Thursday update: First visit to Slider Inn, huge Pinch project, more

Yesterday about 4 I made my way south to try the new Slider Inn Downtown location. Although the address is 363 Mulberry, the entrance to the main bar area is on Talbot, a half-block east of Main. If you’re not good with directions, walk on South Main until you see the vacant field where the bocce ball court used to be. Turn on the intersecting side street (which is Talbot) and go to the building immediately behind the field.

The main bar is L-shaped and much bigger than Slider Inn Midtown’s main bar. I counted 12 seats. Behind it is a community table, perfect for drinks and conversation while you stand. Along the wall is plenty of seating for couples and groups.

The main bar is only one of several parts of Slider Inn, though. This is Aldo’s first restaurant to have a loft area, a smaller, more private space that reminded me of The Brass Door’s loft in terms of feel. There is a second building offering an additional bar and seating. Between the two main buildings is outdoor patio seating, which I suspect will be rarely used until March. Out back is the previously mentioned field, the part of the space known as Slider Out.

They have about 10 local and regional craft beers on tap, with two more taps remaining. They didn’t have domestics in yet, so I ordered a Memphis Made Fireside, one of my favorite local offerings. One of the managers smiled and said, “Paul, don’t worry, we’re working on getting some PBR in here for you.” I didn’t try one but Slider Inn Midtown’s signature Jameson slushes have found their way to South Main.

They’re operating on a limited food menu for now, and should have the full menu next week. I took a look at the limited menu: (click to view in larger size)

What really caught my eye was the Exhaust Pipe Chili, which can be made as Frito Pie. However, they were out of chili, so I took a second look at the menu. I’m always up for some wings. However, I wanted to get a menu item I couldn’t get at Bardog, so the Hot Wings were out. The Vegan Wings, made with tofu and cauliflower, weren’t under consideration either, although I think it’s great that those are on the menu for people who adhere to that lifestyle. That left the Burnout Wings, crispy-fried, blackened with Cajun seasoning, with celery and a side of ranch or blue cheese for dipping. 6 wings for $7.99 sounded perfect, and I put in an order.

While waiting on my food, I got up to use the restroom. “The bathrooms are right there, Paul,” Aldo said as he saw me in the hallway. “Go on either side. They’re gender-neutral.” In the middle of the restroom area were sinks you can wash your hands, out in the open. On either side of the sinks are six doors, from floor to ceiling that you can lock so that you have complete privacy, with toilets behind them. That is great! Very appropriate for the times and eliminates situations where there is a long line for the ladies’ room and no line for the men’s, or vice versa.

My food came out about 10 minutes after I ordered it:

The wings were perfectly cooked and juicy. The Cajun rub added a nice flavor, a bit spicy but not overpowering. You are going to get some of the rub on your shirt, so you might want to consider that before wearing a white shirt to Slider Inn. The wings reminded me of the dry rub wings at Central BBQ a bit. It didn’t say on the menu that celery came with the wings, but it did and it was a welcome counterpoint.

Aldo and I had a good conversation, and he told me that his mom still reads my blog every day, and sends him a full report of anything I write about his businesses. Cheers, Mama Aldo! It will always mean a lot to me that you sent me a card after my mom passed away. I still have it on the counter in my apartment, next to a love bug which was the last stuffed animal my mom ever gave me.

I got to hear Aldo and a few of his people talk business. I promised I wouldn’t report anything specific until he’s ready, but I will say this – sounds like good things are coming to one of his other restaurants.

Slider Inn will be open 11 AM to 7 PM today and will begin full business hours of 11 AM to 3 AM tomorrow. Aldo says they want to keep going late into the night. I think that will be great for the neighborhood. More places open late = more eyes on the surrounding streets = criminals will be more likely to go elsewhere to practice their trade.

Oh! One other little detail a lot of people might not have noticed, but I did. The main room has 5 large flat-screen TVs, and one of them was tuned to CNN. There’s this popular belief among bar managers that every TV in their bar has to be tuned to ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Classics, Fox Sports, NFL Network and the like. For sports bars I can see that, but for other types of bars it’s good to have some variety. I was a lot more interested in what happened in the first day of impeachment proceedings that I was in whether the Raptors will rest Kawhi for their next game, or what NFL teams would send scouts to Colin Kaepernick’s workout.

One more thing too… when the weather is nice, Aldo told me, he wants to have events in the empty field out back known as Slider Out, and he wants to bring food trucks on site. Most restaurant owners are threatened by the presence of nearby food trucks, yet Aldo invites them! That’s a man with confidence in his product.

Walking up there, I wondered what the regular crowd would look like. Would it be mostly the South Main crowd that I associate with Max’s Sports Bar? Would it feel like Slider Inn Midtown? Would a lot of Bardog regulars come down there? Although it’s hard to say having only been there one night, the place felt more like Slider Inn Midtown than any currently existing Downtown spot. Hard to tell having been there just once though. I will surely go back!

South Main is just BOOMING! For years and years, Max’s Sports Bar was my sole outpost in that neighborhood. Now when I venture south (which I surely will more often) I will have choices. Slider Inn? Longshot? A visit to Central Station to try their Eight & Sand bar? Pontotoc Lounge? Bar 409? I could make an entire day of it down there. Hmmm when spring rolls around, Farmers Market in the morning followed by Slider Inn when they open at 11 seems like an interesting option.

Long post already and I haven’t even got to a HUGE news item about Downtown that dropped yesterday. New York developer Tom Intrator has released plans for a $1.1 billion mixed-use development in The Pinch District. Some buildings would be up to 18 stories tall and the plan calls for 942 apartments, two hotels, and hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and office space. What a game-changer that would be for a neighborhood that has been a ghost town except for the MATA north end terminal and a few restaurants and a coffee shop. Those apartments would make it possible for those who work at St. Jude to be able to walk to their job. Intrator says his goal is “to bring a different type of neighborhood to this city.” Downtown is really firing on all cylinders now, and the possibilities seem endless.

The Memphis Farmers Market’s Turkey Market is this Saturday, and Cousins Maine Lobster will be there. (Although, you can now get a lobster roll a few blocks up the street at Slider Inn anytime you want)

One more note about Slider Inn since I’ve circled back around to that topic: Not only were the Burnout Wings good, they were good for me, apparently. A study found that people who like spicy food live longer.

Jimbo Mathus and The Dirty Crooks play South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, tonight 7-9.

Elmwood Cemetery will host Carols of the Victorians Thursday, December 12 at 6:30 PM. St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral will have people there for a night of history and music. There will be wassail, card-swapping, wine, Victorian-age carols, and historical facts about the music you hear. $20 general admission with kids 12 and under free.

The Andrew Michael guest chef series at their family of restaurants continues this Sunday, November 17, at the Gray Canary 5-9 PM. The Canary will host Edouardo Jordan, owner of JuneBaby, a Southern-style restaurant in Seattle. The restaurant won the 2018 James Beard award for Best New Restaurant, and Jordan won the 2018 James Beard award for Best Chef Northwest. The menu is a secret until the guests arrive. Cost is $75, with optional wine pairings, benefitting the High School Pantry program at the Mid-South Food Bank. 901-249-2932 to make reservations. (Thanks to Edible Memphis for posting this information)

After Slider Inn last night, I headed back north for trivia at the Blind Bear. As always, I stood Perjorie T. Roll on the bar for good luck. A lady from Ohio sitting next to me asked, “What’s the significance of the troll?”

“It’s a long story,” I told her, giving her a much shorter answer than I would if the person asking had been from South Main. “But she’s here every week to bring us good luck.”

The lady told me that in the ’80s and ’90s, she used to collect trolls, and had over 100 of them, so she was fascinated to see someone with a troll in modern times. “I don’t have a collection,” I explained. “This is the only one I have.”

Perjorie did not bring us good luck, though – we finished dead last. However, even to that there is a benefit. Patrick came over and told me that I get to pick the topic of one of the rounds next Wednesday. I looked down at Perjorie and seriously considered picking “Trolls,” but decided against it since movies are my weakest subject. I picked a category I’m strong in, and a sub-category a buddy of mine is strong in. Got to talk with him and see if he wants to play on the same team next week.

Time to get to work, where Big Data is the name of the game this week. Getting back into the IT mindset of refusing to give up just because the first 3 or 4 or 10 solutions I try don’t work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update: Slider Inn opens this morning at 11 AM

Slider Inn Downtown will be open for business this morning at 11. For the first two days they are only open from 11 AM to 7 PM. Friday they will start their regular hours of 11 AM to 3 AM. Slider Inn will be 21 and up from 8 PM to close.

I guess ESPN was right when they made the Oregon Ducks an 84% favorite to beat Memphis. They did just that last night, the Tigers looking like absolute garbage, turning over the ball, clanking 3s. Has James Wiseman been watching tape of Jaren Jackson Jr.? Two fouls in the first five minutes. Geez.

The community will continue to support Wiseman, though. Longshot has announced that a new menu item named for him, Wise Fries, will be available the day of every Tigers home game. It is made with pastor sausage, queso, sweet potato and russet potato fries, enchilada sauce, lime sour cream, baby Romaine, and pico de gallo. Yum!

It’s 19 outside as I type this. Fox 13 Memphis has a story about how outside workers dress for the weather. Interviewed is Downtown’s own Shun Windless, owner of The Lifter shuttle that will take you around Downtown. Shun is good people and I highly recommend this mode of transportation if you don’t feel like walking in the cold.

The football Tigers came up three spots to number 18 in last night’s College Football Playoff poll. Cincinnati is still one spot higher, at 17. Boise State, Navy, and Appalachian State are also in the top 25 and in the conversation for the Group of 5 Cotton Bowl berth.

The Peabody’s annual tree lighting ceremony will happen Friday, November 29, the day after Thanksgiving. Local choirs will sing all day. Following the 5 PM duck march, they will light the tree and Santa and Mrs. Claus will hand out holiday candy.

Last week I had to go get a cracked debit card replaced. It was the end of my blue First Tennessee card and the beginning of my white First Horizon debit card. One week into having it, I did something I have not done in 11 years last night… I left my debit card at a bar, the Silly Goose specifically. Fortunately, the people there know my routine well, and someone ran it over to me at the Blind Bear around the corner. I guess I was more likely to forget my debit card because it was white, and did not stand out among the receipts the way a blue card would. Keep that in mind if you are a First Horizon customer who switches over to the new card.

Yesterday was a day I absolutely dreaded: driver’s license renewal. The Downtown County Clerk office has been known as the hidden gem of the license renewal stations, the one where you didn’t have to take a half day off work to stand in a line that snakes around a building. However, a couple of friends told me it does not enjoy that reputation so much any more, with wait times of an hour and a half or more being typical. All morning at work I had an “ugh” feeling as I anticipated my afternoon.

I came home from work, ate lunch, then walked down to the clerk’s office on Washington, entering the building at 1:50 PM. There were only three people in line! By 2:25 I walked out with my new, temporary paper license, my permanent one to arrive in the mail in about a month. 35 minutes was much less than I expected! However, by the time I walked out with my license, the line had grown to about a dozen people. That leads me to believe 1:45 or so is the time to go. It makes sense – those who renewed in their lunch hour have gone back to work, and those who took the afternoon off to get it done haven’t arrived yet. It’s an extra $8 fee to renew at the Downtown location, but in my opinion it’s well worth it in terms of time and frustration saved.

The man in front of me had a helper with him because he didn’t know how to read. That made me sad. It made me feel like we’ve failed as a society, letting a member of our society go so long without a key skill you need to survive in modern times. I felt like telling the man, “When the Cossitt Library opens in a few months, if you want to meet me there I’ll teach you to read.”

Xfinity, which loves to screw its customers for more money every chance it gets, has moved Fox Sports Southeast channel 831 that a higher tier. So you have to pay for an upgrade in order to see Grizzlies games. That absolutely sucks. The Grizzlies play a road game tonight at Charlotte at 6 PM.

There will be a Couples Dance Class tonight at 6:30 in the third floor event space of Puck Food Hall, 409 S. Main. Cost is $20 and the class is presented by Cat’s Ballroom.

Off to work. My job has taken much more of an IT focus this past week, as we attempt to solve a problem that has never been solved before. I’ve been using tools I’ve known for years as well as new ones. It’s really been fun.

Speaking of work, it’s about that time. Back tomorrow with more news.

When you live in Downtown Memphis, every day is a staycation

This coming weekend will be a memorable weekend for me: My final weekend in my 40s. I’ve been thinking about that for a while. What do I want to do?, I asked myself. Anything special? I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t need to do anything special. I just want to hang out in my favorite places with my favorite people.

And then a sentence popped into my head: “When you live in Downtown Memphis, every day is a staycation.” It’s really true. So much to do down here, so many places to go eat (especially this week for Downtown Dining Week), and most importantly, it’s so easy to make many good friends here.

Tool will bring their North American Tour to FedExForum on January 31. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 AM.

Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers are on national TV tonight. The #13 Tigers play #14 Oregon in Portland with tip-off on ESPN a few minutes after 8 Central Time. This is one of those “Classic” games and technically a neutral-court game with Memphis as the home team, although Eugene where the University of Oregon is located is driving distance away. ESPN has lower-ranked Oregon as an 83.8% favorite. Just one more reason for the Tigers to play with a chip on their shoulder.

The injunction James Wiseman got is good until a hearing on the 18th, so he almost certainly will play tonight. Cheers to Wiseman, Penny, the U of M AD, and President M. David Rudd for having the balls to take on the NCAA. Someone needed to. Their arbitrary rulings are just ridiculous.

You know, I was thinking about it… the NCAA told Penny that Wiseman was eligible back in May, then reversed themselves in the October 31-November 5 range. I definitely think that gives Wiseman a claim for monetary damages. If he had known back in May he’d be ineligible, he could have signed with an overseas professional team and made bank for his services. Or, he could have signed one of those $125,000 1-year top-prospect contracts the NBA G-League offers, to get nightly feedback on his performance from people associated with the league in which he aspires to play. Can you imagine James Wiseman on the Memphis Hustle? The Landers Center would have been packed every night, and NBA scouts from all over the country would have attended every game.

Yesterday was a soggy day, and as I walked home about 9 PM I got hit in the face with a light wintry mix. Yuck! The low tonight is predicted to be 19 and temperatures won’t get to normal for this time of year anytime in the next week, although MemphisWeather.net forecasts above-average temperatures for the extended period of November 19-25.

Hira Qureshi of The Daily Memphian has a list of places to get Thanksgiving dinner, whether you want to take it to go or dine in. For Downtown:

Dine in:

  • Bleu
  • Capriccio Grill
  • Chez Philippe
  • The Peabody Thanksgiving Brunch
  • River Inn of Harbor Town – three choices – Paulette’s, Terrace, and Tug’s

To-go:

  • Central BBQ
  • Felicia Suzanne’s
  • Gus’s
  • The Peabody
  • Primas Bakery + Boutique (dessert)

It wasn’t in the DM’s list but I’m pretty sure LUNCHBOXeats cooks to-go family dinners as well, or at least they have in years past.

If you don’t mind driving to another part of town, my recommendation would be the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis. Those folks are studying to be in the hospitality industry and they put on a sumptuous spread for holiday buffets. Cost is less than most hotel restaurants, and since it’s buffet style you can go back for seconds.

The Green Beetle is looking to rent commercial kitchen space to expand catering and other parts of their business. They’re especially interested in using a church or other space that has a rarely-used kitchen, and in addition to paying rent, they’d be willing to feed the homeless and do congregation dinners. They’d also be happy to assist in any kind of community engagement the church or organization is involved in. This sounds like a real win-win for someone out there. If you are interested or have a lead for them to explore, you can get in touch with the Beetle on Facebook.

St. Jude has issued its annual neighborhood guide for its upcoming marathon on Saturday, December 7. If you plan to drive through Downtown or Midtown that morning or early afternoon, or if you plan to be a spectator to cheer on the runners, this is a must-read.

Students in Pratt, Kansas recently visited 40 businesses in the town, shadowing people who worked at those businesses to get an up-close look at what they do as part of a mentoring day. The story made the local newspaper, The Pratt Tribune, with the headline Students get first hand job experience. Hyphens matter!

Grind City Coffee will host a caffeine crawl at coffee shops around Memphis, including several Downtown, Saturday, November 16.

Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar at Main and Monroe is hiring servers, bartenders, server assistants/food runners, wine flighters, and greeters/reservation specialists.

I went back to Longshot Sunday afternoon to try one of their house-made sausage sandwiches on bread from Hustle & Dough upstairs.

This is the Korean BBQ sausage, hand-made with ginger, garlic, soy, gochujang, and sesame. Toppings include kimchi, daikon cucumber salad, toasted sesame seed, nori, and scallion. It was good, not too spicy even though the kimchi was on there. A delicious Asian take on the bar’s signature item. Longshot is at Main and Butler (side entrance on Butler) in the Arrive Hotel.

The Union Mission will feed those in need the day before Thanksgiving. Did you know that $1.67 provides a complete meal for one person? Donate here

Local Memphis has coverage of the 15th annual Harbor Town Dog Day.

Well, today after work I get to deal with the not-so-fun side of coming up on a birthday that’s a multiple of 5: a trip to the DMV to renew my driver’s license. I’m hoping that most people will decide it’s too cold to get out today and the line will be short. Wish me luck. Back tomorrow with more news.

Pigs in a blanket @ Longshot and Sunday news

Yesterday I returned to Longshot, the shuffleboard bar in the basement of the Arrive Hotel at Main and Butler. It was my third visit there, and I had been meaning to try menu items and post pics for my readers to see. The first two visits hadn’t gone as planned, though; the first time there, I inadvertently ordered what turned out to be a vegetarian sausage sandwich, with a carrot in place of a sausage. On my second visit, there was a celebration with a free spread of food, and after eating a plate I wasn’t hungry enough to order a menu item.

This time, I was determined to order their specialty, one of their sausages, hand-made by in-house sausage master John Haley. They have eight different sausage sandwiches, each served on bread made by the Hustle & Dough bakery upstairs. However, when I got a hold of the menu, a different sausage-based item caught my eye:

Under the “Shareables” section of the menu, I ordered the Pigs in a Blanket. This is Vietnamese sausage in rice paper, fried and served with lettuce wraps, ginger and pickles, and nuoc cham sauce, a Vietnamese fish sauce, for dipping.

It was way different from anything I have ever had, and way different from what Americans usually think of when they hear “pigs in blankets.” It was yummy though. The crunchiness of the rice paper and the lettuce was a nice counterpoint to the soft sausage inside, and the pickles and fish sauce added layers of flavor.

To see the full menu, check my post from last Saturday for photos. Probably next on the menu for me to try is the Korean BBQ sausage sandwich with kimchi. I love kimchi! Although, after sampling the cherry mustard Friday night, I’m going to be tempted to order the Smoked sausage sandwich.

I got there at 4:30, not long after the place opened. I thought to myself, “It’s a cold Saturday, hardly anyone knows Longshot is open, and even if they do they won’t want to step away from the LSU-Alabama game to walk over there. I bet I’ll be the only one there for the first hour.” Wrong! The place was more than half full, with three of the five shuffleboard tables in use. I’m glad to see Longshot has been discovered.

Update on a couple of things there: I confirmed with Dax that they will be switching over from 12-ounce PBR bottles to 16-ounce PBR cans. Yay! More bang for the buck, and I’ll get to use my koozie featuring the logo of the BBQ Fest shoulder trophy-winning Moody Ques. Dax also said they’re straightening out a situation with the TVs on Monday, so that each of the three bar TVs can be tuned to a different channel. That will be important for College Football Saturday, and on Monday nights when MNF and the Grizzlies are often on at the same time.

Drew Hill of the Daily Memphian has a look at the likely next steps in the court battle between James Wiseman and the NCAA.

The Daily Memphian also has a look at River Garden in Mississippi River Park’s first birthday celebration, the changes made to make the park inviting to the public, and plans to link the park to Memphis Park across Riverside Drive.

You know, every now and then I have to sit back and appreciate the quality of journalism in the Daily Memphian. I really like it that their mission is to inform the public, not accumulate the maximum possible number of clicks or ad sales they can get. If you’re the type of person who likes to stay informed about your community, it’s probably the best seven bucks a month you can spend.

Another excellent DM article: How Memphis rebuilt itself in the 1880s following the yellow fever epidemic.

What a College Football Saturday it was! Both #3 and #4 in the CFP rankings fell, with #2 LSU beating #3 Alabama, and #17 Minnesota upsetting #4 Penn State. Having handed Bama a loss on their home turf, will LSU be able to overtake Ohio State for the #1 spot this week? And will undefeated Minnesota start to be a part of the playoff conversation?

#20 Cincinnati took care of business, so the Bearcats will likely still be ranked ahead of Memphis in this week’s poll. However, #19 Wake Forest lost, so expect Memphis to move up at least one spot.

Ugh Tennessee beat Kentucky. One more win and the Lady Vols are bowl-eligible. Can we petition the Liberty Bowl to not select Tennessee? The only bowl they belong in is a toilet bowl.

The Memphis Grilled Cheese Fest happens today at the Hi-Tone. Come enjoy some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches this city has to offer while supporting Alive Rescue Memphis.

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen is implementing a Mid-Day Mardi Gras Cocktail Hour from 2 to 5 PM Thursday-Saturday. The way it works is, you choose a cocktail from their menu, pay a set price, and you get to enjoy an unlimited number of your selected cocktail for one hour.

Oh – almost forgot – I took an additional photo at Longshot, a listing of the rules of shuffleboard: (click to view in a larger size)

Off to D-RANKS with B-RAD at Silly Goose. Looks like I’ll get one day of shorts weather in before it gets super cold. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Shocking news came out late yesterday afternoon. Memphis Tigers coach Penny Hardaway announced that James Wiseman, the team’s top 5-star recruit who is projected to be the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA. The reason is that years ago, before he ever had any idea he would one day be Memphis’ head coach, Penny Hardaway helped finance Wiseman’s move to Memphis to play high school ball and AAU ball. The NCAA considered Penny a booster because of his $1 million donation to the U of M Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Boosters are not permitted by the NCAA to help prospects financially.

Wiseman has retained local attorney Leslie Ballin and is suing the NCAA. Ballin obtained a restraining order allowing Wiseman to play in last night’s game, in which the Tigers blew out UIC 92-46. It remains to be seen if Wiseman will be available for next week’s game against nationally ranked Oregon.

I read the news on Twitter while at Longshot, the new bar in the basement of Arrive Hotel at 477 S. Main. Good news! They have beer now. PBR is $3 a bottle. GM Dax tells me they may switch to cans, because apparently they’re the same wholesale price. Either works for me! Their craft cocktails are delicious but I can’t afford to run up a $40 tab every time I go there. Another piece of good news: They have the TVs working now. They had both the Tigers and the Grizzlies on last night.

I went up there with the intention of trying one of their house-made sausage sandwiches, but it was grand opening night and they had a spread of food to sample. “Paul, go get a plate,” bartender Keagan told me. I went full Nuh-Uh Girl on that buffet.

Look at that gorgeous plate! If I posted this pic and said it came from the salad bar at Texas de Brazil, I bet everyone would believe me. If this is what comes on their meat & cheese plate, then it has to be added to the must-try list of items at Longshot.

I particularly want to spotlight one item on this plate: the cherry mustard, in the upper left corner. It had a kick to it and was really tasty! I bet it would be fantastic on one of their house-made sausages.

There was a champagne toast to celebrate the hotel’s opening.

Bluff City Coffee is now accepting orders for chocolate covered strawberries in packs of 6 or 12.

Check out yesterday’s edition of WREG Live at 9 to see Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s talking about Downtown Dining Week which starts Monday. Chef demonstrates cooking a spaghetti squash broccolini.

You can now send a chocolate dick straight to someone’s door with a box that reads “Eat a Dick” when you open it. Damn this gives me an idea… nah, never mind, I don’t think I’d waste perfectly good chocolate on that bitch.

Evelyn & Olive will have live music by “Spencer Wayne” (no idea why they put his name in quotes; maybe it’s not his real name) and the Kashmere Cashmere Band tonight starting at 8:30.

You’ve seen me post all those yummy pizzas from the Silly Goose’s wood-fired oven… how would you like to make those pizzas? They are looking for full-time and part-time kitchen help. Experience making pizza dough and working with a wood-fired oven is a plus, but not necessary. What is necessary is a great work ethic and the willingness to learn. Pay is negotiable, but is said to be more than minimum wage for sure. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn from people who are passionate about what they do. Hit me up at paul@paulryburn.com or on Facebook if interested and I’ll get you in touch with the hiring manager, or just go by the Goose during the non-busy hours and ask if Parker is there.

From CityLab: Kids raised in walkable cities earn more as adults

The big game of the day, and maybe the biggest game of the season, is LSU vs. Alabama today at 2:30 on CBS. I like both teams, I respect both teams… but today I will be rooting for Bama. Why? LSU has played a tougher schedule, and therefore two SEC teams are more likely to remain in the top four if the Tigers take a loss. Sorry, guys, nothing personal.

Lansky at the Peabody is offering 20% off all Barbour apparel through Monday. This includes quilted jackets, shirts, gilets and waistcoats.

Streetdog Foundation’s Howl at the Moon fundraiser is tonight at The Warehouse at Front and G.E. Patterson.

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

 

Friday update

For the fifth time since September 21, a Downtown institution, a business that raises tens of thousands of dollars for the kids of St. Jude every year, Bardog Tavern, has been forced to close unexpectedly. For years – at least the past four that I can recall – the city has been digging holes in the streets and alleyways around Bardog, repairing their outdated sewer line. Five times their sewer line has collapsed, breaking into Bardog’s sewer line, and/or flooding The Underdog, Bardog’s downstairs bar. One of those times they had to close for almost a full week. As of this morning I am not sure whether Bardog will be open for my usual Saturday morning visit tomorrow.

11 years ago, Aldo had a vision for a bar where people who live nearby would come together for drinks, unusually good bar food, and conversation. He brought that vision to life, and it’s a big part of the reason Downtown is the most neighborly part of the city.

With Bardog, the two Aldo’s Pizza Pies, the two Slider Inns, Momma’s Roadhouse, and the Slider Rider food truck, Aldo has created many, many jobs; he has created multiple sources of tax revenue for the city; and he has made Downtown and Midtown more desirable neighborhoods for people to visit, work, and live. The city should be bending over backward to make sure a guy like this does not have any issues operating his businesses.

I have to wonder, if the first and basement floors of 73 Monroe were occupied by a bank or a prominent law firm rather than a bar, would the city devote more resources to the matter?

A new hotel has “arrived” on South Main. The CA has a taste (including photo gallery) of what you will find at the new Arrive Hotel, including Hustle & Dough Bakery + Cafe, Vice & Virtue coffee shop, Bar Hustle on the north side of the hotel lobby, and Longshot shuffleboard bar downstairs. See my post last Saturday for a look at Longshot. There’s a grand opening ceremony today with a ribbon-cutting and speeches at 4:30 and tours and samples of hotel food commencing at 5. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will… oops, forgot she’s in Europe.

I’ve heard that Longshot now has beer in bottles and cans, with taps to go in today. I plan on making a stop down there today to try one of their house-made sausages (made by sausage master John Haley) on a Hustle & Dough bun. I’m going to be sure and ask, “This isn’t vegetarian, is it?” this time when I order.

Tom Intrator, the developer who is remodeling the building at 18 S. Main (and let me tell you, as a resident of 10 S. Main I know that a lot of that remodeling happens at 5:30 AM), has a few more projects up his sleeve. Blighted, abandoned 107 S. Main, which sticks out like a sore thumb on a block that is mostly thriving, may finally be turned into something. He’s also got some ideas for South Main and the area near Gus’s Fried Chicken.

As we get closer to turkey day, we’re starting to see more restaurants advertise “let us do the cooking for you to pick up and take home. Regina’s Cajun Kitchen at 60 N. Main is running such a special. Choose from

  • Mini feast (feeds 2-4) $40
  • Feast (feeds 4-6) $69.99
  • Super Feast (feeds 10-14) $140
  • Sides only (pan sized) $34.99

Orders must be placed by November 19 and must be paid in full at the time of the order. Visit Regina’s Cajun Kitchen Facebook page for more information.

For a computer nerd like me this is a very cool development: The Daily Memphian reports that the city is now offering a data hub where you can access data on things like code violations and police calls. Since I have to be at work shortly, I don’t have time to investigate this hub as much as I like, but I see links to “API Docs” for various types of data. Holy crap, can you pull back JSON-formatted data from this thing? I will dive deeper when I have the time. Exciting!

I was in the Silly Goose yesterday afternoon when their order of printed menus for Downtown Dining Week came in. Here’s a look: (click to view in a larger size)

These pizzas run up to $14 each at regular menu price, so you’re getting up to a $28 value for $20.19. I’ve had at least a slice of every pizza on this list except the Margherita, and let me tell you, they’re all good. They have $2 domestics (including 16 oz. cans of PBR) during happy hour which lasts until 8 on weekdays, which will save you even more money.

The CA has a look at how Memphis Tigers football controls its own post-season destiny. If the Tigers win out – including a victory over Cincinnati on November 29 and a victory over Cincinnati or UCF the following weekend for the AAC championship – they are almost certainly going to play in the Cotton Bowl on December 28.

I LOVE the new feature for iPhones on AT&T, where you have the option to send calls from numbers not in your contacts directly to voicemail, without even a ring. Now I don’t have to keep my phone in Silent Mode all the time to avoid getting distracted by spam calls.

Off to work… I’ll be down at the Arrive Hotel and particularly Longshot this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

I’ve mentioned Skrewball, the new whiskey that tastes exactly like peanut butter, on this blog a few times now. If you haven’t tried it yet, go to Quench, the liquor and wine store across Second Street from the Peabody, this Friday between 5 and 7. They’ll pour samples of Skrewball and also of Jack Daniel’s Apple Whiskey.

Big Cypress Lodge at Bass Pro at the Pyramid will postpone the opening of its outdoor bar until spring. Probably a good call. The low is supposed to drop to 22 one day next week. Not many people want to be outside when it’s 22.

New Wing Order has announced their November special wing flavor, and it sounds really cool: a North African-inspired recipe called Omar’s Mo-Rockin’ Wings. The recipe uses cumin, coriander, allspice, and harissa seasoning. Catch the food truck at Memphis Made Brewing Co. tomorrow 4-8 or at Memphis Grilled Cheese Fest in Crosstown on Sunday.

Arrive Hotel will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow from 5 to 8, with Butler closed between Front and Main. If you go, be sure to check out Longshot, the new bar in the basement of the hotel with the entrance on Butler. Shuffleboard, house-made sausages, and craft cocktails.

Next Thursday, November 14, streets in Uptown will be closed for MATA’s annual trolley full scale safety exercise. Traffic will be diverted at N. Main/Sycamore, A.W. Willis/N. Center Lane, A.W. Willis/Second, Shadyac/N. Center Lane, N. Main/Overton, and Shadyac/Second.

The American Legion will hold its annual Veterans Day Parade Monday. It will begin at Second and Exchange, and go down Second until its end point at Monroe. Come out and thank the veterans for their service!

All Elite Wrestling, the new promotion broadcasting on TNT, will come to the Landers Center in Southaven for the Wednesday, January 8 broadcast of its weekly TV show AEW Dynamite. Stars like Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes, Jake Hager (formerly Jack Swagger), Pac (formerly Neville), and Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose) will probably be there. AEW will be in Memphis only five days after WWE’s live Smackdown broadcast from FedExForum.

Save the date: Mix-Odyssey, the premier annual Memphis competition for mixologists, will return for its 7th year Friday, March 6 at the Botanic Garden. More details to come soon.

Central Station Hotel’s in-house restaurant Bishop is now hiring. The French brasserie needs servers and bartenders. I bet you would make some good tip money at this place. Email your resume to estamper@centralstationmemphis.com to apply.

Very cool story: A dog has learned to talk by using a custom soundboard. She already knows 29 words and can form phrases. When she was whimpering by the door, her owner assumed she needed to go out. But she got on the soundboard and indicated that she missed her daddy and wished he’d come home. When he arrived, she touched “happy” on the soundboard.

Drunk musical chairs happens tonight at Loflin Yard.

Primas Bakery + Boutique on South Main is taking advance orders for Thanksgiving dessert. This is what they have on their menu:

Assorted Thanksgiving macarons
1 dozen: $24
Flavors: pumpkin spice, pecan pie, apple butter

Autumn wreath cake
Flavor: pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing
6″: $18
8″: $24
10″: $30

Thanksgiving cookie cake
8″ square cake: $32
10″ square cake: $40
Quarter sheet cake: $48
Half sheet cake: $56

Fall donuts
Flavors: Glazed pumpkin or apple cider
$30/doz

Pecan pie tart
1 full tart: $24
12 individual tartlets: $36

Buttercream butterballs
Flavor: Vanilla shortbread cookies with vanilla buttercream
$36/doz

Primas is at 523 S. Main and their phone number is 901-352-4193.

Time for another Silly Goose pizza photo!

As of yesterday there were only two pizzas left on the Silly Goose pizza menu that I haven’t tried, and a friend offered me a slice of one of those two yesterday. I present to you the Mr. Peabody.

When you hear the word “Peabody,” you probably think of ducks. The Mr. Peabody is so named because the meat on this pizza is duck pastrami. Other ingredients include brie, honey crisp, arugula, balsamic, walnuts, and chili honey. The reason I did not try this one for so long was that I wasn’t sure about sweet-tasting items on pizza, nor walnuts. The kitchen staff nailed it, though, as they have every other pizza, the flavors all coming together and the texture of the walnuts adding to the experience rather than detracting from it. The Goose has pizza happy hour (any pizza on the regular menu $10) 2-5 Monday-Tuesday and 4-6 Wednesday-Friday.

Off to work. My job continues to get even more interesting. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Last night a friend gave me a suggestion that is worth passing on to my readers. Go to the Flying Saucer and order the Royale burger – chopped onions, jalapeno bacon, mustard, spiked ketchup – but in place of the American cheese, get the pepper jack cheese instead. “It’ll change your world,” he told me. I will have to try that soon.

Sounds like James Wiseman lived up to expectations in the Memphis Tigers’ preseason romp over South Carolina State last night, 97-64. Next up for the Tigers: A home game vs. UIC Friday at 6 that will be televised on ESPNU. However, the first real test for the Memphis team will come next Tuesday, when the Tigers travel to Portland to play #15 Oregon in the Phil Knight Invitational, nationally televised on ESPN.

The first College Football Playoff Rankings were released last night, and Memphis came in at #21. The only higher-ranked Group of Five school is Cincinnati at #20. If the Tigers beat their next two opponents and then hand Cincy a loss on the 29th, the Liberty Bowl will host its first-ever AAC championship game on December 7, probably against Cincinnati again.

Clemson, #1 in the AP poll for the first several weeks of the season, dropped all the way to #5 in the initial CFP poll, behind Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, and Penn State. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Love it!! Imagine the following scenario: The loser of the LSU-Bama game will probably remain in the top four, provided the game isn’t a blowout one way or the other. If Penn State beats Ohio State on the 23rd, the Buckeyes would probably remain in the top four. Clemson could not lose a game all season and still be on the outside looking in. More on Clemson’s situation on ESPN

South Main Sounds at 550 S. Main is back this Friday at 7 with performances from Devan Yanik and Cyrena Wages, both first-timers at Songwriter Night, as well as Christina LaRocca and Gene Micofsky from L.A. on their “Never Going Back” tour.

The Blind Bear will have a Roaring 20s Back Again party on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the ushering in of the 2020s at midnight on January 1. This year there is an option to get in for NO COVER… you just have to know the password, and while I don’t normally share Blind Bear passwords on my blog, this one I will: “The Roaring 20s sent me.” Come celebrate the new Roaring 20s in a speakeasy listening to the sounds of Brimstone Jones. Party favors will be provided, and there will be specials (appetizer, entree, dessert, vegetarian and vegan) in addition to the regular menu. Get your photo taken by Joey Warner. Normally I refer to New Year’s Eve as Amateur Night and stay home, but you know what? I WILL BE AT THE BEAR, to celebrate the year I never thought I’d see, in my favorite home away from home.

The Hard Rock Cafe will open for Thanksgiving and will serve a Thanksgiving Day Plate from 11 AM-11 PM. Turkey breast, home-cooked stuffing, roasted fresh vegetables, sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce, and gravy for $26.95. Finish your meal off with pumpkin pie for $8.95. Can’t make it Thanksgiving Day? The menu will be available all weekend.

While we’re on the subject of Thanksgiving, GREAT NEWS. The City of Memphis Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and hungry, announced earlier this week to have been canceled, is back on thanks to the generosity of some benefactors.

Loflin Yard will hold a watch party for the LSU-Alabama game this Saturday at 2:30. Considering they’re calling it the LSU Watch Party, they clearly favor one side more than the other. There will be food and drink specials.

There’s progress in the southeast quadrant of Downtown. The Daily Memphian reports that permit applications have been filed for the third and fourth phases of Foote Park at South City. The permits mainly cover the area from Butler east of Fourth to the intersection of Danny Thomas and Mississippi.

Nationally headlining video DJ, DJ RONS, comes to Atomic Rose Bar & Grill Saturday night, November 16. He has been voted Best Club DJ in Nashville 5 years in a row and maintains an extensive travel schedule. He also is a member of the panel that votes weekly on the Billboard National Club Chart.

From NPR: Microsoft Japan experimented with a four-day workweek for a month. This doesn’t mean employees worked longer days the days they were at the office; they simply worked four regular days and got a five-day paycheck. Guess what? Employees were 40% more productive, used 23% less electricity, and printed considerably less. I have long thought the 40-hour work week is a relic of times gone by. Technology ought to give workers more free time, rather than take it away.

Oh, another thing they did: They put meetings on a diet, slashing standard meeting durations from 60 minutes to 30, and enforcing a maximum meeting attendance of 5. Wow, company managers are really starting to wake up and adopt practices that work here in the late 2010s!

There will be a walking tour of November 6th Street, hosted by the DMC, today from 11 AM to noon. The tour is free, about 45 minutes and a half mile, and comfortable shoes are advised. On the tour you’ll get to see two of the hidden secrets of Downtown Memphis: the spot behind my apartment building where the bums take a piss, and the other spot behind my apartment building where the bums take a piss.

The Grizzlies host the Minnesota Timberwolves at FedExForum tonight at 7.

The monthly Peabody Master Tasters Club meets tonight in Chez Philippe 5:30-7:00. The theme this month is Give Thanks for Wine.

Do you have an unlimited data plan with AT&T for your phone? You may get a refund soon. The company has agreed to refund $60 million to customers who had the supposedly-unlimited plan but had their data throttled after exceeding a threshold. If you’re a current customer, the refund will get credited to your account. Former customers will get a check in the mail.

For those who missed the national news yesterday, there was a key development. U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland changed his testimony yesterday and admitted that there was a quid pro quo between the Trump regime and Ukraine. As one of my favorite Twitter follows, Tea Pain, put it, Sondland realized protecting the president isn’t worth it if it means pissing in a stainless steel toilet for years.

The brings the Democrat-controlled House closer to bringing formal articles of impeachment against Trump. But the Repblican-controlled Senate is the jury in the trial; surely they wouldn’t vote to remove him, would they? Maybe they would. If they remove Trump, they get Mike Pence as president. That offers several advantages:

  1. Pence isn’t batshit crazy
  2. Pence doesn’t embarrass the U.S. on the world stage as Trump does on a near-daily basis
  3. Pence actually embraces the right-wing ideals Republicans hold dear; he doesn’t just pretend to embrace them to fool people into voting for him
  4. He’d be a lot more likely to hold key battleground states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania as the incumbent in the 2020 election

I’ll finish the post with a quote I read on Facebook yesterday: Christians warned about the Antichrist for 2000 years. Then he appeared, and they elected him.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Michael Donahue of the Memphis Flyer reports that Slider Inn Downtown will open mid-month. Donahue has a thorough description of what you will find when you step into Slider Inn. I’m glad to see it will have a long bar, and the mezzanine sounds really cool. They’ll serve the Midtown location’s menu as well as some new features including lobster popcorn, Reuben egg rolls, and Cuban egg rolls.

South Main just keeps getting better and better, with Eight & Sand in Central Station, Longshot, and Slider Inn opening in the space of a month, with French brasserie Bishop on deck to open soon as well.

Speaking of Eight & Sand, Donahue has a dining Best Bet for you: The Birdie chicken sandwich.

Cher has announced a date at FedExForum. Her Here We Go Again Tour will make a stop in Memphis March 16. Nile Rodgers & Chic (yes, THAT Chic as in “Le Freak” and “Good Times”) will be her special guests. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team has their regular-season opener tonight at 7 at FedExForum, vs. South Carolina State. Penny Hardaway has announced that James Wiseman will play after missing the pre-season exhibition games.

The Book of Mormon begins a 7-show run at the Orpheum tonight. There will be an in-person lottery two hours before each show, where names will be drawn at random, winning the right to purchase one or two tickets to the show for only $25 each.

In other Orpheum news, comedian Bill Burr has added a second show (9:30 PM) to his Monday, January 6 appearance.

Zack Horvath will perform at Automatic Slim’s next Monday at 7 PM.

Edible Memphis recently had a talk with Westy’s owner Jake Schorr. Westy’s (and its predecessor, The North End) have been open for 35 years at the corner of North Main and Jackson.

Tin Roof will have a ’90s themed brunch this coming Sunday. Enjoy bottomless mimosas while DJ String Bean plays the beats.

Church Health Center is hiring a communications coordinator.

First Horizon (formerly First Tennessee) is merging with Lafayette, Louisiana-based IberiaBank. I was in First Horizon yesterday depositing a check and getting a cracked debit card replaced (seems like I have to do that once every eight months or so). Excellent customer service as always.

Memphis Firefest happens at Carolina Watershed this Saturday, November 9, with fire-spinning DJ Zeus Bigalow, Memphis’ own DJ Scotty B, and QOG Productions.

Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless at the Cook Convention Center will go on hiatus this year due to construction at the center. There will be Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless Wednesday of that week at the Union Mission (383 Poplar) and St. Vincent DePaul (1306 Monroe) on Thanksgiving Day.

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Not Tennessee! They have the worst fans in college football and we don’t want them in Memphis! In fact, we wish the Vols fans who are here, would leave! Let’s pray that the Vols lose two of their three remaining games (Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt) and fail to become bowl-eligible. The Vol Hater Facebook account posted a photo of a steaming pile of poo with the caption, “YOU CAN’T HAVE SHIT WITHOUT THE T.” Very true.

ESPN has Tennessee as a slight underdog against Kentucky and Missouri. I hope they are right.

Factory workers in China are working long shifts to beat the clock on threatened tariffs. Guess what they’re making? “Trump 2020” banners.

If you haven’t been here since yesterday morning, keep scrolling down, because yesterday about 2 I posted my “Paul’s Picks” for Downtown Dining Week. I go through all the menus so you don’t have to (and given what a horrible website they have this year, you will thank me for that), spotlighting the restaurants that embrace DDW and offer creativity and value in their menus.

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