Unexpected half day off update: Cooking classes, Ferguson discussion, free concert, Gladys Knight, Lansky needs model, charity poker and bunco tournaments, micro-distilleries, Start Co. post-accelerator program

Bonus half day off! The rain tapered off in Memphis, but it never did in DeSoto County. The torrential rain overflowed our office building’s duck pond into the parking lot, and they had to let us go or we would’ve been stranded. NOTE TO ANYONE TRAVELING IN/TO HORN LAKE: Avoid Interstate Blvd. for the next several hours.

The Church Health Center at 1115 Union has announced a fall cooking class series. Every Thursday from October 2 through November 6, a Memphis chef will lead a class from 6 to 7:30 PM in the center’s demonstration kitchen. Classes are $45 each and include wine. Two notable Downtown chefs will be leading classes: Chef Gary Williams of DeJaVu will teach Creole Cookery on October 23, and Chef Felicia Suzanne Willett will show you how to cook Southern Favorites on October 30.

The National Civil Rights Museum will host “In the Wake of Ferguson: A Community Conversation” tonight at 5:30. The conversation will include representatives from local law enforcement, the DA’s office, community leaders, and local media.

There will be a free Sounds of Beale concert tonight in Handy Park, Third and Beale, by Say It Ain’t So tonight at 7.

Gladys Knight plays the Orpheum tonight at 8 with special guest Jammin Jay Lamont.

Lansky Brothers is searching for a male model 5’10” or above who wears a medium or large sized shirt. If interested, go by their store at Second and Beale.

The Blind Bear will be hosting charity poker and bunco tournaments from 6 to 9 PM next Thursday, September 18, to benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Memphis. Donate at the door to play. For poker, a $20 donation gets you 2000 in chips, or a $30 donation gets you 4000. There will be one rebuy of $10 for 1000 in chips or $20 for 2000. Rebuys may be based on blinds rather than limited to one, depending on attendance. Top two finishers get prizes, including gift cards to Downtown restaurants. Bunco is a $20 donation to play, with prizes to the winners. Food and drink specials will be available.

Craft breweries have popped up in Memphis the past two years. What’s next? The folks behind Big River Distilling are hoping we will soon see micro-distilleries around the city. The MBJ has coverage and mentions that a micro-distillery called Old Dominick will be opened by D. Canale in the Front Street Chicken District near Gus’s next year. (Credit to @kerry901 for coining the term “Front Street Chicken District”)

Demo Day, where entrepreneurs pitch to investors, is no longer the final step for companies participating in Start Co.’s accelerator programs. Start Co. has now set up a post-accelerator program to keep them going in the next phase of their business and for future pitches to investors for funding.

That’s the news for today. After a 45-minute drive from Horn Lake to Downtown, I’m home safe and it’s time for some bonus day drinking. Headed to the Blind Bear shortly.