Updated Paul’s Picks for Downtown Dining Week and list of Halloween activities and parties tonight

Now that we’re down to five days before Downtown Dining Week and almost all participating have posted their menus, I want to go back and expand my list of Paul’s Picks. DDW is your chance to try dinners from Downtown restaurants for $20.18, and lunches for $10.18. For my readers who don’t have time to go through the menus of all 49 restaurants, I have gone through and picked the ones that seem to be the best value and/or the most interesting.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies – Good pick for vegetarians. They offer your choice of four main courses and two (butternut squash ravioli, cheese manicotti) are meatless.

Automatic Slim’s – You have choices, but I personally would go for the Cajun crawfish dip with wonton chips, the smoked beef tenderloin, and the homemade dessert of the day.

Brass Door – All of the appetizer and entree choices sound good. I would have trouble picking here. Based on my knowledge of the menu, the appetizer and entree prices add up to about $20 so it’s like you’re getting a free dessert. I especially recommend this place if you like soccer.

Carolina Watershed – $10.18 for a lunch for Cornish hen, collard greens, and Delta grits. This is a really neat space, based on silos, for those of you who have never been in there.

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous – Another good visit for vegetarians, with vegetarian sampler platters available as an option for both lunch and dinner for DDW.

Felicia Suzanne’s – Personally, I’d get the crispy oysters with New Orleans BBQ sauce, the Sunday Sugo, and the chocolate bread pudding, but you can’t go wrong with anything on this menu. You do you. TWO NOTES: 1) This place will probably fill up the fastest with reservations of any Downtown Dining Week restaurant. If you want to reserve a table there, do not delay. 2) They will be open every day for dinner as well as Friday lunch, with the $20.18 dinner menu available. I seriously doubt they will be doing their 25 cent martinis for lunch the Friday of DDW.

Grecian Gourmet – Dinner menu sounds really fun, with spanakopita or lamb lollipop chops as the main course.

Kooky Canuck – Dinner for two for $20.18. Two entrees plus salad, mac & cheese, and two mini maple bread puddings. This is an outstanding value.

Majestic Grille – Go for that Petite New York Strip with Majestic butter. This place makes some of the best steaks in town. The pork pate as an appetizer sounds interesting too.

Paulette’s – Crabmeat stuffed sole? Yes, please. For those not into fish, Beef Bourguignon is also a main course option.

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen – A three-course Cajun lunch menu that seems like it would be a good value for $20.18, but it’s not – it’s for the lunch price of $10.18.

Rizzo’s – Three courses for lunch for $10.18, four courses for dinner for $20.18. Incredible value plated up by Chef Michael Patrick as is the case every year. My #1 pick of this entire list.

Sabor Caribe – This is just a fabulous menu with both lunch and dinner options. This would be a great way to expose yourself to Venezuelan cuisine.

South of Beale – This would be the place to go if you have a vegetarian in your group. General Tso’s Cauliflower, a Zaka Bowl, and choice of dessert. They have salmon and steak options for meat-eaters. Man, I’d be all over that peanut butter banana pudding.

Trolley Stop Market – 16-inch specialty pizza plus two drinks for $20.18 is a good value. They also have a meat-and-two lunch options. Personally, I would recommend going for lunch on Thursday and getting some of that Claybrook Farms meatloaf.

Westy’s – Bring a friend for lunch. For $10.18 you get TWO of a catfish basket, a patty melt, or a marinated chicken sandwich, each of which comes with fries or tots. They also offer a $20.18 three-course dinner: 1 appetizer and 1 dessert to share, and 2 entrees. The Hot Fudge Pie is one of Memphis’ most famous dishes.

I’ll say it one more time. If you are sure you want to go to any of the restaurants listed above – but particularly Felicia’s, Paulette’s, and Rizzo’s – call and make reservations now. The best times are probably already off the board, and if you want until DDW begins you risk not getting a reservation at all.

This is not a Downtown Dining Week thing but still newsworthy. The Majestic Grille’s chili is back for the winter months every Wednesday.

If you’re looking for stuff to do with the kids tonight for Halloween, here’s one more suggestion – Bass Pro at the Pyramid. Trick-or-treating 5 to 8 tonight, a costume parade at 6, pumpkin toss with prizes, and scarecrow and cookie crafts. First 500 kids to take a photo will receive a free Halloween frame.

There are events for kids in Crosstown Concourse tonight as well.

As for adults, don’t forget there’s a drawing for this beautiful hearse tonight at Bardog Tavern at 11:59.

Still plenty of time to run by and buy raffle tickets. You don’t have to be present to win, but you will need to answer your phone when they call you if you are not there.

There’s a costume contest along with weekly British Bingo tonight at Belle Tavern at 7:30. $50 male and female costume prizes along with the $100 in weekly bingo prizes.

Blind Bear is hosting Halloween Part Deux, the sequel to Saturday’s party, tonight. $5 Witch’s Eye shots, $5 Irish whiskey shots, $3 cinnamon whiskey shots – plus everybody gets service industry pricing tonight, which means $2.50 select domestic bottles, $4 well drinks, $5 house wine.

Dirty Crow Inn is hosting a Halloween party tonight. There will be a DJ, live music by Bobbie Stacks and Kevin Kilgore, costume contest with prizes, and $4 Jello shots, blood orange margaritas, and Hell-Cat Maggie shots.

Mollie Fontaine Lounge hosts its annual Halloween party tonight.

Ghost River will host a Halloween party in its taproom 4-11 with Flight Night 4-7. Eddy’s Pepper food truck, costume contest, Halloween trivia, live music by the Flying V’s, and a special chocolate brew on draft.

Silly Goose has its Hallows Eve Ball tonight.

Yesterday was a sad day as we lost a very special member of our Downtown family. It took me a while to embrace her at first, but the more I got to know her, the more I saw how she spread her big personality and her love all over our neighborhood, and how she brought a very unique perspective to the table. Heaven gained a unicorn yesterday. My deepest condolences for those who loved her. Many tears have been shed in the past 24 hours.

That’s it for now. Everybody stay safe tonight, and remember – if you want to stay out in the rain, that’s all you, but if you see lightning you need to get indoors. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Sorry this is late getting up. Had server problems for a couple of hours.
There was a big FedExForum announcement yesterday. KISS is touring one last time before they call it a career (didn’t they have a farewell tour like 17 years ago?) and they’re making a stop at FedExForum. End of the World Tour comes to the Forum on Saturday, February 23.
Highly successful Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp, in two seasons the winner of two PCL championships, a Triple-A National Championships, and two Manager of the Year Awards, is the Redbirds’ manager no more. The Redbirds’ parent organization the St. Louis Cardinals have hired him as their first-base coach. Congratulations Stubby and thank you for two exciting years of winning!
The DMC has posted an outstanding Downtown for Everyone video on YouTube that is well worth a watch. If you’re thinking about visiting, moving to, or investing in Downtown Memphis, this video is for you.
In other DMC news, StyleBlueprint has an interview with DMC president Jennifer Oswalt.
The Grizzlies host the Washington Wizards tonight at 7. Oh, is that the team that Dwight Howard plays on now? Seems like he plays musical chairs with teams every year. Glad the Grizzlies have had the good sense not to touch him. Free Grizzlies magnet schedule by Pinnacle Financial to all fans in attendance.
Memphis Made Brewing Co. will host Board Game Night featuring Nexus in their taproom Thursday night from 7 to 10. If you don’t know how to play a game, they will teach you. 5 Minute Marvel, Rick and Morty Anatomy Park, Azul, Divinity Derby, Scott Pilgrim, Clank! In! Space!, 7 Wonders, Catan, Smash Up, Lotus, Photosynthesis, and Boss Monster will be among the games they will have.
Cordelia’s Market is hosting a new event called Wings and Football every Sunday. Come grab some wings and a beer from Cordelia’s taproom, and watch some football on the market’s north porch.

FreeWorld plays the Dirty Crow Inn this Saturday from 8 to 11.

Early voting ends Thursday. Here’s a list of Shelby County early voting locations. When you early vote, you can vote at any location.

Bardog Tavern is looking for a night server to join their team. Their tweet didn’t say how to apply, but standard practice is to apply in person before 2 and 4 PM on a weekday.

The Memphis Grilled Cheese Fest is this Sunday at the Hi-Tone. Holly has 10 things you should know.

Tin Roof hosts The Purple Madness: The Prince Tribute on December 6.

The 2018 Distracted Driving Superhero 5K happens at AutoZone Park at 9 AM on Saturday, November 10. You’re encouraged to run in your favorite superhero costume as part of the theme of “Be a Hero, Don’t Text and Drive!” Register for the race here.

Apologies to the River Rat Rounders for missing last night’s poker game at Silly Goose… been dealing with some health issues and just didn’t feel like being out that late. I definitely plan on being back soon.

In the news: Trump wants to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship. Now, I’m not taking a position here on birthright citizenship one way or another. My problem with this is, the president of the United States thinks he can sign an executive order to overturn a Constitutional Amendment (the 14th). That’s not how it works! Pretty sure the courts would strike down the order immediately, but if he’s allowed to get away with it, what’s stopping him from issuing an order nullifying the 22nd Amendment (president is limited to two terms)?

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Monday update

Yesterday I was surfing Twitter and hit upon a very interesting piece of news. @BradPee posted a photo of the former Scoops location on G.E. Patterson across from Cheesecake Corner. I did not know that Scoops closed a few weeks ago. There was a sign in the window that said, “Coming Soon: Litttle Italy,” which I am taking to mean a second location of the popular Little Italy restaurant in Midtown. I got to try their pizza at a BBQ meeting this spring and it is very good.

It can be hard to find stuff to do with kids Downtown on Halloween, but Trolley Stop Market has an option for you. They will have a Trick or Treat from 5:00 to 8:30 PM on the 31st. Tickets are $10 per child under 12 and there will be candy, crafts, pizza and a beverage. For adults there will be dinner and drink specials. Seating is limited, so order your ticket through Everbrite if you want to go.

Wednesday is expected to be a very wet day, so whatever your Halloween plans are, better have an alternative it they’re outside.

Ghost River is celebrating the taproom’s second birthday this Saturday, November 3. From noon to 4 they’ll have a Small Shop featuring Madame Poindextra’s. The New Wing Order food truck will be back at the brewery serving their delicious wings, tacos and fries. The Lucky 7 Brass Band takes the stage at 8 PM (no cover). New beers will make their debut, and there will be giveaways all day long.

The South Main Association’s November meeting has been announced for Stock & Belle, 6 PM social, 6:30 program, for Tuesday, November 13, and they have a star-studded lineup of presenters. Kevin Kane, CEO of Memphis Tourism, will speak on the impact of tourism in South Main and what it means to the city. Tim Mulqueen, head coach of Memphis 901 FC, will inform the SMA about Memphis’ new pro soccer team. Krista Flanagan will speak on the St. Jude Marathon that will pass through South Main on December 1 (neighborhood guide here). The 2019 board elections will also be held at this meeting. Members free, guests $10.

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it’s my pleasure to tell you of an upcoming opportunity to play cards for charity… and this card game isn’t poker.

GET THESE HANDS! A spades tournament and game night benefiting MLK50 Memphis will be held at the Premiere Palace Ballroom, 629 Monroe, on Saturday, November 10. Register to play and the soul food buffet and first drink are on the house. If you don’t have a spades partner, one will be found for you. Winning pair earns a trophy, bragging rights, and free drinks for the rest of the night. Not into spades but still want to be a part of the fun? No problem, they’ll have dominoes, bid whist, Uno and other games. Alcohol will be served so this is a 21+ event.

I wonder if they know they stole Braun Strowman’s catchphrase?

Saturday I posted Pontotoc Lounge’s fall/winter menu and noticed one of the appetizers that I had never tried, chickpea fries with harissa ketchup and comeback sauce. I love chickpeas and chickpea-based products, but I guess I’d never ordered the fries because I’m not a huge fan of ketchup. Yesterday I was thinking, “What is harissa, anyway?” and I Wikipedia’d it. Harissa is a hot pepper chili paste from the Maghreb, most commonly associated with Tunisia, but also used in Morocco and Libya. Yum! Now I want to try those fries. As long as ketchup is interesting, not just the boring red stuff out of a Heinz bottle, I don’t mind it. The chickpea fries come with a side of Mississippi comeback sauce too, and I’m sure that’s good.

Singer Bettye LaVette, who has reimagined the works of artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and Bruce Springsteen, will perform at the Halloran Centre this Saturday, November 3. Tickets are $35.

In other Halloran Centre News, Kafe Kirk, the jazzy, groovy, series of performances by Kirk Whalum, returns to the Centre December 2, this time joined by a special guest: Sheila E. Due to demand a second concert has been added on the same day.

The Daily Memphian has a photo gallery of this past weekend’s RiverArtsFest.

From Mashable: The 10 types of trolls you’ll spot in the wild. Don’tcha just hate those crazy trolls?

That’s it for this Monday. Back tomorrow with more news.



Binge-watching the Memphis episodes of Bar Rescue + Sunday news

I took the day totally off yesterday. Dealing with some health issues and badly needing to give my body a day to rest. With Halloween revelers out in force and no Halloween costume, it just seemed like the right day to do it. I discovered that one of my all-time favorite shows, Bar Rescue, had a one-day pass where you can watch unlimited episodes.

Bar Rescue is hosted by service industry expert John Taffer. He locates bars that were once busy and profitable but which have fallen upon hard times. He works with the owners and staff (often yelling at them) to mend personal disagreements and identify the bar’s problems. It’s really interesting to watch. You learn about things like food costs. You also learn that a lot of bars waste more beer/liquor than they sell due to poorly run beer taps and due to employees giving away shots. Taffer redesigns the bar to incorporate a concept that fits the surrounding area. He’ll bring in a mixologist to create a drink menu and train the staff. He’ll also bring in a chef to create a menu the kitchen manager and cooks can handle.

About a year and a half ago, Taffer’s people started putting out feelers to basically every Memphis-area bar, looking for rescues. He found three and the episodes are now online. A sports bar out in Arlington, now named The Legacy Bar & Grill (season 6 episode 1), was renamed as parents patched up differences with their son and prepared to hand on the business to the next generation. Season 6 Episode 2 comes to Downtown Memphis, where the owner of Havana Mix was having trouble attracting business to its adjacent cocktail bar. Taffer got the owner’s son, the bar manager, to stop spending so much time in the humidor, realizing that a drink sold was generally more profitable (and a much quicker sell) than a cigar sold. The chef worked with kitchen staff to come up with dishes with Cuban flair. The place got a slight rename, Robusto by Havana Mix.

The third Memphis-area episode, Season 6 Episode 5, was described as a “failing Mississippi dive bar” and I thought, it’s probably somewhere down near Clarksville. However, when the show started, I thought, “Wait a minute! I ate there!” It was the former Joe’s Thirsty Lizard in Horn Lake, right around the corner from the ACBL where I worked. Once I saw the “before” state of the kitchen – and learned that my food was likely cooked by a guy named Dirty Red – I regretted my lunch decision there. They cleaned it up real nice though, giving it a new concept called The Iron Horse that fit the area well.

On to the news…

NF brings the Perception Tour to the Mud Island Amphitheatre tonight at 7:30.

The Daily Memphian has a photo gallery of the Komen Race for the Cure that happened in Downtown Memphis yesterday morning.

There’s Pop-up Jazz in Court Square with Kelley Hurt & Chris Parker tonight from 5 to 7 PM. Food trucks will be there, and you can bring your own lawn chairs and picnic baskets. It should be a beautiful day to be outside – after a couple of weeks of below-normal temperatures, we’re looking at a high in the upper 70s along with sunshine this afternoon.

Musical celebration One Memphis will bring people from all walks of life together at Handy Park today at 4.

Time to get out and enjoy this day! What a great day for the Sunday of RiverArtsFest. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Penny Hardway hauled in a big catch for the class of ’19 this morning.

Don’t forget that RiverArtsFest stays open until 9 tonight, and admission is free after 5. The lighting of the I-40 bridge will happen around 6:30.

Out at Tiger Lane, it’s BurgerFest today. The successor to Best Memphis Burger Fest and under new ownership, there won’t be a cooking competition this year. However, there will be six different burgers for you to sample, the creations of Chef Tam of Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe.

Catherine & Mary’s has positions open:

Indiana Pacers star Thaddeus Young has bought an $850,000  condo in The Artesian on Riverside Drive. The MBJ has a photo gallery of the condo.

Pontotoc Lounge posted its fall/winter menu yesterday:

The Shelby County Criminal Justice Center, widely known for its address 201 Poplar or just “201,” has a new name. It has been named after former county commissioner Walter L. Bailey, Jr.

That’s it for now! Y’all have a wonderful Saturday.

Friday update

I found the most useful app yesterday. Wednesday I made a trip to Kroger to load up on some frozen dinners. Yesterday I pulled one out of the freezer and looked at the heating directions – and discovered that sometime in the past few years, my eyes lost the ability to read words in a white 3-point font printed on a gray box. After several minutes of holding the box this way and that, I decided that the instructions probably said to heat the dinner between 4:30 and 5:00 on High. Based on the done-ness of my dinner, I seemed to have guessed correctly.

Later in the day, I was thinking, I’ll have the same trouble with the other dinners. Then I thought, wait a minute, I wonder if there’s a phone app for that? Sure enough, I found one called Magnifying Glass with Light (iPhone) (Android). It works beautifully. It blows text up to several time its original size on your phone screen, and even better, if you have trouble reading in dim light, it turns on your phone’s flash for you. I have already found several uses for this app and recommend it highly for those who need a little help seeing instructions on boxes and bottles. The app is also going to make it easier for me to read the Memphis Flyer in dimly lit bars. I could’ve used that app when filling out paperwork to provisionally vote too (although I wonder if they would’ve let me have my phone out).

The final Memphis Farmers Market of the regular season happens tomorrow from 8 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. There will be live local music all day. A special holiday edition of the Market will return to the pavilion 9 AM-1 PM December 8.

My friends Dennis and Mary Pat, who this month vowed to make the trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp to raise money for the kids of St. Jude, sent me a photo this morning. They made it!

The Downtown Vision Awards, originally scheduled for early this month, will be held tonight at 409 S. Main. There will be a welcome reception at 4 PM with a DJ, food, and drinks. At 5:15 the awards ceremony will begin with addresses by Mayor Harris and Mayor Strickland, along with special presenters Ekundayo Bandele, Rosalyn Willis, Joann Massey, Ray Brown, Teresa Sloyan, and Trey Moore.

The Uptown Chili Cookoff happens at Treedom Memphis, Second at A.W. Willis, from 3-5 Sunday. Come bring your pot of chili and have it judged by Memphis celebrities. The event will also celebrate the grand opening of Uptown barber shop Upscale Kutz.

Ghost River has announced the book to be discussed at the November meeting of its Get Lit Book Club. On November 15 from 7:00-8:30, in conjunction with Novel Memphis, the discussion topic will be Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Nice to see a brewery running a successful book club!

In other Ghost River news, Cupcakes and Craft Beer returns to the Ghost River taproom on Thursday, November 15. The event will start off with three savory cupcakes by Two Girls and a Whip. “Think turkey and dressing with cranberry drizzle, sweet potato cakes, ham, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole and all the Thanksgiving trappings – in cupcake form!” Those three and a sweet cupcake will be expertly paired with beers by Ghost River brewmasters. $32 and reservations must be made in advance. Call 901-472-CAKE to reserve your spot.

Come see the Triple-A National Championship Trophy, won by the Memphis Redbirds last month, on the Sell901 Trophy Tour:

Downtown stops will include

  • Tomorrow, Race for the Cure at AutoZone Park
  • November 1, food truck rodeo at Court Square
  • November 16, FedExForum, Grizzlies vs. Kings (before game and end of third quarter)
  • November 29-30, St. Jude Marathon Expo, Cook Convention Center

The Grizzlies have announced that Grammy award-nominated artist Jonathan McReynolds will perform a concert on Gospel Night February 22, following the Grizz’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Wiseacre will hold a Women, Witches, and Beer Tour tomorrow at 6 PM. Learn about the history of brewing and how the first images of witches are involved. Tour will include beer samples paired with Halloween candy. There will also be Women in Beer trivia with some special prizes. Tour cost is $15 and space is limited, so sign up in advance.

Memphis in May posted this image of the first BBQ Fest, held in a parking lot 40 years ago.

For those of you awaiting the Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson $9 million winner-takes-all heads-up game, it will happen Friday, November 23 (day after Thanksgiving) at 2 PM at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. No tickets will be sold and it is expected to be on pay-per-view for $19.99. I’m not normally a golf fan, but if someone wants to invite me over that afternoon, I’d enjoy watching the match.

The CA printed an editorial yesterday saying Washington needs another Tennessee moderate, someone along the lines of Howard Baker, Jim Sasser, and Lamar Alexander in the Senate. I would agree. That kind of leader, rather than a hard-core liberal or conservative, would be able to get the most done for the people of Tennessee.

USA Today has a list of the most popular Halloween candy in every state. Wow, some states have really good taste in candy, others really bad. Just for kicks yesterday, I made a list. If I came trick-or-treating at your door, these are the candies I’d be most happy to see go into my bag:

Milky Way
Atomic Fire Balls
York peppermint patties/Junior Mints/anything chocolate mint
Kit Kat
Anything white chocolate
Dove milk chocolate
Hershey’s milk chocolate minis/Kisses
Air Heads
Bottle Caps
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups/Pieces
M$Ms Peanut Butter
Suckers, particularly cherry, lime, lemon or orange (no apple or watermelon)
Fun Dip
3 Musketeers
Life Savers
M&Ms Plain
Peppermints (soft, cylinder shaped preferred over hard, circular shaped)

And these are the offerings I would NOT want to see:

Toothpaste, dental floss, anything “sensible” (people who hand these out deserve to have their houses egged)
Candy corn
Organic, fruit-based candy bought at a health-food store (this is why you skip vegans’ houses when you trick or treat)
Jolly Ranchers
Dark chocolate anything
Candy bars like Baby Ruth that are heavy in nuts
Apple anything (Apple FLAVORED anything. If you hand me an iPad I’ll take it)

Of course, these are just personal preferences. To each their own.

Now that you know my candy preferences, I’ll wrap it up for today. Going to inflate my bike tires and take a ride for the first time in several years. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Going to make this a very quick post this morning. Maintenance is coming around to change air filters, check water heaters, change smoke detector batteries, etc. I prefer not to be home when they do that stuff, so I’m going to post with a quickness and then evacuate to the Monroe Avenue Branch Office. My original plan of a deep fried cornish hen from Flying Sobies at the Court Square food truck rodeo will have to be postponed for a week due to the rain.

The city has announced road closures for RiverArtsFest this weekend involving Riverside Drive and several cross streets. If you take Riverside north of Union to/from work, plan an alternative route for Friday.

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers take the court at FedExForum tonight at 7 for an exhibition game versus the LeMoyne-Owen Magicians. Buy tickets here. (Weird that FedExForum does not have the game listed on its website.) Kudos to Coach Penny on continuing the tradition of scheduling this fine Memphis school. LeMoyne-Owen gets a $20,000 appearance fee for the game, which is a boost for their athletic department.

FedEx is interested in moving one of its divisions, FedEx Trade Networks, into the Gibson Guitar Factory space Downtown. That would be a big economic impact on the area, in terms of employees frequenting nearby businesses as well as employees relocating Downtown to be close to work.

The Downtown Memphis Commission is sponsoring free, 60-minute unlimited rides on Explore Bike Share this weekend. Sign up here.

Multi-Grammy winner Maxwell plays the Orpheum tonight.

Dale Watson plays the Pure Memphis Music series tonight at Old Dominick Distillery. Doors at 6:30, show at 7:30. $5 of every ticket goes to nonprofit partner Beale Street Caravan.

Over in Midtown tonight, Marilyn Manson plays Minglewood Hall.

The Belz Museum in Pembroke Square will open at 10 AM rather than its normal time of noon Saturday, for those who want to visit it after running Race for the Cure.

This meme could very well apply to me and my writing style:

Fall on Beale, featuring Walker Hayes with special guest Dylan Schneider, has been moved to Tin Roof this evening due to threat of rain. This is a free show with music starting at 7:30.

That’ll do it! Time to brave the rain for a walk to the branch office.

Wednesday update

Early voting has begun in Shelby County, and it goes on until November 1. If you’ve never early voted before, the process can be confusing… but it’s actually easier and quicker than voting on Election Day. Bill Dries of the Daily Memphian has an article entitled Ballot Basics: Early Voting.

Memphis Grrizzlies’ G-League team the Memphis Hustle will have Family Fun Day at the Landers Center in Southaven this Sunday at 2 PM. Meet the team and watch them scrimmage. The Grizzlies entertainment teams will be there as well

In other Hustle news, here’s their 2018-19 schedule:

The annual Memphis Holiday Parade has been announced for Saturday, December 1, on Beale Street at 4 PM. Of course I WILL BE THERE watching the parade outside the King’s Palace Tap Room as I have for years. That will be a busy day, with the St. Jude marathon in the morning, the Tigers hosting Texas Tech at 1:30, the holiday parade, the SEC Championship on TV, and Stumbling Santa. I haven’t seen the official announcement for Stumbling Santa yet but it traditionally happens the first Saturday of December.

South Main Sounds will host its 100th Songwriter Showcase this Friday, October 26, at 7 PM. Performers will include Bailey Bigger, Amber Rae Dunn, Vanessa Winter, Paul Jewell, Rodrick Duran, Tim Plunk, and Bud Summers.

The Blind Bear has announced its Halloween party this Saturday, October 27. Shot specials, costume contest with the winner decided at 1 AM (must be present to win), Blues Masters featuring Queen Ann Hines take the stage at 10. There will be a photographer on hand to capture Halloween moments.

Belle Tavern will open at 8 AM this Saturday. With Race for the Cure beginning at 9, Belle will provide a safe place where you can drop your belongings and they will be watched while you run.

Memphis City FC, the pro soccer team that will begin play at AutoZone Park next year, has announced its first three signings.

New show added to the Halloran Centre calendar:

The guy who randomly blocks me and unblocks me did it again this week. I would love to know what he gets out of doing that.

Man, the Daily Memphian is so good. I had a great time reading sports writer Chris Herrington’s responses to his mailbag this morning. If any of my readers are on the fence about subscribing, I have found it to be absolutely worth the $7 a month fee. Besides, when you subscribe you get a month for free, so if you find it to not be worth it you can always cancel before the end of your first month.

All right, time to do a little grocery shopping. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

One of Memphis’ biggest races of the year happens Downtown this Saturday. The Susan G. Komen Memphis Race for the Cure happens at AutoZone Park, with the goal of raising $750,000 to fight breast cancer. Those of you who have to drive Downtown Saturday morning, make note of the race map and be sure to allow extra time.

The musical Waitress comes to the Orpheum January 15-20, and they are looking for two local young girls to perform the role of Lulu during the Memphis run of the show. Auditions will happen November 2 at the Halloran Centre, Click the link to sign up. This could be a huge break for two young ladies with an interest in theater. Think how performances on one of the South’s grandest stages would look on a college admissions application!

Got news on a couple different job openings today. Moriah House is seeking a counselor. If you are a lady who has a heart for ministering to other women and helping them rebuild their lives, this could be the job for you.

I saw on Facebook yesterday that B.B. King’s club on Beale is seeking Operations Managers.

The Brooks Museum plans to move Downtown, atop the river bluff at the corner of Front and Union. The competition to design the new museum has drawn a response from all over the world, with architectural firms from the United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia submitting designs.

Richard Wilson plays original soulful blues and gospel at the Brass Door this Friday night, October 26, from 7 to 10.

Another new electric vehicle has hit the streets of Downtown Memphis, although this one is not a ride-sharing concept. Meet the Moke.

There will be a Downtown Master Plan launch party at Loflin Yard on November 8, 5:30-7:30 PM. The DMC wants to hear from you because YOU are the expert – tell them what you want to see in Downtown’s future. This is a ticketed event but it is free, and your RSVP gets you a drink ticket, as well as a chance to win either Grizzlies tickets or tickets to The Evolution of Cocktails on December 22.

Memphis historian Jimmy Ogle, famous for being the Peabody Duckmaster and for his tours of Downtown, gets his note on Beale Street on November 2.

And speaking of Peabody Duckmasters:

The last Hot Rods on Beale of the year happens tonight from 6 to 10.

Last night I returned to the Silly Goose for the second week of poker with the River Rat Rounders.

I won some hands here and there, but Lady Luck was not sending me the hands I wanted. I got a lot of face card-low card combinations like K-7 and J-2. Novice players think those are good hands, but they’re actually hands that get you into trouble. Often you will pair the face card and then find that your kicker is no good.

Still, I fought on as long as I could. In what was a very weird pot, I was in the big blind. Two players called and, with a crappy Ten high, I decided to see the flop for free. Everybody checked the flop, turn, and river, and my Ten high turned out to be the best hand. Everyone missed the board entirely. I think that may be the worst hand with which I have ever won a pot.

The kicker trouble I described above got the best of me, and I was the last one eliminated before the final table. Still, though, when you look back at a poker game, the question is not “Did I win?” but “Am I satisfied with the way I played?” I was. Sometimes you just don’t get the cards.

I continue to be impressed with the way the River Rats run the games. We had a new player last night, and he was truly new to the game – he didn’t know what hands beat what, or what a “check” is. I really appreciated the way Teresa and Tucker took him under his wing and made him feel welcome. We were all newcomers to the game at some point in our lives.

My troll had trouble standing on the felt overlays again this week, and so I lay her down in the chip holder in front of me.

I never noticed what dirty feet she has! And to think, I’ve been standing her on plates next to my food. I am going to have to wash my troll before I go out today.

That’s it for now. Going to grab a sandwich from Lisa’s Lunchbox here in a minute. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

One of Downtown Memphis’ best festivals of the year is coming up this weekend, and this time around it’s getting even better. RiverArtsFest moves to the river this Saturday and Sunday. There are two reasons for the move. First of all, construction on Central Station has closed part of South Main, making the former festival location unavailable. However, secondly and on a happier note, holding RiverArtsFest on Riverside Drive will allow attendees to witness the grand lighting of Mighty Lights illuminating the I-40 bridge. Daniel Bastardo, guest-posting for the I Love Memphis Blog, has an idea of what to expect.

The 409 S. Main food hall is getting a new tenant. In November, Wok’n In Memphis will open a permanent location at 409. The pop-up, traveling restaurant has been seen at several locations around Memphis, and now you’ll be able to get Wok’n food every day except Monday when the food hall is closed. On Saturday and Sunday they will have a brunch.

Keb Mo’ and Kirk Whalum will perform at a free benefit concert for Phil Bredesen tonight at the Orpheum. The Tennessee gubernatorial candidate will be there. Note that you must have a ticket (free and available at Will Call when you fill out an online form) to get in.

Haunted South Main Trolley Night happens this Friday. The shops and galleries of the South Main Arts District will stay open late for your shopping and socializing convenience. Wear your Halloween costume. The SMA will have a member area between Primas Bakery and The Peddler Bike Shop, and members will enjoy free food, beverages, and sweet treats from Primas. Not a member? Sign up on site to receive your SMA member card, good for discounts at over a dozen area businesses. There will be a costume contest at The Vault on G.E. Patterson and more spooky fun to be announced.

Dates have been announced for the Jon K. Thompson world-class tours of Memphis International Airport. These tours start with a continental breakfast. Next up are presentations on airport finances, current state, and plans to expand. Then the real fun begins with tours of the airfield, the FedEx World Hub, and the Tennessee Air National Guard site.

Club 152 & The Shadows will have their annual Halloween party on 2 floors this Saturday, October 27. Wear a costume to beat cover, and there will be a costume contest with cash prizes as well as Grizzlies tickets. $3 Fireball and there will also be specials on Wheatley Vodka and Buffalo Trace.

Next time you’re at Max’s Sports Bar, try their fall slush, Bourbon Apple Cider.

Beer lovers, save the date – Memphis Made Brewing Co. will once again be throwing its Malted festival on Saturday, November 10, to celebrate the brewery’s 5th birthday. Bands TBA and they always have a great lineup of special beers for this event.

There will be a cornbread festival over in Little Rock this Saturday.

Terrace at the River Inn has announced its Thanksgiving lunch menu.

That’s it for this Monday. Back tomorrow.