Sunday update

Fans of Memphis gift shop Feelin’ Memphis at 509 S. Main, perk up your ears for this announcement from co-owner Tawanda:

Its not a SECRET now….. Feelin’ Memphis (all apparel 30% off) Saturday and Sunday. It’s all COOL stuff.. we only opened our doors Oct 7 2020 and we get new stuff in everyday, so yall come on down and check us out. 509 S Main Memphis TN. OPEN DAILY 9am till 6pm!

Nashville’s restaurants and bars will be allowed to stay open until 12 midnight starting this week. Comparing Shelby County and Davidson County on COVID Act Now:

  • New cases/day: Shelby 38.2/100K, Davidson 49.0/100K
  • Reproduction rate (R-nought): Shelby 0.86, Davidson 0.82
  • Positivity rate: Shelby 7.3, Davidson 11.3

Dr. Haushalter? Dr. Randolph? If Davidson County can have nice things, and our numbers are comparable or better than theirs, why can’t we have the same?

The Grizzlies returned to the court last night, beating San Antonio 129-112. Current NBA standings show Memphis in fifth place in the West with a .571 record. The standings reveal how hard-hit Memphis has been by COVID and its protocols, though. The Grizzlies have only played 14 games this season. Some teams have played 20.

The Sinful Delight is the special at The Dirty Crow Inn’s pop-up at the 480et8 off I-55 exit 281 in West Memphis today. It’s a bacon cheeseburger made with a Gibson’s donut as a bun. Get there early, because they have a limited number. They have the Dirty Hawaiian and the wings too, and if Sundays are not good days for you, they’re now doing the menu on Mondays too. 3-10 PM with live music starting at 4.

That’s it. Short post today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Carolina Watershed has made some fantastic upgrades to make its outdoor space appealing no matter the season, reports Jennifer Chandler of the CA. The flooring and sports amenities have been upgraded, as has the stage. Fire pits line the outdoor seating. They built a pit to roast whole hogs, too.

Beer alert: Momma’s will host a keg tapping of Memphis Made MEMPHIS AS TRUCK beer next Wednesday, February 3 at 5 PM. The beer is brewed with French Truck coffee and the keg is being tapped in a trucker-themed bar.

There are updated plans for the hotel to be built on Beale’s eastern end, with the plans now calling for six stories. Six stories, thirty stories, the square root of -1 stories… as long as 380 Beale does not house the Plush Club or a successor club, I’m good with it.

NOOOOOOOO! Popeye’s quietly removed its Cajun dirty rice side dish from its permanent menu. Worst move by a fast food chain since Taco Bell discontinued the Enchirito.

Mud Island news: MPD is investigating car break-ins on Harbor View Drive and Harbor Isle Circle.

Cerrito Entertainment, which does the live trivia and bingo games around town, is doing a free WWE Royal Rumble contest this weekend. Follow Cerrito Entertainment on Twitch, then sign up to enter. You will be given a number between 1 and 30 in the men’s or women’s Royal Rumble. If the wrestler assigned your number (in the order they come out) wins their Rumble match, you win a prize pack featuring a Cash Saver gift card (the Cash Saver Bottle Shop is a co-sponsor of the event).

Hey, you want my Royal Rumble predictions?

  • Men’s Rumble: Final Four: Jey Uso, Cesaro, Big E, Bobby Lashley. Big E wins, and although a Smackdown superstar, he uses the opportunity to challenge for any championship to jump to Monday Night Raw and reunite with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. At Wrestlemania, New Day turns heel for the first time in years, and cheat for Big E to win the WWE championship. Also at Wrestlemania, The Hurt Business turns face, establishing Lashley as Big E’s top challenger.
  • Women’s Rumble: Final Four: Alexa Bliss, Shayna Bayzler, Bayley, Bianca Belair. Unless the writing team is out of their minds, Belair wins this one and the torch is passed to her at Wrestlemania. She’s been on the main roster for only a year and has obvious Hall of Fame athleticism and charisma.
  • Roman Reigns retains the WWE Universal Championship in a Last Man Standing Match with Kevin Owens. Very possible Brock Lesnar will appear after the match and beat the holy hell out of Reigns’ “special advisor to the Tribal Chief” and Lesnar’s former manager, Paul Heyman. If not, there may be something to the rumors that Reigns will be challenged at Wrestlemania by his cousin, The Rock.
  • Drew McIntyre becomes the first champion since 2016 to successfully defend against Goldberg, retaining his WWE World Championship.
  • Nia Jax and Shayna Bayzler defeat Asuka and Charlotte Flair to become two-time WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. The lost sets up Asuka to defend the Raw Women’s Championship vs. Flair at Wrestlemania.

That’s the news for today. Back tomorrow with more.

Friday update

They’re still doing some construction work out front, but it looks like DGX, the new convenience/grocery store in the former Yao’s space at Main and Gayoso, is close to being open.

DGX is a Dollar General concept aimed at metropolitan city centers. From their website: “DGX stores offer a smaller retail footprint with a curated assortment of grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, home cleaning supplies, an expanded selection of health and beauty products, home décor, electronics, seasonal products, pet supplies, candies and snacks, paper products and more—all at everyday low prices that Dollar General is known for.” According to the website, the store’s hours will be 8 AM-10 PM.

Perjorie T. Roll and I tried one of Chef Steph’s burgers, the Swiss You Were Here, last night at the Blind Bear.

It comes with garlic peppercorn aioli, Swiss cheese, maple bacon, and A-1 candied shiitake mushrooms on an 80 special grind burger.

The DM’s Elle Perry has more information about The Inkwell, the new cocktail bar to open in The Edge. Owner Ben Colar wants it to be a place people can go to relax, not only from the pressures of work but from the pressures of the bar scene in Memphis. Looks like it will have a super nice outdoor patio.

From the Memphis Flyer: Salt | Soy is set to open in the Broad Avenue district next month. They’ve been doing booming business running their menu at Alchemy, and now that the stupid COVID restrictions are relaxing a bit, they are ready to move into a space of their own.

ESPN has a feature on how sports bars have struggled to stay open during a pandemic.

From the UK’s Daily Mail: Mike Pence and “Mother” are homeless after being ejected from the vice-president’s residence last week. They’ve been couch surfing.

From WREG: Shooting begins in South Main for ABC series set in the civil rights era


In Love Memphis got closed down by the Health Department again for COVID restriction violations.

That’s the news for today. Back tomorrow with more.

Thursday update

More info about The Inkwell, the cocktail lounge set to open on Madison Ave. out in The Edge later this year:

The Daily Memphian reports there are plans to use an old warehouse building as parking for The Snuff District that is under development along the river in Uptown. Maybe one day there will be a river walk from Bass Pro north to The Snuff District then on to Grind City Brewing.

Bluff City Born, a showcase of original music by local artists, comes to the Tin Roof on Beale Wednesday evening, February 3.

Jennifer Biggs and Chris Herrington recommend 12 soups around town in today’s Daily Memphian. Downtown is represented by the caldo tlapeño at Maciel’s. Yes! Get this! Even if you’re not a soup fan, you’ll love this and you’ll have enough for leftovers. One of Downtown dining’s best values.

Vaccine tourism is a thing now. The COVID-19 vaccine is federal property, so the Shelby County Health Department can’t deny the vaccine to people from other counties or states if they otherwise meet the qualifications. That’s a big reason the distribution point ran out of vaccine Tuesday afternoon. The county is launching a standby list to notify people when there is a surplus of vaccines.

Today’s the first day of the Sundance Film Festival, with local screening at the drive-in on Summer. Schedule

Tigers on national TV alert: Memphis at SMU tonight at 7 on ESPN2. Memphis just beat the Mustangs at FedExForum two nights ago. A road win would help the Tigers lock down the number-two spot in the American Conference.

The Memphis Flyer’s 20 < 30 issue for 2021 is out.

I reminded Perjorie T. Roll that she only has 25 years left to make the 20 < 30 issue. She’s celebrating like she’s already made it with a piece of chocolate turtle cake:

As for me, I’m far from being under 30, but I have a reason to celebrate today. Medium, which I write for professionally, awards Top Writer status to the people who write the most engaging content in the most popular topics. Overnight I scored my first Top Writer tag:

I can lose my Top Writer tag if I don’t write about Ideas regularly, though, so it’s time to grind. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

On Monday afternoon, a truck was carjacked in broad daylight while parked on a well-traveled street in the Downtown core. It belonged to a worker of a management company that manages an office building, and his work tools were in it.

I bet you the thieves had cased out that building for a while, and had noted when the truck was parked outside as well as the driver’s routine. The Downtown core is perceived as a very safe part of town and no one expects such a crime to happen in the middle of the business day.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I wanted to pass the info along because it’s possible the thieves could try to repeat their scheme. Property managers, tell your employees to be extra vigilant with their vehicles and equipment.

If you have trouble deciding what to get when you go to Central BBQ, you’re going to love this announcement they made yesterday:

NEW menu item alert! 🚨 Our new appetizer sampler is perfect for watching the game or when you are just craving a little bit of everything! Includes a mini bbq nacho, pork (or chicken) slider, mini sausage & cheese, 2 hot wings with ranch dressing, homemade chips! For only $14.99! Order online (or call) to grab this from our Central, Summer or Downtown locations!

Now that the Safer at Home order has been lifted and we’re back to 50% capacity with live music permitted, B.B. King’s club will reopen Friday, January 29 at 11 AM.

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers beat SMU 76-72 yesterday and are in second place in the AAC.

The county’s COVID-19 numbers are looking better. Yesterday Health Department director Dr. Haushalter announced a 7-day new case rolling average of 392, below the tripwire of 450. In fact, the number of cases reported yesterday (for that specific day, not an average) was only 221. The reproduction rate of the virus is down to 0.79, meaning it is having trouble finding new hosts to keep itself alive. BUT… (there’s always a BUT)… health department officials are hesitant to loosen restrictions further because of fear the new strains of COVID will make their way to Memphis. It’s always something. Heaven forbid anyone sit at a bar, or dine in at 11 PM.  Dr. H encouraged everyone to get tested and know their status, especially those under 40 and those who work in fields with high risk of exposure to the virus.

Fox 13 reports that South Main’s Malco Powerhouse Cinema Grill will reopen Friday.

We may see a little snow this morning as a system moves through… WeatherBug reports a temp of 40 though, so don’t expect it to stick. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

It’s another not-very-newsy Tuesday. Here’s what I’ve got:

Geoff Calkins of The Daily Memphian tested positive for COVID this month and has since recovered. He provided a full account of what he went through.

In other COVID news, the DM reports that local hospitals are out of the danger zone capacity-wise, with ICU bed usage at 89% and acute care bed usage at 86%.

Shelby County Commissioners passed a motion yesterday forbidding any public buildings to be named after Donald Trump.

The Undefeated has a conversation with the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr.

Ja Morant has been added to Team USA’s player pool for the 2021 Summer Olympics™. That doesn’t mean he’ll play, but he’s on the list of those being considered for a spot.

COVID and its related protocols have postponed another Grizzlies game, this one set for tomorrow vs. Chicago. This will be the 5th straight the team has missed.

In today’s POLITICO Playbook there is a most interesting map of who occupies the first two floors of the White House’s West Wing.

Useful: Get access to free Kindle books with your library card. You can also use your library card to watch free movies on Kanopy. You can also get the free movies if you’re a student or a professor. (h/t Morning Brew daily newsletter)

Probably not going to watch the COVID-19 press conference today since it’s too soon for them to think about issuing another health directive. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

Human bones were found at the south end of Mud Island by a landscaping crew and the police were called. They confirmed the remains to be human, but more details have not been released.

Seems like not a week goes by when I don’t see reports on Nextdoor of multiple gunshots being fired in Uptown. Yesterday’s report was from the Third and Chelsea area, and most of the reports I’ve seen are within three or four blocks of that location. That area is still the Wild, Wild West after the sun goes down. Shame because I’d take some walks to Grind City Brewery’s taproom this spring and summer if I felt safe walking through Uptown.

Today’s National Irish Coffee Day. I don’t drink them but have been told Bardog makes a good one.

New York Times: Fauci on what working for Trump was really like

Cool site I found this weekend: Edison Muckers, a blog dedicated to the life and ideas of Thomas Edison. A “mucker” was someone who worked in Edison’s lab, trying his hand at inventing.

All right. Slow news day. Back tomorrow with more.

Sunday update

Hey, y’all want a preview of something I’m going to write about on Medium this week?

We need to celebrate our mental victories more.

For the past 4 months, I called myself a professional writer, but days would go by and I couldn’t think of anything to write about. I made it a goal to become an idea machine. This month I have attained that goal. I can comfortably go to bed with absolutely no clue what I will write about on Medium the next day. But I know that by the time I wake up, I will have a topic in mind. That’s as big a deal as buying a new car. It deserves to be celebrated as such. Really, more. A car is an income-consuming asset. Being an idea machine is an income-producing asset.

I’ve been reading books about spirituality, about drawing your future self to you. Yesterday afternoon, after doing a self-invented exercise (another topic I will write about this week), I am convinced I stepped into my September 2021 best version future writer self, brought him back to the present, and harnessed his wisdom and energy in a 4-hour session on my laptop. That’s as big, and as positive a life change, as adopting a new puppy. I forged a relationship with another being. It’s just that in this case, the other being was an aspect of myself.

So yeah, that’s a writing topic for this week. Just gotta stretch it out to 1000+ words, come up with a snazzy title (on Medium, 75% of your success is how well you write headlines), and pick a free stock photo as the article’s featured image.

Tigers on national TV alert! Penny’s team travels to East Carolina to play this afternoon at 3. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Take the umbrella if you go out today. predicts a 60% chance of rain today. Tonight there is a 100% chance of rain as temperatures rise from 54 to a high of 70 tomorrow.

Interested in a career in education? Teach901 hosts a virtual job fair this week.

News on The Dirty Crow Inn’s pop-up restaurant at the 40et8 in West Memphis:

This week’s special is the Dirty Dawg! A Nathan’s Hot Dog wrapped in Bacon deep fried and topped with Ponchos style cheese sauce and topped with crumbled bacon! Yes it’s as good as it sounds! Come to the 40et8 Sunday starting @3pm. Also bringing back the Dirty Hawaiian, smoked pulled Chicken with soy ginger sauce and topped with a spicy Pineapple Chutney. Live music starting @4pm. See everyone Sunday!!

New flavor of potato chips at Downtown Walgreens!

Trolls prefer foods that are the same color as their hair, so Mendatius T. Roll was very excited about these Game Day Chili flavored Lay’s. (His sister Socially Distant Perjorie prefers dill pickle-flavored Lay’s.) You’re going to want a cold drink next to you when you rip open a bag of these chips. They’ve got a bite to them!

By the end of the day we will know who’s going to be in the Super Bowl. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Starting Monday, Downtown businesses will be able to apply for business continuity grants of up to $2500 made available by the Downtown Memphis Commission. The grant can be used for almost any business expense – salary, marketing, rent. It’s meant to tide business over until we emerge from this difficult period.

In other DMC news, they may buy the blighted 100 N. Main building which has stood vacant and fenced off for several years. The plan would be to convert that space into parking. One local reporter played devil’s advocate with regard to the plan:

Yeah I’ve heard just the pigeon droppings alone in that building are something like a foot deep.

If you received the first dose of Moderna COVID vaccine between December 28 and January 3, be prepared to hop on the website Monday around 8 AM to make your appointment for a second dose. While you’re on the site, print out a copy of Health Directive 17 and put it in the bathroom for reading.

RIP Hank Aaron. His quest to break Babe Ruth’s record was my earliest memory of the game of baseball.

The MBJ has a slideshow of the Hyatt Centric hotel soon to open at Front and Beale. That’s the building with the oddly-positioned windows.

The MBJ also has a slideshow of the historic James Lee House in Victorian Village. Most recently it has been a bed & breakfast and it can be yours for $2.5 million.

Action News 5 has an update on that stabbing reported at Danny Thomas and Madison this week. It happened in that apartment tower on the southeast corner of that intersection.

A man stole $30,000 of wiring and welding leads from the renovated Renasant Convention Center this week. How do you profit from wiring and welding leads you stole? I mean, you can’t just take that stuff to Cash America Pawn Shop the way you would a stolen guitar or bike. Dark web maybe?

From Nextdoor: A Mud Island resident caught the rooster that has been roaming the neighborhood. Now they’re trying to figure out what to do with him. Anybody want a rooster?

There will be a Mentoring Matters Car Parade today at 11 at FedExForum. Since mentors and mentees are unable to gather at a Grizzlies game this year, this will be the alternative, with Grizz, the Grizz Girls, and a DJ.

School of Rock Memphis will hold an End of Season Performance at Loflin Yard today.

Here’s a site to bookmark if you like podcasts: Listen to this Podcast. Each time you reload the page, it presents a podcast that was randomly selected from a list of podcasts curated by humans. (Hat tip to Morning Brew‘s Sidekick newsletter for that link)

A couple of days ago, I linked to Kamala Harris’ article on Medium about the inauguration and incoming administration. Now Medium’s best-known writer, Barack Obama, has weighed in with his thoughts. The article is free for all to read and it’s only 2 minutes long.

This sounds like a good account to follow on Twitter:

Also seen on Twitter this morning: “Rich people get paid by the project and pay by the hour.” A lot of wisdom there.

That’s it for today. I have a lot of writing-related stuff to get done today, so I’m happy to be publishing this before the 6 AM hour. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Health Department Deputy Director David Sweat passed along some great news yesterday: The reproductive rate of COVID-19 is down to 0.84, the lowest it has been since measures were kept in Shelby County. A rate below 1 means the virus is dying out.

Be careful if you live on Mud Island: There is a rooster loose, according to posts on Nextdoor. He was last seen in the 1000 block of Island Place East. Well, at least people on the island won’t have to depend on their iPhones to wake them up in time for work with nature’s original alarm clock running around.

This week’s Downtown Memphis Commission weekly email spotlighted a couple of jobs that are open in the area:

There will be filming for a TV show called “Women of the Movement” next Wednesday and Thursday in South Main. They will film on Main between Nettleton and St. Paul, and G.E. Patterson between Front and Mulberry.

COVID and related protocols have forced the NBA to postpone the Grizzlies’ next three games.

Mayor Jimbo from Mempho gave his State of the City address last night. WREG has highlights.

A man was found stabbed to death last night near Danny Thomas and Madison in The Edge District.

Memphis Magazine has a story on the new King & Union Bar Grocery inside the Doubletree. I still need to check that place out. Do I spy pulled pork tamales on the menu?

The USL, the league in which Memphis’ pro soccer team Memphis 901 FC competes, has announced a 32-game round-robin schedule for the season that will kick off around May 1.

The Tigers got a blowout 72-52 win over Wichita State last night.

So nice to see Dr. Fauci behind the podium giving COVID-19 status updates again. Fauci no longer has a malignant narcissist as his boss who is threatened by his popularity.

Final day of the Safer at Home order and 25% capacity at restaurants. Things are getting ever so slightly more normal. Back tomorrow with more news.