Wed update 2: New coworking space (grand opening TONIGHT), Burger Fest news, South Main Fashion Night, Thursday night Felicia’s series, cloud computing survey

Lots of news came in while I was eating lunch, necessitating a second post for the day.

Coworking has come to Downtown Memphis. Many self-employeds work from home or take their laptops to coffee shops (or the Flying Saucer, as I did when self-employed). However, some people miss an environment where they are working around others who are also working, where they can bounce ideas off one another. To address that need, Urban Workspace is opening at 6 West G.E. Patterson. There will be 24 coworking spaces, and members of the space will also have access to a conference room, a full kitchen, presentation materials, workshops, seminars, monthly cooking classes, and more amenities. More info here. The grand opening for the workspace is tonight at 6 and the public is invited. There will be live music, drinks, and food by Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s Diner. Sorry for telling you about this event just minutes before the start time, but I didn’t hear about it until this afternoon. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Best Memphis Burger Festival news: Sponsor Kooky Canuck will put the winning burger on their menu for one week, according to a tweet sent out this afternoon by the festival’s account. Um won’t that be a little odd if one of Kooky’s competitors in the restaurant biz wins?

South Main Fashion Night Out happens tomorrow night, Thursday, September 6, at the Rumba Room from 6 to 9 PM. It will showcase the many salons and boutiques that have made South Main their home. The latest fashion, hair, and makeup styles will be on display. Event benefits the Ronald McDonald House and tickets are $15 in advance from the boutiques, or $20 at the door.

Also tomorrow night, Felicia Suzanne’s kicks off its Thursday night Autumn Tasting Series. Each Thursday they’ll have a different three-course dinner on the patio, with optional wine tasting. This week’s tasting will be Claybrook Farms with a Santa Barbara Pinot Noir pairing, and live music by 2 Mule Plow from 7:30 to 9:30.

A recent survey showed that 29 percent of Americans think cloud computing involves an actual cloud (you know, those things in the sky that sometimes rain on us). 51% believed that stormy weather could interfere with cloud computing. Oh my God. The only thing missing from the article is a quote from Sarah Palin.

After I posted about the free burgers and hot dogs on Double J’s upper patio tonight, my buddy Duck Finkley texted me and said “Paul let’s do the j tonight.” Duck, it’s 100 outside. Not really excited about walking almost a mile to Double J in the heat, or waiting on the unreliable southbound trolley for as much as 25 minutes. I doubt I’ll get farther than the Saucer before I’m ready for air conditioning.

(There are probably people in the ‘burbs right now reading this, thinking, “Why doesn’t he just drive his car down to Double J?” They don’t get it.)

So that’s the plan. Saucer at 6, then Blind Bear at 8 for trivia. Back tomorrow with more news, or possibly sooner if I hear anything particularly good.

Wed update: Brass Door alley party, NFL games/Downtown bars (attn Nuh-Uh Girl: FREE FOOD), Forbes article on WordPress, Bleu special menu next week

Downtown Irish pub The Brass Door celebrates its first birthday this weekend, and they have a big weekend planned:

The main event will be an alley party Saturday, with seven bands performing from 3 PM to midnight. I went to their grand opening alley party last year and it was a lot of fun – good food, good music. There will be a costume contest with $100/$75/$50 prizes for the best female and male leprechaun. Suggestion for female contestants: A green tube top would be a great start to your costume.

Friday they kick things off with traditional Irish music in the bar, as well as 2 for 1 fish and chips and $1 Guinness (first 100 pints). Fun weekend ahead at the Brass Door. Of course, tonight is Brass Door Bingo with Diamond Dave at 7:30.

Tonight is the first regular-season NFL game, as the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Giants at 7:30. Double J Smokehouse and Saloon will have a pre-game “tailgate party” on their upstairs deck with free burgers and hot dogs until they run out, starting at 5 PM. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

In other NFL/Downtown bar news, the Silly Goose is putting in a giant projection TV to show the games. I know they were installing it last night; it should be ready today, but if not, it will be ready by Sunday. A couple of corrections to what I posted about their NFL Sunday events earlier: There is NO UPPER LIMIT to the number of entries your fantasy football team can get per week in the drawing. If 35 people from your league show up at the Goose (can a league even have that many? not sure) you get 35 entries. The drawing will be for a $300 Super Bowl party. Happy hour domestic prices and $4 Fireball during the Sunday games.

Forbes has a good article about WordPress and its founder Matt Mullenweg in its latest issue. Although WordPress currently runs on one-sixth of the world’s websites (including this one), Matt has not become a billionaire like his counterparts at Facebook and Google, because he has been determined to stay true to the open-source model. WordPress was our BBQ team’s main sponsor, and we had the pleasure of having Matt and a few of his team in the booth for BBQ Fest.

Bleu will have a special 3-course prix fixe “out of the bleu” menu September 10-15. View the menu here.

That’ll do it for now. Undecided at this point whether I’ll hit the Double J for their tailgate party after work, or do the Saucer as usual. Most likely will be at the Blind Bear for trivia at 8.

Tue update: Weekend recap, changes to Silly Goose poker, CY Beer Fest, I-40 bridge, CA layoffs, and more

Not much in the way of posts for a few days. The only excuse that I can offer was that I was out enjoying Labor Day weekend in Downtown Memphis! These were a few of the highlights:

– Walking around the Memphis Farmers Market. I don’t go to the Farmers Market a lot because I don’t cook and I’m not a morning person. However, every time I do go I’m just blown away by how fantastic it is. Veggies, flowers, jellies, coffee, locally grown meat, cooking demos, live music, food trucks. I saw several restaurant owners there getting locally produced food.

– Saturday at Max’s Sports Bar. I meant to just stop by for one or two quick beers, then hit the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival… but friends showed up and I ended up staying until 4.

– Listening to my neighbor’s band the Swamp Katz Sunday at Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. As I took in the music and drank a Bloody Mary, I thought about one of my Foursquare friends who checks in at “Da Front Porch Sippin” when she visits Hernando, Mississippi. Since I live on Main Street, I figured, the Main Street Mall is sort of my front porch, and therefore I was doing my own version of “front porch sippin.”

– Hanging out with the crew from the Majestic Grille (and Kyla from Aldo’s Pizza Pies) at the Blind Bear Sunday evening. It was the start of a long weekend for them – the Majestic closed for Labor Day and will be closed today and tomorrow to spruce the place up. Everyone was in a great mood and I had a blast.

– Monday turned into another of those “meant to just stay for a drink or two, ended up staying hours and hours” kind of days. This time the Silly Goose was the spot. I went there at 4 for a drink or two with a friend visiting from out of town. While there, I learned that the Goose had changed their Monday poker night: Only one game now, beginning at 9 PM, with regular player Muruako being promoted to host. I stuck around for the game and ended up coming in third. Congrats to first-time player Marty on his win. It’s a new 16-week poker league, with 5 points for first place, 4 for second, and so on.

All right, let’s get to the news. Tickets for Memphis’ best beer festival, the Cooper-Young Beer Festival, will go on sale Friday, September 7. They can be purchased on the festival website or at the Rock 4 Love festival in Midtown this weekend. The beer fest is Saturday, October 13. This ain’t no damn socialite party like a couple of beer fests that happen in late August/early September. Rather, it’s all about the beer – trying beers not usually seen in the area, learning about different styles of craft beer, getting to talk to the brewers in their booths. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 the day of if there are any left. They cap attendance to keep the lines short.

If you take I-40 to and from Arkansas, there are going to be lane closings on the bridge this week. Crews will be conducting an inspection of the bridge.

Bruce V from the Memphis Flyer has a good blog post about the 17 Commercial Appeal jobs that are being outsourced to India.

My Hogs moved up to 8 in this week’s AP poll. Glad to see us above South Carolina this week.

That’ll do it for now. Hopefully it won’t be 3 days between posts for a while.

Up early

I forced myself to go home at 11 last night, because there’s a lot of good stuff happening today, and a lot of it is in the morning. I didn’t want to miss any of it.

My first stop today will be the Memphis Farmers Market at S. Front and G.E. Patterson. Hopefully I’ll get there by 10:15, in time to catch a little of Felicia Willett’s cooking demo at 10:15. Grabbing breakfast from one of the food trucks at the market sounds like a good plan.

At 11 I’ll wander over to Max’s Sports Bar. Max’s is only a block away from the farmers market, in the Arcade Building next to the cheesecake shop, so it will be a quick walk. It’s the first Saturday of the college football season, and Max will have the games on all 10 of his TVs. The good thing about college football at Max’s is that he’ll print out schedules of what game will be on what TV, and tape them next to each TV. That helps you figure out which is the right seat for you. He also has a big deck out back, which will be really nice for the fall weather. Also, today is Ciara’s first day (pictured in center of photo, in white tube top) as day bartender. $2.50 PBR on draft plus a full selection of liquor.

What teams will I be rooting for as I watch college football this season? Five of them. Arkansas, Memphis, and whoever is playing Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Texas. As much as I enjoyed having Lauren behind the bar during previous football seasons on Saturdays, I must admit it will be nice this year to have a bartender who doesn’t wear that godawful UT orange.

The UT orange thing is also the reason I get along with Sutch at the Brass Door much better when it’s not September-December. (I’d say September-January, but let’s face it, there’s not a chance in hell UT will be good enough to secure a January bowl game) Thankfully, the Saucer does not allow Christina to wear her UT orange at work.

Anyway, back to today’s plans. About 1 I will walk or trolley north to the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. There I will do what I do best: Wander around and talk to people. And drink PBR. Usually I have a no-side-trips rule at festivals, but with my two Foursquare bar mayorships (Blind Bear and Flying Saucer) so close by, I’m sure there will be side trips. I’m not the mayor of the Majestic Grille (John D, who has a breakfast named after him at the restaurant, has claimed that crown) but it’s usually a good side trip spot at MM&HF too. A strawberry basil martini on the patio might happen at some point this weekend. I’m thinking Miss Ella’s greens and hot water cornbread and then a Pronto Pup for dinner.

The Cochon 555 heritage pork BBQ festival is happening this weekend too. The Eat Local Memphis blog is doing a great job covering that festival, so keep your eye on it throughout the weekend.