Sat update: Cool math magazine, Canadian Thanksgiving, Cooper-Young Beerfest, and Memphis Made makes its debut

Most of you will skip right over this first link, but I’m a math nerd and it’s my blog so I’m going to post it. Yesterday I discovered a cool magazine called Plus, whose mission is “to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics.” I flipped through the featured articles and found one that proves bluffing is a mathematically essential element in poker. How can I not like a math site that writes about poker? Other articles were about the puzzle of time, math during the Dark Ages, and a theatrical performance called X&Y that explores math. There’s another article entitled “Do Infinities Exist in Nature?” that I have not had time to read yet, but I’m intrigued that there’s a photo of a hot dog with mustard and relish next to the article headline.

If you’re a Canadian, you can get Canadian Thanksgiving dinner Monday at Kooky Canuck. If you’re an American, you can get the dinner and get started on Thanksgiving a month early. If you’re some other nationality, you’re out of luck… no, just kidding, they’ll serve you too. The restaurant will serve turkey and dressing, gravy, dinner roll, mashed potatoes and green beans and of course cranberry jelly. Lunch will be $6.49 and dinner $9.99.

In the news: Mayor Wharton wants to extend the Beale Street entertainment district all the way to the river.

This isn’t Downtown news, but in case you missed it, Fox 13’s Lauren Lee reports that Owlzilla is terrorizing joggers in East Memphis.

I bought my ticket to Cooper-Young Beerfest. It’s next Saturday at a new, larger location near Trestle Art at 795 S. Cooper. This is my favorite beer festival of the year. Most of the brewers are in the booths to talk about their product, and there’s an education tent where you can learn all about beer and what it’s like being a brewer. If you go to a beer festival to learn about beer, not to be seen and have your photo taken for RSVP Magazine, this is the beer festival for you.

And speaking of beer…

One of the most rewarding things about being Downtown is seeing friends have a dream and build it and live it. I saw my friends Patrick and Deni do it with the Majestic Grille seven years ago. Five years ago I got to see Daniel build a dream called the Silly Goose. Two years ago, Jamie, Jeannette and Colin built a dream called the Blind Bear. This year, two guys named Drew Barton and Andy Ashby built their dream, a local brewery on South Cooper called Memphis Made. Both of them are former bartenders at the Flying Saucer, and therefore they chose the two local Saucers as the first spots to roll out their new products. Drew bartended the Saucer on several different occasions, and although he’s not as easy on the eyes as the female bartenders, I always enjoyed coming in and seeing him behind the bar because of his vast knowledge of beer. Andy bartended before my time at the Saucer, but I enjoyed talking with him as a customer many times, and he was also in a couple of bands that played there. At 8 PM Kirk got them up on the bar and announced the official tapping.


Drew, Andy, and Saucer GM Kirk


The two beers that were introduced were the saison (5.6% ABV) and the pale ale (5.2%). You can get either for $4.75 at the Saucer. The saison is one of the tastiest beers I have had, and the pale ale is one I would gladly choose over nationally known pale ales like Sierra Nevada’s. They are off to a good start. The beers debut at the three Aldo restaurants (Bardog, Slider Inn, Aldo’s Pizza Pies) and Young Avenue Deli today.

Last night I realized how smart those guys were in choosing the name they did. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen tourists come in the Saucer and ask the bartender, “I’d like to try a good local beer. What do you recommend?” Now they won’t even have to ask. Those taps make it clear where the saison and pale ale are brewed. They’ve built themselves an immediate advantage over the other three local breweries (and I bet there will be more before long) with the name they selected.

Having an exciting morning around here pouring Drano Dual Foamer in the bathtub and taking the trash to the trash chute. Undecided whether I’ll lead off at Bardog or Max’s Sports Bar today. Arkansas hosts South Carolina with an 11:21 kickoff.

Fri update: Edge of the Village Dine-Around, iPhone 5s/relationships, arts fest needs volunteers, another Oktoberfest, inmate back in custody, brass note for Ann Peebles, pumpkins @ MFM

The Edge of the Village Dine-Around happens tonight. This Flyer article has more information on the dine-around, as well as the new French Crêperie that has opened in the former Neely’s BBQ space on Jefferson.

From The Daily Beast: How the iPhone 5s can contribute to trust issues in relationships. Do you allow your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s fingerprint to unlock your phone? On one hand, it would be good for them to have it so they can access your data in case of an emergency. However, do you trust them not to use the fingerprint access to go in and snoop through your texts and recent calls?

While we’re on the subject of relationships, here’s some #dating advice from the @midtownkrogers Twitter account:

If youare having a #crush on our pretty cashers dont hold the line asking her on dates go outside and wait for her to leave work to #flirt.

RiverArtsFest is two weeks away, and the festival needs volunteers. Find out more and sign up here.

Beer news: There will be an Oktoberfest celebration at Wiseacre Brewery on Broad Avenue tomorrow from 1 to 8. Wiseacre Oktoberfest beer and food by Grawemeyer’s German restaurant. The Mighty Souls Brass Band will perform. If you dress in German attire, you get $1 off pints, and if you bring a stein with a clearly marked liter line, they will fill it for $8.

The inmate who walked off a Downtown work detail at MATA Wednesday is back in custody.

Soul singer Ann Peebles will get her brass note on Beale tomorrow at 3. More info here.

Pumpkin Perfect is the theme at Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow. You’ll be able to buy pumpkins at the market, while listening to live music by Steve Reid (8-9:30), Rob Halford (9:30-11), and Loveland Duren (11-12:30). Chef demo by Chef Scott DeLarme of Napa Cafe. Pumpkin carving for the kids from 8 to 12. The market is at Front and G.E. Patterson under the pavilion from 7 AM to 1 PM.

That’ll do it for now. I already have the beginnings of tomorrow’s Saturday Update post, and especially encourage math nerds and people who like to eat to check the blog tomorrow. I’ll be at the Flying Saucer tonight at 8 for the tapping of the new Memphis Made beers.

Thur update: Grizzlies giveaways, trivia update, Walk the Line, Beatles brunch, inmate on the loose

MemphiSport has published a complete list of Grizzlies giveaways for the 2013-14 season. Probably the best giveaway is the March 8 game versus the Charlotte Bobcats, when fans will receive a free Super Grizz cape with matching mask. I wonder if they plan the best giveaways when the teams that suck the most come to the FedExForum, to try and boost ticket sales?

I got an update from Kevin Cerrito who runs some of the Downtown trivia games. He said that Tuesday trivia at Ferraro’s has come to an end after a two and a half year run. The Wednesday game at Tamp & Tap and the Thursday game at Green Beetle are still going strong. There’s a different $3.50 pint every week at the Tamp & Tap game, and at the Beetle there’s football on TV with sound between rounds. It’s movie trivia all month long at both games, leading up to the second annual Halloween trivia at the end of the month.

There’s a free showing of Walk the Line tonight in the vacant lot between Earnestine & Hazel’s and Sache. The film is a 2005 documentary of the life of Johnny Cash. It’s presented by the SMA and show time is 6:45. In case of rain, the event will move to the Memphis Farmers Market pavilion.

If you haven’t been to the weekend Beatles brunch at Twilight Sky Terrace atop the Madison Hotel, you only have until the end of the month. They will be closing it down for the season on October 27.

An inmate walked off from work detail at MATA’s woodworking shop at 547 N. Main. Details here.

That’s it for now. I’ll probably hit the Silly Goose after work, then the Blind Bear. Will do a second Thursday post if more news comes my way.

Wed update: Grizzlies, video link, Frontier Airlines, craft breweries affected by shutdown, women’s sports in America, and free limo service to FedExForum

Photo Oct 09, 10 46 21 AMJust wondering if any other Downtowners do this… every month, I make myself a calendar of times when Downtown will be busy. Grizzlies games, concerts, festivals, and the like. It’s not only to remind myself of events I might want to attend, but so I will know when my favorite bars might be crowded. So tonight, I look at the calendar and see “Grizzlies 7:00” and know that 6:00-7:00 might not be the best time to hang out at the Flying Saucer and other bars that get packed before games.

I’ll say this though… “bar too crowded with Grizzlies fans” is about as high-class as high-class problems get. Well, I guess “too many people wanting to buy me free drinks” would be an even higher-class problem, but the Grizzlies crowd would be right there in the top two or three.

Seriously, though… welcome back to the Grizzlies, and I hope not only for a win, but for Coach Joerger to collect a lot of data that will help him for the regular season. If you are attending tonight’s game, it’s a good idea to arrive early. The NBA has mandated hand-wanding for security purposes at all its arenas for the preseason. Game is at 7:00. We play the Bulls, featuring Derrick Rose who is known for his skills in shooting, ball-handling, and getting others to take standardized tests for him.

One of my favorite sports writers, CBS’s Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS), tweeted the following link: Dog pees on reporter on live TV

If you missed coverage from the 37 other local media outlets this morning, discount airline Frontier is coming to Memphis. The company is based out of Denver and will offer four round-trip flights there a week. From there you can connect to Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland. Promotional fares will be as low as $69. Beer blog Fuzzy Brew (@FuzzyBrew) tweeted that this will make craft-beer trips out west a lot more affordable.

Speaking of craft beer, some bad news: The agency that approves new craft beer recipes and labels is shut down due to the impasse in Congress. If you didn’t get your craft beer approved by mid-August, you’re in limbo until the offices are back open. This is costing some startup breweries many thousands of dollars a month that they can’t afford. Thankfully no Memphis breweries (that I’m aware of) are affected.

Here’s a “guess who said this” for people who hang out in the same bars I do. A local Memphian was at the Saucer last night telling two British tourists about America. He mentioned the diversity of women’s sports in America, “like lingerie football.”

I’ll end this post with a Grizzlies pro tip: If you don’t feel like dealing with parking and traffic around the FedExForum, head half a mile south to G.E. Patterson Avenue and have a pre-game snack or drink at the Double J. There’s plenty of free parking around, and Double J has a limo that will shuttle you to and from the arena for free.

Plan for tonight: I’ll probably lead off at the Saucer for one quick beer before the Grizzlies crowd arrives. After that I’ll hit the Silly Goose for the remainder of happy hour. I hear that Blind Bear trivia could be interesting this week, so I’ll get there by the 8 PM start time, although I’m more interested in drinking the Cadillac of beers, PBR, than I am playing.

Tue update #2: Bardog hearse, more Memphis Made info, Downtown Dining Week, Corked Carrot temporarily closed, pride parade, Feed the Soul pics, facial expression quiz, Grizzlies tickets

Easily enough news for a second post this Tuesday.

Bardog Tavern is once again giving away a hearse this Halloween. I drove by it this morning. It’s a white 1992 Cadillac hearse, a DeVille model I believe, the last year before they redesigned the DeVilles. I’ll try to get a pic of it and more details about the raffle in the coming days.

More info about the Memphis Made Brewing rollout here. As I reported at lunchtime, their first two beers will be sold at both Flying Saucers Friday night. If the Saucer’s not your cup of tea, you can get the beers on Saturday Downtown at Bardog and Aldo’s Pizza Pies, and in Midtown at Slider Inn and Young Avenue Deli.

Downtown Dining Week is coming back November 17-23. Many of Downtown’s best restaurants will offer a special menu for $20.13 that week. Restaurants participating can be seen on the website. Menus will be revealed October 20.

The Corked Carrot is closed for repairs and an MLGW project. They will re-open on Friday.

The annual Memphis Gay Pride Parade happens Saturday. It will kick off at Fourth and Beale at 1 PM.

If you went to the MIFA Feed the Soul event at The Warehouse last Thursday, or if you want to see who did, photos are here.

Very interesting quiz on the NY Times blog: How well can you read the mind behind the eyes? I scored 26/36, which is about average. My Facebook friend who posted this got 34/36, which is excellent.

Grizzlies single-game tickets go on sale Saturday at the FedExForum beginning at noon. The team will hold a open practice at 1.

Tue update: Throwback Thursday @ Silly Goose, Memphis Made Brewing, The Lumineers, BB King’s club update, Hard Rock Pinktober events, ’70s trivia tonight at Flying Saucer

DJ Cody, who provides the music at Silly Goose Thursday through Saturday, has announced that he is starting a new “Throwback Thursday” night beginning this week. He’ll be playing music videos from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s on Thursdays, as well as a few new songs too. He asked for suggestions on Facebook. So far people have requested Salt & Pepa, Beastie Boys, and Kid ‘n’ Play, among other names from that era.

Memphis Made Brewing Company debuts its first two products Friday. The beers will be a South Cooper Saison, named for the brewery’s location on South Cooper, and a Parkways Pale Ale. Other beers including a red ale and a porter will follow soon. The brewery’s founders will be on hand to tap the beers at both Flying Saucers Friday night: Cordova at 5:30 and Downtown at 8:00.

The Lumineers play Mud Island Ampitheatre tonight. Show starts at 7:30.

More information about the fire at BB King’s has come in. The club will be closed an undetermined amount of time, which could be weeks, while repairs are being made.

The Hard Rock Cafe has three events coming up for Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness Month, raising funds in local partnership with WINGS Cancer Foundation. On October 13, season 3 “The Voice” contestant Cody Belew will perform and host a meet-and-greet. On the 19th, the Pink Heals Bus Tour will stop at the Hard Rock. On the 25th, country/rock artist Joshua Paige with special guest Chris and Lolly will take the stage.

The Flying Saucer is having a month of decade-themed trivia this month, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and then Halloween trivia on the final Tuesday of the month. Tonight is ’70s trivia. They’re encouraging participants to dress up, which let’s face it, probably no customers will do. However, the servers and bartenders are allowed to dress up as well, and they’re excited about wearing something other than their work uniforms. Last night several of the Saucer girls, most of whom were not alive in the 1980s, much less the 1970s, asked me for fashion advice. “We want to dress up,” they said, “but we don’t know what people wore in the ’70s.”

“Well…” I replied, “tube tops were a big deal in the ’70s.” Normally I recommend Kevin Cerrito’s trivia night at Ferraro’s as the best Tuesday trivia option, but I think the scales may be tipped in favor of the Saucer this week. There are two trivia games, at 7:30 and 10 PM. Free to play.

I have Blind Bear poker at 8, but you can be sure a stop at the Saucer earlier in the evening is on the agenda. Sorry for the late post today, was getting some kind of server error.

Mon update: Fire on Beale, new burger on Huey’s menu, dance party in The Cavern Saturday

There was a fire at B.B. King’s on Beale Street about 1 AM this morning. It started in the kitchen. The sprinkler system did its job and prevented the fire from spreading into the nightclub. The club had already closed for the night, and the few employees still in the building got out safely.

The Hawaiian, the winning burger of the design-your-own-burger contest at Huey’s over the summer, debuts on the menu today.

The Brass Door will have a dance party this Saturday in its downstairs performance space The Cavern. Yawns to Yeahs and a DJ will perform.

Not the newsiest of days today, but that’s what I’ve got for now. Good luck to the Grizzlies on their first pre-season game tonight in St.Louis vs. the Chicago Bulls. They’ll be back in the FedExForum Wednesday to play Dallas.

Sun update: TREES dance performance, flight attendant job, convention business, Lawler article, bacon-wrapped hot dogs

I was looking through the Downtown Memphis Commission’s weekly Get DOWN! e-newsletter, and I noticed a very cool event happening on the Mud Island Greenbelt Park today at 5:30. TREES is a series of seven performance and dance works in one, inspired by the trees of the park. Each artist was assigned a tree to collaborate with, and the resulting performances will be true dialogues with the trees.

This morning I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and noticed a job opening as a flight attendant for Delta. You have to go through 8 weeks of training in Atlanta and then be willing to relocate to any of Delta’s hub cities, but for someone looking for a fresh start this could be a great fit.

Convention & Visitors Bureau head Kevin Kane has said that Memphis is losing ground to Nashville and other cities when it comes to attract conventions. This week on Informed Sources, a panel discussed whether the city can do anything to turn convention business around.

Great article on Grantland about Jerry Lawler and Memphis Wrestling, which has relocated to Tunica. They made a big deal about Lawler wrestling after his heart attack, but it’s also noteworthy that “Superstar” Bill Dundee and “The Boogie Woogie Man” Handsome Jimmy Valiant were in the ring. Both of those guys have got to be right around 70. Brian Christopher (age 41), Jeff Jarrett (46), and Rikishi (two grown sons on the WWE main roster) were the youngsters on the card.

What’s better than a hot dog? A bacon-wrapped hot dog. Chef David Scott Walker will be serving three of them today at the Blind Bear for NFL Sunday:

The Downtown Bear, a bacon-wrapped dog topped with mustard slaw and Moody Ques BBQ sauce

The BLT Dog, a bacon-wrapped dog topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo

The Cheesey Doggy, a bacon-wrapped dog topped with potato salad, Gouda mornay, and a fried egg.

You can get any of the three dogs for $5. The Bear opens at noon on Sundays during NFL season. If you’re in the mood to do a little bar-hopping, before or after the Bear check out the dollar mimosas up the street at Aldo’s Pizza Pies. The special is on until 3 PM.

That’s the news for today. I’ll be out as soon as my PBR hoodie gets out of the dryer.

Sat update: Dragon boat races, Bluff City Oktoberfest, Battledish, Ira Glass, Comcast announces data cap, new “Just Landed” board at Flying Saucer

We’ve got several big events happening Downtown today, so let’s go through them quickly.

Dragon boat races happen today at Mud Island River Park. Teams in authentic Chinese dragon boats will compete, and there will be live entertainment and kids’ activities. Sponsored by Duncan-Williams, benefitting the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

Bluff City Oktoberfest continues all day today, on Riverside between Jefferson and Beale. From 2 to 6 there will be a beer festival, and tickets are $35 at the gate. Other than the beer part, admission is free and there will be live entertainment, artisans and food trucks.

Also today is Dishcrawl’s Battledish. Chefs around the world will be competing, and from 2 to 6 you can taste! Participating restaurants include Automatic Slim’s, Rizzo’s Diner, 12 Bar (upstairs of Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe), Tamp & Tap, Belle Diner, and Lunchbox Eats. Check the website for menus and admission fees. PRO TIP: Try the Trishalicious (that’s a drink) at 12 Bar.

Tonight at the Orpheum, WKNO presents Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass. Show starts at 8 PM.

In other news, Comcast has announced a data cap in Memphis. However, the Flyer reports that you could watch 64 movies, 150 half-hour TV shows, and 150 video clips and still be below the cap, so for most people it won’t matter.

The Flying Saucer has re-done their chalkboard. It now lists the 21 most recent “just landed” beers. For each beer, the board now lists serving size, alcohol by volume, and price. This is very useful since the new beers aren’t often on the “Fly Paper” beer menu yet. I won’t have to have the bartenders look up the price of the new beers to make sure I’m not accidentally ordering a $9 beer. People who drive to the Saucer (not that it’s ever an issue for me) won’t order a 10.5% beer by mistake.

That’s the news for now. On my way to Panda’s bar when Bardog opens at 11. Later in the day I have an engagement party to attend, then Bluff City Oktoberfest if it doesn’t rain. It’s been a great week at work and I’m going to cap it off with a great Saturday at play.


Fri update: Bluff City Oktoberfest, I-55, Gus’s, Dine Around in the Edge of the Village, Memphis Madness gets douchebag coverage, World Series watch party, new art shop and more

Bluff City Oktoberfest happens on Riverside Drive tonight and tomorrow. It’s free admission, but you can donate $5 to their charitable partners or bring canned goods if you choose. Live music, artisans, food trucks, and a beer tasting tomorrow from 2 to 6. I’m in for the beer tasting if it doesn’t rain, although I’ll be a bit late.

The Riverside Drive closure caused me to take I-55 South to work for the first time in over a year. They’ve finally finished all that construction around Mallory Avenue and all three lanes are open. Nice! I’ll have to start taking 55 more often. Seems like the drivers are a bit less insane than the ones on 240.

The Love, Memphis fundraiser for Kenya is tonight at Kudzu’s.

From the Flyer: Playing Chicken: The Stretch of Front Street in Front of Gus’s Fried Chicken Isn’t a Parking Lot. THIS IS AWESOME.

There will be a Dine Around in the Edge of the Village next Friday, October 11 from 5 to 9 PM. It will feature restaurants on the edge of the Victorian Village neighborhood. These include Jamaican restaurant Evelyn & Olive, Venezuelan restaurant Arepa & Salsa, French restaurant Monsieur DeMarcus, and farm-fresh food from Trolley Stop Market. Visit for more information. A portion of the night’s sales will benefit the Victorian Village Development Corporation.

Good news and bad news for the Memphis Tigers. Memphis Madness will be one of only nine schools featured in ESPN’s coverage of Midnight Madness on ESPNU October 18. It’s been the first time in several years the Tigers have received that coverage. The bad news? The analyst ESPN is sending to cover Memphis Madness is one of the biggest slimeballs in college basketball, Bruce Pearl. Douchey Brucey was let go from UT after the NCAA assessed a 3-year show-cause penalty for lying in an investigation and directing others to lie. I hope Memphians boo the Bruchebag out of the building.

AutoZone Park will throw a watch party for Game 2 of the World Series, showing the game on their HD video board and on TVs in the club level. Admission will be free, and fans can purchase a buffet of Rendezvous Barbeque, King Cotton hot dogs, Turner Dairy ice cream, and Coca-Cola soft drinks. Season ticket holders who renew that night will get a free wristband for the buffet. Beer will also be available for purchase. The game will be October 24 and gates will open at 6 PM.

The MBJ reports that a new art shop will open at 506 S. Main representing Memphis artists and craftspeople.

Last night I tried the Stoner Pie at the Silly Goose.

Photo Oct 03, 7 04 09 PM

Tater tots covered with queso and chorizo. I forgot to notice whether the Stoner Pie had a little symbol next to it on the menu saying it is recommended by the American Heart Association. I would think not though. You can get bacon or chicken instead of chorizo. Fun times at the Goose. Celebrated a birthday, caught up with a friend we haven’t seen in a while, got a furloughed government employee’s first-hand take on the shutdown.

Early lunch today, meeting, webinars, then home for the weekend and out to the bars. I’m about 50/50 on whether I’ll hit Bluff City Oktoberfest tonight or wait until tomorrow.