Sat update: Titans game, South Main blight, Aldo’s Twitter trivia, Best Memphis Burger Fest news, Fireball, things going on today

If you’re a Tennessee Titans fan, bad news for you: Tomorrow’s game will not be shown on local TV. The local FOX affiliate has chosen to show the Dallas-Tampa Bay game rather than Detroit vs. Titans. That means you’ll need to find a TV hooked up to NFL Sunday Ticket to watch. If you’re Downtown, the Beale Street Tap Room is the place to go in the core, and Max’s Sports Bar has it in the South Main district. Game starts at 12 noon Central time.

The coolest blight in the city is headed to court. If you’ve walked down South Main, you may have noticed a mural next to 481 S. Main, near the Butler Station trolley stop. Behind the mural is an overgrown garden. The garden is a very neat place, and I see kids crawling in there all the time to have their picture taken. However, the owner has failed to take care of the garden, which presents problems. There could be rodents, snakes, as well as homeless who sleep in there. The owner is being taken to court, to try to convince him to take care of the garden while still preserving as much of its character as possible.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies is starting a Trivia Challenge on Twitter. Every Monday-Friday at 4 PM they will post a trivia question about pizza to their @AldosPizzaPie account. The first three guests to show the bartender that you follow the pizzeria on Twitter, and respond with the correct answer, will receive a free slice.

Best Memphis Burger Fest news: Ciao Bella has signed up to be a participating team. Also, the festival is now kid-friendly. They’ve added a sidewalk chalk contest for the kids. Best chalk art drawings of burgers will win prizes.

The Fireball folks are going to be out Downtown tonight. Request to join the group “FIREBALL WHISKY Memphis” on Facebook to find out where they’ll be. You have to be approved by an administrator because the group is 21 and up only, but the approval process is quick. I hear they got a lot of Fireball-branded goodies in the mail this week and will be handing them out.

I’ve already mentioned these, but just a quick reminder: Dragon Boat Races on the river today, 10 to 3; Ryne Hancock autographing his book Say Goodnight, Cassie about the 2011 LSU football season at Center for Southern Folklore, 3:30 to 5:30 PM.

There are really no college games I’m interested in today, so I’m going to take a day off from Saturday college football watching at Max’s Sports Bar. Instead, I’ll revert to my old schedule and hit Panda Manda’s bar at Bardog Tavern at noon. If I go to Max’s it will probably be at 6 to watch the Rutgers-Arkansas game.

Fri update: Brass Door beer bust today, one-man band festival, watch party for World Series game 2, Riverside closed tonight

I have more info about the beer bust that will happen at the Brass Door today. It will start at 4 PM and it costs $10 to take part in the beer bust. Beers will be Killian’s, Heineken, Bud Light, and yummy, delicious PBR!!!!! There will also be $3 shots of Spice Box, $4 shots of Fireball, $4 Georgia Whiskey (bourbon, peach, ginger ale), and $4 nutty espresso (hazelnut, triple shot vodka, soda).

Cool event at the New Daisy tomorrow night – a one-man band festival. Memphis legend Johnny Lowebow will be among the performers. Kerry’s blog has details on the festival and other things happening in Memphis this weekend.

AutoZone Park will have a watch party for Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday, August 25. Admission will be free to the public, and you can watch indoors on the club level or outdoors on the park’s new HD video screen. There will be an all-you-can-eat buffet ($7 if purchased in advance, $10 at the door) with Rendezvous BBQ, King Cotton hot dogs, Turner Dairy ice cream, and Coca-Cola soft drinks. All you can eat? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. Cash bar selling Budweiser and Barefoot Wine. Season ticket holders who renew their seats for 2013 will receive one buffet wristband and drink ticket per season ticket renewed. Self-guided tours of the dugout and clubhouse, silent auction, kids’ activities. Buffet tickets can be purchased over the phone at (901)722-0295.

Riverside Drive will be closed tonight from Jefferson to Georgia for the St. Jude 24-hour bike ride. If you’re coming Downtown for the Orpheum show or any other event, plan an alternate route.

Fun time at the Double J loft bar last night… I pushed the sleep schedule a little and stayed out until 1. No definite plans tonight, but I’m sure spontaneous fun will pop up somewhere. It always does Downtown.

(Edit: just realized I had a second Thursday update and forgot to publish it yesterday evening. Scroll down and you’ll see it.)

Thur update 2: Aldo’s happy hour (attn wine lovers), car charging stations, Redbirds’ Weiss wins award, Park(ing) Day, Flying Saucer Oktoberfest celebration with beer and appetizer specials

(Edit Friday morning: Argh, forgot to hit Publish)

If you’re a wine lover, Aldo’s Pizza Pies has a new happy hour special you’ll enjoy. Wines by the glass are $4 at 4:00, going up to $5 at 5:00, and $6 at 6:00. Even Meomi Pinot Noir is included in the special (I guess that’s an expensive wine?) If you prefer beers, drafts are $1 off during happy hour.

Twelve electric car charging stations have been installed in six parking garages Downtown. Here are the locations:

The Justice Center Garage (245 Washington Avenue)
Front Street Garage (85 North Front, between Adams and Jefferson)
Riverfront Garage (Front Street at Monroe)
Peabody Place Office Tower Garage (110 Peabody Place between Main and Second)
Gayoso Parking Garage (Gayoso between Main and Second ).
250 Peabody Place Garage (250 Peabody Place between Third and Fourth)

You pay $2 an hour for the charging, unless you’re a Blink member in which case you pay $1 to $1.50 an hour. You also have to pay the fees for the garage you park in. Good to see this has arrived in Downtown Memphis. Kermit says it’s not easy being green, but with these stations it will get a bit easier.

Congrats to Ben Weiss, the GM of the Redbirds. The other GMs voted him the Pacific Coast League Executive of the Year. With Weiss at the helm, ticket sales have increased two years in a row. The stadium has also seen more premium events and giveaways, including two visits by the Cardinals’ World Series trophy as well as a giveaway of Elvis bobbleheads. Weiss oversaw the installation of the largest video board in the minors, and season ticket holders have been treated like royalty since he started here. Congrats to him on a well-deserved award.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is Park(ing) Day. Go down to the Main/Peabody Place area and enjoy 16 miniature urban parks. 11 AM-6 PM.

The Flying Saucer’s Oktoberfest celebration starts today and continues through October 5. All Oktoberfest beers, drafts and bottles, will be only $3. If you’re working on a plate this is a good chance to knock a lot of beers out for cheap. The Saucer will also have Bavarian appetizer specials. What specials exactly? Don’t know, but I’m heading down there to find out, because there’s no sacrifice I won’t make for my readers. Happy Thursday evening and I’ll be back with more news tomorrow.

Thur update: RiverArtsFest needs volunteers, cooking classes, Aldo’s/Twitter, Frank/Big Brother, Chili’s/St. Jude

RiverArtsFest, Memphis’ premier arts festival, will be held on South Main October 26-28. The festival needs volunteers to assist with a number of duties, including artists’ market ambassadors, logistical support, artist hospitality, beer and wine sales, merchandise sales and cashiering, set up/teardown, assistance with entertainment, and traffic control. If you’re interested in help making this arts festival a success, go here to sign up as a volunteer.

Urban Workspace, the new co-working space at 6 West G.E. Patterson, plans to offer cooking classes to the public this fall. Among the teachers will be well-known Downtown chefs such as Michael Patrick (Rizzo’s Diner) and Ryan Spruhan (Chez Philippe). Classes will be a maximum of 8 students, to allow for a lot of personal interaction with the chefs, and will be held on the evenings or weekends. Fee will be $49 per class. On October 4 there will be a reception to introduce the classes. At the reception you will be able to meet the chefs and sample food. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. I suspect she will, because I learned about the classes from this Memphis Flyer article that she posted to Facebook.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies is on Twitter now. Follow them at @AldosPizzaPie to keep informed of daily pizza specials and other happenings at the pizzeria.

Congratulations to Frank Eudy, son of local pro wrestler Sid Vicious/Sycho Sid. Last night was the finale of Big Brother. Frank didn’t win the grand prize, but he won the $25,000 America’s Choice prize when fans voted him “favorite houseguest.” Frank’s parents have been regular guests on MemphiSport Live on AM 560/FM 87.7 11 AM-1PM Saturdays this summer. Wonder if they’ll get Frank on the show for an interview now that the season has concluded?

By the way, MemphiSport co-host Kevin Cerrito hosts sports trivia tonight at the Green Beetle. 8 PM start time.

Normally I don’t recommend that my readers head to the ‘burbs to eat at chain restaurants, but Monday is the exception. On Monday, September 24, Chili’s will donate 100% of the day’s profits to St. Jude.

All right, off for a quick lunch. Will probably take a week off from poker at Max’s Sports Bar tonight and hang out closer to home.

Wed update 2: Aldo’s to start Monday Pint Nite and will have RedZone, book signing (attn LSU and SEC fans), Grizzlies giveaways

Aldo’s Pizza Pies is starting a new Pint Nite. Starting next Monday, all the drafts on their 30-tap wall will be only $3. Hmmm interesting. I knew if they did a pint night they wouldn’t do it on Tuesday where they’d be competing with Bardog. They’ll be in direct competition with that place around the corner though. I like it – nice to have two options nearby for $3 beer on Mondays.

Also, if you’re a football fan, Aldo’s will have NFL Redzone on all its Comcast TVs. I watched Redzone for the first time last Sunday, and what they say is true. You don’t miss anything.

Local sports writer Ryne Hancock will have his first book signing for his new book, Say Goodnight, Cassie: The Story of the 2011 LSU Tigers Downtown this Saturday. The signing will be at 3:30 PM at the Center for Southern Folklore. The book covers the 2011 LSU season through the eyes of the fans and people who covered the team, beginning with the season opener in Arlington through the rematch with Alabama in the BCS national title game. For more details about the book and how it got its name, visit this page. Signing will be at the Folklore Store, with an entrance on Main by the trolley stop. has the full list of 2012-13 Grizzlies giveaways at the games at FedExForum. Highlights include a SuperGrizz cape, Grizzlies Christmas wrapping paper, backpacks, and several T-shirts.

All right… time to go drink some beer and inform the managers at my favorite bar that they have competition on Mondays. I’ll be at Blind Bear at 8 for trivia.

Wed update: $2 drafts at Bardog today, Bon Ton menus, gymnastics event, Disney on Ice, Unveil South Main, things happening tonight

Bardog Tavern celebrated its 4th birthday last month with an alley party. Today, however, is the bar’s actual birthday, and they’re celebrating with $2 drafts all day. They’ve also got the roasted poblano chicken chowder back as a special, and let me tell you, that is one delicious soup.

Bon Ton Cafe is now open for business. They posted their menus to Facebook.

Sunday I was eating brunch with friends at Texas de Brazil, and we were discussing events that are upcoming Downtown. Our friend Moody said she was looking for someone to go with her to a gymnastics tour at the FedExForum on October 20.

“Gymnastics?” I replied. “ANY ROMANIANS????????”

Nope, no Romanians. It’s the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, which will feature medalists from the men’s and women’s U.S. 2012 Olympic teams as well as champions from earlier events. Since there are no Romanians, I won’t be going, but if you’re into gymnastics, this is a chance to see some of the best in the world in person.

If Catalina Ponor from the Romanian team goes on tour, then I will buy a ticket. If she’s not enough of a draw to fill the FedExForum, I suggest my bedroom as an alternate venue.

In other FedExForum news, Disney on Ice is this weekend – a Friday night show, then two shows Saturday and Sunday. UGH Downtown is going to be crawling with kids. I will probably spend more time than usual at 21-and-up bars this weekend. Parents, if you’re looking for a restaurant to take your kids before or after the show, Huey’s, Flying Fish, and Kooky Canuck are good kid-friendly places.

20 artists will be chosen to display their work in 20 South Main venues November 30-December 19 for the Unveil South Main event. Artists will be able to exhibit 8-10 pieces of their work. They will be required to donate one piece to be used in marketing the event. On November 30 judges will visit the exhibits and will award prizes of $1000, $750, and $500. Visit the website if you are interested in entering your work.

Bingo at Brass Door is canceled tonight because Diamond Dave will be out of town.

DJ Superman will perform at Bleu tonight at 7 PM, no cover.

Don’t forget that the new poker night at Double J starts tonight at 8:30. Muruako will be your host and tournament director. He’s done a really good job at the Silly Goose the past two Mondays. Check it out if you’re in the South Main area and feel like playing a little Texas hold’em. His games usually last around two hours, although it varies depending on the number of people who show up. Game is played tournament style just like the WSOP Main Event, with blinds going up every 15 minutes.

I’ll have to miss Muruako’s debut at the Double J, though, because I’m pretty much committed to my trivia team at the Blind Bear. Trivia starts at 8 and is called by Charles. I’ll pre-game at the Saucer as usual and knock out a few more beers toward my plate. Up to 113 and counting toward plate 7. The beer boot glass goes on sale at 7, so it should be a busy night there.

Bon Ton Cafe to reopen tomorrow

The Daily News has reported that the Bon Ton Cafe will re-open tomorrow at 7 AM. It will serve breakfast and lunch, with dinner to be added later. The cafe on Monroe between Second and Third has been closed since mid-2008 when its owner unexpectedly passed away.

Tue update: Grizzlies Downtown block party, open practice, Oktoberfest beer boot, CY Beer Fest, National Cheeseburger Day, Internet Explorer vulnerability

The Memphis Grizzlies are doing a series of neighborhood block parties prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. Downtown’s block party is tonight. It will be at Central Station (S. Main at G.E. Patterson) from 5 to 7. You’ll get to meet shooting guard Quincy Pondexter, and mascot Grizz and the Grizz Girls will be there as well. There will be Kids Zone activities, merchandise giveaways, and free pizza and Pepsi. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

In other Grizzlies news, the team has announced that there will be an open practice Saturday, October 13 at 1 PM in the FedExForum.

The annual Oktoberfest celebration begins in Munich, Germany this Saturday. To commemorate the occasion, the Flying Saucer is selling a special Oktoberfest glass boot beer stein tomorrow night.

The boots go on sale at 7 PM for their weekly “buy the beer, keep the glass” night.

Toby Sells, organizer of the Cooper-Young Regional Beer Festival, has a guest post on the I Love Memphis blog about the fest. If you only go to one beer festival a year, make it this one. Festival is the afternoon of Saturday, October 13.

It’s National Cheeseburger Day! If you want to know where to get a good cheeseburger, the Best Memphis Burger blog can help you out.

If you use Internet Explorer on Windows XP, Vista, or 7, your computer could be vulnerable to attacks. Microsoft recommends Internet Explorer users deploy a toolkit that could help protect against such attacks. I recommend you stop using Internet Explorer and switch to a different browser. Firefox and Chrome are good alternatives.

That’ll do it for now… if more news comes in I’ll post an update this evening.

Mon update: Downtown Easy Way closing, Brass Door fish & chips deal and beer bust, Tap Room/NFL Sunday Ticket, Kindle Fire/iPad comparison, Texas de Brazil brunch, Saucer dart scoreboards, Squeal Street wins awards, and a tube top pic

One of my longest post titles ever. Newsy Monday.

I hate starting posts with bad news, but this time I have to: Easy Way is closing its Downtown store. The grocery at Main and Jefferson has been a popular place to get produce and canned goods for years. However, Easy Way has decided that much of their core base has moved away from Downtown. This leaves City Market as pretty much our only place to get fresh produce without having to get in a car and drive.

The Brass Door has a couple of new things going on this week. Every Tuesday, starting tomorrow, they will have a 2 for 1 special on their fish and chips after 5 PM. Those chips are probably the best fries in town.

This Friday night, the Brass Door will have a beer bust with Heineken and Yuengling for $10 beginning at 5 PM. When I first read that, I thought, “5 is kind of an odd time to start a beer bust,” but then I remembered we have law students down here, so that should work.

Beale Street Tap Room has started carrying the NFL Sunday ticket. If the game you want to watch is not available on the networks, the Tap Room can get it on one of their HDTVs. Just tell the bartender what you want to watch, and they’ll turn it on for you.

Now and then people ask me “Should I get a Kindle Fire or an iPad?”, knowing I own both. This comparison by The Daily is a really good answer. For certain people, the Fire is better; for others, the iPad is the way to go. It depends on what you want to do with your tablet.

Yesterday, about 8 of us met for Sunday brunch at Texas de Brazil. As always, we stuffed ourselves, first at the salad bar and then on the meats. Of course, I got a bowl of lobster bisque and dipped my bacon in it. I’ve decided that of the meats, the garlic sirloin is my favorite. I like it even better than the house sirloin, also known as picanha.

So, we filled up and were ready to waddle out of there. The waiter asked if we were interested in dessert, and pretty much nobody was. “Well, if you eat lunch or dinner with us, the dessert is extra,” the waiter said. “But it’s included in the price of brunch.” WELL THEN! We found room. I had the creme brulee, which was delicious.

Afterward I walked over to the Flying Saucer, where I noticed they had new scoreboards for darts.

These are very nice. They handle most of the popular games, and they eliminate the need for chalk. I’m horrible at darts, but now I kind of want to play a game so I can try out these boards.

After the Saucer, I visited the Silly Goose, where it was the BEST DAY EVER for reasons I won’t get into on the blog. A couple of people from the Squeal Street BBQ team showed up there. They had just returned from the Smokin’ Aces competition in Tunica, where they won first place in People’s Choice for the second year in a row. They also won awards for tomato and mustard sauces. Congratulations to them!

At 6:30 I played poker at the Blind Bear. When people started getting eliminated, we reduced the number of tables from three to two. My table was the one that broke up, and Jamie told me I could sit at whichever active table I wanted. I decided to sit at the one Bee was sitting at, because she had a tube top on.

I made it to the final table and ended up placing fifth. I’ll play again tonight at the Silly Goose, where Muruako hosts an 8:30 game. Before that I’ll hit Pint Nite at the Saucer.

Today is Downtown Museum Day

Free or half-off admission at many Downtown museums. Participants:

Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art
Half-price General Admission
Special Events:
– Two screenings of the Chinese film “Confucius”
– 10% off on all sales in the gift shop.

Center for Southern Folklore
Free Admission
Special Events:
“50 Years with Elvis,” a retrospective of art created in honor of The King by Nashville artist Betty Harper.

Cotton Museum
Free Admission
Special Events:
– Guided tours, hands-on demonstrations and storytellers all day.

Elmwood Cemetery
Free self-guided audio tours from 8a.m. until noon

Fire Museum of Memphis
Buy one Admission and get one of equal or lesser value free

Jimmy Ogle Tours
Free City Tours
10:00a.m. Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour (begin at the Cotton Museum)
11:00a.m. Court Square & Surroundings (begin at Court Square)
12:00p.m. Mississippi River (begin at Confederate Park)

Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum
Half price Admission

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
Buy one Admission and get one free

Mississippi River Museum at Mud Island River Park
Buy one Admission and get one of equal or lesser value free
Special Events:
60 minute Guided Riverwalk Tours of the Riverwalk model, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm

National Ornamental Metal Museum
Free Admission
Special Events:
– Blacksmith demonstration at 2:30pm and a foundry demonstartion at 3pm.
– A special exhibition of work by Master Metalsmith Eleanor Moty, best-known for bringing the photetching process into the field of

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
Buy one Admission and get one free
Special Events:
– Artists’ market and live music.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Buy one Admission and get one free
Special Events:
– Wattstax The Living Word: Special 40th Anniversary Exhibit is on display

Sun Studio
Free Admission and Tours

W.C Handy Museum
Buy one Admission and get one free

Woodruff-Fontaine House
Buy one General Admission and Tour and get the second half-price
Special Events:
– “Mourning Memphis” on display, featuring mourning rituals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and highlighting the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878.