Fri update: Holiday market, Big Band Christmas, Diary of Anne Frank, Grace Askew @ CSF, Kudzu’s, Shaq Goodwin, Justin Fuente

There will be a special holiday market at the Memphis Farmers Market space tomorrow, Saturday, December 10. From 10 AM to 2 PM, 40 vendors will sell baked goods, produce and stocking stuffers. The holiday market will be in the pavilion on G.E. Patterson next door to Central Station.

Watoto de Afrika at 55 S. Main will have performances of “A Big Band Christmas” this weekend. Holiday songs will be played to big band sounds of the ’30s and ’40s, with dancing and singing reminiscent of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Sammy Davis Jr. and Lena Horne. Performances are 7 and 8 PM tonight, 2 and 4 PM Saturday, 2 and 4 PM Sunday.

There will be special screenings of The Diary of Anne Frank tomorrow at the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art at 12:15 and 2:15 PM.

Grace Askew and the Black Market Goods play the Center for Southern Folklore tomorrow night at 8. $10 cover, with half the proceeds going to benefit the Center.

The Memphis Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has a good post about what’s new at Kudzu’s, the friendly neighborhood bar on Monroe between Danny Thomas and Marshall. Although under new ownership, the bar will retain much of the same vibe. However, some improvements have been made, including free Wi-Fi and an Internet jukebox. New menu items have been introduced, including a pork tenderloin sandwich called The Hoosier. Beer selection has been updated with Ghost River and other craft beers. They’re retaining the popular Thursday night Pickin’ Party, and they’re bringing back trivia (Kudzu’s was among the first in the city to have it). They’re also adding a Monday night blues jam.

Future Memphis Tiger basketball player Shaq Goodwin will play in Memphis this weekend. He will be at Memphis University School on Saturday for the fourth annual Memphis vs. Atlanta Roundball Classic. Goodwin is part of Coach Pastner’s 2012 recruiting class.

If you want to know more about new Tigers football coach Justin Fuente, check out this podcast of yesterday’s interview on the Chris Vernon Show. Verno knows how to bring the personal side of people out in interviews. We learned that Fuente is a fan of the TV show Pawn Stars and that he’s an NBA fan. “We’ve got to get him some Grizzlies swag!” said Verno. Fuente will soon be wearing a Tony Allen “All Heart, Grit, Grind” hoodie.

Home from work, got the post done, time for a beer. No definite plans for tonight, so I’ll start at the usual place and then use text and social media to figure out where to go.

Lazy Magnolia beer and dessert pairing @ Flying Saucer

Last night I attended the Lazy Magnolia beer and dessert pairing at the Flying Saucer. Five desserts were paired with five different Lazy Magnolia beers. This is the first time they’ve attempted a dessert pairing, but the Saucer’s beer dinners have usually been excellent, so I had no problem buying a ticket.

First Course: Bourbon balls and Southern Gold, Lazy Magnolia’s golden honey ale

Second Course: Apple cobbler paired with Ginger Jack, the brewery’s seasonal beer

Third Course: Pumpkin cheesecake and Lazy Magnolia’s pale ale (didn’t catch the name of this one).

Last night’s event was the first time my friends Bill and Gary had ever attended a beer/food pairing at the Saucer. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Fourth Course: Pecan tarts and Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Ale

Fifth Course: Homemade ice cream and Jefferson Stout

All five desserts were made from scratch by Saucer manager Mike, and even without the beers they’d be worth the $20 I paid for my ticket. I had no idea Mike could cook!

Last time the Saucer did a pairing – the Abita beer dinner back in the summer – I only gave it four out of five stars because the beer rep didn’t talk about the beers enough, and because all the beers were available locally. Neither was an issue this time. Lazy Mag rep Will talked about all the beers, both in presentation format and talking to each of us individually. One interesting thing I learned is that they use an old Popeye’s biscuit maker to roast pecans for their flagship Southern Pecan ale. As for the beers, only Southern Pecan is commonly available in Memphis, although Jefferson Stout has been on tap at the Saucer before and may reappear.

The brewery is increasing its production and plans to expand its product line into new states next year. People asked how they are able to brew beer in Mississippi (Kiln, MS), when the state has the most restrictive beer laws in the country. They said there’s a misconception that Mississippi cannot have licensed breweries; this is not true, although homebrewing is still illegal there. Their beers have to be 6% ABV or less. They do tours of the brewery but are not allowed to do tastings as part of the tours. They hope to change this when new bills go before the Mississippi state legislature next year.

Back to the tasting itself – I also need to mention that servers Katie and Kyla did a great job taking care of us. I found absolutely nothing to complain about at this dinner. 5 stars out of 5, easily.

Unfortunately the dessert pairing was not as well attended as they had hoped. Their beer dinners usually sell out, but I guess people were skeptical about pairing beer with desserts (or were attending the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show down the street). They only had 12-14 in atttendance, which is a shame because Mike cooked for 40.

(Note to Saucer management: Expect an email from the Nuh-Uh Girl saying “I heard the dessert pairing went well. Any leftovers? :-)” once she reads this.)

I look forward to the next beer/food pairing at the Saucer, and if they do another dessert pairing I hope this post convinces people to give it a try. Big thumbs up on an outstanding event.

As for the news: I have enough to do a “Friday update” post, but I need to use the remainder of my lunch break for a different activity – eating lunch! There will be a post up tonight.

Pet Parade tomorrow; Barking Lot to open

Earlier this fall I blogged that there wouldn’t be a Downtown holiday parade this year. Well, it turns out there will be… but it will be a four-legged parade. The first annual Downtown “Howliday” Parade will march up the Main Street Mall at 3 PM tomorrow, December 10.

All people and pets are invited to come be part of the parade. If you want to participate, line up outside the One Commerce Square building, at Main and Monroe, a little before 3. At 3 PM there will be a march to Court Square for an afternoon of games, caroling, pet photos and other activities. People and pets are encouraged to dress in festive holiday attire. There is no registration fee to be part of the parade.

Also that afternoon, a couple of blocks up the street from the parade, the Barking Lot will open at Main and Jefferson. This used to be a vacant, blighted lot, but it has been renovated into a dog walking park and a landing space for food trucks. Whether or not you have a pet, stop by on Saturday and check it out.

Thur update: New head coach, Billboard honor for Worley, Beetle promo, blast from the past, goodbye to Shane and more

Justin Fuente, co-offensive coordinator at TCU, will be named the new head coach of the Memphis Tigers today. I hadn’t previously heard of him, but here’s a review of the hire on Coaches by the Numbers. They gave the hire an A-, not bad. Welcome Coach Fuente!

Lauren Lee of Fox 13 tweeted (@laurenleefox13) about the hiring process. At one point Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was the frontrunner for the job, but according to Lee, talks with his agent Jimmy Sexton got contentious. U of M search committee member Brad Martin told Sexton, “You’re not dealing with R.C. anymore.” LOVE IT!!! Seriously, I hope this is the beginning of a new and exciting era for Tiger football.

Congratulations to Memphis Music Foundation’s Pat Mitchell Worley on being nominated as one of Billboard’s Women in Music. Pat is the director of development and communications at the Foundation, and in the past has worked for the Blues Foundation, MPACT Memphis, and as a freelance music journalist. When I was on MPACT’s board I got to work with her and she is a super lady. More on her nomination here.

The Green Beetle has a new promotion going on: Buy a Miller Lite and get a special Memphis Tigers pint glass.

Memphis Magazine’s Vance Lauderdale has an interesting article about the Gerber department store on Main, which stood in the space now occupied by Springhill Suites. The store opened in 1880 and saw the heyday of Downtown Memphis shopping, even adding the city’s first escalators in 1949.

Today Memphis has to say goodbye to one of the classiest guys in the NBA, Shane Battier. He’s been signed by the Miami Heat. Thanks for all you did in your second run here Shane, and I hope there’s a championship ring in your future.

Stuff going on tonight: Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the FedExForum, and the beer/dessert pairing at the Saucer (see last night’s drunk post for the listing of desserts). Tickets still available for both.

Paul’s Drunkass Post: Saucer dessert menu, Blind Bear social media, Christine’s sale, Metal Museum

Just a quick reminder if you didn’t see my last post… freezing fog is possible in the morning and that is a serious cause of wrecks. Be extremely careful. Go in late if you can, work from home if you can. Turn on the weather on TV before deciding your commute.

OK serious announcement over. This is Paul’s Drunkass Post. This is a traditional lunchtime or after-work “news update” post except not at either of those times. And drunk. This post is brought to you, by the way, by the USS Arizona, not a Naval ship but the dog of the day at Bardog. It’s got black beans and rice and pico atop it. And some other shit I think.

Let’s go to the news before I finish this dog and pass the fuck out. I found out the menu for the Saucer’s beer and dessert pairing. Jefferson stout ice cream, pecan tart, apple cobbler, Bourbon balls, pecan cheesecake + 5 beers. Well, +4 beers, because I assume the Jefferson Stout counts as one of the five.  $20/$25 non UFO members. Call 901-523-8536 for a ticket. Still a few left. It’s at 8 PM Thursday, December 8. That’s today by the time most everyone reads this.

The Blind Bear, the new speakeasy Downtown in the former Bar None space, is now on Twitter at @blindbear901. Join Jamie, Jeannette and Colin on Twitter. They also have a Facebook page and if you “Like” it you’ll get an invite to a special grand preview.

What the crap else is going on… well, if you’re a female you’re in luck. Christine by Shelton Clothiers is shutting down, as previously mentioned, but they ordered some new shit and didn’t have time to cancel it. So tomorrow night – tonight I guess, since I’m posting after midnight, Dec 8 – they’re having an extra 10% off their 50% off sale. That’s 60% for those of you bad at math. (Or would it be 55%? Meh, who cares.) They’ll have snacks too and will be open til 7:30. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up and eat the whole damn store.

Men – drop your woman off at Christine’s and come hang out at Shelton down the street, also open til 7:30. Beer.

Metal Museum will have an open house 12-5 this Sunday the 12th. Interactive activities 2-5. No charge to get in, 10% gift shop discount, 20% for members.

I need to do this more often. Time for bed. If they do the USS Arizona as the Dog of the Day again tomorrow you should get it.

Wed update: Tony Allen hoodie, Kooky Four Cheese Burger, Envision open house, CA layoffs, freezing fog, Flipboard fail

I’ll start this lunchtime blog post with a gift suggestion for the Grizzlies fan in your life: A Tony Allen “All Heart, Grit, Grind” hoodie. The Chris Vernon Show started selling this logo as a T-shirt last spring, and it was a massive success. Now he has the logo on a limited amount of hoodies. Go here to see the hoodie and to order.

Seth who writes the Best Memphis Burger blog stopped by Kooky Canuck recently and gave their Four Cheese Burger a try. He really liked it and gave it 4.5 stars out of 5, although he said it’s “more like a 4.8999.” Read the review here. I agree about the Four Cheese Burger. Usually I’ll add either mushrooms or bacon as a topping, depending on my mood.

Envision Health Club and Spa, the health club on the top floor of the Cadre Building at Second and Monroe, has their second annual holiday open house tomorrow from 5 to 8. Food and drink, music by the Allied Standard. Given that they’re a health club, they usually have some healthy (and tasty) treats. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The Memphis Newspaper Guild, the union to which many Commercial Appeal employees belong, has learned that nine CA employees will be laid off. Actually, the number may be more than nine, because they were not notified about non-guild employees. More info about the layoffs on Mediaverse. The layoffs will occur 5 days before Christmas. Way to stay classy, CA. If I were a CA employee (even one who survived the layoffs) I’d get my resume current and put feelers out about other job opportunities in my field. Not a real stable place to work IMO. The new paywall may destabilize things further.

Forecast for tonight is upper 20s with patchy freezing fog late. That means everyone needs to be extremely careful driving to work in the morning. Freezing fog is as dangerous as freezing rain – actually more so because people don’t see any precip falling and don’t think to slow down. I remember when I worked in Arkansas, and I took the Riverside-I-40 on-ramp at 50 as normal (sign suggests to slow to 25) and my car fish-tailed all over the place and I missed the concrete wall by less than two feet. I later found out it was freezing fog. Freezing fog also recently caused a 50-car pileup near Nashville.

Flipboard for the iPhone was released this morning. I’d heard great things about it from iPad owners, who told me it was a way to keep track of news and social media updates in a visually appealing format. I downloaded the app, but couldn’t create a custom Flipboard – nor could thousands of others. The increased traffic crashed their servers. Scalability fail! I hope they get it working soon, because I am eager to play with the app.

All right, lunchtime. Will be out somewhere tonight, not sure where.

Mayor, Beale merchants want 380 Beale shut down for good

Mayor Wharton says he’d like to see 380 Beale, currently the home of Club Crave and formerly the home of the Plush Club, shut down for good. The club is at the northeast corner of Beale and Fourth, just outside the Beale Entertainment District. There has been a pattern of shootings and stabbings in and around the club dating back to the mid-1990s. Both mayor and nearby merchants think the club may be “cursed” and that no business that operates there can escape the pattern of violence. ABC 24 has more here.

I have to agree. When Plush was shut down, the plan was to make it a family-style Jamaican restaurant. That never happened (or if it did, it happened so briefly that many people never even knew the restaurant was open). Within months it was back to thugs and guns. I think 380 Beale would make a beautiful parking lot, and I applaud our mayor for taking what is surely a controversial stance in regard to this building.

Second Tue update: Peabody/Lansky giveaway, tourism marketing jobs, Flying Saucer beer/dessert pairing, chance of snow tonight

The Peabody and its four Lansky stores are running a contest and there are lots of prizes to win. To enter, you have to go here between now and December 16 at 2 PM. You have to do four things:

  • “Like” the Peabody Ducks on Facebook
  • “Like” Lansky 126 on Facebook
  • Give your first and last name
  • Give your email address

Prizes include a one-night stay in a Peabody Suite (on a night between December 17 and 29), a pair of TOMS shoes from Lansky 126, a Peabody Duck tie and cufflinks from Lansky at the Peabody, a Vera Bradley tote from Lansky Lucky Duck, and Dinstuhl’s candies from Lansky’s Newsstand.

If you go to the Peabody, don’t forget about their 25% off Foursquare checkin special at Capriccio Grill (excludes alcohol, tax and tip, $25 maxmium savings). They tell me that if it goes well, they’ll consider doing other specials – perhaps a mayor’s special at the restaurant, or a checkin special at Corner Bar.

I heard about a couple of Downtown tourism marketing jobs that I wanted to pass on. The first is a Graphic Designer position with the Great American Steamboat Company. This is the company that will bring overnight riverboat cruises back to Memphis, docking at the soon-to-be-finished Beale Street Landing. They recently acquired office space in the Downtown core. They’re looking for someone with web design and online marketing skills, in addition to graphic design.

There’s also an online content and PR specialist position open with a travel/tourism firm. If you want to get into tourism marketing, including social media and mobile apps, this sounds like a good job for which to apply.

The Fuzzy Brew blog has a good article on the Flying Saucer’s beer and dessert pairing Thursday night. Five beers, each paired with a dessert, and speaker Will Mestayer from Lazy Magnolia brewery.

Another chance of snow in the forecast tonight.’s blog has the details. Just a dusting in the early AM, with temperature likely to stay 33 or higher. Dammit snow if you’re not going to fall in amounts/temperatures that will close office buildings, don’t bother!

On my way to the Saucer for a beer. (Edit: Oops, I posted we have a home game vs. Miami. It’s actually AT Miami.)

Tue update: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, National Brownie Day at Kooky Canuck, get your photo taken at AutoZone Park, Little Tea Shop, Brass Door

Two days until the Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs at the FedExForum. This musical spectacle appeals to people of all generations, and is a great place to take a date or to take the family. Get tickets here. I did a longer post about TSO a couple of months back, but if I had to describe it in one sentence, how about “sort of a holiday rock opera with amazing light show.” It’s really a one-of-a-kind spectacle that will get you in the holiday spirit. Go see it.

Insider tip for those coming to the show, and for everyone else too: Kooky Canuck would be a good place to stop before or afterward. They will be celebrating National Brownie Day all day Thursday with three special deep dish brownies cooked in skillets. You can choose from Triple Fudge, Peanut Butter Swirl, or Mint Brownie.

Looking for a unique backdrop for a holiday pic with the family? AutoZone Park is offering its facility for photos this Saturday. Families can have their photo taken by a professional photographer between 1 and 4 PM, and photos will be delivered via email. Families will also have the opportunity for their name to be put on the park’s marquee sign. Call 901.722.0298 or e-mail to schedule a family photo for Saturday.

(Geez, that’s three family-friendly items in a row. What is this blog turning into? Maybe we need to start Tube Top Month six months early.)

The Little Tea Shop, which has been closed for a month, is reopening. Details here on the Memphis Daily News blog.

The Brass Door unveils its new menu today. New items include Shepherd’s Pie, Pimento Macaroni and Cheese Fritters, and Smoked Salmon on Boxty.

So, it looks like San Diego State will be invited to the Big East. You know, because nothing says “East” like San Diego. Meanwhile, Memphis will still be on the outside looking in. Thanks a lot, R.C.!

Sorry for no meaningful new content on the blog since Saturday… haven’t been feeling well and have spent a lot of time in bed reading books on the Kindle Fire. If you’re a pro wrestling fan, there’s a biography of Bruiser Brody that is really, really good. I’m about two-thirds of the way through it now.

Reminds me, I mentioned the TuneIn Radio app that I installed on my Kindle Fire that lets me listen to radio stations all over the world. If you don’t have a mobile device, you can listen on the TuneIn website. I told a friend who just got back from an Australia trip about this, and he was excited to be able to listen to one of his Brisbane radio stations on the Web.

So, I figured out what I’m going to do with my old iPhone 3G, which has sat on my coffee table for the past three weeks since my iPhone 4S arrived. I’m going to give the old phone to a teacher who still has a non-smartphone flip model. Ive been told the 3G will still fetch money on eBay, but I’m too lazy to list and sell the thing. And besides, it’s a good way to support our teachers who don’t get all the appreciation they deserve. Normally I wouldn’t waste blog space on this, but maybe it will inspire others to do nice things for teachers, and besides, she asked, “Are you going to put this on your blog, Paul?”

All right, time to eat some crap at Quizno’s and then spend a fun-filled afternoon with Microsoft Access. I’ll be out somewhere tonight, no idea where.

Downtowner/Not a Downtowner

Yesterday I was standing at the bar, and a woman came up and ordered two glasses of orange juice. “Do you want anything with them?” asked the bartender.

“No, just the orange juice,” the woman said.

“If she’s a Downtowner,” I smiled and thought, “she’s concealing a flask.”