Tuesday update

A few days ago I posted that there was going to be a National Night Out in Court Square on Tuesday, August 7. However, yesterday I learned that South Main is having its own National Night Out on the 7th, and this year you won’t sweat to death under an outdoor pavilion as you socialize with your neighbors and thank police officers for their service. They’re moving NNO indoors to 409 S. Main. Three words for ya: Jack Pirtle’s Chicken. Get there right when the event starts and getcha a box. It’s very possible you may get to meet the Pirtles themselves.

A new brewery, Delta Sunshine Brewing, is coming to Memphis. The founders are clearly passionate about beer. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with news about their beers.

Holly has 13 new places to eat in Memphis on the I Love Memphis Blog this week, and many of them are Downtown: 117 Prime, Curry ‘n’ Jerk, Grecian Gourmet, Krewe of DejaVu, and Sleep Out Louie’s. Last night a friend of mine was raving about the 50 cent oysters 117 Prime has every day 4-7 PM for happy hour, saying they are of the quality that they could easily sell for $3 apiece.

Okay… time for me to get on my social media soapbox again. I was in a restaurant recently, and two people came in and asked the bartender, “Are you open?” They weren’t sure because Google lists the place as opening at time A, and the restaurant’s website lists them opening at time B… but they actually open at time C, which is earlier than A or B. Business owners, check every place you are listed – Google, Facebook, Yelp, Urbanspoon, your own website – and make sure your listed hours are correct. You could be missing out on customers if you don’t.

Congratulations to the staff of the Memphis Flyer, which scored three awards at the recent convention of the national Association of Alternative NewsMedia in San Diego. Bruce VanWyngarden, Chris McCoy, and Chris Davis took home awards for outstanding writing.

The MBJ has coverage of what happened to Memphis Wahlburger. A Wahlburger location was announced for Fourth and Beale over a year ago, but it’s not even close to being open. Wahlburger is a chain of burger joints founded by Marky Mark Wahlberg and his family.

First United Methodist Church’s main building will re-open for worship this Sunday. The church was destroyed in an October 2006 fire and it has taken nearly 12 years to rebuild.

Great meme on Facebook: “Nothing says one of us cheated like a joint Facebook account”

Want to be truly evil? Download the tone that goes off on an Uber Eats tablet every time there’s a new order. Then go to a restaurant that has Uber Eats, get a seat near the tablet, and play the tone at random times.

The Butcher Board Festival now has a website including a newsletter signup. They are already planning for 2019 after this year’s festival was so successful.

Blade and Bow Whiskey is the half-off special this week (through Sunday) at Belle Tavern.

Random, interesting story I found: Why many old houses in Ireland have horse skulls buried beneath the floors

That’s it! Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update: RIP Brian Christopher

Yesterday about 10:45 AM, I wrote that I had seen an RIP tweet about a local Memphis professional wrestler, but I couldn’t find other sources to confirm it and I hoped it was a hoax. Unfortunately it turned out to be true. Brian Lawler, who went by the stage name Brian Christopher, was awaiting trial on a DUI charge in a jail about an hour east of Memphis. Sunday morning he was found barely alive, having hanged himself in his cell. At the time I blogged yesterday, he was still alive on life support, although some sources said he was being kept on life support so his father Jerry Lawler would have time to get to the hospital to kiss Brian goodbye.

I’m going to come back at the end of this post and write more about Brian, but I want to get on to the news first. My condolences to Brian’s family and to any readers I have who knew him personally.

The Daily Beast has an absolutely fascinating read on how the McDonald’s Monopoly game was rigged by an ex-cop with the help of the Colombo crime family. The article is a bit long but it is a great piece of investigative journalism.

My friend, career coach Angie Copeland NAILED IT on her weekly blog post/email about open offices.

For my readers who are into disc golf, the Flying Saucer will celebrate the release of the Saucer disc this Wednesday from 7 to 11 PM. The disc is a Discraft Pro-D Hawk 160g. Quantities are said to be very limited, so I would recommend getting there a little before 7 and telling your bartender or server you would like to order one as soon as they are released.

City Block Butcher and Deli is now open in the 409 South Main food hall. I snapped this photo of their case when I was in there for the Butcher Board Festival.

As I strolled down Main Street yesterday, I saw the Boll Weevils. They are part of the Carnival scene here in Memphis, best known for their green masks, green outfits, and their green bus. They were handing out food and care packages to the homeless. Good guys.

For dinner I tried something different: the Cali Style hot dog at Max’s Sports Bar.

It comes with basil pesto, balsamic glaze, lettuce, tomato, and onion. For $4.75 this is an inexpensive and tasty snack.

My troll wanted her picture taken with my picture from the 2012 Max’s group photo.

The inaugural Bluff City Jazz Fest will be held at the Cannon Center at 5 PM on Labor Day. Najee, Leela James, Pieces of a Dream, Alex Bugnon, Miki Howard, and the PC Band will perform.

Back to Brian Christopher… Brian was an outstanding heel for several years of his time in Memphis. He had that maniacal laugh, that in-your-face personality that made fans just want to see him get smacked. If he’d been born about 10-12 years earlier, I think he could have enjoyed great success as a heel in the old territory system, moving from territory to territory every 1 to 2 years. Imagine him paired with Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman) as a manager, Heyman also having an over-the-top personality. Or pair him with a manager who was all business like Skandor Akbar to highlight the personality contrast. He would have been money. However, Memphis was one of very few regional territories left when Brian came of age in the early 1990s.

Brian’s biggest run in WWE came as a face (good guy) teaming with Scotty 2 Hotty. That run came to an end in 2002, when Brian was only 30. Although the team was brought back for some comedy/enhancement type stuff later on, it seemed like Brian spent the rest of his life trying to recapture the magic he had in his 20s. Vince McMahon in that day and age just wouldn’t see someone Brian’s size as anything more than a midcard tag team wrestler. Of course, Brian could always go back home, but by the early ’00s the Memphis territory was not nearly as hot and lucrative as it used to be. I’m sure Brian had trouble accepting that he peaked so early in a business where many wrestlers don’t hit their prime until 40. Oddly enough, promoter Jerry Jarrett was a guest on Cerrito Live this past Saturday and wrestlers dealing with their inner demons was a topic. Brian was mentioned.

Also sad to hear of the passing of Nikolai Volkoff yesterday. Volkoff a “Russian” who was one half of a great heel team of the 1980s, an anti-American team with the Iron Sheik. Despite his persona he was known as a kind and gentle man backstage.

That’s it for today’s news. Back tomorrow.

Sunday update

One Memphis happens this afternoon in Handy Park at the corner of Beale and B.B. King Blvd. This is an event to bring the community together through the language understood by people of all faiths and backgrounds – music. Come hear many different styles of music to build love, harmony, and a community where all are one. There will be food trucks onsite and this event is free and family friendly.

Beer lovers: Crosstown Brewing Co. will have the release of Peligro, a Mexican imperial chocolate stout, this coming Friday, August 3, from 2 to 10 PM. There will be food from Crosstown Mash-up beginning at 6:00 and The Rusty Pieces will play at 6:30.

Local BBQ team Porkosaurus is about to roll out a new product, a slaw mix. Unlike most slaw mixes, this one does not contain mayonnaise so you do not have to worry about it spoiling. It’s all natural and gluten free. They are rolling it out at a festival in the Bronx this weekend and plan to have it available for sale in the near future.

Jerry Lawler’s Bar & Grill on Beale Street will host a 75th birthday party for “Superstar” Bill Dundee on October 24. Memphis wrestling legends are set to attend, including promoter Jerry Jarrett.

I saw an RIP tweet for a Memphis wrestler, but there are no other similar tweets in the hour since so I am going to assume it’s fake.

Back tomorrow with more news. My regular Sunday bartender B-RAD is on vacation, so I’m going to lead off at Blind Bear and then bounce around a bit. This seems like an especially good Sunday to be at Max’s Sports Bar so I will stop by there when it opens at 4:30.

Saturday update: Monroe Avenue Fest sponsorship and fundraising information

Yesterday I was in Bardog Tavern and someone requested a sponsor packet to learn about ways to support the Breakaway-Bardog 5K and the Monroe Avenue Festival (to old-schoolers, “the Bardog alley party”) on Sunday, August 19. I figured I’d post that information here. First of all, there are sponsor packages at the main event level ($6000), the contributing level ($2000), and the supporting level ($750). Each of these levels gets you plenty of recognition for your organization as well as perks.

If you don’t have an organization, but as an individual you want to support this great cause – having raised over $200,000 for the kids of St. Jude since 2009 – there are ways you can do that, too. You can donate money. You can donate an item to be given away in the raffle at Monroe Fest. You can organize a fundraising team. Or, you can be a volunteer. Lots of ways to get involved.

While at Bardog, two guys came in with flyers for Bowling for Balls, an event on August 26 at Billy Hardwick Lanes. You can help fight testicular cancer, or as they would say Save Deez Nuts, by entering a team of 4. In addition to an afternoon of bowling, you get Memphis Made beer, pizza, soft drinks, and prize giveaways from local establishments – including Bardog, which donated some gift cards.

Later in the day I visited Silly Goose for happy hour. I tried their Turkey Burger last Friday and it was really good, so this time I decided to have their Classic Burger with beef patty.

This is just a good old homestyle burger at a very reasonable price. It comes with a salad you can get with ranch or vinaigrette. I like it that the salad comes with a generous amount of cheese.

I had a conversation that turned weird while I was at the Goose. Someone came up and inquired about my little troll figurine who stands on the bar in front of me. “What’s his name?” this person asked. I explained that the troll is a female and is named Perjorie T. Roll.

“Well, can I buy Perjorie a beer?” he asked.

“Sure. She drinks PBR,” I replied.

So, he and I chatted for a couple of minutes, then he asked, “Can I borrow Perjorie for a while?” NO! She’s not a library book! What a strange thing to ask.

There’s a photo from Beale Street that has been going viral on Facebook. It’s a sign from Rum Boogie Cafe, informing patrons that a $4 entertainment fee will be added to their check after 7 PM. This money does not go to the band, but the sign gives the impression that it does, especially since it has “SUPPORT THE BLUES” in big, bold letters. It makes customers a lot less likely to tip the band, believing that they’ve already given the band some of their money. Sounds like Rum Boogie needs to clarify what happens to that entertainment fee.

Downtown’s National Night Out celebration comes to Court Square this year, on Tuesday, August 7 at 6 PM. This is a chance to thank a police officer or firefighter for keeping us safe, and a chance to learn how police-community partnerships can strengthen neighborhoods. There will be a DJ and free food and this is a kid-friendly event. PRO TIP: Some of the best Downtown restaurants donate to NNO, so get there right at 6 to get first pick at the food.

Court Square was covered in “snow” for the filming of a movie yesterday. Film crews will be out today and tomorrow as well.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports writes how Penny Hardaway and Mike Miller became the most fascinating recruiting team on the college circuit.

That’s all I got for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

This week I’ve been watching a lot of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I had the misconception that Shark Week was all about those Sharknado movies and other similarly stupid content. But, no. They show the divers using technology to track the sharks and to learn how to prevent attacks on humans. Good stuff.

The most interesting fact I learned this week: If you want to attract great white sharks without using chum or bait, play death metal under water. No kidding, this really worked.

The Orpheum ramps its Summer Movie Series into high gear this weekend with 1939 children’s classic The Wizard of Oz tonight at 7. Doors open at 6; come early for drink specials, a photo booth, and movie-themed activities.

Then tomorrow at the Orpheum starting at 5, it’s a double feature of the 1978 movie Superman and 1989’s Batman. Your $8 ticket price ($6 children 12 and younger) gets you both movies. Doors open at 4 for activities in the lobby.

I want to tell a quick story, and those of you who organize events in the Memphis area should pay attention. Yesterday afternoon I was at the Silly Goose with my “DAWG” John D. “So what was this butcher block thing?” he asked me.

“The Butcher Board Festival?” I replied. “Yeah, it happened last Sunday at 409 South Main. It was a celebration of charcuterie, meat and cheese plates. It was really good.”

“Hmmm,” John D replied. “Your blog post this week was the first I had heard of it.” John is one of many people over the past few years who have decided to get off Facebook. People have various reasons for doing so: Tired of reading about people’s drama, tired of narcissistic posts, tired of irrelevant stuff in their news feed, concern over their personal data being used in unwanted ways. So, if you are promoting an event, make sure you cover other social media channels as well as Facebook to make sure people who have made the same decision as John hear your message.

More information about Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Fest being kept cool this year: Cooling stations will be supplied by Briggs Equipment.

Job news: The Memphis Oral School for the Deaf has an Assistant Teacher position open, and the Memphis International Airport has 3 positions.

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina is cooperating with federal prosecutors. If true, that is horrible news for the National Rifle Association.

If any of you work for a company that has transportation/logistics needs, including truckload, less than truckload, intermodal, or even export/import hit me up at paul@paulryburn.com. A very good friend of mine with 15+ years in the industry is looking to grow his business. He will take great care of you and I would be happy to make the introductions.

I have the afternoon to myself, so I think I’ll walk over to Bardog and see what their lunch specials are. Later in the day I’ll hit up happy hour at Silly Goose. On the fence about heading down to Trolley Night. I want to go but there are certain people down in that area I just don’t care to see. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

There’s some free live music tonight at Loflin Yard that sounds like it’s going to be a really good show. Grammy-nominated bluesman Alvin Youngblood Hart and Jimmy Pinnell, described as “mind-blowingly good,” will take the stage at the Coach House at 8 PM.

In other live music news, Al Kapone will be at the Center for Southern Folklore tomorrow at 6.

Hillbilly Casino headlines the Peabody rooftop tonight. $10 to get in, $20 VIP, ladies and hotel guests free before 7. Your admission includes a buffet of assorted pintxos. Those in VIP have an additional buffet of paella, chorizo stuffed mushrooms, and pancetta croquettes.

Kayak Memphis will be renting kayaks off the historic riverfront cobblestones starting Saturday, August 4.

New Wing Order has announced another first for their food truck, their first appearance in Midtown. They will bring their award-winning wings to Memphis Made Brewing Co. on the night of the Cooper-Young 4-Miler, Friday, September 14 from 4 to 10 PM.

From Lifehacker: Check your Uber charges for bogus “vomit fees.” I have heard about this happening here in Memphis.

The Memphis Grizzlies have announced their five-game pre-season schedule.

It’s that time again! River City Camaro Club presents The Sweetest Ride Around car show this Saturday on Beale 10 to 4.

High Ground News, in their On the Ground in Uptown, has a feature about community hub The Office.

If you’re a Redbirds fan, you’ll want to save this date: First 1500 fans on August 24 get a replica ring of the team’s 2017 Pacific Coast League championship rings.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update

Number One Beale is one of those projects that in recent years, I’ve simply refused to post news about, because plans always seem to get derailed on that project. However, this time they seem to be on track. They’re now reconfigured for a mid-rise project that will have 227 apartments, and they have Hyatt signed on board for the same number of hotel rooms. They also plan to have a riverfront restaurant by Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman. The former Ellis Machine Shop buildings, previously scheduled for demolition, will be retained as office and conference space.

During the A.C. Wharton administration, I complained on this blog numerous times about the awful conditions at Memphis Animal Services, conditions which went largely unaddressed for years because Wharton insisted on having unqualified cronies in the top position there. However, under the direction of Alexis Pugh, the live release rate has improved from the 50% range to about 90%. MAS was recently recognized at the Best Friends Animal Conference for its success and received a $1000 grant. Congratulations and thank you to everyone at MAS.

The Dirty Crow Inn’s special this week is a bacon cheeseburger on a Gibson’s maple bacon donut.

Wiseacre’s taproom will be closed this afternoon for a private event. It will open to the public at 6 PM.

Sunday, November 11 from 9 PM to 2 AM, DJ Pauly D will perform at the New Daisy. Pauly D has parlayed his Jersey Shore gig into quite the successful DJ career, and Daisyland is bringing him to Memphis. DudeCalledRob, DJ Ben Murray, Paul Grass, and Mylon Webb will perform as well.

Uh oh… four flavors of Goldfish crackers have been recalled. Could be contaminated with salmonella. The crackers are a popular snack among some of my friends here.

That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

The milkman and Tuesday news

A common discussion topic going around Facebook these days is, name something that was a defining part of your childhood, but which people younger than you would not be able to relate to. I never could come up with a good answer. Video games and electronics were always in the front of my mind, but kids younger than me would have had those too.

Then yesterday, I saw a discussion on Twitter that led me to the answer. People were discussing “the milkman” who would deliver to your home, and saying that’s not a position that has been around since refrigeration became common about 70 years ago. Actually, that’s not true.

My mom had a notepad supplied by Coleman Dairy over in Little Rock. Once or twice a week she would check off the products she needed – milk, cheese, eggs, ice cream. Coleman also offered products like buttermilk, half-and-half, cottage cheese, and yogurt. I would help my mom fill out the notepad, and I think it may have actually been one of the reasons I learned to read when I was only 3. We’d tear off the note sheet, put it on the front door, and the milkman would show up between about 6 and 8 AM and make the delivery.

My favorite time of the year to see the milkman was December. During that month he had Christmas-themed ice cream on a stick: Green ice cream with sprinkles in the shape of a tree, and pink and white ice cream in the shape of Santa. I always asked my mom to order an extra box of the ice cream treats. I was an only child, and only children usually get their way, so she did.

I remember eating Coleman Dairy products delivered by the milkman as I watched Dialing for Dollars, the noon news show on a Little Rock TV station. I remember eating Coleman products as I watched hearings full of men in suits. My grandmother, who babysat me during the day, told me that the president had done something really bad and that was the reason for the hearings. I remember watching the Mike Douglas Show as I ate Coleman products. Except, one week my grandmother wouldn’t let me watch the show because “drug heads” were guest hosting it. Many years later I learned that the guest hosts were John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

One day not long after I turned 5 the doorbell rang and my mom went to answer. After a couple of minutes she came back and told us, “The milkman won’t be coming anymore.” It wasn’t a big deal, because we had a Safeway half a mile away that sold everything the milkman did. But until yesterday, it never occurred to me that I am among the last people to know what it’s like to have a milkman.

New Wing Order, the multi-time Southern Hot Wing Fest champions who are opening up a new food truck, have announced the date for their Downtown debut. On Saturday, September 8, they will be parked outside the Ghost River taproom from 4 to 8. Come enjoy some wings and great craft beer. I previewed New Wing’s offerings back in March.

South Main is celebrating Elvis Week early for Trolley Night this Friday. Come down to the arts district, where most of the shops and galleries will be open until 9 or later that night. The South Main Stage at Main and Talbot will be rocking with live music, games provided by the Downtown Memphis Commission, and beer by TapBox.

There will be a public meeting at the Majestic Grille at 6 PM tomorrow night, July 25, to discuss a request from Belz for a zoning variance to allow an expanded parking lot at the former Tri-State Bank location at Main and Beale.

Reminder: Opera Memphis will perform, and their CEO will speak, at the monthly Downtown Memphis Association meeting tonight on Felicia Suzanne’s patio. 5:30 social and performance, presentation at 6 PM.

If you get a chance this week, stop by the pop-up shop on the ground floor of Peabody Place, facing Main Street, in the old Life is Good location. Artist George Hunt, designer of many of the Memphis in May posters over the years, and a partner are making a push to establish a National Blues Art Museum. George has many of his works on the walls and they will tell you all about what they want to do.

Pints for Pits, the annual fundraiser for Memphis Pets Alive, is moving to a new venue this year. It will be at Crosstown Brewing Co. on the afternoon of Saturday, October 20.

I saw an El Camino hearse yesterday driving down Monroe. Wonder if it’s going to be the Halloween raffle prize at Bardog this year?

High Ground News has a great interview with Libby Campo, owner of Your Inner Yogi yoga studio at 10 N. Second. YOGA!

High Ground also interviewed some of the elders of Uptown about the changes they have seen in the neighborhood over the past 50 years.

There’s an Event Services Coordinator position open at the Liberty Bowl.

And that’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Inaugural Butcher Board Festival a smashing success

Yesterday I attended the inaugural Butcher Board Festival at the 409 South Main food hall. There have been many food festivals in Memphis, but this was a first. It was a celebration of charcuterie, meat and cheese trays. I am a big fan of both meat and cheese and was quite pleased to get to go.

Every guest got their own mini butcher board, with a cutout for a wine/beer/cider tasting glass, a thoughtful touch that let people navigate the festival with one hand full rather than two.

They let media people in at 3 to photograph the food and interview the companies providing food and drink. I got a chance to chat with Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s, who had posted a video yesterday morning encouraging people to come to brunch at his restaurant. Among the offerings he mentioned were eggy weggys. “Eggy weggys, Chef? Really?” I asked him, and he told me that really is a thing, from the movie A Clockwork Orange.

I had a very hungry troll on my hands who kept asking me “When do we eat, Paul?” I was relieved when the feeding frenzy began a few minutes before 4.

That stuff in the cup in the upper left was in my opinion THE hit of the entire festival. This was just an entire butcher board of yummy goodness.

Yes, that’s a big ol’ slice of brie on my butcher board, along with some meats and a second cup of the good stuff.

What a wonderfully creative and fabulous festival. Thank you so much to the organizers for inviting me. This needs to come back for a second year.

Just a good day overall. I started off at D-RANKS with B-RAD at Pontotoc Lounge and discovered a new sport: Rugby Sevens. Unlike traditional rugby, there are seven to a side and the game is played in seven minute halves. Halftime is only 2 minutes long, and the conversion must be kicked within 30 seconds of scoring a try (the equivalent of a touchdown in American football). I like a game that hurries up and gets over with.

Pontotoc was short a server due to a nasty spill on a Bird scooter. I have not ridden on one of those things and the more I think about it, the less inclined I am to do so. One of my Facebook friends pointed out that because people park those things wherever the hell they want, they often don’t leave enough room on the sidewalk for someone who is wheelchair-bound to navigate by safely, which is a serious ADA compliance issue.

Lifehacker has a very important public service announcement which is all the more relevant in these days of butcher board festivals: Bacon is a dipping food. Yes yes yes yes yes it is. Bacon dipped in lobster bisque. Just trust me on this.

That’ll do it for this post! Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

Today is Halloween in July with the Redbirds. Kids attending today’s game are encouraged to wear full costumes and line up at 1:15 for a pre-game costume parade. After the game (first pitch 2:05) there will be a Halloween candy drop from a helicopter. There are two specialty tickets for this game, one of which gets you a color-your-own Halloween bag, and the other which gets you the bag and a membership in Rockey Redbird’s Kids Club.

Local Gastropub will be having a patio party this afternoon beginning at 3. They’ll be featuring their sister catering company Hogtown Oyster Company, shucking some oysters and boiling crab and shrimp. Live music as well.

New Memphis themed website that’s worth a bookmark: Bluff City Weekend

South of Beale has a server position available. They’re looking for someone with experience in a high-volume restaurant.

The Daily News has a good article about the Heritage Building Supply store that opened recently in The Edge.

That’ll do it for now. Butcher Board Festival this afternoon!!!