Saturday update

A third bar plans to require full vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours for admission: RP Tracks. They’ll start that requirement September 1, giving their employees time to get vaccinated. Two Midtown LGBTQ bars, Dru’s Place and The Pumping Station, plan to start enforcing the requirement August 12.

I would love to see more bars (including my favorite Downtown bars) adopt the same requirement for patrons, but I understand why they probably won’t. Let me explain…


On the one hand, the crowd that’s out at 1 AM tends to be very centered around themselves and their group of friends. Things that are important to them might include

  1. Who’s having a pool party this weekend?
  2. What outfit am I going to wear to the club tonight?
  3. Did you hear about the servers at (insert bar name) who had a threesome in the ladies’ room?

Whereas, getting the latest info about COVID and taking steps to stay protected, well, that’s nice and all, and maybe one day they’ll get around to it, but it isn’t a priority like the things in the list above. But…

Let’s pause for a minute for some song lyrics.

Do you want to meet me at the bar? “Ya.”
Do you want to meet me at the lounge? “Ya.’
Do you want to meet me at the club? “Ya.”
Do you want to meet me Downtown? “Okay.”
-“Best Friends” by Sofi Tukker

If these people lose the ability to meet at the bar, or the club, or the lounge, guess what – they’ll do what they have to do to regain that ability – including getting the shot. So the bars could convince a lot of people to get vaccinated who might not ever get around to it otherwise.

So bars could perform a valuable public service!

On the other hand, from March 20, 2020 to May 14, 2021, bars operated between 0% and 50% capacity. And now we want to ask them to voluntarily turn 60%-70% of their customer base away at the door? That’s asking a lot.

Huge congratulations to Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers, who landed the #1 player in the class of 2022, Jalen Duren. However, Duren plans to reclassify to the class of 2021, so he’ll play for the Tigers this fall. Now that college athletes can profit off their name, image, and likeness, Duren is expected to ink a deal with FedEx.

There were chocolate salty ball shots yesterday to celebrate Duren coming to Memphis…

… and some were also celebrating the trade of Grayson Allen from the Memphis Grizzlies to Milwaukee. Although a decent contributor, some Memphians still saw Allen as the entitled kid who tripped his opponents when he played for Duke. The Grizzlies will get back Sam Merrill and two second-round draft picks, as well as a $4 million trade exception.

Rizzo’s diners: If you like the artwork on the wall, it’s for sale this weekend. Artist Brad Troxel wants to hang some new stuff, so the restaurant is having an “everything must go” sale art-wise.

Today is National Mustard Day.

The World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational is missing one of their very best volunteers this year.

It’s Disc Golf Day at the Flying Saucer. They’re releasing their newest limited-edition disc and giving away prizes.

Char Magnifico and Vintage play their final Memphis show tonight at The Vault at 8.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow or Monday with more news.

Friday update

It’s been in the news that New York City is going to require proof of vaccination for entry into bars, restaurants, gyms, and other businesses where people tend to congregate. The unvaccinated will have to drink and work out at home and order food to go. We now have our first two Memphis bars to voluntarily adopt such a policy: Dru’s Place and The Pumping Station in Midtown.

I want to say that I support the decision of those bars ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. As a regular customer of Downtown’s bars, I would like to encourage them to adopt the same policy. Let the fruits of reopening be enjoyed by those who did their part to stamp out COVID.

Haven’t got your shot yet? The MFD will have their mobile vaccination unit at the Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow, and you can get your vaccine for free. The Market runs every Saturday 8-1 under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson.

From Brewhound: Wiseacre is now canning non-beer cocktails called The Set Up. Years ago, the brewery obtained a distiller’s license to be able to brew high-gravity beers before the laws were changed. The same license now allows them to brew these ready-to-drink canned beverages.

The Orpheum is hiring a social media manager.

River Time Market & Deli has started requiring masks when you enter and as you wait for your food. To avoid a large number of people waiting in the restaurant, they ask that you call in your order in advance if possible.

Today is International Beer Day. May I recommend the PBR?

The Shelby County Health Department will require masks in all schools beginning Monday.

J. Buck performs at Mud Island River Park tonight as part of the Soulin’ on the River series. Gates at 6, music at 7.

Aubrey Ombre hosts drag queen bingo tonight at Moxy Memphis, 40 N. Front St., 7-9 PM.

Ashley McBride plays the Orpheum tonight at 8. Morgan Wade will open.

Otis Redding III plays the Halloran Centre tomorrow.

Sorry the posts have been hit-or-miss this week. It has to do with a non-computer equipment failure and I’m not sick or having problems with a psycho or anything like that. If you see me in person, ask and I’ll explain in more detail. Back tomorrow or Sunday with more news.

Wednesday update

Food Truck Thursdays return to Court Square tomorrow after an absence of more than a year. From 11 AM to 2 PM the following trucks will be parked and serving lunch:

  • Cousins Maine Lobster
  • El Mero Taco
  • Smurfey’s Smokehouse
  • Just Wraps
  • Mr. Frazier’s Fish Fry
  • Grill Masters
  • Lil’ Miracles
  • Stewart Treats
  • Moe’s
  • Mr. Casas
  • Ole School Pops & Dogs
  • The Fry Guy

The Flyer reports that Tandem Restaurant Partners (Carolina Watershed, Ben-Yay, Sugar Grits) plans to have Front Street Deli reopened by November.

Bardog has a new Caprese grilled cheese sandwich that looks yummy.

The Groove on Demand shuttle is expanding its hours (now in service until 9 PM weekdays and its territory (now including Soulsville).

Dealing with an equipment malfunction so posts may be hit-or-miss the next several days.

Monday update: Party pedal bike bad behavior and more

There’s video on Nextdoor this morning of two of the party pedal bikes – can’t tell which company’s bikes – parked side-by-side on Main Street between Beale and MLK. The riders of both bikes were dancing in the street as southbound traffic on Main was backed up all the way to Peabody Place. The operators of the bikes were clearly allowing this to happen and were not doing anything to get out of the way of traffic.

Apparently this is a regular occurrence. If anyone can capture video of this behavior and can throw it on YouTube, I would love to embed it in this blog and show the world what a nuisance those bikes are. If you do not know how to upload video to YouTube, I can help with that.

Also, another commenter says the bikes are known to stop behind the law school so riders can urinate in the bushes or in the dumpster enclosure.

Saturday I did something I never thought I’d do: I watched a live chess match. The Memphis Chess Club broadcast Saturday tournament matches live from its Facebook page. It was so interesting to watch! I know the basic movement of all the pieces – the bishop, the rook, the horsey, the queen, and so on – but an 8-year-old could probably beat me in a game.

Ghost River has responded to the heat by releasing its first seltzer. Walk the Lime, as you might guess, is a lime seltzer. Look for it in the taprooms on Beale and Main.

Mud Island River Park news:

Here’s a graphic for you concerning COVID-19 “breakthrough” cases, cases where someone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and gets the virus anyway.

The squares represent people who got vaccinated. The red square represents people who got vaccinated then caught COVID anyway. The yellow square represents people who got vaccinated, caught COVID anyway, and died.

For more info on COVID in Shelby County, read James Aycock’s COVID Week-in-Review.

It’s a weird start to the month here, so I’m going to cut this blog short. Nothing major, just Murphy’s Law hitting in 3 different ways simultaneously. Back tomorrow or whenever some of this stuff gets fixed.