Sat update: Iconic Memphis sign to come down, Beale Street Landing seeks restaurant, Bardog renovations, revolving art gallery, more places open New Year’s Day, Tigers

The sign that greets people as they cross the I-40 from Arkansas into Memphis will come down soon. ABC 24 reports that the Memphis sign, with a guitar in place of the “i”, will have to be removed as part of the Bass Pro renovations to the Pyramid. CVB head Kevin Kane hopes to replace it with a new sign, possibly an LED sign on the side of the Cook Convention Center. More info here.

Downtown Memphians will have to do without one of their favorite bars for a few days. Bardog Tavern is closing the 1st through the 5th for renovations. They’ll re-open Friday morning at 8 AM.

Dreaming about opening a restaurant? The Memphis Business Journal reports that the Riverfront Development Corporation is looking for a restaurant to operate in Beale Street Landing. They want something moderately upscale, comfortable, that has reasonable price points and appeals to both tourists and locals. Read the article here.

The Memphis Daily News blog reports that two buildings at Main and Union will be turned into revolving art galleries. The Downtown Memphis Commission will showcase the works of local artists in the vacant buildings at 82 and 85 S. Main, in an effort to beautify Downtown. The first two artists to have their work exhibited will be Chip Chockley and John Henry. Their work will be rotated out in February and two new artists will come in. This is a non-paying gig, but it’s a big opportunity for artists to get exposure.

When Local Gastropub emailed to tell me they’d be open regular hours on New Year’s, they also told me about a new thing they are doing – $10 “Blue Plate Special” lunches, with huge portions, from 11 to 3 Monday-Friday. They especially recommended “Meatloaf Thursdays.”

One more to add to the “open New Year’s Day” list: Rizzo’s Diner will be open for Sunday brunch tomorrow.

Also add Kooky Canuck to the open New Year’s list. They’ll open tomorrow at 11 AM.

eighty3 will be open for brunch 10:30-4:00 tomorrow. It’s the former Grill 83 in the Madison Hotel, for those who haven’t been yet.

Tigers’ sophomore guard Joe Jackson has been given the night off from tonight’s game against Charlotte (FedExForum, 8 PM) to deal with “a personal matter.” CBS Sports writer Gary Parrish reports that a transfer is possible for Jackson before the beginning of the spring semester. Sad to hear it; I’ve enjoyed watching Joe play for us. An unhappy player can’t perform at his best, though. However it works out, we owe Joe a debt of gratitude for hitting those two key free throws that sent us to the Big Dance last year.

There is one good thing that I think could come out of it if Joe leaves. In my opinion, sophomore guard Antonio Barton is the most underrated member of the team. He didn’t come in with the hype that Jackson and his older brother Will did, but he goes out there and gets the job done when he’s asked. If Joe leaves, maybe it will give Antonio the chance he deserves to shine.

Shout-out to the douches from Cincinnati who ran up a $37.50 tab with car bombs last night at the Saucer, then tipped a whopping $2.50. If there was any doubt I’d be rooting for Vandy in the Liberty Bowl today, that made up my mind. I stayed at the Saucer until about 9, then moved over to the Blind Bear. Stayed there until about 1 and had a great time chatting with friends.

Tonight I’m going to take my own advice: I’m staying away from Amateur Night at the bars, and going to a house party at friends’ condos in the Downtown core. “We picked up the keg,” they told me when they saw me at the Bear last night. “Just for you, we got PBR.” Do I have wonderful friends or what?

The amateurs won’t be out until the evening, though, so it’s time for some day drinking. May wait a little closer to the Liberty Bowl start time of 2:30 to give the college crowd time to get out of here. Everyone stay safe this New Year’s Eve!