Friday update

Tonight is Star Wars Night at the Redbirds. Characters from the movie series will be available for photos throughout the game. There will be a costume contest for fans who dress as their favorite character, and those who dress up can participate in a special on-field parade at 6:30. There will be Light Sword classes the first two innings on the Terminix Terrace. (I guess “lightsaber” is a trademarked term they can’t use?) After the game there will be a drone race. A specialty ticket ($18 field box/$21 dugout/$25 club) includes a Light Sword that expands to 36 inches and features LED lights that rotate through 7 different settings of 4 colors.

I want a purple lightsaber like the one Mace Windu had. Samuel L. Jackson had it written into his contract that his character would have a purple lightsaber.

The Daily Memphian’s Jennifer Biggs has a recap of her visit to the grand opening of Puck Food Hall at 409 S. Main. Sounds like they have some delicious food there, as well as a re-thought business model that will keep their vendors around for a while.

The Memphis Business Journal has a look at 3rd and Court, the new diner going into the Hotel Indigo space at B.B. King and Court. Ryan Trimm is partnering up with Central BBQ’s Craig Blondis and Ryan Sapp to open the restaurant, which will seat 60 and employ 25 people. Trimm had always wanted to open a 1950s-style diner. He says the menu will be accessible to Downtowners and the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. “Comfort food” is how he describes it.

I hope the new diner is a success. It will have to get past the (quite incorrect) perception that Monroe, home to the Little Tea Shop, Bardog, Flight, and McEwen’s, is the far northern edge of the food scene in the Downtown core. There are a number of places to eat beyond that, including Fam, Havana’s Pilon, Brass Door, Regina’s Cajun Kitchen, 901 Wings, and Willie Moore’s. All are north of Monroe but are sometimes forgotten.

I hope they keep the price points reasonable too. If they charge $22 for fried chicken, it’s not a diner, even if Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer have their own booth there.

Memphis Tigers football on national TV: On Saturday, August 31, the Tigers and Ole Miss will kick off on ABC at 11 AM. What a difference the past decade has made in Tigers football! They’re actually a ratings draw now, and that’ll be one of the best games during the normally slow first week. You know what would be really cool? If, during the broadcast, the camera cut to shots of James Wiseman and Ja Morant watching the game.

A Major League Soccer team is coming to Memphis. Memphis 901 FC advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup this week and will host Orlando City SC at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex on June 12.

The Brass Door will close at 3 PM today for a private event. They will reopen at 8 AM tomorrow and will have the Champions League final on tomorrow at 2, and of course there will be a watch party for the Memphis 901 FC vs. St. Louis FC at 7:30 PM.

Memphis in May has 2014-2017 Beale Street Music Fest shirts on sale for only $5 in its online store today.

Penny Hardaway’s new shoe drops at Nike retailers tomorrow.

From Distractify: Restaurant server tricks to get you to spend more money

The Harbortown 3 Mile happens tonight on Mud Island at 7:30. Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis.

New shop Vibe & Dime opens tonight at 510 S. Main as part of the monthly South Main Trolley Night.

Bloom into flower power is the theme at tomorrow’s Memphis Farmers Market. Beautify your home with flowers grown locally this weekend. Flower Power music will be supplied by South Main Sounds all day long. The Cossitt Library will be there 9 to noon with some summer reading and info about its Explore Memphis programs. YOGA! At 9:45 there will be a yoga class taught by Amy of Downtown Yoga. Free pet sitting while you shop, to the left of the restroom/food truck area. The Market runs every Saturday at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson, behind Malco Powerhouse, from 8 AM to 1 PM.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Thursday update

Jennifer Biggs of The Daily Memphian has the info on the grand opening of Puck Food Hall at 409 S. Main, which happens tonight at 5:30. The food hall has expanded to 10 businesses with a few more to come. These include a bar, a butcher and deli, a dessert shop, a pizzeria, a coffee and tea shop, a pasta shop, an organic salad shop, a gelato shop, a Mexican restaurant and an American-Chinese restaurant. Space for a chef-in-residence will be added soon.

The Cossitt Library will have a presence at 409 S. Main tonight and tomorrow. They will have their Pop-Up Library from which you can purchase books. They will also be talking about the Memphis Public Libraries’ Explore Memphis summer program, and they will be signing people up to become a Friend of Cossitt and to join their email list.

The Cossitt folks will also be at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. They will have flowers to give away, spring-themed books to read, and coloring activities for the kids. Follow Cossitt Library on Facebook to keep up with all the latest news.

The NBA Finals tip off tonight at 8 on ABC, and I betcha there is going to be a lot of interest from Memphis. Marc Gasol and the Toronto Raptors face off against the Golden State Warriors, and it would be so good to see Big Spain get a ring. The Raptors finished the season with the better record, and therefore will host games 1 and 2 and (if necessary) 5 and 7. Grind City Media has an article about Marc Gasol feeling the support of Memphis and his Core Four brothers as he competes in his first Finals.

On Friday, June 14, River Garden will have a Night Market from 4:30 to 7:30 PM. TapBox will be on site pouring cold beer, and food vendors 4th Cup and Soi Number 9 food truck. There will be hula hoops, yard games, music, and the following vendors:

Bluff City Turning
Estes Designs
IV by David
Primas Bakery and Boutique
MEK Design
Mbabazi House of Style Memphis
Mili’s Flowers And Gifts
Pretty Useful Co
Question the Answer
Terri Scott Illustration

The Memphis Farmers Market’s annual 5K, Crop Hop, is getting even better this year. Due to popular demand, the race will move from Friday night to Saturday morning, with June 15 being the date this year. The race will start and end at the Market, and there will be a new course this year with scenic views and no hills. Race participants get an after-party with Bloody Marys, beer, breakfast sandwiches, fresh fruit, and more. Also, the great thing about having the race on Saturday morning is that when you finish your run, you’re right there at the Market. Participants will get a reusable tote and a $5 coupon to spend with Market vendors that day. If you want to enjoy the after-party but you don’t want to run, sign up to be a Spirit Runner. Register for the race here.

Memphis magazine has a look at summer on the river, and there’s a lot going on. There will be two Mud Island free concert series. The first, Soulin’ on the River, will be five shows featuring the sound of new Memphis Soul, curated by local artist Tonya Dyson. The second series will be called Vibe on the Island and will feature original Memphis music in a variety of genres, curated by actor/vocalist Bertram Williams. There are daily kayak and paddleboat rentals, and there will be a free kayaking orientation this Saturday at 2 at River Garden. There’s free yoga at River Garden every Tuesday at 6, and there is a new Yoga on the Gulf class combining paddleboarding and yoga in Mud Island River Park’s Gulf of Mexico pool Sundays in June. YOGA! Kids will have arts and crafts activities the first Sunday of every month in River Garden. This Sunday, June 2, kids will be able to craft and paint flags.

Studies show that crime goes up on Beale Street when the Beale Street Bucks cover charge is not in effect. The cover works, plain and simple.

Drunk Uncle, the self-proclaimed “Memphis’ Most Funniest Band,” headlines the Peabody rooftop party tonight. Known to play any song from any genre, the Peabody writes, “You may hear Aerosmith and you may hear Michael Jackson, or you may hear Shania Twain, Big & Rich, Van Halen, The Offspring or the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” $10 to get in, $20 VIP. Admission includes a buffet of mini meatloaves and tater tots. If you’re in VIP you get a second buffet of chicken and biscuits, beef brisket sliders, and mini cheesecakes.

Richard Carrier will be at the Silly Goose tonight 7-10. Carrier is a world-renowned author and speaker. Read about him here.

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


Wednesday update: Rare opportunity to learn bartending

If any of you have thought about getting into bartending, but have never pursued it, I learned of an outstanding opportunity over the weekend. I can’t remember if it was Facebook or Twitter where I saw it – I just copied/pasted into Evernote. The Gray Canary posted the following:

“Interested in learning how to bartend? We’re hiring! Send all front of house inquiries and resumes to”

The Gray Canary is the Andrew Ticer/Michael Hudman restaurant in Old Dominick Distillery. I am stunned that they are willing to train. Usually bartenders applying to restaurants of this quality are expected to have several years experience. This is a chance to learn from the best. Get hired there, get trained there, work there for 2 years (and pick up shifts at any of the other Ticer/Hudman restaurants if offered) and you will be able to get a job behind any bar in this city. Seems like there would be some other perks too, like no ultra-late hours and some delicious shift meals.

Jennifer Biggs has a must-read article in The Daily Memphian about the history of the food scene in Memphis.

If you’re looking for something to do tonight, as of yesterday there were still spots open for the Coppola Wine Dinner tonight at Rizzo’s at 6:30. Treat yo self!

For those who live on the island: Cordelia’s Market will have another meet your neighbor dinner tomorrow night, Thursday, May 30, from 5 to 7 PM. This dinner will have some special guests: Memphis 901 FC will be there.

As for tonight, Stanley’s Sweet Street Treat will be the truck for Food Truck Wednesday at Cordelia’s 5-8. Try the crab po’boy!

Magician Hayden will come to the Halloran Centre on August 3. Based out of Charlotte, NC, he has been gaining popularity for his fast-paced magic show. He will perform tricks with audience members’ borrowed smartphones, perform in sleight-of-hand card tricks, and engage in mentalism with members of the audience. Visit Hayden’s website to learn more.

Here’s a list of black owned businesses to support in Memphis. The Four Way and Payne’s? I need to get out there and do some supporting!

Sorry for the lack of posts the past two days. Monday I had a good reason for taking a day off… I just didn’t have much news to post! Sometimes that happens, especially now that we’re in the dog days of summer where there’s not much interesting to do outside for two and a half months. Tuesday I had a different good reason… my friend Spiros came to town. Spiros is one of the most interesting people I know, and he has a job traveling around work sites across the U.S. This week his job brought him close enough to Memphis that he was able to stop for a visit.

About 8:30 yesterday morning, Spiros messaged me and asked if I knew of a place Downtown to get breakfast. I replied, “There’s a place right around the corner from me that has great breakfast. Bardog Tavern,” and Spiros said he’d meet me there.

While there, I got a new tambourine!

Someone left it in lost & found and Teryn told me they were going to throw it out. It was battery powered and lit up in four different patterns.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a tambourine for long. When I ate lunch at Lenny’s I forgot to take it with me when I left. Someone’s kid got a new toy yesterday, probably.

Don’t worry, I didn’t lose the troll.

For my new readers, I’ll tell you about the big thing going on this weekend. It’s not a Downtown thing – it’s out east at Park and Mt. Moriah at Marquette Park. Italian Fest is a three-day cooking competition. In some ways it is like BBQ Fest – teams build elaborate booths, and to get in a booth you have to be on a team or know someone on it. The teams tend to have names that reference Italy, as opposed to BBQ Fest where the team names reference pigs. For example, one of the Italian Fest teams I know is called The Made Men. Prize categories include Spaghetti Gravy, Anything Italian, People’s Choice, and Best Booth.

If you don’t know anyone on a team, is it worth going? Yes. There will be live music all three days, including Trouble No More and Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage on Friday and Ingram Hill on Saturday. Luigi’s Cafe will offer Italian dinners in air-conditioned comfort for only $15. There will be Italian food vendors such as Garibaldi’s and Coletta’s in the park too. Luigi Land will offer carnival games and mini carnival rides, and there will be arts & crafts too.

One caveat – if there is heavy rain at any point between now and Saturday, my take on Italian Fest changes from “worth going” to “not worth going.” Rain turns Marquette Park into a mud pit the likes of which Tom Lee Park during Music Fest cannot even compare (except for the year the river flooded maybe).

Activists are removing the middle bar on some of the benches Downtown, saying that the middle bar makes it uncomfortable for the homeless to rest.

Whoa! I turned on The Price Is Right and got Robert Mueller instead. I’ll leave it to the news sources to summarize.

(Edit: Changed my mind. Here’s a summary of what Muller more or less said.)

Damn they just gave away a Tesla! It’s Dream Car Week.

All right, that’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more.

Memphis Saucer: Why can’t we have nice things? (+ Sunday news)

Eight years ago, a fellow BeerKnurd of mine traveled to North Carolina and posted a photo of a Pabst Blue Ribbon at the Flying Saucer there. “The Saucer allows their locations to carry PBR?” I messaged him.

“Yes,” he said. “Six of the 16 locations have it.”

Shortly after that, my friend Bob and I had a conversation with Kirk, the Saucer’s GM at the time. Bob and I are both Masters of the Universe, people with 5 or more plates on the wall at the Downtown Saucer, so we hoped our opinion would carry some weight. We said we heard 6 of the Saucers carried PBR, and we hoped that our Saucer would become number 7.

Kirk wasn’t having it though. “I don’t want that kind of clientele in here.” That was a bit insulting. Kirk knew good and well that both Bob and I were PBR drinkers at all our other hangouts.

In 2015, a friend traveled to Nashville and posted a photo of a PBR at their Saucer. It was getting closer! Still, Kirk wasn’t interested in hearing about it.

In 2017, I traveled to Little Rock for my mom’s funeral. I stayed Downtown and walked over to the Saucer on President Clinton Ave. after getting done with my son/heir duties for the day. I swiped my card in the computer and pulled up “Beers Not Yet Tasted.” As I scrolled through the list, my eyes lit up as I got to the Ps. Little Rock now had PBR too! By that point, the Memphis Saucer was no longer one of my regular spots, but with Kirk no longer there, I was encouraged that PBR would make it to Memphis soon. If it does, I thought, I’ll have to put the Saucer back on the agenda.

It didn’t happen though.

Yesterday I was surfing Facebook on my phone. I’m a member of the Saucer’s Masters of the Universe group, and this post came across my News Feed.

WHAAAAAAT? The Cordova Saucer has PBR now, and the Downtown Saucer does not? What a terrible injustice!

It would be so easy for the Downtown Saucer to put PBR on the menu and make a generous profit on each 16 ounce can sold. There are four bars within a block walk that sell it for $3 a 16 ounce can, but the Saucer could probably get away with as high as $3.75.

As recently as Friday night, I would have been in there. I went to happy hour at Silly Goose, and tabbed out around 7. Normally the Blind Bear would be my next stop, but they were having a networking event and I knew the place would be super packed and not a lot of fun. So I had no place to go, and went home. If the Saucer had PBR, I would have gladly gone over there and had a few. I would love to spend more time there and get to know the 2019 staff. I have a feeling others would come back as well. I hope the Downtown Saucer will correct its status as a PBR desert in the near future.

Okay, rant over. On to the news (there’ll be another rant BTW…)

The City of Memphis has achieved a record. Yesterday at the Celebrate Memphis Festival, a record was set for the world’s longest picnic table at 1336 feet.

The Accessories take the stage this afternoon at 5 at The Dirty Crow Inn.

Yoga and paddleboarding come together this morning at Memphis River Park for a 10 AM class followed by mimosas. YOGA!

Yesterday I was shopping at City Market and I saw something in the cooler called Bitchin Sauce. I almost bought it but didn’t. I Googled it after I got home and it’s almond-based, vegan, gluten-free, and uses neither beans or tahini. Well that sounds like something I will never buy! I’m blogging it nonetheless for the interest of my readers who may enjoy something like this.

It’s Yazoo Glass Night at Cerrito Bingo at Loflin Yard this afternoon 4 to 6. Winner of each round gets a Yazoo pint glass in addition to the other usual prizes. If it’s your birthday week, you get an extra bingo card. Stick around after bingo for turtle races.

The Memphis Outlaws will have a watch party for the U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico soccer match at Brass Door today at 11 AM.

There will be a gin tasting at The Greyhound, the bar inside the new hotel across Union from AutoZone Park, on Tuesday, June 4 6-8 PM. Four gins will be paired with small plates and a talk will be given by an industry expert. Unlike vodkas, gins have a wide variety in their tastes.

Don’t forget that FreeWorld is throwing Dr. Herman Green a birthday party tonight at the Blues City Band Box, 9:30 PM.

Today is the 13th anniversary of the infamous Memorial Day Eve at Sleep Out Louie’s. We all gathered there for Sunday brunch at 10:30 AM when it opened and were still there at 10:30 PM. There were many games of Buzztime trivia and then a whipped cream fight broke out. At one point I licked whipped cream off the boobs of one of my blog’s readers (I’ll decline to say who; she’s happily married now). Spontaneous fun kept breaking out over and over again.

Brunches aren’t like that anymore. It seems like Sunday brunch is so… I don’t know, sterile… lately. I guess it’s because we’re all 13 years older. I miss the old days sometimes.

Yet, I’m going to get out and make the most of the day. I feel like I’m finally cured from my allergy-caused upper respiratory infection that I had all last week. Coughing has subsided, eyes are no longer red, temperature is back to normal. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

The Blind Bear has a new garnish for cocktails: moonshine chocolate cherries. My troll tried one yesterday and thought it was tasty.

Tonight is Firefighter and EMS Appreciation Night at the Redbirds. Memphis Fire Department vehicles will be set up on site. Germantown firefighter and #3 ranked long drive golfer Will Hogue will be at the game and will do a meet & greet 6:30-7:30. There will also be pregame fire safety education, and firefighters will do a “fill the boot” campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. $2 beer specials in left field prior to the 6:35 first pitch. Fireworks after the game. Tonight’s fire-related activities are part of Mid-South Heroes Weekend presented by Ford.

WREG has a report about MPD patrol cars left idling, unattended, putting the public at risk. One person interviewed said she saw a patrol car parked near the Orpheum, window down, laptop in the car. I am pretty sure I have see this near the Orpheum/MLGW HQ as well. If someone stole that laptop would they be able to run background checks?

If you’re trying to figure out what to do with your Memorial Day, and want to stay inside away from the pollen and the heat, let me remind you of one thing: There are only two weekdays a year when Bardog Tavern does not open at 8 AM, and those are Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’ve never been in there that early, it’s a lot of fun to chill out and play the jukebox. They have all kind of random morning stuff on TV. You might get the Today Show or maybe one of the sci-fi shows on TNT. Good breakfast menu too. It differs from the weekend brunch menu, but they have breakfast sliders to which you can add your choice of meats, breakfast burritos, omelets, and I believe the steak & eggs is on the daily menu as well. You don’t have to imbibe in the early morning hours, but if you want to, you can.

(Bardog opens at 11 Saturday and Sunday by the way)

Carolina Watershed is back open to the public on Thursdays now, and they have some sweet deals: All the domestic beer you can drink for $15, and half-priced bottles of wine. Heck, I might go check that out next Thursday!

What the world was waiting for: Taco Bell is opening a resort in Palm Springs with poolside tacos and Baja Blast. There are people who will save for years to be able to afford their vacation of a lifetime to this place.

Salute to the Stars comes to the Halloran Centre tonight. Four tribute artists will honor Elvis, George Strait, and Adele.

Velvetina’s Blue Moon Revue, a burlesque show set to the sounds of Memphis, happens at Mollie Fontaine Lounge tonight at 7.

The Cousins Main Lobster truck will be back out at the Ghost River taproom today at 1. Good place to go get lunch and a cold one while waiting for Tom Lee Park to open. Got the family with you? No problem, the taproom is family-friendly. They sell non-alcoholic beverages, and there are plenty of board games you and the kids can play to pass the time. The outside is dog-friendly as well (although Celebrate Memphis at Tom Lee Park is not).

Sips and Spins, an end-of-the month DJ night curated by Goner Records, returns to Memphis Made  tonight at 6. DJ Alec and Meredith (Nots/Ex-Cult/Hash Redactor) spin the hits this month. The Memphis Made taproom is family-friendly as well, and this event is totally free of charge.

I watched an episode of Jerry Springer for the first time in 20 years yesterday. There was a man who cheated on his daughter mama – but what he didn’t know was, the woman he had cheated with had been born a man. The man and the woman who had been born a man got into a slap fight once he found out and had to be separated. Then the man told his girlfriend he’d do whatever it takes to change and be a father to their daughter, blah blah blah, and she of course believed him and took him back. The show ended with a twerking contest between the woman who was born a man and a woman from the audience who was born a woman.

Ah, 2019… when “have you always been a woman?” is a legit question to ask on a first date. Also, the next time I turn on the WWE Network I’m going to feel like I’m watching a screen adaptation of the Canterbury Tales after what I saw on TV yesterday.

That’s it for now. I’m going to lead Bardog at 11. I would really like to walk down to Celebrate Memphis, but I’m finally starting to recover from the upper respiratory tract infection caused by allergies at Tom Lee Park last week and don’t know if I want to aggravate it. Still, I haven’t made up my mind for sure and am open to invitations. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update #2

If you’re a fan of Memphis history, Backbeat Tours is offering two 2-hour tours this Sunday (1 PM and 3 PM): Memphis Bicentennial Tour: Memphis 200. Take a Memphis history bus tour and see the Mississippi River, Beale Street, Victorian Village, Court Square, Lorraine Motel, and Church Park, among other historical venues. Learn about Boss Crump, yellow fever, Memphis in the Civil War, an African-American businessman on Beale, politicians, civil rights crusaders, bluesman W.C. Handy, and more. $25 adults, $15 children.

I wonder if they gave it the slightly redundant name “Memphis Bicentennial Tour: Memphis 200” because a lot of Memphians don’t know that “bicentennial” means “200”?

Also on Sunday, you can join visual creatives for a walk around Downtown Memphis from 3-6 PM called Grind City Meet. The event will start at Madison Avenue Park (across from Brass Door) and end at Mud Island River Park. You’ll meet other creatives and will have the chance to win some great prizes. You don’t need to be a professional to participate. Just bring your phone or camera.

You can pack a patriotic picnic at the Memphis Farmers Market this weekend. They’ll have locally sourced meats and veggies, and if you don’t feel like cooking they’ll have pre-prepared foods as well. Doodlebugs, the Children’s Museum of Memphis arts and crafts studio, will be on hand with a fun fruit and veggie painting activity. Live local music all day long. The Master Gardeners will be there to answer any questions you may have. The Market runs every Saturday under the pavilion behind Malco Powerhouse at Front and G.E. Patterson, 8 AM to 1 PM.

Chris D’Elia comes to the Orpheum June 27.  One of the most in-demand performers in comedy today, I became aware of this show when several of my service industry friends said they were taking the night off work to go see it. Tickets are $28-58.

There will be a dance party all day tomorrow (11 AM-11 PM) on the lawn at 31 N. Front Street. The event is presented by a group named “Memphis Loves Chicago House Music” and DJs will include TJ Carter, Kelly Whigham, Rawhouse, Dantz King and Brandon. They will play Afro, Soulful Disco, and House music.

Nick Black will play the Soulin’ on the River concert series at Mud Island River Park on Friday, June 21. Free for all to attend and gates open at 6 PM. Music at 7. Lawn chairs, picnic baskets, blankets, and coolers are welcome.

Rizzo’s is having a Coppola Wine Dinner next Wednesday, May 29. Menu has not been released yet but any Michael Patrick dinner is bound to be a good dinner.

A dedication of the first historical market in Memphis recognizing Chinese immigrants’ contributions to Downtown Memphis will happen at the FedExForum plaza at noon on Saturday. Specifically the marker will commemorate the Lung Kong Tin Yee Association founded in the 1920s in Downtown Memphis. Following the dedication there will be a reception at Center for Southern Folklore. Parking at 110 Peabody Place, with a $2 discount if you have the Center for Southern Folklore stamp.

There’s a young professionals’ happy hour at Blind Bear tonight 5:30-8:30. This is a chance to socialize, make connections, build your professional network. The past several events have filled the entire bar with young professionals.

Some of these posts on the Save Tom Lee Park & The Festivals Facebook page are getting a bit ridiculous. “I traced the lineage back 33 generations to 698 A.D. and discovered that Carol Coletta is a distant cousin of Al Capone! Clearly her plan is to funnel Tom Lee Park construction money through The Outfit, the Chicago crime syndicate.” I’m exaggerating here but not by very much. Come on people, be better than that. You have a strong argument for leaving the park as it is. Resorting to personal attacks and loony accusations weakens your credibility.

Scroll down to read about Wiseacre’s groundbreaking on their Downtown facility this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wiseacre invites public to Downtown taproom groundbreaking

Hey, gang. Highly time-sensitive item here, so I’m going to split this one off from the rest of the Friday update post.

Wiseacre Brewing Co. is celebrating the groundbreaking on its Downtown brewery and taproom this afternoon. The public is invited. It will be at 1 PM at 398 S. B.B. King Blvd. Come on out and watch one of the initial steps in the transformation of the South of Forum neighborhood.

Back in a few hours with the rest of the Friday news.

Thursday update

Celebrate Memphis, the free celebration of Memphis’ 200th birthday in Tom Lee Park, is this Saturday kicking off at 3 PM. Here’s a map:

Entertainment at the festival will include

  • Cornhole tournament at 4 with free cornhole before and after the tournament
  • World’s longest picnic table (going for a Guinness world record) at  5:15
  • All-Veterans Parachute Group landing at 5:30 followed by air show
  • Drone show and fireworks celebration at 9:30
  • Local bands on 5 stages
  • Sports Zone
  • Ford Family Zone
  • Touch-A-Truck
  • Creative Arts Tent
  • Global Community Expo & Market
  • Water on Wheels (a U of M mobile learning unit)
  • MATA Mobile Mural

The concession stand at River Garden, a modified 80 SF shipping container, has been approved to become a permanent fixture in the park by a 7-0 vote of the Board of Adjustment. I agree with some of the people who spoke in this article. Although I normally wouldn’t agree with shipping containers in parks, no one was using the park before. I also like that the clerks running the concession stand serve as ambassadors for our city.

The Puck Food Hall Grand Reopening is scheduled for May 30. This is the reinvention and rebranding of the 409 South Main food hall, with the number of restaurants expanded from 6 to 10.

Not all the new vendors are known but Edible Memphis posted to Facebook yesterday that Dr. Bean’s Coffee and Tea Emporium will be among them. Expect a pour-over bar and there will be classes, competitions, and throwdowns. Edible also shared some info on the change to the name Puck: The building in the early 1900s was a grocer and purveyor named Puck Brand Products in the early 1900s, and it’s a nod to Shakespeare’s Puck character. Puck is also the thing hockey players try to slap into the net, and was a character from the third season of The Real World who blew snot rockets.

DJ Epic brings hip-hop, dubstep, and mash-up style to the Peabody rooftop party this evening. $10 to get in $20 VIP. Your admission fee includes a buffet of catfish bites and remoulade sauce. Those in VIP get a second buffet of Ghost River brined pork loin with red onion and apple cider sauce as well as Memphis green tomato chow chow.

Poll I saw on Twitter yesterday: Would you trade Mike Conley to Boston for Gordon Hayward, Boston’s 20 and 22 picks in this year’s draft, and cancel out having to CONVEY THAT PICK that we owe Boston in either 2020 (top 6 protected) or 2021 (unprotected)? Hell yes, I would take that deal in a second. Assuming the Grizz take Ja Morant in the draft, they’ll be able to get by without Conley at PG, and Hayward was an All-Star two years ago at small forward, a position at which our team has been inconsistent since the Rudy Gay trade. Him plus three picks? Easy yes, especially since the Grizzlies 2020 draft pick will possibly be another lottery pick.

Go order a burger from Huey’s on Tuesday, May 28, National Burger Day, and it might be free. If your burger comes out with a Golden Pick in it, there’s no charge.

Memphis 901 FC drew with the Swope Park Rangers of Kansas City, 2-2, last night. Draws are not very sexy but as coach Tim Mulqueen pointed out, to get one on the road (and the 1 point in the standings that comes with it) against a very good team is something to be proud of.

Memphis Sports Hall of Fame has announced its inaugural class. Good group. The one person who had to be in there was Larry Finch, and indeed he was. Penny made it too – I knew he’d go in at some point, but I wasn’t sure it would be the first year. Glad to see late radio legend George Lapides made it. He was the role model for the current generation of radio. If he could speak from the great beyond through this blog, I’m sure he’d advise all my readers to go eat at Mister B’s.

A new visual and creative arts event called Creative Drip will happen inside the 507 lounge at Curry-N-Jerk, 128 Monroe, tonight at 7. Following tonight this event will happen the third Thursday of every month.

Crosstown Brewing Co. releases a new pilsner, Terraplane, today at 4.

Yesterday I got to see one of my favorite bartenders for the first time since BBQ Fest, someone who has no trouble getting invited to many of the booths in the park. “Y’all’s booth was the best one I went to,” she said, referring to the Moody Ques. YES! That’s what we like to hear. It still enamors me to think back to this time two years ago, when everyone was predicting our demise. Where da haters at now? The Moody Ques will be back for 2020.

You just can’t make this stuff up: While testifying before Congress, HUD Secretary Ben Carson was asked to explain disparity in rates of REO , a class of property owned by a lender after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction. It’s a real estate term that anyone in the business should know. Carson balked at the question, and Porter asked him, “Do you know what an REO is?”

“An Oreo?” replied Carson. The man in charge of housing in this country believes Congress  brought him in for his thoughts on the special-edition mint creme Double Stufs. My God. Sad thing is, he probably actually knows more about Double Stufs than he does real estate.

The Trump administration has postponed the Harriet Tubman $20 bill until 2028. It was supposed to be issued next year.

That’s it for now. Still recovering from an infection, and may be coughing a bit when I get out today. Don’t worry, it’s not contagious. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Daily Memphian has the news on a new organization that will make Memphis better: 275 Food Project. This organization has a few different goals. One is to increase the supply and demand of locally sourced food. Only about 1% of the money Memphians spend at groceries, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and colleges stays local; 275 Food Project has a goal to grow that number to 20%. They will establish a mentoring program for chefs and food professionals of color, and there will also be a mentoring program for women to become chefs and food business owners.

Downtown will see the fruits of 275 Food Project’s labor very soon. On May 30, the 409 South Main food hall will relaunch as Puck Food Hall and the number of businesses will expand from 6 to 10. All of the restaurants in this food business incubator have committed to locally-sourced ingredient vendor contracts.

They also plan to open a wholesale food market on Mud Island called 275 Food @ Harbor Landing. Its focus will be to move food to chefs and restaurants while still fresh. There will also be cold and dry storage for farmers and a space for pop-up food events.

I’m only scratching the surface of what is said about 275 Food Project, and recommend you click the link provided above to check out the full article. This article, by the way, is a perfect example of why The Daily Memphian is worth every penny of the $7/month subscription. Many other news outlets think a carjacking at a gas station at Holmes and Tchulahoma is news. They think the sheriff of some Arkansas town getting caught in the back of his squad car with a 15-year-old boy is news. That’s not news to me. People and entities that make my community better are the news I most want to read, and the Daily Memphian brings that kind of reporting better than anyone.

Also, if you’re a Memphis basketball fan (Tigers, Grizzlies, or both), you are ESPECIALLY missing out if you’re not a subscriber. First-class, in-depth reporting and analysis. I’m not a big podcast guy but I listened to the DM’s Grizzlies podcast a couple of days ago and it is outstanding too.

Until 11:59 tonight, you can get $2.00 tickets online (dugout or field box) for the Saturday fireworks game at the Redbirds. It’s their way of celebrating Memphis’ 200th birthday.

They have a second way of celebrating as well. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, you can purchase 10 luxury suite tickets for $200, a savings of $360. Call (901) 721-6000 to take advantage of this deal.

There will be a DJ night at Mud Island’s Grove area this Friday, May 24, from 6 to 8 PM. There will be tire swinging, outdoor relaxation on new outdoor furniture, There will be music by DJ Chandler Blingg (that is a great name) and DJ Nya. You’ll also have the chance to get your picture taken with the new Memphis bicentennial sign. Walk across the pedestrian bridge to get to the event, or ride an Explore bike or one of those stupid scooters. This event is sponsored by Cossitt Library. They are looking for volunteers if you’d be interested in getting involved with programs like this one.

Green Beetle is closing at 5 PM for a private event tonight. They apologize for any inconvenience and plan to re-open for lunch 11 AM Thursday.

The One901 blog has a profile of Corey Hollywood. If your organization needs catering in the upcoming future, this is a man to get to know. He’s the owner and executive chef of Kitchen Guru Catering. Corey is also a man of style, which no doubt he gets from his legendary great-uncle, the late Robert “Hollywood” Raiford.

With next door neighbor Court House Deli recently shut down, and with heavy construction going on on the other side of the former deli, at the former Murray’s and Jerry’s locations, people have been asking if The Peanut Shoppe at 24 S. Main is closing too. The answer is no. They are open for business 10 AM-5 PM Monday-Friday and 11 AM-5 PM or later Saturday, and they would love to serve you.

Finally! A couple who accused former Memphis Tigers coach Josh Pastner of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel in 2016 have been brought up on criminal fraud charges in Arizona.  As soon as I read those accusations, I knew they were complete baloney. Having recently read the manual on narcissistic abuse, The Gaslighting Effect, Pastner’s former friend Ron Bell displays a pattern of behavior in line with narcissism. Bell studied Pastner from afar, befriended him, ingratiated Pastner to him… then, when Pastner refused to go along with what Bell wanted, Bell turned on him viciously, willing to destroy Pastner’s career and reputation because he felt Pastner deserved it. Bell’s girlfriend strikes me as what’s known in the book as a flying monkey, someone the narcissist recruits to assist in the abuse.

There’s now a course that teaches dogs how to behave in breweries. Currently it’s only available in Fort Collins, Colorado. I hope they franchise this and expand it to Memphis.

Construction on Tom Lee Park has been pushed back from June to an ambiguous “the fall” start date. The reason is that the Army Corps of Engineers has final say on any changes to the park, and the approval process has not even begun. If construction does begin in the fall, that could potentially push Memphis in May out of the park for not one year, but two. Don’t forget there’s an event at Rizzo’s tonight 5-7 where you can share your feedback on proposed changes to the park.

Congratulations to the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. on making the all-NBA Rookie Team for his first season. For the first time since 1984-85 the top five draft picks all made the team, Jackson being joined by Luka Doncic, Trae Young, DeAndre Ayton, and Marcus Bagley.

Pro wrestling fans: An evening with Dutch Mantel is coming to the big room at the Hi-Tone Sunday, June 9. The Dirty Dutchman is a longtime performer and sometime booker in the old Memphis territory and has appeared all over the world. He is known to be a great storyteller, his motto being “if you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, baffle ’em with bullshit.” $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $50 for a VIP meet and greet.

Also, don’t forget that The Bar Olympics happens at the Hi-Tone two weeks after the Mantel appearance, on Sunday, June 23. It’s not too late to sign up a team. Bar Olympics has a more diverse array of games than other events of its type, and is the only one to have Hungry Hungry Hippos as the finals. Come on out and show Crosstown what you’ve got!

Huey’s has a job opening for a kitchen manager.

Memphis Magazine’s Vance Lauderdale has a look at Riverside Drive in the 1930s.

Grub will be the truck tonight at Cordelia’s Table Food Truck Wednesday.

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

Tuesday update

First news item isn’t Downtown news, but it involves a Memphis institution that is well worth a drive. The legendary Fino’s Italian Deli at Madison and McLean will re-open June 6. They will offer breakfast as well as lunch and will be open 7 days a week.

Max’s Sports Bar, recognizing that many of its cornhole tournament participants are on BBQ teams, has decided to delay the start of its summer tournament from this Tuesday to next Tuesday so people have recovery time. That means you still have time to sign up. Team applications will be accepted through Sunday, May 26.

Max’s will soon see more of me. I love watching the NCAA Regionals, the Super Regionals, and the College World Series there, especially when Arkansas is doing well. Most people don’t care about college baseball so it’s fun to be in a bar full of people (including the bar’s owner) who do.

There’s an opening for a full time cafe team member at Cordelia’s Market. The job description reads, “Looking for someone with an anything it takes attitude to do things like cook, clean, make sandwiches, package food and give great customer service!”

The Redbirds will have a specialty ticket that includes an all-you-can-eat all-American hamburger and hot dog buffet for both Sunday’s and Monday’s games.

FiveThirtyEight has an interesting article on how Americans tend to discriminate where they live by their political views. Republicans and Democrats generally choose to live among their own. Memphis came in as America’s sixth-most segregated city by politics. Most segregated: Jackson, Mississippi.

What you’ll find at the Great American River Run post-race party:

Today is the 100th anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Thanks @RepCohen for tweeting that information.

There will be a JustMyOpinion Happy Hour tomorrow, May 22, at Rizzo’s from 5:00 to 7:00 PM where you can voice how you feel about the planned changes to Tom Lee Park. Video cameras will be rolling.

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