"Welcome home, baby!"

Yesterday I posted how the Flying Saucer won an award for being one of the 100 best bars/nightclubs in America, as recognized by its peers in a trade publication. And I wrote how they totally deserved that award. And, not surprisingly, I attributed much of their success to the girls who work there, the waitresses and bartenders.

But, thanks to a friend, I realized that I left someone out. When I come there between there between 7 pm and close, Monday through Thursday, there’s a big guy at the door named Will checking IDs. And as soon as he sees me, he gives me a generous handshake and says, “Welcome home, baby!” and waves me on through.

And I guess I never really thought about it until tonight, but half the time I come there, he’s the first face I see at the Saucer. And he does indeed make the place feel more like “home.” And that’s important. There are probably 10 other bars I could walk to as quick as or more quickly than I can walk to the Saucer. But Will makes me, and lots of other downtown locals, feel like we belong there.

So I just want to give him a shout-out. It’s easy to give the waitresses the credit but he deserves it too. I just don’t ever want to see him in a miniskirt. Not even on Halloween.

Thur update: Court House Deli to move, Flying Saucer wins award, Sharp Dressed Bum is back, and more

– Looks like Court House Deli will be moving from their home on Court Square to the building on the Main Street Mall, between Madison and Monroe, formerly occupied by I. Siegel Culinary Productions. Hope the new move works out for them, and exposes them to people who haven’t given them a try before, because they have GREAT food. My favorites are the cajun chili and the crawfish etoufee. They also have jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, and deli sandwiches. And excellent brownies. It’s a locally owned family business and you can get out of there for 5-6 bucks.

– Congrats to the Flying Saucer on being named one of the top 100 bars/clubs in the U.S. by Nightclub & Bar Magazine, the trade magazine for the restaurant, bar and club industry. Even though I snipe at the Saucer about little things from time to time in this blog, I have to agree, they totally deserve the award. They deliver a very consistent dining and drinking experience, and it’s just a good place to get some work done on their wireless Internet connection, or watch the game on TV, or shoot pool, or throw darts, or educate yourself on different styles of beers. And they consistently hire good people. Sure, there’s the miniskirt thing (and I’m not going to lie, I do look), but once you get past that, the bartenders and waitresses are some of the most interesting and intelligent people downtown. They’re the main reason I come back almost every day.

– Speaking of the Saucer… don’t forget, The Dempseys tonight at 9:30. Usually when they play the Saucer, it’s a work night for me and I only make it through their first set and sometimes their second. But since I have tomorrow off, it’s a sure bet I’m there for all three of their sets. And then I’ll probably stumble across the street to McGuinness. I’m disappointed that I didn’t make it to any of their shows in December, when they usually do some rockabilly interpretations of Christmas music.

– I fulfilled one of my vacation-time goals last night… to stop by the Black Diamond for a pizza and a PBR. I’m eating the leftover pizza as I type this.

– Sharp Dressed Bum has reappeared on Downtown streets. For those of you who haven’t had the displeasure of meeting this guy, he’s about 5’9″, 150 lbs., approximately 35 year old black male with goatee. He walks around Downtown streets (especially Monroe, Union, Main, and Second) begging for money. Sometimes he’ll ride on a bike. He usually dresses better than other bums, with well-pressed clothes that make him look like he’s on his way to a club. If you tell him “no” when he asks for money (and why on earth would you tell him “yes”), he’ll cuss at you and act like he’s going to come at you.

I know I’ve been asking my readers a lot of questions lately, but I’d like to ask one more, especially to any police officers or lawyers who might be reading this: When he acts like he’s going to come at me, that’s assault, right? Whereas, it’s battery if he actually makes contact. Any strategies you can recommend for getting this guy off the streets and in a jail cell? He’s been a nuisance downtown for three years now and I know a lot of people are sick of seeing him.

– I’ve gotten some good responses to the question I posed on behalf of one of my readers yesterday: Where should a woman in her late 40s go to meet men? And not just any men, but men who don’t use hairspray or have comb-over hairstyles. I’m going to give readers one or two more days to respond, then do a follow-up post.

– Congrats to the Grizzlies on their 144-135 victory last night at the FedExForum. I think Coach Barone has hit on the key element to ensure success for the team: They’re having fun. Wonder if there’s a chance Barone will be named the permanent head coach?

Another question: Meeting spaces in Downtown Memphis?

There was a good article in today’s Commercial Appeal on the National Conference for Media Reform to be held in Downtown Memphis January 12-14.

About a month ago I posted about this conference, and told attendees they were welcome to e-mail me if they had questions about Downtown. Since then I’ve had some groups asking about private meeting spaces in the restaurants, bars, art galleries, etc. in the area not far from the convention center. It looks like I may have successfully directed one group to the Majestic Grille. But, if I get other people asking for meeting space, where should I send them?

Specifically, if you know of meeting spaces downtown, I’d be interested in knowing:


How many people will the space hold?

Any extras the venue provides like audio/visual equipment, wireless Internet, etc.?

Does the venue charge a rental fee, or do they provide the space for free and make their money off food/drink orders from the attendees?

If you have the info, let me know and I’ll start compiling a list. This blog has always done well in Google searches and I get these kinds of requests from time to time. Kinda cool to be an unofficial ambassador for Downtown Memphis when people find me on the search engines.

Singles scene in Memphis: Any ideas for this blog reader?

This morning I received an e-mail asking about the singles scene in Memphis.

Being a native Memphian (not to be confused with a native, residing in Mempho), I am ashamed to admit my bumfuzzlement at a particular situation for which I need your assisstance, Oh great wise and well-traveled one. Where does a late 40ish single woman go to meet single men. Now keep in mind these men cannot wear hairspray or have a swoop-over hair do. This particular lady has been single for nine years and is ready to go out and have some fun. I know there s fun to be had in Memphis, but have been unable to to locate it.
Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Native Memphian

Not sure what to tell her… the environments in which I hang out tend to be full of people in mostly their 20s and 30s, so they probably wouldn’t be the best places to recommend to her. The one thing I can think of would be the Thursday night Madison Hotel rooftop parties, but they don’t start up again until April.

Any ideas for her? E-mail them to me and I’ll forward them on to her, and post them here in a followup.

Benefit for Cayenne Moon chef, new menu and new filet at the Majestic, Romania joins the European Union and more

First, a couple of restaurant-related items. Chef Michael Patrick of EP Delta Kitchen e-mailed me to let me know that he’s hosting a benefit dinner for Larry Lackey, the chef/owner of Cayenne Moon. Dinner will be held at EP’s on Tuesday, January 9 at 7 pm. For more info you can give them a call at 527-1444 or use their website to make reservations. His e-mail seemed to indicate that there will be more info in the new Memphis Flyer coming out today.

Sigh… I guess I’ll be getting another e-mail from blog reader “Stan” accusing me of taking payoffs from EP’s now.

I e-mailed a thank you to the Majestic Grille, expressing appreciation for the way they treated my group of friends and me on New Year’s Eve. I also repeated my compliment about the filet off their special menu being the best I’ve eaten. Got a reply from Deni the co-owner… she writes, “We have a new menu coming out next week that includes a peppercorn encrusted filet with a Dijon brandy cream sauce – holy moly is it yummy!” Can’t wait to try that. Soon as they get the new menu running and get it up on their site, I’ll post a link.

Congratulations to one of my favorite countries in the world, Romania, which along with its southern neighbor Bulgaria was granted admission to the European Union on January 1. Before they could be admitted they had to undergo rigorous screening to prove that their government was free of corruption. I hope they didn’t use the United States government as a model of how to accomplish that. Or worse, Memphis city government.

Congratulations to my trivia team The Rapscallions, who had their best showing ever last night, only missing one question and scoring 133 out of a possible 130 points (including 5 bonus points for ordering a German beer). Special accolades to team member The Nuh-Uh Girl, who correctly predicted that the questions would be a review of 2006, which caused several of us to study in advance. The victory brings our total to $175 in gift certificates, and we still have more than two months to accumulate more for the next party.

Reader comment: Seven Wonders of the World

One of my readers e-mailed this afternoon to comment that if the Wolfchase Mall, Cordova Fox and Hound, and Bahama Breeze are places that East Bumblefuck residents would list as three of the Seven Wonders of the World, then SuperTarget should be on there too. “We East Bumblefuckers love us some SuperTarget,” she writes.

All it took was a drive on the I-40 to remind me why I rarely go to the mall. I had two different drivers tailgating about one foot from my rear bumper, while I was going about 67 and couldn’t speed up because there was a car in front of me only about a car length away.

The last time I went to the mall was back in August, when I drove The Romanian Sensation to the mall. That time traffic suddenly slowed from 70 to, oh, maybe 10 just west of Whitten Road. I had to slam on my brakes and pull into the emergency lane to avoid rear-ending the car in front of me. “No no Paul, please don’t wreck your car until after I go shopping,” the Sensation commented.

It’s a miracle that I worked out there for a year and a half and never had an accident on the way home. Really made me appreciate the short drive home from Midtown that has been the norm for me the past nine months.

And once I got to the mall, I couldn’t find anything to buy, except a 2007 calendar. So it was a wasted trip. There were some hot girls there, but most of them were jailbait.

Going to lounge around the apartment for a while, then go see my waitresses and play trivia.

New Year’s Eve review, King Willie wants a new football stadium, Hot Topic closing, and more

Had a fun New Year’s Eve. Since it was a Sunday, I started with brunch at Sleep Out Louie’s, and hung around the entire day playing NTN Trivia. At one point in the afternoon regular blog reader Skippy made the mistake of challenging me to a trivia game, and I handed him a devastating loss. At 6 PM Crash Kole, Bobby Durango, and Smokin’ Lemon took the stage:

They’ve been playing together for several months now and their act has gotten really tight. I could definitely tell Smokin’ Lemon has been spending a lot of time practicing on the new guitar he got for Christmas.

At 8:00 we moved on to The Majestic Grille, where we had reservations for a table of 20. Their special New Year’s Eve menu delivered the goods – I had a gorgonzola crusted filet with port wine reduction, with au gratin potatoes and broccoli, green beans, and snap peas sauteed in butter. Absolute best filet I’ve had in this city. They also had a gorgonzola encrusted ribeye which people told me was even better… ya know, I never order ribeyes when I go to restaurants. Probably because I ordered them at Bonanza when I was a kid. And at the time I thought “well done” (meaning: horribly overcooked) was the proper way to order a steak. Maybe I should give ribeyes another chance in 2007.

A lot of pictures were taken, and this time very few of them were taken with my camera, so I don’t have a photo album to post. However, the picture of the night was taken by me – the Nuh-Uh Girl in a tube top:

The Nuh-Uh Girl and Chad tell me that they’re going to try and get “blogworthy” added as a dictionary word. Example: “Is that tube top picture blogworthy?”

Thanks to Patrick and Deni at the Majestic for a great evening, and also thanks to our friend Mikey for setting up the reservations and the champagne. Good times.

Didn’t make it to Big Foot Lodge on New Year’s Eve, but I heard I missed some interesting developments that night. One of my blog readers knows what I’m talking about. If anyone has pics feel free to send ’em to me – I won’t post ’em without permission, but wouldn’t mind seeing them.

Wasn’t awake on New Year’s Day in time to hear Mayor Herenton’s speech. However, I read some summaries later in the day, and the big news is that he wants to spend $30 million to build a new football stadium to replace the Liberty Bowl, with construction to begin in 2009.

I have to ask, WHY??? Why do we need a new stadium? Is the Liberty Bowl falling apart? Why is it that we can find $30 million to finance a new stadium, but we can’t seem to find money to GIVE OUR POLICE OFFICERS THE RAISES THEY DESERVE??? Isn’t that more important?

By the way, 5 years ago when the FedExForum was proposed, I was firmly and fully in support of building it, even if it meant raising taxes. I believed and still believe that bringing the Grizzlies to the city was a good move to make. But this is a different proposal. It’s not like we have an NFL team saying, we’re prepared to move to Memphis if you build us a stadium. Who’s going to use the thing once it’s built? Maybe if the Liberty Bowl were to be upgraded to BCS status, I could see it. But that’s not going to happen. It just seems building it like a waste of money and we ought to be using it to pay our cops better. If there’s a side to this story that I’m not seeing, please let me know.

Heard a rumor last night that the Hot Topic in Peabody Place Mall is closing, and they’re selling everything in the store for 50% off, and some items are marked at 75%. So that might be worth checking out if you like their clothing.

I’m still off work this week, so I think I’ll head out to the other mall today, the Wolfchase Galleria. I wonder how many residents of East Bumblefuck would list the Wolfchase Galleria as one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Quite a few, I’m sure. They’d probably list the Cordova Fox and Hound as one of the Wonders too. And Bahama Breeze.

Anyway, I’ll have the camera with me, and if anything interesting happens out East (which I doubt) I’ll take pictures. I’ll be back downtown in time for Trivia Bowl tonight.

"Where can I go downtown to watch the bowl games today?"

Arkansas plays Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl today, noon Central time. Go Hogs!

Several times last night people asked me, “Where can I go downtown to watch the Capital One Bowl?” and I was a little bit stumped, because my two favorite places to watch football will be closed at the time of the game. Sleep Out Louie’s is closed all day and the Flying Saucer opens at 5.

I’m almost positive Big Foot Lodge is operating under their normal hours today, and with their six big TVs over the bar, that would be the place I’d recommend. You’ll be able to watch the game in the company of some really good people, and have a good lunch and a 34 oz. Big Foot Beer.

Not sure if Huey’s and Dan McGuinness Pub will be opening at their normal times today, but those are some other venues worth looking into.

Jillian’s and Hooters are well-known as downtown options for game watching. Their food is more expensive than the places listed above and not as good, and they’re corporate rather than locally owned, but they do have a lot of big TVs. There’s an Arkansas fan club that tends to hang out at Jillian’s, from what I understand.

Me, I’ll probably hang out here at home and watch the game. The Saucer opens at 5:00 and it’s Pint Nite, so I imagine I’ll be showing up at their doorstep sometime around 5:03, and hanging out there until… um… what time does the Saucer close on Mondays? Also, speaking of the Saucer, The Dempseys will be playing there Thursday night at 9:30, so put that one on your calendar.

I’ll be back later today with a review of last night’s festivities, including a new TUBE TOP pic!!! So be sure to check back.