Thur update: The Edge Gets Lit alley party, Latte Throwdown, Tart Express to open

You may have heard about Arnold’s BBQ, set to open its second location in The Edge district next month. In something of an unusual move for Memphis, Arnold’s front door will open to an alley, specifically onto Floyd Alley which runs parallel to Madison and Monroe (and in between them) from Fourth to Danny Thomas. “Memphians aren’t known for walking down alleys to go to restaurants,” I pondered, somewhat ironically because I was sitting in Belle Tavern, a bar with an alley entrance, as I had that thought. “They are going to have to do something major to draw people there if they plan on Arnold’s, or any other business opening onto that alley, to be a success.”

Well, they ARE doing something major. The Edge Gets Lit is a free alley party in Floyd Alley Saturday, April 29, from noon to 11 PM. It is free to attend and there will be live music including Side Street Steppers, The River Bluff Clan, Delta Nomads, Ghost Town Blues Band, Deering and Down, Devil Train, and an electronic dance music showcase with DJ Cameron. More acts to be announced. The reason to celebrate is the installation of year-round overhead lighting in the alley between Fourth and Danny Thomas, creating a district of vibrancy and safety that will draw people to alley businesses like Arnold’s.

In addition to the live music, there will be food trucks, a dog show where dogs and their humans can participate in games, demonstration art, crafts and vendors, and more to be announced. The people organizing the alley party are lucky enough to have some of the best neighbors in the city – the Memphis Redbirds – and are in the process of working out a deal to offer tickets to the 6 PM Redbirds game that night to alley party attendees.

There’s going to be a Latte Art Throwdown at Tamp & Tap, on Gayoso between Main and Second, tomorrow, Friday, Mary 31. Signup starts at $10 (cash entry) at 6 PM, with the throwdown starting at 7:15. Two drinks are included in the cost of entry, and there will also be $2.50 pints and other drink specials. It’s winner take all, so if you have mad barista skillz, come show them off and you might go home with a pocket full of cash!

Last summer it was announced that Tart, a French restaurant in Midtown, will open a second location in One Commerce Square. Well, tomorrow is the big day, as announced on Instagram. The new location will be called Tart Express and will offer catering and fresh-food dining. The doors will open into the interior of the One Commerce Square high-rise office building.

That’s all for now. I may be back with a second post at lunchtime, possibly with news about opening day at Memphis Farmers Market.