Thur update: The Cavern, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Orpheum cancellation, Thursday night parties, a Chicago dining event and more

The Cavern, the underground performance area of the Brass Door Irish Pub, now has its own Facebook page. “Like” the Cavern to hear about upcoming bands and shows.

The Orpheum will show 1961 classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s as part of its summer movie series tonight. In other Orpheum news, Ultimate Thriller: A Michael Jackson Tribute Concert, scheduled for July 27, has been cancelled. Details on how to get a refund on your tickets here.

The annual COGIC convention won’t be returning to Memphis anytime soon. The church has voted to continue holding its convention in St. Louis for three more years.

Will Graves & Soul is the headliner for tonight’s Peabody rooftop party. $10 cover includes your first drink and a buffet of Pronto Pups and popcorn. Ladies free before 7. This week’s drink special is Cruzan black cherry rum for $4. Those in VIP will have a second buffet with a nacho station, soft baked pretzels, and Cracker Jack.

Keith Anderson plays The Rebel on Beale free country music series tonight at Handy Park, Third and Beale. Showtime is 7:30.

If anyone is in Chicago this Saturday, check out the Clandestino Dining event in the Secret Garden. Food prepared by Chef Willie Wagner. I got to attend one of these dinners when they came to Memphis a few years ago. Both the food and the experience are fabulous. Don’t worry if you don’t have anyone to go with – you will make friends fast at these events.

The office is closed today while an pole that supplies power to the building is replaced, so I have a rare day off. I’m finally going to try Cuban restaurant Havana’s Pilon for lunch. They posted photos of their food and it looks yummy. I’ll try to get a photo and do a food post later. If I get a chance I want to try Tamp & Tap too.

Wed update: BOM voting underway, parking meters, BOGO @ Shelton, Tamp and Tap, Can Beer & Seafood Boil @ Flying Saucer, iOS apps giveaway

Voting has started for the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis 2013 poll. There are several best-of polls conducted by newspapers and magazines throughout the year, but none of them has the clout the Flyer’s has. Vote here.

John Branston of the Memphis Flyer has a great idea: While the city is ramping up efforts to collect on parking tickets, he thinks we should get rid of parking meters Downtown altogether. He has a point. Just to pick an example, Shelton Clothiers has better stuff than what you’d find at Oak Court Mall, but you don’t have to pay to park at Oak Court. It puts Downtown businesses at a disadvantage.

Shelton Clothiers, by the way, is having a buy one, get one free sale through Saturday.

WMC has a good story and photo gallery of Tamp and Tap, the new coffee and beer spot on Gayoso. I’m a lot more interested in the “beer” aspect of their product line than the “coffee.” They’re already selling bottled beer, and they are under construction to have taps installed. They want to increase awareness of great craft beer. With Tamp and Tap, Aldo’s Pizza Pies (which carries 60 beers), and Flying Saucer (which carries 200 beers) all within about a block walk of each other, that part of the Downtown core is becoming the beer Mecca of Memphis.

Speaking of the Flying Saucer: On Saturday, July 20, they are doing a “Can Beer & Seafood Boil” event. For $30 you get a table full of shellfish, corn and potatoes, seasoned to perfection. Remember, the people who run the Saucer also run the Flying Fish down the street, so they do know a thing or two about seafood. They’ll have $3 Abita cans, and will also have six other craft beers in cans that day. Advance reservations are required; call 901-523-8536 to make them. They’re also doing it at the Cordova Saucer for those of you who made the unfortunate choice to live in suburbia.

Some of the top iOS apps have had their price reduced to zero temporarily in the iTunes Store. These include a popular DJ app, a diary/journal, a media organizer, and a world atlas for kids, as well as several games.

Today is an effective weekend night for me. Our office will be closed tomorrow for power line repairs, so I have the day off. Plan is to stay out late tonight, then tomorrow I will enjoy a rare Downtown weekday lunch and get the first haircut I have had since January. Most likely I’ll start off at the Silly Goose tonight a little after 5:30.

Mon update: Tamp & Tap, Marc Gasol gets married, Cotton Museum Groupon, office space and more

Tamp & Tap, the new coffeehouse in Van Vleet Flats, is open for business. It’s a soft opening, so please be patient as they work out the kinks. Hours are 7 AM to 9 PM. The coffeehouse is on Gayoso at November 6th Street, halfway between Main and Second. I hear that the people running Tamp & Tap are very open to suggestions on all aspects of their business, including products to carry and what hours to be open. If you have input, let them know.

Congratulations to Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who got married yesterday in Spain.

There’s a Groupon for the Cotton Museum going on right now. You can get deals for admission for 2, 4, or 10.

Five groups have submitted bids for the 100,000 square feet of office space needed for 900 state workers who are being displaced from their building on the Civic Center Plaza. One of the bids is from One Commerce Square and I hope that bid turns out to be the winner.

Yesterday was a fun day Downtown. The Sunday afternoon pool games at the Flying Saucer seem to be making a big comeback among out group of friends. I’m thinking about going ahead and getting my 8th plate there done, and having the party on a Sunday Fun Day. Later in the day yesterday I sat down at the poker table at the Blind Bear, and won their Sunday tournament! I’d brag about my poker skills but they weren’t the reason I won… I simply caught a lot of good cards! I had pocket Kings three times and lots of Ace-face card-suited starting hands. Those will usually win a lot of chips.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at Pint Nite this evening, getting the next three beers done for my plate.

Sun update: August Dishcrawl, Wimbledon watch party, Bardog tip, Jam for Jalysa, Redbirds, quarters and excuses, and more

Dishcrawl is planning a third Downtown event on August 24. For those not familiar, Dishcrawl is similar to a pub crawl, except that instead of going to a number of bars and drinking at each one, you go to a number of restaurants and eat at each one. They had a June 26 event in South Main that went over very well, and there’s another one planned in the Downtown core in a few days. The August 24 one will be called Downtown Neighborfood. Eight restaurants, all within walking distance of each other, will participate. You can visit as many or as few of them as you want between 2 and 6 PM that day, but you have to have a general admission ticket to be part of the Dishcrawl. You then need a Food/Drink ticket for every restaurant you want to visit. General Admission tickets will be $15 ($20 day-of) and come with one Food/Drink ticket; additional tickets can be purchased for $5. The crawl is a good way to get to know your neighbors, and part of the price of each General Admission ticket will be donated to a local charity.

There’s a Wimbledon watch party going on at Brass Door right now (opened 9 AM).

PRO TIP: Tomorrow when you get to work, request Monday, August 19 off. Why? Bardog’s 5th birthday alley party is Sunday, August 18. 5K race, dunking booth, meatball-eating contest, beer stands (may I recommend the PBR?), sliders and other goodies cooked outdoors on the grill. One of the best parties of the year and it is well worth taking Monday as a vacation/recovery day.

The Hard Rock is holding a “Jam for Jalysa” on Saturday, July 27. Jalysa is one of the restaurant’s employees. She was recently badly injured by a drunk driver who had no insurance. Doctors at two hospitals thought she would not survive, but she has proved them wrong. Show begins at 10 PM with 100% of the $5 cover benefitting Jalysa. They’re still putting the lineup together but they plan to have 7 bands total, each playing a 20-minute set. If your band is interested in playing, contact Julien at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale. The event is non-genre specific, so whatever type of music you play, it’s all good.

The Redbirds play Nashville in a home game at 6:05 this evening. Now that we’re in the part of the year when the weather is typically super hot, they’ve moved the Sunday games from afternoon to evening for their fans’ comfort. Omaha arrives in town tomorrow for a 3-game series.

Plans for today: I’ll start with brunch at the Majestic Grille, and then it will be time for “quarters and excuses.” What do I mean by that? Well, last Sunday one of our friends left the Saucer after playing pool and forgot to take the $14 in quarters he still had sitting on the table. I scooped them up and will bring them back this Sunday. Then it will be time to hear my friend Pete’s excuses after he loses today. He always complains that I use the pool cue that is the only 21 in the bar, although he could easily walk over and get the 21 before I do. Now he’s decided we need a venue change, because there’s something funny about the tables at the Saucer that keeps his balls from going in the pockets, although it mysteriously doesn’t affect my balls or anyone else’s who is playing. Unfortunately for Pete, Blind Bear opens at 3 and Absinthe Room opens at 6, so there’s no place else nearby with a pool table.

Speaking of the Flying Saucer, shout-out to my friends G-Rock and Chad who had their plate parties Friday night. You get a plate on the wall for drinking 200 different beers. It was G-Rock’s 21st plate (leading the Memphis Saucer), and Chad joined the club with plate number 1.

Posting schedule may be a bit irregular this week. We have a consultant in town at work and are going to be hitting it hard. I really need to spend my lunch breaks somewhere other than in front of a computer, so news posts may be delayed until after work, and I may skip a day or two. Sorry about that but I gotta make that money! Outta here for now, time to get ready for mimosas and pool.

Tour bus crashes into South Main furniture store

Yesterday after work, it was raining pretty hard, so I decided to dart into the nearest bar to my front door: Bardog. A few minutes I got there, my friend Mike texted me this photo:

2013-07-05 18.49.59

A Jeep collided with a Blues City Tour bus, sending the bus into the Chapman Furniture store at Main and Vance. WREG has more details. The bus was pulled out and two people were taken to the hospital. There’s now a large hole in the South Main furniture store that will have to be repaired.

July 4 recap

It’s hard to come up with an image that says “a celebration of Americana on the Fourth of July” better than this one does.

Photo Jul 04, 6 50 54 PM

A food buffet on the back of a pickup truck in a parking lot in South Main. About a dozen of us gathered along with our four-legged friends Rufus and Bella. Rufus let us borrow his toy tennis ball and we played beer-can bowling. There was delicious food including bacon-wrapped venison filets, two types of potato salad, squash casserole, banana pudding made with Pepperidge Farm chess cookies, and pink lemonade pie. However, the star of the show on the back of the truck was Mexican corn.

Photo Jul 04, 4 46 22 PM

The corn was brushed with mayonnaise and a three-cheese blend, then put on the grill. Easily the best ear of corn I have eaten in my life.

After taking shelter as heavy rain moved through, I caught a ride to Max’s Sports Bar. Michele immediately handed me a blue Buzztime game box and told me, “You’re Magic.” It was the weekly poker tournament, and whoever was playing under the handle “Magic” had left but still had chips in the game, heads-up against my friend Mikey. So we went back and forth for about 25 minutes and Mikey finally won. It is always a treat to play at Max’s, whose poker tournament I consider to have the best format Downtown. You start with 200 big blinds, you can’t rebuy, and you can’t show up late.

After poker ended I went out on the back deck, where Roser from the Chris Vernon Show called me “the ultimate bro.” Not sure how I feel about that but he meant it as a huge compliment.

I checked my phone and discovered that the Blind Bear was celebrating July 4 with dollar PBR. After sending out a “VERY IMPORTANT PBR NEWS” tweet, I tabbed out at Max’s and walked north. The fireworks were happening as I walked. A few PBRs at the Bear and I wrapped up a very good Thursday.

(Edit: I forgot to add that Air Traffic Mike and I led the crowd at the Bear in singing “God Bless America.”)

It wasn’t a good Thursday for everyone though. There were reports of shootings at Riverside and Beale, Wagner and Beale, and Wagner and Vance as crowds gathered to watch the fireworks. It seems like every July 4, large groups of teens roam Downtown harassing people and it’s the wild wild West. MPD should know this is going to happen, because it happens every year. The good news is, this only happens once a year; back in 2006, it seems like it happened every weekend.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at the bars about 5:30.

July 4 update: Southwest to offer TV, Chez Philippe recognized for wine, lobster special @ Paulette’s, Rocky Horror, charity poker tournament, NBA news

It’s Independence Day and the final day of Tube Top Month. Who’s going to rock an American flag tube top today?

Southwest Airlines is coming to Memphis, and live TV is coming to Southwest. Thanks to a partnership with DISH Network, passengers will be able to watch up to 75 different shows on their Internet-ready devices. While the other airlines add more fees, Southwest adds more perks.

Chez Philippe in the Peabody Hotel has been named one of the 100 best wine restaurants for 2013 by Wine Enthusiast magazine. The magazine called Antigal’s Uno Melbec, paired with rack of lamb and huckleberry au jus, a perfect pairing.

Paulette’s restaurant, on Mud Island in the River Inn, has announced a new Wednesday night special: Generous sized Maine lobster tail, sweet corn risotto, garlic spinach, drawn butter and mixed salad for $26.95.

Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to The Orpheum Friday, July 19. It will be hosted by Memphis Flyer writer Chris Davis, who in addition to writing is an accomplished director. This event happens yearly and is always a lot of fun. The Orpheum sells bags of props and encourages audience participation. Come watch Memphis’ grand theatre get toilet-papered as you watch this classic 1975 movie.

Bluff City Poker, which runs weekly games at Silly Goose, Double J, and Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe, is hosting a Deal Out Cancer Charity Poker Tournament next Thursday, July 11, at 7 PM at Jerry Lee’s. Help deal cancer out while competing for a grand prize of 3 days in the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas with airfare included. Second place will get $200 in prizes, third place $150 in prizes. $35 donation to participate plus $20 unlimited rebuys for the first 90 minutes.

The Boston Celtics named Brad Stevens head coach. That was a savvy move that I did not see coming. Stevens, 36, led Butler to consecutive Final Four games in 2010 and 2011. He is known for his calm demeanor and his extensive use of analytics.

More and more it looks like Lionel Hollins will watch the 2013-14 NBA season at Buffalo Wild Wings rather than on the sideline.

Plans for today: Going to kick things off at the Saucer then go over to a friend’s condo to cook out. I didn’t take off tomorrow and am wishing I had, because my building has a DJ on the rooftop at 10:30. At any rate, I’m going to enjoy this day as long as I can. Happy Fourth!

SWEET new Pabst jacket plus Wednesday news

Last night I went to the Blind Bear to watch my friends play the poker final table, and they had a surprise for me. The distributors had brought a ton of swag – shirts, hats, even a bowling pin – to hand out to the poker players. However, Jamie saved one item specifically for me – a Pabst denim winter jacket.

Photo Jul 02, 7 55 53 PM

This jacket is easily warm enough to wear on the coldest days of January. It’s roomy and has a couple of pockets big enough to fit my iPad. I won’t be able to wear it until at least October, but I’m very happy to have it. Thank you!

Sad to think that by the first time I can wear my new jacket, it won’t be tube top weather anymore.

Congratulations to Justin, who won the final table. His grand prize is five $100 gift cards to popular Downtown restaurants.

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The Grizzlies have signed Tony Allen to a four-year, $20 million deal. Very happy to hear this. TA got a well-deserved raise, and we retain the heart and soul (and grit and grind) of our team through 2016-17.

The Toof Building at 195 Madison, which overlooks the left field of AutoZone Park, is being redeveloped. It will hold a commercial tenant in the ground floor, plus about 50 apartments. More details here.

Watch out for people shooting fireworks out of their car windows this weekend. Yes, people really are that stupid. When walking north-south best bet is to stick to the pedestrian Main Street Mall as much as possible.

Good article on Lifehacker today: How to get reduced prices and save money when shopping on Amazon.

The Redbirds will wear special camouflage jerseys and hats from local military units for Saturday night’s game at AutoZone Park, vs. the Nashville Sounds. First pitch is 6:05, and following the game there will be a Salute to the Armed Forces fireworks display.

From Deadspin: 36 cheap American beers ranked. Good article but PBR was ranked 4 spots too low.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at the bars after work for what is an effective Friday night on a Wednesday.

Tue update: Dylan, free museum admission, a ton of food news, pizza party/wine tasting, Downtown strategic plan

Big concert at AutoZone Park this evening. Bob Dylan, WILCO, My Morning Jacket, and the Richard Thompson Electric Trio will play starting at 5:30. In case you didn’t see it, I did a rare second Monday Update post last night in which I pointed out that you can park for free in South Main and ride the Double J limo to and from the concert.

If you’re looking for something to do pre-concert, Shelby County residents can visit The Rock N’ Soul Museum Tuesdays from 2 until close.

Couple of good food articles on the Flyer site today, including one place I didn’t even know about. “The Office” Uptown Cafe at 594 N. Second is open from 10 AM to 3 PM weekdays. It serves sandwiches and salads. It also has “office” resources such as computers, scanners, a meeting room, and copiers.

The Flyer also has a Nighttime Nosh article. It has info on the late-night menu at Flight, and what is happening at Twelve Bar, the upstairs room in Jerry Lee Lewis Honky Tonk and Cafe.

The Cochon 555 heritage pork festival is coming back to Downtown August 30.

If you’re looking for a job, there are a bunch of openings listed on the Greater Memphis Chamber site.

There will be a Rock N’ Wild pizza party Saturday, July 27 from 5 to 8 PM at the Memphis Farmers’ Market. Food from the Rock N’ Dough Pizza food truck, and Castello Monaci Wines by Frederick Wildman Imports. $25 gets you slices of pizza and four wine tickets.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has updated its strategic plan for Downtown. You can view it here.

Plans for tonight: Although it’s a great night for music and tube top watching in Downtown Memphis, I’m going to miss the concert. Tonight is the final table in Blind Bear’s poker league, and all the participants are friends of mine. (At least two of them have concert tickets. Wonder what they’re going to do?) Final table starts at 8, and I’ll be there a little early to get a good seat and cheer them on. I think they’re having a side game too, but I’m more interested in watching my friends.

Mon update 2: Let Double J drive you to Dylan, July 4 fireworks, Brass Door Wimbledon finals party, Front St. Deli back open

Photo Mar 18, 4 59 14 PMIf you’re coming to the Bob Dylan show at AutoZone Park, and aren’t sure where to park your car, I have a suggestion. Park in the South Main area where there is ample free parking. Go to the Double J Smokehouse and Saloon which is one block east of Main on G.E. Patterson Avenue. You can park for free in the vicinity, and they have cold PBR and other beers on tap as well as ribs, steaks, and more. When you’re ready Double J’s limo will take you to the concert for FREE. They’ll pick you up and bring you back too, and you can eat and drink to your heart’s content after the show. Best parking deal Downtown for concerts, and remember them this fall for Grizzlies games too.

Speaking of the Double J, they were featured in Meet the Bartender last week on the Commercial Appeal website.

There are a couple of Fourth of July celebrations happening Downtown, and they are actually happening on the Fourth this year as they should. One will be at Mud Island River Park. Starts at 6:00 PM, free, concessions available, tube tops recommended as attire, fireworks at 9:45. The other is the Redbirds post-game, first pitch at 6:05, fireworks after the game (so probably before the Mud Island fireworks), buffet option available. All-you-can-eat buffet? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Front St. Deli is back with a limited menu. View it here.

I hate tennis but if you don’t, the Brass Door is having a Wimbledon Finals party Sunday at 9 AM. Pimm’s Cup and Pitchers, Strawberries and Cream, Scones, English Tea. $15 mimosa bottles, $15 Bloody Mary pitchers.

Eating sheesh kabob from City Market’s grab-n-go section as I type this drunk post. Back at lunchtime tomorrow probably.