Apr 072014
 

A trolley on the Madison Avenue line caught fire this morning. It happened near Stop 345 at Madison near Danny Thomas. The fire was said to have started near the driver’s legs, and it rapidly spread. No one was injured, thank goodness. This is the second trolley fire in less than six months.

We’re getting closer to the end of the playoff race in the NBA’s Western Conference, and things are not looking good for the Grizzlies. Last night the Grizzlies got clobbered by San Antonio, and meanwhile Phoenix beat Oklahoma City. That leaves the Grizzlies in ninth place, a game behind Phoenix in eighth. If the season ended today, Memphis would be in the draft lottery with a 0.5 chance of drawing the first pick. A win at home Wednesday against the Miami Heat would be a good way to get back in the playoff hunt, but that is not going to be easy.

The RDC is thinking about opening a restaurant of its own at Beale Street Landing, since no Beale Street restaurant management company is willing to take the project on. The restaurant will be discussed at the RDC’s board meeting tomorrow.

There’s a Fundly campaign going on to raise money for outdoor furniture for the new South Main bocce court.

Stuff going on Downtown tonight: Crawfish night at Local, trivia night at Cafe Keough (7:30), $3 pint nite at Flying Saucer.

Beer lovers: Bernoulli Brew Werks, a homebrew shop at 2881 Poplar that supplies local home brewers with yeasts, grains, hops and the equipment to brew, is having an event this Saturday, April 12. It’s almost BBQ season, so they are having a trial run for their team “The BBQ Experiment.” The public is invited to come enjoy some BBQ and help them brew some beer. This will be a kid-friendly event.

Last night I used my WWE Network subscription to watch WrestleMania on my phone while playing poker. It got distracting, so I turned it off at the start of the Undertaker-Brock Lesnar match, figuring there was no doubt what would be the outcome of that one. About 25 minutes later, I got a shock. One of the other players told me, “They broke the streak.” I turned the WWE back on, and there was Undertaker walking up the ramp, dejected, with a “21-1″ graphic on the Jumbotron. For the first time ever, Taker had lost at WrestleMania. As Ron Simmons would say, DAMN.

That’ll wrap it up for now. Can’t wait to see what happens on Monday Night Raw. Undertaker-Sting at WrestleMania 31? Hope so.

Apr 052014
 

Not a whole lot to report today, but let’s get to it.

The Memphis Farmers Market is open and will be running until 1 PM at Front and G.E. Patterson. If you can’t make it today, the market will be there 7 AM-1 PM every Saturday through October.

I received a tip last night that I thought I would pass along. T.J. is back char-grilling oysters at Pearl’s Oyster House at S. Main and Pontotoc. The man is extremely talented. I have never had better grilled oysters. If you are a seafood fan at all, these are a must-try.

Good luck to a few Facebook friends of mine who are participating in the Atoka BBQ Fest today.

South Main got named one of 10 undercover stylish neighborhoods in the U.S.

Fun night at Bardog last night with my BBQ team president and one of the leaders of Squeal Street BBQ. Great conversation. I never got farther than Bardog, a 1-block walk from my front door.

Back at Bardog at 11 this morning for Saturday with Panda. Calendar is wide-open after that.

Apr 042014
 

(If you’re a web developer, you understand the title. Otherwise, don’t worry about it)

Since a lot of entrepreneurs read my blog, I thought I’d start today with an idea I had for an app or a website that maybe someone can pick up and run with. This morning I was looking forward to tomorrow, my usual Saturday at Bardog. Oftentimes on Saturday, Panda will decide “It’s too quiet in here” and take out a few dollars and hand them to customers to put in the jukebox. I never take Panda up on her offer of jukebox dollars – I don’t feel like flipping through 100 CDs to find 8 or 10 songs I’d like to play. That would take me away from my PBR for 15 or 20 minutes, an unacceptably long time.

Then I thought about what I do when I know I will be dining at a particular restaurant. I pull up the restaurant’s menu, either on its website or a third-party website that aggregates menus. I figure out what I want before I go. That way, I don’t waste a lot of time looking over the menu when I get there, and it lets me get excited in advance about the food. What if there were an app or website that aggregates what’s on the jukebox? If I could sit there in my desk chair at home and spend some time looking over what’s in Bardog’s jukebox, I’d be more likely to accept Panda’s money, or put my own in, and play some songs.

So there you go. If anyone wants to take that idea and run with it, be my guest. And now, on with the news.

The Grizzlies host the Denver Nuggets tonight at 6:00, and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN. If you can, get there early so the arena will be full at the start of the broadcast. This is a must-win game for the Grizzlies, who are locked in a tight struggle with Dallas and Phoenix for 7th, 8th, and 9th places in the Western Conference. At the end of the regular season, 7th and 8th places get seeds in the playoffs, while 9th place stays home. The Grizzlies must beat teams like Denver that they are expected to beat if they are to stay out of 9th.

Neighbors are worried that the building that once housed Prince Mongo’s nightclub could come crumbling down soon. The building is on Front Street and backs up to Center Lane, known to locals as Scratchy’s Alley. It is already leaning. Police have put up barricades in the alley but those only block vehicles from going through. Pedestrians use that alley as a shortcut all the time, and at least one homeless person (Jimmy AKA “Scratchy”) is known to sleep there.

New post on the Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog: A visit to Cake Gallery Baketique, which has many more sweets than just cakes. It’s on Madison just east of the Brass Door. How could I have had no idea that place was there, when it’s so close to home?

Moody Ques BBQ teammates: An email just went out to the team. If you didn’t get it let me know and I’ll make sure the team has your address. Last day to pay is April 15. Our pitmaster Chef David Scott Walker and his team have decided to enter all the ancillary events: beef, poultry, seafood, exotic, sauces, and hot wings.

Last night I attended the second Thursday poker night at Cafe Keough. Several players who had not been in the cafe yet came with me, and one commented, “You weren’t kidding, Paul, this place is really cool.” Poker players, if you haven’t made it to Cafe Keough yet, you’re missing out on a good time.

That’s all for today. Just a few more hours until the weekend. I wish the 80-degree weather from yesterday had stuck around, but I’ll take whatever weekend I can get.

Apr 032014
 

Tennessee Brewery Untapped, the project of putting community-driven events in the Tennessee Brewery in April and May in hopes of raising awareness and finding a permanent buyer, has scheduled its first event. There will be live music the weekend of April 25-26, with Caleb Sweazy at 6 PM Friday the 25th, Apollo Mighty at 4 PM Saturday the 24th, and Josh Crosby and Jeremy Stanfill at 6 PM Saturday the 26th. The event series was granted a license to serve beer yesterday, and will serve only locally-made craft beers, including beers from High Cotton, Ghost River, Wiseacre, and Memphis Made.

Volunteer “community build” sessions will be held in the brewery Saturday, April 5, 12, and 19 at 10 AM. At these times the furniture, tables and seating for Untapped will be constructed. They have hit capacity for volunteers this Saturday, but still need people for the 12th and 19th. If you want to volunteer, email BreweryUntapped901@gmail.com.

Memphis in May is hiring for a variety of seasonal jobs that will run through April and May.

Brackets have been posted for the April 10 bocce tournament on South Main. My vote for best team name: “Bocce Told Me She Was 18 Officer”

That’s it for now. Short post today. I hate it that I am going to miss the Memphis Made beer dinner (7 PM) at the Flying Saucer but I want to support the second week of my friends’ Thursday poker night at Cafe Keough. First deal is 8 PM.

Apr 022014
 

Yesterday I posted about an April 10 bocce tournament on South Main. It has since filled up, so a tournament for April 17 was opened up. That one has filled up too, so they’ve set up another tournament for April 24. Sign up here. I had no idea bocce had so much appeal in Memphis.

Here’s an article about the bocce court from this week’s High Ground News.

If you want to learn more about what our BBQ team sponsor Start Co. does, this article listing the top 5 reasons to intern at Start Co. is a good read.

The Memphis Made beer dinner is tomorrow night at 7 at the Flying Saucer. In March the brewery rolled out Junt, Bent Note IPA, Oaked Plaid Attack and Cocoa Reverberation. Tomorrow night they will be paired with locally-sourced food. Tickets are $30 for UFO Club members and $35 for non-members.

Amazon Local has a deal for tickets to the Cotton Museum, a $20 value, for $8.

Memphis Farmers Market has announced its live music schedule for its opening day on Saturday:

7:00-9:00: Paul Waits
9:00-11:00: Andrew Cabiago
11:00-noon: Opera Memphis

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at the Silly Goose for some $1.50 happy hour PBR after work.

Apr 012014
 

Just to make it clear: Everything in today’s post is REAL NEWS, not April Fool’s Day jokes. I’ve done April Fool’s on the blog in the past, but decided not to this year. It seems that in recent years, we’ve been bombarded with fake news on websites and Twitter to the point that it’s irritating. So I’m keeping it real this year.

I’m going to start off with a caution to my friends who sell liquor in any form to be careful this week. Word on the street is that the Alcoholic Beverage Commission was Downtown last night and issued citations to at least two restaurants and one retail store. The ABC is known to use 20-year-olds who look much older to bust people who sell liquor, so best advice is to card everyone. Midtown and East Memphis, I would not be surprised to see them in your area sometime this week.

I want to say thanks to the reps from Founder’s Brewery out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were in Memphis for their product rollout yesterday. After work I was at Bardog with a couple of friends, and Melissa the bartender told us, “They would like to buy you a Founder’s All Day IPA.” Being a big fan of free beer, I accepted. It was very good, with lots of flavor but with out the extreme bitter hoppiness found in many IPAs. When in the mood for an IPA in the future, Founder’s All Day will be one I will consider ordering.

Congratulations to Downtown restaurant Kooky Canuck on winning Choose 901′s Burger Bracket. The win was well-deserved. All the burgers at Kooky are good but my favorite is the Four Cheese Burger to which I add either mushrooms or bacon.

Bocce is coming to South Main and there will be a tournament Thursday, April 10. Details here.

Joe Jackson has been selected to play in the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) All-Star Game, the Memphis Tiger Network reports. The game will be played Friday in Arlington, Texas, and will air Saturday at 11 AM on CBS.

The MBJ has a preview of the new taproom High Cotton Brewery is building on Monroe.

Also in the MBJ: Golfer Jack Nicklaus has announced a partnership with St. Jude.

The Memphis Kings scooter club hosts its seventh annual Dead Elvis Scooter Rally here in Memphis April 25-27. There will be several rides, including one to the original Gus’s in Mason, Tennessee during the weekend, as well as Kinghkana, scooter judging, and a scooter raffle.

That’s the news for today. Sorry to disappoint those who came here looking for an April Fool. As usual for a Tuesday, I will be at the Blind Bear tonight for some poker.

Mar 312014
 

Our BBQ team sponsor Start Co. got hooked up with lunch from Ultimate Foods today. Ultimate Foods is a healthy subscription meal service that has both meat and vegetarian options. They are located inside WellWorx at the northwest corner of Madison and Main.

If you want to get the scoop on what will be happening at BBQ Fest and the other Memphis in May events this year, put Tuesday, April 8 on your calendar. That is the date for April’s South Main Association meeting. Memphis in May representatives will speak about the music, the BBQ, host country Panama, and more. The meeting will be held at the Leadership Memphis Gallery at 365 S. Main. It is free for SMA members to attend, $10 for non-members.

There will be a spring cleaning of Downtown Saturday, April 12. If you want to volunteer, meet at Court Square at 9 AM that day. You’ll be given a cleaning assignment, then you’ll return to Court Square at noon to celebrate.

I found something interesting in this article on whether UT should match Marquette’s offer for Cuonzo Martin. It’s not that I care what UT does, but there is a list of the top 25 highest-paid college basketball coaches. Coming in at number 9 is our own Josh Pastner, at $2.65 million.

That’s it for now. Busy day at work, got to get back to it.

Mar 292014
 

Take your tickets to the AutoZone Park box office starting Monday, or mail them. Since last night’s game was cancelled due to weather, you will receive a voucher for a ticket to a 2014 Cardinals game at Busch Stadium, as well as credit to 2014 Redbirds games equal to the value of your ticket. Holders of VIP packages will receive credit equal to the value of their exhibition game tickets. You have 30 days to make this exchange. Credits cannot be used for July 4 game.

Quick update

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Mar 292014
 

Mudbugs in March happens in Court Square this afternoon 2:30-7:30. Details here. Seems like a lot of people are excited about this festival. My regular Saturday bartender Panda is taking the day off from Bardog to go, and my favorite blogger/MILF tweeted that she will be there.

Dayton vs. Florida tips off at the FedExForum at 5:09 PM. It will be broadcast on TBS.

Harrah’s gave the River Rat Rounders poker club a nice gift: A $70 comp to Harrah’s poker room will be up for grabs at ever 7 PM RRR game. That would include the Monday game at the Mad Earl, so come play and you might get to play some real cash poker compliments of Harrah’s. Just make sure you use your comp before June 2 when the casino closes.

Holly has posted a no-frills guide to brunch in Downtown Memphis that is well worth a bookmark.

Panda may be taking the day off from Bardog, but I’m not. I’ll be at Bloom’s bar for PBR and Fireball in about 40 minutes. I’ll probably drop by the festival later today.

Mar 282014
 

Last night I went to Cafe Keough and took down the first-place prize in the cafe’s first-ever Thursday poker night. They pay out two places with $35 and $15 gift cards. The cafe also has sandwich specials for poker players. What a beautiful space to play in. I look forward to trying some of Keough’s food, which I’ve heard is outstanding, as I spend my gift certificate winnings.

While there, I picked up a couple of pieces of news. First of all, there is going to be a Frisbee golf tournament on Main Street on Saturday, April 12. Here are the details:

Photo Mar 27, 7 58 01 PM

Also, I got additional information about the new Monday trivia night at Cafe Keough: Happy hour will be extended to 9 PM that night.

More news about the SOFO center I posted about yesterday, to be located at Third and Butler: Both the CVB and Ticketmaster have disavowed involvement in the project.

The Brass Door will close at 2 PM today for a private event and will re-open tomorrow at 11 AM for lunch.

The Battle of the Birds, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Memphis Redbirds, happens today at AutoZone Park, and that’s not the only reason today is significant in Memphis baseball history: Today the Cardinals take ownership of the Redbirds, and the city takes ownership of AutoZone Park.

For the ballgame tonight, gates open at 4:30, and there will be a block party in the plaza until 6 with live music and face painting. The Cards will have batting practice at 4:45. At 6:10 pre-game ceremonies will begin. There will be a first pitch by United States Navy Petty Officer First Class Laura Guthridge, colors will be presented by United States Marine Corps Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron, and St. Jude patient Adrianna will sing the National Anthem. First pitch is at 6:35. For the 7th inning stretch, a member of Navy Band Mid-South will sing “God Bless America.” Keep an eye on the weather. Storms are expected tonight. The MemphisWeather.net blog has the details.

The Dance Theatre of Harlem performs at the Cannon Center tonight. Tickets are $27-52.

The two teams that sent the most fans to Memphis for the Sweet Sixteen, Dayton and Florida, advanced last night in the NCAA tournament. That’s good news for Downtown Memphis, because those fans will stick around and spend money and local businesses while their teams have the day off today. Should be a fun night out tonight with Gator and Flyer fans partying on Beale and nearby.