Saturday update

The Memphis Redbirds came back in the bottom of the ninth last night, scoring 3 runs to beat the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 5-4. The Redbirds take a 2-1 advantage in the playoff series and could win it tonight. Tonight’s game at AutoZone Park will have fireworks after the game.

Tickets are now on sale for the Cooper-Young Beerfest. This festival, to be held on Saturday, October 20, features 35 breweries from around the region as well as beer from local homebrewers. In my opinion, this is Memphis’ best beer festival because you aren’t there to see and be seen; you’re there to sample, ask the brewers questions, and learn all about the beer you are drinking. Tickets are $45 and they go up to $50 October 1.

Yesterday I tried one of Pontotoc Lounge’s lunch specials. Every Friday they have their burger for $6 from 11 to 2.


This was no Big Mac. It was a gourmet burger, with grilled onions, pickles, and a sweet sauce. It was so juicy too, and so big that I couldn’t finish it. I was also pleasantly surprised to see my $6 included fries. A lot of places, when they run burger specials, run the special on only the burger and fries are extra. Pontotoc does it right.

Plus, Perjorie T. Roll got to stand on a butcher board, which always makes her happy.

Pontotoc Lounge has the $6 burger every Friday. They also have $6 specials at lunch Wednesdays (chicken casserole) and Thursday (Mississippi pot roast).

On the way down there, I met a boxing coach who is trying to use boxing as a way to get kids off the streets and keep them out of trouble. (Click for a larger image to view the sign)

If any of my readers feel like talking to him and possibly supporting what he does, Coach McKinnon told me he’ll be at the corner of Main and Beale most every day.

The Grizzlies are moving fully to mobile ticketing this season, and there will be no more option to print tickets at home or store them as a PDF. This will reduce problems with lost, stolen and fraudulent tickets. I wonder how it will work for people who have the old-style flip phones that can’t display images, though? Or people who forget to bring their phone to the game.

The Peabody Hotel’s bakery and deli has announced its ice cream flavor of the month for September. In observance of the hotel’s 149th anniversary, it will be a cake batter ice cream with shortbread cookie pieces and swirls of raspberry jam.

Downtown Memphis is getting a second Lisa’s Lunchbox location. Many Raymond James employees were making the six-block trek to the popular deli on South Front Street, and they expressed to the staff there that it sure would be nice to have a Lunchbox location in their building. Kickin’ chicken spaghetti every Wednesday!

From the Today Show: Mustard pizza is a thing. That’s a pizza that uses mustard as its base rather than tomato sauce. Sure, I could get behind that.

I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the south side of Downtown today! I’m leading off at the Farmers Market, then over to Earnestine & Hazel’s to say hello to Clarence. Then my “DAWG” John D and I made plans to switch our usual Saturday spot from Bardog to Max’s Sports Bar for one week only (he’s friends with the bartender apparently). Then at 4 I will head to Ghost River for the New Wing Order Downtown grand opening. The buffalo wing nachos are high on my list to try. Pictures tomorrow probably.

Friday update

Memphis has lost one of its true greats in the restaurant, bar, and nightclub scene this week. Bud Chittom passed away this week at age 67. In recent years Bud has grown Blues City Cafe and Club 152 into highly successful businesses, and he was involved with the re-opening of Earnestine & Hazel’s and the Five Spot following Russell George’s death. I knew Bud best from Club Six-1-Six which was my spot back in the ’90s. Bud was always very kind to me, always complimented me on the blog when he saw me around town. Rest in peace, Bud. Memphis is better in many ways, and many people have a lot of cherished memories, because of the businesses you built.

Seth Agranov, former operator of Best Memphis Burger Fest, tagged me in a post this morning. The folks who bought the rights to run a burger festival from him have re-branded it Burgerfest Memphis and have a tentative date of October 27th. The location of the festival is unclear at this time. The logo has a drawing of the Liberty Bowl and says “Tiger Lane,” but the Facebook post announced a location of Bobby Lanier Farm Park in Germantown. That’s a bye week for the Tigers so a game wouldn’t preclude the use of Tiger Lane. I’ll post more details as I get them.

That date for Burgerfest Memphis is later in the fall than they’ve had it in the past. On October 27, you’re looking at normal temperatures of high 71/low 50. If that day is normal or above, everything will be fine. Just got to hope a cold front doesn’t pass through and drop it down into the 30s.

The playoff series, tied at 1-1 between the Memphis Redbirds and Oklahoma City, comes to AutoZone Park tonight. Game time is 7:05 and the first 1500 people get a 2018 playoff rally towel. There is a special cookout ticket that includes burgers, hot dogs and all the trimmings, a free ticket to Game 4 on Saturday, and a free ticket to Game 5 on Sunday (if necessary).

The Peabody is bringing back its Sunset Happy Hour Fridays and Saturdays this month 4:30-8:30 PM. It’s free to go up to the hotel’s rooftop and watch the sun set, and libations will be available for purchase.

I don’t know if I have any readers who go to the Memphis Farmers Market and who own dogs, but in case I do, you’ll want to be at the Market tomorrow where the theme is Treat Your Beasts. Vendors at the Farmers Market sell dog treats made from natural, locally-sourced ingredients, and there are also meat vendors who will sell you a bone for your dog. Free pet-sitting is available while you shop. Featured sponsor Hollywood Feed will have a booth there tomorrow. M4, the Mini-Mobile Metal Museum, will bring the Metal Museum’s smithy and casting to the Market. Kids can get their oink on in the crafts booth 8 to noon, and there will be live local music all day. The Market runs 8-1 every Saturday under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson.

YOGA! Tomorrow there will be an all-levels yoga class on the rooftop of Old Dominick Distillery, followed by “mimosas” with Old Dominick products. $15 includes the class and one specialty cocktail. Check in at 10:30, yoga at 11, cocktails following yoga.

The Brass Door is inviting the public to come watch the USA vs. Brazil soccer friendly at 6:30 this evening.

There will be a free concert outside the Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts next Wednesday, September 12, from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Kirk Whalum will be presented with his Brass Note.

Project Green Fork is seeking a Program Manager.

The Travel Channel will be filming at LUNCHBOXeats tomorrow and they are inviting the public to come be on TV. Filming will happen 12:30 to 2 PM.

A man was killed after being hit by a train this morning at South Main and Virginia Avenue.

Disney on Ice presents Frozen is in town for the weekend at FedExForum.

The New Daisy has announced Hoobastank will play on November 16.

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage play the Halloran Centre tonight.

Memphis in May has announced an open call for visual artists to submit work for its 2019 salute. Rather than honoring a country this year, the month-long festival is honoring Memphis for the city’s bicentennial.

So, today I find myself with an important decision to make.

A couple of days ago I blogged that my friend Dennis, who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for St. Jude a couple of years ago, is making a trip to Everest Base Camp to further raise money. Yesterday I got an email from Dennis with an offer to come along…

No, not for me to come along.

Dennis has invited Perjorie T. Roll to accompany him on his trip. “Perjorie would have stops in Philadelphia, Qatar, Kathmandu, Lukla (including an exhilarating flight into the worlds most dangerous airport), Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorakshep (the original Everest Base Camp), Everest Base Camp, and a side trip up Mount Kalapatthar to see the sunrise over Everest’s peak,” Dennis wrote. He said she would fit in a carry-on bag on the plane and in a backpack hiking up the mountain, and that (connectivity permitting) he could send back a picture of the day to put on the blog. As Dennis points out, not many trolls have been to Mt. Everest, and it would be a great way to raise awareness for his fundraising for St. Jude.

The downside is that I’d be without Perjorie for two-thirds of the month of October and I would miss my little troll terribly. I also need to find out if my BBQ team has any interest in doing Burgerfest Memphis. If there’s a Moody Ques event during the time she’s overseas, that could be a deal-breaker. She is too valuable an asset to the team to miss an event of that magnitude.

Also a concern is, what if she gets lost over there and I never get her back? I trust Dennis completely, and since she’ll be in a carry-on, lost luggage is not a concern. However, Everest is a dangerous environment, and it’s possible that an emergency situation will arise in which the protection of a plastic figurine is not the highest concern. I could get another troll, but there’s only one Perjorie. She’s my scar, a remnant of a deep injury, but an emotional one rather than a physical one. I wish I could say more but this is a public website so I won’t.

I’m going to think about it over the weekend.

Headed to Pontotoc Lounge here in a bit where they have their burger as a $6 lunch special 11 AM to 2 PM. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Saturday will be a big day for dog lovers Downtown. The new Mud Island dog park, sponsored by Hollywood Feed, will open that day.

The Dr. Bill Herd Jazz Ensemble will perform at Pop-up Sunset Jazz at Court Square this Sunday from 5 to 7 PM. Food trucks will be available for those who are hungry.

Construction is coming to Poplar and Danny Thomas. The Memphis Business Journal reports that the Union Mission is building a facility west of its current 383 Poplar location that will comfortably house and feed 350 people in a variety of spaces.

There will be a free performance of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona Friday, September 21 at 6 PM at Beale Street Landing.

Cemetery Cinema will return to Elmwood Cemetery on Friday, October 5 with a double feature to get you in the mood for Halloween. The gates will open at 5:30, and you can enjoy rides on mule-driven buckboards around the cemetery as costumed characters talk about those who are buried there. At 6:45, once the sun has set, the first movie will begin, being projected onto the roof of the cemetery’s historic 1852 cottage. The films will be The Wolf Man (1941) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

Gizmodo has a list of 9 apps you should try if you want to learn something new every day. I have installed Curiosity and Blinkist and am enjoying them so far.

My trivia team won for the third week in a row at Blind Bear. Early on, Elton John was on the TV in front of us in one of his snazzy outfits, and Cady commented, “Elton John is like an elegant Ric Flair.” Then she said, “That should be our team name.”

By now you’ve probably all heard about the op-ed piece in the New York Times yesterday, written by an anonymous senior official in the White House. It confirms one of the major points of Bob Woodward’s book, that White House officials have to contain President Trump’s impulses to avoid situations that would endanger national security. I wonder who this person is. Pence? Mattis?

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

Support St. Jude Wednesdays at the Flying Saucer this month

A year or two ago, I posted about my friends Dennis and MaryPat who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for St. Jude. They are regulars at the Downtown Flying Saucer, and the Saucer was very supportive of their cause, helping them to raise well over $10,000.

So anyway, this morning I was looking at my notes in Evernote, thinking, “I have NOTHING to post today.” Well, I have one item that would be fine among 10 other items in a daily update post, but isn’t significant or time-sensitive enough to warrant a post of its own. “What am I going to do? I already took Monday off. If I skip posting multiple days in one week, people start to worry about me.”

Right about then, I checked my phone, and there was a text from MaryPat. She said to see a copied text from Brandey, one of the managers at the Saucer, and to help get the word out.

Dennis is embarking on a new adventure, planning to conquer Mt. Everest this time, once again to raise money for St. Jude. The Saucer stepped up to support. Every Wednesday at the Saucer is glass night, where you can buy a special glass to keep along with your beer, usually from a brewery that supplies the Saucer. For the entire month of September, beginning tonight, a portion of the sales of every Wednesday night glass will be donated to St. Jude. Glass night starts at 7 PM, although if you’re a Master of the Universe (5 plates or more) you can buy them earlier than 7.

The money goes straight to St. Jude and Dennis and MaryPat do not take a cut – it all goes to the kids. If you like beer and are looking for a way to support this great cause, come on out to the Saucer tonight or one of the next three Wednesdays.

Tuesday update

The Phantom returns to the Orpheum tonight as the theater’s 2018-19 Broadway season kicks off this week. Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to Phantom of the Opera, runs tonight through Sunday. It’s set 10 years later, and the Phantom has escaped the Paris Opera House and has made his way to New York. The Flyer’s Chris Davis has more on the musical.

Beale Street’s historic Hunt-Phelan House is on the market. The 5 bedroom, 10 bath mansion was built in 1828 and is selling for $3.5 million.

The official team store of Memphis 901 FC is now open for business online.

Airbnb has generated $650,000 for the city of Memphis in the first year since the city started charging a short-term room occupancy tax.

There’s a job opening at the Redbirds. They are looking for a Director of Premium Sales.

Local Gastropub posted that it will carry NFL Sunday ticket this year at both locations. There will be beer bucket specials as well as burger and wing specials. During brunch they have bottomless mimosas.

The National Civil Rights Museum will host a storytime for kids ages 2-5 tomorrow from 10:30 to 11:30 AM. The theme will be the Underground Railroad.

The Commercial Appeal has the story behind the Memphis Tigers football team’s pro wrestling-inspired turnover robe.

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward has a new book coming out about life in the Trump White House. I didn’t buy Omarosa’s book but I will probably buy this one.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more.

Sunday update

I don’t do a whole lot of shots anymore, but yesterday I made an exception and I am glad I did.

Ole Smoky has a new flavor of moonshine out. This is Butter Pecan Pie Moonshine and it just may be the best shot I have ever had. So yummy. They have it at Bardog.

Memphis 901 FC posted video of a very successful exhibition soccer match at AutoZone Park last night.

The Mississippi River Monsters catfishing tournament kicks off at Bass Pro at the Pyramid this Friday, September 7. Winner gets a $30,000 Tracker Grizzly boat, motor and trailer.

A friend of mine mentioned that he tried to go to Tailors’ Union/The Pocket, the new Downtown speakeasy that will become a private club on September 14, but was denied entry because he had shorts on. Keep that in mind if you plan a visit to the place. I wonder if the private club concept is going to make it in Memphis. I have heard almost no buzz about it in the circles in which I run. I personally have no interest in joining.

Check out Bluff City Coffee’s Sandwich of the Month for September:

I don’t know if I have any vegetarians who read this blog, but if I do, you could take a class at Downtown Yoga and then have a short walk up the street to Bluff City for this sandwich.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra, widely considered the most successful big band of all time, will perform at the Orpheum on Friday, February 8, 2019. Tickets are on sale now.

The New York Times has an interesting interactive article: How much hotter is your hometown than when you were born? I entered the place where I was born, Little Rock, Arkansas, and my year of birth. When I was born Little Rock averaged 59 days a year with temperatures of 90 degrees or higher. As of 2018 Little Rock averages 80 days with temps above 90. By the time I’m 80 years old, Little Rock is forecast to have a range of 81 to 112 days with temps above 90, with the most likely scenario being 103 days.

High Ground News has an article on the art of local craft beer. Breweries work with designers to come up with attractive can art that catches the eye of potential customers.

A new riverboat will launch at Beale Street Landing next month with cruises to New Orleans.

Most of my readers have tomorrow off, I would assume. If you’re trying to figure out what to do on a Sunday when you can stay out late, my suggestion would be to catch FreeWorld’s weekly gig at the Blues City Band Box on Beale. This is where they have the freedom to jam and do their most creative stuff, and the entire band is there, rather than Kaleidoscope or KaleidoWorld which are subsets of the band’s members. Showtime is 9:00 I believe. Might be a good idea to get there at 8 and have some Southern grub at Blues City Cafe next door.

Time to talk college football

Memphis 66, Mercer 14

The Tigers scored a record 56 points in the first half and must have put their third string and walk-ons in for the second – a smart coaching move even if it meant Memphis didn’t run up the score much more. This was a feel-good win that fired up the Tiger fan base, but let’s face it – this is what it’s supposed to look like when you face an FCS opponent. We won’t know if Memphis is truly good until next week’s road game vs. Navy. A win there and the Tigers belong in the Top 25 and can look toward another 10-win season and giving Boise State a run for its money as the best in the Group of Five.

By the way, I love the Ric Flair-inspired turnover robe that players get to put on after forcing a turnover. Whooooooo! It’s a heck of a lot better than a trash can.

Arkansas 55, Eastern Illinois 20

Same as above. The Hogs are supposed to blow out cupcake opponents, and they did. The Razorbacks have a ridiculously easy nonconference schedule, the toughest opponent being Tulsa. They’ll get 4 wins out of that. Can they get two more against SEC opponents and get bowl eligible? And how far has this program fallen where 6 wins and an appearance in the Taxslayer Bowl a desirable result?

West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14

Thank you, thank you, thank you to good ole West Virginny! There is nothing I hate worse than the Vols going on a winning streak the first few games, and we have to hear “IT’S GONNNN BEEEE ARRRRRR YEEEEAAARRRRRR” from their idiot fans. A loss to the Mountaineers will shut them up. Well, it will shut them up until they beat Eastern Tennessee State and UTEP, after which they’ll start going, “Well, hail, son, ’em one-loss teams, they get to the playoffs all the time! Hail yeah, all we got to do is run the table and we’re in! IT’S GONNNN BEEEE ARRRRRR YEEEEAAARRRRRR!” Then Florida will beat them by 21 and Tennessee fans will slither back under their rocks until 2019.

If you don’t want to read about politics, you can go now

A week ago I posted that some of my best Twitter sources indicated that it would rain indictments this past week (August 27-31), with the two biggest names to be indicted being Roger Stone and Don Jr. That didn’t happen. My sources say that’s because indictments at that level would have taken the spotlight off remembering an American hero, John McCain. They pushed back a week until his funeral was over. Tuesday and Wednesday could be wild days. They want to get this done no less than 60 days before the midterm elections. 60 days would be this Thursday.

Prediction: This will be the week Trump goes absolutely batshit, not only on Twitter, but on a live mic. Crazy to the point that even Republicans will start wondering if he is mentally healthy enough to be president. In my opinion, that discussion should have started when he referred to white supremacists as “some very fine people,” but better now than never.

U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen will host a town hall at Rhodes College on September 13. This was originally set to be a debate against his opponent, Marsha Blackburn, but Blackburn is too much of a coward to face the people who would be her West Tennessee constituents if she wins the seat.

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

Saturday update: Memphis 901 FC and more news

USL’s new soccer team in Memphis, debuting in 2019, has a name as of 9:01 this morning: Memphis 901 FC. The Memphis metro has long been referred to as “the 901” by Memphians, and I can’t think of a more appropriate name for the new team. The exhibition match featuring the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer (with Tim Howard) vs. the USL’s Tulsa Roughnecks FC is tonight at 7 at AutoZone Park. Pre-match alley party this afternoon nearby at the Brass Door.

I’m really happy for the Door. There have been times when they have struggled to get business, not through any fault of their own but because Monroe has long been perceived as the northern boundary of the scene in the Downtown core. Now Brass Door is going to be Memphis’ soccer pub. I don’t think Seamus and the staff there will have any problem packing the place now that professional soccer is here.

Here’s a photo that illustrates my distaste for the Bird scooters.

See it? This was taken about 3 PM at the Silly Goose. I can easily see someone going outside to take a phone call, walking down the steps, and tripping over that Bird.

It’s not that I think the Birds are inherently bad, and I wouldn’t be in favor of banning them as Nashville did. They help a lot of people get where they need to go, faster, without using a car, and in a very affordable fashion. It’s just that Memphis has a lot of careless, inconsiderate people, which leads to situations like the one photographed above.

In other Silly Goose news, the new patio is ready:

This is a second patio, in addition to the one they have always had. It is across the sidewalk from the original patio. It was installed to make up for the patio area lost when the pedestrian promenade on Peabody Place was removed. The patio space is necessary because the Goose will lose part of its original patio, as the kitchen expands to incorporate a new $65,000 pizza oven.

Over at the Goose’s sibling restaurant Pontotoc Lounge, there are some great lunch deals going on.

Mississippi pot roast. Get it. I haven’t had the cheeseburger yet but everyone I know who has tried it loves it. Any of those are a screaming value at $6.

Last night I went to South Main Trolley Night, and I mean, I actually walked around and visited the shops of South Main, rather than just sitting in Max’s Sports Bar all evening. I stopped by Stock & Belle because they always have great snacks. After that I wandered down to the 409 South Main food hall where the City Block butcher shop was open for business. I asked if I could take a photo of their case in order to show my readers what they’ve got. (Click for a larger size)

I did make a brief stop at Max’s Sports Bar, where I confirmed he will have the Arkansas-East Illinois game on today at 3. Got a stop at Nate’s bar at Earnestine & Hazel’s in too.

We have an opening date for the Germantown Trader Joe’s grocery: September 14. For those of you who have never been inside a Trader Joe’s, it is worth the drive out there. Great wine, great chocolate, great frozen food selection, great place to get ingredients if you like to cook.

This week, friends and I were discussing where Trader Joe’s might open a second Memphis location, and I have an idea for the perfect spot: There’s a building at Tennessee St. and Huling Ave. that formerly housed a Spaghetti Warehouse. It’s just about the size of the Trader Joe’s locations I have been to, and there is ample surface parking. That area of Downtown is about to go through a boom phase, with a hotel and a Malco movie theater going in nearby on G.E. Patterson. The Tennessee Brewery apartments right down the street are opening at full occupancy. The National Civil Rights Museum draws plenty of visitors to the area. The location is a short drive from Midtown, home to many vegetarians who would embrace Trader Joe’s.

I know Trader Joe’s corporate officials will be in town this month for the Germantown opening, and if any of my readers have connections to those officials, please pass along this offer: I would like to give you a tour of Downtown, and particularly the area within walking distance  of Tennessee and Huling. I would like to tell you why I love the area and can’t imagine living anywhere else. I would also like to explain to you why Trader Joe’s would be a natural fit for the neighborhood. I’d also be happy to address any criticisms you have heard about Downtown from the folks out in Germantown or elsewhere. Just to make it clear, I do not get paid to do this. I am not part of a marketing department that promotes Downtown. I am just a guy who has paid rent down here for 16+ years and who discovered the place where he best fits in. For that reason I think I am the ideal person to show you around. Hit me up at if you want to schedule a time.

College Football Saturday! Memphis opens with a home game against Mercer at the Liberty Bowl today at 6. Bet the tailgating at Tiger Lane will be off the chain this afternoon. Got a couple of games today where I will be cheering against the SEC. I’ll be rooting for Texas Tech against Ole Miss at 11 this morning. At 2:30 Tennessee hosts good ole West Virginny. Almost – almost – all WVU fans I’ve met have been extremely nice and down to earth, including a couple of my BBQ teammates. As for the Vols, I remember the night of Veterans’ Day 2016, when a very drunk Vols fan kept repeating an extremely vulgar two-word nickname (including a slang term for a part of the female body) he privately had for a female who hangs out with his group of friends. That kind of sums up my impression of UT fans. So I’ll root for the Mountaineers. Of course, it goes without saying that I will root for my Hogs against Eastern Illinois. Please don’t blow this, Arkansas.

I have a few more news items, but they’re not time sensitive, so I am going to defer them until tomorrow. See you then with more news.