Tuesday update

For the second time in a week, an owner of a Beale Street club has died. Tommy Peters was the owner of B.B. King’s Blues Club, as well as Itta Bena on the third floor of the same building, Lafayette’s, and Moondance. Tommy was 66 and died from a combination of kidney failure and COVID. His death follows that of Robert “Lunchbox” McCrae, who owned People’s Billiards, last week.

From WREG: Reckless driving Downtown caught on camera. Not only did WREG’s photographers film the reckless driving, but there were also videos posted to Nextdoor. On the Nextdoor videos, a police car can be seen driving through the area, observing cars doing donuts, and not doing much about it.

The DM has part 2 of its interview with immunology experts Drs. McCullers and Schaffner. Highlights:

  • They say that in times of high community transmission (such as right now) we should not be sitting shoulder-to-shoulder at Tigers games (even outdoors for football) or concerts.
  • They liken not getting vaccinated to running a red light: It’s not just yourself you’re putting in danger by doing so.
  • A vaccine passport – requiring proof of vaccination for people to be able to do the things they want to do – would help us get out of this pandemic.

Pam and Terry are changing their performance hours at the Ghost River taproom on Beale Street. Catch the duo 4:30-7:30 PM Saturdays and 4-7 PM Sundays.

117 Prime will be closed today to give their employees a little rest and relaxation.

From Food & Wine: Every Cheez-It flavor, taste-tested and ranked

It’s National Beer Lovers Day. May I recommend the PBR?

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

Labor Day update

Ah, the sounds of Downtown on the Sunday night of a long holiday weekend.

First I heard a cacophony of car horns that went on for at least 15 minutes.

Then I heard tires squealing, followed by the sound of a police cruiser’s horn, then a police siren.

About 12:45 I heard women arguing with each other, and then a single gunshot.

I went out for a few hours for brunch yesterday, but I decided to stay home last night. I didn’t want to be in the middle of all that – even though the place I would have gone was a mere three-block walk down a pedestrian mall.

If you still haven’t got the vaccine for COVID, please read this Daily Memphian interview. Just the first third of the interview is enough. It’s with Dr. Jon McCullers, CEO of the College of Medicine at UT Health Sciences Center, and Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A few quotes:

  • McCullers: “We haven’t seen a vaccine that’s worked this well in a long, long time.”
  • McCullers: “The combination of effectiveness and safety, we’ve never seen before in a vaccine like this.”
  • Schaffner: “We had a backlog of science that had been developing over 15 years. When this new challenge arrived, we were able to focus on that science and in record time create a vaccine that exceeded our expectations.”

Local 24 has a look back at this weekend’s Beale Street Cigar Festival.

Also on Local 24: Video of the amazing bicycle kick that won Saturday’s match for Memphis 901 FC

Labor Day is never a newsy day, so that’s it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

I’d like to start off today with a possibly crazy idea. If Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF leave the American Athletic Conference to join the Big 12 along with BYU, should the University of Memphis become independent for football purposes?

Of course, when one thinks of FBS independents, one thinks of Notre Dame. I’m not suggesting that the Tigers possess the prestige of that storied football program. However, Army and BYU have been FBS independents for years, and they’ve done pretty well. BYU’s schedule shows that it’s possible to be independent and still book top-notch opponents.

Maybe do what UConn did? FBS independence and play all other sports in the Big East?

Of course, the main goal of college football is to get to bowls (and to earn the money that comes from being in bowls). Memphis would lose the AAC’s bowl tie-ins if it went independent. Then again, the #1 school in the AAC goes to a less prestigious bowl than the #8 team in the SEC… would it really matter?

The other unspoken goal of college football programs is to get on national TV as often as possible. Would that be harder for Memphis to do without its AAC connections?

I dunno… maybe the negatives would outweigh the positives. It’d certainly be the boldest possible move. One could argue that it hasn’t worked out for UConn, but UConn’s football team sucks whereas Memphis’ is good enough to make a bold move.

Bardog Tavern will be closed Labor Day, September 6, through Sunday, September 12 for repairs. The bartenders tell me that once they reopen, they hope to have the downstairs open for weekend brunch again.

Bardog has a special promotion running through October 2. Buy a Yuengling Lager draft beer and receive a ticket for a drawing to win a Yuengling tailgate package. The banner inside the bar shows photos of a Yuengling-themed grill, cooler, beer pong table, and cornhole boards. The drawing will be Saturday, October 2 at 10:30 PM and you must be present to win.

Man… Georgia’s defense absolutely crushed Clemson last night. It was a pleasure to watch! I can’t remember the last time I saw that many sacks. I just checked Georgia’s schedule and they do not play Alabama or Texas A&M during the regular season. The only ranked opponent they have left is Florida on October 30. Looks like the Dawgs have a cakewalk to the SEC title game.

Memphis 901 FC picked up 3 valuable points in league standings yesterday. Two goals in stoppage time gave Memphis a 3-2 victory over Birmingham. The club is now only 4 points out of the playoffs in the USL’s Central Division.

Folks from Mississippi Wildlife Preservation will be at Bass Pro at the Pyramid from 2 to 5 today educating people about wildlife on the Mississippi. The presentation is free and you’ll get to touch raptor wings and feet.

I guess I’ll go get one more Bardog visit in before it closes for the week. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

It’s been a sad end to this week. In the past 48 hours, two of my friends have lost loved ones. Also, many Downtowners are grieving the loss of a pillar of the community (RIP Lunchbox). My heart hurts for everyone who is missing someone today.

It’s the first full College Football Saturday of the year. The Memphis Tigers will host Nicholls at the Liberty Bowl tonight at 6. If you have ESPN+ you can watch the broadcast. Other games of note:

  • 19 Penn State at 12 Wisconsin, 11 AM, FOX
  • Rice at Arkansas, 1 PM, SEC Network
  • 1 Alabama vs. 14 Miami in Atlanta, 2:30 PM, ABC
  • 17 Indiana at 18 Iowa, 2:30 PM, BTN
  • Miami (Ohio) at 8 Cincinnati, 2:30 PM, ESPN+
  • 23 Louisiana at 21 Texas, 3:30 PM, FOX
  • Texas Tech at Houston, 6 PM, ESPN
  • 5 Georgia vs. 3 Clemson in Charlotte, 6:30 PM, ABC
  • 16 LSU at UCLA, 7:30 PM, FOX
  • BYU vs. Arizona in Las Vegas, 9:30 PM. ESPN

If you’re a Memphis fan, you will want to root for Miami (Ohio) Texas Tech, and Arizona in their games today. We want Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, and UCF (which played earlier in the week) to have bad seasons so those schools look less attractive for Big 12 expansion, opening a spot for the Tigers.

… Well crap. Bleacher Report says those schools have already applied and may have an answer by September 10. Come on, guys, take a year to think about it.

I’ll probably watch the Georgia-Clemson game at the Blind Bear, where I will be rooting heavily for the Dawgs. It will be weird watching the first week of college football without my buddy Mac behind the bar.

I’ve had several people ask, “How long do you think the Shelby County Health Department will keep the mask mandate (for everyone, that is, not just in schools) in place?” An article in the Daily Memphian provides a clue. “In late July, the CDC said even vaccinated people needed to mask in places where there were 50 daily cases per 100,000 people.” According to COVID Act Now, the rolling 7-day average of new cases in Shelby County went above 50 per 100K on August 5, and the mask mandate was issued two weeks later. So the health department was possibly following CDC guidance. We hit a high of 113.9 per 100K on August 23, and have since fallen to 79.1 per 100K. We have a ways to go to get below 50 and stay there.

Today is International Bacon Day.

There’s a free color magick workshop at the Broom Closet today. Understanding the frequencies at which colors vibrate is key to a magickal practice. Shop owner Rev. Omma will conduct this class.

Christina Chandler and Bailey Bigger will perform at South Main Sounds tonight at 6.

Mephit Furmeet is back. What’s that, you ask? People who dress in animal costumes gather for a convention at the Whispering Woods Hotel in Olive Branch. Despite the distance from Downtown, now and then a furry or two will pop up near Beale Street.

Speaking of Beale Street: I haven’t seen any announcement from MPD or from the managers of the street that there will be security checkpoints or a cover charge to get on the street during certain hours. I checked all the local TV stations, the CA, the DM, and the Flyer… nothing. That makes me think MPD’s top brass didn’t learn anything from the July 4 weekend. I put the probability that we see a “Weekend Shooting on Beale Street” headline by midday Monday at 75%.

Ida evacuees: I did a quick “where the Downtown locals go” guide for you earlier this week that’ll give you some alternatives to Beale.

The Super 5 Acoustic Trio plays Blind Bear tonight 10 to 1.

That’s it for today. Go Tigers (Memphis Tigers, that is), Go Hogs, and Go Dawgs.

Friday update

Memphis is getting snubbed again. The Big 12 conference needs to add more teams if it is to remain a Power Five conference following the loss of Texas and Oklahoma. The Athletic reported yesterday that it’s looking at Cincinnati, Houston, UCF, and BYU as possible additions. If you’re a Daily Memphian subscriber, be sure to read this college administrators’ discussion of what Memphis needs to do to get respect. A victory in December’s AAC championship game would help, as would a Final Four appearance next spring.

The CA has a full list of who bid on the 100 N. Main redevelopment project. There are some well-known Downtown developers, including Chance Carlisle and Tom Intrator.

New Tigers assistant Rasheed Wallace believes young players rely too much on the 3. YES YES YES YES YES!!! I have wanted to SCREAM this at every Memphis Tigers player for at least 5 years. If the Tigers could learn to stop jacking up 3s from 25 feet out, and if they could learn to make their free throws, they could get to the Final Four.

Random fact I learned yesterday: DGX sells pinatas.

Full Moon Kayak returns to the Wolf River Harbor tonight. There will be free 30-minute kayak rentals and a DJ.

A new 2-day festival promoting small businesses, Main Street Festival, comes to Court Square Saturday 1-6 and Sunday 1-5.

Women of Soul featuring Keia Johnson, Tonya Dyson, and Rolynne comes to the Orpheum tonight. Tickets are $35.

Y’all, PLEASE go get vaccinated. Yes, it’s possible to catch COVID after you’ve been fully vaccinated, but these are the facts, plain and simple:

  • If you’re vaccinated, you’re much less likely to catch COVID than if you’re not
  • If you’re vaccinated and you do catch COVID, it’s much less likely to be a case that leads to hospitalization or death

I’m going to make one more statement: I really cannot understand why restaurant employees, who were hurt more than anyone by the ridiculously stupid restrictions in place for a year, are hesitant to get the shot. Do you want to return to the days of closing at 10 PM, requiring food to be purchased with alcohol, and no seating at the bar? Health Department director Dr. Taylor has said no option is off the table.

Back tomorrow with more news.

9/01 Day update

It’s 901 Day, a celebration of the Memphis metro named after the 3-digit area code. Several restaurants are offering specials. Let’s have a look:

  • 2-piece fish & chips at the Brass Door for $9.01 11 AM to 3 PM today
  • Cacio e Pepe for $9.01 + 20% off bottles of wine at Catherine & Mary’s
  • Hog & Hominy’s poutine (neck bone gravy, cheese curd, chili oil for $9.01 at the Gray Canary
  • Sushi rolls and sushi burritos for $9.01 at Stix
  • Southland Derby | Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Aperol, Lillet Blanc, Crosstown Traffic IPA Syrup, Lime Juice $9.01 at 117 Prime

Plus, $9.01 tickets to tonight’s Memphis 901 FC home match + a complimentary beer to those 21 and up.

River City Records has selected Be The Love You Want by local band Southern Avenue as their spotlighted album of the month. They’ll be playing it in the store all throughout September, and the band will be in-store Thursday, September 30 for an intimate listening party.

As if the city hasn’t spent enough money on Beale Street Landing already, they’re about to spend $800,000 more on a renovation. A new facade is necessary after cracks developed in the old one.

The Brass Door has added a portobello mushroom burger to its menu for their vegetarian and veggie-loving customers.

Choose901 has published a local’s guide to The Edge. Of course, there was supposed to be a 901 Day party in that neighborhood today, but it has been canceled due to COVID concerns.

Jason Munz of the CA has the inside scoop on how Penny was able to land Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates for Memphis. Many people (myself included) assumed it was the opportunity to make money under the new NIL rules. Actually, both recruits know where they want to go NBA-wise and see Penny and his staff as people who can teach them how to get there.

Once again, news reports need to look at Google Maps before they report a shooting as having happened Downtown. Joubert Avenue is about half a mile north of Mallory.

New Memphis has its annual Exposure event to celebrate 901 Day at FedExForum 5 to 6:30 PM.

That’s it for today. Happy 901 Day and I’ll see you tomorrow.