Friday update

Great news for residents of some parts of Downtown. City crews are installing speed bumps on several streets that have seen their fair share of drag racing and other vehicular mischief. These streets include

  • Georgia Avenue from Tennessee St. to Front St.
  • Front Street from Nettleton Ave. to Butler Ave.
  • Front Street from Court Ave. to Looney Ave.

Speed bumps have already been installed at the following locations:

  • Riverside Drive
  • N. Main Street at Looney Ave.
  • Looney Ave. at Third St.

Also, as part of a Downtown Neighborhood Association “ask” for traffic calming in South End, they have requested that the two-way stop sign at Tennessee and Georgia (currently traffic on Tennessee stops) be turned into a four-way stop. That request is currently under consideration.

City policy against installing the speed bumps on streets with high traffic counts foiled initial attempts by the DNA to calm traffic. However, Steve Shular, special assistant to Mayor Strickland, helped cut through red tape and get the relief measures on the fast track. Thank you Steve!

South Main Trolley Night makes its return tonight! This is a great time to get out and eat, shop, look at art, and mingle with your neighbors. Most of the shops and galleries of the South Main Arts District will stay open until 9 or later. I plan on being there! Of course, I may pre-game with a couple of PBRs at Max’s Sports Bar prior to 6.

To celebrate the return of Trolley Night, Rizzo’s will offer a South Main cocktail for only $3 with the purchase of any meal.

Lauren Moscato-Park and her students will put on a release show at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, from 6-8 this evening as part of Trolley Night.

I got a chance to chat with Pam & Terry during a break from their performance at Blind Bear last night. They are very excited about their upcoming residency at the second Ghost River location at 341-345 Beale. They said the space is beautiful. Management is going out of its way to treat performers, staff, and customers extra well.

Speaking of the Blind Bear… News Break writer Jennifer Jones has a great article on Jeannette Comans, AKA “Momma Bear,” owner of the Downtown speakeasy. Jeannette changed with the times to meet pandemic challenges, and she and the Bear survived. To many of us Downtowners, myself included, it’s our living room.

Jerome Chism headlines Soulin’ on the River tonight at Mud Island River Park. This is a free show. Gates open at 6, music at 7. Lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets are welcome.

News from Pontotoc Lounge:

We’re excited to finally introduce this to you: We’re beginning quarterly wine program. On a three month basis we will be presenting wines from singular areas of the world that represent exciting unknown products that fill the spaces in the American wine lexicon. First stop is Spain. Who knows where we may go next…

Congrats to Shelby County Health Department Deputy Director David Sweat, who is leaving Memphis for Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where he’ll be a health department division director. Also, the COVID case numbers have fallen so far in Memphis (4.3 new cases per day per 100k, according to COVID Act Now) that the task force is going to do away with its weekly briefings.

Job news from The Brass Door, Downtown’s Irish pub and soccer watching mecca:

The Brass Door Pub in downtown Memphis is now hiring a line chef, nights and weekends, good pay, good pay, good hours, and good people! Come join our team! Five plus years cooking experience recommended.

The condo collapse near Miami Beach is a scary reminder that Downtown’s apartment buildings could topple when The Big One, the magnitude-6+ earthquake, finally comes to Memphis.

Derek Chauvin is expected to be sentenced for the murder of George Floyd at 1:30 this afternoon.

That’s it for this post. I have a 12:30 conference call on Zoom, and unlike most pandemic-era workers I don’t have experience with that platform. I’ll figure it out I guess. After the call ends, I’ll watch the Chauvin sentencing then head south to Trolley Night. Back tomorrow with more news.