Thanksgiving Day update: Bad news for hungry people coming out of Club 152 or Purple Haze late at night

Verizon is streaming the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for free this morning on YouTube, without a cable subscription required. Here’s how to watch.

In the news: Some of you are familiar with the guy who runs a BBQ pit out of the back of his truck and sells food late at night to people coming off Beale Street and out of Purple Haze. Shelby County officials are cracking down on him and others doing what he is doing, selling food illegally. Food vendors without proper permits will be dragged into Environmental Court if they continue to remain out of compliance. Allowing the practice to continue could cause people to get sick, health officials said. I understand where they’re coming from, but I’m a little sad for my friends who have partied late night and have told me those are some damn good smoked sausages and turkey legs.

Going to the Saturday, December 10 Grizzlies game? Here’s info on how to be invited to the Bud Light after-party:

Did you wish you could volunteer to help the homeless at Thanksgiving, but your schedule didn’t permit it? You can volunteer from home making gift bags to help them get through winter.

One more bar opening time for tonight: Local will open at 6. Scroll down to see more opening times in the previous post.

Music Heals, the Daystock Musician Benefit will happen at The Warehouse Saturday from 1 to 8. This is a fundraiser to benefit David Skypeck of FreeWorld, Cecil Yancey in memory of wife Linda Yancey, and the Church Health Center. Over 10 bands and musicians will perform, headlined by Valerie June. $10 at the door, 18 and up event. There will be a cash bar.

The new Kooky Canuck location opened last night and I stopped by. I will get a photo gallery up soon but I have to say it is VERY nice. Great job Shawn and Lana. Love the huge TVs at the bar and around the restaurant.

Heading out to Thanksgiving with friends here in a bit. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wed update #2: Who’s open Thanksgiving night and more news

I’ve been gathering a list of Thanksgiving Day bar opening times Downtown… when you’re full of turkey and ready to get away from the family, there are plenty of places you can go to get a beer or a drink.

  • Bardog opens at 5 PM with $4 Shiner Holiday Cheer and Thanksgiving dinners for sale
  • Flying Saucer opens at 5 PM
  • Max’s Sports Bar opens at 5 PM
  • Rum Boogie opens at 5 PM
  • Blind Bear opens at 6 PM, with poker at 8 and Kaleidoscope at 10
  • Silly Goose opens at 7 PM

If you know of others I missed email and I will add them. Also don’t forget to check I Love Memphis and Choose 901 for their holiday guides.

Geoff Calkins’ The 9:01 daily column is an interesting read today. It talks about plans to redevelop The Pinch, comparing South Main and The Pinch to Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul, only a few miles apart.

The Ghost River taproom is having two drawings tonight for Grizz vs. Heat tickets for Friday. The first will happen at 6 PM, and the second at halftime of tonight’s game. Ghost River will have the Grizzlies vs. the Sixers on their three TVs tonight and beer will be pouring from their 12 taps. If you’re going to a Thanksgiving potluck and don’t cook, a growler or two from Ghost River would be a fine thing to bring. A growler is a 64-ounce glass container of craft beer, for those not in the know (I thought everyone knew but I had to explain what one is and why I might bring one to a Friendsgiving event this week).

Speaking of Friday’s Grizzlies game, there will be puppy races at halftime, and you will be able to adopt rescue pups.

Former Tennessee District 9 rep Harold Ford Jr. is being considered for a position in the Trump Cabinet, possibly as Transportation secretary.

Lyfe is Dope has an event at the New Daisy tonight. The production and clothing company presents events and pop-ups around the Mid-South. Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door, and the event is 18 and up.

Memphis supergroup The Pirates reunite at Loflin Yard Saturday night from 10 to 1.

That’s it. Work closes at 3, so I will be out by 4.

Wednesday morning update

The date for the Bubbles Dinner has been set at Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick. It will be Tuesday, December 13 from 6:30 to 9 PM. It is a celebration of all things bubbles. The menu isn’t released yet, but Chef is one of those people I would trust enough to make dinner reservations, menu unseen.

It’s Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and is one of the biggest going-out nights of the year. I know that many of my readers who normally stay home on Wednesdays will be out this evening. What to do? My suggestion is come to the Silly Goose, where talented singer Charvey Mac does his weekly “Cheers with Charvey” gig from 10 PM to 1 AM. Good music and there should be a fun crowd there.

Over at Brass Door, Seamus will be the special guest caller at British Bingo tonight. 7:30.

Diamond Bear Brewing Co. from my hometown of Little Rock will be at Miss Cordelia’s tonight, sampling their beer for Food Truck Wednesday 5 to 8 PM. The Sushi Jimmi and El Mero Taco trucks will be on site as well.

There’s going to be an Important Meeting at the Ghost River taproom, 827 S. Main, Friday from noon to 10:30 PM. The South Side Supper Club will play 2 to 4, a group featuring a clarinet, accordion, bass, and banjo. There will be food trucks there all day, with Monkey Train Grazing Co. there from noon to 4 and El Mero Taco from 5 to 10:30. If you’re stuck with your family all day Friday and need to get away for a beer and some football, tell them you have an “Important Meeting” you have to attend. Or bring them along, either will work.

Out at the Wiseacre taproom, they will have Black Friday karaoke 6 to 10 on the 25th.

If you’re going to the Stumbling Santa pub crawl on Saturday, December 3 to stumble around with hundreds of Santas from one Downtown bar to the next, don’t forget the event is a toy drive for the kids of Porter-Leath. The highest need is for preschoolers (age 3-5) and toddlers (age 1-2). They have a list of toy ideas if you’re not sure what to buy. They are not accepting toy weapons, toys with small parts, or stuffed animals.

Yesterday was the first day of the Work Local program, where the city partners with Hospitality HUB of Memphis to provide homeless men and women the opportunity to earn a day’s wages. Participants clean blight and litter and get a free lunch as part of the deal. Yesterday 10 participants cleaned up 2 miles of road. Want to donate to make sure this program keeps going? You can do so on the Work Local ioby page.

This week is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles recording “Strawberry Fields Forever,.” Rolling Stone has a fascinating article on the evolution of the song from an intimate John Lennon studio demo, to the other Beatles contributing to the layers of the song, to George Martin mixing the final version. A must-read if you are a fan of the band or the song.

Time to go to work. At least I get out early today. I will probably lead off at happy hour at Silly Goose after work. Not sure if I will have time to do a post before I leave for dinner tomorrow, so if I skip a day, Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.

Tuesday update

Garth Brooks is making a concert stop in Memphis early next year. He and Trisha Yearwood will play FedExForum Tuesday, February 4, 2017. Tickets go on sale December 2.

In other FedExForum news, the Grizzlies will start selling the gift that keeps on Grizzing beginning Friday for its Black Friday sale. These are six-game holiday packs starting at $90, and every pack includes a Grizzmas Ugly Sweater T-shirt and a $10 gift card to Bass Pro at the Pyramid, while supplies last. On Friday only, you get Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers for free with the purchase.

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts McNeese State tonight at 7 at FedExForum.

There’s a free comedy show tonight at High Cotton’s taproom. Charlie Vergos returns to the taproom with 30 minutes of new material, where he will be joined by P.J. Bomani, with D.J. Buckley and Aaron Weber from Nashville. Doors at 7, show at 7:30.

Forbes has an interview with Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, who was the reason Trump won the election. In a secret back office Kushner and his team mined data and micro-targeted messages to reach particular audiences. The article is worth a read from a marketing and social media perspective as much as a political perspective. You’ll learn why Trump was able to pick off states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that everyone assumed were part of Hillary Clinton’s blue wall.

Short post today… there’s never much news the week of Thanksgiving. If I hear of anything additional I will do a second post after work.

Monday update: UT football team wins championship of life and more

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Saturday Down South has reaction around the Twitterverse over the latest stupid thing to come out of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones’ mouth. Someone added the life championship to the list of Jones’ accomplishments on his Wikipedia page. And radio host GP had this to say:

I tried unsuccessfully to find a list of requirements to claim a life championship, but there is one requirement I am quite sure is not on the list: “Beating South Carolina”

On a more serious note, there will be a public meeting Tuesday at 5:30 at the Balinese Ballroom to discuss the future of The Pinch. As much as $25 million will be pumped into the area to improve the district between Bass Pro at the Pyramid and St. Jude. Leaders are seeing The Pinch as a gateway to the city. Just a couple of days ago I was predicting that Overton Avenue would become Downtown’s next great street, lined with restaurants, bars and shopping.

Sip, Shop and Spa is coming to The 101, 101 S. Main, Tuesday from 11 AM to 2 PM. Get an exclusive hand spa experience from Jamila Naturals. Tiara’s Place Boutique and Massage on the Go will be on hand as well. Exquisite Catering & Events will be serving Yazitini beverages and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Congratulations to Grizzlies play-by-play TV announcer Pete Pranica on his nomination as Tennessee State Sportscaster of the Year.

Garrison Keillor comes to the Orpheum Friday, March 10. The voice of the popular radio show A Prarie Home Companion will bring Lake Wobegon to you for an evening of storytelling.

If you were planning on going to the Friday, January 13 show by AJ Croce at the Halloran Centre, it is being moved down the street to the Orpheum. It will be a cabaret-style performance, the first ever at the historic theater. The move makes way for planned improvements to the Halloran Centre.

Want a job at Downtown’s new ice rink? Apply here.

That’s it for now. I’m on my way out to Bardog for Melissa Monday. Already got a few news items for tomorrow, so check back.

Thanks everyone!

I just wanted to say a quick “thank you” to everyone who helped make my birthday weekend special. My friends mean the world to me and I enjoyed celebrating with every one of you.

Now we move into Thanksgiving week… always an odd one for me because one of my work’s three national tournaments starts on Thanksgiving Day every year and lasts until the Sunday of the following week. Each time the tournament is in a different city – you may remember the Spring 2012 tournament that happened in Downtown Memphis. This one is in Orlando, and although I don’t have to travel there, I am on-call in case anything comes up. That’s why it’s been years since I went out of town for the holiday.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be eating turkey though! Wonderful friends have invited me to their place in South Bluffs for Thanksgiving dinner, and then that evening there’s another Thanksgiving gathering I will probably attend (the South Main one – since it’s semi-private I won’t say the name of the place). Then on Friday some of my Sunday brunch crew is having a Friendsgiving at a friend’s house.

As for Saturday, Bardog gets me back as a regular, and they can expect to find me standing outside about 10:58 waiting for them to unlock the door.

Still in shock about the WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view last night… I won’t spoil it, but I’ll just say this, if you’re a WWE Network subscriber, you need to watch Goldberg vs. Lesnar. Very surprising ending.

I haven’t been paying much attention to Downtown news these past few days, so nothing to report right now. Should be back with a news post tomorrow.

Sunday update: Original Raiford’s being renovated, bubbles dinner and more

The original Raiford’s at Mulberry and Vance is being refurbished into a restaurant, the Memphis Flyer reports. The inside has been completely gutted. The building housed the best disco in the world from 1975 to 2005, and was the origin of many stories which I wish I could blog here. No word on what restaurant will go into the space, but it is being leased by Loeb and February is the target date. For those of you who still like to boogie, fear not: Mr. Raiford is still shaking the maracas at his new location on Second just north of Monroe, along with his daughter Paula.

Keep an eye on Rizzo’s in the coming weeks – Chef posted yesterday that a “Bubbles Dinner” is coming in December. Bubbles are always perceived to be the best in food and drink, including champagne, ice cream, bread, and of course beer. I can’t wait to see what Michael Patrick has in mind.

If you need help dealing with your family this Thanksgiving, I have three words for you: cranberry jello shots

Maxwell and Mary J. Blige play FedExForum tonight at 7. If you want to pre-game, Loflin Yard has Jeff & Leah playing at 3.

Here’s a tutorial on how to play the blues guitar like Clapton, Beck and Page.

Former Tiger Will Coleman is selling donuts, but read the story. With his attitude, he is going to make it far in life.

Another former Tiger, Austin Nichols, has been dismissed from Virginia’s men’s basketball program.

I more or less camped out at Max’s Sports Bar all day yesterday, where I watched my Hogs beat Mississippi State 58-42. Seven wins, and probably eight after Missouri next week, is not bad in the SEC West. Liberty Bowl committee, you can pick anyone from #3 to #8 in the SEC, how about calling those Hogs for a second year in a row? Bielema, if it happens, please come visit Max’s again! I want a picture!

Speaking of Max’s, check out the swag I scored yesterday:


Those of you who go to the place are familiar with the cabinet with all the bobbleheads and statues. Yesterday Max was cleaning the cabinet out and dusting and found some T-shirts in there. “Paul, you want one?” Of course I wanted one! I will wear it all the time.

Before I went to Max’s, I had a bit of a disappointment: I went to play the jukebox at Earnestine & Hazel’s, and discovered that “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne is NOT one of the choices! It needs to be mandatory for every jukebox in America to have that song. Get on that, Trump! Introduce a Constitutional amendment if you have to.

Start Co. visited San Francisco recently for mentoring and networking for several of its startup companies. Among the stops was an incubator in the Mission District which had a zen room. Does YOUR company have a zen room, and if not why haven’t you talked to your CEO about it?

Time for D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear. Back tomorrow with more news.





Mushroom & Poblano Enchiladas @ Agave Maria + Saturday news


Growing up, I loved cheese enchiladas. When I went to Casa Bonita at the corner of Asher and University in Little Rock and got the Deluxe Dinner, the cheese enchilada would always be the first thing I would devour. Yesterday I had the adult version of cheese enchiladas.

With a birthday dinner in Midtown at 7, I knew I needed to eat something. I led off at Bardog, and before long “Paul let me get you a shot for your birthday” started happening. About 1:30 I walked down Center Lane (Scratchy’s Alley) to Agave Maria. I didn’t want anything big. The short rib items sounded delicious, but I was worried I wouldn’t be hungry again by the evening. The last item on the menu – the mushroom and poblano enchiladas – caught my fancy. They come with poblano cream, Jack and Oaxaca cheeses, pico, and crema. That sounded perfect. I am a big fan of spicy (which would be my undoing at dinner) and the poblano cream did not disappoint. Definitely do not shy away from this dish because it is meatless! I posted a photo to Facebook and my friend Aaron “Liked” it. Aaron is my BBQ teammate and the only vegetarian from West Virginia in the shoulder division at BBQ Fest, so that’s quite an endorsement.

Random thing I learned yesterday: I share a birthday with Nikki, creator of Hot Ass Chips, Hot Ass Seasoning, Hot Ass Bloody Mary Mix and more. Her stuff is the best, so if you like spicy check out her website for sure.

I didn’t get any Nikki’s Hot Ass products for my birthday yesterday, but I did get this:


Rachelle’s Hot Ass Satan’s Ass Three Pepper Spice Mix! DAMN! This girl’s got talent! We may have to put her on the BBQ team! On a related note: If you go to Golden India in Overton Square, telling them to “turn up the spice a little” on the Lamb Saag may not be exactly the best idea. On a better note, I discovered Lucky Buddha beer last night. It tastes a lot like PBR, so I liked it!

After dinner, we went to the Blind Bear, where I was the password.




Actually, the first places I went after I escaped were the Farmers Market and Earnestine & Hazel’s, but I did spend a good amount of time at the Bear in that costume…


Kisses from Hot Vegetarian Katie from D.C. and another girl


So anyway, at the Bear I got a special birthday gift.


Back in August, a friend of mine brought me a present from a trip to Colorado: A koozie, which looks like a brown paper bag, with the PBR logo on it. Koozie had a long life, lasting two months, not bad for a paper bag. Around that time I was given Son of Koozie, who lasted a mere 22 days, and Grandson of Koozie, recently drafted into service. Last night I received Koozie IV, Koozie V, Koozie Vi, and Koozie VII. I’ll be in koozieland through BBQ Fest! (Hey team, has anyone worked on getting PBR donated for 2017? We need to get on that.)

The Pirtles posted this on my Timeline yesterday:


Best. Cake. Ever.

All right, got several news items but they’re not time-sensitive and I need to get to the Farmers Market so I’ll hold them until tomorrow. Fall has finally arrived, but a jacket and a PBR will keep me warm.

Friday update – busy day!

There is a LOT going on today folks! The biggest event of all will happen at the corner of Main and Peabody Place, at the south entrance to the Main Street pedestrian mall, from 5 to 7 this evening. Mayor Jim Strickland will light the Downtown holiday tree. There will also be beer by the Tapbox beer truck, music by the MDs, caroling by Downtown Elementary, face painting, and holiday treats. I WILL BE THERE* and hope you will be too!

(* by THERE I mean at the lighting ceremony or down the street at the Silly Goose drinking PBR. One or the other)

The new Downtown location of Kooky Canuck is set to open today, if all inspections are passed, at 87 S. Second, right down the street from its old location at 97 S. Second. The MBJ has a photo slideshow.

Over at Clayborn Temple from 7 ti 11 tonight, Funksgiving will happen. This is designed to promote the temple by bringing together people of all ethnicities and cultures. There will be old and new school funk by Bluff City Soul Collective and Southern Ave. The Tapbox will be serving beer there as well. Tickets are $8.

Over at the Cannon Center this weekend, there will be three performances of New Ballet Ensemble Nut Remix presented by Nike. The performances are at 7:30 PM tonight and tomorrow and 2:30 PM Sunday. Tickets start at $15.

Down at South Main Sounds at 550 S. Main, it will be Songwriter Night #42 tonight from 7 to 9. Songwriter night veterans Melinda Milligan and Evan Farris will be joined by newcomers Ted Horrell, Gene Lee (my neighbor!), and Chris Curtis. If you’ve never been, this is an intimate venue where you can get up-close and personal with the artists. The seating is comfortable, and merchandise and beverages will be available.

In other news, Loflin Yard is ready for winter. The patio just outside the safe house is enclosed, and gas heaters and fire pits have been scattered around the yard.

Bountiful Blessings is the theme of the last Memphis Farmers Market of the regular season, tomorrow at Front and G.E. Patterson under the pavilion from 7 AM to 1 PM. Adam Levin will provide the live music, For the kids, corn, the vegetable you see again tomorrow, will be a big part of the crafts booth where you can make Thanksgiving decorations 9-11. The Streetdog Foundation will be there adopting pets 9 to noon. It’s the last Lost & Found, so if you’re missing anything from a previous week come get it! There will be a holiday market December 10 and then they will be off until April 1. Needless to say, I WILL BE THERE**.

(** THERE = the Market itself or nearby at E&H or Max’s drinking PBR.)

Great WREG news story on how Chef Gary from DeJaVu gives back to the community.

Purchase of an adjacent site will allow development of One Beale to proceed, providing room for a parking garage.

There’s a scavenger hunt by Urban Adventure Quest this Sunday. Tickets are $44 for teams of 4.

A holiday pop-up shop is coming to Clayborn Temple, across from FedExForum on Hernando, Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3. Memphis-themed shirts, hats and mugs will be on sale, as well as (appropriate for the holiday) tacky sweaters. Items will be in the $5 to $50 range. They ask that your purchase with credit or debit card. If you use cash, only exact change will be accepted.

High Ground News has an article on EDGE Arts, the new space at 600 Monroe.

It’s my birthday. I’m off work. The bar around the corner opens at 8 AM. You see what’s going to happen here, right? Having lunch at Agave Maria, then Bardog and Silly Goose time, then watching the Christmas tree lighting then a dinner at Golden India in Midtown. I’ve been stalking their menu online and am torn between the vindaloo and the saag. There’s going to be plenty of Fireball and PBR, so tomorrow’s post probably won’t be something you confuse with a Shakespearean soliloquy.


Thur update #2: Where to pregame for 11 AM Tigers games and more

Every time there’s an 11 AM Tigers men’s basketball game on a Saturday, I get the same question: “Hey Paul, do any bars open before 11 so I can get a beer and pre-game for the Tigers?” Up until this season I really didn’t have a good answer. Now I do, one I discovered quite by accident. If you don’t mind a 10 minute walk to FedExForum, you can pre-game at Downtown’s most legendary dive bar, a place most people don’t think to go until about 1 AM.

The Saturday before BBQ Fest, I was running ahead of schedule and got my Farmers Market stuff done by 10:05 in the morning. “Hmmm, Bardog doesn’t open til 11, I’ve got 55 minutes to kill, guess I’ll walk home and see what’s on TV,” I thought. I crossed G.E. Patterson, turned left on Main, and started my walk north – for all of about 3 feet. The door to Earnestine & Hazel’s was open. Curious, I walked in. “Are you serving?” I asked the man behind the bar, figuring maybe he was just doing prep work to open in an hour or two.

“We are open!” he replied. “Come on in. My name’s Clarence. What can I get ya?” Since then I have returned to E&H nearly every Saturday following the Farmers Market. Now, I know what some of you are thinking – “OMG E&H in the daylight” – but trust me, the Soul Burgers are still just as good, and the great thing about being there at 10 is that you get to smell them prepping grilled onions for the burgers. They have the door to the second floor open in the mornings now, so if you’ve never been up there, you can see the rooms where the ladies took their customers. E&H was a brothel from 1960 to the early 1990s, and the rooms are largely unchanged from that era.

And, of course, they have the best jukebox in town. Maybe Saturday when I go down there, I’ll flip through the CDs and write down some recommendations for songs to play for a future blog post. Kinda in the mood to play some Eagles… I wonder if they have “Lyin’ Eyes” in the E&H jukebox. Might play some Ozzy too!

PRO TIP: If you take me up on my suggestion to pre-game at Earnestine & Hazel’s, take another page out of my book. Come a little early and before hitting up E&H, visit the Memphis Farmers Market half a block down G.E. Patterson. It’s the last market of the regular season. I haven’t received their weekly e-newsletter listing live music and special events, but when I do, I will post an update.

Three-day passes are now on sale for Memphis in May’s Beale Street Music Fest, May 5-7, 2017. The passes are $95. No bands have been announced yet, so you’ll be going on blind faith that there will be music you will like.

Saturday you can apply for a new passport or get one renewed without an appointment at the post office at B.B. King at G.E. Patterson. To apply for one, you will need to bring photo ID and either birth certificate or naturalization papers.

From WREG: Watch out for fake shopping apps this holiday season. Shop at places you know – if you don’t keep it local, do your holiday shopping on apps like Amazon that you know you can trust.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, YOGA! I know that a lot of my readers will be off work on Friday the 25th, and will be looking for more to do than just eating leftover turkey. Instead of fighting all the Black Friday crazies at Target, why not do something to leave you feeling balanced and centered while supporting a local Downtown business? Downtown Yoga will offer two classes that afternoon. From 1:00 to 2:15 there will be a Gratitude Flow class with Amy, and from 3:00 to 4:15 a Restorative Sound Bath with Kristina. Sign up for classes here.

The Metal Museum’s 2016 Look Book and Holiday Guide has been released. View it here.

My birthday weekend starts in four hours! I will lead off at the Silly Goose as usual after work, then over to the Blind Bear. May throw a Belle Tavern stop in there somewhere since I had a good time there Tuesday. Got to stay up til midnight so I can ring my birthday in! No work tomorrow for me. There will be a blog post tomorrow but it will not necessarily happen at the expected time.