Wednesday update

I got to try the new PBR Extra for the first time yesterday. No bars Downtown (that I’m aware of) sell it yet, but it’s in convenience stores. The 6.5% beer tastes almost exactly like regular 5% PBR. I didn’t notice a difference while I was drinking it, but when I woke up this morning I felt slightly groggy. “When have I felt like this before?” I asked myself, and realized I had felt like that when the night before, I had knocked off a high-gravity beer on my quest for my next plate at the Flying Saucer. Anyway, if you’re a PBR drinker, check out Extra. It’s not bad.

Do you plan on partying with the Bluff City Mafia supporters’ group at Brass Door prior to Memphis 901 FC’s match against North Carolina FC on Saturday? Even if you’re someone who normally pays everything with a debit card, I have a favor to ask… go to an ATM between now and Saturday and get some cash. Why? All cash sales at the pregame party in the alley next to Brass Door will go to Magan Hall’s GoFundMe to help pay for her cancer treatment. Magan is a member of Bluff City Mafia and started her second treatment this week.

The natural mosquito spray class returns to Cordelia’s Market Tuesday, August 20. Learn to make a non-toxic insect repellant with essential oils while sampling some of Cordelia’s recipes. Wine and beer specials will be available.

Sunrise Memphis has a new addition to their patio:

Crosstown Brewing Co. has announced the date for their Crosstoberfest: Saturday, October 12.

The Orpheum has announced Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live for Saturday, November 23. There are three VIP packages for those who want to get up close and personal.

Ghost River Brewing Co. is hiring people who love beer and who want to put their community first. They’re looking for a brewer, a brewery employee, and a taproom bartender. Send resume to info@ghostriverbrewing.com.

Yesterday I mentioned the good work Volunteer Odyssey does in the community. Read this op-ed by founder Sarah Petschonek to learn more about the organization and about volunteering in Memphis.

Project Homeless Connect, a one-day event to connect the homeless with services they need, has released their wish list ahead of their October 17 event this year.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to inform you that Evelyn & Olive is celebrating the 57th year of Jamaican independence all week long. They have special menu items all week including ackee and salt fish, stew beef, stew peas, and a variety of natural juices. Saturday they will wrap up the week with the Chinese Connection Dub Embassy.

Streetdog Foundation is having an event at Loflin Yard Saturday:

Downtown Yoga is having a Liquid Spine Workshop next Tuesday, August 13, 6:45-7:45 PM. Guest instructor Rubén del Bosque will lead this class, which is appropriate for all levels. Cost is $20. YOGA!

Yesterday I was discussing with a friend how Cinnamon Toast Crunch is our favorite cereal. He asked, “You ever tried Cinnamon Toast Crunch with vanilla ice cream?” and I said, oh yeah, I’ve done that. Then he blew my mind: Try it with butter pecan ice cream.

Pontotoc Lounge now has Andouille pups on a stick.

It feels like the A/C needs Freon again, so I’m going to cut this post short, put in a service request, then head to the branch office because I don’t like being in the apartment when maintenance people are there. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

This post will make up for the brief one yesterday. I have over 20 news items to share with you!

There’s an axe throwing tournament at Loflin Yard tonight. This will be a regular Thursday night thing in the back yard, with cash prizes and drink specials. $20 to enter and this event is 21 and up.

Well, here’s something kind of different and interesting. On October 20, Elmwood Cemetery will host Edgar Allan Poe. Well, a historian in costume pretending to be Edgar Allan Poe. The real Edgar Allan Poe has been dead for quite some time. Historian Rob Velella will read from several of Poe’s works, with an emphasis on stories of those who have gone before us.

There will be a Back To School Fishing Rodeo for kids Saturday, August 24 10 AM-1 PM at Martin Luther King Riverside Park. It’s free to attend, there will be plenty of prizes and special guests will include Memphis Redbirds pitcher Justin Williams (10:30-11:30) and Rockey Redbird.

Don’t forget that the Memphis Tigers football Fan Fest is this Saturday at the Liberty Bowl. At 4 PM there will be an equipment sale and open scrimmage. At 6 the equipment sale will end and there will be an autograph session.

Bluefin is trying their “Bluefin Express” deli thing in the side bar again:

A deputy was stabbed in the arm yesterday in the 200 block of North Fourth Street, not far from the 201 Poplar building. He was responding to a report of an alleged sexual assault. James Lee Kirkwood, a registered violent sex offender, was shot at the scene and later died.

The Arcade is throwing a 100 Cents for 100 Years block party on Saturday, August 24. Memphis’ oldest restaurant, opened in 1919, will celebrate its 100th birthday with live music, kids’ activities, and photo opportunities. In the restaurant, there will be $1 meals and happy hour drink specials. Proceeds from food sales will go to St. Jude. Very cool… that’ll be two awesome block parties in 7 days, the Bardog alley party and 5K the Sunday before. I plan on being at both!

The Downtown Neighborhood Association has announced that its August membership meeting will be held at the Malco Powerhouse theater Tuesday, August 20 5:30-7:30 PM. This is a good chance to come check out the new bar and grill if you haven’t already. Speaker to be announced soon.

Yesterday they lit the fire in the Silly Goose’s new pizza oven for the first time.

Daniel is giving the oven, named Susie, a week to be “seasoned” by fire. Next Monday, he says, wood-fired pizzas will begin coming out of the oven. Can’t wait! Looks like those of you who had the Goose in the “which will be ready first? Silly Goose pizza oven or Slider Out?” debate are winners.

The Daily Memphian’s Chris Herrington had a good op-ed column this morning, touching on several issues. He mentioned how Willie Herenton is framing the mayoral race as a two-man race, implying that “if you want a mayor who looks like you, you better vote for me, because the girl (Tami Sawyer) is a distraction and a waste of your vote.” It’s condescending, dismissive, and disrespectful, and it just goes to show the overly inflated sense of self-importance that was on full display during King Willie’s last term in office.

Also on the Daily Memphian website, Jennifer Biggs’ podcast for foodies has an interesting guest this week: Ryan Hopgood, founder of Memphis Sandwich Clique. If you’re a member of the Clique, be sure to check out my photos of gyros from Cafe Med that I put up this morning!

The Memphis Business Journal revealed its Power 100, a look at the people who are considered to be the 100 most powerful people in Memphis. Congratulations to all who made the list, and in particular my friend Deni Reilly, co-owner of the Majestic Grille. Very well deserved, Deni!

I’d like to recommend a yoga class for my readers looking to get some exercise and peace of mind in their lunch hour. My friend Mary Patrick is teaching a Power Vinyasa class every Wednesday at noon at DwiPada Yoga, 376 Perkins Extended. The class is suitable for beginners, but she has some intensifications to keep the class challenging for intermediate and advanced students. I have watched yoga change Mary’s life over the past two years, and she is going to have a long and successful career as a teacher. Follow her at @yogimare_ on Instagram where she posts videos of some of her workouts.

Got news on some jobs available Downtown. Cordelia’s Market is hiring full-time and part-time cashiers, stockers, and cafe team members. They say there are many perks that come along with these jobs, and students are welcome to apply.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies is also hiring. They are looking for experienced kitchen staff, in particular people with pizza experience. Apply in person Monday-Friday 9-11 AM or 3-5 PM.

There’s going to be an event called MindTravel SilentWalk at Big River Crossing this Saturday from 6 to 8 in the evening. This is an event that is really hard to summarize in a few sentences, so I’ll just say “peaceful walking meditation” and if that sounds interesting to you, click through to read the full description.

There will be a going away party for historian Jimmy Ogle at Westy’s this Saturday from 9 to midnight. Ogle, famous for his tours of Downtown Memphis, is moving to Knoxville to be closer to his family. There will be live music by Penny Kings at the party.

Loflin Yard is an event venue with many potential uses, but have you ever thought about having a wedding there? This couple did.

Dog rescue and foster organization Streetdog Foundation is now signing up volunteers for its big fall party, Howl at the Moon. There are opportunities to assist with programming, breakdown, logistics, setup, event clean-up, ticketing and checkout, auction prep, the auction event, sponsorship, beverage prep, food setup, food stations, and media. There is also a volunteer opportunity called Diamond Host in which the volunteer works to ensure that the event’s top sponsors have a great time. This is a wonderful party thrown by a wonderful organization. If you’re looking to volunteer this is definitely something I would recommend.

The I Love Memphis Blog will present a Food Tasting at Puck Food Hall Friday, August 23 from 5:30 to 8:30. This is a great way to get a taste of all that this food hall has to offer. A ticket gets you 10 tokens that can be spent at the bar or at any of the food stations. Food will be Memphis and birthday themed in honor of I Love Memphis’ 10th birthday.

Tech site MakeUseOf has a helpful article on how to tell if your employer has installed spyware on your work computer.

Chef Steph Cook, owner of RAWK’n Grub, has made a difficult decision. He is closing the location inside the Citgo at 630 North Highland. As much as he hates to let “The Little Kitchen that Could” go, this move will allow him and his team to focus on the new location at Growlers on Poplar. He plans to start opening for lunch at Growlers beginning next month.

The great thing about local organization Volunteer Odyssey is that they not only have a platform to connect Memphians with volunteer opportunities, but they also offer a platform to allow volunteers to blog about their experiences. Volunteer Alyssa recently wrote a blog post about her volunteer experience with Urban Bicycle Food Ministries. Every week, 500 to 600 burritos and hot dogs are assembled in UBFM’s kitchen by volunteers. They are then placed in backpacks, and given to bike riders who ride three routes in the city, including Downtown Memphis, asking people “Are you hungry?” and feeding them if they say they are. Not a cook? No problem, you can volunteer for bike riding only. Not a terribly talented bike rider? You can volunteer for kitchen work only.

That’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

I got more information about that party happening at the Blind Bear the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, September 1. It will be called “The Ultimate Brunch Set” with DJ Big Sue and it will happen from noon to 6 PM. A cigar roller will be on hand during that time.

I hear that Second Street Shopper, the convenience store across from the Peabody, is now carrying PBR Extra, the high-alcohol version of PBR, clocking in at 6.5% alcohol by volume. It is said to be more hoppy than regular PBR, but the flavor is still much the same.

The Grizzlies are holding a job fair for seasonal positions tomorrow 2-7 at FedExForum. A resume is required.

In other news, Tin Roof is hiring security guards.

Got stuff to do so I’m cutting this one short. Back tomorrow.

Sunday update

It’s Sunday. Are you having trouble deciding where to go for brunch today? There’s an app for that. The Daily Memphian reports on a couple from Memphis who developed the Brunch Hunch app.

The Memphis Union Mission is in desperate need of towels. You can buy towels from Amazon (6 for $19.95) and ship them to

Memphis Union Mission
383 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38105
Attn: Dr. Randy Daniels

Wiseacre and Tattersall are teaming up to have a Beach Within Reach party at Carolina Watershed today starting at 2. Bathing suits are encouraged and there will be a Dad Bod contest. There will be a watermelon eating contest and a Slip ‘n Slide.

First 2000 fans at the Redbirds today get a wiffle ball bat, courtesy of Prairie Farms Dairy. Kids 12 and under get free ice cream too. First pitch at 2:05. After the game, players will be in the concourse for autographs, and kids can run the bases.

Beg & Borrow, the pop-up shop in the former Shelton Clothiers space, is selling the Pink Pig apparel that Shelton sold.

Bluff City Weekend has the story behind Memphis Sandwich Clique.

Check out this cool shirt my friends got me at a concert last weekend:

That’s all. Sorry for a rather half-assed effort today but I was out late last night. Back tomorrow or Tuesday with more news.

Saturday update

Back around the first of June, I reported that I had been told the people opening Slider Out at Talbot and Mulberry (with patio backing up to Main Street) were shooting for a grand opening date of July 15. How many of you read that and thought, “Yeah that’ll never happen”? (raises own hand)

So, yesterday an employee of the Aldo family of restaurants gave me a new target date for the new restaurant. Although, now I’m not even sure what the name is anymore. About half the time I still hear Slider Out, and about half the time I hear either “the new Slider Inn” or “the second Slider Inn.”

Anyway, whatever it’s to be called, the employee said the new target date is “About 6 weeks from now… October probably.” But, wait, six weeks from yesterday is not… never mind. My personal prediction as to when it will open, and this is based solely on intuition rather than inside knowledge of building plans: Day after Thanksgiving. That would be a fantastic day to open, really. Most people will be off work and looking for something fun to do. Also, there will be a lot of great college football on that day and a lot of people who want to go to a place less crowded than Max’s Sports Bar will walk over there.

(Although, in the long run, I think Slider Out/Inn 2 will increase business at both bars, rather than detracting from either. I see “let’s watch the game at Max’s then head over to Slider Inn” becoming the South Main equivalent to the core’s “let’s do happy hour at the Silly Goose then go over to Blind Bear.”)

I’m trying to figure out where Slider Inn 2/Out will fit into my weekly schedule. Possibly Sunday afternoons. Maybe lead off at Blind Bear or Pontotoc for brunch, whichever appeals more to me that week, then head down to Slider 1:00, 1:30ish. I bet I could possibly bring along other brunch regulars to the new place.

While we’re on the subject of South Main, I’ll pass on a recommendation I got recently. I’ve been told that the Green Beetle makes the best turkey burger Downtown. That is an impressive recommendation, given that there are at least three other restaurants down here that make outstanding turkey burgers: Huey’s, Flying Saucer, and Silly Goose. I have not had the Beetle’s version of that burger and will have to get down there and try one soon.

Yesterday I got asked “What events are coming up at FedExForum this month?” Off the top of my head, I didn’t know. Let’s have a look:

  • Comedian Jim Gaffigan on his “Secrets and Pies” tour Saturday, August 17. He is really good. Check out some of his material on YouTube if you’re not familiar.
  • If you’re into 45-year-old teen idols, the Backstreet Boys come to the Forum Tuesday, August 27 for their “DNA World Tour.” That should make for some interesting people watching. Their biggest fans when they were in their prime are now hauling kids around in minivans these days.
  • Exposure Memphis comes to the Forum Thursday, August 29. I must admit I have no idea what that is, so I’ll take the lazy route and cut and paste from the event page: “New Memphis is bringing Exposure Memphis presented by Independent Bank to FedExForum Thursday, August 29 at 6 p.m. Come engage with more than 150+ organizations, sample Memphis staples and revel in the magic of Memphis as we celebrate the city’s 200th birthday.”

You know, I like this and think I will incorporate it into the blog. On the first of every month I will try to remember to do a roundup of what is happening at FedExForum (other than Grizzlies and Tigers, which I will cover individually as they come up). Sometimes those events slip by me.

If you like pickle backs to chase your shots, canned pickle juice is now a thing.

STORM THE MISSISSIPPI IT CAN’T DROWN ALL OF US is an event happening Friday, September 20 at 9 PM. From the event description: “INVITE EVERYONE. if we all naruto run at the same time we should be able to run across the river i think probably idk” Okay. Let me make a suggestion here. If you ride one of the Bird scooters into the river rather than run, you will be making less surface contact with the wheels than you would with your feet. Therefore, it seems you would be more likely to make it to Arkansas if you rode. Good luck to all of you. This is an event I can support because it will raise the average IQ in the city of Memphis.

From time to time I need to post this reminder: I am happy to accept friend requests on Facebook from people who read this blog who I have not met in person. However, if we have 5 or fewer friends in common, please message me first, and tell me that you read my blog, and if you’ve ever interacted with me, tell me that too. I tend to decline friend requests with 0-few friends in common to avoid scammers. Several of my friends have been hacked lately because they weren’t careful about accepting requests.

The 2nd annual River City Jazz and Music Festival will happen at the Cannon Center on Labor Day at 5 PM. This is put on by Fresh Ideas Entertainment and will feature Boney James, Regina Belle, Avery Sunshine, Glenn Jones, Paul “Snowflake” Taylor, Julian Vaughn, and PC Band. The event will begin with a cocktail hour in the lobby.

Food truck New Wing Order will celebrate its first birthday at Memphis Made Brewing Co. on Saturday, September 21. Full menu plus surprises and giveaways. Weather should be perfect for that one! Unless summer sticks around and it’s still 97 out, which sure as hell has happened the past few years.

I was told yesterday by a woman who used to have hair extensions that they cost her $500 plus $200 to put in. Daaaamn I knew they were not cheap, but I didn’t know they were that much. I know women who got hair extensions at least 3 times in one year. They’re basically supplying their stylist a down payment on a new car, doing that. Maybe I need to get a cosmetology license.

Clay’s Smoked Tuna has announced that starting Monday, their smoked tuna salad and smoked buffalo chicken dip will be available for purchase at Cordelia’s Market on the island.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to tell you that Evelyn & Olive, the Jamaican restaurant in the 600 block of Madison, is hiring! They need grill, line, and prep cooks. You get Sundays and Mondays off, store discounts, and it’s an opportunity to add to your skill set by learning Jamaican food. Send resume to darrin.evelynolive@yahoo.com if interested. So much going on in The Edge these days! Jamaican me crazy!

I tried the black bean patty sub at Lenny’s last night. I’ve had good luck with other black bean patties and hoped Lenny’s would be good too. My verdict: Meh. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. Even asking for “all the peppers” (bell, banana, jalapeno) didn’t add a lot of flavor. I’ll stick with Huey’s when I want a black bean burger, and since I’m not a vegetarian I’ll add bacon.

Memphis restaurant owners and managers, if you ever run sandwiches as daily specials you really need to be on the Memphis Sandwich Clique Facebook group. They are shooting for 5000 members by the end of next week and will likely get there. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get a lot of eyeballs on your offerings. Make sure you post a photo of the sandwich, list what is in it, and if you’re sharing a post from your own page make sure the name of the restaurant is in your post. There’s some debate as to whether hamburgers and hot dogs are sandwiches (personally, I think they are) but posts about them are generally allowed as long as they come from local businesses. There is an approval process once you request to join. It doesn’t take a very long time to be approved, but don’t expect to jump on that group and have your sandwich visible to its members 2 minutes later.

Over the years I have posted about products like PBR Hard Coffee and that venison sandwich at Arby’s that were only available in test markets, leaving my readers thinking, “I wish I could get that in Memphis.” Well, good news… Memphis is finally a test market for a product. Taco Bell is testing buffalo chicken nacho fries only in Memphis. You can eat this combo as fries, or you can have it rolled up in a burrito, either for $2.99. This product will only be here until mid-August, so hurry in if you want to try.

Just don’t post the buffalo chicken nacho fries to Memphis Sandwich Clique. That would likely get you banned.

Full Moon Kayaking returns to the Wolf River Harbor Thursday night, August 15. Meet at River Garden, 51 N. Riverside. DJ Ben Murray will play as you paddle around the harbor. Kayaks are available for free use on a first-come, first-serve basis or you can bring your own.

There will be a Friends trivia bar crawl this afternoon at four bars on Beale. Registration is at Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe 4 to 6 PM and the other three bars are Handy Cafe, Coyote Ugly, and Lew’s Blue Note Bar & Grill. You can play at the bars in any order you want. Play in teams of up to 8 people. There will be 25 questions at each bar, with the Geller Cup to the winning team and prizes for the 2nd and 3rd place teams. Drink specials at every venue. There will be raffles for tickets to future events, a costume contest, a photographer on site, and an after-party.

There’s also a Hidden Cash event today. Not sure if this will be Downtown, but these events are more often than not, so people can walk, trolley or (ugh) Bird. They post clues, you find cash. Do me a favor: If you attend this event, hit me up with a message and let me know whether or not it’s legit. I know nothing about the company putting it on as of yet.

Time for me to head to Bardog for Saturday Fun Day. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Five years ago today was Saturday, August 2, 2014. I started off as I normally do that day of the week, going to Bardog for brunch at 11. Then about 1:30, I walked over to the Blind Bear where my friend Brad was bartending.

I got a seat at the far end of the bar. There were about 5 other people there. We didn’t know each other, but Brad soon had us all talking and laughing with each other. He’s good at facilitating that.

After a while a couple sitting midway down the bar told me, “Hey, Paul. We read your blog. We want you to know that we decided to move Downtown because of what you wrote. So, thank you for that.”

Then a pretty brunette on the far side of the couple stood up and said, “Hey, Paul. I decided to move to Memphis from out of state because of what you wrote.” After that, we all went back to talking and laughing, and when the people in the middle of the bar left, I scooted down to talk to the brunette, to find out more of her story. I was very flattered to learn that the population of Memphis is a different number than it would have been otherwise if not for this blog.

Three weeks later I did the same routine – Bardog, Blind Bear. I found the same woman sitting at the bar at the Bear. She asked if I remembered “our love fest that we had up here a few weeks ago.” I sat with her and for the next 2 1/2 hours, we talked about anything and everything. She was very interested in my life, and asked me a lot of questions. She wanted to know my favorite places to hang out, my favorite places to eat, all about my BBQ team. She told me she knew one of the other BBQ teams and hung out in their booth the previous May.

I didn’t see the woman for four months after that. Our friend Clay wanted to make Silly Goose our second Saturday stop for a while, and since our friend and BBQ teammate Dusty was bartending there, I happily went along with the plan.

The first Saturday of January 2015, Clay wasn’t around, so I went back to my Bardog, Blind Bear routine. Brad was behind the bar, his last Saturday shift before he switched to Sundays. The woman came in with a mutual friend who I know from the world of BBQ. I was invited to come sit with them, but I didn’t talk much because I didn’t want to be rude and interrupt their girl time. They left after about an hour, and I thought that would be the end of it.

It wasn’t. Brad came over and asked if I knew who the woman was. “Sure, she moved here because of my blog and we had a couple of good conversations last summer,” I replied. Brad told me she had been asking about me, not just that day but in the past as well. He said the woman wanted to come sit next to me and talk, but was too shy. Brad told me she really liked me and wanted to get to know me; that I didn’t pick up on it, but last summer when we talked, she was kind of trying to hit on me. He said she came back up there multiple times looking for me, but I was never around and she eventually gave up.

“I wish I’d known that while she was still here,” I told Brad. “What if I don’t see her for another four months?” Brad gave me her full name, said she was on Facebook, and suggested I send her a friend request and get to know her on there. I did, and she accepted. For the next month I looked at her posts and her photos, and she seemed exactly like the person I had interacted with at the Bear. Very charming, fabulous sense of humor, large group of Downtown friends that mirrored my own and even overlapped my own a bit.

I hoped to see her at Brad’s bar on a Sunday, so we could talk again and I could ask her out. However, her lifestyle kept her away from the bar scene for several weeks. Finally, on Monday, February 9, 2015, I sent her a private message on Facebook, the very first time I ever PM’d her, six months after we met. I told her I thought she was a really interesting person, and asked if she’d like to get a drink sometime and get to know each other more.

On Thursday, February 12, she responded, apologizing for taking a long time to get back to me. She’d been out of town. She said she’d love to get a drink with me. She suggested 1 PM that Saturday at the Blind Bear. I waited a couple of hours to respond (didn’t want to appear over-eager) and told her the time and place sounded perfect, and I would see her there.

The next couple of days, I was on cloud nine. Here was this person who’d found her life, her happiness, here in Memphis because of something I created. And now we’d met, and I found out she really likes me, and she’s single, and I’m going to get drinks with her on Valentine’s Day. Maybe fairy tales do come true in real life, I wondered.

THANK GOD she stood me up. Best thing that possibly could have happened, even if it didn’t seem like it at the time.

OK let’s get on to the news…

Fridays are always busy nights at the Redbirds. Tonight is Elvis Night, and the first 1500 fans in the gate get a T-shirt with a picture of the famous pink Cadillac.

Gates open at 6:00, so you’ll want to get there not long after that if you want to score a shirt. Another reason to get there early: $2 beers at the left field bar until the game starts.

It’s also all-you-can-eat specialty ticket night, where that ticket gets you not only a seat for the game, but an all-you-can-eat buffet as well. This week the buffet theme is tacos and all the fixins, plus hot dogs and two soft drinks or waters. This ticket includes a $15 Dave & Buster’s gift card as well.

Movie fans will want to plan to be at AutoZone Park Friday, August 16. It will be Sandlot Night, a celebration of the 1993 movie in which kids got together on a sandlot to play baseball and get into mischief. Chauncey Leopard, “Squints” from the movie, will be at the park that night. He will throw out the first pitch, do a meet & greet from approximately 7:00-8:30, and lead the crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” for the 7th inning stretch. Following the game, the movie will be shown on the video board.

I’ve been continuing to follow the food porn on the Memphis Sandwich Clique Facebook group. One of the members posted photos of a Downtown sandwich, and I asked for and received permission to re-post them here.

Photo credit: Eric Groff

This is the Pork Belly Reuben at the 3rd and Court diner. It comes with million island dressing, Swiss, and house beer-kraute. As you can see, Eric chose to sub an order of tater tots for the fries that usually come with this sandwich, an excellent decision I must say.

I didn’t get a photo of this one, but I gleaned some future Downtown sandwich news from the group as well. As I reported earlier, Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe will be opening a second location in The Edge District in the upcoming months. On Friday and Saturday only they have a special sandwich: catfish, spaghetti, and cole slaw on Texas toast. That’s right, spaghetti on a sandwich. It is said to be life-changing.

If you’re a Memphis foodie and you aren’t in the clique, you are missing out. It’s the kind of group on Facebook that does what its mission says: It informs people of the many delicious sandwiches you can get in this city. There isn’t a lot of drama and infighting as is the case with some Facebook groups (coughsavetomleeparkcough).

This Saturday from noon to 2 PM there will be a Nerf Brunch at Loflin Yard. You can bring your own Nerf gun and be part of the fun for $5. If you don’t have a Nerf gun, rent one of theirs along with ammo, safety glasses, and flags for $10. For $35 you can get the Deluxe Party Package with 110 rounds of ammo and an upgraded Nerf gun.

If you’re a breakfast lover, get down to Venga in the Puck Food Hall, 409 South Main, this weekend. All weekend long they will have a special of roasted green chili sausage, corn salsa, sunny eggs, and spicy habanero sauce. The dish is served with two warm corn tortillas.

Riverfront Storytime for kids will happen behind the Cossitt Library, Front and Monroe, today at 10 AM and again at 6 PM. This event lasts anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.

The Memphis Grizzlies are celebrating the 2019-20 season being the 25th season of the franchise with two throwback Vancouver Grizzlies uniforms and an anniversary court.

In other Grizzlies news, second-year forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. has been named to the U.S. Select team. This team will put the United States basketball team to the paces at training camp starting Monday, as they prepare for the FIBA world championships. Fellow Rookie First-Team members Trae Young and Marvin Bagley Jr. will join Jackson on the Select team.

When you order a shot with a pickle back but the bar is out of pickle juice:

Don’t worry, though, they located the pickle juice a little while after this was taken. It was in a different cooler than where it is usually stored. By the way, there are two dead giveaways in this photo that the shot did not belong to me:

  1. Cigarettes in the background
  2. No troll

There was a discussion on Facebook yesterday about how most presidential candidates are referred to by their last name after the first mention, but Kamala Harris is often referred to as Kamala, and whether that is disrespectful. Of course, Memphis being Memphis, someone had to go and comment, “Kamala the Ugandan giant,” referring to the wrestler who appeared in Memphis, other regional territories, and WWF in the 1980s and 1990s. What most people don’t know is, he’s a Harris as well. In 1982, someone told truck driver Sugar Bear Harris that due to his size, he might have a future in professional wrestling. A meeting was arranged with Jerry Lawler, co-owner of the Memphis territory. Lawler took one look at him and said, “I have the perfect gimmick for you. Come back tomorrow, park behind the building, come in the back door, and don’t let anybody see you.” Originally the gimmick name was spelled Kimala.

Classic baseball movie Angels in the Outfield (1994; PG for mild language) plays the big screen at the Orpheum tonight at 7. A boy prays for a chance to have a family if the California Angels win the pennant, and angels are assigned to make that happen. $8 adults, $6 children under 12.

Beginning Monday, the Memphis Medical District Collaborative will partner with MATA for a new shuttle service that will connect the Medical District and Harbor Town during morning and evening rush hour Monday-Friday. The shuttle is free for participating medical and educational institutions with valid ID card, and is available to the public at normal MATA rates. The shuttle will run 6:30-9:00 AM and 4:00-6:30 PM on weekdays, with stops at Southern College of Optometry, Madison and Dunlap, A.W. Willis Ave. and Third/B.B. King, the Riverset Apartments, and Estates at River Pointe.

Beg & Borrow Apparel has opened a pop-up shop at 145 S. Main Suite 110, in the former Shelton space.

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

Thursday update

Great news for the southern stretch of the Main Street Mall. The Royal Furniture building at the corner of Main and Gayoso is going to be turned into a 178-room boutique hotel. Local developer Tom Intrator will be partnering with Dream Hotel Group out of New York on this project. The plan is to turn the existing structure into “a very, very high-end restaurant,” with the hotel rising above it. There will be a lobby lounge and a coffee shop in the structure, and also a rooftop bar.

This is fantastic news. There are multiple hotels lining the Main Street Mall, but as of now they are all north of Monroe, where entertainment options right out the front door are somewhat lacking. People walking out of the future Dream Hotel will be able to walk to Local, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Blind Bear, Center for Southern Folklore, Bluefin, the Majestic Grille, the Orpheum, the Silly Goose, Flying Saucer, Margaritas, Kooky Canuck, and Automatic Slim’s in under 2 minutes. It will be good to have more tourist pedestrian traffic on that part of Main, and will show tourists that there is more to do Downtown than just Beale Street.

Voting in the 2019 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll is now open.

This is not a Downtown thing, but I want to pass this along to make people who help those in need aware: The pantry at Caritas Village, 2509 Harvard out in Binghampton, is full. Those who need food can come by and get free rice, canned potatoes and canned pimientos, pickles, coffee, mac & cheese, all kinds of seasonings, maple syrup, ketchup, and fresh local okra and peaches.

The Redbirds throw the first pitch at 7:05 tonight at AutoZone Park, with thowback prices of $2 beers and $1 Polk’s hot dogs. The Memphis Redbirds will take the field as the Memphis Chicks with throwback uniforms, and Chicks mascot Blooper will be there. College students with valid IDs can get $5 Bluff tickets tonight.

Don’t forget, Saturday is back-to-school backpack giveaway night at the Redbirds:

This is a fantastic time to go to a Redbirds game if you are a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Two key players for the Cards, Marcell Ozuna and Matt Carpenter, are playing for the Redbirds this week on rehab assignments.

Pop, rock and New Wave band The M-80s headline the Peabody rooftop party this evening. $10 to get in, $20 VIP. Admission includes a buffet of Sloppy Joes and assorted chips. Those in VIP get a second buffet of chicken sliders, beef sliders, steak fries, and a cheese display.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. will have its beers in more Shelby County locations soon. For their first five years of operation, Memphis Made self-distributed, starting with 6 locations and growing to 300. However, as head brewer Drew Barton described it, “it’s time to send our distribution off to college.” They are partnering with local distributor Ajax to expand their products’ reach within the county.

There’s finally some relief for the family of Christopher Phillips, a friend of many Downtowners who was killed in a hit-and-run in an Overton Square crosswalk two years ago. Joanna Goodfellow has been charged with aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, and driving while her license was suspended or revoked. She has also been charged with tampering with evidence. It has been claimed by people who knew the victim that after the accident, she hid her car among cars at a local dealership (note the last name).

This is very cool: A local teacher (and member of the Downtown poker community) was one of only 24 selected, out of more than 300 applicants, to attend the 2019 Air Force Robotics Academy. Krisma Smith mentors the robotics team at Marion Junior High School. She was flown to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio to receive mentoring training and to take a tour of the robotics facility.

It sickens me that the leaders of Congress won’t even consider a bill funding preventions against foreign powers interfering in US elections, even after it has been said by nearly every expert on the matter that such interference happened in 2016. We are rolling out the red carpet for Russia. It’s like Scar letting the hyenas live in the Pride Lands.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for the bi-weekly staff meeting here at paulryburn.com. This is a chance for the staff to share with the group what they have been working on. It’s also an opportunity to look for synergy among team members, to look for ways we can help each other be successful, and to share any problems or issues they have with the projects they are working on.

Senior Deputy Director of Public Relations Perjorie T. Roll, we’ll start with you. What have you been working on since the last meeting?

Excellent. Keep up the good work, SRDDIR Roll. That concludes the staff portion of the meeting. Now we’ll move on to announcements from management. There will be a team off-site at the Silly Goose this afternoon, starting around 2. I feel it’s important for us to get out of our office now and then and work in an alternate space where new and different ideas may come to us. Also, there is a team outing to play trivia tonight at the Blind Bear at 7:30. Attendance to the outing is not required, of course, but is highly recommended.

You can bring your dog to the Redbirds game tonight for Woof Wednesday. A special ticket and a special interest get you and your pet in. First pitch tonight is 6:35.

In other Redbirds news, if you love the team, you will want to be there on Friday, August 23, and you will want to get there early. That evening the first 2000 fans through the gate will receive a replica of the 2018 Triple-A Championship rings that the team received earlier this season. The ring features the music note “M” Redbirds logo, the words “National Champions,” the Memphis skyline, and pennants from the years the ‘birds won the Pacific Coast League championship.

Can’t make it on the 23rd, or don’t want to rush to the ballpark to be one of the first 2000? You can get the ring as part of a specialty ticket that also gets you admission to the 2019 Triple-A Championship Game, to be played at AutoZone Park on Tuesday, September 17.

Stanley’s Sweet Street Treats is the food truck today at Cordelia’s Market 5-8 PM. Don’t forget, they’ll be showing Shark Week on the TV there all week long. Someone needs to order the soft shell crab sandwich and post a photo to Memphis Sandwich Clique.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Memphis Sandwich Clique is the best thing to happen to Memphis Facebook in a long, long time. The premise is simple: People post photos of the yummy sandwiches they order from Memphis restaurants – locally-owned restaurants that is, no one wants to see a pic of your Cold Cut Combo from Subway. They also do sandwich meetups, with one planned for the RAWK’n Grub inside Growlers this Sunday at 4. The group is only about a week old and has already exploded in popularity.

Did you know there’s a bar Downtown with a Hookah Night? Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe on Beale has one every Wednesday. It’s Service Industry Night too.

Electric Watershed, a Memphis electronic dance music experience, will take place at Carolina Watershed on Saturday, August 10. This event is described as “a music festival in your backyard.”

WWE Smackdown Live was televised from FedExForum last night, and the rumor was true: Jerry Lawler hosted his interview segment The King’s Court, and his guest was retired Hall of Famer Trish Stratus, possibly the most accomplished female wrestler ever to appear in WWE. He asked her if she’d ever thought about coming out of retirement for one last match. Of course, you just can’t have one of these interview segments without an interruption.

Full results from Smackdown Live from Memphis can be found here.

That’s it for today. Time to get ready for the team off-site this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Lost dog + Tuesday news

This dog went missing from Loflin Yard recently:

Please be on the lookout for her if you live in the south end of Downtown. Her name is Lola and she is a 7-year-old boxer. She has a GPS collar but the battery is dead. If you find her, contact me at paul@paulryburn.com or private-message me on Facebook or Twitter and I will get you in touch with the owner. Although, the owner works at Loflin Yard, so it might be easier if you just call up there.

Sorry for no post yesterday. I guess you could say I took a personal day. I haven’t heard back about the job I applied for last week, and anxiety started to kick in. I also realized that Friday is the five-year anniversary of the beginning of a very unhappy time in my life that continues to this day. Although I had about seven news items in the queue, it all just kind of got to me, and I ended up going to Bardog at 9 AM. I know that drinking at 9 in the morning is not the healthiest way to deal with problems, but it’s the route I chose yesterday.

You know, several times a day I get asked, “Any news on that job yet?” The people are asking because they care about me, they’re rooting for me, and they want to see me do well. But it turns into a several-times-a-day reminder that I haven’t heard anything back about the job. It depresses me even more. By the way, it’s quite common to apply for an IT job and not hear anything back after a week. Sometimes it’s two, four weeks or even more. Interviews often have to be delayed due to people going on vacation, urgent projects that have to get done, etc.

There’s a hot deal going on in AutoZone Park right now, where you can get a bluff seat for every game there during the month of August for $20. That’s 16 Memphis Redbirds games and one Memphis 901 FC match. Barely more than a dollar a game! They are offering the deal to celebrate the park’s 20th anniversary.

There’s a new business called Feast & Graze that makes custom charcuterie boards and delivers them to your home or office. They are taking pre-orders now and their delivery area is Shelby County.

Tonight is WWE Smackdown Live at FedExForum. I had previously heard that Hall of Famer Trish Stratus might come out of retirement to wrestle Charlotte Flair. It’s now believed that Stratus will be there, and will be a guest on Jerry Lawler’s King’s Court interview segment to kick off the program with Flair.

Lawler, by the way, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hardeman County, claiming that staff at the jail there failed to adequately protect his son Brian Christopher Lawler from other inmates there. Brian was found dead in his cell a year ago yesterday. It was ruled a suicide by hanging at the time, but evidence suggests that he may have been murdered.

Tonight’s show at FedExForum will not be the last WWE event of the year in the Memphis metro. WWE’s developmental brand NXT comes to the Landers Center in September. This is your chance to see up-and-coming stars who will be on the Raw and Smackdown brands a year or two from now. The wrestling tends to be top-notch, often better than on the main shows. Champions Adam Cole and Shayna Bazler are scheduled to be there.

United Way has a position open for Associate, Community and Corporate Engagement.

Registration is under way for Max’s Sports Bar’s fall cornhole tournament. It will happen on 6 Tuesdays beginning August 27. There are drink specials for players. Max says the prizes have been significant, although he didn’t say exactly what they were. Also, a portion of the purse gets donated to a charity chosen by the winning team.

The Redbirds are back in town tonight with a 6:35 game.

Fast Company reports that the next big thing in fashion is not washing your clothes. We’re running out of ideas here, people.

Another trend that is big Downtown right now: Taking a video of yourself shotgunning a White Claw and posting it to Facebook. White Claw is a hard seltzer that comes in 16 ounce cans and is the latest trend in getting white girl wasted. It’s said to be what Zima was in the 1990s in terms of market appeal. Needless to say, I have not strayed from old reliable PBR. Takeout asks, why are people so obsessed with White Claw?

Memphis Travel has put together a rockabilly fan’s guide to Memphis.

That’s the news for now. Let me know if you see the dog. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update: How going on a free run tomorrow night could lead to a free bar tab for a year

In poker, a freeroll is a tournament in which it’s totally free to enter, but the winner receives something tangible, either cash or a prize. Years ago, a co-worker of mine entered a freeroll online and won. The prize was an entry to what’s known as a satellite, another tournament, this one with the prize being a free entry into a World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas. He won that too. Unfortunately he didn’t make it into the money in Vegas, but how cool would it have been if a free entry led to him winning hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Well, I have news of a different kind of freeroll, one that involves running rather than poker. There’s a group called the Salty Dogs that does a run Downtown every Monday night. They meet at Bardog at 7 PM, and anyone can join them, and it’s totally free. They go on a run usually about 3 miles in length. The run ends back at Bardog, where they enjoy food and drink specials in the Underdog Room downstairs. One of the organizers of the Salty Dogs announced that after tomorrow’s run, they are going to put names in a hat and draw one, the winner receiving a free entry to the Breakaway-Bardog 5K on Sunday, August 18. As I posted previously, three people who run Breakaway-Bardog 5K will receive free bar tabs* for a year – the fastest overall male and female, and one entrant chosen at random at the Monroe Avenue Fest following the race. So going on a free run tomorrow night could lead to you winning a free bar tab*.

(Bar tab is in the form of a $20 Bardog gift card every week for 52 weeks.)

OK, I’ve told you how to win a bar tab… now I’m going to tell you how to possibly get some free money. (Isn’t this a great post). You may have heard that Equifax, one of the major credit reporting agencies, had a massive data breach in 2017. They settled with the U.S. government last week, and if you were affected you may be eligible for a payment. It’s easy to check whether you were affected by the breach. I wasn’t, but a friend of mine checked, found out she was affected, filled out a short form on her phone, and was told she would receive $125.

Today’s the final day of Hamilton at the Orpheum. The highly-acclaimed Broadway musical has performances at 1:00 and 6:30.

The first Rose Review happens tonight at Atomic Rose, the new restaurant and nightclub on Second in what used to be the Purple Haze space. The club opens at 5 PM and DJ Maverick 1990 will be on the turntables from 9 PM until closing time at 1 AM. From 9 to 11 there will be a drag show.

85 South Memphis Late Show happens at the Cannon Center tonight.

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