Update on the Conference USA tournament: tix available, Friday game times

I got an e-mail from a FedExForum employee and wanted to pass on some info…

First of all, they have great seats available (went on sale yesterday) for the tournament.  You can buy single-session tickets, rather than having to buy tickets for all four days.

Secondly, the Tigers may not be playing in the 5:30 PM semifinal game Friday as I posted earlier.  When the Tigers win their 6 PM Thursday quarterfinal game, as the top seed they will be offered their choice of times to play their semifinal game on Friday – 3:00 PM or 5:30 PM.  The Tigers will likely select the early game (they have the past four years) in order to get as much rest as possible before the final, and to scout the other team.  So, assuming the Tigers win their games, they will likely play

  • 6 PM Thursday
  • 3 PM Friday
  • 10:35 AM Saturday

Last night – an illustration of why I love Downtown

Before I get started: 98 e-mails in the Inbox this morning.  Gonna take me a while to get through them, so if you e-mailed me, apologies if it takes me a day or so to catch up.

Yesterday exemplified why I love life Downtown.  Started the afternoon at the Silly Goose, where I ran into Mikey reading the paper at the bar.  After a beer I said, “I wonder if there are window seats open at the Saucer,” and we walked over there.  Found two seats facing Second, and enjoyed the beautiful 76-degree weather.  Soon the rest of the trivia team showed up, and grabbed seats on the couches and chairs around the pool table.

There was a couple sitting to my right who had just moved here from California and were living in Germantown.  They wanted to know about Memphis, and they didn’t realize what they were jumping into.  Mikey told them about the Ques Brothers BBQ team and extended invitations to our booth.  One of our other team leaders showed up and told them all about what’s involved in being on a BBQ Fest team.  I gave them the address to my blog and told them about The Raising of the Goat this weekend at Silky’s, the St. Pat’s parade on Beale, and the crawfish boil at Orleans on Front this Sunday.  Then I recommended Silly Goose and Bardog as other good places to check out in the Downtown core.  Some of the Calhoun’s regulars came up to play trivia, and they told our new friends all about Calhoun’s, the best sports bar Downtown.  Mikey told them about Downtown Olympics that took place last October.  One of the Blue Suede Brigade members came by the window and gave our friends a map of Downtown.  By the time they left they’d met at least 20 people.

Time flew by, and I looked at my watch.  It was 6:45, almost time for trivia to start.  Usually we go inside and sit on one of the rails that face the bar.  “I don’t want to go inside, do you?” I asked a few people.  No one seemed to want to.  We were having too much fun enjoying the perfect weather and talking to our new friends.  So we remained seated around the pool table and sent runners in to see the questions on the screen.  The Calhoun’s crew did the same thing.  The place was more packed than I’ve seen a trivia night at the Saucer in a long time.  As best as I can remember, only the 2007 and 2008 NBA draft lottery nights drew such huge crowds on Tuesdays.

Even though we didn’t win at trivia (we’ve been on a bad losing streak lately), it was a great night, and reminded me how much I enjoy being Downtown and telling new people about my neighborhood.  I think I’m going to start sitting in the window more at the Saucer.  Seems like I meet more people there than at the bar, probably because the bar is mostly where other regulars sit.  I met my former BFFs Jenny and Michelle at that same spot at the window last summer, now that I think about it.

Update to come on the C-USA tournament scheduling shortly…

Early bar openings for Saturday’s C-USA championship game. Also: Silly Goose now on Facebook

I’ve heard about two bars opening early for Saturday’s Conference USA tournament championship game, broadcast on TV at 10:35 AM.  Calhoun’s will open at 9:30 that morning, and the Silly Goose will open at 10.  Last year the Saucer opened early for that game but I’ve not yet confirmed it for this year.

I had a couple of people e-mail me “why not go to the FedExForum for the game?”  Not a bad suggestion – I went to a Tiger game a few weeks ago and had a great time.  However, I want a beer in front of me while I watch, and not an $8 FedExForum beer.  Gotta conserve funds until the paychecks start coming in again.

Given current options, I’m leaning in the direction of the Goose as my place to watch the game.  Calhoun’s gets uncomfortably packed during Tiger games, and their bathroom is only a 1-seater and you have to bump your way past everyone to get there.  The Goose, on the other hand, has ample aisle space and their restroom is a 3-holer (men’s; no idea what’s in the women’s restroom).  They also have a full liquor bar, PBR on tap, and they may have taken the “hottest waitresses Downtown” title away from the Saucer.  Plus they’re a sponsor of my BBQ team, so I like to support them as much as I can.

Speaking of the Silly Goose, they now have a group on Facebook.  Glad to see them getting on board.  Facebook is becoming a vital way for bars to communicate with their regulars nowadays.  Search for them under Groups if you’re on.

I’m also getting word of some St. Pat’s parties… yes, I will post them, just waiting until the end of the week after the Memphis Flyer and Livin’ It Up Downtown come out, so I can see what all is going on and do one post with all the events.

Also got a response to my question why none of the Goose’s Depression-era cocktails contain vodka… back in the 1930s we weren’t on great terms with Russia.  It wasn’t until 1941 when Hitler invaded them, and Japan attacked us, that we started to get along with Stalin.  So we probably weren’t importing any Russian booze back then.

Bee-yoo-tiful day outside… I may take an hour off from my freelance work and check out either the Goose’s or the Saucer’s patio… hmmm, with Sunset Wheat as the Fire Sale I’m gonna have to lean toward the Saucer.  Goose’s patio is fun for people watching and bum watching though.  Think I’ll walk that direction and see what I can find.

Tue update: Depression-era cocktails, restaurant discount code, restaurant equipment auction, Peabody rooftop parties

Below is a pic from the Silly Goose’s Depression Era Mondays, where they sell classic Depression-era cocktails at Depression prices ($1 each) from 5 to 7 PM.  They also give away free tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches in honor of the soup lines of the ’30s.  You have 16 different cocktail choices for $1:  Abbey Cocktail, Waldorf, Pegu Club, Rob Roy, Gibson, Sidecar, Gimlet, Old Fashioned, Cuba Libre, French 75, High Ball, John Collins, Manhattan, Tom Collins, Whiskey Fizz, Whiskey Sour.  If you’d rather have a beer, they have dollar PBR.


One of the cocktails, the Waldorf, contains absinthe as an ingredient.  How often do you get to buy anything with absinthe in it for a dollar?

My friends and I hung out at the bar and enjoyed the cheap drinks for the entire 2-hour duration. We observed that none of the cocktails contained vodka, interestingly enough.  I guess that wasn’t a Depression-era liquor.  I’ll have to ask the bartenders about that next time I go in.  Or I’ll ask the Weiss Asses tonight at trivia, since they were old enough to go to bars during the Depression.

Restaurant.com has a new promotional code for 80% off: Click here to go to the site and enter code MENU at checkout. That means their $25 face-value gift certificates, which normally sell for $10, are now $2. A lot of Memphis restaurants are part of this program. I can’t figure out how they make money at 80% off, but I know enough people who have bought and redeemed these certificates to know that it’s a legit operation.

Need to buy some restaurant equipment?  March 19 may be your lucky day.  As I was walking down the Main Street Mall this weekend I saw a sign in the window of Blues City Pastry:


All their restaurant equipment will be sold off, on-site at Blues City Pastry at Main and Peabody Place.  If you’re planning to open a restaurant, or if you plan on upgrading an existing one, this would be worth a visit.

The Peabody has announced its first rooftop party of the season for Thursday, April 9.  Shinedown will play a short acoustic set at 7, then Free Sol at 7:30, and Lord T and Eloise at 8:45.  Parties run from 6 to 10 PM and are $5 to get in, with ladies free before 8.

Back to work on the freelancing project I’m finishing up… just about got the manual written, then I have to find a CD for an installer I haven’t used since 2003.  Exciting.  May take the laptop to the Second Street Branch Office to work since it’s so nice outside.  SMA meeting tonight at Circa, but I’m in the mood for trivia so I may skip it.  If you’re going don’t forget to bring cell phones and ink cartridges to recycle.

Crawfish boil in the parking lot next to Orleans on Front, next Sunday 3/15

Chef Clint from Orleans on Front e-mailed me more details about the crawfish boil happening this Sunday, March 15, in the parking lot next to the restaurant.  He’s thinking of a start time around 3:30, and continuing past sunset.  Here are the details:

– Clint will boil the crawfish in a massive pot he picked up in New Orleans that holds 425 pounds of the mudbugs.  There will be corn, potatoes, mushrooms, sausage, and garlic thrown in the boil.  There will be an all-you-can-eat price that includes your first draft beer, and there will be a to-go box price.

– There will be a Budweiser tap trailer with Hoop pouring the beer.

– DJ Tree will provide the music.  There will be no entry fee for the music this time, although they may do it in the future depending on how much crawfish and beer they sell, and how well people tip the bartender and DJ.

– March 15, of course, is Selection Sunday, kind of a big deal for Memphis Tigers fans.  For those who want to watch and see if we get our well-deserved #1 seed, the TVs in Orleans’ bar and in the Voodoo Room will be available.

– Darts, Wii bowling and beer pong in the Voodoo Room.

This should be fun.  Great chance to get out of the house on a Sunday afternoon and meet your Downtown neighbors.  Right now the weather is looking less than ideal – high 55, low 47 last I saw – but there’s still 6 days for the forecast to change, and even if it is unseasonably cool we can always take the crawfish inside Orleans or the Voodoo Room.  I definitely plan on being there – hope you can make it too.

Tiger schedule for C-USA tournament, and who’s opening early Saturday for the game?

Here is the schedule for the games the Memphis Tigers will play in the Conference USA tournament this weekend (all times Central Daylight Time):

  • Quarterfinals:  Thursday, 6 PM
  • Semifinals:  Friday, 5:30 PM
  • Finals:  Saturday, 10:35 AM

And here we go again with the same problem we have every year:  Because we play in such a lousy conference, we get a lousy start time for the championship game – 10:35 AM, a problem for those of us who like to go to bars to watch the Tigers on TV.  Most bars don’t open until 11.  So it’s time to ask the question, who’s opening early Saturday for the Tiger game? Usually it’s not hard to convince bars in the Downtown core to do it, since the tournament is at the FedExForum and they get quite a bit of business before and after the games.

Undecided where to watch Saturday’s game… will figure it out once I see who’s open.  Will probably watch Thursday’s game at the Saucer since the Dempseys play there later in the evening.  Undecided about Friday too.

Post about Orleans on Front’s crawfish boil will be up around 1 PM.

Depression-era cocktails for $1 tonight at Silly Goose, 5 to 7

Just a reminder that the Silly Goose is doing classic cocktails at Depression-era prices tonight for $1 from 5 to 7 PM.  Got an e-mail from one of the owners this morning, and he says they’re doing PBR for a dollar as well.  They will also offer their own stimulus package, complimentary tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, in honor of the soup lines of the Great Depression.

Come on down and support the Goose… if this goes well it will become a regular event.

Info coming later today about next Sunday’s crawfish boil at Orleans on Front.

CSS = Completely Stupid Sports

CSS once again proved Saturday why it is the worst sports network of all time.  I showed up at the Saucer at noon expecting to see the Tigers on TV.  Instead I saw a women’s game between Jacksonville State and East Tennessee State.  “How could they not know there’s a game on?” I thought.  “Being a home game at the FedExForum, there had to be a lot of people in here with Tiger attire earlier.”

So I asked the manager to change the channel to CSS, and he told me it was on CSS.  I turned on the Wi-Fi on my phone and looked up the game, and confirmed that CSS was the correct channel.

I then texted Mikey, who was at Calhoun’s, to see if they had the game.  They didn’t either.  CSS screwed up, that’s all there was to it.  About 45 minutes later, after being flooded with calls, Comcast finally got their act together and got the Tiger game on with a few minutes left in the first half.  I kept my Wi-Fi on and reloaded the score from ESPN Mobile every 15 seconds in the meantime.

What I would give to have Time-Warner back in Memphis as the cable provider… both my cable and Internet service were just about flawless for years when they were here.  Twice this week my Comcast Internet service has gone out in the middle of online poker hands.

Anyway, rant over, and congrats to the Tigers on a perfect regular-conference season.

Full day ahead today… I’m going to do the Bloody Mary bar at Silly Goose again this week.  They don’t open ’til 12, so I have an extra hour to play online poker before I head that way, a good thing because the poker rooms tend to be full of bad players on Sunday mornings.  At 5 I have to be at the Saucer for my friend Matty O’s going-away party, and then the Dempseys play Huey’s at 8:30, although I may skip them or show up late if Matt’s party gets good.  If I miss them it will be the first time since 2003 I’ve missed a Downtown Huey’s Dempseys show.

Time to hit Publish and go win some money… see ya later.

Thank you, Antonio, Robert, and Chance

Today is the last regular-season home game for the Memphis Tigers (vs. Tulane at noon).  It’s Senior Day, and I just want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier, and Chance McGrady, the three seniors who have stuck with this program for 4 years.  Your leadership and work ethic have played a huge role in turning Memphis into a first-class basketball city.  Congratulations on not only your basketball success, but on your upcoming graduation in May.  Best wishes to the three of you.  Your contributions will not soon be forgotten.

Fri update: Walrus @ Slim’s, Dempseys @ Huey’s Sun, Calhoun’s bracket challenge, SMA recycling locations

Tonight is the first live band night at Automatic Slim’s under the new ownership.  Walrus takes the stage around 11, and Michael Patrick’s late night menu will be in place from 10 to 3.

The Dempseys play Huey’s on Sunday.  This is one of several Downtown dates the Dempseys will have next week.  I never miss their Downtown Huey’s shows… without a doubt the best place to catch them.

Calhoun’s is doing an NCAA bracket challenge.  From March 15 to March 18, every time you buy a premium beer (Guinness, any Ghost River, Stella, IPA, Fat Tire) you get a bracket to fill out.  The winning bracket will be announced after the tournament is over, and will receive a $100 bar tab.  Sounds like a great deal for those who drink premium beer… I’m a PBR drinker so I likely won’t have any bracket entries at all.

Yesterday I posted about the drive to recycle old cell phones and injket and laser print cartridges as a fundraiser for the South Main Association.  You can bring those items to any SMA meeting (including the one at Circa on the 10th).  However, if you can’t make it to a meeting, there are also drop-off locations at the Westin Hotel just south of Beale, Bank Tennessee at 30 N. Second, or at Bluff City Coffee at 505 S. Front.  Interesting fact:  Each recycled laser cartridge saves a half-gallon of oil.

That’s all for now… gonna play online poker ’til 8 then head out, probably to the Saucer, then to Slim’s and the Tap Room.