Thur update: New retail center south of FedExForum, Harrah’s closing, Dishcrawl, the value of steals in the NBA, pay-per-views and bars, new poker and trivia nights, Redbirds uniforms, Bell Biv Devoe

The Memphis Business Blog has news of a $3 million retail and entertainment center to be built south of the FedExForum at Third and Butler. It will have room for a yogurt shop, office suites, a convenience store, a welcome center and ticket hub, a cyber cafe and a beverage cafe. The center will be called SOFO and will have a 68-space parking lot.

This isn’t Downtown news, but it affects some Downtowners so I’ll mention it. Harrah’s casino in Tunica is closing on June 2. That means that the Smokin’ Aces BBQ festival that takes place on Harrah’s grounds the third week of every September is likely not going to happen this year. My friends on Squeal Street BBQ will have one less festival to attend. I guess it will allow them to focus more on the Best Memphis Burger Festival, which is around the same time.

The Daily News has an excellent article on Dishcrawl. If you’re a foodie you should check it out.

Interesting article on stat site FiveThirtyEight: The hidden value of the NBA steal. Although he isn’t mentioned specifically in the article, it does a nice job explaining why a player like Tony Allen is so valuable to the Grizzlies, despite never having been a major scoring weapon.

From time to time I get asked why locally-owned bars like Max’s Sports Bar don’t show UFC pay-per-views, while chains like Hooters do. Yesterday I was on one of my pro wrestling sites, reading the Ask 411 Wrestling column, and a little more than halfway down the page someone asks about this. The column’s author gives a very good explanation.

There’s a new weekly poker game Downtown tonight that is free to play, with a prize for the winner. It will be in the back of Cafe Keough, the new cafe at 12 S. Main in the Number 10 Main building, at 8 PM. It will be hosted by Muruako who directs the Monday game at the Silly Goose.

I just got some more news about Cafe Keough. Starting next week, they will have trivia night at 7 PM on Mondays. The trivia host will be Charles, who calls the Tuesday game at Double J and the Wednesday game at Blind Bear.

From the MBJ: The Redbirds plan to wear Egyptian-themed uniforms on June 7.

Bell Biv Devoe will perform at the Cannon Center Sunday. Call 525-1515 for tickets. Tickets are $45-75. I had no idea they were still together.

Welcome to those in town for the NCAA South Regional. Accomplished burger blogger Seth has a good post about best Memphis burgers for the NCAA tournament.

As usual on Thursday, I’ll lead off at Silly Goose after work. I’ll be at Cafe Keough at 8 for the poker game, with maybe a quick Saucer stop in between. Outta here for now.