South of Beale open tonight with specials

Just got word from the folks at South of Beale that they will be open to the public tonight from 4 PM to 3 AM, with $3 draft and $4 well specials all night long.  Congratulations to them on getting their liquor license!  I had a great time there Wednesday night at the pre-opening party… check it out if you’re looking for something to do tonight.

Speaking of which… I’m looking for something to do tonight… I want to get some quality time in on PokerStars right after work, but around 9 I may wander down there.  Anyone want to meet up?  Hmmm… Hollywood Disco (formerly the original Raiford’s) is right around the corner… I don’t get down there much anymore because the other place is so much closer to where I live, but last time I went I had a really good time at Hollywood.  Maybe it’s time to pay them a visit.

Speaking of PokerStars, I placed third in a Sit’n’Go tournament last night, which means I landed in the money.  I’m getting addicted to those.  Thought I had a good shot at first place when I got dealt QQ late in the game, and went all-in.  Someone called me with AJ, and an Ace showed up on the river.  Oh well.

We’re in the process of finalizing the running order for the Elvis pub crawl.  To clear up any confusion, it’s a week from Saturday, on the 15th, not this Saturday, the 8th.  It was originally the 8th but got changed not long afterward.  More details to come.  We’ll be collecting cans and donations for MIFA’s Food Bank at the event.

That’s all for now.  Dead tired from staying up late to catch the Dempseys’ entire performance last night.  I don’t know where I’m going to find the energy to go out tonight, but go out I shall.

Thur update: Power House closed, Mexican buffet for SMA, “Plug In” mixer, Travel Channel, sales tax holiday, and more

The Commercial Appeal reports that the Power House art gallery has closed. That’s kind of a shock, considering that this summer they’ve been more active than ever, hosting midnight movies, public forums, and kids’ events. Like everyone, though, they got hit by the tough economic times. Best wishes to those involved with the Power House and thanks for 6 great years.

The South Main Association has asked me to note some changes to their meeting next Tuesday at the Happy Mexican. Instead of complimentary hors d’oeuvres, there will be a complimentary dinner buffet. (Somewhere in an office building out in Collierville, the Nuh-Uh Girl is jumping for joy.) There will also be a cash bar. Hmmm with Steve Cohen appearing, I may have to skip trivia and show up for this one… Steve needs our support to ensure a victory over King Willie in the primary next year. Besides, with social hour starting at 6 and Steve not getting there until 8, there will be plenty of extra time to drink margaritas.

Memphis communications organizations AIGA, AAF, and PRSA will have a “Plug In” mixer tonight at Minglewood Hall. There will be drink specials by three advertising industry bands – Vending Machine, The Revisions, and WatchPaper. Drink specials, free appetizers.

The Travel Channel’s Great Weekends with Samantha Brown will re-broadcast its visit to Memphis this Saturday, August 8, at 9 PM. The show filmed Sam hanging out at Elvis’ favorite table at the Arcade, stopping by Alcenia’s for some soul food, and dancing at Hollywood Disco. A sneak peek of the show can be found here.

This weekend is a sales tax holiday. From Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9, any single clothing item under $100 can be bought without paying sales tax. I know that Lansky and Shelton Clothiers are among the Downtown stores that will be featuring their under-$100 items. Good weekend to do some shopping.

Good article on the Majestic Grille’s employee art exhibit to be held next Wednesday, August 12, in the Commercial Appeal today.

Also in the CA today – it was announced that Wicked will return to the Orpheum in fall 2010. That’s great news for Downtown, because it brought a lot of business not only to the theatre itself, but to nearby businesses and attractions.

Plans for tonight: I’m going to play on PokerStars for a few hours, then head to the Saucer around 9:00 to see The Dempseys.

Pics: South of Beale

South of Beale hosted a preview party for friends and family last night, and I went there and snapped some pics of the place.  Muchas gracias for the food and beer.  The owners told me they plan to be open to the public tonight.  If they get their liquor license they’ll have liquor; if not, at least they’ll have beer and wine.

At least one more post to come today.  Unusual posting time for this one on a weekday… I typed this up before I left home and saved it as a draft.  The DTO video absolutely had to stay on top for the morning rush though.











Wed update: New club on Beale, new economic index, Work It Wednesday and Sports Ball kick-off party tonight, and more

This morning I received information that the Superior Bar on Beale Street has been purchased by a group of investors, and it will reopen as The Village Door in about 45 days. The owner already operates The Famous Door on Bourbon Street and the Village Door in Sandestin, Florida. The club will bring in “top-flight live acts and a DJ for a non-stop party,” and will retain the Superior’s current chef.

I also received an article which offers an interesting theory: The Hot Waitress Economic Index. It basically says, as economic times get tougher, the waitresses in your local bar get hotter. Hmmm based on what I’ve seen at the Saucer, there may be some truth to that theory… overall the current waitresses are hotter than the staff of a year ago, when we were still in boom economic times. Also, a year ago there were 3 male bartenders at the Saucer. Now there’s only one, which also fits in well with the theory.  The staff at most of my other favorite bars hasn’t changed much so it’s hard to judge… those of you who hang out at the Downtown Hooters, does the theory hold up there as well?

I heard from South of Beale after I posted a link to their website yesterday. I’d previously heard a rumor that they may open this week, but they told me that the grand opening is currently in limbo because they’re waiting on their liquor license. Yep, that’s pretty common when new restaurants open. I’ll have more info on South of Beale soon.

Don’t forget that Kooky Canuck’s kick-off party for the Sports Ball is tonight from 5 to 7:30. You’ll be able to purchase tickets to the ball or make a donation, and there will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Tonight is also Work It Wednesday, the Memphis Flyer’s happy hour. Tonight it will be at Bardog Tavern from 5 to 7. $1 off wines by the glass, beer on tap, house liquor; $1.50 PBR; $1.50 single slider burgers. I will most definitely be there. Come party with the Flyer!

I have another party to go to after that, a private party so I can’t post details, but hopefully there will be a blog post with pictures tomorrow. There’s going to be free food at the party, which makes me wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl knows about it.

The Dempseys play the Flying Saucer tomorrow night at 9:30, $3 cover.

I’m thrilled to see 61 people have responded that they’re attending our Elvis pub crawl on Saturday the 15th.  Well, I’m thrilled about 60 of the 61 people, anyway.  One addition to the event… we’re asking everyone to bring canned goods for the Food Bank.  You can drop them off at the Saucer which is our first stop on the pub crawl (7 PM).

Outta here for now… hope to see you at Bardog for happy hour.

PokerStars now offering huge sign-up and reload bonuses

From time to time I write about my experiences playing real-money poker online, so I thought some of my readers might be interested in this… My favorite online poker room,, has just made a huge increase to their first-time player deposit bonus, as well as their reload bonus for current players.

For players new to the site, PokerStars is now offering a 100% bonus on deposits up to $600. They way it works is, the more hands you play, the more player points you earn… as you accumlate player points, the bonus is released into your account, in $10 increments. You can then play poker with it or withdraw it as you choose. You can make the deposit in up to 3 increments, although subsequent deposits must be made within 60 days of the first one.

Click the image above and enter STARS600 as the code to get the new player sign-up bonus. Must use the STARS600 code on each deposit made toward this bonus.

For those already playing on PokerStars, they’re offering a reload bonus of 50% up to a maximum bonus of $300. Again, you can make the deposits in 3 increments, but all must be made within 90 days of each other, and you have 6 months to collect the full bonus. For a poker player, this is the equivalent of a company match to your 401(k). It’s free money.

Click the image above and enter WCOOP as the code to get the reload bonus. Must use the WCOOP code on each deposit made toward this bonus.  Yeah I know the banner is about the $600 new player sign-up, but it directs to the right place, just be sure to use WCOOP for the reload.

When I first got into online poker, I tried several poker rooms, but kept coming back to Stars. Here are a few reasons why it’s my favorite:

– They have micro limit tables. Even if you don’t have much to risk, you can find a table at your price range. There are tables with 1 cent small blinds/2 cent big blinds, so if you buy in for 100 big blinds and lose it all, you’re only out two bucks. As your skills progress, you can move up to higher levels. I currently play the 50 cent/$1 level most of the time, although sometimes I’ll step down a level or two if I want to limit my losses while I try out different strategies.

– They have a large number of “fish,” recreational players who play just for fun and who have never studied any theory on how to win at poker. All they know about the game is what they’ve seen on TV. These people are great to play Texas Hold’em with because they have no idea whether they hold a good hand. In online poker rooms, you make money by swimming with the fish, not the sharks.

– I like their interface better than other poker rooms. You can upload your own profile pic. My profile pic, by the way, is not a pic of me, but a pic I selected to give the others at the table the idea that I can’t even spell “poker,” much less know how to play. Thus they’re more inclined to try and bluff me with less-than-premium hands.

– Because there are so many PokerStars members, there’s always action. I can log on at 5 in the morning and find a cash game or a tournament if I choose. (Actually, late at night is a GREAT time to log on, because a lot of the fish are playing drunk, which makes their already-bad play even worse.)

– They have one-table sit’n’go tournaments. You sign up at the buy-in level you want, and then sit down with 9 or 10 other players. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to fill a new table (less than 1 minute in peak hours), and the tournament starts immediately, with progressive blind structures just like on a real Hold’em table. Top three places land in the money, which is usually split 50%/30%/20% among the top three. There are also “double or nothing” tournaments, where the first 5 of 10 to lose all their chips get nothing, and the 5 that remain get double their buy-in back. You can buy into these with as little as a dollar. I usually do $10 buy-ins for regular sit’n’go, or $20 for double or nothing. Tournaments tend to last about an hour on average, although there are also “turbo tournaments” with more aggressive blind structures that move faster.

– You can watch games without participating in them. This is called railbirding in poker, as you’ll see people leaning against the rail watching live games. This is a great way to learn proper poker play; search for the celebrity players on PokerStars (Daniel Negreanu, Chris Moneymaker, and others) and railbird their tables to learn good poker play. You can’t learn it from watching them on TV. TV is all about the ratings and only shows the highlights, the all-ins, the bad beats. It doesn’t show the pros folding before the flop 80-90% of the time, which is what actually happens.

– They have a lot of games I haven’t tried yet. There’s also Omaha Hold’em, stud poker, HORSE, and several more poker variations. There are also multi-table tournaments which you can buy into for cheap; the prizes for these can be pretty substantial. There are also multi-table tournaments where the prize is an all-expenses paid seat at the World Series of Poker. When I worked at the City Schools a co-worker of mine won one of these and got to spend a week in Vegas on PokerStars’ dime. If he’d made it to a featured TV table or the final table, he would’ve been given huge bonuses for wearing PokerStars gear.

I’ll mention that you can also sit down at play-money games on PokerStars, but I actually don’t recommend these as a way of developing your poker skills. People will bet and raise and go all-in with almost anything, because if they go bust they can just request more play-money chips. You’ll learn a lot more about correct poker play at the 1 cent/2 cent real money tables than you will at the play money tables. I suppose the play-money tables are good for getting familiar with the PokerStars interface, so that you’re comfortable before you make your first real buy-in.

If that all sounds like a good deal, scroll up, click on one of the banners, and sign up.  Maybe I’ll see you at the table, although with the profile image I use, you may not know it’s me.

No poker for me tonight, though.  It’s trivia night.  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale… finally a decent Fire Sale to drink during trivia.

Tue update: Majestic art opening, Pomeranian, National Night Out, SMA meeting, and more

The Majestic Grille has run several exhibits by local artists in its Innovators Room over the past year. For the next exhibit, they’re keeping it in the family. A lot of talented artists and musicians work at the Majestic, and on Wednesday, August 12, they get the chance to show off their talent. From 5:30 to 7:30 there will be music by Keisha Moore-Alston, Kimberly Millburn, and Mark Akin, and the works of AnnElizabeth White, Amelia Huff, Anna Helton, AJ Gutierrez, Mario Palmer, and Deni Reilly will be on display from that date through October. Free admission, and there will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

An update on the Pomeranian that was found on Mud Island… I received an e-mail saying the dog may belong to a man who lives on the Island, who is currently in the hospital, and friends are taking care of his three Pomeranians. The person who responded gave me an e-mail address for his father, who I e-mailed, but so far I haven’t received a response. If any of my readers know this person and can confirm that it is/is not his dog, I’d appreciate it.

If the owner is not found, I’ve also received an e-mail saying, “If no one claims him, I want him.” So one way or another, the dog is going to be all right… in fact, he’d end up with a loving family, children to play with, and some of the best table scraps in town.

Update on the Elvis pub crawl scheduled for Saturday the 15th: The Hard Rock had to drop out, but I hope to brainstorm with the people there about an event for Downtowners in the near future. The Saucer, Blue Fin, and the Red Rooster are definitely on board, and we’re working on recruiting a fourth bar, hopefully a place on Beale. Note that Party City does not carry Elvis costumes in their stores… Costume City is a place where you can order Elvis gear online, and of course there’s Graceland’s gift shop. Blues City General Store on Beale sells Elvis sunglasses and sideburns and other stuff to help you get your Elvis on.

Thanks to everyone who read my post about artist Sarah yesterday. She’s already been contacted by a couple of people interested in her work. Also, she was thrilled that her blog had 221 hits yesterday, and I know she’s going to keep posting.

I know a lot of people who read this blog are involved with nonprofits, either as employees or volunteers… those who are may want to check out this CA article about a PR class for nonprofits planned for the U of M next Tuesday, August 11.

Tonight is National Night Out. Communities all over the country are organizing block parties tonight, to emphasize the importance of working together to keep our communities safe from crime. Uptown Memphis is having a party at Uptown Park (Greenlaw and Uptown Streets) starting at 5:30 PM. Fire truck rides, mini-carriage rides, golf cart service for the elderly, food, fun. Not sure if there’s an event going on in South Main this year.

Looks like the August 11 South Main Association meeting at the Happy Mexican will be a big one. Changes to the by-laws will be discussed, Congressman Steve Cohen will speak, and so will Jimmy Tashie, the chairman of the Memphis & Shelby County Film Commission, and Senior VP and General Manager of Malco Theaters. 6:00 social, 6:30 meeting. Cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. IMPORTANT NOTE: I just learned that Congressman Cohen will show up late, around 8 PM, due to another meeting he has to attend.

Trivia night at the Saucer tonight, 7 PM.  I hope they don’t torture us with Turbo Dog on Fire Sale like they did last Tuesday.

Wedding ring, artwork for sale; link to artist’s blog with interesting perspective on life

This post is about a friend of mine, Sarah, who is trying to raise some money through the sale of rings and artwork. Earlier this year, she went through a divorce, which left her with $7,000 in credit card debt and a Toyota 4Runner whose lease expires this month. After getting divorced, she went back to the only way she knew to earn money – being a bartender. However, due to her debt load, the job isn’t quite paying all the bills, so she needs to sell some stuff to raise money.

She’s selling her engagement ring, pictured below, and her wedding band on eBay. The engagement ring has been appraised at over $11,000, and the ring and band together at $13,500. She’s starting the bidding at $5,000, so this is a good deal for someone. Click here to view the eBay auction for the rings.


I empathize with Sarah because she’s someone who has a lot to offer the world, once she’s no longer weighed down by debt. She graduated from the U of M with a degree in Fine Arts, then studied Art Therapy in graduate school. She’s spent a lot of time working with kids (see pics below), and once she’s financially stable she hopes to join the Peace Corps or a similar organization to help others in need. She’s previously volunteered with refugee children from Afghanistan, Sudan, and other countries.




Sarah is an accomplished artist. You can view her gallery on Facebook here, and you can see an example of artwork she did for a local bar in the pic below. She also has two works on exhibit at Blue Fin, although they’re signed under her married name which she no longer uses.


If you want to purchase any of Sarah’s work, or if you want to commission her to do a custom piece of artwork, shoot me an e-mail at and I’ll get the two of you in touch.

Sarah also has a blog. She has a very interesting and deep perspective on life, having seen and lived through a lot in her 25 years.

Thanks for reading this post… I know what it’s like to have big dreams, only to have financial concerns stand in the way. I figure one of the best things a person can do in this world is help others get closer to their dreams.

Scare last night – would you know what to do if you lost your wallet?

Yesterday morning about 10:30, I went on my Mountain Dew run to Walgreens.  It was raining cats and dogs, and even though Walgreens is only a quarter block from my front door, I was soaked.

After that I fired up PokerStars and started feeding my addiction.  I tried single tables, multiple tables at the same time, Sit’n’Go tournaments, and Double-or-Nothing tournaments (the most boring things ever – 10 players, first 5 to lose get nothing, the other 5 are declared the winners and double their money).  I kept thinking about going out, but every time I said to myself, “One more game.”

Finally, at 1 AM, I decided it was time to go have a beer.  I put clothes on, loaded up my camera, my iPhone, pens and keys in my pockets… but where was my wallet?  It wasn’t on my kitchen counter where I usually leave it.  I ran to my bedroom and checked all my jeans and shorts pockets.  No wallet.  “I must have left it at Walgreens,” I thought, “or worse, it fell out of my pocket as I ran home in the rain this morning.”  I started frantically thinking about the things I would have to do.

Made me think… maybe this would be a good public service announcement for my readers… if you lost your wallet, would you know what to do?

  • Would you know how to get a replacement driver’s license, and what forms of ID you’d need to bring?  If you’re in Tennessee, details here.
  • Do you have the phone numbers of your bank and any credit card companies stored in a safe place, so you know who to call to cancel credit and debit cards?
  • Do you have enough cash stashed away to live on for about a week, until your new debit card arrives?

Just something to think about… better to be prepared.

After about 20 minutes, I remembered that I hadn’t folded the shorts I wore to Walgreens yesterday morning and put them away… they were soaking wet, so I hung them over a chair to dry.  I pulled the now-dry shorts off the chair and checked the back pocket… and there was my wallet.  Crisis averted.

Heading to brunch shortly.  I’ve been a hermit too much this past week.  No poker today.

Coming later today – a post about a local artist who is blogging, selling her artwork, and taking orders for custom jobs.  She’s also selling an engagement ring and wedding band, and it could be a good deal for someone.