Friday update

The Redbirds take the field tonight at 7:10 as the Memphis Wet Ribs. It’s all part of Memphis Ribs Weekend at AutoZone Park. Are you on Team Wet Ribs or Team Dry Rub? There’s a meat & greet specialty ticket that allows you to chat with BBQ legend Melissa Cookston. Holders of this ticket will get to try ribs with a signature sauce and rub developed by Cookston, as well as pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad, cookies, and two drinks (water or soft drinks) per guest. has published its Ultimate Memphis Bachelorette Party Guide.  They named some pretty good places and they didn’t mention those awful f*cking party pedal bikes, so I’ll give the guide a little link love here. One thing they got wrong: The late-night trip to Raiford’s is not optional. It’s mandatory.

Grizzly Bear Blues has a look at the two players the Memphis Grizzlies acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves: Jarrett Culver and Juancho Hernangomez. The Grizzlies still have more moves to make to reduce their current roster of 32,874,590 players to the league-mandated 15 by the start of the 2021-22 season.

The DM’s Jennifer Biggs features the Majestic Grille’s fish and chips in this week’s My Favorite Things column. Chef Patrick Reilly uses Memphis Made Junt in his fish batter.

Tickets for A Gangsta’s Pain Tour “Bagg Bday Edition” featuring Moneybagg Yo, September 21 at the Cannon Center, go on sale this morning at 10.

Today is National Bacon Lovers Day. Go get you a bacon biscuit at River Time Market & Deli, the Madison Avenue burger at Huey’s, or the Yonge Street Burger at Kooky Canuck.

Charvey Mac will perform at The Vault this Saturday from 8 to 11.

Looks like Boston’s in the path to take a hit from Tropical Storm Henri, which may strengthen to a hurricane before it makes landfall Sunday evening.

Wrestling fans: If you haven’t heard, you might want to tune in to TNT at 9 tonight for AEW’s new show Rampage. Rumor has it C.M. Punk will make his debut with the company, his first time in a wrestling ring in 7 years.

That’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow with more.

Thursday update – mask mandate in Shelby County begins at 7 AM tomorrow

It’s official. Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Michelle Taylor, County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph, and County Mayor Lee Harris have issued an amended health directive. Masks will be required when in public indoor spaces in Shelby County for those 2 and over, beginning 7 AM Friday, August 20.

Spaces in which masks are required include restaurants and bars; as before, masks can be removed once patrons are seated. Masks can also be removed in gyms for activities that require physical exertion, such as cardio machines. They can also be removed for business activities for which it wouldn’t make any sense to have them on, such as getting a facial.

The good news is that the health department has not decided to bring back a requirement of 6 feet of social distancing, which was rumored at one point Wednesday afternoon. Bringing that requirement back could have been a death sentence for many Memphis restaurants, now back at full capacity and struggling to make back the massive amounts of money they lost in 2020.

Nor will the directive require cancellation or limited attendance for mass events, which would have been disastrous for events like the upcoming World Championship Hot Wing Fest at Tiger Lane on August 28. That too was rumored at one point Wednesday afternoon.

The mask requirement will remain in place until COVID case and hospitalization numbers drop substantially, or until 70% of Shelby County residents are vaccinated. According to COVID Act Now, the county currently stands at 47.9%.

I absolutely hate this cliche but will use it for the mask mandate… it is what it is. Let’s mask up, realize it could be a lot worse, and get the hospitalization numbers down and the vaccination numbers up so we can take these stupid things off ASAP.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has announced the food trucks that will be at Court Square for Food Truck Thursday today 11 AM to 2 PM:

This week’s trucks are:
and MORE!!

Also, there will be live music by John Best.

There are some new rules for Wednesday night Bike Nights on Beale. Apparently things got a little too rowdy and the August 4 and 11 Bike Nights had to be canceled:

– All motorcyclists & passengers must wear a helmet while riding.
-Motorcycles on Beale Street are to be driven at a slow speed while also being mindful of pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right of way.
– Any amplification of music from the motorcycle must be kept at a low volume.
– Performing burnouts, donuts or any similar activity is strictly prohibited.

Grace Animal Hospital on South Main seeks an Associate Veterinarian. Two positions are open.

Wahlburgers will open soon in Bass Pro at the Pyramid. The Memphis location of the chain founded by Donnie and Marky Mark and their brother Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg was originally set for Beale Street but there were construction problems. Glad to see they found a home in Bass Pro.

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog recently paid a visit to the Blues Hall of Fame on South Main.

It’s National Hot and Spicy Food Day. Here are a few recommendations:

  • The Holy Smoke Tenders at Kooky Canuck
  • The Spicy Mane wood-fired pizza at Silly Goose (Arribbiatta sauce, soppressata, pepperoni, Calabrian chili, oregano, spicy honey)
  • The Texas Toast Burger at Huey’s (pepper jack cheese, onions, and jalapenos on Texas toast)
  • Fried Jalapeno Chips at Flying Fish
  • Your favorite item at Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos with extra red sauce on the side
  • Your favorite entree from The Nine Thai and Sushi; ask them if they can make it a bit spicy

The Consortium MMT presents two DJs tonight at the Moxy Hotel, 40 N. Front: DJ Mike at 6 and Brandon Kinder at 8.

The Redbirds host the Nashville Sounds tonight at 7:10 at AutoZone Park. They’ll have on their throwback Memphis Chicks uniforms, and they’ll have throwback prices of $2 for domestic drafts and $1 for hot dogs.

A lot of new drag shows have popped up since COVID restrictions were lifted in May… I wonder how the mask mandate will affect them? A big part of the shows is the outrageous expressions the queens have on their faces as they perform.

That’s it for now. Go enjoy your last day without a mask requirement for a while.

Wednesday update

Sometimes part of being an adult is admitting you were wrong. Sometimes it means it means having to admit you didn’t fully think through a position you took – or that you took it based on emotion as opposed to logic and what I like to call “doing what works.” For me, today is one of those days.

In recent weeks, I have been opposed to bringing back a countywide mask mandate. I thought that requiring vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to enter public spaces such as bars, restaurants, and gyms would be sufficient. New York City, San Francisco, and New Orleans have adopted such a measure, and it’s under consideration in L.A.

However, the headline article in today’s Daily Memphian has changed my mind. The ER directors of all the major hospitals in the county have called for an immediate re-implementation of the countywide mask mandate. Not just for schools, but for everyone entering a public, indoor facility.

Here’s the thing: Banning unvacc’d people from restaurants, bars, and gyms would drive the vaccination rate way up. But that doesn’t provide aid to the ER doctors today, which is when they need it. Consider this: Let’s say you realize getting a vaccine is a must, and you go get your first dose of Pfizer or Moderna today, Wednesday, August 18. You’d then return for your second dose in three weeks, Wednesday, September 8. But you wouldn’t be fully vaccinated until two weeks after that, September 22. The ER doctors say they expect hospital COVID cases to increase sixfold by the end of September.

And we’re already in a situation where MFD Chief Gina Sweat has already said, if you call for an ambulance, they can’t guarantee that there will be one for you. Doctors have said that if you try to come to the hospital – for COVID, a broken leg in a car wreck, or a heart attack – they may not have a bed for you.

In other words, if we don’t do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID, people will die needlessly. And masks are proven to reduce the spread of COVID.

I still support doing what NYC, San Francisco, and New Orleans did, regulating that only the vaccinated can have nice things. But that alone isn’t enough.

On to the news… according to Nextdoor, there was an armed robbery on Monteigne Blvd. near South Bluffs Apartments around midnight Sunday. A resident was robbed and beaten but is said to be okay. Keep in mind the crime happened INSIDE A GATED COMMUNITY. That wall that seals off South Bluffs near Georgia Avenue only appears about 6 feet high when I look at it on Google StreetView. A crew of 2 or more could easily scale that with each other’s help.

Karly Driftwood, Jeremy Stanfill, Paul Crum, and Todd Nations will put on a show at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, this Friday 7 to 9.

The MBJ has info on the new Sweet Magnolia gelato location coming to The Edge at 655 Marshall next year.

Action News 5’s latest 5 Star Story: The show goes on at the Orpheum

Today is National Fajita Day and Pinot Noir Day.

A Shelby County Schools teacher has died after catching COVID in the classroom. Kids were not known to transmit earlier COVID variants much, but they do appear to be transmitting the Delta variant, putting their teachers and classmates at risk.

There’s free outdoor disco this Saturday on S. Second St. to celebrate Raiford’s Day.

It’s been suggested that I create a TikTok for Perjorie T. Roll. I will look into it.

There will be a free vaccination event at the Greenlaw Community Center, 190 Mill, this Saturday 3-6 PM. The event is coordinated by Cordelia’s Market, the Memphis Fire Department, and UTHSC. Everyone getting a Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the MFD mobile vaccination unit will receive a free Cordelia’s hot dog and soft drink.

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

Tuesday update

Do you miss Cocozza, the Italian-American ghost restaurant that operated out of the Majestic Grille’s space during the pandemic? This Thursday, August 19, they’re bringing back some Cocozza favorites for one night only. 901-522-8555 for reservations; the restaurant will fill up as people come to get their red-sauce favorites.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association has announced that the Orpheum will host this month’s membership meeting on Tuesday, August 24. County Commissioner Eddie Jones and City Councilwoman Patrice Robinson will speak. Social hour 5-6 in the lobby, meeting 6-7 in the main auditorium. Complimentary wine and snacks for members.

A Mississippi contractor has been cited for violations in the renovation of the old Butcher Shop building at 99-105 S. Front, the Daily Memphian reports. A worker fell to his death on the construction site on February 23. TOSHA found that a winch designed for automotive uses was being used to lift wooden beams on the site. The workers wore harnesses but they were not tethered to anything.

Wow. I can see the Butcher Shop construction from my living room window. I had no idea a man died. I probably watched him walk up and down the building’s fire escape many times.

From the Memphis Flyer: Fewer panhandling arrests were made during the pandemic. Panhandling is not illegal in Memphis, but aggressive panhandling (following or intimidating the person being asked for money) is.

FedExForum announced that a live broadcast of WWE Monday Night Raw will come to the arena Monday, December 6.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. has announced two late summer seasonal beers. Aye-Aye Captain is a tropical ale brewed with lime and mango. Covhefe makes its return, a Hefeweizen with a hint of coconut.

The Memphis Flyer’s Bruce V has a look at the services the Hospitality HUB offers to the homeless. Wonderful organization. If you want to do something to make the lives of homeless people better, a donation to the HUB is so much more likely to help than giving money to a panhandler on the street.

The Memphis Redbirds return to town today for a homestand against the Nashville Sounds. Tonight is Nacho Average Tuesday, where everyone gets a free order of Ballpark Nachos included in their ticket. This Friday there will be a specialty ticket that includes a Redbirds jersey pullover.

Memphis Dining Week begins today. Diners can enjoy prix fixe menus at lunch and dinner at 13 participating restaurants. $1 of each meal will be donated to Refuge Memphis. To-go options are available. The Downtown restaurants that are participating include

From Fast Company: There are now lab-grown mouse-meat cookies for cats

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more.

Sunday update

Bardog Tavern has announced temporary hours for the next two weeks, August 15-August 28.

  • Monday-Friday: noon to 3 AM
  • Saturday-Sunday: 6 PM to 3 AM

Like many other restaurants, they have been hit by staffing issues as we ride out these troubled times. Sending positive vibes to all the folks there.

The planners of the next Ales for Alzheimer’s have settled on a date for the next event. It will be at the Arcade Friday, October 29. More details to come, but you can go ahead and get the Untappd app on your phone to get ready. Expect to try some rare beers not normally seen in Memphis.

The 6th annual Beale Street Cigar Festival will happen Labor Day weekend, September 3-5. The event is presented by cigar bar Robusto by Havana Mix and is hosted by Big Sue and Devin Steele. Featured entertainment includes H-Town, Norman Brown, PC Band, and DJ Spinderella. Meet representatives of some of the biggest brands in the cigar industry.

The Greater Memphis Chamber’s blog has a profile of Octavius Nickson, whose company Nickson General Contractors is in charge of the renovation of Downtown’s Cossitt Library.

Here’s a link to independent data analyst James Aycock’s COVID Week-in-Review. Standout statistic for this week: If your child is in a class of 25 at school in Shelby County, the chance that one of the kids in the class has COVID is 31%.

Chapman Furniture, the last furniture-only retailer on Main Street, is closing, reports The Daily Memphian. (Subscriber-only link; if you’re a subscriber, be sure to click through, there’s a fun story about Raiford doing some furniture shopping.)

Memphis 901 FC battled Birmingham to a draw yesterday. Next match is on the 25th at FC Tulsa.

A passenger of a car was found dead from gunshot wounds at Union and B.B. King just before midnight Saturday.

Happy Sunday, YOGA! Free, all-levels yoga classes return to Fourth Bluff Park this evening from 5:30 to 6:30. Bridget Sisney of Universoul Wellness will be the instructor. But wait, there’s more! Following the class, the nearby Moxy Hotel will hold an event called Namastay where you can bring your yoga gear to Bar Moxy and receive a $5 Make You Holla Special – that’s a discount on Old Dominick Hard Lemonade, Old Dominick Crushed Orange, or Old Dominick Memphis Mule.

The GOODLife DJs will perform a set 1-4 this afternoon at Cordelia’s Market’s Back-to-School Celebration.

The Bugaloos will bring their Magical History Tour to Slider Inn Downtown tonight at 6.

There’s a martini and food tasting event called Taste the Tinis today at Jack Robinson Gallery, 400 S. Front, today 3 to 7.

There’s a lunch and learn about financial planning for your future this Saturday at the Majestic Grille.

Where to brunch today? It won’t be Bardog, since they’re not opening until 6… now that I think about it, I’ve received several tips this past week that The Vault has good deals on PBR pitchers. Maybe I’ll go down and check that out. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

In the news: New Orleans to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test to enter restaurants, bars, indoor events. A city practically in Shelby County’s backyard has adopted this requirement – Mayor Harris, SCHD Director Taylor, please consider doing the same! Let the good times roll, but only for people who behave responsibly! Makes so much more sense than a blanket mask mandate.

The Daily Memphian reports that a renovation grant has been sought for a building out in The Edge. 694-704 Madison most recently held Trolley Stop Market. The building will be part of the Orleans Station development with retail and nearly 400 apartments. The Trolley Stop Market building will house a multi-tenant development with a health focus.

It’s been announced that the next Ales to End Alzheimer’s local event will be held on one of the Fridays in October. Organizers are working to finalize details.

It’s opening day for the Premier League and Brass Door will have the Arsenal vs. Brentford match on at 2 PM.

From Lifehacker: Why you really shouldn’t install the WatchOS beta. In summary: WatchOS, unlike MacOS and iOS, doesn’t let you downgrade to a previous version. So if WatchOS 8 beta is buggy and unstable, you’re stuck with it.

Comma Comedians host another edition of Drafts and Laughs at the Memphis Made taproom tomorrow night 7:30 to 9. Free show.

There’s an Elvis tribute with Joe Finkle, John Snoke, Johnny Hatton, and RJ Jukes tonight and tomorrow at Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe, 310 Beale, 7 PM.

There’s an event called The Painted Knife tonight at 9 at Earnestine & Hazel’s. Based on the names of the performers (e.g. “Honey Moon”) I’m guessing this must be a drag show.

Carolina Watershed hosts a Party at the Shed tonight with dudecalledrob, DrewBeats with Urban Jones, Gill_Yum, and Odd Wilson. $5 cover.

The Tiger Tailgate team will serve some complimentary burgers and dogs tomorrow noon-4 at Grind City Brewing. Come enjoy some great beverages and get excited for football.

Tonight’s a good night to book a reservation at the Majestic Grille – it’s National Filet Mignon Day. Nobody does it better!

If you go to Downtown Walgreens today, take cash, because their connection to the card networks is down. On the plus side, they have Mardi Gras King Cake ice cream back in stock, and it’s on sale for $5.49.

Grace Askew performs tonight at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, 6 to 8 PM.

That’s it for now. I plan to hang close to home today to avoid an unwanted Friday the 13th encounter with a crazy person. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to report that a party is coming to that neighborhood. Choose901 is throwing a 901 Day party in the heart of The Edge, at the intersection of Monroe and Marshall, Wednesday, September 1 from 4 to 9 PM. Here are some of the things that will happen at this event:

  • Music by Capital A and DJ Bizzle Bluebland of WYXR
  • Food trucks including Sabor Caribe (an Edge District restaurant), Arnold’s BBQ (also an Edge District restaurant), Gourmade, Riko’s Kickin Chicken, and MemPops
  • Memphis Made (to open its second location in The Edge later in the year) serving beer
  • Ashley Butler of Ashe Bar slingin’ the drinks
  • Photo booth

Read more in Choose901’s ultimate 9/01 Day guide.

Today is National Vinyl Record Day and there will be a celebration in the Central Station Lounge. Come enjoy sets from local DJs and a guest from Philadelphia. $1350 in vinyl and vinyl-related merchandise will be given away.

The final Get Loud! on Beale kicks off tonight in Handy Park, corner of Beale and B.B. King Blvd., at 6 PM. Marc Broussard headlines with Turnstyles opening. This event is family-friendly and free.

Tug’s Casual Grill will have live music by Jon Hay Trio in its courtyard tonight 6 to 9 PM.

A woman is on life support after people shot into the car she was riding in near B.B. King Blvd. and Pontotoc.

Cordelia’s Market will host a Back to School Party this Sunday 1-4 PM including

  • Specials on school supplies
  • Live music
  • Say Cheese! and Love Quesadillas food trucks
  • A crafts table
  • COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) by the MFD mobile unit

Blues legend Joe Bonamassa comes to the Cannon Center October 22. Tickets are $79-$199. Totally worth it though.

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Given the August I’ve had so far, I think I’ll spend the day hiding under the bed like a cat.

Carolina Watershed has karaoke tonight from 6 to 10 with $20 seltzer buckets and $6 frozen cocktails.

Hard Mountain Dew will soon be a thing, thanks to a partnership between Boston Beer (brewer of Sam Adams) and Pepsi. DOWNTOWN BAR OWNERS/MANAGERS: If you’d like to see me holding a beverage in my hand regularly that is not a PBR, this is your opportunity.

There’s an Elvis tribute at the Hard Rock tonight at 7.

Don’t forget there are food trucks in Court Square today at lunch.

That’s it for today. A few minutes ago I received a message I’ve been waiting to read for 11 days. I hope it’s true. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

This is going to be a fairly short one.

The woman who allegedly shot her baby daddy other baby mama and also an innocent bystander on Beale Saturday has been taken into custody. Authorities say the shooting occurred “with thousands of other people present” on Beale Street. If the shooter is found guilty, I hope the judge adds extra years to her sentence for that.

Mayor Strickland and the Downtown Memphis Commission are looking at bringing back Beale Street Bucks to address the problem. Beale Street Bucks is a weekend cover charge during certain hours of the night.

A lane on the I-55 bridge will close for routine inspection tomorrow through Wednesday, August 19.

The County Commission meeting yesterday sounds like the biggest shitshow they’ve had so far in calendar 2021. I’m glad they didn’t pass a resolution asking the health department to reinstate a county-wide mask mandate. Vaccination mandates by businesses (that apply to customers as well as employees) are our ticket out of this disaster – not overly authoritarian mask mandates by governments.

That’s it. I have something to do tomorrow morning so I’m not sure if there will be a post then.

Monday update

There will be a block party tonight at the corner of North Main and Exchange. The Nick Black Band will provide live music. The Fuel food truck will be on site and the first 50 guests will get a free meal. There will also be a sidewalk bar. 5 PM is the kickoff time. This event is presented by the Renasant Convention Center, Memphis Tourism, and the Downtown Memphis Commission.

I don’t normally have a lot of praise for Ole Miss on this blog, but today I do. Here we are in the Dirty South where many people still believe COVID is a hoax and the vaccines are dangerous – yet head coach Lane Kiffin announced that his football program is 100% vaccinated. That includes players, coaches, and staff. Well done, indeed.

From Travel & Leisure: The 10 drinks you should never order at a bar

MPD now has a suspect in that shooting Saturday night on Beale Street. The suspect is wanted on attempted first-degree and attempted second-degree murder charges.

James Taylor and Jackson Browne play a rescheduled date at FedExForum this Saturday.

The Memphis Chicken & Beer Festival returns to the Liberty Bowl this Saturday. $40 includes a sampling glass and 90 different beverages to try. Food (presumably chicken) will be available to purchase.

The South Main Association holds its annual South Main Social tomorrow, Tuesday, August 10, at Old Dominick Distillery. Speakers include Dr. Charles Hogan from Memphis Spine & Sport, Shaston Hunter from Life Church, and Jared Welch from Civil Axe Throwing. 6 PM start time with live music after the program.

That’s all for today. Back tomorrow if there’s news to report.

Sunday update

River City Record Shop, the new vinyl shop with listening stations and live performances set to open in September, has its website up now. It’ll give you a sneak peek of what to expect in the store and you can preorder upcoming releases and get info on new ones. The record store will have a grand opening party Saturday, September 11 from 2 to 8 PM.

Morning Brew, one of my favorite daily morning e-newsletters, has launched a month-long crash course on cryptocurrency. New lessons are added three times a week. Morning Brew’s writers have an incredible knack for taking technical concepts and making them accessible to the average guy or gal. If you have any curiosity about crypto I recommend taking a look. The course is completely free.

The 2021 Summer Olympics are over, but good news… we are less than 6 months away from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The opening date is February 4. CURLING!!! Best sport ever!

Now, this makes no sense. It’s International Cat Day but it’s also Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. Cats are terrified of zucchini, cucumbers, and similarly shaped veggies.

Sigh… there was a shooting on Beale last night. It was reportedly the result of the victim getting in an argument with the victim baby daddy other baby mama. A second victim, a man, was an innocent bystander. I don’t know if the tourists I met Friday afternoon at the Silly Goose are reading this, but if you are, this is why we told you “locals don’t go to Beale Street at night.”

Local 24 has a look at the mobile vaccination center at the Memphis Farmers Market yesterday. The center will return to the Market on the 28th to administer second doses.

Elvis Week 2021, marking the 44th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, begins Wednesday. Here’s the schedule.

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