Something different: An evening at Calhoun’s. Also: Free ballet performance, Alcenia’s, Flying Fish

Tonight after work I hit Circa for one of their happy hour beers, then made the trek down South Main to G.E. Patterson Avenue to watch the Tiger game at Calhoun’s.  First time I’ve been there in 29 days, and first time to see the bar during a Tiger game since they’ve had time to develop a regular crowd.

The place was PACKED.  Luckily I had a friend who saved me a seat at the bar, but otherwise if you want a bar seat you need to get there an hour prior to game time.  Keep in mind that, given the size of Calhoun’s, “packed” means about 40 people. I got to enjoy one of their newest draft beers, a Mexican beer called Dos Equis Special Lager, while I watched the game.  In addition to #1 Memphis defeating Houston, there were a couple of added bonuses.  The only other undefeated team in NCAA Division I, #2 Kansas, lost to #24 Kansas State, and Arkansas defeated Mississippi State.  I noticed that Calhoun’s has a framed photo of a razorback hog above their main TV.  Nice.

My friend at the bar next to me commented that the crowd at Calhoun’s was a “Blue Monkey crowd,” meaning the crowd that hung out at the Downtown Blue Monkey 3 years ago.  That’s a South Main neighborhood crowd, which is what they wanted.  Glad to see them doing well.  They wanted to provide a hangout for the neighbors and they did it.

That said, I don’t see myself hanging out there more than a couple of times a month… simply because, South Main isn’t my neighborhood.  The Downtown core is.  That should not be taken as a negative statement against Calhoun’s in any way.  It’s a GREAT place to watch Tiger games and other sports.  I highly, highly recommend it if you’re a sports fan and/or if you live in South Main.  It’s just that I have too many fun hangouts within 5 blocks of where I live to get down there regularly.  I tabbed out about 9:30 and told my friends I was walking home, and that’s what I did.  I went home and bought a $2.75 Fire Sale (Dos Equis Amber, they almost got it right) and listened to Roxanne Lemmon’s band and watched waitresses walk around.

Let’s get on to the daily news.  Tomorrow, January 31 (which will be today by the time most of you read this), Ballet Memphis will have an open rehearsal at the One One O’ Six Lofts on Main just south of Union from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM.  You’re invited to bring lunch (you can get to-go food from a number of nearby restaurants, including Huey’s, Sawaddii, Rio Loco, Pa Pa Pia’s, Sauces, the Majestic Grille, etc.) and watch.

The Food Network will be in town Friday and Saturday to film at Alcenia’s restaurant in the Pinch District.  The show is “Dinners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”  Owner BJ Tamayo will do some cooking, and her 87-year-old mother Alcenia for whom the restaurant is named will share cooking tips.

Walking home tonight, I saw a sign that said The Flying Fish is now doing happy hour with $1 drafts and $4 margaritas 4-7 PM weekdays.

Time to get a good night’s rest.  With the Dempseys show tomorrow, I know I’ve got another late night coming, so I better stock up on sleep tonight.