Farmers Market Boogie, Dirty Crow gets liquor + Saturday news

I have a lot of chores I need to get done around the house, and so I had planned to take a week off from the Farmers Market this morning to catch up. However, last night as I paid a visit to the Blind Bear, my friend Chicken Fried Steak Rodger said, “Paul, I want to go to the Farmers Market with you tomorrow. I’ve never been and I want to see it. I want some strawberries!” There are as few things as fun as showing a new person around the Market, so I’m in! I mentioned it on Facebook and a couple of other people commented they may be interested in joining too. I plan on getting down there 9:45-10ish and staying until 10:40 when I will make my walk north to Bardog. If anyone wants to join, bring it on! I usually do the Market by myself and it would be fun to have a posse with me for a change.

Great news for those who like dive bars: The Dirty Crow Inn has obtained its liquor license. They will have a limited selection of liquor this weekend and a fully-stocked bar on Monday. For those who haven’t been paying attention, Dirty Crow is a new “5 star dive bar” that has opened at the corner of Crump and Kentucky, on the far side of Crump. I went in there the week of BBQ Fest and it easily earned my stamp of approval. It is open 11 AM to 3 AM every day. One of my Facebook friends proclaimed last night, “That’s it. The Dirty Crow is the Alex’s of Downtown.”

I love the Downtown core and will probably never leave, but I have to admit, I am a little jealous of the people who live in South End. I would be at Dirty Crow and Loflin Yard all the time. Only thing is, I have to wonder how drunks are going to navigate the walk across Crump at 3 in the morning. The speed limit is 45 at that point and drivers aren’t going to be looking out for pedestrian traffic. Also, the most direct way to get there from South End involves stepping over railroad tracks with “no trespassing” painted on them. I need to ask my friend who works for the railroad how seriously they take that “no trespassing” warning. I sure as hell ignored it when I walked to the Dirty Crow.

Booze news: Bailey’s introduces Almond Milk Liqueur

Nice to see my friends over at Start Co. expanding. The accelerator for startup businesses is moving its administrative offices to the sixth floor, leaving the entire second floor open for the businesses Start Co. is helping along. Some of the businesses that have hit important milestones will get their own dedicated space, giving them more room to operate until they reach the point when they can seek their own commercial space. As president Andre points out, this is important not only for the startups themselves, but for the economy of the entire Downtown core. People will be visiting restaurants for lunch and dinner, looking for residential space near work, and shopping in the area.

For the first time ever, Memphis has made the list of the 50 most walkable cities. Memphis comes in at number 49 this year. Of course, Downtown plays a big part (probably the biggest part) in Memphis’ walkability score.

Bon Jovi tribute band Slippery When Wet plays the New Daisy tonight at 8.

That’s it for now. I plan on leaving the house at 9:30 and walking south to the Market if anyone else wants to join. I want to get down there a little early since I am showing a new person around. Bardog, Blind Bear after that.


Best Memphis Burger Fest looking for judges + Friday news

Best Memphis Burger Fest is taking applications to be a judge. The festival will be held at Tiger Lane Sunday, August 28. Fill out the judging application here. You must be over 21 with no food allergies, willing to consume all food toppings and condiments, and must agree that you will be in the judging area on time with no alcohol consumed beforehand.

For those new to the area, let me say a little about Best Memphis Burger Fest. Teams compete in four categories: Bloody Mary, Veggie Burger, Specialty Burger, and Best Memphis Burger. Any team can enter, whether you are a guy with a grill in his back yard (or even a George Foreman Grill, as one team last year demonstrated), or a 600-restaurant chain. There are also eating contests and a cornhole tournament. In addition to competing, cooking teams will be giving samples of their burgers away to the public for a small suggested donation to Memphis Paws. Admission is $10 and there is also a $50 VIP ticket.

My team The Moody Ques competed in this last year, along with our sibling teams Weekend at Porky’s and Squeal Street BBQ. It was a lot of fun and there were shenanigans all day long. I spoke to our team president yesterday and he said it is very, very likely (although not yet 100%) that we will be back competing at Burger Fest this year.

High Cotton Brewing Co. is looking for silent auction items for their Sunday, June 12 fundraiser (1-6 PM) for Streetdog Foundation. No item is too big or small, so email if you have something you want to donate. The party will feature adoptable dogs, food trucks, pint discounts, and beer grain treats for dogs as well as the silent auction. By the way I have met the founders of Streetdog Foundation on several occasions, and they are wonderful people who find foster homes and forever homes for dogs that might otherwise be put down.

The Flying Saucer will host a Father’s Day Seafood Boil on Saturday, June 18 from 3 to 5 PM. This will be a Cajun-style boil with mussels, crawfish, scallions, corn, and potatoes. There will also be canned beer specials for those at the boil. $35 if you’re a UFO Club member, $40 otherwise. 901-481-4066 to order tickets, or just ask your beertender or server about the event next time you’re in the Saucer.

Last year the Burger King across from The Brass Door on Madison was torn down to make way for a small pocket park. Plans have now been revealed for the little park.

The Memphis Flyer visited Jerry “The King” Lawler’s new bar and grill on Beale Street. Be sure to check out the deep-fried ribs. Also, the crawfish corn chowder is Lawler’s favorite.

Appetite for Destruction, the premier Guns ‘n Roses tribute band, plays the Tin Roof Friday, June 17 at 8 PM.

If I die, I would not mind being buried in one of these.

Come out to the river and watch the St. Jude Dragon Boat Races Saturday, May 21.

Mayor Strickland is close to naming a director of the Memphis Animal Shelter after conducting a nationwide search. He said that the shelter has operated pretty well in the absence of a director, with adoptions up and euthanasias down. Very good to hear. UPDATE: Strickland has appointed Alexis Pugh, formerly the executive director of Mid-South Spay and Neuter Services, to the position.

The weekend is just a few hours away! My plans for the evening are as of yet undetermined. Jessica at the Silly Goose says I am required to be at her bar for happy hour since I missed all last week. The Blind Bear happy hour is always entertaining (or should I say its regulars are). Then again, it’s Fireball Friday at Max’s Sports Bar with perfect weather for a trip to the south side. It’ll be a game-time decision. Time to go get some lunch, see you this weekend.

Thur update #2

I did an early post this morning, so if you haven’t seen it, keep scrolling after you read this one.

The CA’s Michael Donahue has a food Best Bet: The Soy Ginger Hot Wings at the Dirty Crow Inn, the “5 star dive bar” at Crump and Kentucky.

This is pretty cool: The Harahan Bridge, the 1917 bridge which will soon be ready for pedestrian and bike traffic between Memphis and Arkansas, will have LED lighting which can change for special events. The lighting is thanks to private donors.

The Memphis Farmers Market is feeling the flower power this Saturday. From 9 to 11:30 kids will be able to “plant” their own garden with stickers on an oversized grassy scene. Stickers will include flowers, butterflies and more. The Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), the largest nonprofit study-abroad and intercultural exchange program, will be on hand and you can talk to them about hosting international students. Live music by Dillard and Garmon 8:30-10, Karen Waldrup 11-12:30. The Streetdog Foundation will be on hand doing adoptions. The market runs from 7 AM to 1 PM every Saturday at the pavilion at Main and G.E. Patterson.

This week’s vendor chitchat is with Carolyn Dodson-King of Dodson Farms Jams & Jellies in Forrest City, Arkansas. The farm has been with the market since the first year. Fun fact: They are working with the brewer of a local IPA on a “beer jam.” Can’t make it to the Farmers Market to get their products? No problem, you still don’t have to leave Downtown to get them; Trolley Stop Market carries them.

Tacos & Tunes returns to Felicia Suzanne’s patio tonight at 7 with the Side Street Steppers.

Follow @901eats on Instagram to discover tasty food in Memphis.

The great thing about BBQ Fest is stories you hear even days later about things that happened in your team’s booth, that you missed. We had a mid-afternoon lunch of wings, Friday I believe, and a woman came into our booth and proceeded to grab an entire platter of wings and try to walk out with them. She did it with such authority that she almost got to the door when we realized, “Wait, that isn’t a team member,” and we stopped her. I guess she figured she’d grab some free lunch for herself and her friends, rather than paying one of the park vendors for food! Moral of the story: Put your serving table far away from the door and have team members keep an eye on it.

We also had someone grab half a pan of smoked Gouda mac & cheese off the serving table and take it upstairs. I think that may have been a team member or at least a guest, but the thing is, anyone other than a sponsor really should be getting permission from the cooks before doing that.

Wonder if I will hear more BBQ stories tonight? Heading to the Silly Goose after work for happy hour. Back to work!

Early Thursday morning update

The amount of news I have this morning matches my insomnia level, so let’s do this.

Twin Soul will be the featured entertainment at this week’s Thursday rooftop party. Admission is $10 with the first 200 ladies free, or you can buy a season VIP pass for $150 at the door. Your admission includes a buffet of mini cheese & chicken hoagies and tater tots from 7-8 PM. If you hold the VIP pass there’s a second buffet in your private area where you will have Canadian bacon sliders, French-Canadian shepherd’s pie, and Waldorf salad. The margarita tasting this week will be coconut margaritas. For VIP holders only, there is an exclusive party in the Corner Bar with tastings of Goose Island 4-Star Pils.

I saw a post on Facebook about a planning meeting for the Breakaway-Bardog 5K and alley party (Monroe Avenue Fest), to be held Sunday, August 28. Daaaaaamn people gonna be havin’ some tough decisions to make. That’s the same day as Best Memphis Burger Fest at Tiger Lane. I was talking to some friends about it last night, and they were saying, “It lasts all afternoon, there’s enough time to do both.” That’s true in general, but not if you’re on a team cooking burgers! My team has discussed entering but we haven’t made an official decision yet.

By the way, it isn’t anyone’s fault these events got double-booked. It was pretty much bound to happen. The last Sunday of August is the traditional date of Bardog’s party, so they were just continuing to do what they do. It’s also hard to blame Burger Fest for their decision to move. Last year, it was on October 5, when the weather is usually warm and beautiful. However, this being Memphis, October weather is unpredictable. Last year temperatures were 20 degrees below normal, never making it out of the 50s, with wind gusts of 40 miles per hour. People didn’t want to be there and I couldn’t blame them. The event made thousands less in food vendor and merchandise sales than expected. I remember the poor ice cream vendor sitting there realizing he probably wouldn’t make one sale all day. The festival couldn’t afford to eat a loss again, so they had no choice to move it back, and with September already loaded with other festivals, August 28 was probably the first available day that worked.

Big night at the Redbirds this Saturday at 6:35 (opening pitch; gates at 5). The first 1500 fans get a replica St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina jersey, with a special Busch Stadium 10th Anniversary replica patch. There will also be a theme ticket that includes the Cards’ full-length hooded zip sweatshirt. Available in XL only. Call 901-722-0296 to purchase this special ticket. As always on Saturday, there will be fireworks after the game.

This story is a few days old but I love it and want to pass it on for those who missed it. Republican (remember, “the party of family values”) Congressional candidate Mike Webb, running in Virginia’s 8th district, posted a screenshot of his laptop to illustrate a point he was making about employment. The trouble is, he was screenshotting his web browser, with other tabs open as well – and two of them were tabs to porn sites he had open at the time.

There’s live music at Loflin Yard this weekend, with Marcella & Her Lovers 6-9 Friday, Rev. John Wilkins 4-7 Saturday, and Tennessee Ripple 4-7 Sunday.

The Madison Hotel is getting new owners. The current owners weren’t looking to sell, but an unsolicited offer was made by a firm so experienced in running boutique hotels, and it was such a good fit that the current owners agreed.

Bluff City Coffee has added to its lunch menu: You can now get their lunch sandwiches on focaccia bread or on any of their bagels.

The Bell Trilogy Book Signing with Steve Bradshaw happens at South Main Book Juggler Friday, May 27 from 6-9 PM. Here’s the description, which I grabbed from Facebook:

Steve is a mystery/thriller author drawing on life experiences as forensic investigator and biotech entrepreneur. He received a BA from University of Texas and trained at the Institute of Forensic Sciences. Steve investigated 3,000+ unexplained deaths for the Medical Examiner’s Office. As the founder-president/CEO of an innovative biomed company, he led development of an innovative meniscus implant now under FDA clinical review. Today, Steve places his readers on the front row in fascinating worlds of fringe science, modern forensics, and the pursuit of very real monsters. Other page- turner mystery/thrillers by Steve Bradshaw are the BLUFF CITY BUTCHER, THE SKIES ROARED, and BLOOD LIONS.

The 27th is South Main Trolley Night, so be sure to make Book Juggler one of your stops if you come to the neighborhood.

The Tennessee Brewery has posted an update on construction and renovations. The main building will contain 44 apartment units, with another 88 at the Wash House building to be constructed to the north. Adjacent to the 300+ space parking garage will be phase two of the Bottle Shop, with 18 more apartment units.

Time to head out to work. Most likely there will be a second post later today.

Two Girls and a Whip cake pictures + Wednesday news

The Daily News has an article about Two Girls and a Whip, the custom cake business to open at Front and Talbot next month. It is being opened by Mary Katherine (“MK”) Dunston and Courtney Lollar, two women with 15 years experience in the cake-baking business. When I say custom cakes, I hope you don’t think of a chocolate cake in the case at Kroger with a couple of roses and “Happy Bar Mitzvah Murry” on top. These ladies can take any inanimate object and make a cake model of it, with every inch of the cake edible. I have been to a couple of parties where MK’s cakes were served. I asked her to send me a few photos so my readers could get an idea of the intricacy and detail of her and Courtney’s work. (click for larger sized images)


Remember, every piece is edible.






Having had these cakes, I had no doubt their business would be a smashing success, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. The two ladies found a business partner in none other than Aldo, who opened Bardog, Slider Inn, and both Aldo’s Pizza Pies. The cake shop, in addition to taking orders for the custom cakes, will have several flavors on hand on the shelves available for immediate purchase as well as cupcakes. They’re also going to have some “boozy batter” cupcakes with flavors like White Russians, margaritas, and mimosas.

Speaking of Aldo, anyone know the date of the Bardog alley party/Monroe Fest this year?

A couple of people have asked me if the air show, a big part of Sunset Symphony, will be back for its replacement 901Fest on Saturday, May 28. Memphis in May has confirmed that the air show will indeed be back.

The Flyer has an article about The Donut Factory I reported on a couple of weeks ago, having recently opened at 8 S. Main next door to my building. They are indeed open 24/7 as I was told at the time I posted.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will have its monthly meeting at the Arcade at Main and G.E. Patterson on Tuesday, May 24 (social at 6, program at 6:30). County Mayor Mark Luttrell will speak. Snacks and beverages will be available. No cover charge for members, $10 for guests.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas will take place at the Orpheum on December 23. Tickets will go on sale July 25.

The Silly Goose is bringing back the After-Rooftop Parties on Thursday nights. They’ve been getting a good response to the Latin-influenced music they have been mixing in on Saturdays lately, so they are incorporating some of that on Thursdays. It will still be a wide range of music, but they’re just making it a bit wider.

The federal government has named Memphis one of its 16 summer impact hubs. That will get the city extra money for summer jobs, learning, and violence reduction programs.

Earth has only one person left born in the 1800s.

New thing at BBQ Fest this year: You’ve heard of Super Bowl rings, of World Series rings, I’m sure, ordered for winning teams. There were teams ordering BBQ team rings. The guy who sells them is a friend of mine and after he got done working, he came by the Moody Ques for a beverage. “BBQ rings are really a thing?” I asked, and he named off two of the best known local teams that had ordered them, including the team who probably has the most trophies at BBQ Fest. If any of the other BBQ teams want rings, hit me up at and I will put you in touch.

Off to work for a fun morning of vagrant up, acceptance testing, and other fun web developer stuff. Possibly another post at lunch or after work. I will lead off at the Silly Goose today then see where the evening takes me.


Tuesday morning update

The Flying Saucer is celebrating its 19th anniversary Saturday, June 4. There will be a Barrel Age party with Sours, Stouts, Quads and more from breweries across the globe that helped the Saucer originate the craft beer trend.

Want a free Huey’s burger on National Burger Day, May 28? Go to Huey’s and order a burger. Throughout the day, some of those burgers will come out with special gold frill picks. Find one of those pricks in your burger and it’s free!

The 2016 Memphis Zombie Walk originates at Handy Park at 7:30 PM June 24. Makeup at 4:30. Details here.

The Redbirds have a day game vs. Sacramento today at AutoZone Park, 11:30 AM.

Frank Chin has photos of BBQ Fest on the Memphis Flyer’s site. Frank was one of the judges who went through a practice presentation with my team and gave us lots of valuable feedback. We are indebted to him.

The Flyer also has info on two new BBQ books hitting the shelves.

Got a couple more minor pieces of good news to share with Moody Ques team members and others who are interested. Before the festival started, one of my interests was seeing the team do better at the bar’s tip jars. We appointed a new head bartender (he prefers Barkeep) and he and I strategized on ways to increase tips. “What do you think is reasonable to shoot for?” we were asked. He and I both said the same number at the same time. Last night the team president gave me a report, and after adding back in the money we took out to pay for ice and kegs we pretty much nailed that number. Great job, Barkeep. We keep on getting better in little ways every year and that’s what it’s all about.

Also last night, I had someone approach me and ask about sponsoring the Moody Ques for 2017 – how much (we can work with any size donation), are there different sponsorship levels (yes, each of which we can customize for you), and when does the money need to be in (anytime, although we have to write a lot of checks in March so we’d prefer to have it before then). I’ve never had an inquiry about sponsorship 362 days before BBQ Fest, but I will take it! If there are others, email them and we will get with you.

Off to work. Could be another post later today.

Monday update

The Pink Pig Apparel clothing line has landed back Downtown. The collection for women and men was launched at Shelton Clothiers several years ago. Shelton closed but the Pig lived on. The apparel has been available online for years, but now you don’t have to get on a computer or leave Downtown to get the Pig. Life is Good on the Main Street Mall is now carrying Pink Pig apparel. As soon as I get caught up from BBQ Fest I am going to do some shopping!

Speaking of BBQ Fest… my team the Moody Ques finished 40th in shoulder. That is up 19 spots from last year and is a huge accomplishment for our cooks Frank and Erik and the team. Remember, there are teams that travel the country doing this professionally. Early this year we had three experienced BBQ judges tell us, “You aren’t going to win this year, but keep on doing what you’re doing and in three years time you are going to be one of the big dogs in Tom Lee Park.” We’re exactly where we need to be and I am so proud of my team! Next up for us: the Tate County Fair in Senatobia, Mississippi June 1-4.

By the way, we made the Commercial Appeal on Thursday.

Memphis is considered one of the most haunted cities in the United States, and Historical Haunts Memphis is hosting a murder investigation into a brutal crime that was committed here in 1918. There will be a sit down EVP and spirit box session in the dark basement of the murder scene.

Downtown Yoga is hosting a beginner’s acro yoga class Sunday, May 29. This 2 1/2 hour class will be taught by three instructors. You can come with a partner or by yourself.

Friday is Silky O’Sullivan’s Irish Heritage Night at the Redbirds. If you’re one of the first 2000 fans in AutoZone Park, you will receive a free green Redbirds hat. There will be Silky’s-themed events before and after the game.

Historian Jimmy Ogle hosts a South Front Street tour lunchtime tomorrow, Tuesday, May 17. It is free to attend. Meet at the Chisca at Main and MLK Avenue if you want to join.

If ever there was an appropriately named Broadway show to play Memphis, it would have to be Bullets Over Broadway. The show is at the Orpheum for a week beginning tonight with a rare Monday performance.

The Wiseacre taproom has new hours starting today: 4-10 Monday-Friday and 1-10 Saturday.

That’ll do it for now. Sorry for the break from the blog for a few days but I just really needed to experience BBQ Fest for a year without the “blogger” role. It’s good to be back and I will be back soon with more news.


Y’all I’m going to take a few days off from the blog. Normally I don’t do that but BBQ Fest is killing me this year. Back Sunday-Tuesdayish. I will still be checking Facebook if anyone needs to reach me.

BBQ Fest Day 0 – Wednesday Friends & Family Night

Whew… yesterday nearly killed me. Here’s a photo gallery.

Checklist for today

  • Upload photos (done)
  • Wash team shirt
  • Charge devices – iPhone, external iPhone battery, all three camera batteries
  • Shower
  • Make sure I have wristband to get in park
  • Make sure I have the correct day’s guest wristbands to get hot girls in my team booth
  • Sunscreen

Okay. I think that’s everything. I will try to be more verbose with tomorrow’s post but I am just dead tired and it’s only Thursday.

Preparations for BBQ Fest are well under way


You know it’s BBQ Fest when a team member has to clean out their refrigerator to make room for 1000 Jello shots and spiked gummy worms. (And no it’s not my fridge… the 2012 Aldo’s Pizza box museum is intact.)

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Keep reading this post or my BBQ teammate Kao will prick you with his big cactus.

I want to give you guys a pizza recommendation. Last night we had a BBQ team board meeting at Holliday Flowers at 444 Monroe. Brent, our Director of Engineering, bought us pizza from Trolley Stop Market around the corner on Madison. That stuff was seriously good! There was a spinach pizza with black olives, and a pizza with slices of tomato and parmesan. I didn’t get pictures but they were both excellent.

Eminem is moving right down I-40 from us to Little Rock, Arkansas. He says he is tired of the L.A. lifestyle and wants to live in a place full of “real, genuine people.” He has decided my hometown is the place where he wants to be.

The M80s headline the Peabody rooftop party Thursday night, May 12. Doors open at 6, music at 7 with the first 200 ladies free. Admission includes a buffet of BBQ meatballs, popcorn chicken, and BBQ chips. If you’re in VIP ($150 at the door for a season VIP pass) you have a second buffet of pulled pork, ribs, cole slaw, and Tennessee cornbread salad. Smoky margaritas will be on special.

In other Peabody news, their Deli and Desserts shop is doing bacon, bourbon and pecan ice cream as a special for May.

Comedy is coming to Memphis Made Brewing Co. out on South Cooper. Thursday, May 19 will be Memphis Made Drafts and Laughs, a night of comedy with Mark Brimble, William Lynn Loden Jr., Sammy Normus, Hunter A. Sandlin, and Wes Corwin. Showtime is 7:30 PM.

Pure Barre comes to Loflin Yard on Saturday, June 4 with a free class at 11 AM. Sign up here. This class will be held on the grass so bring a mat or blanket with you. After class there will be plenty of time to enjoy Loflin’s yummy food and beverages.

Wayne Dowdy, manager of the history department at Memphis Public Library, will speak at Elmwood Cemetery Saturday, May 21 at 10:30 AM. He will tell the story of Josiah T. Settle and Benjamin F. Booth, lawyers buried at the cemetery who argued against “separate but equal” on streetcars in Tennessee’s larger cities in 1905, nine years after Plessy v. Ferguson.

Apologies for putting my friends on Squeal Street on blast Sunday night on Facebook. Ask me why I carry around a piece of paper with four sentences highlighted and you will understand the source of my frustration.

I have to admit, I broke the rules yesterday. As Director of Public Relations for the BBQ team, I am supposed to refrain from physical activity because that is not my role. However, knowing the truck needed to be loaded at Holliday Flowers yesterday, I could not resist and stepped back into my role as “Mr. Load-in.” I rode an Uber, at my own expense, out to 444 Monroe yesterday and helped load the truck. I just can’t stay away from hard work!

After the work was done, I rewarded myself with a couple of beers at the Blind Bear. While there I received a pleasant surprise: A visit from the twins!

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Alex and Rae worked at the Flying Saucer in 2014. They were very popular and customers came to the Saucer just to see the twins. So what did Saucer management do? Fired them for missing a staff meeting even though they told the managers THREE MONTHS IN ADVANCE that they would be out of town that weekend. As long as I live I will never understand the “employees are expendable and easily replaced” mindset.

Time to get back to my duties as Director of Public Relations. I am planning to work remotely from the Monroe Avenue Branch Office this morning, but this afternoon I just might go down to the park and get some dirt under my fingernails.