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Aug 272015

Last night I stopped by the Blind Bear, and it was a rare case when all three happy hour bartenders were there at the same time. While sipping on a PBR I came up with the perfect nickname for this crew.

Photo Aug 26, 7 36 38 PM

FML: Feeny, Mary, Lacey.

I positively love these girls. And I love the Blind Bear.

The Flyer has an article about LYFE Kitchen. The article is about the one out east, but it’s worth a read for Downtowners because we will soon have a LYFE Kitchen in the Chisca. The concept of LYFE Kitchen is that customers can get healthy meals that are low on calories for fast-food prices.

Tweet from the Chisca about LYFE Kitchen:

The Chisca also tweeted a photo of a model apartment:

Video from WREG Live at 9: Chocolate tart recipe from the Peabody pastry chef

Looking for employment? I have leads on several jobs today. Are you a people person who loves storytelling? Backbeat Tours has a part-time guide position open to conduct tours including their Historic Downtown, Ghost, and Discovery tours. Email with your resume and say a little about yourself.

Chipotle will hire 4000 at its National Career Day – 60 at each store, including the Memphis-area stores.

The Downtown Doubletree seeks an overnight dishwasher.

Packet pick-up for the Breakaway-Bardog 5K starts tomorrow. Here are the locations and times:

August 28th, 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Breakaway Running (Germantown)
1223 S. Germantown Rd.
Germantown, TN 38107

August 29th, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Breakaway Running (Midtown)
2109 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38107

August 30th, 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Bardog Tavern (Downtown)
73 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

Run at 9, post-race after-party until noon, and then the Monroe Avenue Festival (formerly Bardog alley party) is open to the public from noon to 6. Hmmm… any of the Sunday brunch crew want to pre-game down the street at D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear at 11 then head over? I will be taking lots and lots of photos, as I have done in previous years.

Worked from home this afternoon, so I am out early. Time to go visit the L of FML.

College of Art moves its graduate school, couple to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro for St. Jude, and more: Wed update #2

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Aug 262015

The Memphis College of Art has decided to leave South Main, moving its graduate school back to its Overton Park location. The school wants all its students on one campus. While that may sound like bad news for South Main, it may not be. The school’s arrival here was preceded by $2.5 million in renovations, which will make the building attractive to other organizations.

Cool story: Former Memphians/frequent visitors Dennis and Mary Pat, now residing in Madison, Alabama, are going to climb Mt.Kilamanjaro for St. Jude. They’re hoping to raise $19,341, which is one dollar for each foot of elevation of the mountain. The Flying Saucer has donated $1160, which is $193.41 from each of the six Saucers where they have plates.

Here’s a reminder that tomorrow is the Kooky Canuck gift card sale, at both locations 11 to 9. Kooky Canuck will match every dollar you put on the cards. Purchases must be made in $10 increments.

Also tomorrow, Pam and Terry will play the Blind Bear from 10 to 1. I guess I’m staying up late then…

Want to work at the Memphis Airport? Want a hospitality job with very competitive pay and benefits? My friend Rodger has some very good positions at his company that you can view here. In particular he is looking to fill management positions at Starbucks and F&B, “or else I’ll be making coffees myself and no one wants that.” Rodger is the guy who told me about the difference between chicken fried steak and country fried steak.

(I mentioned chicken fried steak :mrgreen: )

Visible Music College wants to add a dormitory. View an architectural rendering here.

From Arts Technica: Facing possible ban, more and more Americans are buying new and used $900 flamethrowers

(I mentioned flamethrowers :mrgreen: )

That’ll do it. Two posts in a day again. Shall we go for three? Check back.

Chicken fried steak rap

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Aug 262015

©2015 Paul Ryburn. All rights reserved.

I got to get me a chicken fried
With white peppered gravy, mashed potatoes on the side.
Black eyed peas and a roll to bake
I got to get me a chicken fried steak.

My heart beats fast, my legs turn to jelly
For a Styrofoam box in a gas station deli.
It’s not filled with tamales, or pie or cake
All I need is a chicken fried steak.

After a day filled with drama and strife
There’s much needed solace in a fork and a knife.
Salt and pepper on my dinner break
It’s time to throw down on a chicken fried steak.

Been a while since we had two updates in one day – Tuesday update #2

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Aug 252015

This Friday is South Main Green Bus Night, known to some as South Main Trolley Night, with many of the shops in the area open until 9 or later, some having deals or appetizers, beer, or wine. Good news for Green Bus Night: Paul Morris who runs DMC has announced that the re-paving of South Main is complete, and there will be no street closures that night.

South Main Sounds at 550 South Main will hold its 16th Singer Songwriter Night that night from 7 to 9. Music by three-time veteran Savannah Long and second-timer Maria Spence and Holly Cole of The Memphis Dawls and Zak Baker of Zigadoo Moneyclips. Bruce Barham and Steven Pittman will round out the night.

WREG has a report on Red Hot Lindy Hop, where you can learn how to swing dance at several locations around town, including the Rumba Room on South Main on Friday nights. This group has been around for quite a while; I took a swing dance lesson from them back in 2003 and I absolutely sucked at it. The dance was at a juke joint over on Airways though, which was kinda cool.

The Blind Bear’s new 16-week poker league starts tonight at 8 PM. There are also games on Sunday (6:30) and Thursday (7:30). There are some changes for this new league. $40 gift card for each game’s 1st place, $20 for second. Accumulating points of 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, 2 for 4th, and 1 for showing up. I like that; it rewards skill more than the old system. New drink specials for poker players include $2.50 12oz bottles Miller lite, Coors Light & Miller High Life; $3 cinnamon whiskey shots; and $5 Texas vodka.

Saw this on Twitter: Dump Meals. Isn’t that pretty much what Taco Bell is?

Another BBQ Fest team is joining the Best Memphis Burger Festival competition this year. Weekend at Porky’s is on board. Rahul and Tony may not make the best Bloody Mary and win that category, but I bet their Bloody Mary will have the most fruit in it. Damn… Weekend at Porky’s, Squeal Street BBQ, and the Moody Ques (who won a trophy at BBQ Fest ’15) all on Tiger Lane… that is going to be a SHITSHOW. The festival is October 3.

Congratulations to my friend Kellie who made it through her training period at Max’s Sports Bar, even with no previous bartending experience, and impressed Max enough to hire her. She will be working during football season, and possibly taking over some of the shifts Max has been working.

Happy hour time! I am going to make a game-time decision where to go – one of the three M’s – Melissa, Mary, and Max. Melissa is at Bardog, Mary at Blind Bear. I hope I don’t have to tell you where Max is. I just spent the day debugging a 2500-line SQL query and am ready for refreshment.

Tuesday update

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Aug 252015

Online sign-ups for two events at the Bardog alley party… er, Monroe Fest, are happening right now. You can sign up to get in the dunk tank and have people pay to throw balls to dunk you, with the proceeds going to St. Jude.

Or, you can sign up for the meatball eating contest. Whoever eats the most of Aldo’s grandma’s meatballs in a period of time gets a meatball eating championship belt similar to the belt awarded to the winner of the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in New York. Space is limited, so sign up early, and be sure to let them know your T-shirt size in the comments.

There was a food fight at the Madison recently. No, not a school cafeteria-type food fight. Three chefs, including the executive chef at eighty3, faced off in a battle of South vs. North vs. West. The winning dishes will be featured on an upcoming menu at eighty3.

The Grizzlies have announced dates for their regional caravan tour featuring Tony Allen and several other players. The Downtown date is August 31 at AutoZone Park.

Meekies Munchies will open this weekend at 488 S. Second.

That’s it for now. Time to head to work. Possibly another post later today.

“It’s time for you to expand your horizons”

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Aug 232015

Yesterday I led off at the Memphis Farmers Market, and as usual I hit the So Fresh juice truck for a smoothie. I ordered my usual Berry 4 Ever, but the guy in the truck said, “Okay. We’ve got to wean you off the Berry 4 Ever. It’s time for you to expand your horizons. Do you like coconut?”

“Sure, who doesn’t like coconut?” I replied.

“You need to try the Coco Fusion. That’s the stuff, right there,” he told me.

“There’s no kale in it, is there?” I asked. “Because I’m not drinking kale.”

He said no, and I changed my order to the Coco Fusion. It was good! I was a little surprised when a strand of coconut came up my straw, but hey, it’s a sign they use real ingredients. You can “Like” the So Fresh truck on Facebook to keep up with its whereabouts.

I still miss the tandoori truck, though.

Today is Streetdog Day at the High Cotton Brewery at 598 Monroe. It’s a fundraiser for the Streetdog Foundation from noon to 6, with $3.50 pints and you are welcome to bring the pups as long as they are friendly to humans and other dogs. Silent auction, food trucks.

Great article from Smart City Memphis: Closing out the Morris era. Paul Morris has run DMC for the past several years and Downtown is a better place because of him. In his years as leader we have seen the Tennessee Brewery saved, One Commerce Square saved, the redevelopment of the Chisca, growth of Main Street as a restaurant and entertainment district, and much, much more. Paul will be joining his family business at the end of the year. He was once my across-the-hall neighbor in 10 Main and I am proud to know him.

The final table in the 16-week Blind Bear poker league is tonight. I haven’t been playing lately but most of the people who made the cut are my friends. I will try to be there to watch. Best of luck to all.

WTF: Anakin is one of the top 1000 baby names. Anakin is the birth name of Darth Vader. That’s almost as stupid as naming a kid Cadillac or Lexus.

Riverfront Grille at Beale Street Landing is hosting Dancing on the Docks Tuesday evening. The folks from Rumba Room will be there to give salsa lessons, and there will be tequila specials and a live DJ.

All right, that’ll do it for now. My plan for the day is D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear, then later in the day I will go see Christina at the Flying Saucer. The past couple of days I have hit the south side to support a friend who started a new job, but today I will most likely keep my activity in the Downtown core.

Friday update

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Aug 212015

The people that ran Brewery Revival at the Tennessee Brewery last spring will make a comeback this fall. Beginning October 1, a similar pop-up concept will happen in Station 3: The Memphis Firehaus. That’s the old fire station at Third and Dr. MLK Jr. Ave (had to correct myself – still called it Linden there for a moment) that if you are a very old-school Downtowner, you remember as Have a Nice Day Cafe from 2001ish (man I miss that place). Open October-November, with craft beer from local and regional breweries, food trucks, and live entertainment. As with the brewery, Station 3 will be open Thursday-Sunday, plus special event days including Tiger and Grizzly game days.

“Baked to Perfection” is the theme of this week’s Memphis Farmers Market. I have said all along that the Market is so much more than fresh produce. Several vendors sell freshly baked breads. UT Extension agent Sheryl Miller will lead a cooking demo at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30, making sweet potato pancakes. There will be a Foodsaver sealing demo with Carolyn Dodson King from Dodson Farm at 10:30. Live music by Bruce Barham 8:30-10. 7 AM to 1 PM, at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson, every Saturday, in past years through October but according to the Market’s e-newsletter, through November 21 this year.

Raymond James will have a fundraiser in Court Square today beginning at 3 to benefit Komen Race for the Cure Mid-South. Food trucks, complimentary pink lemonade, and carinval activities. Most importantly, there will be a dunk tank where you can buy balls to try and dunk well-known Memphians, including Paul Morris who runs DMC. More info here.

There will be a Matt Carpenter bobblehead Giveaway tonight at AutoZone Park. The first 1500 fans will get a bobblehead of the St. Louis Cardinals third baseman, a former Memphis Redbird. Opponent is the El Paso Chihuahuas and the first pitch is 7:05. Gates open at 5 with a block party in the courtyard.

The Grizzlies are having an open house, pick-your seat day at FedExForum tomorrow 12-2. First 200 in the door get Clipp… er, Grizzlies flip-flops. Free parking in the Toyota Parking Garage.

There’s an SEC kick-off party tomorrow at Double J, a fundraiser benefitting the Humane Society. $10 donation gets you three drink tickets. There will be a silent auction, tailgating, and a cornhole tournament. More info here.

All right. Time for work. Possibly back with a second update later today.

Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Festival Sunday, August 30

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Aug 202015

For the past six years, Bardog Tavern has thrown itself an alley party to celebrate its birthday while raising money for St. Jude. This year they are taking it to a whole new level. Sunday, August 30 will be the Monroe Festival with Monroe blocked from midnight to 7 PM. This year Bardog has some new partners for the party: Felicia Suzanne’s and McEwen’s on Monroe. Also back are Eagle Distributing, Breakaway Running, Classic Party Rentals, Fireball, Gossett Motors, Jameson, and Rentrop Geater. The event is a fundraiser for St. Jude that raised over $31,000 last year, and I have no doubt Aldo has plans to top that number. St. Jude has saved thousands from childhood cancer and there is never a bill.

The party gets started with the Breakaway-Bardog 5K at 9 in the morning. The race will be chip-timed and all participants will get a T-shirt and goody bag. Register online, at Breakaway Running, or at Bardog in advance for $30, or join the run the day of for $35.

Following the run is one of the best street festivals of the fall Downtown season. There will be a beer/liquor tasting, and you can get an all-day pass for $25. This is a great deal if you plan on sticking around all day as I usually do. There will be a dunk tank where you can dunk your favorite Bardog servers and regulars. You can win some awesome prizes in a raffle. There will be a contest to see who can eat the most of Aldo’s grandma’s famous meatballs; sign-up is currently going on at Bardog and spots are open.

Server Lauren “LD” Dunn will have her head shaved if $10,000 is raised for St. Jude. Fundraising has already begun and you can drop off donations at the bar or give them to Lauren personally. If you donate $100 or more, you can get your name on the “Baller Board” at Bardog. Two BBQ teams, the Moody Ques and Squeal Street, are represented by members on the baller board. One BBQ team that won a trophy in 2015, the Moody Ques, is represented by a member on the baller board.

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. Back now, all should be good. Expect a Friday Update post sometime tomorrow.

Sinners for Saints, MFM@TEN, vegan mac&cheese: Monday news

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Aug 172015

Two legendary Halloween parties are combining into one this year for a good cause. The past couple of years, the week before Halloween weekend a party called Nightmare on Main Street happened in the back room of Earnestine & Hazel’s. Then, the week of, the South Main Dirty Dozen Halloween party was at E&H. Both were famous for Jello shots and bad behavior. This year, they are combining into one at a larger venue. The Sinners for Saints Halloween Ball will take place on October 31, 9-3 AM, at Stop 345. Lord T and Eloise, DJ Witnesse and Lil’ Egg Roll will provide the music. Open bar with liquor, beer, wine, and Hipner’s famous Jello shots. Light appetizers will be provided. This is a fundraiser to benefit the Church Health Center.

I like it. Every year I sit around trying to figure out what I am going to do for Halloween. This year, my plans are made. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Now I just have to come up with a costume. Last year I dressed as Ickey Woods (get some cold cuts) the Friday of Halloween weekend and a cougar on Sunday. I don’t know how I can top that.

Can you believe this is the TENTH year the Memphis Farmers Market has been in business? The Market is having a celebration called MFM@TEN at the Tennessee Brewery Sunday, September 20. Live music by Star & Micey, food, beer, wine, auction items. As the Foursquare mayor of the Farmers Market it goes without saying that I will be there. FRESH PRODUCE!

Bianca has a review of Pink Diva Cupcakery at 936 Florida in the original DeJaVu space. Pink Diva is a vegan cupcake shop, but they have more than just cupcakes. Wednesday is Build Your Own Vegan Mac&Cheese Bowl day.

13 days until Lauren “LD” Dunn shaves her head for charity at the Bardog alley party. It’s Bardog’s 7th birthday and the folks there are celebrating by raising tens of thousands of dollars for the kids of St. Jude. They have a “baller board” you get your name on if you donate $100 or more.

2015-08-15 11.20.41

As of the time this photo was taken, the Moody Ques were the only BBQ team represented on the board. Who’s gonna step up?

I downloaded a meme generator app on my iPhone. Here’s what I came up with yesterday:

2015-08-16 15.56.14

All right. Time to do this “responsible adult” thing for 8 hours. Possibly back at lunch or after work with another post.

Memphis in May names 2016 honored country + Friday news

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Aug 142015

Shawn Danko, who owns Kooky Canuck along with his wife Lana, had his dream come true yesterday. Memphis in May made the official announcement of the honored country for 2016, and it is Canada. MiM also announced the dates next year: Music Fest April 29-May 1 (uh oh J&R), BBQ Fest May 12-14, and a new event May 28-29.

For those unfamiliar with the country, Canada is located in North America, directly north of the United States and east of Alaska. It spans from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, although Canada has an autonomous government. Well-known cities in Canada include Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. English and French are the languages spoken there. Rather than states, Canada has provinces, and it has postal codes rather than ZIP codes. The postal codes can contain letters. Famous Canadians include Pamela Anderson, Justin Bieber, and Darrin Earl. The country is known for maple syrup, smoked meat sandwiches, and poutine.

Yikes. This is going to be a tough country to figure out for our entry into Best Booth. The Moody Ques may have to actually learn how to cook if we want to bring home a trophy in 2016. *puts Orville Redenbacher’s in microwave and presses TIME COOK 5:00*

The 1974 movie Young Frankenstein plays at the Orpheum tonight at 7 as part of its Summer Classic Movie Series. Specimens for the Pink Palace’s Wicked Plants exhibit will be on display prior to the movie, and also before showtime there will be drink specials and a selfie station.

Goner Records is doing a Beale Street Takeover free concert tonight at Handy Park, Third at Beale (soon to be B.B. King Blvd. at Beale). The lineup is Toy Trucks at 6, Msr. Jeff Evans and Ross Johnson at 7, and Alicja Pop at 8.

There’s about to be a second Double J Smokehouse and Saloon location. Double J West will open in West Memphis at 2007 East Service Road in the near future.

Kooky Canuck is doing a double your dollars gift card sale August 27, at both the Downtown and the other location.

A plan has been devised to make the cobblestones along the river more accessible, while still preserving their character.

Fleet Feet Memphis will lead a free river walk tomorrow at RiverFit at Tom Lee Park, 8 AM.

Travel & Leisure has named Memphis #11 in a best beer cities list.

Twilight Sky Terrace atop the Madison will be adding local beer flights beginning September 1. For $9 you will be able to sample local beers by Wiseacre, Ghost River, and High Cotton.

All right. Time to run up to Kroger and grab a frozen dinner to eat. Frozen dinner recommendation: The Chicken Parmigana from Michael Angelo’s. This is going to be the fourth day this week I have had that for lunch. Damn good. I will be out for happy hour somewhere, have not figured out where yet, any of my “big five” are eligible although I will get scolded by Jessica if it’s not Silly Goose. A second post after work is not completely out of the question, so check back.