, and hospitalizations continuing to rise, I get the feeling that although he doesn’t want to, Strickland may now be considering a roll back to Phase 1, or imposing additional restrictions on some businesses in Phase 2.

A rollback may indeed be necessary to make people understand this is serious business. Both businesses I frequented yesterday require masks, and the mask ordinance is now in effect, yet I would estimate that 60% of the people who came in those businesses had to be told to put a mask on. I can’t figure out if people don’t read the news and therefore didn’t know about the ordinance, or if they knew and just didn’t care.

If you like pizza, here’s a good account to follow on Instagram: @rahrahspies

Alcenia’s has made the national news for the second time in a month. They were on CBS Sunday Morning.

Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine who just did his first gig as a tour guide for Segway Memphis. He recommended the scavenger hunts to people who know Downtown landmarks well, and said you have the chance to win $1000 in photography and artwork.

If you plan on traveling anytime soon, this free online AAA map shows where there are restrictions.

The Grizzlies will distribute 20,000 BELIEVE MEMPHIS face masks beginning today. If you live Downtown, Bass Pro at the Pyramid is the place to get yours.

That’s the news for now. Everyone remember to mask up when you’re in public so we can avoid going back to Phase 1. Back tomorrow.

Sunday update

I got to Bardog Tavern at 10:50 yesterday morning and waited outside until 11 when they opened. With half the bar seating removed, I didn’t want to take the chance of not getting a seat. I was the only one there early, though. At 11 Melissa opened the door, subbing for regular bartender Bloom who is out of town.

Here’s all the stuff you need to know about Bardog’s reopening:

  • There’s now a “Please wait to be seated” sign at the door. You can still sit where you like, but the reason they ask you to wait is so they can take your temperature.
  • You must have a mask to enter, and must wear it anytime you get up from your seat. You don’t have you have your mask on while seated and eating or drinking.
  • Seating is socially distanced. You can pull bar stools together to sit with the other people in your group, provided that your group is distanced from other groups.
  • Employees are doing a stellar job masking. I was there 5 hours and never saw an employee with a mask worn incorrectly or without a mask.
  • Employees are also wearing gloves when it is appropriate to do so.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at every table and within reaching location from every bar seat.
  • I observed one person tab out and leave his seat at the bar. Another customer, who had been sitting at the window, stepped over to claim the now-empty seat, but the manager stepped in and said, “hang on, let me sanitize it first.” Great job!
  • It’s still smoking upstairs, nonsmoking downstairs. I heard going nonsmoking was at least considered, but I guess they see a lot of value in being the last locals’ bar in the Downtown core to allow smoking.
  • They reopened at full hours, 8 AM-3 AM weekdays and 11 AM-3 AM weekends.

Perjorie T. Roll demonstrating how to social distance as she stands next to a can of hand sanitizer at Bardog

I called it a very early night and was in bed by about 8, which meant I woke up around 12:30. For the next two hours I heard tires squealing, engines revving, and several gunshots. Why aren’t the police doing more to get this under control? I heard more gunshots last night than I have in the last 17 years living Downtown.

Central Station will host Live from the Patio with Tim and TJ Plunk at 6 PM Friday, July 3. The event listing says “tune in or stop by” so this appears to be both a live and a virtual event.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I can’t make up my mind where I want to lead off today. Back to Bardog? Blind Bear? Silly Goose? I guess it will be wherever my feet lead me. Weather permitting, I may hit Max’s Sports Bar at 4:30 to spread a little sunshine. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update: Shuffleboard comes to the Blind Bear

The new shuffleboard table arrived at the Blind Bear yesterday. It occupies the space where bands previously played. It appears to be coin-operated but they had the pucks behind the bar, most likely so they can sanitize them between games. The table will be a fun addition and it’s good to have the game in the Downtown core.

By the way, I want to extend a “cheers” to the Bear for enforcing their rules. I had been putting on my mask for trips to the restroom, but when we made a trip to the back room to see Princess Mustard (long story) I forgot to put it on and the bartender reminded me. I appreciate that! I’m not going to stay home from bars but I’m willing to do what I can to protect the other people there. I see the mask as a sign of consideration for others, not a sign that I’m subservient to Nancy Pelosi or whoever Trump supporters hate today.

I visited the Silly Goose earlier in the day, where Jessica said, “If we go back to Phase 1 I’m gonna have to get nekkid for tips.” Hey Mayor Strickland, I changed my mind! We entered Phase 2 too soon! Let’s roll it back!

The Grizzlies’ schedule for the remainder of the season has been released. It is (all games in Orlando)

  • Friday, July 31: at Portland Trail Blazers, 3 PM
  • Sunday, August 2: vs. San Antonio Spurs, 3 PM
  • Monday, August 3: at New Orleans Pelicans, 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday, August 5: at Utah Jazz, 1:30 PM
  • Friday, August 7: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 3 PM
  • Sunday, August 9: at Toronto Raptors, 1 PM
  • Tuesday, August 11: vs. Boston Celtics, 5:30 PM
  • Thursday, August 13: vs. Milwaukee Bucks, TBD

That’s a pretty brutal schedule but not different from what every other team faces: The bad teams out of contention for the playoffs didn’t come to Orlando.

Sucks that so many of the games happen when people are at work, but that’s what the Grizzlies get for being a small- market team.

Set your DVRs – the movie that was made about The Little Tea Shop will premiere Friday, July 10 at 7:30 PM on WKNO.

The county clerk’s office and its satellites, which closed three weeks ago due to a case of COVID-19, will reopen next week, but expect much longer wait times as the number of staff in the offices will be reduced. Appointments will be able to be made.

The National Ornamental Metal Museum will host its first-ever community curated exhibition. Each day from July 13 to 17, the public will vote on pieces in five different categories. The top 30 vote-getters will be on display in an exhibition titled It Takes a Village from September 28, 2020 to March 14, 2021. Voting will take place on the Metal Museum website. The categories are

  • Monday, July 13 – Forged objects
  • Tuesday, July 14 – Cast sculpture
  • Wednesday, July 15 – Art jewelry
  • Thursday, July 16 – Vessels
  • Friday, July 17 – Functional work

Memphis 901 FC has drawn into Group G in the restart of the USL. Memphis will play the three other teams in its group, Birmingham Legion, Charlotte Independence, and North Carolina FC four times for a total of 12 matches. Memphis will play three matches against teams outside Group G, and its March 7 loss to Indy will count as the remaining match of the 16-game regular season. The schedule is set to be released soon, with play set to resume July 11.

Chris Hill and Friends play The Vault tonight 8 to 11.

Devil Train plays Loflin Yard tonight at 9.

Jay Jones Band plays Tin Roof tonight at 7.

Local clergy say they are disappointed in the police reforms that came out of the city’s meetings with activists, calling the adopted measures “low-hanging fruit.”

I’m the proud owner of a new iPhone 11 this morning! For the first time in 11 years, I ordered the phone online rather than go to an AT&T Store. That meant I had to set up the phone myself, but it couldn’t have been easier. I unpaired my Apple Watch from my iPhone 6s, then held the 6s near the new 11. The phones detected each other and walked me through the Quick Start. I restored last night’s backup of the 6s, and boom – the new 11 had all my contacts, apps, and even the photo of Perjorie T. Roll on the lock screen. Then I activated my phone on AT&T’s website and paired my watch to the new phone.

One piece of advice I will pass on, though – don’t throw away the box in which your iPhone ships. It contains two numbers you need during activation. I managed to find these numbers in the new phone’s settings, but for a minute there I had a scare.

The Ticket recently interviewed Carly Fiorina. She was the head of HP for years and she would have been the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2016 had Ted Cruz won the nomination. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, this interview is worth a read. She has some ideas that make sense.

Bardog is first on the agenda today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

The mask ordinance is now official. Mayor Jim Strickland signed it yesterday. Read the full ordinance

To summarize

  • You must wear a mask while inside any business
  • You must wear a mask while inside public governmental buildings
  • You must wear a mask while inside any public or private elevator
  • You must wear a mask while obtaining health care
  • You must wear a mask while on public transit or ride share
  • Businesses must require employees to wear masks if there’s any interaction with the public
  • A mask is not required at work when you have your own office and the public does not regularly visit the room
  • A mask is not required inside a restaurant when you are seated
  • A mask is not required for children under 2
  • A mask is not required when exercising outside
  • Those who have medical proof of trouble breathing with a mask on are exempt
  • Class C misdemeanor
  • First offense is a warning
  • Second offense and thereafter will not carry a fine. Maximum $20 court fees, which can be waived by completing community service
  • For frequent violators of the ordinance, a fine of $100 per violation can be instituted and the mayor can seek restraining orders against entities believed to be a public nuisance in violation

This is just a summary and I strongly encourage you to read the entire document.

Businesses are making moves to get into compliance. Longshot posted this yesterday:

We as a staff have decided that we will require guests to wear masks when entering or exiting Longshot, playing shuffleboard, moving around the dining room to use the restroom… etc. We have been watching the recent case numbers in and around Shelby County. While we are excited to be back open and doing what we love, at the end of the day we just want everyone to safe and healthy, and we want to do our part to navigate these times as respectfully and responsibly as possible. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding!

Silly Goose has also announced they will require masks upon entering, and will move to card-only transactions – no more cash.

Three University of Memphis athletes and one athletic staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. Are we really sure football season is going to happen?

Lightnin’ Malcolm plays Loflin Yard tonight. They posted

There is a raw and relentless style of blues that came drifting out of the hills of Northern Mississippi more than a century ago, and cutting edge Bluesman and guitarslinger Lightnin Malcolm, plans on bringing it on over to our sound stage this Friday night. See you there! ⚡️

There will be no July 4 fireworks celebration on the river this year, but Memphis River Parks Partnership will have a celebration that will stretch over the first 5 days of July. During the Quintessential Summer Celebration you will be able to

  • Paddle the harbor – rent a kayak for $20 an hour at 4th Cup at Riverside and Jefferson
  • Take a guided kayak tour of the Mississippi
  • Take an Explore Bike Share bike ride
  • Take a scavenger hunt – complete it and your kids earn a River Garden badge. Details will be posted on the celebration’s Facebook page
  • Buy a meal from a Downtown restaurant and have a picnic on the river
  • Watch a sunset at Tom Lee Park. Watch for signage showing you how to download curated playlists from Memphis Slim House. Social distancing circles will be set up in the park
  • Enjoy half-hour dynamic light shows on the bridges
  • Find some peace in “Fourth Liberation” meditations led by local artists at Fourth Bluff Friday-Sunday

St. Mary’s soup kitchen is in urgent need of volunteers. Sign up on their website. The church is located at 155 Market St. near the Second Street exit off I-40.

A bartender at the former TGI Ftiday’s at Third and Union told me yesterday that the restaurant will re-open as a craft cocktail bar in 3 to 4 weeks.

The city released a progress report yesterday on meetings with activists about police reform.

Beale Street Artcrawl will move to a virtual platform this Saturday.

Grace Askew will live stream from South Main Sounds this Saturday 5-6:30 PM.

The Memphis Songwriters Series: Virtual Voices continues Saturday, with Cyrena Wages live streaming from the Orpheum 7:30-8 PM.

Developer Kenny Lipschutz plans to turn the building at 400 S. Main into three retail spaces on the ground level and 18 AirBnb units upstairs. That would be the building at the northeast corner of Main and Huling.

Edible Memphis profiles Bluff City Fungi, an exotic mushroom company that sells at the Memphis Farmers Market.

Edible also posted news about Wok’n in Pickle Co. This is a provisions company that is the side hustle of Wok’n in Memphis in Puck Food Hall. They feature locally source products including vinegars, oils, and kimchi.

From Storyboard Memphis: Church of the Walking Pants, featuring Daryl and Ashley, owners of the Walking Pants Curiosities store on G.E. Patterson.

This week I’ve been following the list of women being vetted as Joe Biden’s running mate, and a new name has emerged: Rep. Karen Bass. She has represented the South Los Angeles district in Congress since 2013 and her qualifications include

  • Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations
  • Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Former Speaker of the California State House
  • 2010 John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award recipient
  • In the 1980s, Bass founded the Community Coalition, a South L.A. organization addressing the political and economic causes of addiction, crime, poverty and violence; the organization was a success and continues to this day

She sounds like a perfect running mate to me. She’d have incredible influence shaping Biden’s policies, and she’s more than qualified to step into the presidency should the need arise. I hope Biden picks her!

That’s all I’ve got for today. Back tomorrow with more.

Thursday update

I still don’t know Bardog Tavern’s complete hours upon reopening, but regular morning bartender Bloom posted a few minutes after 8 AM yesterday that they were open for breakfast. Good call by Aldo. Third shifters need their PBR too. Assuming we have July 3 off at work since the Fourth is on a Saturday, I’ll see you not long after 8 that morning. And, of course, see you at 11 Saturday for brunch.

The USL board of directors voted for a provisional return to play starting July 11 and Memphis 901 FC is on board with the decision. The league’s return to play will be conducted in line with local guidelines. Given that Memphis is still in Phase 2, 901 FC will likely submit a social distancing plan to the Health Department if fans are to be allowed in. Since shouting and singing are components of superspreader events, the supporters’ section may be silenced this year.

However, 901 FC will have the field/pitch all to themselves this season, because the Redbirds have announced there will be no baseball at AutoZone Park this year. The Cardinals, if the MLB season does in fact resume, will use AA team Springfield’s park as a staging ground. This is due to proximity to St. Louis and the fact that Springfield does not have to be converted between baseball and soccer.

Elite Total Health is doing a giveaway of CBD products from South Main Hemp. To enter for a chance to win, “Like” their Facebook page and share their post about the giveaway. Winner will be announced July 4. The prize package is a $75 value.

From Wiseacre Brewing Co.:

We’re excited to announce that the soft opening of #WISEACRE2 at 398 S. BB King Blvd will take place on Friday, June 26th starting at 1PM. To maintain a safe capacity we will be selling tickets much like on Broad Ave, and those will go on sale THIS FRIDAY at noon. There will be plenty of space to socially distance (we are still keeping parties to a maximum of 6 people), and we are continuing contactless payment through the Arryved app. Per the city ordinance, we are asking folks to bring (and wear when appropriate) a face covering. See you then!

If you’ve heard more fireworks lately, you’re not along. The CA investigates.

From River Time Market & Deli:

Our newest Salad – Philly Beef with Peppers and Onions. Also comes in a Sandwich!

Mayor Strickland wrote a COVID-19 update explaining why the city and county are remaining in Phase 2 of the Back to Business framework rather than rolling back to Phase 1 as we see increasing numbers of new cases and hospitalizations. We are much more capable of responding to spikes in cases, responding to clusters of cases, and protecting vulnerable populations than we were a few months ago. While hospitalizations are up, hospitals have procedures in place to handle surges. Strickland said he will only push to move back to Phase 1 if there is widespread random community spread that cannot be controlled. Cheers, Mr. Mayor! I know you and the task force are taking a lot of heat – there was even a trivia team last night named “Phase 2 Soon” – but I think you and the COVID-19 task force are doing a great job.

WREG interviewed business owner Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s yesterday. He has mixed feelings about whether we should remain in Phase 2.

As someone who goes out frequently, I am noticing that more people at restaurants and bars are warming up to the idea of masking up anytime you leave your seat than there were a week ago. Although, I admit it is easy to forget. I forgot a couple of times during trivia last night.

Lawyers marched for unity through Downtown Memphis yesterday.

Say goodbye to the Segway. Production has officially been shut down.

Play Cerrito virtual trivia sponsored by Riverset Rye tonight at 7. Assemble your team on Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime or in person while practicing social distancing.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to inform you that the New Wing Order food truck will be at the High Cotton taproom from 4 to 7 today. You can’t go wrong with any of their flavors of wings, but if you’re undecided I’d recommend the flavor that won them two Hot Wing Fest championships. Their tacos and nachos are excellent too, and for vegetarians they have an avocado taco.

I finally reached the point yesterday where I couldn’t stand my iPhone 6s’s battery life any longer and ordered an iPhone 11. Can’t wait for it to get here.

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


BARDOG IS OPEN! Wednesday update

Bardog Tavern, which has been closed since the Safer at Home house arrest began in March, posted to Facebook yesterday that it was opening at 3 PM. I planned to be standing outside the door at 2:57 but heavy storms moved through around that time. I posted a comment asking their hours going forward but haven’t heard yet. When I do I will let you know.

How irresponsible is it that Major League Baseball is still trying to have a season? Over 40 players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19. The earliest the season could start would be the last week of July, and it would end September 27. If the 60-game season played out, the eventual champion would have a huge asterisk next to its name. More likely, players would test positive in-season and that would be the end of it. MLB needs to do the right thing and shut the season down.

Dr. Haushalter of the Health Department said yesterday that Shelby County would remain in Phase 2 of re-opening for the foreseeable future. Whew! That’s a relief. There were some who thought we should roll back to Phase 1, and even people who supported a second lockdown (SMDH at that idea). Businesses are starting to get more serious about keeping their customers safe. For example, Blind Bear has a new rule that you must have a mask on when entering the bar, you must put it on when you get up to use the restroom or go smoke, and you must put it on when you leave. In other words, if your “but” is in a seat, you don’t need to have a mask on, otherwise you do (we need to get Jeannette a spelling book). As a regular patron of that business, I totally support these measures and hope others will too.

There’s a good reason for businesses to introduce these more stringent rules. Dr. Haushalter announced yesterday that among the 141 new hires for the Health Department will be a COVID-19 enforcement team that will be visiting local businesses.

The Flyer has more on the surge in new cases. Dr. Haushalter said there was extensive testing June 14th and 15th, and Saturday’s number of 385 new cases included lab reports going back as far as three weeks.

Dr. Bruce Randolph, county health officer, put in place Health Directive number 7 yesterday. This directive makes it possible for gatherings of 51 to 499 people to happen if the organizer of the directive submits a plan showing how social distancing and other guidelines will be observed. This is why some movie theaters have been allowed to open prior to entering Phase 3.

From Front Street Deli:

The time has come……..
The Sandwich master is back in action starting today! The world has been a little crazy and rightly so after being deprived of sandwiches like Days of Thunder and Mission Impossible. Nonetheless, the oldest Deli in Memphis will survive through this! Let’s show Brandon some Sandwich Mafia love today and sell him out. Front Street Deli, slangin sandwiches since ‘76!
New hours are Monday thru Friday 8am-2pm.

Chef Steph Cook announced yesterday that he and Chef Derk Meitzler are looking to expand their back-of-house staff. If you are looking for a career in food these guys are two of the very best to learn from. They are expanding their operations and there will be chances to move up. If interested apply at The Vault at 124 G.E. Patterson.

From The Peanut Shoppe:

Please understand that we are not only protecting ourselves, but also you as well. If you do not have a mask, you are welcome to call us and place your order outside our shoppe and we will be happy to serve you at our main entrance. Just please remember to be courteous. Times are tough, especially for small businesses like ours. Be safe and well. Thank you, Memphis. #downtownmemphis #shoplocal #ilovememphis #choose901 #backdowntown

The Cossitt Library storytimes planned for Thursday and Friday at River Garden have been postponed due to the uptick in coronavirus cases.

From the World Championship Hot Wing Festival:

*ANNOUNCEMENT* Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and in accordance with the advice of local authorities, we will not have a physical event this year. While this event has become a highly anticipated tradition over the past 17 years, the safety and well-being of everyone involved is of the utmost importance.
While we can’t meet in person this year, we still want to make a difference for the kids and families of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis. We are working on ways we can connect the teams and wing-loving attendees of this event virtually so that we can still make an impact for this amazing organization. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out more!
If you have already purchased a ticket or submitted a vendor registration, you will be refunded.
Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support. We’re looking forward to coming back bigger and better than ever in 2021!

From the CA: COVID-19 has left the Beale Street Flippers with nowhere to flip. Fortunately Railgarten stepped up and gave the Flippers jobs.

That’s it for today. Looks like the Internet problems are over for Downtown. Back tomorrow.