Saturday update

Well, I got to Walgreens at 8:01 this morning, but none of the 50% off candy appealed to me. Mostly all of what they had left was the heart-shaped boxes of mixed candies. It seems depressing to buy one of those for myself, and besides, I don’t like half the candies in the box anyway. And let’s face it, what would happen is that Perjorie T. Roll would wait for me to go to work Monday morning, and then eat all the candy while I’m gone.

Professional Bull Riders return to FedExForum this evening. The Daily Memphian has a look at what life is like when your job is to hold on for 8 seconds.

Grammy-winning, platinum-selling artist Suzy Bogguss plays the Halloran Centre tonight. Tickets are $35.

A national TV audience will watch the Memphis Tigers fight for a top seed in the NIT as they travel to Hartford to take on UConn this afternoon at 2. You can watch the game on ESPN.

I tried another new pizza at the Silly Goose yesterday:

This is the Low and Slow, the Goose’s approach to a Memphis-style BBQ pie. It comes with sweet Guajillo BBQ sauce, Pontotoc pulled pork, chicken, onions, sweet drop peppers, slaw, Parmesan, and mozzarella. This is the messiest Goose pizza to eat, but the flavors come together really well. If you like hot BBQ sauce, you’ll appreciate the Guajillo sauce and the peppers. I’m having a leftover slice as I type this, and it’s almost as good cold as it is fresh out of the wood-fired oven.

I had good reason to eat a BBQ pizza yesterday… I gotta get fired up for BBQ season! We finally herded the cats and the Moody Ques are having a board meeting tomorrow afternoon. We’ll set the dues for 2020, discuss booth design and T-shirt design, decide which ancillary cooking competitions to enter, and whatever else a BBQ team talks about. Team members, expect an email Monday or Tuesday.

Anyone else Downtown having trouble with Comcast Internet being extremely slow this morning?

Memphis Made Brewing Co. hosts Beers for Beasts today at 5. Memphis Made has a reason to take the loss of millions of animals in the South Australia fires seriously – one of their bartenders, Damien Klingberg, is originally from that area. A minimum $5 donation is suggested at the door, to go toward rescue efforts for the koalas and other animals that lost their habitat. You’ll get live music by Jeff Hulett, The Switchblade Kid, Piper Down, and Solar Powered Love, and Goner Records’ DJ Zach Ives will be there as well. A portion of the amount for every pint sold will go toward the relief effort.

You remember last year when an airline passenger’s emotional support peacock was denied entry to the plane’s cabin? Well, this goes even a step farther. A man in Port St. Lucie, Florida was upset that he was not allowed to carry his life-sized emotional support cardboard cutout of Donald Trump on the plan with him.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association reports that cigar bar Robusto by Havana Mix is seeking a development loan to get an expansion that will triple the bar’s size. Wow… that’s quite good, going from Bar Rescue to an expansion in two years! Let’s hope they get it done.

The U.S. Civil Rights Trail added two Memphis locations this week: WDIA Radio and historic Beale Street. The trail consists of more than 100 locations in 15 states that were important to the Civil Rights Movement. This would be a really neat vacation to take, although one would probably have to take a month off work to have time to hit all the stops.

Many Memphians stop at Lambert’s Cafe, Home of the Throwed Rolls on their way to St. Louis. Well, bad news for Lambert’s this week: the founders’ son was arrested on sex trafficking charges.

Might want to avoid the 100 block of Peabody Place between noon and 2:30 today… vegan activists will be out.

Stats site FIveThirtyEight has an interactive, constantly updating site listing the probabilities that each Democrat will win enough delegates in the primary to walk into the national convention as the presumptive nominee. As of this morning the probabilities were

  • No one (brokered convention) 37%
  • The Bern 36%
  • Uncle Joe 13%
  • Mike Will Get it Done 8%
  • Mayor Pete 4%
  • E-Warren (I refuse to use Trump’s nickname for her) 2%
  • Someone else 0.2%

Wow, that’s really bad news for Amy Klobuchar. If the primary is of interest to you, might want to bookmark that link.

I have not early voted yet and I still haven’t totally made up my mind. Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Warren, and Klobuchar would all make excellent presidents in my opinion; it’s just, who has the best shot of beating Trump?

Time to get out and about. I didn’t get to see The Rusty Pieces’ return to the Blind Bear last Saturday because I failed to heed the words of our BBQ team’s inspirational leader and father figure. “ALWAYS REMEMBER, PAULANER, IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT.” The Rusty Pieces are back tonight and this time I’m going to try to make it. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Bishop, the new Hudman/Ticer French brasserie in the Central Station Hotel, will have a grand opening masquerade ball the evening of Saturday, February 22. There will be a mask bar (is that a bar where you get a mask? I haven’t been to a lot of masquerades) and a silent disco, as well as food, cocktails, beer and wine, a DJ, a band, and performances by Opera Memphis. Tickets are $100 and benefit Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization that researches and documents food trends in the rapidly changing South.

The National Civil Rights Museum will host a program tonight at 6:30 exploring the history of African-American Islam.

The Salvation Army will host an evening with Tony Dungy Saturday evening, April 4 at the Peabody. The organization and the former NFL coach will reflect on the 120 years Salvation Army has been in Memphis. Tickets are $150-$25,000. In case you’re wondering what the top level ticket gets you, it comes with ten seats at Tony’s table and a VIP reception with Tony. It also makes you the title sponsor, gets you a full-page ad in the program as well as social media mentions, and you get a signed copy of Tony’s book Uncommon.

Soccer supporters’ group Bluff City Mafia now has the link live where you can join for 2020. What do you get when you join?

  • Bluff City Mafia swag including T-shirt and koozie
  • Pre-match meetups at the Brass Door, with happy hour prices for members in the Cavern from 4 PM until the march over to AutoZone Park
  • Priority seating in the first few rows of sections 108-112 for Memphis 901 FC home games
  • Exclusive access to BCM Slack channels

Don’t forget, folks: Half-off candy at Walgreens tomorrow. The Downtown location opens at 8 on Saturdays.

Got news on some Downtown jobs to share with you. First of all, Aldo’s Pizza Pies is in immediate need of an expo on night time weekends. It sounds like if you come in and apply, you might be able to make some money as soon as tonight or tomorrow. They are also looking to build up their server staff as the busy season approaches. As I have said before, the Aldo family of restaurants are great work environments.

Tin Roof is hiring security starting at $13 an hour. Generally your hours would be Friday and Saturday 9 PM-6 AM give or take, and occasionally a weekday here and there for special events. Must pass a background check.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to tell you that Evelyn & Olive still has Valentine’s reservations open. They have some special treats planned for tonight including chocolate chip bread pudding and chocolate-covered strawberries. Call 901-748-5422 to reserve your table.

New phone, who dis? Bleacher Report has a look at the reasons NBA players have to get new phones so often. Reminds me, I think I’ll give Jaren a ring and see if he wants to do lunch.

There will be a South Main Mardi Gras Bar Crawl Saturday, February 22. Participating locations include Momma’s (formerly The Dirty Crow Inn), Ghost River Brewing Co., and Loflin Yard. Free beads and New Orleans food and drink specials. Rodrick Duran Band will play Loflin Yard 9-midnight.

Friends of Cossitt Library will have their monthly meeting at 409 S. Main at the Puck Food Hall from 6-7 PM Thursday, February 20. They’ll have guest panelists from volunteer organizations speaking on ways to volunteer and engage. There will also be information on how you can participate in the Cossitt Library’s re-opening this fall.

Those of you who bank at First Horizon: Watch out for a text message scam saying there is a problem with your account.

I want to call out my fellow Democrats/liberals on a disturbing trend I’ve seen on social media this week as the primary race heats up. People are posting something of the form, “If you (vote / don’t vote) for (x), you must be a (y).” Some examples:

  • If you vote for Bernie, you must be a communist.
  • If you don’t vote for Warren or Kloubchar, you obviously hate all women.
  • If you vote for Bloomberg, you’re OK with billionaires buying elections.
  • If you vote for Mayor Pete, you must be a racist.

We have got to stop attacking each other. If you believe a candidate possesses a negative quality that should disqualify him/her from becoming president, post evidence to that effect, for sure, but don’t attack his/her supporters. Don’t get so negative with those on your own side that they will feel deflated when your candidate gets the nomination instead of theirs, and as a result they stay home in November and we end up with 4 more years of this circus. Fragmenting the Democratic party is what Trump wants. It’s what his digital manager Brad Parscale wants. That’s what Putin wants. That’s what the online Russian trolls, who will happily join the attacks, want.

For example, this Politico article speaks about the fears Democrats in Congress have that Bernie as the nominee will hurt their re-election chances, and in particular could hurt the Democrats’ chances of gaining control of the Senate. Its message resonates with me. However, for those of you who are Bernie supporters, I respect you, and I respect the way you share his beliefs for a society that offers opportunity for all. If he becomes the nominee I promise I will go to the polls and vote for him in the general election.

That’s it for today. I am ready for the weekend. If Jaren doesn’t answer his phone, causing my lunch plans to fall through, I will be out at the Blind Bear and the Silly Goose this afternoon.

Thursday update

The Memphis Grizzlies will enter the All-Star break 2 games above .500, at 28-26, having beaten the Portland Trail Blazers last night. A look at the standings reveals that the Grizzlies are now in 8th place in the West by 4 games over Portland, giving themselves a nice, comfortable pad as they push for the playoffs. In addition, the Grizzlies are only 4 games away from catching Oklahoma City to move up to 7th place.

Memphis in May finalized its lineup for Beale Street Music Fest 2020 this week. Have a look and see what you think. The festival is Friday-Sunday, May 1-3.

Cordelia’s Market invites everyone to come sample their Scratch Hot Bar. Starting next week, they will make small batch meals every day, using fresh ingredients from the market.

Max’s Sports Bar will host another crawfish boil this Saturday. Glaze will be cooking them up in Cajun spice, along with sides of taters, corn, and sausage. Cost is $9.50 for one pound of crawfish or $17 for two pounds. The bar opens at 11 and the first batch will come out shortly after 12.

ESPN Bubble Watch says the Memphis Tigers are “now shown as a borderline case that will be sweating out Selection Sunday if present trends continue.” Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology currently has Memphis in the second four out. The Tigers could get back on the right side of the bubble with a road win over fellow bubble team Cincinnati. The game will be nationally televised tonight at 6 on ESPN.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater comes to the Orpheum for three performances tomorrow through Sunday. Tickets are $39-88.

Today is the Wiseacre Xanadu Hazy IPA release and paper airplane battle at Bardog from 5 to 7. Xanadu is part of the brewery’s MEMFRESH IPA series and Bardog will be the only bar Downtown debuting Hazy IPA. Prizes will be awarded for performance and aesthetics in the paper airplane competition.

Loflin Yard celebrates Galentine’s Day tonight from 7 to 10. Ladies get half price cheese boards and wine, and there will be karaoke.

Here’s a reason to cross the bridge: Edible Memphis reports that the West Memphis Applebee’s has $1 PBR all day, every day.

Two Degrees of Trump: I can now say I personally know someone attacked in the media by Donald Trump. He bashed Tomeka Hart, the jury forewoman in the Roger Stone case, after she stated her opinion on the DOJ interfering in the case’s sentencing. I served with Tomeka on the board of MPACT Memphis in the early ’00s. She’s now the senior program officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That’s a great place to work, I bet!

Here’s another reason I’m not feeling the Bern this year:

Four years of a president with things to hide are enough. That said, if he wins the nomination, I will vote for Bernie in November. I won’t stay home or entertain the idea of voting for a third-party candidate.

That’s all for now. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update

Grizzlies commentator Chris Vernon has a look at the Valentine’s Day cards that will be given away to the first 5000 fans tonight at the 7 PM game vs. the Portland Trail Blazers:

Catch a new episode of The Chris Vernon Show online every weekday from noon to 2. Verno discusses the Grizzlies, happenings in the NBA and around the sports world, and whatever else is on his mind.

In other Grizzlies news, Forbes has released its 2020 NBA team valuations. The Grizzlies came in at #30 at $1.3 billion, just behind the New Orleans Pelicans at $1.35 billion. League average is $2.123 billion, and the leading valuation is the team with the front office that gets everything wrong: The New York Knicks at $4.6 billion. Location, location, location.

One more Grizzlies link before we get on to today’s news. Statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight crunched some numbers and determined that Ja Morant looks like the next great point guard.

Soccer supporters’ group Bluff City Mafia will have its first meeting of the season at the Brass Door tonight. Important note: Ignore the time in the tweet embedded below. Start time is 6:30.

Arcade restaurant is hosting a pre- and post-parade celebration the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Beale Street, Saturday, March 14. They’ll have live music by Wyly Bigger, a dollar off Irish coffee drinks (made with Mad Priest Coffee), and they’ll also have green beer and Irish car bombs.

Two men with sledgehammers tried to break into Gus’s early Monday morning, triggering the burglar alarm. Both suspects were apprehended by police nearby.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. will host Half Pints for Half Pints, a unique fundraiser for Peabody Elementary School, Saturday, February 29.

Tickets are $50 individual/$85 couple and can be purchased at http://www.halfpints.org. There will be food from Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Central BBQ, Celtic Crossing, Hattie B’s Chicken, Mulan Asian Bistro, Sunrise Memphis, and Sweet Grass. Goner Records will supply the music. There will be a silent auction, and of course there will be Memphis Made beer.

Attn: single ladies:

Bartender Andrew Robertson, who mixes at the highly respected Amor y Amargo Bitters Tasting Room in New York City, will be in three bars in Memphis this weekend to serve up some of his house cocktails:

  • Bar 409 inside Puck Food Hall, Friday, February 14, 5-7 PM
  • Pontotoc Lounge, Friday, February 14, 10 PM
  • Silly Goose, Sunday, February 16, 4 PM

Best campaign ad I’ve seen in a long while: Bring Presidential Back

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

Tuesday update

The Majestic Grille is gearing up for the next edition of its Supper Club next Tuesday, February 18 at 16 PM, and this time they are doing it Brexit style. The dinner will feature Memphis game cooked in aristocratic British flair, with dishes like Wild Bird Roast, Yorkshire Hotpot, and Sloe Gin Smoked Pheasant. The meal comes with Stiff Upper Lip British cocktails and Old World wines. $75 per person. This will sell out, so if you want to go call 901-522-8555 and make reservations immediately.

I’ve been told that the reason Bluefin moved its Chester’s truck stop fried chicken operation to its main bar is that the smoke was bothering people who live above the side bar. The latest plan is to turn the side bar into a coffee shop. Personally, I think they should keep going with the truck stop theme and put a Stuckey’s in there.

The Daily Memphian reports that the Masonic temple at 272 Court is for sale. $2.5 million is the asking price for over 56,000 square feet. Because the Masons have been the sole owner for over 100 years, many of the original fixtures remain. With Downtown growth booming and spreading outward, there is a lot of interest in that property.

The Shrine Building condos at Main and Monroe recently had the elevator brought up to modern technology and it is now the fastest elevator Downtown at 600 ft/second. Thanks to Joey for the information.

Local Memphis has a story on whether you really have to pay red light camera tickets in Memphis. TL;DR: You don’t.

Blink 182 cover band (yup that exists) The Dude Ranch plays Tin Roof March 19.

Green Horns will play The Lounge in the basement of 3rd and Court diner 7 to 10 PM Saturday for their Mardi Gras party. Gumbo, etoufee, and red beans and rice will be on the food menu, with hurricanes and Sazeracs on the drink menu. Of course, there will be king cake too.

Hooters is bring back its Valentine’s Day special this year. Order 10 boneless wings and hand them a photo of your ex to go through the paper shredder, and get 10 additional boneless wings free.

Chicago DJ Jake Shore Drive will supply the music at the Silly Goose Valentine’s Day party on Friday.

The New Hampshire primary is today, and early voting in Tennessee’s primary is tomorrow. I’m starting to come around to Mike Bloomberg as the candidate with the best chance to take down Trump. When asked what he thought about a November presidential election featuring two billionaire candidates, he replied, “Who’s the other billionaire?”

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

Monday update

The Silly Goose rolled out the latest wood-fired oven creation this weekend: lasagna.

Also while I was at the Goose, I learned that their sibling location Pontotoc Lounge has Pappy Van Winkle for $20 a shot. B-RAD said that’s a whiskey that can be hard to find around Memphis.

The River Rat Rounders poker league will have a Shootout tournament at Loflin Yard on Saturday, February 29. The way this works is, each table of 8 is a mini-tournament to itself, with the table winners then moving on to a final table. It’s free to play, open to everyone, and it will start at 5 PM with late entries only accepted for the first two blind levels. If they have interest, they will have a turbo with regular structure at 7 PM that evening.

Opinion piece in The Daily Memphian: Shelby County needs cheap, secure, hand-marked paper ballots. Yes yes yes. Russia can’t hack paper, and there would be no app that could fail as happened in the Iowa caucus debacle.

PETA wants you to stop using the word “pet” because it’s derogatory. Oh my f***ing God. PETA. Just. Shut. Up.

Jennifer Biggs of The Daily Memphian has a couple of pieces of Downtown lunch news that are worth noting. First of all, Bishop, the French brasserie in Central Station, launches its lunch menu today.

Secondly, Biggs’ next lunch gathering will happen Friday, February 21 at The Vault on G.E. Patterson. Chef Derk Meitzler used to be the chef at the former Harry’s on Teur and owns the rights to the recipes. At the lunch he will bring back favorites like Chicken Newport, Chicken Kingfield, spanakopita, and Steak Henri. Purchase tickets – $25.85 for Daily Memphian subscribers and $34.85 for everyone else.

Biggs also named the squash salad at Catherine & Mary’s as the best thing she ate last week.

The Grizzlies notched a win last night to get above .500 once again (.509 to be exact). They have one game left before the All-Star break, and it is a big one. Wednesday night the 8th-place Grizzlies host the 9th-place Portland Trail Blazers, who are two and a half games back. A win would put some distance between the Grizzlies and the Blazers. The team will have their throwbacks on and first 5000 fans get a Grizzlies Valentine’s card.

That’s it. Time to get this week started. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update: Axe throwing is coming to The Edge

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to link you to this Memphis Business Journal article about axe throwing coming to The Edge. Craft Axe Throwing is based in South Carolina and has six locations. Their new location in The Edge will be their largest yet, and the first to have a retail store in the front. They’ll also have a craft beer bar. Follow Craft Axe Throwing on Facebook

Well the Tigers’ basketball season officially went down the crapper with a home loss to USF yesterday. They’re probably not totally out of the conversation for an at-large spot in the NCAA tournament yet, but they’re on the wrong side of the bubble, probably in “second four out” range. Let’s have a look at games left against teams that were listed as “Should be in” or “Work to do” in the last ESPN Bubble Watch, updated after Friday’s games:

  • Road game at Cincinnati (work to do) February 13
  • Home game at Houston (should be in) February 22
  • Home game vs. Wichita State (should be in) March 5
  • Road game at Houston March 8

If the Tigers go 3-1 in the games listed above and avoid any bad losses, that would probably get them back on the right side of the bubble. But, let’s face it, the Tigers are unlikely to do that and are probably playing for a top 4 NIT seed at this point.

How will this affect recruiting? My guess is potential recruits will look to see where Precious Achiuwa goes in the 2020 NBA draft. He was projected as a late lottery pick, probably around number 14, at the beginning of the season. If he falls out of the first round, there could be a perception that players come out of a year with Penny less NBA-ready at the end than they were at the beginning, and that could hurt the ability to get the elite one-and-dones in future classes. Then again, the days of one-and-dones are probably coming to an end for college basketball as a whole.

If you were a fan of “Soul Man” Rocky Johnson during his days in the Memphis territory, have a look at the eulogy delivered by his son, The Rock. In attendance at the service were his uncles Afa and Sika, The Wild Samoans, and his cousin Roman Reigns, as well as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Jimmy Hart, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Triple H.

The Beach Boys come to the Orpheum Tuesday. Tickets are $49.50-$125. Only one member of the original Beach Boys, Mike Love, still performs on stage with the band.

The Grizzlies travel to D.C. to play the Washington Wizards. The game will be on Fox Sports Southeast at 5. Perhaps we will get to see some of our new players in action. Justise Winslow, however, is not expected to be healed from injury until the end of the month at the earliest.

Celine Dion plays FedExForum tonight.

For those who have asked, YES there will absolutely, positively be a Moody Ques team competing at BBQ Fest in 2020. Disbanding the team has never, at least to my knowledge, been discussed. We have not yet sent out a notice about dues because we are still figuring out what dues should be this year. Expect to hear from us soon, though.

Early voting starts Wednesday, and at this point I have no idea who I am going to vote for.

  • Joe Biden – far and away the most qualified candidate, but his support seems to be dwindling. Candidates who get selected because “it’s their turn” often lose (Hillary, Gore, Bob Dole, Mondale). His campaign is running short on funds, too.
  • Pute Buttegieg – the more I read about him the more I like him, and I can see him becoming the newcomer, relatively unknown at the beginning of the year, who sweeps the imagination of the Democratic party the way Obama, Clinton, and Carter did. However, he is not nearly as strong among African-American voters as Biden.
  • Michael Bloomberg – not afraid to match Trump in verbal sparring, and we know he’s not going to run out of money. If Biden slips much more, Bloomberg may emerge as the candidate most likely to beat Trump in November, which is the number-one thing I care about in this election. I wonder if he’ll also provide the number-two thing I care about, having coattails long enough for the Democrats to take control of the Senate.
  • Elizabeth Warren – I like the idea of a woman president, and her agenda most closely matches what I would like to see. However, I realize that I am more liberal than the average American, and I worry about her electability.
  • Amy Kloubchar – I would be happy with her as president, but does she have the name recognition and the funding to win the nomination?
  • Bernie Sanders – this is who Russia wants to see run against Trump. There is no way I am voting for him in the primary.

In the political quiz I took yesterday, I scored as a liberal libertarian. People ask, “Has there every been such a thing as a liberal authoritarian who was successful in American politics?” Yes. Huey Long. And I see Bernie turning in that direction if he becomes president. I’ll vote for him over Trump if I have to, but I won’t like it.

All right. Time to head to D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Silly Goose. We have a visitor from out of town who I am happy to get to see. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Looking for a superb Valentine’s Day date night? Look no further than Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick. Chef has put together a special Valentine’s Day menu with a cost of $65 per person.

After you’re done with Valentine’s Day dinner, head on over to Longshot for some disco-style Friday Night Fever on the 14rh. There will be ’70s music, food specials, drink specials, a $50 bar tab for the best-dressed group, and a free night’s stay at the Arrive Hotel for the best-dressed guy or gal. Longshot is the shuffleboard bar in the Arrive, entrance just off Main on Butler Ave.

If your Valentine is the four-legged kind, bring him/her to Fido Friday at Loflin Yard on V-Day. This is a happy hour where dogs are invited, so bring your pup and enjoy 2 for 1 prices and swag for the dogs. Can’t make it on Valentine’s? No problem. This will be a weekly Friday event.

The Rusty Pieces play the Blind Bear tonight. This is the first time Jessi will perform following her hiatus, and she and her husband Weston have a whole new sound that they’re ready to share with their fans. Should be a great show.

Lil’ Jon was seen in town this week, shooting a video at various locations including the Arcade restaurant. Facebook and Twitter were full of photos. The Daily Memphian has a report.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to tell you about an event happening at Wonder / Cowork / Create at 340B Monroe 2 to 4 tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, February 9. It will be the first in a Women Who Rock series, a conversation with Memphis musician Grace Askew. If you’re not familiar with her work, you can read all about her in this High Ground News interview.

Hair extensions have been around for a while, but now there’s a related beauty trend: nose hair extensions. Oh my God. Just don’t do it.

Wilons Woodwork Creations will be the featured vendor at Small Shop Saturday at the Ghost River taproom today from 1:30 to 6 PM. They have some cool Valentine’s Day gifts, including 6-pack holders, wine racks, cigar holders, cutting boards, and a variety of other handcrafted goods.

Saxophonist Antonio Hobson plays cigar bar Robusto by Havana’s Mix tonight.

There’s a gala at the Puck Food Hall tonight at 6:30, put on by Merge Memphis, that benefits Clares House. Clares House is a homeless women’s facility that assists its clients with safety and stability issues, getting employment, and more. Get tickets here

River Time Market & Deli on Court Square has created another new sandwich that sounds really good, but it doesn’t have a name yet.

Name this Sandwich! We have Pastrami, Salami and Pepperoni- between the Pastrami and Salami we have Provolone and between the Salami and Pepperoni we have Cheddar – topped with Italian Peppers and Green Olives, Lettuce, Mayo and Italian Dressing.

Yesterday I had people tell me, “Paul, I thought you Photoshopped that photo of Bluefin until I walked by and actually saw a Chester’s Fried Chicken serving station, just like the ones you see at gas stations, sitting on the main bar, first thing you see when you look in the window.” Yep. They really did that. However, I will point out that I have a BBQ teammate who drives trucks for a living and he says it’s really good truck stop chicken. He rates it above Popeye’s.

There will be an exhibition opening party at Art Village Gallery, S. Main at Huling, tonight from 5 to 8 PM for Out of Africa. This is the seventh year for this theme, bringing contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora to Memphis for Black History Month. This year the exhibit features the work of Gerald Chukwuma. His creations depict scenes from Igbo Landing in St. Simons Island, Georgia, in the year 1803. The landing was the scene of a mass suicide of Igbo people who took control of their slave ship from their captors, refusing to submit to slavery in the United States.

Union Row developers have purchased the Hunt-Phelan Estate at 533 Beale. Built before the Civil War, the mansion served as General Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters for a while. Later, Andrew Johnson, one of three presidents to be impeached, stayed there several times.

Another legendary Memphis building has a new owner: former sex store The Paris Theater on Summer Avenue. The building, closed since 2017, “has potential,” it is said, but it remains unclear if customers will still be able to purchase The Anal Intruder once it re-opens.

The Memphis Tigers host the University of South Florida Bulls today at 3 at FedExForum. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

I’ve been hearing of a string of restaurant robberies in the Downtown/Midtown area (2 Downtown, 2 or possibly 3 Midtown) since the first of the year that may be related. Here’s what I’ve been told these robberies have in common:

  • The robberies tend to happen 30 minutes to an hour after closing time – so the customers are gone but the staff is still there cleaning, prepping for the next day, and counting down the drawer
  • In each case, the robbers take the entire safe
  • None of the restaurants are chains; in fact, all of them are well-known local restaurants
  • However, none of the 4 restaurants is the only restaurant owned by its owner or ownership group. In one ownership group’s case, 2 of its restaurants are among the 4 or possibly 5 that have been hit.

The NBA All-Star Game will be next Sunday, February 16 on TNT at 7 PM. This year the format of the game will be quite different. Each of the first three quarters will be a mini-game unto itself, with the score reset for each quarter. The winner of each of the first three quarters will have $100,000 donated to the charity of the team captain’s choice, with LeBron supporting Chicago Scholars, and Giannis supporting After School Matters.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the scores will be reset to the combined totals of the teams’ scores for the first three quarters. The teams will then play without a game clock (but with a shot clock) until one team reaches the score of the leading team at the end of three quarters plus 24. This is a version of the Elam Ending, designed so that the teams play real basketball right up to the end, rather than spending the final minutes fouling and shooting free throws. The number 24 was chosen in memory of Kobe Bryant, who wore number 24 for the Lakers. Winning team gets $200,000 donated to their captain’s charity. In the event that one team runs the table and scoops the entire $500,000 in donations, the losing team will still get $100,000 to its captain’s charity.

The main post office for Memphis, at 555 South B.B. King, is one of the select post offices the U.S. Postal Service will keep open on Presidents Day, Monday, February 17. Hours will be 10 AM to 5 PM. Regular mail will not be delivered that day but Priority Mail will.

The XFL season starts this weekend. 411Mania has information on where and when to watch the games.

I’ll end this post with links to two interesting psychological studies. The first is a look at why people don’t return shopping carts to the proper receptacles after loading their groceries into the trunk. Turns out there are five categories defining what people do with the carts. Also, people are less likely to return the carts if there is evidence in the surroundings that people can get away with violating social norms.

The Political Compass is one of the best tests I have encountered to measure a person’s true political leaning. It is not just a liberal vs. conservative spectrum. Rather, it is a two dimensional graph, measuring liberal/conservative on one axis and libertarian/authoritarian on the other.  I took the test and was scored as a liberal libertarian:

Take the test for yourself and see where you score. Then read this article that explains why those with authoritarian tendencies, represented in the upper half of the graph above, have gravitated toward the Republican party in recent years and have seen their influence as a bloc in the Republican party grow.

This post went a little long today. Time to eat some lunch then head to Bardog. Request for my Bardog friends who read my blog: I need to take it pretty easy on shots today. I have a friend’s going-away party at 5 that I absolutely cannot miss. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Memphis 901 FC has announced its preseason home schedule, the biggest game of which is an exhibition game against the Memphis Tigers men’s soccer team on Saturday, February 29 at 6 PM at AutoZone Park. Those with full or partial season tickets will have this match added to their account for free, with tickets accessible in their My Tickets account starting February 20. The team store will be open during this match and discounted concessions will be available.

Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis’ exhibit Notable Black Memphians opens at the Woodruff-Fontaine House tonight 5-8 PM. Based on 10 years of research, Notable Black Memphians is the biography of 200 Memphians born between 1795 and 1972. If you can’t make it tonight, Dr. DeCosta-Willis’ work will be on display at the museum through March 15.

The CA’s Jennifer Chandler has a look at the new Dinstuhl’s chocolate shop at 147 S. Main, between Lenny’s and the Majestic Grille.

Some lawmakers want to pass a resolution requiring the Memphis Tigers and Tennessee Vols football and basketball teams to play each other at least once during the regular season.

Crappie Madness returns to Bass Pro at the Pyramid today through Sunday. Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman will give fishing seminars today at 7 PM, tomorrow at 11 AM and 2 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. There will be free fried fish samples tomorrow from 1 to 4. Enter Bass Pro’s Fishing Madness Sweepstakes for the chance to win a 2020 Tracker Panfish 16, including a Mercury 40HP 4-Stroke and custom trailer.

WMC Action News 5 has a good story on the Bartosch brothers, founders of Wiseacre Brewing Co. If you’re looking for a reason to get out to the brewery on Broad, next Thursday they will have a Xanadu Hazy IPA release and a paper airplane battle. There will be awards for both performance and aesthetics.

The Cadre Building will host A Night at the Pawscars tonight at 7 PM. Tickets are $20 (dogs), $45 (humans), and $75 (VIP). Your ticket gets you The event benefits Alive! Rescue Memphis and there will be a vegetarian buffet, a silent auction, booze, and live entertainment. Note: The flyer for this event lists the Cadre’s address at 409 Monroe. That is incorrect. The Cadre is at the southeast corner of Second and Monroe, at 149 Monroe.

AutoZone has started construction work to add more office space, expanding across Front Street from the building that serves as their headquarters store support center.

The Memphis Chamber has two positions open: Senior Vice President, Economic Development and Membership Account Executive.

South Main Sounds is back with another Songwriter Night tonight at 550 S. Main. Performers include Jeremy Stanfill, Stephen Michael, Kyle Bailey, Mersaidee Soules, and Luke Fisher.

That’s it for this post. Back tomorrow with more.

Thursday update: Downtown Little Italy now open

Huge news for South Main: The Downtown Little Italy location is now open. It’s on G.E. Patterson in the building across from Cheesecake Corner that used to be Scoops gelato parlor, and that was the original location of Rizzo’s years ago. The neighborhood will welcome their outstanding Italian menu, I am sure.

When you get done dining, cross the street and try a limited edition chocolate-covered strawberry slush at Max’s Sports Bar.

The Grizzlies made some major moves yesterday. In case you missed it:

  • They shipped off Andre Iguodala to the Miami Heat, getting back Justise Winslow, a promising talent who can play either small forward or point guard.
  • They extended Dillon Brooks for another three years, on a contract that will work out to just under $12 million a year. That’s a cost that is very reasonable given the numbers that Dillon has put up this season.
  • They won a game they were not expected to win, beating Dallas on the road 121-107. That improves the team’s record to 26-25. The Grizzlies are still in 8th place in the Western Conference and would qualify for the playoffs if they started today, 3 games ahead of 9th place Portland and 6 games ahead of New Orleans, expected to surge now that Zion Williamson is back.

Bluefin has moved their truck stop chicken operation from their side bar to their main bar.

So yeah, when you walk into this swanky Asian fusion restaurant, you’ll be tempted to ask, “Can I get a two-piece dark meat with mashed potatoes and $25 regular on pump number 3?” I notice they’ve re-branded as Bluefin Express, so perhaps they are turning their focus to to-go food. If they stay open late night, like 1 AM or later on weekdays and 3 AM on weekends, this could conceivably work.

Pat Harrington and Aubrey McCrady play The Lounge in the downstairs of 3rd & Court Diner Saturday night as part of the Yazoo concert series. They’ll have a 2 for $6 Yazoo beer special and cocktail specials too.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to report that Mo’s Bows, the bowtie business owned by young entrepreneur Moziah Bridges, has a pop-up location at BOXLOT, the shopping center made of shipping containers, at 607 Monroe through mid-month.

The MemphisWeather.net forecast has a chance of light rain or snow this afternoon, converting over to snow this evening. Minor accumulation is possible. Reminder: $2 Fireball shots at Bardog Tavern when it is snowing.

Early voting in the Tennessee presidential primary starts February 12. Here are a list of locations. The Downtown location is the Shelby County Election Commission at 157 Poplar. Note that the Election Commission is open 9-5 weekdays, whereas most other locations are open 11 to 7. You can early vote at any location, whereas if you vote on Super Tuesday you must do it at your assigned precinct.

Dylan Seo of the Sixth will team up with Bar Hustle’s lead bartender, Pablo Mata, and beverage director, Erik Hmiel, Saturday evening to offer 8 retro cocktails from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s in an event called Retro Drinks Reimagined at Bar Hustle in the first floor of the new Arrive Hotel.

The annual TEP Gumbo Contest happens at the Pipkin Building at the Fairgrounds Sunday from 4:30 to 7 PM. Come taste some of the best gumbo in Memphis while supporting equality for all.

Kemmons Wilson Companies has bought the old Spaghetti Warehouse building and is rumored to put its offices there, the Daily Memphian reports. Nothing wrong with offices but that would have been a great space for a grocery store.

It’s Take Your Dog to Trivia Night at Memphis Made Brewing Co. In addition to the usual prizes, Hollywood Feed will have prizes for the top teams that include a dog.

It makes me sick that Rush Limbaugh got awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Tuesday night. Here’s a look at the 10 most racist things Rush has said on his radio show. Rush was the beginning of the mindset that it’s okay to be openly racist, as well as misogynistic and homophobic.

It’s one of those days when I have more news than I have time. The rest is not particularly time-sensitive, so I will roll it over to tomorrow. See you then.