Thursday update

Jerred Price, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, posted last night to Nextdoor that big changes are coming to the convention center district. The biggest change is that vehicular traffic will be reintroduced to that part of North Main Street, to allow better access to the convention center and nearby hotels. Other changes include

  • Bike lanes and better pedestrian access
  • New public art
  • A focus on making the area more walkable, to connect the convention center to nearby hotels and businesses

Sounds exciting! I assume the section of Main to which they are proposing the return of vehicular traffic is the area currently known as the Civic Center Plaza. That’s the 3 boring blocks between Adams and Exchange that are home to a bunch of government buildings. I would be all in favor of turning that into a walkable “district,” because what it is now serves as a disconnect between the Downtown core and The Pinch.

I want to share some information a chef friend of mine shared to Facebook yesterday. In this post-pandemic world, a lot of people are looking at restaurant menus and their response is, “You’re pricey.” Here’s the reality of the situation:

  • Beef prices are up 47%
  • Chicken prices are up 40% for breasts and over 100% for wings
  • Shrimp prices are up 25% and are suspected to have just started to rise
  • Pork is up 51%
  • Cod is up 30% with limited availability

Point being… cut your local restaurants some slack. They’re emerging from a pandemic like everyone else and doing what they must to survive.

Cut them some slack on FOOD prices, anyway. Now, if they charge more than $3.50 for a PBR? You have my permission to hate on them all you want.

The Wooten Brothers with opening act Dottie are the featured performers at the Get Loud! concert series in Handy Park, B.B. King Blvd. at Beale, tonight. The show starts at 6 PM and it is free and all-ages.

(fast forward to 1:25 to get past the introduction and to hear the Wooten Brothers)

Tonight’s showing of The Wizard of Oz as part of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Movie Night on Mud Island shows up as canceled due to rain. Let’s check the forecast… showers and thunderstorms becoming likely today (60% chance) and likely tonight (80% chance). Yep canceling sounds like a good move… I imagine there are some pretty serious electronics involved in setting up a movie screen in a park.

It’s time to renew a tradition not seen on this blog since February 2020. It’s the first of the month, and that means it’s time to ask, What’s happening at FedExForum this month? Just one event:

  • The Professional Bull Riders bring their Pendleton Whiskey Velocity Tour to FedExForum on July 31. Bull riders from around the world will come to compete for thousands of dollars and points in the Professional Bull Riders season.

After I posted that photo of the frozen Bushwacker that I had at Green Beetle Tuesday afternoon, several of my Facebook friends advised me to add a shot of Skrewball peanut butter whiskey next time. Sounds good.

The Terrace at River Inn over on Mud Island will be closed on 3 Thursdays this month for private events: July 8, 15, and 29.

From Slate: Bring back menus and get rid of QR codes. Hmmm. I have mixed feelings about this. Having guests scan a QR code to see a menu means that restaurants can change their menu as often as they feel like it, without incurring printing time and costs. Also, since the QR code generally links to the restaurant’s website, the practice ensures that menus on restaurant websites stay up to date. Also, there are still a large number of unvaccinated people out there, including kids, so handling menus could endanger them. There are plenty of arguments for keeping the QR codes, at least for a while longer if not forever.

On the other hand, requiring a QR code scan puts people who don’t carry smartphones at a disadvantage – they’re made to feel like second-class citizens at restaurants, requiring assistance to see a menu. Also, for those with limited data plans, the restaurant menus (and especially the images that come as part of the menus) eat into the monthly cap. And there are plenty of people (especially older people) who consider it impolite to have a phone out at the dinner table.

Today is Canada Day and Kooky Canuck is celebrating! Specials:

  • Canadian Burger, a side of poutine, and a mini maple bread pudding $19.99
  • 34 oz. Molson $4.99
  • Canadian bottled beer $3.00
  • Crown Royal shots $5.00

It’s International Chicken Wing Day. Of course, my top recommendation would be Gus’s, but I also have to note that the jumbo wings have been flying out of the kitchen at Blind Bear lately. People love ’em!

The National Civil Rights Museum has found a new president after a 5-month search: Dr. Russell Wigginton. Dr. Wigginton is a published author, has 29 years of related experience, and has a doctorate in African-American Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He recently served as vice-president for student life at his undergrad alma mater (and mine), Rhodes College.

The Redbirds wear their throwback uniforms as they take the field tonight at 7:10 at AutoZone Park. $2 beers, $1 hot dogs. Jacksonville is the opponent.

Don’t forget that there’s a drag show hosted by Holly Walnutz tonight at the Blind Bear at 8, and drag bingo hosted by Pattie O’Furniture at 9:30. $10 cover.

Gonna grab some takeout lunch from Stix and then I gotta lotta writing to do. Back tomorrow with more news.