Flyer quotes me on Bass Pro, and Saturday news

I’m quoted in the Memphis Flyer this week. Writer Toby Sells knew the new Bass Pro going into the Pyramid would appeal to people who hunt and fish. But what about Downtowners? Would Bass Pro be a place we would frequent regularly? Sells asked how much time I thought I would spend there. My response can be found here.

It’s almost time for the annual flip-the-switch party to turn on the lights on Downtown’s Christmas tree. This year Jerry “The King” Lawler will do the honor of flipping the switch next Friday, November 21, at 4:30 at Beale and Rufus Thomas. There will be free hot chocolate and donuts, and the first 50 kids will get a gift from the Magic Light Wand Company. Grizz, the Grizzline drum line, the Grizzlies Claw Crew, and Santa will be there as well.

LUNCHBOXeats is cooking Thanksgiving meals if you don’t feel like doing the work yourself. They are selling dinner packages as well as individual entrees, sides, and desserts. You can view the list and prices here. You need to place your order well in advance so they have time to get everything cooked. Can you believe we’re less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving 2014? Where did this year go?

The first 5000 fans in the FedExForum tonight get a free pair of Grizzlies earbuds. The Grizzlies play the Detroit Pistons and game time is 7 PM.

If you celebrate Hanukkah, the Belz Museum gift shop is selling menorahs for 25% off for the next week starting today. The museum is in Pembroke Square on the Main Street Mall.

The Mid-South Food Bank needs volunteers on Tuesday, November 18. They will be conducting a telethon to raise money to buy Thanksgiving turkeys for hungry families, and they need people to answer the phones and take pledges. The hours when they need volunteers the most will be noon to 6 PM. $15 provides a turkey to a family.

That’s it for now. It’s business as usual for me on this Saturday, which means I will be kicking it off at Panda’s bar at Bardog at 11. Rest of the day to be figured out.

Start Co. launches a BBQ team, Antonio Anderson launches his coaching career and more Friday news

Start Co. is starting its own BBQ team for Memphis in May BBQ Fest 2015. From what I gathered from their website, it appears as though it will be a whole hog team. I’m sure it will be an exciting booth filled with founders, mentors, and people full of ideas. Start Co. was the sponsor of the team I’m on, the Moody Ques, for 2014. I’m happy to see them branch out on their own, and I wish them the best and thank them for a great year this year.

This does mean that the Moody Ques is looking for a new sponsor. We compete in shoulder and have one of the largest booths in the park, and our booth has developed a reputation as one of the most fun places to be at BBQ Fest. We had back-to-back wins for Best Booth the past two years, with a professional event planner and a team of artists working on the design. Many, many people heard about our booth and came by for a look, resulting in lots of extra eyeballs on our 2013 and 2014 sponsors. We are putting together a packet for potential sponsors outlining what you will get for different levels of contribution – and, of course, those are just rough guidelines and we can tailor the experience to fit your needs. If your company would be interested in sponsorship shoot me an email at and I will have one of our team leaders contact you.

We may be looking to add some more members as well, so if you’re interested in being a team member shoot me an email about that too.

Never give up. That’s the lesson from last night’s Grizzlies game. 00:00:3 is all the time in the world. I watched the end of the game at Bardog, and when the Grizzlies came back from down 26 to win with a buzzer-beater pass from Vince Carter to Courtney Lee, the place went wild.

In other basketball news, former Memphis Tiger Antonio Anderson, a member of the 2007-08 team that went to the national title game, starts his coaching career tomorrow. He has been hired as an assistant at Wheelock College. I always thought he would make a good coach, with an excellent mind for the game and a lot of leadership qualities. Anderson was the glue that held the 07-08 team together.

The Loony Bin, the new gallery at 8 South Main, will host a “Loony Blooze” event tomorrow night. The live music lineup features The Suede Tones at 6, Theo & The Boogie Blues Trio at 7, and Zeke Johnson & Ms.Zeno at 8.

There’s a Groupon for Ballet Memphis presents The Nutcracker at the Orpheum December 12 or 13. Up to 50% off.

Tomorrow’s Winter Market theme at Memphis Farmers Market is Cooler Temps Mean Warmer Meals. Open 9 AM to 1 PM at the Central Station Pavilion, Front at G.E. Patterson. Live music by Adam Levin from 11 to 12:30.

From the MBJ: A new restaurant will open in the former TJ Mulligan’s space in The Pinch. The new business will be more of a restaurant and less of a bar than Mulligan’s was. It will have an outdoorsy theme that will complement the new Bass Pro down the street.

Four hours until my birthday weekend begins, although the actual birthday is not until Tuesday. No special plans, just hitting the usual stops. I’m leading off at Blind Bear tonight to help one of my BBQ teammates with his new website. Plans after that TBD.

I have nothing to report, except I will report that I have nothing to report

Is that a WKRP quote? Kinda sounds like something Mr. Carlson would say.

Okay, I do have a little to report. In this MBJ article, Billy Orgel talks about plans for the Tennessee Brewery which he just bought. He said that although Untapped won’t be coming back, it did prove to him the building’s central garden space’s desirability as an event space.

This isn’t a Downtown event but it’s for St. Jude, so what the heck… on Saturday, November 22, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, there will be a St. Jude Give Thanks Walk starting at the Carriage Crossing Mall in Collierville. Your walk helps support an institution that has saved many children’s lives and never sends a bill to the families.

Old Crow Medicine Show plays the Orpheum on Saturday.

The Majestic Grille posted that reservations have already filled up for Brunch with Santa and Clark’s Christmas, two of their most popular holiday events. Reservations are still open for their Sunday Supper & A Movie series starting on Sunday, November 30 with Miracle on 34th Street. Details here.

Stop it with the “Pastner should be fired” comments after the Tigers’ exhibition loss to CBU. The team is green and Pastner still needs time to get them to work together. It’s just like the situation four years ago when Joe and the crew were freshmen. The good news is, the veterans Shaq, Austin, and Nick King are Josh’s guys, whereas four years ago the veterans were Cal’s leftovers.

A few of us got together last night at the Blind Bear and had an initial talk about the different directions we could take the BBQ team for 2015. I will probably have a post soon. There will be opportunities for people looking to join or sponsor.

Well, I guess I did have news to report. There’s a chance I may go to Burlesque Bingo at the Mad Earl at 8. In any case, I will hit the Silly Goose for happy hour after work. The cold won’t keep me at home!

Grizzlies ticket deal and more news

The Grizzlies, fresh off a win over the L.A. Lakers, return to the FedExForum tomorrow night to host the Sacramento Kings. It is the first of the Thirsty Thursdays nights for the 2014-15 season. For $50, you get a club-level ticket, a flight of beers and food in the First Tennessee Club Draft Room. There are over 20 domestic and import beers available in the Draft Room, and there are also food pairings. I’ve been to Grizzlies games on tickets that are food and beer inclusive, thanks to poker wins at Bardog several years ago, and let me tell you they are a SWEET deal.

Tonight at 5:30 at the Cotton Museum, there will be a Cocktail Hour and Book Talk with R. Scott Williams about his new book The Forgotten Adventures of Richard Halliburton: A High-Flying Life from Tennessee to Timbuktu. I bet the talk will be of particular interest to my fellow Rhodes College alumni, because there is a tower on campus named for Halliburton. “Like a modern-day Icarus, he flew too close to the sun.” The museum will provide cocktails and light snacks for the event, which is free and open to the public.

If you’re a WWE Network subscriber, a new episode of Rivalries dropped yesterday: Rhodes vs. Flair. I watched about two-thirds of it yesterday and it is a can’t-miss. It starts out with rookie Ric Flair in the AWA in the early 1970s, idolizing flamboyant heel Dusty Rhodes who was in a tag team with Dick Murdoch at the time. It goes on to discuss Dusty’s 1974 face turn in Florida, the development of his “American Dream” character that connected with the fans, and his 1979 and 1981 world title wins. The episode then gets into Flair’s development of the equally flamboyant “Nature Boy” character that became the most hated heel in the Mid-Atlantic territory, leading up to his 1981 title victory over Rhodes that established him as the top man in the NWA for the 1980s. I was just getting to the Four Horsemen years when it was time to go to bed. Based on what I have seen so far, this is one of the best documentaries WWE has put on the Network.

In case you missed the news this morning: Humankind has landed a probe on a comet 317 million miles away.

Ride the Roo will offer a Downtown lunchtime shuttle during Downtown Dining Week next week.

Correction from yesterday evening’s blog: The Tennessee Brewery sold for $825,000, not $825 million.

Congratulations to my opponent at Blind Bear who knocked me out of poker last night not once, but twice. Well played indeed.

Back to work… I’ll be out at the usual spots in a few hours. I think it may be a Shorty pasta bowl kind of evening.

Second Veterans’ Day update

The MBJ reports that a new craft soda pop store will open soon on South Main with hundreds of varieties of soda. The store had a booth at RiverArtsFest recently.

Need a job? The American Queen Steamboat Company is hiring. They’ll have a job fair at Beale Street Landing November 22 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Wiseacre Brewing Co. is expanding into West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Good to see Memphis-brewed beer gaining a foothold in locations outside the Bluff City metro.

The sale of the Tennessee Brewery to developer Billy Orgel has closed for $825 million. The brewery has officially been saved from demolition.

Congratulations to four Start Co. graduate companies that received funding recently.

Heading out for beer. Silly Goose, then Blind Bear poker. Once again, thanks on this Veterans’ Day to all who have served.


Veterans’ Day news

Happy Veterans Day and THANK YOU to those who have served or are serving our country. Mashable has a great article on the advantages of hiring veterans. Veterans acquire a lot of positive work habits at an early age.

A friend of mine asked me to mention how much he enjoys shopping at Pyramid Liquors, on A.W. Willis Ave. near the Shell station. The Sunshine Cleaners next door closed, and Pyramid expanded into that space, allowing the liquor store to carry a larger selection. In addition to liquor and wine, Pyramid now has a growler station. Beer lovers no longer have to drive to Midtown to get their growlers filled. Pyramid also carries mixers and snacks, so you can keep the party going with just one stop.

Another reason to hate the AP Stylebook: They’ve arbitrarily decided it’s “sheikh” now, rather than “sheik.” Whatever. If someone wants to give me a thoughtful Christmas gift, print the Stylebook on a roll of toilet paper and send it to me.

Sweetie Pie’s on Beale will open soon, but will the contractors get paid?

There’s a Groupon for admission to the STAX Museum for two, four, or six. This is a fantastic museum and a must-see if you’re into music history.

Good news for Uber and Lyft users: The Daily News reports that ridesharing could get the city OK.

Looking for something to do at work this afternoon, other than your job? The Internet Arcade has 900 classic video games that you can play for free.

Because I’m a former math teacher: Why we use x as the unknown in math

The Memphis Business Journal’s BBQ brackets are down to the final two, the Journey to the Chompionships: Corky’s vs. The Bar-B-Q Shop.

Grizzlies vs. Lakers at 7 at the FedExForum. Get there early to get a free camo Grizzlies hat.

As usual on Tuesday, I will be at poker at the Blind Bear tonight at 8. Time to eat some lunch and get some work done.

Second Friday update

More news. Let’s do this…

The Memphis Business Journal has a good story about SynapsePay, the mobile payment system that was created by a local startup. Businesses Downtown that accept payment via SynapsePay include Central BBQ, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Tamp & Tap, The Mad Earl, Oshi Burger Bar, and Local. The advantage of accepting SynapsePay is that businesses only incur a 10 to 25 cent fee, as opposed a fee of a couple percent of the transaction. On a $100 transaction that’s a big difference.

Kooky Canuck Cordova has officially opened. If you live out that way, go by and get Kooky this weekend! I saw people from Twitter asking for one south of the border (TN-MS border that is). Considering I work in Horn Lake, I would like to second that motion.

In tech news: Facebook is giving you more control over your News Feed. Much needed! I pull up Facebook and see that my friends Dennis and Karen had dessert at the Blind Bear 23 hours ago. Know when that information would have been useful? 22 hours and 50 minutes ago! Not now! The article says you will have “show me more of this type of post” and “show me less of this type of post” options, which sounds really good.

Memphis Magazine has a good post about brunch at Belle Bistro. The bistro is on Union in the old Rio Loco space.

River Rat Rounders bar poker club will give away seats to Deal Cancer Out to the winners of its poker tournaments next week, including the 10 PM and midnight games at the Mad Earl. Deal Cancer Out is a charity poker tournament at Dan McGuinness on the 22nd. Normal entrance fee if you haven’t won a seat is $35, $45 at the door.

Weekend! Time for beer. Outta here.

Librarian glasses and Friday news

Photo Nov 06, 9 06 19 PM

My favorite pair of librarian glasses came to the Flying Saucer last night for International Stout Day.

Every year the Memphis Tigers basketball team plays a secret scrimmage that is closed to the public before the season begins. This year’s secret scrimmage is said to be at FedExForum and the Daily News is 99% sure the opponent is St. Louis.

If you’re a fan of Nikki’s Hot Ass seasoning and chips, they now have a Bloody Mary mix. You can “like” the Bloody Mary page on Facebook for updates.

Teach for America is hosting a free “Get Riverfit” class with coach Lauren Phelps tomorrow at 11 AM at the Grizzlies’ pop-up fitness park at Tom Lee Park.

The Memphis Farmers Market’s winter market starts tomorrow at the Central Station pavilion. Hours are 9 AM to 1 PM.

Radio host Chris Vernon tweeted a photo of the camo Grizzlies hat that will be given away to fans who attend next Tuesday’s home game. First 5000 fans in attendance will get one.

There was another small fire at the Chisca Hotel, currently being renovated into apartments and retail space. The fire was on the top floor and was put out quickly.

There will be a Heroes in Recovery 6K starting at Court Square tomorrow. Runners will be mainly on Second and Riverside and traffic will be affected from approximately 8 to 9:15 AM.

If you’re looking for a place to watch the Memphis Tigers football game tonight, Max’s Sports Bar will have it on with sound. They have plenty of TVs so you can watch both the Tigers and Grizzlies at the same time.

The Grizzlies’ D-League team the Iowa Energy plays tomorrow at the FedExForum at 5. Former Memphis Tigers Pierre Henderson-Niles and Ferrakohn Hall play for the Energy.

I’ll be out at Blind Bear at 10 to catch the Eric Hughes Trio. Hope to see you there for some great live music!

Thursday update #2

This has been a newsy Thursday. Let’s get going…

Earlier this year city officials were told that the Bass Pro Shop in the Pyramid was expected to open in time for the 2014 holiday season. Now the MBJ is reporting a revised opening date: May 1. *Sigh* How many times has the opening date been pushed back? Oh well, the good news is, by the time the store actually opens, we’ll have our Social Security checks to spend there.

The MBJ article has more information about the plans for Bass Pro, including the two restautants, a Sky High Catfish Cabin and Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl & Grill. There will also be a duck aviary, an archery and pistol range, a hotel, an aquarium, and a pit of 20 live alligators.

A soul food restaurant called Marie’s Eatery is opening in the former Rizzo’s spot on G.E. Patterson. Rizzo’s moved around the corner to 492 S. Main.

The Eric Hughes Trio plays Blind Bear Friday. Highly recommended if you have never heard this band. If you have, I don’t have to highly recommend them – you already KNOW how good they are.

Want to be a certified Storm Spotter? is offering a class next Tuesday, November 11, taught by National Weather Service staff. You can take the class at home on your computer or mobile device.

The Rock & Soul Museum is launching renovations on a space inside the new Hard Rock Cafe on Beale. The space will become the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

From the NBA website: Grizzlies Foundation works to provide greater impact for Memphis youth

Rock & roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis will perform at the Cannon Center at 7:30 Friday night. Not only will there be a musical performance, but also a talk with Lewis’ official biographer Rick Bragg.

Home from work. I was wrong about the day of my friend’s birthday today so regular line-up of Thursday bars as usual for me.

Terrible college team logos and Thursday news

Last night I was sitting at the bar at the Silly Goose, and the Northern Illinois vs. Ball State football game was on. Ball State’s mascot is the Cardinals, and I couldn’t help but notice something.

First of all, have a look at the Arizona Cardinals logo. Nice looking bird, yes?

Now look at the Louisville Cardinals logo. Again, very sharp, very professional.

And now look at the Ball State logo. How much do you think they paid a graphic designer to create that logo? Ten dollars? Maybe? It’s just awful. I have minimal design skills, but give me a copy of Illustrator and a few hours and I could make something better than that. I mean, I know Ball State’s athletic program doesn’t have the revenue of an NFL team or a major college sports team, but damn, they couldn’t even afford the extra color to make the bird’s beak yellow. Ever seen a cardinal with a white beak? Maybe it’s an albino cardinal. I rooted for Northern Illinois because I assume Ball State sucks as much as its logo.

Holly has a list of places that will be open on Thanksgiving. Many (but not all) Downtown bars open late afternoon and stay open until regular closing time.

From the MBJ: 85, 87, and 91 S. Second will be renovated into 16 apartments and two restaurant spaces. I believe that is the former Pancho’s location.

Want to be the first to check out Memphis Made Brewing Co.’s new tap room? Come to this Church Health Center event there on Monday, November 10 from 5:30 to 7:30. The event is free and the first 100 will receive a free beer.

If you own an iOS device, Microsoft Office apps are now free. Free versions will be coming to Android early next year.

St. Jude Christmas tribute cards are now available here.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies has announced a new meal deal: During any Grizzlies or NFL game, get a large one-topping pizza for $16.99.

Way too much news to get online on a lunch break, so there may be a second post after work.