Earlier this week I posted that St. Jude runners can get 20% off food at Bardog today and tomorrow if they show a runner’s bib or a medal. I have now found out that offer also applies to Downtown’s other Aldo restaurants, Slider Inn and Aldo’s Pizza Pies.
Monday is the 89th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, and the Blind Bear is celebrating. From tonight beginning at 9 PM through close of business Monday, you can get the following specials:
$5 moonshine shots
$5 Bear Balls
$10 Jager BBQ fried bologna sandwich with a side of pepper jack mac & cheese
Don’t forget, the Bear is bought out for a private party from 5:30 to 9:00 this evening. I recommend happy hour with Dani at Bardog as an alternate, and that’s where I plan to be.
Need something to wear to a holiday sweater party? Feelin’ Memphis at 509 S. Main has you covered:
Food & Wine has a list of the best apres-ski towns in America. That means. “fun things to do after skiing.” Park City, Utah made the list. If you go out there, be sure to check out the wineries and wine bars – my friend the Nuh-Uh Girl is a sommelier out there. Just don’t bring food with you… she’ll eat it!
ESPN’s Paul Finebaum called the state of Memphis Tigers football embarrassing.
They took a wall out in the very back of the bar, by the speakeasy photo wall, to make room for the table. It’s a bit of a tight fit, but it’s a good business decision because it will allow them to fit several more tables in the lower part of the restaurant. Bar and restaurant consultant Jon Taffer says each seat is worth $10,000 in revenue a year.
Only thing is, I tend to sit in the far end seat at the bar, now the one closest to the pool table. Am I gonna risk getting hit in the face with a cue ball? Maybe I should start wearing a catcher’s helmet up there. (I wouldn’t be the first person to wear a drinking helmet in a Downtown Memphis bar. Those who were regulars at Sleep Out Louie’s know what I’m talking about)
Later in the evening, the pool table became a dumping ground for Christmas ornaments.
One more piece of Blind Bear news: There’s supposed to be a large corporate party there 5:30-9:00 Friday, so if the Bear is your early evening spot, you might want to line something else up for tomorrow. For me personally, happy hour at Dani’s bar at Bardog sounds like a splendid alternate plan.
If you’re a foodie and you’re not following Edible Memphis on Facebook, you’re missing out. They recently reported on some new items at Edge Alley:
Garbanzo bean fritter hushpuppies
Knife & Fork pot roast
Pan-roasted grouper salad
The Peanut Shoppe at 121 S. Main (a couple of doors down from the Blind Bear) is now open 7 days a week to fulfill your holiday nut, candy, and Middle Eastern pastry needs.
Yesterday was the last day people could park at the garage at Front and Monroe. It’s about to come down to make way for the Brooks Museum.
Let’s have a look at the weather for the St. Jude Marathon on Saturday: Low near 50, 30% chance of early AM showers, high in the upper 50s. For early December, Memphis could do much worse. The low Saturday night will be in the upper 30s, though, so the Stumbling Santas might want to wear an extra layer under their suits.
Two Grizzlies were ejected in last night’s loss to Minnesota. I’m sure no one will be surprised to hear Dillon Brooks was one of the ejections. Ja was the other.
The Tigers did better on the court last night, rolling to an 87-68 win over North Alabama.
I heard the GM of Bardog say they’re going to close Monday-Tuesday, January 2-3, for cleaning. Oh man… I totally get their desire to keep the place in tip-top shape, but I sure do hate to hear about Monday the 2nd. With the 1st on a Sunday, that Monday will be a work holiday for a lot of Downtowners, and you know what we like to do on those… we day drink.
Plus there are four bowl games – Reliaquest, Cotton, Citrus, and Rose – that day. Seems to me it’d make a lot of sense to open Monday the 2nd, both from a revenue perspective and a “making people happy” perspective.
Tonight at the Woodruff-Fontaine House: The Mesmerist, a performance from the golden age of magic.
The US Men’s National Team did it! They topped Iran 1-0 yesterday, advancing to the knockout round of 16 in the World Cup. Their next opponent will be the Netherlands this Saturday at 9;00 AM.
At least two Downtown bars and a brewery taproom are responding to the date and time of the next match by announcing early opening times for Saturday. Blind Bear will be open at 8:30 with the World Cup match on and they’ll have water and food for the St. Jude runners. I think I heard them say Jessica will be the bartender (blonde Jessica who calls me Paulie-Waulie, not to be confused with brunette Jessica from Local who I burp at).
Down on the south side of Downtown, Max’s Sports Bar will also open at 8:30. Come grab a beer and cheer on the runners for half an hour, then come inside to watch the match. Bartender has not been announced but I tend to believe it will be Bjarni.
Max’s early opening time changes something else: The old coot who usually sits in front of his condo on S. Front St. handing out Miller Lite to runners likely won’t be there this year. He’ll be sitting at the corner table at Max’s with other old coots, drinking a Miller Lite bucket of his own.
Wiseacre Downtown will open at 7 AM Saturday. Your runner’s bib gets you 20% off your tab. They’ll be serving breakfast burritos and Brass Monkeys (that funky monkey! Memphis Sands + orange juice). Nearest convenient parking will be Danny Thomas and G.E. Patterson.
Keep in mind that Bardog had already announced an 8 AM opening time for Saturday for the runners even before the USMNT advanced. Melissa and Allie Cat will be your bartenders. 20% off food with a bib or medal.
From Food & Wine: McDonald’s is giving out a dozen Gold Cards that will get you free food for life
New Wing Order has announced its December special, beginning a day early, today: Hot honey garlic wings. They start with a combo of Buffalo and Cajun hot sauces, then fresh garlic and spices are added, along with a finishing touch of honey. Get ’em at the Ghost River taproom on Beale or from the food truck.
Let’s have a look at college football games of interest this weekend: (Saturday unless noted otherwise)
11 Utah vs. 4 USC, Pac-10 championship, 7:00 PM Friday in Las Vegas, FOX. If USC wins, it’s likely in the College Football Playoff.
10 Kansas State vs. 3 TCU, Big 12 championship, 11:00 AM in Arlington, Texas, ABC. If TCU wins, it’s likely in the CFP.
14 LSU vs. 1 Georgia, SEC championship, 3:00 PM in Atlanta, CBS. Georgia can afford a loss and still be in the CFP, provided it’s not a blowout loss.
22 UCF at 18 Tulane, AAC championship, 3:00 PM, ABC. Winner likely represents the Group of Five in the Cotton Bowl.
Purdue vs. 2 Michigan, Big Ten championship, 7:00 PM in Indianapolis, FOX. Michigan can probably survive a close loss and still get into the CFP.
9 Clemson vs. 23 North Carolina, ACC championship, 7:00 PM in Charlotte, ABC
If TCU and/or USC lose, or if Georgia or Michigan gets blown out, 5 Ohio State and 6 Alabama are waiting to move into the playoff.
It’s a huge day for the U.S. National Men’s Team today. They play Iran at 1 this afternoon (TV: FOX) in the final match of the group round. The math is quite simple: A win over Iran today sends the USMNT into the knockout round. A loss or a draw sends the team home. Got to be aggressive out there, boys. Try to get out to a 2-goal lead in the first 30 minutes, then fight tooth and nail for the last 60 to defend it.
I’ll most likely watch the game at Bardog if anyone wants to join. Since 1 PM is right in the middle of the lunch rush, I plan on getting there a few minutes early to ensure I get a good seat at the bar.
(Those who know me well are reading this and thinking, “a ‘few’ minutes early? More like 300 minutes’)
Speaking of Bardog, I was in there yesterday and ran into Eric, the restaurant group’s social media manager. He told me that runners in Saturday’s St. Jude races will get 20% off on food Friday and Saturday. All they have to do is show their bib or medal.
Eric also reminded me that today and tomorrow are the last days of the gift card sale at Aldo’s Pizza Pies. Cards are half-off, minimum expense is $25 (which would buy you $50 in purchasing power), and they can’t be used until 2023.
I was sitting next to a couple yesterday at Bardog and what they told the bartender made me sad to hear. “We love our apartment building a couple of blocks from here,” they said, “but we’re moving. A new restaurant & hookah lounge moved into the ground floor of our building this month. They play music late at night so loud it rattles our windows. We can’t sleep.”
It reminds me of about 12 years ago, when my next-door neighbors got these two untrained, noisy little shitdogs. They would start barking at 4:15 every morning, waking me up hours before I was ready. The dogs’ owners seemed to realize they were bothering the neighbors, but they didn’t care. Their attitude seemed to be, “We pay rent here, so we can make as much noise as we want without consideration of others who also pay rent.” It’s a shitty attitude to have and out of line with what Downtown is all about.
Today is a day fit for a King. A very happy birthday to Memphis’ own Jerry Lawler!
Bogie’s Deli in Brinkley Plaza is back open following an 8-week closure due to a water main break. Here are their specials for this week: (click image to view in a larger size)
MemphisWeather.net Twitter says to expect showers here in Memphis starting in the late morning. They will intensify to heavy rain and storms in the afternoon, with the heaviest threat of severe weather (especially high wind and tornadoes) coming 4-10 PM.
Floyd Nation, a Pink Floyd tribute band, is coming to the Cannon Center on March 11. Hey, wasn’t Nick Mason himself scheduled for the Cannon Center last year, and the show had to be canceled due to stupid COVID bullshit? Did that ever get rescheduled?
Meet new Memphis 901 FC head coach Stephen Glass at The Brass Door Wednesday night at 7:00.
One more Bardog note: They’ve been running a Red Pozole soup special this week. What is red pozole?
This sounds interesting: The Edwards Twins Present The Ultimate Christmas Variety Show at the Halloran Centre Sunday evening. It’s a play on the ’70s and ’80s TV Christmas variety shows, featuring impersonators playing Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, and Tom Jones. Fun!
The CA has all the info you need about the St. Jude Marathon and related races this Saturday: routes, road closures, where to park. Bonus tip for the runners: There’s an old man who lives on Front near G.E. Patterson. Every year he sets up a table and hands out Miller Lite to people running by.
ABC 24 has a look at Feeding God’s People, an organization that provides warm meals, hygiene kits, and clothing to the homeless. Their meeting point is B.B. King Blvd. and Washington and their next giveaway will be Sunday, December 11.
YOGA! There’s Motherhood Yoga tonight at Downtown Yoga at 5:30.
The fall colors on the Main Street Mall are beautiful this week!
It’s rare to have musicals at the Orpheum in back-to-back weeks, but that’s what we have going on right now. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas: The Musical just wrapped up its run last night, and now Deat Evan Hansen is headed to town tomorrow through Sunday.
It’s Cyber Monday at the Grizzlies for 24 hours beginning at 9:01 this morning. You can score some Terrace-level seats to a game in the first two weeks of December for up to 35% off. They’re also selling some Holiday Packs of tickets that are not subject to the 24-hour time limit.
The Tigers have a Cyber Monday special as well on gotigersgo.com today: Tickets to home games vs. Ole Miss (Dec. 3) and Texas A&M (Dec. 17) (meaning, you get tickets to BOTH games) for $15. Pretty screamin’ deal.
For those of you who are bummed out that it’s cold and dark outside, look at the bright side… 3 months from now, it’ll be crawfish season.
Blind Bear has another new flavor of Ole Smoky moonshine: strawberry. This is different from the white chocolate strawberry cream moonshine I blogged about earlier. It’s 65 proof. Don’t forget, today is Moonshine Monday at the Bear with $5 shots.
In other Bear news, Robert the GM told me he’s going in at 6 this morning to hard-wire the bar smart TVs to an Ethernet connection. I’ve been referring to the TV on the left as “Buffery” but it sounds like I’ll be calling it “Speedy Gonzales” starting today. That’ll be good news for folks who come there to watch MNF.
Speaking of which, who’s playing in tonight’s MN MF’N F game? …Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. Meh.
The Memphis Tigers secured 5th place in the ESPN Events Invitational with a win over Stanford yesterday. Next up: at home vs. North Alabama Wednesday at 7.
The Grizzlies downed the New York Knicks on the road yesterday, 127-122. The team gets a couple of days off before heading to Minnesota on Wednesday. The Grizz now sit in third place in the West, 1.5 games out of first, with a 12-8 record.
The KLOVE Christmas Tour comes to the Cannon Center Wednesday night. Performances by Crowder, Matt Maher, Jordan St. Cyr, and Katy Nichols.
I heard Bardog is going to open at 8 AM Saturday (three hours earlier than normal) for the St. Jude marathon. Melissa and Allie Cat will be your bartenders.
Any other bars gonna open early Saturday? I don’t do Bardog on race day (way too crowded) but if Jessica could be talked into opening Local early, I’d strongly consider going there.
Yesterday was the last day the Saturday brunch gang will be together for a few weeks. My friends Randy and Theresa are off to Melbourne, Australia for a Billy Joel concert. It’ll be late spring there, equivalent to early June where we are. Just for kicks, let’s check out Melbourne’s weather forecast for tomorrow:
Partly sunny, high 65, low 53
Wow, I would have guessed 90 for the high. Looks like Melbourne has a climate similar to San Francisco. Looking at it on the map, it very much is in its own “Bay Area.”
Safe travels to Randy and Theresa. I hope you two see many kangaroos and wallabies and dingoes and koalas and bandicoots and numbats. And I hope you don’t see any saltwater crocodiles.
I hope you see a thylacine too and get a photo. I’m convinced they’re not extinct.
Randy and Theresa were going to put their two adorable papillons, Zorro and Bella, in doggie daycare while they were overseas. However, Butt Slut #1 offered to stay in their house so the dogs can remain in the comfort of their own home. “That’ll save us $600,” Randy and Theresa said.
I pulled them aside. “Are you sure you want to do that?” I asked. “Because it absolutely won’t save you $600. I’ve been to your house. You have way more than $600 worth of alcohol in there. And let’s face it, you give that girl the keys for 2 weeks and not a drop of it will be left when you get home.”
“That’s okay. We’ll buy more,” Randy replied.
For the first time ever, I actually upset Butt Slut #1 for a brief moment yesterday. (Keep in mind, I routinely address her as “BUTT SLUT” in a roomful of strangers and that doesn’t upset her.) I commented that the USA-England 0-0 (nil-nil) draw in soccer was kinda boring.
“ARE YOU SAYING SOCCER IS NOT A REAL SPORT???” she asked, repeating our friend Shrek’s comments from this week. “THAT IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF PEOPLE RUNNING UP AND DOWN A PITCH FOR 90 MINUTES WHO NEVER SCORE?”
“I wasn’t saying that at all,” I backtracked. “I enjoy watching soccer. I don’t hate watching it the way I do tennis or golf or that stupid horse racing channel some of the regulars put on the TV here (at Bardog). It’s just that USA-England wasn’t the most exciting match I’ve ever seen.”
Then Butt Slut #1 revealed to me that she had a full ride to college on a soccer scholarship. She might still be playing today if not for her knees. So that explains her passion for the sport.
For the benefit of my single male readers, I’ll start a “keys to Butt Slut #1’s heart” list on here. Here’s what I have so far: 1) Feed her lentil soup; 2) Watch soccer with her. I’ll add to this list as I figure out more.
Time to put on my “I (heart) Sunday school” shirt and head to Sunday school at the Blind Bear. I haven’t figured out how to turn water into wine like Jesus did, but I’m quite adept at turning PBR into urine. Back tomorrow with more news.
My Bardog buddy Shrek is a man of strong opinions. One of those opinions is about soccer. “Is soccer even a real sport?” he asked this week. “People run up and down a field for 90 minutes and no one ever scores any points.”
I don’t know that I agree with Shrek, but the draw the USMNT had against England yesterday kind of supports his argument. It was absolutely boring. 0-0 or nil-nil as soccer fans say. Then again, drawing with possibly the best team in the world is a strong accomplishment. USA’s goalkeeper was a badass in that match.
I was a bit surprised yesterday when Bardog turned on the sound for yesterday’s match, a directive I heard came straight from Aldo. Normally his stance is “we’re not a sports bar,” although he’ll make exceptions for truly big games like the Super Bowl. I guess either Aldo is a soccer fan or he was afraid he’d lose business to The Brass Door a short walk away.
Next up: USA vs. Iran Tuesday at 1 PM. I plan to be back at Bardog for that one.
Know what makes me sad? There are going to be a lot of people who say “We’re playing terrorists Tuesday.” When I worked in computer support at the University of Memphis, I had both a boss and an employee I supervised who were Iranian. They were both great to work with. When I taught math at the university, two of my best and funniest students were Iranian. Don’t judge individuals just because their country of origin’s government sucks.
Speaking of the U of M, they rebounded (in both senses of the word) nicely to put away Nebraska 73-61 in the ESPN Events Invitational yesterday. Next up: vs. Stanford in the Tigers’ final game of the Invitational at 10 AM Sunday. Any bars gonna open early for that one? TV will be ESPNU.
As for the Grizzlies, they whooped dat ass on the New Orleans Pelicans last night, 132-111. Next up: A visit to the NY Knicks at 5 PM Sunday.
Posting this morning from Eads, TN, where I spent the night at my friends Randy and Theresa’s house. Randy is out getting his car serviced this morning and Theresa went to work, so I have the place all to myself for a couple of hours.
Check out this yummy cake we had for dessert yesterday:
It’s pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and some other dessert (can’t remember what) all rolled into one. It was delicious. Randy had it shipped from Brooklyn.
Thanks to Randy and Theresa for having us all over for Turkey Day (and Ham Day as well) and for being such kind and generous hosts. I may or may not be sampling your vodka as I type this (at 7:37 AM).
Which reminds me… I found the Bible of Downtown Memphis out in Eads.
Cheers to my fellow Thanksgiving guests, Dani, Donald, and Butt Slut #1. I cannot think of 3 people I’d be happier to break bread (and do shots) with.
I accidentally called Butt Slut #1 by her real name as I hugged her goodbye and she seemed a little disappointed that I didn’t say “Happy Thanksgiving, butt slut” instead. You never can tell what makes some people happy.
Well, the basketball Tigers lost yesterday in a buzzer-beater to Seton Hall. That sucks. The Tigers play Nebraska today at 4:30. It’ll either be on ESPN2 or ESPNews.
Damn this is some good vodka. Think I’ll pour myself another…
Team USA plays England in the World Cup group stage today at 1.
It’s time to have a look at college football games this weekend of interest to local Memphians. Games are on Saturday except where noted otherwise.
Mississippi State at 20 Ole Miss (Egg Bowl), 6:00 PM Thanksgiving, ESPN
19 Tulane at 24 Cincinnati, 11:00 AM Friday, ABC
Arkansas vs. Missouri, 2:30 PM Friday, CBS
Georgia Tech at 1 Georgia, 11:00 AM, ESPN
3 Michigan at 2 Ohio State, 11:00 AM, FOX
Auburn at 7 Alabama (Iron Bowl), 2:30 PM, CBS
9 Oregon at 21 Oregon State, 2:30 PM, ABC
Memphis at SMU, 2:30 PM, ESPN2
Troy at Arkansas State, 2:30 PM, ESPNU
Iowa State at 4 TCU, 3:00 PM, FOX
5 LSU at Texas A&M, 6:00 PM, ESPN
22 UCF at South Florida, 6:00 PM, ESPN2
15 Notre Dame at 6 USC, 6:30 PM, ABC
10 Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 6:30 PM, SEC Network
Local on Main will open at 2 PM today. Jessica will be bartending, and Miss Helen’s turkey and dressing will be available. I like turkey & dressing at Local because they put the cranberry sauce in a plastic cup. Cranberry sauce should NEVER touch any other item on a Thanksgiving dinner plate.
Check out this PBR lamp they have at Local. It’s straight outta 1965 when PBR was popular the first time around.
“That looks like something Mr. Furley would have had in his apartment,” I commented to my friend John D. Jessica didn’t know who Mr. Furley was.
Cerrito Trivia will host A Very Merry Quizmas at Stix Downtown on Thursday, December 8. There will be questions about Christmas food, movies, music, current events, and history. Questions about Elf, Home Alone, and Christmas Vacation are guaranteed. Prizes include gift cards and Starry Nights tickets.
The DM has a subscriber-only article about Ibis, the successor to Pontotoc Lounge. It’s owned by Jeremy and Matthew Thacker-Rhodes who had been partners with Daniel Masters in Pontotoc.
So last night I was in a grouptext with my Thanksgiving co-host Randy and fellow guests Dani and Butt Slut #1. He informed us that we’re going to get to try Ole Smoky cookie dough whiskey at his house in Eads today. Very excited about that.
If you don’t want to wait for my blog post tomorrow to get a recap of what happened out in Eads, go to Bardog tonight. Dani will be bartending from 5 PM to 3 AM. They’ll have a $20 turkey dinner special.
Off to Eads I go. I’ll PROBABLY be back tomorrow morning with a Thanksgiving recap and whatever news pops up.
The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team is headed to Florida for the ESPN Events Invitational early-season tournament. This is a chance to pick up some quality wins that will impress the NCAA tournament selection committee in March. Other teams in the ESPN tournament field include
The Tigers’ first game is 6:30 Thanksgiving night vs. Seton Hall. ESPNews will be the channel the Blind Bear bartenders can’t find on their new smart TVs.
Speaking of the Blind Bear, if you’re into karaoke, you might want to check out their karaoke night with DJ Superbrad tonight from 9 to 1. Why? Because several of the best singers up there are teachers, but they tend to only show up when the next day is not a school day.
Y’all send positive energy my way. Our Nate is out of town for the next 7 days and I will have to cover his activities at the Blind Bear as well as my own. It’s gonna be rough but I’m a total team player.
I do plan on posting on Thanksgiving morning, so check back.