Sunday update

I had a great birthday. Bardog, Blind Bear, nap then Blind Bear again. I never made it to South Main but plan to be there at some point today. Thanks to all those who helped me celebrate.

I realize I’m several years late to the party on this, but for the first time I sat through John Paul Keith’s entire set last night. Damn! He is excellent! Go hear him if you haven’t done so already.

RIP Malcolm Young.

Back tomorrow with a post with actual content. Or maybe Tuesday.


Saturday birthday update

Downtown’s holiday storefront decorating contest kicks off today. Businesses in the Downtown core, South Main, The Edge, South End, the Pinch, Uptown, and Mud Island are invited to decorate their storefronts and share on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #downtownmemphisholiday and tagging @downtownmemphis. The DMC will monitor the hashtag and in January, five winners will be chosen. Storefronts will be judged on overall aesthetic, originality, and effort. A $200 prize will go to each of the five winners.

In addition, 10 people will be selected who post photos of or with their favorite storefront decoration to social media. Each will receive a $50 dining certificate to the Downtown restaurant of their choice.

Ghost River is now selling metal carabiner mugs for $15 at the taproom. Just clip, trip, and sip.

Today at 5 is the holiday tree lighting for Downtown Memphis. The tree is at the corner of Main and Peabody Place. A special St. Jude patient will serve as honorary tree lighter and Richard Ransom will emcee. Appearance by Fabled Santa, carolers, hot chocolate and S’mores, holiday items for sale, Letters to Santa drop-off box.

The Jason Motte Foundation hosts a Cornole Challenge today in The Columns next to One Commerce Square at 5:30. The event benefits the West Cancer Center. $150 to enter a team of two, $50 to be a spectator. Food and beverages are included in the cost of admission, and there will be a special auction with one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

Memphis Riverboats is hosting a Thanksgiving cruise tonight. This is a two-hour cruise with Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. $60.91 adults, $50.91 kids.

A group of people at Max’s Sports Bar ordered 7 chocolate salty balls last night and a comment was made, “Good old salty balls, salty balls Tennessee.” Is that one for each SEC loss, plus one for the inevitable loss to LSU today? Makes sense, I guess. One for each SEC win certainly wouldn’t be much fun.

Kate Campbell plays the Center for Southern Folklore tonight. 8 PM, $20 at the door.

The Grizzlies host the Houston Rockets at FedExForum tonight at 7.

Side note to Kris & the crew – my apologies for not making it down to Hernando today. If it was any other day I’d be there, but due to leap years this is the first Saturday birthday I’ve had since 2006. I am excited about partnering with you guys and hope to meet you soon.

A couple of years ago I found a historical site where you could look up the weather for any day, for any city. It said on the day I was born, the high in Little Rock was 66, the low was 39, and it rained a bit. Sounds a lot like what is expected for today in Memphis! I can’t believe I’m about to put a leather jacket on when it’s 71 outside. I wonder how many won’t pay attention and will put on shorts.

Birthday dranks! Bardog, the D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear. Tentatively South Main next, but I have a feeling that I may have to delay my South Main visit until tomorrow. Back tomorrow (or maybe Monday) with more news.


My weekend gonna be all like…


I’m pretty excited about having 10 of the next 17 days off! This weekend is my birthday weekend, then next weekend I have 4 days off in a row for Thanksgiving. The weekend after that, since it is a big Celebration Weekend I am taking Monday-Tuesday, December 4 and 5 off for a super-sized celebration! If anyone reading this works at Bardog, better order an extra keg of PBR.

Big honors for the Memphis Redbirds and AutoZone Park this week. Ballpark Digest named Trinity Sports Holdings, the parent company of the Memphis Redbirds, Organization of the Year for 2017. A major factor in the award was the re-branding that the Redbirds did prior to the start of the season. The new branding retains the association to the St. Louis Cardinals, but it also is a nod to the culture of Memphis, with musical notes and neon sign images similar to signs found on nearby Beale Street.

New Ballet Ensemble Nut Remix runs at the Cannon Center today through Sunday.

Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science is tonight at the Orpheum. Brown will mix science, music and food into two hours of pure entertainment.

South Main Sounds Songwriter Night #72 is tonight at 550 S. Main. Lydia Waldrop, Adam Neal Gowdy, Kyndle McMahan, Blake Meeks and Carol Plunk will perform.

Uplift!, an evening of aerial arts, acro and dance by local performers, will happen tonight starting at 7:30 at Clayborn Temple. Proceeds will benefit community programming as well as yoga and mindfulness in the schools.

SneakerCon comes to the Cook Convention Center tomorrow. With 50,000 sneakers under one roof, this is the place to buy, sell, or trade sneakers. You can also meet your favorite YouTubers and get your sneakers authenticated.

If you want to eat at The Front Porch restaurant in Beale Street Landing one more time this year, better get there this weekend.

One more reason to celebrate during Celebration Weekend, the first weekend in December: Those of you attending the Stumbling Santa pub crawl starting at the Flying Saucer at 7 PM on Saturday, December 2 can now keep partying all night. Tin Roof will host the Stumbling Santa after-party in the Green Room 11 PM-5 AM.

The Silly Goose has a new menu:

I commented on Facebook that the Goose changes their menu more often than some people change their underwear. All kidding aside, though, this is a particularly good menu. They brought back the tacos which were a crowd favorite, while keeping the burger, a recent popular order. Those pastas sound interesting too.

All right, a few more hours of work and then it’s party time! Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Want to do a quick project that benefits others, and get free Aldo’s pizza?

Rhythmic Circus comes to the Orpheum tonight, presenting Red and Green, a celebration of holiday music and memories. There will be a beatboxing version of “The Grinch,” a full-cast performance of “Linus and Lucy” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and a medley called “Toy Soldier March.”

Ghost River will have A Future Everything showcase at its taproom this Saturday, November 18, a day of music, food, and beer featuring 10 Tennessee-based artists. $5 to get in. Yippie Trippie & the Porkstars will be the food truck and from noon to 4 there will be a Small Shop featuring Mama Jody’s. They will have the Grizzlies on at 7 and while the game is on there will be a $1 off special on Grindhouse Cream Ale (my favorite Ghost River beer!)

The annual Important Meeting will happen at Ghost River the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24. If family obligations around Thanksgiving get you down and you need an excuse to get away, tell them you have an Important Meeting to attend. There will be live music by the Michael Brothers 2-4. Food truck for 11 AM-3 PM to be determined and then Yippie Trippie & the Porkstars will be there at 4.

Isn’t it funny how you have to have some kind of obligation to get out of family stuff? You can’t just say “I have the opportunity to go do something fun.”

We’re nearing open enrollment at work, and with my mom no longer around to be my life insurance beneficiary, I am identifying some good charities to put down as partial beneficiaries. With recent stories about Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Roy Moore and others, I have decided to name RAINN as one of the beneficiaries. RAINN is a wonderful organization that offers support to survivors and secondary survivors of sexual assault. I hope nobody reading this ever has a need for this resource, but I want to make you aware that it exists and I would encourage you to learn more about it.

Wayne Risher from the CA is reporting that the Downtown Memphis Commission has named interim CEO Jennfer Oswalt as the permanent leader to run DMC.

Ghost Hunts USA will explore the Haunted Masonic Lodge at Fourth and Court Saturday, February 3 from 7 PM to 2 AM. The building, erected in 1914, is considered one of the most haunted in the city. The toast of society in its heyday, the home of this secret fraternal order is full of mystery and intrigue. Learn more and register here.

This almost never happens: There are still spots left for the sushi class at Memphis Made Brewing Co. this coming Sunday. I guess people have their minds on turkey rather than sushi. I’ve heard these classes are outstanding.

In other Memphis Made news, starting this weekend you can get a 16 oz. can of any of their beers fresh out of the tap room.

Blind Bear has added a $2 PBR special during poker nights for those playing. I think Jeannette is trying to lure me back to the poker table.

Arkansas sources I follow on Twitter indicate that winning both remaining games, Mississippi State and Missouri, will be the only thing that would prevent football head coach Bret Bielema from being fired. Memphis coach Mike Norvell is said to be their second choice as the next head coach, behind Gus Malzahn.

Rep. Steve Cohen and other House Democrats have filed articles of impeachment against the Trumpster. My first reaction was, “Isn’t that premature? We haven’t yet heard of one thing ongoing investigations have uncovered about Trump.” But now I’m wondering, do Steve and his colleagues know something we don’t know? Is it about to be Mueller time? Mueller’s team is scheduling an interview with top adviser Hope Hicks. Usually, top advisers to a target get brought in for interviews toward the end of an investigation. If it starts raining indictments, those articles of impeachment are going to be hard for Republicans to ignore.

All right. Time to get through the afternoon at work, then out to Silly Goose for happy hour. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

This week there is some good news for the homeless in Memphis who would like to work and earn money so they can get to a better place in life. A very successful program called Work Local, based on one in Albuquerque and implemented by the city along with the Hospitality HUB, is expanding from two days a week to five.

In related news, the Hospitality HUB is asking for donations of gently used backpacks to hand out for the holidays. You can drop them off at their office at 82 N. Second. If you’re feeling generous, you can put some winter gear in the backpacks. The HUB is a wonderful organization that offers the homeless various services, including assistance getting IDs and birth certificates, shelter vouchers, bus passes, job interviews, housing referrals and more.

Java Cabana has been a Cooper-Young staple since 1992. I went there now and then when I lived in Midtown. Although not a coffee drinker, they had a cinnamon milkshake that I enjoyed. The coffee house is soon to branch out, opening Java Cabana West in the new food hall at 409 S. Main. Join them for their grand opening party Saturday, December 2 from 8 AM to 8 PM. It’s just one more reason why the first weekend of December will be a huge Celebration Weekend. Stop by Java Cabana West after the St. Jude Marathon or the Beale Street Holiday Parade.

The Memphis Gooners will host a watch party for the North London Derby, a soccer match between Arsenal and the Spurs, at the Brass Door this Saturday, November 18, starting at 6:30 AM. Try a BELT or a breakfast burger and the bar will be open too. This will be a charity drive benefiting the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, so bring a little cash to donate. The Gooners’ “friends” the Memphis Spurs will be joining the party too.

The Brass Door is also accepting donations of boys’ and girls’ jackets and cold weather gear today and tomorrow 11-9 and Friday 11-4. These will go to Memphis Inner City Rugby, traveling to Murfreesboro for the state championship this weekend. There’s nothing worse than stepping onto a rugby pitch, needing to change the course of a game, when you are cold, so let’s help get Memphis what it needs to bring home that state title.

Another Grizzly is getting some love from a national source, and this time it’s Dillon Brooks. CBS Sports reports about the praise the rookie is getting from his teammates and coaches for his professionalism, poise and competitiveness.

Why go out to the big-box stores in Cordova on Black Friday when you can shop local Downtown? On Friday, November 24 from 6-9 PM, Stock & Belle will host Black [Label] Friday + Trolley Night with Memphis fragrance company Moseley. There will be a meet & greet with company founders Richard and Holly Hardin, and art by local artist Beth Winterburn will be on display. The Sushicide food truck will be parked outside.

The Grizzlies host the Indiana Pacers tonight at 7 at FedExForum. JaMychal Green is expected back from ankle injury rehab tonight.

Professional soccer is coming to Memphis. The city has landed a United Soccer League expansion team, which should start play in Memphis in 2019 and home games will be at AutoZone Park.

That’s it for now, back tomorrow.

Tuesday update: Peabody Thanksgiving options, Tyreke Evans’ improvements recognized and more

The Peabody will be serving up four different options for Thanksgiving next week. Check out the massive selection at their overflowing Thanksgiving brunch buffet in the mezzanine! 10:30-2:30. The cost is $76 adults plus tax and grat, $28 for kids 5-12.

If you want a more traditional sit-down dinner, try Thanksgiving at Chez Philippe. This is a four-course dinner with two choices for entree (one of which is of course turkey) and for dessert. $95 per person plus tax and grat. Seatings from 3 to 8 PM.

For something more casual, there’s Thanksgiving at Capriccio Grill. $45 plus tax and grat, $19 for kids 12 and under.

if you want to have Thanksgiving at home, call 901-529-4000 and order the Peabody’s Thanksgiving to go. The package is $125 and includes a 12 lb. whole turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Order by November 17. Pick up at the valet drive 11-5 PM Wednesday, November 22.

Free pizza and cheap beer for service industry folks:

Here’s a piece of good news: Of all the major metros in Tennessee and Kentucky, Memphis is the only one whose hotel occupancy is on the rise.

I’m seeing a lot of people starting to get excited about the Memphis Tigers’ football team’s prospects: A New Year’s Day appearance in the Peach Bowl now seems within reach. However, this Saturday the Tigers need to have tunnel vision and focus for 60 minutes on nothing else but beating SMU. SMU is better than its 6-4 record looks. They lost by only 3 points on the road against Navy. They lost by only 7 against UCF, a better result than Memphis itself had. They could definitely play the role of a spoiler if the Tigers look too far ahead. Sorry to be a party pooper but I’m starting to hear us adopt a “IT’S GONNNN BEEEE ARRRR YEARRRRR” mentality like fans of a certain team on the other end of the state do every year… and then it’s never their year. It’s one week premature to start dreaming.

Let’s have a look at how fans of that team on the other end of the state are reacting to Butch Jones’ dismissal.

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts Little Rock tonight at FedExForum at 7.

Nice to see a Grizzly getting some love from my favorite statistical analysis site, FiveThirtyEight: Tyreke Evans is back

Vance from Memphis magazine has a column on the origins of the name of the Green Beetle at Main and Vance, and possible other Green Beetles that existed in Memphis.

Got the Beatles’ White Album stuck in my head this morning: “Her name was McGill, and she called herself Lil. But everyone knew her as Nancy. Doo de doo de doo de doo de doo de doo…” I guess there are worse things, could be Nickelback. That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

Saturday I encountered something unusual: Tennessee fans, clad in orange Vols gear, rooting for their team to lose. “We want Butch Jones gone,” one fan told me. “The sooner he’s gone, the better for Tennessee.” Jones and his Vols got blown out 50-17 by Missouri, maintaining a perfect record of 0 wins in SEC games this season. Finally, the folks in the UT athletic department had enough.

Bye, Butch!

Downtown Dining Week begins today and runs through Sunday. The restaurants will be busy, so please be patient if you go. Treat your servers well, and tip them well – although many of the deals are $20.17, in some cases you’re getting $30-35 worth of food, so factor that in when you’re figuring out a tip.

City Tasting Tours’ Brunch So Hard series: Memphis AF edition comes to The Valut this coming Sunday, November 19, from 11 AM to 2 PM. Brunch will be provided by Chef Aaron Winters of The Vault and champagne by by Luc Belaire.

Beer Choir is coming to the Ghost River taproom Sunday, January 6 from 3 to 5 PM. The choir is simple… find a beer and a seat, and they will give you a songbook and lead you through 2 hours of songs. This is said to be a great way to network with other musicians.

There’s a Chrome extension that lets you view Donald Trump’s tweets as they should be seen: in the scribble of a child.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Saturday update

Two Memphis teams have advanced in the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama. Pirates of the Grillibean took a first and LBOE a fifth. Both will compete in the finals on Sunday. Congratulations to both teams!

Ghost River has a deal for you during Grizzlies games:

The Grindhouse Cream Ale is absolutely my go-to beer when I go there.

In other brewery news, Meddlesome Brewing Co. is starting a brunch this Sunday. Dishes include brisket melts, seared salmon, 901 Hash, and a Smashburger.

Got a hot wing recommendation from Nate R. who just “happens” to show up wherever I am around town. So apparently one day Nate thought I was at the Blue Note at 341 Beale and went there. He got that guess wrong, but stayed and had their wings. He reported back that they were very good. I will have to give those a try soon.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to report that Green Goddess Gourmet Vegan Foods and Bettie Mae’s Confections will host a vegan holiday tapas tasting at The Den, 656 Marshall, Sunday, November 19 from 2 to 5 PM. Mac & cheese lovers will be in for a treat as Creamy Mac & Cheese is on the menu. Eggplant Parmesan is too and lots more including sweets. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

The Peabody has announced their tree lighting the day after Thanksgiving in the hotel lobby. There will be choirs throughout the day, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and of course the ducks.

Downtowners will soon have a cool new space to hang out: Carolina Watershed. Opening in December, this will be an indoor/outdoor venue on Carolina Avenue near B.B. King Blvd. The indoor part will consist of four repurposed grain silos, one of which will host a kitchen and circular bar. The menu will be “Southern deli” style and there will be acoustic music on an outdoor stage. The venue is meant to have a rural feel. Can’t wait to check this out.

Sleep Inn Downtown is transforming into a Moxy Hotel, an “experiential” hotel brand. Although the address is 40 N. Front, the hotel faces Main Street and Court Square. The hotel will offer in-room Internet TV including Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Bluetooth streaming, Pandora and Crackle. There will be free Wi-Fi as well.

Santa’s Wonderland is open at Bass Pro at the Pyramid.

Streetdog Foundation’s fundraiser Howl at the Moon is tonight at The Warehouse, the northeast corner of Front and G.E. Patterson. Tickets are $50 at the door.

That’ll do it for now. Off to do the Saturday thing. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

One of our local nonprofits has made the big time in news coverage! I remember when I was a little kid, my grandmother always looked forward to the arrival of Southern Living magazine in the mail, and she always kept several months’ worth of back issues. Southern Living is still around, and this month they talk about Memphis’ Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. This group meets at a Downtown church and assembles backpacks full of burritos and other nutritious goodies, toiletry kits, and other items the homeless can use. They then ride their bicycles out through Downtown and Midtown, finding the homeless where they are, and asking, “Are you hungry?”

I’ve known about UBFM for years now, but one thing in the article was a point I have never thought about. Soup kitchens are great, but the food ministry is different is that they actively go out and find the homeless, they reach out to let these people know that they are part of God’s family, that there are people who love them, that they will be taken care of no matter if it’s snowing, sleeting, raining.

The article makes another good point. There’s nothing unique about Memphis that makes it the only city where people on bikes feeding the homeless would work. The concept could easily spread to other cities. All it would take is people with the passion.

KIX 106 presents Jerrod Niemann & Brandon Lay at Handy Park tonight at 7:30 as part of its Fall on Beale concert series. All shows are all ages and free to attend. Get your photo taken with the performers at Tin Roof following the show.

There will be a Veterans Day parade tomorrow from 10 to 11:30 AM, going down Second from Exchange to Monroe.

The Prince Experience comes to the New Daisy Friday, December 22. The top touring Prince tribute band will play his big hits and deep cuts. Doors will open at 7 and the show will begin at 8. Party like it’s 1999 and wear purple.

From Grizzly Bear Blues: Could a random number generator have done a better job making draft picks than the Grizzlies front office?

An item from the Brass Door’s new lunch menu:

Sen. Bob Corker has scheduled a Senate hearing for next Tuesday to discuss “Trump’s authority to use nuclear weapons.”

That’s it for now. Getting through an afternoon at work then off to the Silly Goose for happy hour. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Whoooooo! Last night I went to the sports pub side of the newly-reopened Brass Door, where Colin put ESPN’s 30 for 30: Nature Boy, the long-anticipated documentary about the life of pro wrestling icon “Nature Boy” Ric Flair on the big screen. While watching, I tried some of the Beer Cheese Dip that is new to the menu.

The Brass Door and the sports pub next door, despite having been closed for several months, still look essentially the same. What’s different is the infrastructure put in place behind the scenes by Majestic Hospitality Group. What Patrick and Deni Reilly, owners of Majestic Hospitality Group, have learned is that a great idea like the “neighborhood house” concept of the Brass Door can be taken to a whole new level when great systems are put in place.

My troll wanted to make sure everyone knows the Brass Door has PBR.

I was going to post about holiday events at the Majestic Grille today, but I’m too late: Brunch with Santa and Clark’s Christmas Dinner have already sold out. The annual half-price gift card sale will be Wednesday, November 29.

Poker night at Bardog gets even better during basketball season.

I won the tickets at a poker night a few years ago. They are very nice seats. Start time is 7:30 PM and the game is in the Underdog Room downstairs.

Bloghouse Memphis, a conference for travel bloggers who want to take their blog to the next level, will happen at the Peabody May 31-June 3. This is a small conference with members hand-selected and attendance limited to around 20.

Seen on Twitter this morning: “You can’t beat Tennessee in the fall.” Reply: “But everyone can beat Tennessee in the fall.” LOL!

The full Ron Bell interview by Gary Parrish on ESPN 92.9 is worth 36 minutes of your time if you want to hear more about the allegations he is making against Josh Pastner. As others said on Twitter, Parrish did a great job of letting Bell talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.

Here’s an interesting website I found last year: Sociopath Hell

Here’s a photo of the MALTED glass you will receive if you’re one of the first 50 at Memphis Made’s fourth birthday party Saturday:

A transgender candidate beat a 13-term incumbent in a Virginia state legislative race yesterday. The incumbent was a homophobe who authored a “bathroom bill” that died in committee. LOVE IT. Acceptance of others and human decency have not been lost.

That’s it for now. I will be happy houring at the Silly Goose after work. Back tomorrow with more news.