Tue update: Free Grizzlies tickets, parking meter changes, 70% off women’s clothing, Chris Vernon Show, poker on real poker tables tonight

Back to the workweek and back to spewing out the news in lunchtime update posts…

Star power forward Zach Randolph has bought 500 tickets to the Grizzlies’ home opener, and is giving them away on a first-come, first-served basis at 3 PM today at the FedExForum. The opener is tomorrow night at 7 PM versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The city is revamping Downtown’s parking meters, according to an article on Fox 13’s website. They are going to fix broken meters, install new meters on streets that haven’t had them previously, and extend meter hours late into the evening.

I have very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’s good for the city as a whole. Thanks to King Willie’s mismanagement last decade, the city is millions in debt. We need to come up with revenue sources, so we can maintain expenses like police officers’ salaries, as well as city programs (remember the protest over canceling summer kickball league?) The changes to the meters will increase revenue from $500,000 to $1,500,000, so for the city that’s a good thing.

It’s not a good thing for Downtown, though. I remember when I lived in Midtown and drove down here. “No way I’ll pay to park in a lot or garage,” I thought. “But I know where the side streets are that don’t have meters, so I can park there. And besides, you don’t have to pay the meters after 6 PM and on weekends.” I worry that people won’t be willing to come Downtown to shop if they’re forced to pay to park, when there’s a huge, free lot at Wolfchase. This could be a revenue drain for businesses in our neighborhood. The DMC tried to get permission to take over the parking meter plan for Downtown, but were turned down.

Christine by Shelton Clothiers is in its final 3 days of business. The women’s clothing boutique has marked down everything to 70% off, so if you didn’t get the clothes you wanted for Christmas, stop by for some deals.

Congratulations to my favorite radio sports talk host Chris Vernon. Lexus of Memphis has signed on as the Title Sponsor for the Chris Vernon Show for 2012. Hard to believe that only a few months ago he was fighting to survive. With Lexus on board and the Yahoo! Radio affiliation, things have really turned around for Verno and for the station.

I’m very excited about a new poker night tonight! Jamie hosts poker, on REAL POKER TABLES, at the Blind Bear at 8. It seems like nearly every bar Downtown (Saucer, Green Beetle, Silly Goose, Ferraro’s) does trivia on Tuesday night, and after 6 years I’m trivia’d out and ready for something different. Lately our team has drifted apart and settled on different home bars – Max’s, Goose, and Saucer mainly. Also, various team members have gone back to grad school. Those factors have made it hard to field a team some weeks. Then there’s the fact that anytime two or more members of the former Rapscallions team go to a bar doing trivia night, our “follower” shows up (he checks Foursquare to see where we are). The great thing about poker is that it’s an individual sport, so I don’t have to deal with a teammate I neither like nor respect. I’ve met a number of really cool people at the Goose and Bardog poker nights (congrats Ellen on your win last night), and I hope to meet even more new friends at Blind Bear poker. And, of course, I hope to win!

Tentative plan is to do happy hour at the Saucer at 6, then move to the Bear at 7. Yeah I said I was going to make Blind Bear my first stop after work, but I’ll start that tomorrow. New Year’s Eve post is in the works, and may go up tonight.

Nachos @ Silly Goose

You know, I hate it when I forget to do a food post for an entire week. Last Monday I played the 7:30 poker game at the Silly Goose. I got knocked out about 9. Normally I head back to the Saucer after poker is over, but a Tiger basketball game had just let out and I didn’t feel like dealing with the huge crowd over there. So, I decided to order some to-go food from the Goose and call it a night.

I ordered the nachos ($8).  In the world of nachos, there are two main types – those covered with melted solid cheese, and those covered with liquid cheese. Huey’s is pretty much the standard bearer for the melted solid cheese Downtown. It can be fun (but messy) to pull them apart. The Goose, on the other hand, uses the liquid cheese. It’s not that nacho cheese crap you find at the ballpark, either. It appears to be cheese made in house, with just a little spice. The nachos are also topped with ground beef, tomatoes, and jalapenos.

Were they better than Huey’s? Can’t really say, it’s apples and oranges. If you like liquid cheese, you’d probably rate the Goose higher. Melted cheese lovers would prefer Huey’s. Me, I like them both – it’s whichever I’m in the mood for on a particular day.

One thing – the Goose has lost Michael Bean to the Blind Bear as kitchen manager since I had these nachos. Could that make a difference? Not at all. At the time my nachos came out, Bean was still at the poker table, annoying everyone with his completely random raises and all-in moves. So someone else was preparing my food. Whoever made my nachos is most likely still in the Goose’s kitchen.

Last post from the road. About to make a beeline back to Memphis, hoping to beat the heavy rain that is predicted for this afternoon.

Wow. The entire country is nuts.

Last week I mentioned that I was reading a book about North Korea: Its history, its politics, and its people. It’s a huge book (or, it would be if I wasn’t reading it on Kindle) and I’m still only about 30% of the way through.

I bought it to learn more about North Korea, since the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il died a week ago and his son Kim Jong-un appears to be the new top man. The book starts by tracing the nation’s history through the period of Japanese domination, World War II, and the Cold War in which Stalin selected Kim il-Sung, Kim Jong-il’s father, to become North Korea’s leader. The book outlines the personality cult that developed around the elder Kim in the ’60s and ’70s, and the excesses in which the father and son indulged. Each chapter just gets stranger and stranger.

So, here’s today’s trivia question: On what type of bed did the “Great Leader” Kim il-Sung sleep?

A bed of feathers, plucked from the softest birds in the North Korean mountains? Nope.

A waterbed, refilled ever day with fresh sparkling water? No.

Memory foam? Uh-uh. One of those “Sleep Number” beds? Wrong again.

Kim il-Sung slept on a bed of women every night. That’s right, women, according to a top official who defected from North Korea in the 1990s. Kim had a cadre of women who formed his bed, and he slept on top of them. According to the official, they had ways of arranging their legs so it was comfortable for both the women and for Kim. From photos I’ve seen, Kim was not exactly a thin man; I don’t see how it could have been comfortable for the women.

The women, said the former official, were chosen when they were very young. North Korean government agents would visit the schools and select the prettiest girls when they were about 13. The girls would then undergo two years of training. There would be general sexual training, as well as specialized training on the particular sexual preferences of the “Great Leader” Kim il-Sung and of his son the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il. At age 15 the women were ready to be part of Kim’s human bed. They served until their early 20s, at which time they were usually married off to Communist party officials, who were not informed of the women’s past.

The official justification was that the human bed was prescribed by the research institute dedicated to the health of Kim il-Sung. They claimed that by being so close to young people, their spiritual energy, or qi, transferred to him, granting him a longer life, good health and increased sexual stamina.

And besides health reasons, Kim il-Sung just loved that hot young tail.

The girls’ families usually went along with it. They were honored that their daughters were selected to directly serve the respected and fatherly Leader, and the families enjoyed increased social status.

That generation of North Koreans, who grew up in the ’60s-’80s, were trained from the time they were toddlers to think of Kim il-Sung as their father. So these girls were sleeping with their father, in a sense.


If you want to read the book for yourself, the links are below. (Or even if you don’t, click through and buy some stuff on Amazon. Links in this post are affiliate links, so I make commission if you buy anything within 24 hours.) I hope to get through a few chapters tonight and maybe I’ll post another story or two.

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty (paperback)

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty (Kindle)

Christmas Eve @ Little Rock Flying Saucer

When I come to Little Rock to visit family, I book my hotel room very carefully. It has to be within close distance. Not within close distance of the retirement community where my mother lives – that’s what the car is for, after all – but rather, within walking distance of the Little Rock Flying Saucer. I used Kayak.com to book a room at the Legacy Hotel & Suites in Downtown Little Rock for $55 a night, considerably below the standard rate.

Last night I made the walk to the bar. It was about 12 blocks, but the weather was nice so I didn’t mind. For those familiar with Little Rock, the hotel is at 624 W. Capitol. I walked up Capitol to Broadway, then took Broadway to Markham, which turns into President Clinton Avenue where the Saucer is located. I got there a little after 9.

When I go there, I always like to notice what’s similar and what’s different from the Memphis Saucer. The layout is somewhat similar. When you enter, you’re in the outdoor Garden area with patio windows. Pass through a set of doors and you’re in the main bar. The differences are that the Little Rock Garden is a bit smaller, the music performance area is in the interior bar, and the pool tables are downstairs in a separate room.

One reason I like going to the Little Rock Saucer is that I can try beers not available east of the Mississippi. The Fire Sale was Breckenridge Avalanche, an amber ale with a touch of caramel maltiness. I asked the bartender for a beer menu, and saw that it normally sold for $5.50 a pint. Nice to pick it up for only $3 on Fire Sale.

On the very slim chance I might get robbed on the walk down there, I left my debit card in the hotel room and brought only enough cash to pay for several beers and (if needed) a cab ride home. Since bartenders normally ask for a card to run a tab if they don’t know you, I expected to have to pay per beer as I went along. However, the bartender never asked me for a card. I found that odd.

A few minutes later, he came over and asked how long I was in town. I told him, then asked, “How did you know I’m not from here?”

“I remember seeing you in here before,” he said. Considering the last time I was in the Little Rock Saucer was 366 days before, that’s a pretty impressive memory.

I looked over the beer menu and decided to order local for my second beer. I went with a Diamond Bear Southern Blonde, a pilsner brewed right here in Little Rock.

Boulevard beers, brewed in Kansas City, are also among the beers available in Little Rock but not in Memphis. I chose a Boulevard Pilsner as the third beer that counted toward my plate.

As I drank, I read the menu to compare Little Rock prices to Memphis prices. Dos Equis Lager is $4 in Little Rock, 50 cents cheaper than in Memphis. WTF? I’d ask Kirk, the Memphis GM, about it, but I already know what his response would be: “Little Rock doesn’t have increased fruit costs due to a regular putting nine limes in every beer.”

I was sitting at a seat in front of one of the coolers, and I looked at the bottles it held. As much as I love the Little Rock Saucer, I have to call them out on a serious party foul.

I know the photo is blurry, but do you see it?

Look carefully at the second shelf. That’s a SMIRNOFF FREAKIN’ ICE sitting there, third from the right. A bar that prides itself on being the city’s premier beer bar sells that swill. And I didn’t check, but I assume it counts toward a plate. Unbelievable. Memphis would never put that in their coolers. I guess they do it for the benefit of girls who don’t like the taste of beer, but still, it’s just wrong. Ugh.

(And yes, there was a time many years ago when I used to drink Smirnoff Ice at the bar at Blues City. That was before I had any plates on the wall at the Saucer. I’m older and wiser. And besides, Blues City has since started carrying PBR in 16 ounce cans.)

I saw that there was a beer called Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat on the menu. I didn’t try it, but I wondered if that was Abita Turbo Dog re-packaged under a more accurate name.

With my 3 plate beers done (you don’t have to drink all the beers toward your plate at your home Saucer), I decided to play “Bartender’s Choice” for my next two. He recommended Kostritzer, a schwarzbier (black beer) from Bad Kostritz, Germany. It was pretty good. For my fifth beer I had Tallgrass Velvet Rooster, another bartender’s choice. I had a pretty good buzz by the time I finished it, not surprising since it’s 8.5% ABV.

While I drank the last two, I walked around and looked at the plates Little Rock UFO Club members had earned. Looks like Little Rock has more artistic flair than Memphis:

Another neat thing about Little Rock is the “stairway to nowhere” at the back of the bar.

By the time I finished the Velvet Rooster, the hour was getting late. The Saucer was set to close early, at midnight. I didn’t want to be “that guy” who tried to place an order 10 minutes after the posted closing time, so I asked for my check.

There was a cab waiting outside the Saucer, and I didn’t feel like dealing with the long walk and the bums, so I got a ride. As I entered the hotel lobby I saw this on the cover of the local news, arts and entertainment weekly:

Hell yeah! Bobby mf’n Petrino! Not long until we beat Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl. It’s time to CALL THOSE HOGS!!!

Two trees to avoid on the Main Street Mall

If you live in the Downtown core, you might pass these trees quite frequently as you walk down the Main Street Mall. You’d pass them on a walk to South Main, or to the Civil Rights Museum, or to the Orpheum.

Or, if you’re me, you pass them every day on the way to the Flying Saucer.

The trees are located on the left side of the mall (if you’re walking south). They are in front of the One One O’Six Lofts and Dream Berry Yogurt. So, why should you avoid these trees, especially around sunset?

Here’s why:

A flock of blackbirds roosts in these two trees every night. There are hundreds of them. They’re there to sleep, but they wake up throughout the night to do their business. Fortunately, if you forget they’re there, they’ll remind you. Around sunset there’s a chorus of tweets coming from the trees. Even in the middle of the night you’ll hear chirps as you walk by. Blackbirds apparently aren’t very deep sleepers.

So, do yourself a favor and give these trees a wide berth. They say that it’s good luck if a bird dropping lands on you, but you know what? I think I’ll rub a rabbit’s foot instead. These two trees are for the birds.

(What, you were expecting a mushy, sentimental Christmas post? You ought to know me better than that by now.)

Cheeseburger soup and Chef’s blue plate lunch special @ Rizzo’s Diner

One of the nice things about the place where I work is that we get Christmas Eve off as well as Christmas Day. Since Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday this year, I got Friday, December 23 as the effective holiday – a rare day Downtown during work week lunchtime. I knew I had to find something good to eat.

I wandered up to Court Square and The Barking Lot, hoping to find a food truck, but none were out. “Well, now what?” I thought. Then it occurred to me: “What about Rizzo’s Diner?” The diner on G.E. Patterson has been open two months, but I had not yet made a visit, which is a shame considering my friend and former neighbor Michael “Rizzo” Patrick is executive chef and operating partner. Since it was a nice day, I decided to skip the trolley and make the trek to South Main on foot.

My server Steven, also a friend and a current neighbor, showed me to my table and read off the specials. I decided to go with the Chef’s Blue Plate Special of the day. It was chorizo-stuffed cabbage, with rice and tomatoes. There were five side items available and I got to pick three of them: I went with the garlic mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, and squash casserole. (The two other choices were steamed snow peas and cheese grits.)

My food was out fairly quickly, under 10 minutes I would guess. So, this is a place you can go for lunch and expect to get back to the office fairly quickly. I was about to dig in, then I realized… I FORGOT to order the item on the menu that I’d most wanted to try! Folks have raved about Michael Patrick’s cheeseburger soup. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t started with it. I called Steven over and put in an order. The Chef kept my main course warm in the kitchen for me, and the soup was out in minutes.

The name pretty much says it all. It’s a bowl of soup that tastes like a cheeseburger. I detected a touch of Rotel, I believe. Quite tasty. I polished off my soup and then it was on to the main course:

Really good. I think the spinach was my favorite of the three vegetables, but it’s a hard call because all three were delicious. I liked dipping the garlic mashed potatoes in the sauce that covered the entree. The spiciness of the chorizo was a good contrast to the taste of the cabbage. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable lunch.

The Blue Plate Special changes from one day to the next, but if you “Like” the diner on Facebook you’ll be informed what’s on the menu. The meat-and-three is true to the diner concept, but once you taste it, you know this is no ordinary meat-and-three… rather, one prepared by the hand of an experienced chef. Rizzo’s is open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch, and Monday-Saturday for dinner and Sunday for brunch. I encourage everyone Downtown to get in there and eat some good food and support our friend Michael.

(Disclosure: When the check came, it appeared that the Blue Plate Special had been comped. That was a nice surprise that I wasn’t expecting. However, I want to stress that the special was worth every penny of its $10 menu price.)

The Blind Bear

Downtown’s new speakeasy, the Blind Bear, had a preview party for its Facebook fans last night. I’d been eagerly awaiting the opening of this bar for several months. I knew it would be a smashing success because it’s owned by three of Downtown’s best bartenders – Jamie and Jeannette, formerly from the Silly Goose, and Colin, formerly from Blue Fin, along with Jeannette’s dad as a silent partner.

The Facebook invite asked attendees to bring an ornament to hang on their tree, “and yes Paul it can be a PBR can on a hook.” So about 7:40, right before the party started, I stopped by the Silly Goose, ordered a PBR, drank it, and had them wash out the can. So if you go this weekend and see the can on the tree, yep, that’s mine.

Knowing it would get crowded, we got there right at 8 and I managed to grab the corner seat at the bar. Here are some pics I took.

Looking toward the entrance, from the corner seat at the bar.

Poker and blackjack tables are along the wall opposite the bar. I am going to love sitting at this table for Tuesday poker nights with Jamie. I asked about the start time – he said 8 PM.

Sandra: “I thought we were all dressing up” in Prohibition-era fashion. Apparently she was the only one in our group who got that memo.

The menu (click the photo for a larger image). Nothing on the menu is over $8. They hired Michael Bean away from the Goose to run the kitchen. Bean makes some good food. He can be a real pest at a poker table though.

Whitney and Sandra. It’s good to be hanging out at a bar where Whitney works again.

The entrance ramp leading up to the bar. There are lounge areas to the left and right, with a pool table to the right as well.

Less eating, more boobs seems to be the Nuh-Uh Girl’s thing lately.

Chicken fingers

High five!


Rusty Lemon and his buddy Josh

What’s Colin looking at?

The bar – that’s Jamie down at the far end. I’m pleased to report that they have PBR on tap, served in glass jars in keeping with the speakeasy theme.

Group photo

Sandra and Magyn

I just can’t say enough about what an incredible job Jamie, Jeannette and Colin have done with this space. Beautifully decorated, they kept it authentic with the Prohibition theme, and of course I’m always happy to walk in a bar and see a pool table and PBR on draft. When I walked in, I immediately got that “I’m comfortable here” feeling – the same feeling I got the first time I walked into Bardog, Brass Door, and Max’s Sports Bar, and the same feeling I get when I’m squeezing limes into my beer at the Saucer. The one unknown variable at this point is who will be the regular crowd – you can’t really tell that from a preview party. It will surely draw some of the crowd from the Goose and Blue Fin, since that’s where the owners previously worked.

Based on what I saw last night, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a bar I want to hang out at every day. Longtime readers of this blog remember that I used to have two every-day hangout spots, Sleep Out Louie’s and the Flying Saucer. Since Sleep Out’s closed in 2007, it’s been just the Saucer – with stops at other places too, of course, but the Saucer has been the only one I’ve been going to daily. Now there are two again – Saucer and Blind Bear.

The Blind Bear will be open 6 PM to 3 AM Monday through Saturday. That actually works out perfect for me, because I get off work at 5 and have to drive home from Horn Lake. It’s usually 6 before I can get out anyway. So, once the blasted holidays are over and I’m back to my normal routine, I think I’m going to make the Blind Bear my first stop on weekdays, then make my way to the Saucer at some point later in the evening. The one exception will probably be Monday, when Pint Nite at the Saucer followed by poker night at the Goose is too good a combination to be messed with.

On Sundays, their plan is open 3 PM to 3 AM, with “Hung Over Like a Bear” brunch from 3 to 6 PM. They’ll be open to the public 6 PM to 3 AM tonight (Christmas Eve) and tomorrow (Christmas).

Congratulations to all involved with the Blind Bear on a superb opening. I will see you soon.

Christmas candy @ The Peanut Shop

I asked my mother what she wanted for Christmas, and among other things she said, “Something like a box of candy from Walgreens would be nice.”

Walgreens? I can do better than that.

I just made a trip to The Peanut Shop, a little store on the Main Street Mall between Madison and Monroe. They have a huge selection of nuts, candy and popcorn, all freshly made. “How’s mother?” they asked. They remembered that I’d been in to buy Christmas candy for her in previous years.

“She’s fine,” I replied. “I’m here to buy some candy to take to her. She won’t open it until the 25th, so I need something that will stay fresh.”

“That’s not a problem,” they assured me. “We wrap all of our products tight so that they stay fresh until opened. We have holiday tins you can partition into 3, 4, or 5 ways, so you can buy her a selection of different candy and nuts.” I went with the 4-way divider and asked for chocolate cashews, chocolate stars, chocolate pecans, and butter toffee chocolate pecans. They weighed the candy, placed it in the tin, and expertly wrapped it. Here’s the finished product:

They gave me my choice of a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” card to include with the tin. I chose “Merry Christmas.” Then they rang it up. Only $23, not bad for freshly made candy in a holiday tin. “You tell mama we said hello,” they said as they handed me my change.

They are SUCH nice people and always take wonderful care of me. If you need to buy Christmas candy, please consider buying from the Peanut Shop instead of a retail chain. In addition to chocolate and nuts, they have a wide selection of wrapped candy that would make excellent stocking stuffers for children. I promise you won’t be disappointed if you go in.

Fri update: Pigeons, NYE cabs, openings and closings. Also: I won a hat!

New scientific evidence suggests that our feathered friends who share Downtown with us may be smarter than we think. This New York Times article cites a recent study, which concluded that pigeons are capable of understanding abstract mathematical concepts. The birds were trained that 2 is greater than 1, 3 is greater than 2, etc. But when presented with problems they hadn’t seen before – such as, which is greater, 8 or 6 – they came up with the correct answer. So the next time you’re dining al fresco on Beale and a pigeon poops in your BBQ nachos, realize you’ve been pooped on by genius.

Yellow Cab posted a note to Facebook about getting the fastest possible service for New Year’s Eve and the Liberty Bowl. They have a new text ordering service which is pretty cool. For people throwing house parties on New Year’s Eve, they have a service you can call to get safe rides home for your guests. View the note here. Suggestion: Pull the note up in your phone’s web browser, and bookmark it for easy reference on New Year’s Eve.

More holiday openings and closings: Majestic Grille will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They’ll be open Monday the 26th from 4 to 9. Bardog will open at 5 PM Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I won a hat last night!

This was one of the raffle prizes at the Flying Saucer’s Beerknurd Appreciation Party. There was also a buffet of cheese sticks, meatballs, egg rolls, fruits, veggies, and cheesecake bites, free to members of the Saucer’s UFO Club. A bonus – unannounced on the flyer promoting the event – was free beer! We were each treated to a glass of Wells Banana Bread. Thanks to the Saucer for a very nice gesture toward its club members. The party convinced our friend Katie Mac to become a UFO member, an excellent decision.

Plans for today: I’m off work, so I’m going to get my Christmas shopping wrapped up supporting a local Downtown business. (I can’t say which or it would give away the present.) Also going to take advantage of a rare opportunity to eat lunch Downtown on a weekday.

I’m going to a party at 8 where I have to bring an ornament to decorate a Christmas tree. Therefore, I’m going to hold off on day drinking until mid-afternoon, so I won’t be sloshed when I get there. Oddly enough, I have to stop by the Silly Goose (not the location of the party) to pick up the ornament. So I’m thinking my tentative plan will be something like this: Saucer at 3:00, Goose at 7:30, party at 8:00. Taking the camera and will have more to say about the location of tonight’s party in the days to come.

Thur update: North Korean leader’s diet, tacky sweater contest, holiday bar hours, legal moonshine at Bardog, A. SChwab and more

I bought a new Kindle book this week. It’s a book about North Korea – the history, the politics, the people. Interesting fact I learned while reading last night: There was a research institute to protect the health of Kim il-Sung, the “Great Leader” who passed away in 1994 and who was Kim Jong-il’s father. Among the findings of his researchers was this: In order to live a long life and maintain sexual stamina, they recommended Kim il-Sung eat a dog penis at least 7 centimeters in length every day.

Yep. Dog penis.

Want to earn some easy beer money? Friday night, December 23, the Flying Saucer is having a tacky sweater contest and will give away $100 in gift cards.

Insider tip: I don’t think the sweater contest will be very well attended, due to people traveling out of town and due to other events that will be happening Downtown that night. You might be able to show up in a pretty average-looking holiday sweater and walk out with a gift card. I don’t think competition will be near as fierce as the Majestic’s tacky sweater contest last Thursday.

The Saucer, by the way, will be open regular hours Saturday (until 2 AM; they usually close at 5 on Christmas Eve, but not this year). They will be closed all day Sunday.

Not only will Max’s Sports Bar be open on Christmas Eve, but they will be open five hours early, at 11:30 AM. There are a lot of good games on that day, and they invite everyone to come watch on their 10 TVs. They’ll be open at their normal time (4:30 PM) Christmas Day.

South of Beale has announced they will be open at 4 PM Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Bardog Tavern is now serving Popcorn’s XXX Tennessee White Whiskey at the upstairs bar. That’s legal moonshine.

A. Schwab, the “dry goods” store on Beale Street that has been there since 1876, is no longer owned by the Schwab family. The MBJ reports that ownership has been transferred to a new, unnamed group. If you have not been to this store, I cannot recommend highly enough that you go. The store is truly a one-of-a-kind Memphis treasure. Good place to find gifts for “Dirty Santa”/”White Elephant Santa” parties. Also a good place to find attire for next year’s Funny Hat Day, which is only 10 1/2 months away.

Office closes at 3 today, so I’ll get to enjoy the full length of happy hour! Flying Saucer UFO Club members, don’t forget that there will be a free Beerknurd Buffet for you at 6 PM. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. Also at 6, the Memphis-Georgetown game will be on ESPN2. Go Tigers and HELLO long weekend!