Wed update: Health Directive No. 12 is out

Shelby County Health Directive No. 12

Quick summary: There is no real change for full-service restaurants. Limited-service restaurants may now open but have to follow the same rules, including

  • Bar areas should remain closed to both seating or standing
  • Patrons must be seated at a table and order food to be served alcohol
  • Seating for dine-in food service (and the alcohol that can be purchased with food) is limited to two hours
  • 10 PM closing time; may stay open for take-out past 10 but can’t serve take-out alcohol beyond that time
  • Music, including live music, is allowed only if the volume is such that customers don’t have to raise their voices to talk over it
  • Dancing is only allowed outside and with 6 feet of separation from those not in your party

Beer gardens, wine pubs, and the like may reopen under the same restrictions too.

Important: If you own, manage, or work in a full- or limited-service restaurant, do not rely on this summary or any other summary you find. Read the Health Directive directly for guidance.

About those party pedal bikes that many Downtowners hate: There’s been some question about whether they can legally operate. From Health Directive No. 12: (All of the bullet points below are direct quotes, highlighted by me for emphasis)

  • Patrons may not consume beer or alcohol while riding, and “stops” should
    not be made for patrons to consume beer or alcohol while touring on the
  • In addition to drivers/operators, patrons must be required to wear face
    coverings or masks while riding on the bikes.
  • Patrons must not be permitted to yell and sing loudly.
  • Music must be kept at a decibel level that permits regular conversation. In
    other words, the noise level should not be so great as to cause patrons to
    raise their voices to be heard.
  • Only groups of six (6) people from the same household are allowed to ride
  • Bike operators must maintain at least twelve (12) feet separation between
    the bikes and people who are walking nearby or dining outdoors.

Do we think these regulations will actually be observed by party bike drivers and their customers? HELL NO! Remember, Code Enforcement is responsible for making sure the rules are followed, not MPD. I’d love to see Code Enforcement pull these bikes over and write them up, but I don’t see it happening.

Back to the restaurants: I suspect they’re going to wait an incubation cycle (14 days) to see what happens. If the numbers don’t go shooting back up I predict they will ease some of the restrictions at that time. It will be like moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2 all over again.

Bar owners are ordering supplies and preparing to reopen. A few notes on limited-service restaurants frequented by readers of this blog:

Silly Goose will open today and Dylan will fire up the pizza oven. Their hours are noon to 10.

Alchemy owner Nick Scott says he’s “gathering the troops” and will try to do a soft reopening this weekend.

Flying Saucer will reopen next Wednesday, September 30. Its temporary hours will be 4-10 weekdays and 11-10 weekends.

Blind Bear reclassified as a full-service restaurant August 26 and has been open since then. As of this week, they have a new menu with seafood risotto, lasagna, a wedge salad, and a lot of other goodies.

Max’s Sports Bar has not made an announcement yet, but oftentimes the bartender working that day will make announcements about opening on his personal Facebook account, the day of. Under the old schedule, Wednesday would be a Mike day, so those of you who are friends with him might want to keep an eye on his account. Those hot dogs are going to be good for putting in a food order with your alcohol without busting the bank.

In other COVID-19 press conference news, health department director Dr. Haushalter said that if the virus reproduction rate remains above 1, we would expect a surge sometime around February. If we can get the rate back below 1 and keep it there, then we would see it as already having had the surge.

The Daily Memphian reports that the Museum Lofts apartments next door to the National Civil Rights Museum have been completed and they’re now leasing.

Now that clubs are allowed to reopen, Atomic Rose is back with two drag shows this Friday. Buy two entrees, get a free appetizer 6-9 that night.

Tonight’s Memphis 901 FC match against North Carolina FC has been postponed because COVID RUINS EVERYTHING.

A push to make FedExForum an early voting site has failed.

My article Prepare Yourself to Know What You Want after College went live on online magazine The Ascent about 10:30 yesterday morning. Quick summary: Study whatever you want, but become a well-rounded person in the summers by doing the following:

  • Summer before freshman year: Work in an office
  • Summer before sophomore year: Work in sales
  • Summer before junior year: Volunteer
  • Summer before senior year: Work in a restaurant

This will give you an innate understanding of people and work environments that goes beyond the gates of a college campus. This will help prevent picking a major at 19 that leads to a career in which you’re unhappy at 35.

I mentioned “the narcissist smirk” on here a couple of days ago. Yesterday I finally found a photograph which is royalty-free that illustrates what I’m talking about:

If you look at someone’s photos and see them doing this, it’s a sign you should watch out.

Off to work. Silly Goose is on my afternoon agenda. Back tomorrow with more news.