Thursday update

The Blind Bear reopened last night, its classification as a full-service restaurant having come in. They did everything right: They have a doorman who takes your temperature, takes down your contact information, and points you to a seat. The bar seats have CAUTION tape around them so you can’t sit there. Despite the restrictions, it was wonderful to have the Bear back.

If you go, go hungry, because Jeannette is going to have to turn in monthly numbers to the ABC, proving that her food sales are more than her alcohol sales. Actually, you won’t have a choice about ordering food – the current health directive states that you must order food to be served alcohol at full-service restaurants, because that’s what keeps you SAFE FROM COVID! Before SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, considers infecting you, it goes to the register and pulls up your tab to see if there’s food on it. If not, you are a highly desirable virus host!

If you need to get your team fed for an office lunch or some other on-site event, keep the Bear in mind. One of the ways Jeannette is looking to grow her food sales is through those kinds of orders. Their menu and contact information is on their website.

There’s more good news on the COVID-19 front: For the first time since the statistic was tracked in early July, Shelby County reports fewer than 100 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds. Slowly and surely, we are kicking this pandemic’s ass so kids will be able to get back to school, and more importantly, the bars will be able to open!

Yesterday I discovered something about Downtown Memphis while researching an article I’m writing about Thomas Edison: He lived and worked here as a teenager. The 18-year-old Edison came to Memphis in 1865 as an itinerant telegraph operator. Traveling operators were known as “telegraph tramps” because they wandered from city to city, but make no mistake about it, they possessed the in-demand, high-tech skill of the times. Edison worked in an office at North Court Street and Maiden Lane (now November 6th Street) and lived next door.

Edison was fired by a jealous superior in 1866, and then took his telegraph skills to Louisville, Cincinnati (his second time in that city), and Boston. He saved enough money for an 1866 trip to Brazil, but the Port of New Orleans was closed so he turned back. The Court Square building in which Edison worked was torn down in 1953.

Info from Jimbo from Mempho:

From Forbes: The unbelievable true story of how the Memphis pyramid became a Bass Pro Shop

Congratulations to local REALTOR™ Mike Parker on selling his 500th condo in Downtown Memphis. I had the pleasure of working with Mike in a young professionals’ organization years ago, and would absolutely recommend him to anyone looking to stake out their spot in our neighborhood.

Warren Buffett believes that the meaning of money has changed in our society in the past several years. This is an important and somewhat scary read. Hey Kao, if you’re reading I’d be interested in your thoughts on this.

The Orpheum has launched a fundraising campaign to make up some of the millions of dollars it has lost and will lose for the past five months, and counting, due to cancellations of shows. The theater has made the beginnings of a comeback with mini-golf on stage and socially-distanced classic movies on the big screen, but those by no means make up the financial gap.

Paige Garland, owner of Rachel’s Salon and Day Spa on Court Square, penned a piece for the CA about financial challenges the salon industry faces due to the pandemic. The way tips are handled puts the industry at a disadvantage as they fight their way back.

Yubu and the Anicent Youth Band play by the tracks at Central Station this Saturday. You can listen online or attend in person with outdoor, socially distanced seating.

BOSS MOVE: Get on the phone and order chicken only from Gus’s, then order sides from Central BBQ, which has superior sides to Gus’s. Pick them both up, take them home, and you’ve got one heck of a meal. Thanks to friends who passed on that piece of advice last night.

One more thing about the Blind Bear: I named one of the poker tables when the place first opened, and because of its location I assumed it was the one sacrificed to make room for the shuffleboard table that was brought in a few months ago. Last night, though, Jeannette assured me that Paul’s Blue Ribbon Table is still around and is available for reservations. It’s now in the back corner by the private dining room and the hallway. Cerha’s table was the one to be removed since he no longer lives in Memphis.

I didn’t make it to Ben-Yay’s Gumbo Shop for lunch yesterday due to the surprise of the Blind Bear opening. I will try to make it today. Back tomorrow with more news.