Friday update: 107 S. Main roof partially collapses, plus more news

If 107 S. Main is structurally sound, why did SERVPRO have to be called after heavy storms dumped rain on the roof?
If 107 S. Main is structurally sound, why did SERVPRO have to be called after heavy storms dumped rain on the roof?

Paul Morris who runs DMC reported yesterday that the roof of 107 S. Main has partially collapsed and water was flowing into the building after yesterday’s heavy storms. The water endangered the building’s neighbors. The fire department had to be called. This is the building DMC took to court for blight, but the court dismissed the case and the city inspector said the building was safe. Guess the city inspector was wrong.

The Orpheum is holding a Fright Night double feature for its Summer Movie Series tonight beginning at 7. Friday the 13th will be up first, then Nightmare on Elm Street.

Kingfish Ingram and Gary Burnside will play a free concert tonight at Memphis Jams on Beale at Handy Park, at the corner of Third and Beale. The concert is presented by Whitney Entertainment Brokers and start time is 6 PM.

The Redbirds are back in town tonight and will be giving away Jacob Wilson T-shirt jersey replicas to the first 2000 fans. Wilson is a Bartlett native and a former Memphis Tigers star. Campbell Clinic is sponsoring the giveaway. The Iowa Cubs will be the opponent, the first pitch is 7:05, and gates open at 5 for a block party with live music by Chinese Connection Dub Embassy and select $2 domestic drafts.

The MBJ reports that Downtown restaurant Itta Bena is expanding to Orlando. Midtown music room Lafayette’s is expanding to that city as well.

“Let’s Get Peachy” is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday, July 25. We are right in the middle of high peach season, which is June through August. However, with canning you can have peaches all year around. There will be a canning and preserving demo at the Market this week. At 10:15, Carolyn Dodson King of Dodson Farms will show you how easy it is to can your Market bounty. Then there will be a demo of Foodsaver, a vacuum-sealing system that keeps food fresh up to 5 times as long as other storage methods. From 7 until noon there will be a presentation by folks from The Elephant Sanctuary, the largest sanctuary in the U.S. for endangered elephants. The habitat is not open to the public, but at the Farmers Market you will learn what you can do to help provide these elephants with a natural, lifelong habitat. Live music by Bill Stanek 8:30-10. 7 AM to 1 PM, at the pavilion at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson.

I look forward to learning about the elephants, because I WILL be at the market this Saturday. Earlier this week I posted that I was considering a hiatus until October 1. I have decided against the hiatus after several people have told me “We would miss seeing you at the market, and are worried you wouldn’t write about us as much if you weren’t here.” As for the lady who caused me to consider the hiatus, I hope we can sit down and talk soon and work through our differences as adults. I would sincerely like to be friends with you.

I’ll also mention one more time that the Farmers Market’s annual Rock ‘n Wild Picnic is this Saturday at 5 PM. Pizza from Rock ‘n Dough, gourmet wraps, beer, wine, live music, and the event is picnic-style on the lawn so you can bring whatever you would like to sit on. Buy picnic tickets here.

A couple of Memphis Tigers alumni made it to the pros this week. The Detroit Pistons announced that Adonis Thomas has officially signed with the team. Over in South Korea, Joe Jackson has signed with the Goyang Orions after being selected in the second round of the league draft. Joe will earn about $140,000 next season. Congratulations to both.

The Memphis Tigers football team has sold more season tickets as of yesterday than they did for all of the 2014 season. Not surprised.

Time to go to work. Possibly back at lunchtime or late afternoon with another post.

Thursday update 2: Police precinct to move plus tons more news

This is the second news update of the day, so scroll down to this morning’s update for info about the Peabody rooftop party, Orpheum movie, and more. I got up early and blasted out a news post before work.

The police precinct currently in Central Station is moving to make room for a movie theater, hotel, and apartments. The precinct will be relocated to space in MATA’s North End Terminal.

There will be a vegetarian cooking class and feast at Bring It Hub/The Cannery out in The Edge at 694 Madison, 3 PM Saturday. $65 per person; email to register (the Downtown Memphis calendar has memcooks.excange without the “h” but I’m assuming that’s a typo. You could always email both addresses just to be safe.). Entry fee includes instruction, recipes to take home, and wine. I must admit I had never heard of Bring It Hub/The Cannery. Bring It Hub is a distributor of local fruits, vegetables, and other local farm products. (FRESH PRODUCE!!! :mrgreen: ) The Cannery is a commercial kitchen that can be rented in 3-hour increments.

Trolley Stop Market has extended its closing through Sunday. The market will re-open Monday, July 27.

Quench is having another wine tasting tomorrow evening. Starts at 4 PM. By the way, today is Thursday Ladies’ Day, with ladies receiving a discount on purchases.

MLGW has a program called Share the Pennies. You can agree to round your utility bill up to the higher dollar – so if your bill was $154.33 you’d pay $155.00 – with the extra pennies going to help the elderly and disabled pay their utility bills.

News from the FiveThirtyEight Significant Digits newsletter: McDonald’s is considering making breakfast available all day after successful trials in Nashville and San Diego.

One day left in the Moody Ques’ “name the smoker” contest. Send your suggested name to and I will forward it along.

Have you voted in the Memphis Flyer’s 2015 Best of Memphis poll yet? If you want to vote for this blog as Best Blog, type when you fill out the Best Blog field in the poll.

Bloggers who use WordPress: If you don’t have your site set to auto-update, manually update your site now. A critical vulnerability was found.

VERY cool: NASA has found a rocky exoplanet orbiting around a G2 star (the sun is also a G2) in the planet’s habitable zone, sufficient for an abundance of oxygen, which means this is a planet capable of supporting life. The planet is 6 billion years old (Earth is about 4.5), is 60% larger than the Earth, and is 1400 light-years away.

Even if life is not found on this planet, it might be an indication of the Earth’s future. The sun is getting brighter, and as a result the Earth will heat up. Scientists predict that by Earth’s 6 billionth birthday, it will no longer be in the Sun’s habitable zone, the oceans having boiled away. We better learn how to travel to other planets and inhabit them sometime in the next billion years.

I’ll be out at Silly Goose happy hour after work. Plans after that TBD.

Thursday update, and yes I mentioned chicken fried steak again

Got up early so you get a post before I head to work.

Your Girlfriend is the featured entertainment at tonight’s Peabody rooftop party (that’s a band name, not your actual girlfriend). $10 cover, doors open at 6, ladies free until 7. Admission includes a buffet (7-8) of hot dogs and chips. If you’re in VIP there’s a second buffet of Chicago Dogs, New York Dogs, and Memphis Dogs. Blackberry margaritas will be on special, and there will be a raffle to win a $50 gift card to Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, the most successful movie musical of all time, will be shown on the big screen at the Orpheum tonight at 7. Sing along with the movie’s classic tunes. Come early to win prizes at trivia, get drink specials, and use the selfie station.

My friend Phaedra, wife of B-RAD of Sunday brunch D-RANKS with B-RAD fame, posted an interesting article from IFLScience about a tree that can grow over 40 different kinds of fruit. We need to get the owner of one of these trees to be a supplier to the Memphis Farmers Market. As you all know, I am a big fan of fresh produce, and this tree grows bushels and bushels of it.

From Thrillist: 9 tricks bartenders use to get more of your money

Great news for the University of Memphis: They’re finally going to build a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks next to Southern. I can’t tell you how many times those stupid trains made me late to class when I was in grad school.

Last night I was in Blind Bear for happy hour, and my happy hour buddy Roger, who is from Texas, told me he was deeply hurt that I said chicken fried steak and country fried steak were the same thing. Chicken fried steak, he told me, uses the same batter used to fry chicken, and the gravy must be a white cream gravy. Country fried steak, he continued, uses more of a cornmeal batter. I posted this to Facebook and people tended to agree. I guess I learned something about Southern cooking this week. Roger did agree that the billboard I saw in New Mexico, with a chicken holding a skillet, would probably have led me to a restaurant with an excellent chicken fried steak.

Roger recommended a burger from Flynn’s on Beale Street: The American Lava Loosie, American cheese between two all-beef patties topped with grilled onions. I will have to try it sometime, although I will try to choose a time to go to Flynn’s when it is NOT karaoke night. Roger recommended the strawberry cake too.

Roger had to head home to start on two pounds of brisket he got with a Central BBQ gift certificate. A Texan, Roger approves of Central’s brisket. Too bad he didn’t get any Moody Ques brisket when we cooked at Crop Hop 5K. We had compliments from at least one Texan; I’d be interested in knowing if it would get his stamp of approval.

Bad news for my fellow Arkansas fans: Three Hogs basketball players were arrested on forgery charges after allegedly attempting to pass counterfeit bills.

Possibly back at lunch or after work with more news.

A spelling bee, a comedy show, bingo and more Wednesday news

Here’s an event that I don’t think has ever happened at a Downtown Memphis bar before: A spelling bee. Bardog is having one Tuesday, April 4 at 9 PM. Sign up by emailing There is a $5 entry fee and proceeds benefit Literacy Mid-South. $3 Yazoo beers for the event.

Dave’s British Bingo is making its return. Dave will host bingo tonight, and every Wednesday night, at the Brass Door. 7:30 is the normal starting time, but he said for tonight, “after the U.S. game.” I had no idea what he was talking about, so he explained, “Soccer.”

In other Brass Door news, there will be a comedy show there next Tuesday at 8, sponsored by Chase the Vape. Doug Gillon and Kyle Kordsmeier are your hosts. Also performing are Jennifer Lynch, Tommy F. Oler, Joshua McLane, and Benjamin Aviotti.

Just south of Downtown news: Pink Diva Cupcakery, the vegan cupcake shop currently in Midtown Crossing, will relocate to the original DeJaVu building at 936 Florida. Chef Gary Williams, who now operates DeJaVu out of a building on the Main Street Mall, believes in what Pink Diva is doing and gave the restaurant’s operator the space.

Chicken fried steak continues to be a topic of conversation among my group of friends. You know, that reminds me, I have a story. In 2000 I moved to San Diego for six months. I was driving out there, and I was in western Arkansas, approaching the Mena exit off I-40. “Maybe I should make a left turn and relocate to Mena instead,” I thought. “It may not have the ocean and the beach and the perfect weather that San Diego has, but I bet you can get a damn good chicken fried steak there.”

Last weekend we were discussing places to get a chicken fried steak, and the general consensus was that Lambert’s is the ultimate place to get a chicken fried steak, although you’ll have to travel to Sikeston, Missouri to get it. Also, they will throw rolls at you, so watch out for that. The chicken fried steak there is the size of a manhole cover.

Locally, Blue Monkey has a chicken fried steak (they call it country fried steak, but same thing). Last night I was surfing restaurant sites on my phone and saw a chicken fried steak at the Green Beetle, but when I pull up their website on my laptop I don’t see it on the menu, so not sure whether they have it or not. Can anyone confirm?

It’s not often that Blind Bear cook Michael Bean pays me a compliment, but he did Monday: “You’ve never passed out on the ground outside.” Apparently this makes me a preferred customer at the Bear.

Possibly a second post right after work, then I will get out to happy hour at either Silly Goose or Blind Bear, will be a game-time decision.

Moody Ques update, a story about fresh produce, and Tuesday news

Moody Ques: I have confirmed the address for our Saturday, August 8 cookout. It will be at 444 Monroe, in The Edge district about half a block east of Danny Thomas. Holliday Flowers’ new warehouse is there, with 30,000 square feet and a commercial kitchen. More details to come, but this should be a fun event, and our food gets better with each practice cook.

Our BBQ team head cook Frank posted a photo of a French martini he made, except instead of pineapple juice as an ingredient, he substituted a Jones Orchard peach puree. There is truly no end to the things you can do with locally grown fresh produce from the Memphis Farmers Market.
Do YOU have a story about something creative you did with MFM produce? Email it to and I will share it on the blog.

A friend of mine who lives in the northwest part of 38103 had some stuff stolen recently. Be on the lookout for some guitars and other electronics, and particularly a Beretta 92 40 S&W (hope I got that right, I know nothing about guns). He’d like to recover all his stuff but is particularly interested in getting the gun off the street. Call 545-COPS if you have information.

If you want to try new Mexican restaurant Agave Maria and meet some of the city’s entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators, Start Co. is having its Lounge there tomorrow night 5:30-7:30.

Frozen will be shown on the big screen in a free viewing tonight at 8:30 at Beale Street Landing.

There will be a parade at 11 tomorrow, starting at City Hall, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Crowne Plaza will receive $7 million in renovations. With its proximity to Bass Pro and the Cook Convention Center, owners want to upgrade the hotel so it does not appear outdated compared to others in the area.

Fun night last night. After leading off at Melissa Monday at Bardog, I went over to Blind Bear, where Mary was bartending her first closing shift by herself. I was her only customer for a while, and we swapped stories, including waking up following a Purple Haze late night and finding a phone number written on your arm; how bookstores were great places to pick up women about 15 years ago; how one night in 2009 I met a woman at South Main Trolley Night, and Michele snuck us out the back door of Max’s Sports Bar so her friends couldn’t cockblock us. Fun times.

Outta here for now. Not sure where to do happy hour tonight. Really, all of my “Big Five” are an option. Possibly a second post around 5:30.

Monday update 3

Monday is usually not my prolific day of the week for blogging, but here I am with a third update in the same day. Let’s get this show on the road.

Vance Lauderdale from Memphis Magazine has an article about a website that is worth a bookmark: Historic Aerials gives you a birds-eye view of Memphis from 50 years ago and more. You can see what your neighborhood looked like at points in the past.

Smart City Memphis is on board with the “Keep I-55 Open” campaign. The bridge over the Mississippi is scheduled to be closed for nine months in 2017 for construction.

Henry Turley Company has an entry-level bookkeeper position open.

The Memphis Business Journal has a look at the gender pay gap in Memphis by zip code. In 38103, women make somewhere between 83% and 89% of what men make. Want to make bank, ladies? Work on Presidents Island, where your pay is 95% to 104% of that of men.

For my buddy Phil: Ride along on toy trains with a GoPro strapped to a model railroad

I don’t follow golf much but this is pretty hilarious:

Like beer enough that you’re willing to travel to sample it? The first annual Great Arkansas Beer Festival happens in Little Rock on Saturday, August 1.

Excellent Virginia Woolf quote tweeted by the @HistoricalPics account: “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”

PBR time. Melissa Monday. Back tomorrow.

National Night Out Tue 8/4 + more Monday news

Two safety-related South Main events are coming up in the month of August. Tuesday, August 4 is National Night Out, a chance to meet your local police officers, share a meal with them, thank them for their service, and learn more about police-community partnerships. South Main’s National Night Out will be held from 6 to 8 PM at the Farmers Market pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. There will be food, beverages, and music. It’s sponsored by the Downtown Neighborhood Association, South Main Association, and the Downtown Memphis Commission.

On Tuesday, August 11, the South Main Association will hold its monthly meeting, with a representative of the Memphis Police Department there to provide safety advice and answer questions. Location is to be determined.

Holly has eight places to eat healthy in Memphis. Downtown grocery store City Market made the list.

Well daaaaamn… Ashley Madison is a site where 37 million users go to set up affairs. That’s right, it’s a site that facilitates cheating on your spouse or significant other. Of course, in a business like that, protecting Ashley Madison’s users’ privacy is of utmost importance. Well, guess what… the site got hacked and the hackers are threatening to expose the adulterers’ names, profiles, and private sexual fantasies. The price Ashley Madison must pay to avoid user data becoming public? The hackers want the site gone. This is going to be interesting to say the least. I bet a lot of divorce lawyers are seeing dollar signs right now.

My favorite president of all time, former president Bill Clinton, was in town this past weekend to deliver a eulogy for Judge D’Army Bailey.

From the Washington Post: What Donald Trump was doing while John McCain was suffering as a prisoner of war

That’s the news for now. After work I will hit Melissa Monday at Bardog for happy hour, then probably over to the Blind Bear.

Rock ‘n Wild Picnic this Saturday

Up early, so let’s bang out a post before work. Yesterday I posted how a friend of mine, who grew up in the South, has never had chicken fried steak, and I posted tips on how to get a good chicken fried steak. I would like to continue the discussion for a moment. In 2000 I was driving back to Memphis from San Diego. I was passing through New Mexico, I believe, when I saw a billboard with the words “CHICKEN FRIED STEAK,” the exit to get to the gas station restaurant that serves it, and a picture of a chicken holding a skillet. You KNOW that’s some damn good chicken fried steak right there.

Chicken fried steak may be the only food on Earth for which billboards can be used to judge quality.

Saturday I ran into my BBQ team head cook Frank at the Memphis Farmers Market. He is the market’s board president, and he asked me to mention once again a fun MFM event that is coming up this Saturday at 5 PM. The Rock ‘n Wild Picnic is a picnic at the market pavilion, and you’re welcome to bring a lawn chair, picnic blanket, or whatever you would like to plop down on. Your $30 ticket gets you pizza by Rock ‘n Dough, wraps by So Fresh, and four drink tickets. You can use these on beer by Rock ‘n Dough or wines by Frederick Wildman and Sons. Additional drink tickets/bottles of wine can be purchased. Live music by The Three Kings. There is a $15 ticket for those under 21 and those who choose not to drink alcohol.

All right, got more news but it’s time to jump in the shower. Probably back either at lunch or after work with another post.

Moody Ques announcements and more

I have a couple of BBQ team announcements. We have decided on an end date for our name our new smoker contest. It will be Friday and we will announce the new name in the days after that. We have an entry that I would say is in the lead so far, but we’re open to more suggestions. You have five days.

Secondly, if you’re on the Moody Ques, save the date: Saturday, August 8. As I’ve said, one of our goals is to have practice cooks/team get-togethers throughout the year, not just in the couple of months preceding BBQ Fest. Our head cook Frank is itching to light up our new smoker (using the BBQ device I’m no longer allowed to mention), which by then will have a name. So, we’re going to get together at Holliday Flowers’ new storage space. I don’t have the exact address but I have been told it’s on Monroe about a block away from the building that used to be Kudzu’s, about a 10 minute walk from the Downtown core. Time to be determined, and I will have more details on this blog in the coming weeks.

(I mentioned the BBQ device I’m no longer allowed to mention :mrgreen: )

Oh, one more thing: August 8 is Brent’s birthday!!! Brent is our booth designer, and his work is absolutely amazing. I remember the first year he worked with us, back on the old Ques Brothers team. The park was at its absolute muddiest. It had rained pretty much the entire week prior and Tom Lee was a swamp. You could barely navigate the sidewalks without slipping and falling. And then you got to our booth, and it was like stepping into a Miami Beach nightclub. It was other-worldly. If you are planning an event – a wedding reception, birthday celebration, corporate event – you need to talk to the folks at Holliday Flowers. They can put together an experience like no other.

By the way… if the August 8 cookout is on Monroe, that puts us in the vicinity of the High Cotton brewery tap room… hmmmmm field trip? Then again, we tend to have such awesome beer at our events that it might not be necessary.

I owe an apology to my Lyft driver Ricky who got me home from South Main last night. It was only my second time using the app and I forgot to tip. He told me he reads my blog, too. I am so sorry, it was not my intention to stiff you.

Historian Jimmy Ogle leads one of his walks across the I-55 bridge this afternoon at 2. Meet at Crump Park, at the Metal Museum Drive exit off I-55. He’ll talk about the river, the barges, the park, the bluffs, the railroads, and the Metal Museum. Free to attend.

A band called Blu Zatcha plays Huey’s tonight at 8:30. Never heard them before, but neat name.

The Memphis Shorts Festival returns to Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday at 7. Short films in a variety of genres.

So, yesterday I learned that my BBQ team vice-president has never eaten a chicken fried steak in his life. “Look,” I told him. “We’re a bit spoiled because we live Downtown. You could ask Michael Patrick to cook you one as a special order, and I’m sure he would and it would be damn good. But that’s not what you need to do. You need to get in the car and get on I-40. You can go toward Nashville or toward Little Rock. It doesn’t matter. The first billboard you see for a gas station with a restaurant that mentions chicken fried steak, that’s where you want to go. If there’s a choice of brown gravy or white gravy, the white gravy is mandatory. Mashed potatoes as a side is mandatory too.” I recommended green beans as a second side, but Clay said he is more of a purple hull peas kind of guy. I have no issue with that.

Oh another thing – Clay ate biscuits and gravy for the first time in his life yesterday. HE GREW UP IN THE SOUTH. What is wrong with this boy? And he’s on the Moody Ques cook team. That might explain our finish in the shoulder competition this year.

Reminds me – we had a cookout at work the last day we were open before the Fourth, and a co-worker asked me, “Is your team’s goal to eventually open a restaurant, the way the team behind Memphis Barbecue Co. did?”

“Our goal is to finish in the top 90% in the shoulder competition,” I replied. Maybe one of these years it’ll happen.

All right. Time to hit Publish and jump in the shower. D-RANKS with B-RAD at 11. I’ll be there a while, so come on up.

Living on The Edge in this second Friday update

TRAFFIC ALERT: Union between Front and Riverside will be closed between approximately 8 AM and noon tomorrow, Saturday July 18, for the installation of a crane.

Sorry there was no post at the lunchtime hour, but it was for a good reason: I was doing my civic duty and voting in The Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis 2015 poll. For Best Blog, there is no dropdown list this year – you fill in the box with the blog’s URL, minus the www. So you would put in if you wanted to vote for me.

One other thing – if you have a person in mind for Best Bartender or Best Server, but you don’t know their last name, find it out before voting ends August 4. You have to supply their full name, and there is no dropdown list of nominees this year. This puts voters who aren’t on Facebook at a disadvantage – I didn’t know the last name of either my vote for bartender or server before we became Facebook friends.

Lots of news about The Edge district today, the neighborhood east of Fourth that includes Sun Studio, Trolley Stop Market, Evelyn & Olive, Arepas & Salsa, and the former Wonder Bread bakery. The Daily News has an excellent article about potential for growth in The Edge, pointing out that the neighborhood is reaching a tipping point the way South Main did 15 or so years ago.

Trolley Stop Market in The Edge will be closed tomorrow through Wednesday for remodeling and to get their new summer menu together. The market will re-open Thursday, July 23.

I didn’t even know The Edge had a neighborhood association (the fact that they do is a promising sign), but it will meet at the Premiere Palace Ballroom Monday at 6 PM. Darrin Hill who is spearheading and who is the spokesman for the International Rockabilly Festival, to happen on two blocks of Marshall August 15-16, will discuss the festival. Also, Cat Pena will talk about the progress of the Collaboratory public art project.

Next Saturday, July 25, is the 27th annual Blues on the Bluff, a fundraiser for radio station WEVL. It will be on the grounds of the Metal Museum, overlooking the Mississippi, starting at 6 PM. There will be live music by Lightnin’ Malcolm, the Gary Burnside Band, and Elmo and the Shades. Food sales by Central BBQ (profits donated to WEVL), beer for sale (sponsored by Schlafly), wine for sale, event posters for sale. Kids welcome when accompanied by parents. There will be a silent auction as well. Buy advance tickets here.

Through Sunday, you can get free spinach artichoke dip with purchase of any meal at Spaghetti Warehouse. No coupon necessary, just ask your server for the deal.

Pre-sale of tickets for the September 14 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw at FedExForum has begun. Go here and use code MEMPHIS to purchase. You have until 10 tonight to take advantage of the pre-sale.

From Thrillist: 14 cities, 14 bars: The traveler’s guide to happy hour. Bardog made the list for Memphis!

Whew. Home from work. Going to hit happy hour at Silly Goose then figure out my stops after that.