Wed update #2: Max’s/MLB opening day, FuzzyBrew review of River City Brewers Festival and preview of Memphis Brewfest, Sunset atop the Madison

Max’s Sports Bar has announced that it will open at noon tomorrow for MLB opening day. 10 TVs, all the games, big deck out back, PBR and some other beers on tap, and now they have liquor.

The Fuzzy Brew blog has two new posts up of interest to Downtowners. The first is a review of the River City Brewers Festival. If you’re really into beer, you’ll probably get more out of their post than out of the one I did. They are more beer-centric, whereas my post was more people and food-centric.

Secondly, they have a post about the upcoming Memphis Brewfest at AutoZone Park on Saturday, April 21 (unfortunately the same day as Hot Wing Fest, again). Couple of pre-festival events to happen at the Flying Saucer that week. There will be a Sports 56 WHBQ broadcast at the Saucer on Tuesday, April 17, with beer specials. Then on the day of the festival from 11 to 2, there will be a brewers/distributors brunch that is open to the public. It will have a buffet that includes breakfast tacos, shrimp & grits and plenty of fresh fruit. All you can eat buffet? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The Madison Hotel has announced the first two months’ schedule for Sunset Atop the Madison, their weekly Thursday night spring and summer rooftop parties. Here it is:

April 12: Elmo & the Shades
April 19: Memphis All-Stars
April 26: Joyce Cobb
May 3: Deering & Down
May 10: Marcela Pinilla
May 17: Brian ├ČBreeze├« Cayolle & Friends
May 24: The Billy Gibson Band
May 31: Reba Russell Band

Outta here, beautiful spring day, time for beer.

Wed update: Dropbox, Central BBQ/South Main, Love Train @ Brass Door tomorrow night, South Main/earthquakes, Saucer to open at 4 on Easter

One of the websites I’ve found most useful is Dropbox. It gives you 2 GB of space to store your files in “the cloud.” The service is completely free of charge. Once you save a file to your Dropbox, it’s then available on every device on which you have Dropbox installed – computers, tablets, smartphones. Some of the ways I’ve used Dropbox include:

  • Transferring pics I took with my iPhone to a computer for use in blog posts. Since I have a Mac I can use iCloud for this too, but Dropbox is more handy since it also works with Windows computers.
  • I uploaded photos of a BBQ Fest board meeting/food sampling to a Dropbox folder. I then shared the folder with our team’s sponsor, so he could download the photos and use them on his own site and social media accounts.
  • I have several social media ebooks that I use both at home for my own sites, and for work. Dropbox is the perfect place to store those.
  • I have several poker tutorials in PDF format. I can put those in Dropbox and then read them on whatever device I have handy at the time – my iPhone, my Kindle Fire, or my Android tablet.
  • I uploaded photos of Downtown’s worst panhandlers/scammers to a folder in Dropbox. That allows me to quickly pull up a photo on my iPhone to show police if I catch one of them doing “fake parking attendant” or similar scam.

You can use this link to sign up for Dropbox and get an extra 500 MB of free space, for a total of 2.5 GB. (I get an extra 500 MB too when you use my link to sign up.) Believe me, once you have Dropbox you will find uses for it.

A couple of weeks ago there was a mention of a “highly celebrated” BBQ restaurant coming to the South Main area. I mentioned that I’d heard rumors of this for over a year and it would be a big deal if/when it happens. Well, today the Daily News let the cat out of the bag: Central BBQ is coming to South Main. They’ve filed a permit to convert the building at 147 E. Butler from a commercial kitchen into a restaurant. The building sits cat-a-corner to the Civil Rights Museum on St. Martin Street at Butler. They hope to have the restaurant open in the next two months. Meanwhile, they plan on having their new tie-dyed food truck at the Memphis Farmers Market on Saturday.

Here’s an additional article on the new Central location from the MBJ. They say that one room will be a patio and will have garage doors like the Flying Saucer has.

What a great thing for South Main. Just think about it – a year ago the neighborhood didn’t have Rizzo’s Diner, it didn’t have the Double J, it didn’t have Grawemeyer’s, it didn’t have the Green Beetle. Max’s didn’t have liquor and the Monkey had karaoke night on Saturday. How things have improved! The only long-term issue I can see is that parking will become a problem as South Main becomes more of a destination from other parts of the city.

Here’s a video about the Love Train event happening tomorrow night at the Brass Door:

The Love Train leaves the station tomorrow night at 8:30, with Diamond Dave spinning ’70s tunes all night. Happy hour prices all night to anyone in ’70s attire.

The National Earthquake Conference will take place in Memphis April 10-13, in observance of the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid quakes. On Tuesday evening, April 10, there will be a discussion about retrofitting the buildings of South Main. Many of these buildings are 100 years old, and plans will be discussed to make them last another 100 years. More information can be found here. The discussion will take place from 7 to 9:30 PM in the Venetian Room at the Peabody. At 6:30 there will be a hosted reception and light refreshments. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Flying Saucer will open at 4 this Sunday, rather than its usual noon opening time because it’s Easter. Meh. Maybe I’ll stay in Sunday afternoon and get my taxes done. Definitely not doing Majestic that day because it will be super crowded for Easter brunch. Not sure if Bardog is doing regular hours Sunday, but if so that might be an option.

I had a good night last night. Started at the Saucer talking BBQ with one of the Squeal Street team members. About 7:45 I left for the Blind Bear, and my timing was impeccable, as the conversation would have turned into The Muppet Show if I’d stayed even a minute longer. I was much happier with my poker performance last night than I was with Monday’s. My aggression level was higher and I found the right spots to get chips in. I didn’t win, but I at least made the final table and survived to the 2000/4000 level.

Probably going to take a night off from poker this evening, but for those who want to play, Bardog is the place to be at 7:30. Poker Jon is the host.

Tue update #2: Farmers Market opens Sat, City Gardens, hot wing festival, Pinnacle bankruptcy/One Commerce Square, Bardog kayak giveaway

The first day of the Memphis Farmers Market is this Saturday, April 7. The theme is “Charming Farming.” There will be a visit by the Easter Bunny at 10. Music will be provided by Brenda McGuire (7-8), Michelle Bush (8-10:30), and Star & Micey (10:30-1). There will also be pet adoption by the Tunica Humane Society from 8 to close. The market is in the parking lot next to Central Station, on G.E. Patterson Avenue between Front and Main. Hours are 7 AM to 2 PM. More information about this week’s events at the market here.

Not far from the market space is Memphis City Gardens, where Downtowners have a space to have their own garden in an urban setting. They posted some photos of the building of the new garden beds, which took place March 31.

Watch Local Color on Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 PM on WKNO for more information on what will happen at the Southern Hot Wing Festival this year. The festival is moving from South Main to Jefferson Davis Park.

The Memphis Business Journal has an article on the Pinnacle Airlines bankruptcy and how it will affect One Commerce Square. Nothing is set in stone, but from what the article says, it appears the Downtown highrise will come through this okay.

Bardog Tavern is giving away a kayak. Drink a Yuengling to enter. Drawing is May 10.

That’s all for now. Time for beer then poker.

Tue update: Calipari article, Hard Rock benefit show, free ice cream, another Yazoo beer dinner, Flyer giving away Grizzlies tickets

Kentucky beat Kansas last night, and John Calipari finally got his national title. Dan Wolken of the Daily wrote a good article about Kentucky and about Cal. For better or worse, NCAA basketball is now a farm league for the NBA, and Calipari has figured out how to play the game better than anyone.

There will be a benefit concert on Friday, April 20 at the Hard Rock Cafe for Jerry Dunaway and his family. A friend described him as “a light-hearted and fun 30 year old” who has an inoperable brain tumor. This has led to the loss of a job and also the loss of his short-term memory. His insurance plan is maxed out. So, his friends have thrown together this benefit with Crushing Juliet, Deadfall Rd, Arvada, Castielle, and Artifas. View the Facebook event page here. After-party at Rehab Disco. If you can’t come to the event, but would like to donate to his cause, you can do so by depositing at the following bank:

Bank of Bartlett
Jo Ann M Dunaway
Rebecca L. Johnson
Jerry Dunaway Cancer Fund
Account 620065573

I saw on Twitter that the Ben & Jerry’s near Clark Tower will give away free ice cream from noon to 8 today. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Yesterday I blogged about a Yazoo beer dinner at the Flying Saucer on the 19th. Well, that isn’t the only bar Downtown doing a Yazoo dinner. Local will have one on Wednesday the 11th. The theme is “Homage to TV Dinners Past” featuring Kobe Salsburry Steak, Pork Belly Mac n Cheese, and other new plays on old favorites, paired with Yazoo beers. $35 plus tax and gratuity. More info about the dinner here.

The Flyer is giving away a couple of lower-bowl tickets to tonight’s Grizzlies game vs. the Golden State Warriors at the FedExForum. Click here to find out how to enter. Drawing is at 3 PM today.

I played poker at the Silly Goose last night, and am not happy with my performance. I apparently forgot everything I’ve learned the past three years and played like a complete donkey! I’ll try to redeem myself tonight at the Blind Bear at 8 for poker with Jamie. It’s the final week in their 12-week league. I believe I’d qualify for the final table (and the chance to win an iPad) even if I took a week off, but why not play and try to win $50 in Bear Bucks? I’ll pre-game at the Saucer at 6 for the last hour of their happy hour.

Mon update #2: Soft Shell Crab @ Majestic, Bird Watching, Beale Street Landing, Downtown Cleanup Day, Linden gets a new name, Grawemeyer’s, learn HTML and CSS

The Majestic Grille has a yummy appetizer on its menu tonight. They just got a shipment of Soft Shell Crab, which they are serving over a bad of mixed greens with lemon caper butter sauce and fried capers.

Baseball fans – tomorrow is Bird Watching at AutoZone Park from 11 AM to 2 PM.. Fans are invited to enjoy the afternoon at the ballpark while watching the Redbirds practice (weather permitting) as they prepare for Opening Day. Free hot dogs, nachos and soda will be provided. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

If you’re wondering what’s up with Beale Street Landing these days, Kerry has the info and some good photos.

Saturday, April 14 is Downtown Cleanup Day. You can show up to volunteer at three different sites around Downtown: The Huling trolley stop in South Main, the cobblestones at Union and the riverfront, or Uptown Park. 9 AM registration, 10 AM cleanup, 12 noon party.

On Wednesday, April 4, the public is invited to a noon celebration at Third and Linden. At that time the stretch of Linden from Wagner to Danny Thomas will be renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. The renamed part of Linden runs past Clayborn Temple where Dr. King gave his famous 1968 speech to Memphis sanitation workers.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blogger visited Grawemeyer’s, the new restaurant/bakery on South Main.

Now and then I get asked what’s the best way to learn HTML. I really haven’t had a good answer, other than “buy a book” or “view source of existing web pages.” Well, now there’s a better way. CodeAcademy now offers free courses on beginner HTML and CSS. Details here.

Plans for tonight: Going to start at Pint Nite at the Saucer, obviously, but not sure if I’ll stay there to watch the game. Also undecided whether I’ll do poker at the Goose at 7:30. Definitely too tired to play the 10:00 game this week.

Mon update: Railroad and Trolley Museum, Brass Door Bingo, DMC seeks branding for South Main, Yazoo beer dinner @ Saucer, modern speakeasy band @ Blind Bear

Amid all the photos of River City Brewers Fest that I posted yesterday, I completely forgot to mention the other festival I attended Saturday – Mudbugs in March! I had a box of crawfish there and they were superb. When I look like I just got done crying by the time I finish my crawfish, it’s a sign they had just the right amount of spice. Plus I got two pieces of corn on the cob, two taters, and two pieces of sausage in my box. A delicious late afternoon meal!

Downtown Memphis has a new museum! The Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum is now open in Central Station. They’re open 9-5 Friday and Saturday, noon-5 Sunday, and other days by special arrangement. Admission is $3, under 12 $1, under 3 free. Although they’re already open, they’ll have their grand opening celebration on National Train Day, Saturday, May 12.

I have more information on Brass Door Bingo, which starts tonight at 7 and will become a regular Monday night event at the Irish pub. There will be six games, playing for a full house (that’s fill the entire card, right?) The first four games will award $10 in Brass Door Dollars to the winner; the fifth, $20 in Brass Door Dollars; and the sixth, $40 in Brass Door Dollars. There will be $3 bottled beer all night. Diamond Dave will be calling the numbers.

The Downtown Memphis Commission is seeking a firm to guide the branding of the South Main District. The district now has 2000 residents and continues to grow, and the DMC wants to present cohesive messaging, identity, and marketing. More info here.

By the way, the DMC posted something rather interesting this morning about my street, Main Street. The first grocery store opened on Main (Piggly Wiggly), the first five and dime opened on Main (Kress), and rock’n’roll was played on the radio for the first time ever on Main (in the studio at the Chisca Hotel).

It’s time for another beer dinner!

Cellar man Ivan Chester will be the guest speaker at a Yazoo beer dinner to be held at the Flying Saucer Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 PM. 5 beers, 4 courses. Menu has not been set yet, but I was talking with Saucer GM Kirk Saturday and he said he was thinking about spicy chicken over a waffle. That sounds like it would pair really well with beer! Tickets are $25 if you’re a UFO member, $30 if not. Ivan Chester did the dessert pairing last winter, and was really good about talking to everyone who attended and answering questions. You can follow him on Twitter at @yazoocellarman.

The Blind Bear has hosted a variety of live music in the four months they’ve been open, but what better to play a speakeasy than a speakeasy band?

Tumbledown House will play the Bear Thursday at 8. They are a modern speakeasy band that is on tour, and they are stopping in to play a free show.

Attn Moody Ques teammates: It’s time to pay your dues! Treasurer Frank sent out an email about it this morning. After the 5th there will be a late fee, and if you pay after the 15th we can’t guarantee you a 3-day wrist tik or a team T-shirt. If there are still spots open on the 15th, people on the waiting list will be contacted.

That’s all I have time to post now. It’s a newsy Monday, so there will probably be a second post later today.

River City Brewers Festival 2012

For once the weather cooperated with River City Brewers Festival. It was a beautiful day – downright hot, actually. At one point I checked WeatherBug on my iPhone and got a temperature of 88 Downtown. They changed the glasses to 4-ounce sampling glasses, but I didn’t mind because the lines were never long and I got to sample more beers that way. I never stood in a line more than two deep.

One area where they really stepped it up this year was food. They had free samplings from many of River City Management’s restaurants, whose booths were interspersed among the beer booths around Handy Park.

One of my favorite food booths was Fillin’ Station Grille, a restaurant in Southaven where I eat lunch now and then during the work week. They were serving their cowboy fries, waffle fries topped with BBQ, nacho cheese, ranch, and jalapenos.

Cowboy fries

The Nuh-Uh Girl eating cowboy fries

If you’re a meat and potatoes kind of person, Mesquite Chop House had you covered.

Bad Shane, Gloria, Mike, and Fireball Joe

Pro tip for those attending Memphis area beer festivals: Find out if local brewers’ club Bluff City Brewers has a booth, and if so, go there first. Most of the time they have the best beer, and they bring limited quantities so you’ll want to try it before they run out.

The Nuh-Uh Girl, Chris, and Brian

The Nuh-Uh Girl sampling Mesquite Chop House’s food


Katie Mac, Jeni, and Justin

Gumbo from Rum Boogie Cafe

Between sessions at the Flying Saucer. Amy kicks ass.

See, I told you.

Moody and Jeni

Back for session 2. Bob (owner of the plate shown above) and Amy.

I didn’t find a favorite new beer at the festival, but I definitely found a favorite booth. Saranac brought about 10 different beers. I could have hung out here all day. I tried and like the chocolate lager, the vanilla stout, and the pumpkin ale.

Wings from King’s Palace

This was the biggest mistake I made at the festival: Sampling a fruit punch flavored drink from Colt 45.

Is there anything the Nuh-Uh Girl won’t eat?

Full album (about 75 pictures) here. What a great day. Thanks to River City for great beer and great food. Can’t wait for next year.