Saturday update

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 25. This month the venue will be Old Dominick Distillery. Chris Canale, Jr., president of D. Canale & Co., will talk about the story of the iconic Canale family in Memphis, and how they decided Downtown was the right place to open a micro-distillery. Social at 6, program at 6:30. free distillery tours 5-6. Appetizers by Old Dominick. Spirits will include one wine, one bourbon, DNA beer, and cash bar. Free for members, visitors $10.

National Night Out returns to the Farmers Market pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson the following Tuesday, August 1. Celebrate community/police partnerships and thank MPD for their service. There will be complimentary food, beverages, and live entertainment. 6-8 PM. Let me give my usual piece of advice: This is an event where you want to get there right at the beginning. Why? Jack Pirtle’s Chicken. There will be boxes full of two-pieces with a side and a biscuit and Pirtle’s famous gravy. These things run out fast. If you get there at 6:15 you risk not getting one. Get there at 6:00. Get there at 5:55. Get in line early, but if a Memphis police officer gets in line behind you, say thank you and let him cut in front of you.

By the way, anyone who thinks the Pirtles save the little pieces of chicken for public events like this one is dead wrong. I got a white meat two piece at last year’s NNO and the size of the breast made me wonder if I was eating a chicken or an ostrich.

I don’t think any reality show could be as big of a shitshow as the show called “America” that premiered January 20, but we have a contender. E! Network is bringing back the cast of Jersey Shore for a Reunion Road Trip docu-series. Why????????

There will be a hearing Monday to determine if Purple Haze should continue to be able to stay open until 5 AM. It is part of the Beale Street Entertainment District yet not on Beale Street itself. Police have responded to many incidents there. I used to go over there with my service industry friends after they got off at 3, but the last few times I have been late late night, I have felt unsafe there. Too bad because they do have great pizza.

No interesting news to report from Friday night. I spent part of it paying bills.

Leading off at Bardog to catch up with my “DAWG” John D about recent BBQ team transactions. After that will probably spend the entire afternoon at the Blind Bear. With the heat index going over 100, being outside as little as possible seems like the way to go these hot summer weekends. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

The lunch shuttle to The Front Porch, the pop-up restaurant in Beale Street Landing, is up and running. The shuttle will run continuously between Beale Street Landing and the intersection of Main and Peabody Place from 11 AM to 1:30 PM on weekdays. It’ll keep you comfortable when it’s hot, shelter you from rain, and save you from having to make that long walk up hilly Beale on a full stomach. The shuttle is free to restaurant patrons.

Speaking of The Front Porch, catch The Rusty Pieces there tonight 6:30-8:30.

CycleBar Ghost River happy hour ride happens this evening at the Ghost River taproom. Get a 40 minute bike ride in, the enjoy a Ghost River beer with other riders afterward. Music by DJ Will Coleman. $40 per bike and half the proceeds go to St. Jude.

Classic 1941 movie The Maltese Falcon plays on the big screen at the Orpheum tonight at 7.

Excellent High Ground News article: The history of Downtown’s alleys

You have until 11:59 PM tonight to register for The Ultimate Peabody Rooftop Party Giveaway by the Peabody and Q107.5. Grand Prize winner gets a VIP pass and a plus-one to VIP for the rest of the rooftop party season, and a stay in a Peabody suite on August 17 with breakfast in Capriccio Grill. Two other winners will get a VIP pass and plus-one to the rooftop season finale on August 17 featuring Graceland Ninjaz. Be sure to like Peabody Rooftop Party and Q1075 on Facebook.

Two plans have been proposed to renovate buildings on the Main Street Mall. The owner of 26 S. Main, next door to The Peanut Shop, wants to renovate the three-story building to have ground floor commercial space, two to four apartments above, and a bar/tavern in the basement. Estimated completion goal is February.

Bar/tavern in the basement?! Bardog would no longer be the closest bar to my front door!

There’s also a proposal to renovate the building at the southeast corner at Main and Union, vacant as long as I have lived Downtown, to attract a commercial tenant. Great news. Main and Union is one of Memphis’ premier intersections and having thriving businesses on all four corners would be great for Downtown.

Women in yoga pants at the Memphis Farmers Market are HOT! HOT! HOT! and so is the weather is the theme at this week’s Memphis Farmers Market. (Note: This is my personal theme, not the Farmers Market official theme.) Melons, tomatoes, berries, and other summer produce has arrived. Live music by Ted Horrell 8:30-10, Sydney Carty 10-11, and Merit Koch 11-12:30. The Farmers Market is at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson every Saturday 7 AM to 1 PM.

Belle: A Southern Bistro will begin offering lunch again soon.

The longtime voice of Kermit the Frog was fired this week.

The ball is really starting to roll in the Trump/Russia scandal. If you want to find out the latest in Trump/Russia months before the mainstream media reports it, follow these five accounts:

A few terms you’ll see them use: MSM = mainstream media, IC = intelligence community, GRU = Russian intelligence agency, RICO = racketeering statute that took down John Gotti, FISA = U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court, deza = disinformation, kompromat = compromising information that could be used to blackmail an individual

That’s it for now. I’ll hit happy hour at the Silly Goose after work then figure the rest of the evening out. Happy Friday everyone.

My anaconda don’t want none if you ain’t got buns, hon + lots of Thursday job news

Yesterday I reported that Margaritas, the new Mexican restaurant across from the Peabody on Second, is now open. Last night I saw a copy of their menu. One of their specialty items is a three-foot long burrito called La Anaconda.

(Quick side note: When I taught College Algebra at the University of Memphis, the girl in the intro of the “Baby Got Back” video was one of my students.)

In other food news, flatbreads have returned to the Silly Goose menu. Shorty was serving them up last night.

If you’re looking for a job, I have leads on four positions that sound really interesting. If you like being outdoors and meeting people, Fly Ryde Memphis, the Downtown golf cart shuttle service, is looking to add some drivers for nights and weekends. Message them on Facebook if interested.

The Memphis Redbirds are hiring an account executive. This position involves managing existing group ticket accounts, prospecting, and developing new business relationships.

Ghost River Brewing Co. at Main and Crump has two positions open. They are looking for a Production Assistant who doesn’t mind heavy lifting, hard work, and a lot of standing. Although entry level, there’s the chance to move upward if you prove yourself. This position is mostly days and 30-40 hours a week. It’s a plus if you have experience with automated filling lines, forklifts, or material handling equipment.

They’re seeking a bartender for their taproom, but they want more than just someone who can pour a beer. They want someone with a passion for craft beer who wants to learn all they can about it, to make one-on-one conversations with customers the best they can be. This position also offers upward mobility, whether in the taproom or doing brewery work. They are looking for someone who will stick around for the long haul. 15-25 hours a week, mostly nights but some days.

Email info@ghostriverbrewing.com or stop by the taproom to fill out an application. For either position, they are looking for someone who is outgoing, loves beer and who is team-oriented. Cicerone (that’s to beer what sommelier is to wine) certification will be required within the first month on the job.

The Broom Closet at 546 S. Main is hosting Cairo to Memphis: Ancient Egyptian religion in modern Memphis from 1 to 4 Saturday. Rev. Omma will lead you back in time to ancient Memphis where you will learn about some of the most well-known deities. Learn about ancient Egyptian religion and society and celebrate the gods’ birthdays. There is a $15 energy exchange (translation: give us yo money) for this event.

Waker is the live entertainment at the Peabody rooftop party tonight. $10 to get in, ladies and hotel guests free before 7. Admission includes a buffet of Mediterranean chicken, hummus and crackers. If you’re in VIP you get a second buffet of spanakopita, hummus, olives, lamb stew, and Greek potatoes. Drink specials tonight are a guava margarita and Firefly blackberry lemonade moonshine.

Orange Mound, Tennessee – America’s City is the featured film in the 15 Films series at Clayborn Temple tonight. Orange Mound was the first community established by African Americans where they could build and own property. Block party outside the temple starts at 6. After the film there is a curated discussion with an expert.

Dancing with the Stars Live! is at the Orpheum tonight at 7:30.

The Grizzlies Summer League squad takes on the Phoenix Suns tonight at 7 on NBATV.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out at the Silly Goose for happy hour (maybe I’ll get a flatbread) after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wed update: Mac & cheese news, Margaritas open

The Redbirds will be back in town tomorrow, and you know what that means… All-You-Can-Eat Thursday! This week the buffet will be something different: all-you-can-eat mac & cheese with tons of toppings! Toppings will include

  • Chicken
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Broccoli
  • Green onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Pico
  • Jalapenos
  • Black olives
  • Blue cheese
  • Various sauces

The ticket also includes hot dogs and one Coca-Cola product or bottled water per person. The ticket price goes up $4 the day of the event, so buy online early and save. If you already have a ticket, upgrade to a wristband giving you buffet access for $10.

Yesterday I was driving down Second on my way to work, and noticed a large “NOW OPEN” sign hanging outside Margaritas, the new Mexican restaurant on Second. Great news for those who are hungry for a “number 31” or a Speedy Gonzales.

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog tried one of the new gourmet burgers on the Flying Saucer’s menu recently. Interesting to read that instead of just a beer, they now Fire Sale a beer, a wine, a cocktail, and a food special every day.

Catherine & Mary’s is looking for line cooks for the lunch shift. They offer benefits and competitive pay.

SNOZberry plays the Flying Saucer 9:30-1 Saturday night.

Wit & Waffles comedy tour comes to Wiseacre Friday night. It’s a celebration of the release of Love Light Passion Fruit Wit with comedian Katrina Coleman. She’ll supply the laughs and talk about the mostly fake history of the Belgian wit beer style and Belgian waffles. Wiseacre will supply the beer and waffles. Tickets are $15 (get them here) and space is limited.

Don’t forget that it’s Memphis Farmers Market Squared day in Court Square! Shop local produce and goods 4-7 PM.

Excited about tonight because I get to wear my newly arrived and washed Memphis Hustle T-shirt! I’ll probably hit the Silly Goose for happy hour then over to the Blind Bear for trivia or Belle Tavern for Dave’s British Bingo. Back tomorrow with more.

Tuesday update: Edge Alley, Stubby Clapp bobblehead, the president’s son is an idiot and more

The MBJ has a photo gallery of Edge Alley, the new coffee roaster and micro-retailer to open in a couple of weeks at 600 Monroe. Edge Alley will serve “light fare” as well as coffee. There will be four retail bays. My Heavenly Creations will sell organic bath and body products in one of the bays. Another bay will hold Paulette’s Closet, a vintage clothing boutique. HWD Goods, home goods, pillows, lamps, and other items from interior designer Hope Wilkinson, will occupy the third bay. The fourth will rotate every 30 days, with 901 Shop, selling T-shirt, taking the first 30-day period.

When current Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp was a player for the team, he would come on to the field with his famous backflip. Get a commemorative Clapp backflip bobblehead by being one of the first 1500 fans at AutoZone Park for Friday’s game. The legs bobble on this special bobblehead as well. Buy tickets here.

Congratulations to Memphis Made Brewing Co. on becoming the first Project Green Fork-certified brewery in Memphis! Memphis Made is taking steps like recycling whenever possible, using non-toxic cleaners, and sending compost or spent grain to a local farm. They will provide biodegradable boxes to their food trucks that still use styrofoam. Memphis Made is going to brew a special Project Green Fork beer to celebrate this partnership.

Captain America: Civil War is the movie being shown for free on the big screen at Beale Street Landing tonight. Show time is 8:30, but you can always come early to grab some food from The Front Porch. The film is rated PG-13 and the run time is 147 minutes.

The CA’s First Bites column takes a look at Joe’s on Highland. Why am I mentioning a place that is miles away from Downtown? Three words: CHICKEN FRIED STEAK!

Memphis Tigers athletics is seeking a marketing intern:

Have any Kaspersky anti-virus software on your computer? You need to uninstall that stuff immediately.

Now it’s hit the mainstream media: Donald Trump Jr. was told in June 2016 that Russian officials had dirt on Hillary Clinton that they wanted to share as part of their support for the Trump campaign. “I love it,” said Don Jr.

From the Washington Post: Don Jr. may have just crossed the legal line on collusion. I love it!

And with that, I close this post. Back tomorrow with more.

Monday update

Finally, a day with a decent amount of news to report…

The Memphis Flyer’s Memphis Burger Week returns Wednesday through next Tuesday. Restaurants all over town will offer some of their best burgers for only $5. Participating Downtown restaurants include Flying Saucer, Huey’s, Local, LYFE Kitchen, The Dirty Crow Inn and Tin Roof. View the entire list here.

On The Huffington Post today: Retracing my grandma’s steps in Memphis. Among the Downtown places she visited were the Rendezvous, Felicia Suzanne’s, B.B. King’s, the Peabody, Big Cypress Lodge, Sun Studio, Memphis Rock & Soul Museum, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Dizzy Bird. A great read.

Amazon Prime Day starts at 10 tonight and lasts until 2 AM Wednesday. There will be a new deal for Prime customers every five minutes in this 30-hour window.

Five Minutes in Memphis has the story behind the facade of Silky O’Sullivan’s on Beale. It was the Gallina Exchange Building and was built in 1891.

A new park is being planned for Mud Island, where Island Drive becomes North Mud Island Road. It will be called Confluence Park and will be part of the Wolf River Greenway and will have 10 or 12 foot wide concrete trails, picnic tables, benches, and bicycle repair station. Public art may be incorporated as well.

FedExForum has been selected to host the 2019 AAC men’s basketball championship. That’ll be a nice little influx of people and their dollars to the Downtown core.

Belle Tavern has smooth jazz by Marque tonight 9-midnight. He’s also there Sundays 2 to 6.

Holly has news about a new place to enjoy the outdoors:

Jack Pirtle’s chicken now has delivery in some areas through BiteSquad.

That’s all for now. Probably going to head to Melissa Monday happy hour at Bardog after work.

Welcome back Tyreke + a little Sunday news

Well, where were my manners in yesterday’s post? I forgot the most important thing. Welcome back, Tyreke Evans! It will be a pleasure to have Tyreke ballin’ in FedExForum again. For those who haven’t heard, the Grizzlies signed Evans to a 1-year, $3.3 million contract. Memphis is a city where basketball players reinvent their careers. Hopefully Tyreke will produce for the Grizzlies this year and then sign a fat long-term contract next season (probably not with Memphis due to cap space).

Christmas in July happens tomorrow 4-10 PM at Wiseacre Brewing Company out on Broad Avenue. They’re bringing back some of their Christmassy and rare beers on tap for one evening to get you in the holiday spirit. There will be a Gingerbread Gotta Get Up to Get Down snow-cone from Porcellino Craft Butcher. Photos with Surf Santa 6-8. Discounts to those dressed in Christmas attire. That Santa suit you have in the closet is not just for Stumbling Santa anymore!

Goodness gracious, Great Balls of Fire! Happy to be a WWE Network subscriber today because a dream match occurs on pay-per-view tonight. WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar will defend the title against “The Samoan Submission Machine,” Samoa Joe. Two big badasses who have never met in the ring before, beating the crap out of each other.

I’ll save the details until I get a team email out this week, but we had potentially a big “get” for the BBQ team yesterday, a potential answer to one of our biggest questions. Off to D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear to share the news with the gang.

Five ways to make me like you

  1. Ask to see my troll
  2. Ask to see pictures of my troll
  3. Invite my troll to your restaurant
  4. Be a troll
  5. Troll

Let me explain…

Last Sunday was a holiday Sunday, when I knew I would be staying out late. Mid-afternoons on holiday Sundays, I often order a Lyft and take a field trip out to Midtown. So around 4 last Sunday, I put on Facebook, “Where should I go?” My friend Hannah who bartends Aldo’s Midtown replied “Come see me!” and that’s where I went.

Best bar tool ever. But anyway, on with the story.

While I was eating my pizza, Chef Steph of the RAWK’n Grub food truck private-messaged me. “When are you and the troll going to come see us at CANVAS?”

I’ve been meaning to write about CANVAS of Memphis for some time now, but I haven’t up to this point because I didn’t understand exactly what it was. I knew it was in Midtown (1737 Madison), and over the past several months I would occasionally hear about the place. I knew it must have something to do with art, but it wasn’t clear why a person like me would venture out there.

However, it came on my radar when the RAWK’n Grub food truck, which I follow on social media, started making weekly visits to CANVAS, then upped the visits to a couple of times a week. Then last month, CANVAS and RAWK’n Grub announced their “marriage”… RAWK’n Grub food would be available at CANVAS during open hours, 6 PM to 3 AM Tuesday-Saturday. (Steph if I got those hours wrong let me know and I will correct)

So I got on the CANVAS website and did a little research… what a cool concept. It’s an interactive art lounge. It’s a place to experience art in all its forms including live music, live painting demonstrations, photographers in action, and sculptors doing their thing. They have a liquor license and have Artist-inspired martinis… and now they have RAWK’n Grub food. They also have a large patio that is dog-friendly. Gotta check this place out soon. “Like” CANVAS on Facebook to keep up with events happening there.

Back to the troll for a minute… some of you have been asking where she’s been lately. Well, she got a job but it didn’t work out. She got hired as an umpire in a baseball league. Games she umpired were exciting, in that they were unusually high-scoring for baseball. However, games never seemed to progress beyond 0 outs in the top of the first inning, so eventually they had to give her a pink slip.

Sache has announced their July Sache Sunday event, on Sunday afternoon, July 16, benefiting Streetdog Foundation: Paws for the Cause. There will be live music by DJ Tree, a 20 foot water slide, raffles, and goodies from local businesses. $10 admission cash or card, but pet store gift cards, local gas cards (for rescuers who travel long distances), and doggie items from approved brands (follow the link to see the list) of equal or greater value will be accepted too. Of course, this event is dog-friendly.

The Corner Bar at the Peabody has new specials Thursday-Saturday 4-7 PM. Select red and white wine, draft beer, spirits and martinis for $5.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. is bottling its beer now. Later this month they will release a 10% ABV saison that consumers will be able to purchase in grocery stores and liquor stores. The saison will come in a 750 ml bottle, same size as a standard wine bottle. Stores that will sell it include Superlo Foods, Cash Saver, and Buster’s. Follow the link to see a slideshow.

Lively discussion at Blind Bear last night. One topic was the highly-anticipated Margarita’s on Second, in the old Kooky Canuck location and next door to the current Kooky Canuck. You know, we have Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos, which is real Mexican. We have Agave Maria, which I guess is fusion Mexican. But we haven’t had an American Mexican restaurant in the Downtown core for years. What’s an American Mexican restaurant? You’ll know it is one if you see something like this on the menu:

31. Chile relleno, taco, rice and beans
32. Poblano pepper, taco, rice and beans
33. Enchilada, taco, rice and beans
34. Chimichanga, rice and beans
35. Poblano pepper, enchilada, rice and beans

… And so on. Also, an authentic American Mexican restaurant always has the Speedy Gonzales on the lunch menu.

We talked about the last true American Mexican restaurant in the Downtown core, Rio Loco. A Blind Bear employee who was not of age when Rio Loco was open asked what it was like.

“Well, you know how sometimes I’m passed out in bed at 7:30 PM on Saturday because of this place? Before there was this place, Rio Loco is what caused me to do that.”

Later, a friend was making Saved by the Bell references that went totally over my head. “Paul, how do you now know what Saved by the Bell was?”

“I do know what Saved by the Bell was,” I replied. “It’s that show that came on right before wrestling on Saturday mornings.” I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t know who Mr. Belding was in the early ’90s, but I did know who Reggie B. Fine was.

BBQ teammates: I plan on getting an email out to you next week. There is some inaccurate information out there and I want to clear it up. If you don’t hear it from the Director of Public Relations of your own team, don’t believe it.

Time to go do the Saturday things. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

There was surprising news yesterday afternoon as Terence Patterson resigned from the Downtown Memphis Commission effective immediately. He plans to pursue other projects.

Anime Blues Con is back at the Cook Convention Center this weekend. Cosplay contest, formal ball, Saturday night dance, and lots of special guests. Get tickets here.

Only the berry best for you is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. Blueberries are in season, and the Farmers Market has them. There will be live music by Steve Black 8:30-10 and Adam Levin 11-12:30. The Market runs from 7 AM to 1 PM every Saturday at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson.

1987 movie The Princess Bride will be on the big screen tonight at the Orpheum. The movie is rated PG and starts at 7 PM.

Good infographic. Yes it’s got a photo of President Trump but the signs are good to know so you can recognize it in others:

That’s it for now. Not a very newsy day, or week. Back tomorrow with more.

Thursday update

When LeBron James left Cleveland in 2010, Cavaliers fans burned his jerseys. Zach Randolph left Memphis in 2017, and what are fans doing? Donating to one of his favorite charities. Many people are donating to MIFA’s Plus-1, a program that keeps the power on for those temporarily in a situation where they can’t pay their MLGW bill. Fans are making the donation in honor of Zach 50ForTheCity Randolph. What a classy thing to do, and a fitting farewell to Z-bo letting him know that his giving spirit inspired others.

The Grizzlies, in an open thank-you note to Randolph, indicated that they are retiring his number 50.

The Grizzlies, by the way, are hiring multiple positions: marketing engagement manager, social media strategist, and CRM coordinator.

I want to correct something I wrote on here last week. I said that the Silly Goose is legally allowed to serve on their section of the pedestrian promenade on Peabody Place. Actually, they found out from the ABC that they can’t yet. They have to re-apply for their permit to serve in that area. The application is in the works, but for now, don’t take your drink out there and get the Goose in trouble.

Hallelujiah will be the film shown at Clayborn Temple for their 15 Film Series tonight. This was the first film with an all-African-American cast made by a major studio, and it explores the quest of sharecropper Zeke, and his relationship with the seductive Chick. Block party with food trucks outside before the movie, and there is always a curated discussion of the movie at these events.

Thumpdaddy plays the Peabody rooftop tonight. $10 to get in with ladies and hotel guests free before 7. Admission price includes a buffet of crawfish mac & cheese and mini-BBQ meatballs. If you’re in VIP you get a second buffet of mini shrimp po boys, fried green tomatoes, and Jack Daniel’s BBQ pizza. Drink specials will be blackberry margaritas and Firefly cherry cola moonshine.

Job news: Innovate Memphis has two positions open. One is a research, marketing, and administrative associate, and the other is a community outreach specialist in transportation.

Big anniversary in the history of music today: 60 years ago, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time.

Nice to see the city doing the right thing for sanitation workers who participated in the 1968 Memphis strike. $50,000 commemorative grants will provide financial security to the four who are still on the job and another 10 who are retired.

Audio tours of Elmwood Cemetery are half price, $5 a car, this Saturday from 8:30 to 11 AM.

Anyone who hangs out in restaurants and bars a fair amount has seen this happen:

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