Tues… er, Wednesday update. Losing track of the days.

This morning I saw one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen Downtown. I was walking past one of the upscale apartment buildings (no not mine) and there was a notice posted on the front door. Management had detected “the illegal odor of marijuana” and when they figure out where it’s coming from, that person will have three days to vacate. Why would you post something like that on your FRONT DOOR, for the PUBLIC to see? Post it by the mailboxes. Post it by the elevator. But the front door? Really? In my opinion the person who posted that notice made a poorer decision than the person smoking the weed.

And aren’t there e-cigarettes you can buy these days that smell like marijuana? How do you know it isn’t one of those?

For those who don’t keep up with the news, Scotland votes whether to secede from the United Kingdom today. The Daily Beast reports that part of the reason Scots want to secede is the prospect that Prince Charles will one day become King Charles III. I feel their pain. I mean, the Queen is kind of like Elvis in that she may not be your cup of tea, but you can’t help but respect her. As for William and Harry, the kids are all right. Di was cool when she was alive. But Chuck? Chuck sucks. Even back in the 1980s I remember my grandmother telling me that the Queen might issue a decree that then-infant William would follow her in the line of succession because no one wanted to see Chuck as king. You know it’s bad when your own mother thinks you suck.

The Chisca caught on fire last night. It doesn’t sound serious though. It was a 2-alarm fire but that was just due to the size of the building,

The Curb Couture Trashion Show returns Sunday, September 28. You, yes you, can pay $53.49 to see people dressed up in garbage. This ranks right up there with karaoke night and Ole Miss home games in terms of events I plan to attend.

I just trashed the trashion show.

From the Flyer: New rules are coming for Uber and Lyft.

iOS 8 dropped today. Here’s a review.

Don’t forget about the RiverFit pop-up fitness park opening at Tom Lee Park this afternoon. If you get there at 6:30 you can work out with the Grizz Girls.

All right. Gotta get back to other things. I’m creating a detailed load-in plan for Squeal Street BBQ for Best Memphis Burger Fest on Sunday, but Microsoft Excel keeps crashing because this netbook only has a gig of RAM. I guess I can draw the pie charts on bar napkins if I have to. Unlike my BBQ team, Squeal Street has not won a trophy thus far in 2014 and I plan to do everything I can to change that on Sunday. In the meantime, if anyone wants to meet up for dranks I will be at Jessica’s bar at Silly Goose at 4 PM today.


Monday update. Oops it’s Tuesday.

Apologies for the lack of blog posts lately. What happened was, we had an ice  cream social at church and somebody ordered a second gallon of peppermint and things got a bit crazy. You know how that goes.

Damn that was some good ice cream.

Bardog is doing a trial run of British bingo with Diamond Dave tonight in the Underdog Room (that’s the downstairs) at 7:30. This is the same Diamond Dave who calls bingo Wednesdays at the Brass Door. It’s also pint night with all pints $3 (including the good stuff, PBR) tonight at Bardog.

The Grizzlies’ new pop-up fitness park has its grand opening at Tom Lee Park tomorrow afternoon from 5 to 7.  You can work out with Kosta Koufos and the Grizz Girls with instruction by professional trainers. They’ll have pre-season vouchers while supplies last. Face painting n’ shit for the kids.

The Blind Bear has sweet tea and Dr. Pepper for lunch now.

Lily from the AT&T commercials? I’d hit that.

The Flyer interviewed the legendary Lance Russell last week. Who’s going to Monday Night RAW six days from now? Me and my buddy Nick are going so look for us on TV. I didn’t buy the tickets but I hear we’re facing the hard camera and they’re pretty good seats. And we’re laying a guilt trip on our buddy Chad to take his boys Louie and Doc to see John Cena even though we think John Cena sucks. Brock Lesnar beat that ass at SummerSlam and I wish he’d killed Cena.

Don’t forget about the charity poker tournament Thursday night at Blind Bear. Prediction: Me vs. Lisa, final two, heads up. Which I will win because I’m much smarter than Lisa.

I actually bothered to highlight text and select the U icon in WordPress. I am awesome.

JJ from Blind Bear just showed me a picture of his new pet which is a bird eating tarantula.

I need a new netbook. This one’s five years old. Do they even make netbooks anymore? Chick who just sat next to me has one of those tablets with a plugin keyboard and it looks like the damn dance floor at Raiford’s.

Sheryl (Jeannette’s mom) just told me I’m the only person from Arkansas she’s ever liked. “And I have to go to Walmart over there.”

All right, time to hit Publish. Possible second post today so check back. Or maybe Friday.

Sun update: Fitness park, Oktoberfest, HairFest, Sweetwater beer dinner, doll tour, bridge walk and more

Sorry for going 2 days without a post… I’ve been out livin’ the life.

The pop-up fitness park at Tom Lee Park opens Thursday. This was the brainchild of the Memphis Grizzlies who are sponsoring the fitness park. There will be an unveiling Wednesday 4-7 PM with food trucks and equipment demonstrations.

There will be an Oktoberfest celebration at Flying Saucer on Friday, October 10 at 6 PM. $20 will get you 12 5-ounce glasses of beer samples. I will get more information about this event this week. I hope this means my favorite pair of librarian glasses will be dressed up as a German beer wench again. That was pretty awesome last year. Or was it 2 years ago?

International HairFest happens today at Handy Park at 1.

Sweetwater Brewing Co. is having a beer dinner at Downtown Local on Tuesday. Four courses paired with Atlanta-based Sweetwater beer. Click through to see the menu and to make reservations.

The Woodruff-Fontaine House is having a “Sunday doll” tour today. Starting at noon their haunting collection of dolls will be on display.

I need the day bar schedule of all the Downtown bars Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday since I will be off so I can plan out what I will be doing those days. Although, on one of those days I want to hit DeJaVu right when it opens for lunch. I want that Arkansas Outlaw!!!

The Memphis Flyer has coverage of the food journalists’ conference that was here last week.

Historian Jimmy Ogle leads a Mississippi River bridge walk today at 2. It’s free to walk. Meet at Crump Park next to the Metal Museum.

All right. Starting off at Bloom’s bar at 11 then over to Blind Bear to watch fantasy footballers scream at the TV. Saucer some point after 5. This is a Sunday without a Monday behind it for me so I’m taking the night off from poker. Late night probably.


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.

Three stories Three stories from this week’s High Ground News of interest to Downtownersfrom this week’s High Ground News of interest to Downtowners

One of my favorite email publications, and one of my favorite sources of stories to link to in this blog, is High Ground News. While other news sources report murders and school lockdowns and parking lot assaults, High Ground reports on the many positive things happening in Memphis that make this city a better place to live. I received my weekly issue today and there were three stories that may be of interest to Downtowners.

The Edge is a great little neighborhood just east of the Downtown core, with great businesses like Trolley Stop Market, Kudzu’s, High Cotton Brewing Co, Evelyn & Olive, and Arepa and Salsa. At its easternmost end sits the legendary Sun Studio where Elvis and other music greats recorded. On Saturday, October 18, there will be a MEMfix event from 10 AM to 8 PM in the Edge. There will be live music, vendors, pop-up shops, and food trucks, all of which will be responsive to the neighborhood’s unique personality.

There’s an app for everything these days… including an app to fight blight. It is being beta-tested in three Memphis neighborhoods, one of which is Uptown.

Another article in High Ground News this week asks, how local is your beer?<?a> Around the country, more and more craft brewers are using locally- and regionally-grown ingredients in their beers.

If you want to subscribe to this excellent e-publication, go to the High Ground News home page and scroll down. On the right sidebar you will see a link where you can subscribe your email address. High Ground News will then arrive in your inbox every Wednesday.

Wed update: HCB Oktoberfest, G.E. Patterson 5K, Spirits with Spirits, food writers’ conference, Grizzlies Den sale, PBR, Amazon Smile, Poker Hall of Fame

I have more information about the Oktoberfest celebration at High Cotton Brewing Co. that I mentioned the other day. It will be Saturday, October 4 from noon until 7 and tickets are $40. There will be food, open taps, circus performers, live music, and games for the kids. (They’re inviting KIDS to a beer festival?) There’s also a $75 VIP ticket that gets you a larger selection of open taps, an all-you-can-eat buffet including a locally-raised whole pig roast, an Oktoberfest T-shirt, and a commemorative glass stein. The day will also be the release day of High Cotton Oktoberfest beer. You can purchase tickets here. The $40 appears to be an early bird price. The event benefits Grow Memphis.

A week from Saturday, there will be a 5K Downtown benefiting Porter-Leath’s preschool program which serves more than 4000 children under age 5 each year. The 5K, named for the late Bishop G.E. Patterson, will depart from the COGIC Temple of Deliverance at 369 G.E. Patterson Avenue on September 20 at 8 AM, with registration beginning at 7 AM. More information and registration can be found here.

Saturday, November 1 is the Day of the Dead and Elmwood Cemetery is throwing a party: Spirits with the Spirits. There will be spirits by Roaring Tiger Vodka and Ghost River Beer, and food by the Boiling Point, Just for Lunch, and Fork it Over Catering. Dress is black & white casual with costumes and characters encouraged. $60 per body, $100 per couple.

In case you’re wondering what food journalists talk about at a conference, here’s the agenda for the conference starting today at the Peabody. I bet the Nuh-Uh Girl would have attended this if she still lived in Memphis.

The Grizzlies have announced a sale in the Grizzlies Den Store Saturday from 10 to 2.

The featured glass for Glass Night tonight at the Little Rock Flying Saucer is PBR. Sure wish we could get some of that PBR in the Memphis Saucer!

Amazon has a new program called Amazon Smile where they will donate to a charity of your choice, at no cost to you, every time you shop. I picked St. Jude from the list of charities.

Fellow poker players may be interested in this announcement: The ten finalists have been announced as candidates to be the 2014 player inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Inductees must be at least 40 years old, so this is the first year Daniel Negreanu is eligible. I don’t see how they can select anyone else. Although, I would like to see Huckleberry Seed go in at some point just because I think Huckleberry Seed is such a cool name for a poker player.

Too much news to fit into a lunchtime post, so I will very likely do a second one tonight. Check back.

Happy birthday John! Plus: My first Lyft experience, food truck rodeo tomorrow

Yesterday evening, in my Monday Update blog post, I mentioned that I might stop by Slider Inn Saturday after the Cooper-Young Festival. I commented that it would only be my second visit to Slider Inn in 2014.

However, at the time of that post, I had visited Slider Inn zero times in 2014.

I also mentioned that on Monday evening, I planned to stop by Bardog, Flying Saucer (actually never made it to Saucer) with maybe one stop in between.

There was some hidden information there.

You see, our buddy John Haley, the executive chef at Bardog, celebrates a big birthday today. He thought yesterday was just a typical Monday evening, unwinding with a couple of friends for sex trivia at Bardog’s sibling restaurant Slider Inn.

He got more than he bargained for. There was a surprise birthday party waiting for him with 20 or 25 of his friends.

That wasn’t the only surprise he got. A bunch of us chipped in to get John a Big Green Egg. Big Green Eggs are very high-end grills, considered among the best out there. It didn’t ship quite in time so John actually got a picture of a Big Green Egg last night. It should arrive today.

John’s birthday cake was a chef’s cake created by the super-talented MK of Cake Madam. Look at the attention to detail! Every single piece of the cake was edible, even the Bardog order ticket.

Photo Sep 08, 9 26 42 PM

Here’s a pic of the birthday boy blowing out the candles.

Photo Sep 08, 9 23 19 PM

Yesterday was also my first Lyft experience. I had planned to have a couple of beers at Bardog and then have Melissa call me a cab to Slider Inn. Melissa told me, “Ian is going to Slider Inn too. Do you want to split a ride with him?” That sounded good to me. Ian has the Lyft app, and after we finished our beers he placed the order for a ride. I made a stop to the restroom then we walked outside. “The car is close to here,” he said, showing me a map. “It’s a burgundy SUV.” Not five seconds after he said that, a burgundy SUV showed up. The driver was very friendly and polite and 10 minutes later, we were at Slider Inn. The cost was $8. A cab ride from Bardog to Slider Inn would be in the $13-15 range I would guesstimate. About 10 Ian requested a ride back Downtown and it arrived in under five minutes.

The only thing is, to use Lyft with a debit card, it has to be tied to a bank account. I haven’t used a bank debit card in a couple of years after so many friends of mine got their debit cards skimmed. I now use a prepaid debit card where I can move money over from my PayPal account, and keep the minimum I need on there for emergencies and online purchases. However, Lyft is so much better that traditional taxi cabs that I may have to call my bank and say, “I changed my mind, send me a debit card.”

There will be a special food truck rodeo in Court Square at lunchtime tomorrow in honor of the American Food Journalists conference that is in town. Stickem, Mark’s Grill, Central BBQ, and Rock ‘n’ Dough Pizza will be at the park. There will be live music by Big Barton from 11:45 to 1.

I’ll probably be back with an after-work post with more news, so check back.

Mon update: Music showcase benefiting St. Jude, Rocky Horror photos, learn to be a BBQ Fest judge, Grizzlies job, Cooper-York Festival (no not a typo), Food Truck Friday @ Emerge

The Memphis Music Showcase benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital returns to Minglewood Hall on Friday, October 10. The event, in its second year, will feature live music by the River City Tanlines, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Knowledge Nick, Sin City Scoundrels, and The Whiskey Republic. Tickets are $10 at the door, which opens at 7 PM, and all proceeds go to St. Jude.

If you missed The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Orpheum last Friday, photographer Frank Chin has pictures of the costumes people wore and what the theater looked like after all the props had been put to use.

Memphis in May has announced its annual BBQ judging seminar for Saturday, November 8, from 9 AM to 3 PM. If you attend this seminar, you can qualify to be a judge at BBQ Fest in 2015. Although, you don’t have to be a judge if you go. Some of the best BBQ teams send a cook or a team captain to judging seminars to get an inside look at what the judges are looking for.

Want to work for the Grizzlies? There is a marketing analyst position open.

If you’re going to the annual Cooper-Young Festival this Saturday, be sure to stop by the Cooper-York Festival, which will be held in Memphis Made Brewing Co.’s parking lot (the one with the I Love Memphis mural), on Cooper just south of Central). In addition to Memphis Made beer and merchandise, Central BBQ and Aldo’s Pizza Pies will be on hand as well. The Grizzlies will have a pop-up basketball court and gear at the event, as well as an art show entitled No Easy Buckets: A Celebration of Art and Basketball.

For those unfamiliar with the Cooper-Young Festival, I will say more about it later this week. I haven’t made it to the festival the past two years, but this year I am leaning toward going. I will probably head out there between 10 and 11 AM Saturday and come back sometime in the late afternoon. I will probably walk up to Slider Inn for a visit then cab it back from there. As much as I like Aldo’s restaurants, Saturday will be only my second trip to Slider Inn in 2014. I need to get out of Downtown more.

The Stickem food truck will be back at Emerge Memphis, Tennessee at G.E. Patterson, this Friday from 11 AM to 1:30 PM. Weather for Friday looks fantastic, so if you work in the area, come on out and support!

Home from work, time for beer. Happy hour with Melissa at Bardog is first up. I’ll probably get to Pint Nite at the Saucer later in the evening, with one other stop in between. Back tomorrow with more.

Want to watch Tiger football today? I hope you like East Memphis.

I’ve had a couple of readers email me to ask if anyplace Downtown will be showing the Memphis vs. UCLA football game tonight, which is at 9 on the Pac-12 Network. It doesn’t look like it. Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog has been collecting a list of places showing the game and it’s pretty short. As of 10:30 this morning her list was

  • Brookhaven Pub
  • Fox & Hound
  • Dan McGuinness
  • Newby’s

So if you really want to see the game, it looks like you’ll be traveling to (ugh) East Memphis tonight.

Follow Holly on Twitter at @ilovememphis to see if there are any more updates. And if you haven’t checked out her blog, you should. It’s excellent.

Sat update: Bar Rescue, Cadre Halloween event, Overton Square-Cooper Young shuttle, High Cotton beer, Start Co. receives SBA funding, Redbirds, Grizzlies

I’ve mentioned a couple of times on this blog that recently I’ve become addicted to the TV show Bar Rescue. On this show, bar expert Jon Taffer, a bar science expert who has turned around more than 800 bars, helps failing bar owners fix their businesses. I watched an episode last night in which Taf helped turn around a hip-hop nightclub. It was really refreshing to hear Taf openly discuss problems that need to be addressed with no mention of race. Maybe we need to get Taf to rescue Beale Street. View the full episode here. In the 25 or so episodes I have viewed, this is perhaps Taffer’s biggest turnaround.

We have our first Halloween party announcement of the year. The Cadre Building at Second and Monroe is throwing its inaugural Monster’s Ball on October 31. Lord T & Eloise will provide the live music for this event, along with DJ Jordan Rogers. There will be a costume contest, a photo booth, food and drinks, a VIP lounge on the mezzanine, special appearances, and more. Tickets are $50 general admission and $100 VIP. The event benefits LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.

FANTASTIC IDEA: A new shuttle service will connect Overton Square and Cooper-Young. Premier Transportation will be running the shuttle and it will be unveiled September 18. This will keep both neighborhoods vibrant. I personally would be much more likely to make field trips to Midtown if I could hit my favorite places in Overton Square (and nearby Slider Inn) and Cooper-Young in the same night without calling multiple cabs. Glad to see it being run by experienced transportation professionals (and glad to see it not run by MATA). If the shuttle proves successful, perhaps at a point in the future we can petition Premier for a Downtown-Overton Square route.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has a good post about Downtown brewery High Cotton’s new session IPA. It’s not often you see an IPA at 4% ABV. If they were able to maintain the characteristics of an IPA at such a low alcohol content, then that’s quite an accomplishment. The brewery is at 598 Monroe and has a taproom open late afternoon/early evening today.

Congratulations to small business accelerator Start Co., which recently received $50,000 in funding by the Small Business Administration. Nice to see the SBA recognize that Start Co. is on the cutting edge of helping to build new companies that will create the jobs of the future.

The Redbirds were shut out at home in Game 3 of the playoffs last night. Tonight is do or die for the ‘birds. First pitch is 7:05 at AutoZone Park.

Thinking about buying Grizzlies season tickets or 22-game or 12-game packs for the coming season? There’s an open house going on today until 2 where you can test-drive your seats.

On my way to Panda’s bar at Bardog for my first stop of the day. Thanks to one of my Facebook friends for helping me pick out my outfit.