Christmas Eve update: Cafe Keough, Liberty Bowl parade, clothing drive for the homeless, crawfish, New Year’s day drinking news, places open today and tomorrow

Yesterday I noticed that Cafe Keough, the new coffeehouse at 12 S. Main, was open to the public for the first day. I meant to get back by there yesterday evening, but due to friends showing up at the Saucer I didn’t make it. I’ve been told the cafe’s next night open will be Friday, and I intend to hit the place after work (probably about 5:45ish) if anyone wants to join. My apartment building had its Christmas party is there and it is a fantastic space. I will very likely be a regular customer.

The Liberty Bowl parade will happen on Beale Street Sunday, December 31 at 3 PM. I have been to a few of these and they are a lot of fun. They are very different from the St. Pat’s and other, more local parades. Definitely worth checking out if you’ve never been to one. Mississippi State fans travel well and are really good folks – State is the class act of Mississippi public universities. As for Rice, the last time they won a conference championship, the game had to be temporarily halted when a woolly mammoth walked onto the field. You know they are excited to be going to a bowl and will come out in force. After the parade there is a pep rally at Handy Park at 5.

The Memphis Flyer reports that several local bars will hold a clothing drive for the homeless, and two of the drop-off locations are Downtown. You can bring gently used clothing to either Blind Bear or Local on the Main Street Mall. If you’re out east, Newby’s may be a more convenient drop-off location. Clothing will go to two places – the Manna House, a hospitality hub for the homeless, and Room at the Inn, a program that pairs homeless with local churches to provide shelter during the cold winter months. Drop off dates are the day after Christmas through January 8. I have a big pile of clothes that has been sitting on my bedroom floor for a while, and it will be taking a trip to the Bear with me later this week.

Downtown Memphis foodie the Nuh-Uh Girl posted that crawfish season has started early this year. Usually it’s about the third week of February before live crawfish starts to appear on restaurant menus, but they’re already being served in Louisiana. I would not be surprised if we see the Nuh-Uh Girl eating crawfish off the plates of paying customers as early as January.

Last night I was drinking beer with a manager from Aldo’s Pizza Pies, and he told me that they are opening at 11 New Year’s Day. Even if you’re not hungry for pizza that hour, it has a bar that serves 60 different beers, if you’re looking for someplace to day-drink in the Downtown core on New Year’s. Most bars don’t open until 5 after having had big crowds for New Year’s Eve.

Speaking of bars: Here’s a list of bars that I know will/will not be open today and tomorrow:

  • Bardog: Open until 3 AM tonight, open at 5 PM Christmas
  • Flying Saucer: Open until 5 PM tonight, open at 5 PM Christmas
  • South of Beale: Closed today, open at 5 PM Christmas
  • Tamp and Tap: Open until 5 PM tonight, closed Christmas
  • Double J: Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
  • Local: Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

If I get more later today, I will try to add to this list. I will also try to tweet/retweet openings/closings from my @paulryburn Twitter account. General rules of thumb that can be assumed: Restaurants that are not connected to hotels and are not chains and are not Chinese restaurants will most likely be closed tomorrow, and bars generally open at 5 PM on Christmas Day.

I’m in town for the holiday, so I will be out tonight. Christmas Eve is one of the most mellow bar nights Downtown, and a pleasant night to be out. I much prefer it to my most hated bar night of the year, New Year’s Eve, which is a week away. I guess I need to get my annual anti-New Year’s Eve rant/recommendations for people who hate it as much as I do together sometime soon. Anyway, I’ll be at the Saucer from about 3, then use social media to figure out my after-5 plan.