Monday update – a quick one

I said I was gonna take today off, but I have a high-priority news item.

The Majestic Grille is getting ready to send out an email announcing their Christmas events, including Brunch with Santa and the annual showing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. If you are interested in attending these events, you need to do two things:

  1. Go to their website and sign up to be on their email list. (Scroll to the bottom of the website’s main page to see the signup form)
  2. Whitelist email from the Majestic in whatever email client you use to make sure the announcement doesn’t end up in your spam folder. If you use Gmail, make a rule to send email from Majestic to your Primary tab rather than Promotions.

When you get the email, make reservations for the events you want to attend IMMEDIATELY. Do not say to yourself, “I’ll do it later,” because these events have a history of being booked solid within HOURS of the announcement.

That’s all for now. Happy Halloween.

Sunday update

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers take on Lane College in their second exhibition game of the season today. It will tip off at FedExForum at 1 PM. The game will be on 98.1 FM but won’t be on TV.

Due to weather, Memphis 901 FC’s Eastern Conference semifinal vs. the Tampa Bay Rowdies was postponed yesterday. The match will be played at AutoZone Park at 3:00 today.

Desmond Bane scored 32 and Dillon Brooks scored 30 but it was not enough to stop the Utah Jazz last night. They beat the Grizzlies 124-123. The Grizzlies’ regular-season record is now 4-2.

How about those L.A. Lakers though! 0-5!

Author Sheree Renee Thomas will have a book signing for her book Black Panther – Panther’s Rage this afternoon from 3 to 5 at Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum on N. Second.

Bardog now has Cinnamon Toast Crunch shots. They’re $7 + liquor and sales tax, so probably $9something.

The girl who invented the bleach shot (blackberry & peach moonshine) tasted my invention, the strawnana shot (white chocolate strawberry & banana pudding moonshine) Friday night and gave it her stamp of approval (would that be a tramp stamp?). Well, actually, I think Michael at Blind Bear invented the shot and I named it. But anyway, we now have outside confirmation that the strawnana is heaven in a shot glass.

Reggae Halloween happens today at 3 at Carolina Watershed.

Attention Nate: There’s a twerking class tonight in Cooper-Young.

Word that needs to come into common usage Downtown: sozzled. I was watching an episode of The Andy Griffith Show and Andy and Barney were searching for an illegal still out in the country. They didn’t find it, but they did find a chicken who had gotten into the moonshine the still produced. “That chicken is sozzled,” Andy commented.

Reminder: Today is Oktoberfest at Wiseacre Downtown.

There’s trick-or-treating tomorrow at Bass Pro at the Pyramid tomorrow 3-6 PM.

That’s it for today. I may possibly take tomorrow off from posting.

Saturday update

Chez Philippe, the Peabody’s signature fine-dining restaurant, is back open after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus. Its new tasting menu is a 7-course adventure that includes an amuse bouche, sorbet to cleanse the palate, a collection of petite sweets, and a take-home treat from the Peabody’s pastry shop. Chez Philippe is Memphis’ only Forbes Four-Star/AAA Four Diamond restaurant. Its hours are

  • Afternoon tea: Thursday-Sunday 1:00-3:30 PM
  • Dinner: Thursday-Sunday 5:30-10:00 PM Dinner Menu

Rock ‘n roll lost a legend yesterday. RIP “The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis.

Mayor Jimbo from Mempho said he wouldn’t get involved in the dispute between Memphis in May and the Memphis River Parks Partnership over the use of Tom Lee Park for Music Fest and BBQ Fest, but it looks like he did. He proposes that the city put up a damage fund – $350,000 in 2023, $150,000 in 2024 – that would cover repairs to the park needed following those two festivals. Memphis in May would still have to put up a $250,000 damage deposit, but it would only be touched if damages exceeded the amount the city put up.

The Grizzlies play a road game vs. Utah tonight at 8. Ja is listed as doubtful for the game due to a non-COVID illness.

The Blind Bear solved its problem of getting an Xfinity “Not Authorized” error when attempting to tune into Bally Sports Southeast for Grizzlies games. The solution? They cut the cord and are now relying on smart TV subscription packages to get the channels customers want. Good for them. Xfinity sucks.

Feast & Graze is doing a Sunday brunch with DJ AD Sunday, November 20.

Yesterday I was watching boxing at Bardog and noticed that one of the boxers had the Led Zeppelin IV runes tattooed on his back. Nice.

Today is Hug a Sheep Day.

WREG has a look at the Historical Haunts ghost tour.

There’s midnight bowling at the Fishbowl inside Bass Pro at the Pyramid tonight from 9 to 2.

It’s Zombie Night all weekend at Craft Axe Throwing.

Southern Airways has named an aircraft after former Memphis Chamber CEO Phil Trenary. Trenary was shot and killed in a robbery attempt on South Front Street as he was walking home from an event.

Quintessential Sweets is opening a Downtown location at 97 N. Main. Downtowners can now get a deep-fried Twinkie without having to go to a fair.

That’s it for today. Heading out to Bardog for Saturday brunch.

Friday update

Jennifer Biggs of the DM reports that Flight will reopen today following 4 weeks of having to shut down due to a water main break. The owner of Flight says he’s committed to keeping the restaurant Downtown despite the infrastructure problems.

The same article said the basement level of Brinkley Plaza was flooded with 8 feet of water due to the water main break on October 1. There’s an art gallery down there. I wonder if all of its works were destroyed.

Today is Frankenstein Friday.

GREAT NEWS: It’s now official. Memphis in May will return to Tom Lee Park in 2023. This year the festival had to move to the fairgrounds due to construction and saw the lowest attendance in many years.

The Grizzlies got a fine 125-110 road win at Sacramento last night. Desmond Bane is looking like he plans on joining Ja Morant in the 2023 All-Star lineup.

MATA is offering free rides today so people can early vote.

Been experimenting with ABOUT and CRIES as my starting words for Wordle and have had pretty good success lately.

I normally groan when I walk into Bardog and see that stupid horse racing channel on TV. It’s a bunch of damn animals running in a circle. Who cares. However, yesterday there was a race that was exciting: Two horses bucked their jockeys and finished riderless.

Over and out. Back tomorrow.


Yesterday I made the following post to Facebook:

Foods we need Downtown
1, Chicken fried steak (the REAL kind, not “country fried steak”)
2. Pho
3. Indian food

I was at Local on Main eating lunch when I posted that. About 30 minutes later Jessica went downstairs where the kitchen is. She came back up and told me, “I talked to Miss Helen (the cook). She says we’ll have chicken fried steak as a special next Wednesday. With the white gravy.”

So I guess I’m officially a social media influencer now!!! I’ve eaten enough of Miss Helen’s cooking to have little doubt she makes a proper chicken fried steak.

The Grizzlies hit the road tonight for a game at the Sacramento Kings. Tip time is 9:00 Central. I sure hope the bar where I watch games has figured out how to get Bally Sports Southeast on their Xfinity package.

Bad news for the Grizzlies, though: Second-year G/F Ziaire Williams, a key reserve, will miss 4 to 6 weeks with a knee injury.

The trouble with 9:00 Thursday games is that the bar TVs will already be tuned to Thursday Night Football and people will get mad if I ask to change the channel, even if it’s for a local Memphis team. Hmmm…. who’s playing tonight… Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay. Lamar Jackson vs. Tom Brady. Well, that won’t be too bad.

I’ve been talking a lot about Ole Smoky moonshine on here recently. Yesterday someone was telling me that the distillery in Gatlinburg has tasting tours. “You only get 0.5 ounces in each sample,” he said. “But you get to try EVERY flavor of moonshine, and there are like 25 of them, so you can get pretty buzzed. And you get to try the moonshine pickles and cherries too. It’s not expensive. I think it’s only like five bucks.”

Hmmm… maybe a bunch of us need to rent a party bus and go to Gatlinburg. I hear that part of the state (other than the shithole known as UT) is beautiful. I bet our friend Allison could write the trip off as a business expense.

Today is American Beer Day. I recommend celebrating with the very finest American beer. I’m talking, of course, about PBR.

Lunch specials at Local on Main for the rest of this week:

  • Thursday: Turkey & dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce
  • Friday: Fish & chips, slaw

Young Rock will continue to film in Memphis. The EDGE board granted the production a 4-yeat PILOT as an incentive to stay here.

Old Dominick will release Straight Tennessee Whiskey next week. It will be the first whiskey completely made in Memphis since Prohibition.

Oh! I just remembered – I have another piece of Ole Smoky moonshine news. If your moonshine flavor is under 60 proof, you can stick it in the freezer and eat it like a slushie. A friend told me that yesterday.

Gotta run. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

The Daily Memphian has an article about the MLGW mess on Monroe Avenue. A water main broke on October 1 and from what I’ve observed, the city isn’t even close to fixing the damage. Two restaurants, Flight and Bogie’s Deli, have been closed since then. The apartments above Flight have been without water, as has office building Brinkley Plaza. The basement of Brinkley Plaza was flooded with water from the water main break, and the building’s power was shorted out. As I mentioned last week, I’ve seen workers come out of there in HAZMAT suits.

Blind Bear is starting “30 days of soup” this Friday. As the weather turns chilly, every day they’ll have a different soup special.

McDonald’s has announced that the McRib is coming back for a “farewell tour” from October 31 to November 20.

I have bad news for those of you who like Jameson whiskey: A restaurant manager told me his price from the distributor went up 20% this month. That increase will surely have to be passed on to customers.

Eight & Sand inside Central Station will have its Halloween party from 4 to 10 PM Friday. There will be a live set by DJ Epik, a $100 costume contest, $6 Wiseacre beers, and specialty cocktails.

Downtown Wines & Spirits on Madison near Main has a new arrival: Hibiki Suntory whiskey.

Silly Goose will have its Halloween party this Saturday night with $100 costume contests on the hour:

  • 11 PM: Most creative
  • 12 AM: Scariest
  • 1 AM: Grossest
  • 2 AM: Funniest

Memphis Tigers basketball will honor the 1972-73 team that was the national runner-up at its March 5 home game vs. Houston. There will be a special 3-game ticket package that includes bobbleheads of that team’s starters (most notably, Larry Finch) and of coach Gene Bartow.

Today is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day.

Let’s have a look at college football games of interest to Memphians this Saturday:

  • 2 Ohio State at 13 Penn State, 11:00 AM, FOX
  • Arkansas at Auburn, 11:00 AM, SEC Network
  • Florida at 1 Georgia, 2:30 PM, CBS
  • 9 Oklahoma State at 22 Kansas State, 2:30 PM, FOX
  • 20 Cincinnati at UCF, 2:30 PM, ESPN
  • South Alabama at Arkansas State, 3:00 PM, ESPNU
  • 19 Kentucky at 3 Tennessee, 6:00 PM, ESPN
  • 15 Ole Miss at Texas A&M, 6:30 PM, SEC Network

That’s it for today. Back tomorrow.

Tuesday update

Reminder: Today is National Night Out in the Malco Powerhouse parking lot, 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Come meet your neighbors and law enforcement officers and learn what we can do to keep each other safe. The event is presented by the Downtown Neighborhood Association and the South Main Association, There will be inflatables for the kids to enjoy, and the Grizzlies Street Team will be there. They’ll grill some burgers and hot dogs. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Ja Morant and Desmond Bane dropped 38 each (a career-high for Bane) as the Grizzlies took care of the Brooklyn Nets at home last night, 134-124. Unfortunately I did not get to watch the game, because where I was, we were getting a “Not Authorized” message on Bally Sports Southeast HD (Xfinity 831). I’ve heard other venues have had similar problems. I hope Xfinity gets that fixed soon.

It sure doesn’t feel like you need a jacket right now, but take one anyway:

The annual COGIC convocation will return to Memphis in November. It’ll be at the Renasant Convention Center November 8-15. Oh my God the COGIC convention is gonna overlap with Downtown Dining Week (November 7-13)… that’s gonna be interesting.

Graber Gryass plays South Main Sounds Friday at 7.

We invented a new hybrid moonshine shot last night at Blind Bear. It’s called “strawnana” and is half Ole Smoky white chocolate strawberry moonshine and half Ole smoky banana pudding moonshine. It is better than either moonshine by itself – in other words, it’s REALLY good.

It’s National Greasy Foods Day. A Big Mac at the McDonald’s on Union would be my recommendation to celebrate.

Congratulations to FedExForum, which got 6 perfect 100 scores on recent health inspections.

From Action News 5: Mud Island residents are frustrated about a proposed Greenbelt Park boat dock. It would be on the north end of the island and would accommodate riverboats. Residents admit the dock would be good for tourism, but feel it would disrupt the peace and quiet in their community.

From FOX 13: A registered sex offender was arrested after trying to steal a work van from FedExForum’s garage

County Commissioner Britney Thornton got a tour of the jail at 201 Poplar recently and called the conditions unlivable.

If your guess was “two and a half weeks” for how long it would take for the new jukebox at Bardog to break, you’re a winner. A repairman was in there for more than an hour yesterday and was still there when I left. He didn’t seem to be having much luck.

The University of Memphis is hiring a Library Assistant III for the Downtown law school.

That’s all the news for today. Back tomorrow.

Blind Bear now has strawberry white chocolate moonshine in stock

A little more than a week ago, I reported that a new flavor of Ole Smoky moonshine, strawberry white chocolate, had appeared in Memphis-area liquor stores. That night I got to try a sample, and it tastes as good as it looks, displacing banana pudding as my favorite moonshine flavor.

Yesterday I was brunching at the Blind Bear and the GM pulled a jar out of the cooler. “We have it in stock now,” he said.

It’s in stock for Moonshine Monday! Today moonshine is just $5 at the Bear. I recommend taking advantage of the deal and giving the strawberry white chocolate moonshine a try. I looked it up on their website and it’s only 35 proof (as opposed to Blue Flame moonshine which comes in at a whopping 128), so you can give it a try without getting plastered.

Grizzlies host Brooklyn tonight at 7. First 3000 through the turnstiles get a magnet schedule for the Grizzlies’ G-League affiliate the Memphis Hustle. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

It was mostly a bad day yesterday for Memphis sports.

The one bright spot was Memphis 901 FC, who defeated Detroit City FC 3-1 to advance to the second round of the USL playoffs. This was the first playoff win in 901 FC history. The next playoff match is Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 PM, against an opponent to be determined as the conference quarterfinals wrap up today.

That match time has the potential to mess up a lot of people’s Halloween party plans. It’s a high-class problem to have, though.

I didn’t get to see last night’s Grizzlies game vs. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, but I hear they played like absolute doo doo. A friend of mine checked his phone for updates. “The Grizzlies scored 38 points in the first half,” he told me.

“You mean the first quarter?” I replied.

“No,” he said. “First HALF.” The Grizzlies went on to lose 137-96. They’re back home on Monday vs. Brooklyn.

Then there was Memphis Tigers football, which trailed 25 Tulane by 35 at the half. They came back to sort of make a game of it, outscoring Tulane 28-3 in the second half. But the final was still 38-28 Tulane and a loss is still a loss. It’s a shame because Memphis had a chance to earn a statement win against a ranked team.

Are the Tigers going to make it to a bowl game this year? In most cases, a team needs to have a non-losing record (so at least 6-6) to be invited to one. The Tigers are currently 4-4 with 4 games left and let’s see what ESPN FPI predicts for them:

  • Saturday, October 29: A badly-needed bye week
  • Saturday, November 5 vs. UCF: Tigers are 41% underdogs
  • Thursday, November 10 vs. Tulsa (on ESPN): Tigers are 75% favorites
  • Saturday, November 19 vs. North Alabama: Tigers are 99% favorites
  • Saturday, November 26 at SMU: Tigers are 37% underdogs

So if ESPN FPI turns out to be an accurate predictor of game results, the Tigers will make it to 6-6 and be bowl-bound (thank you, North Alabama). However, it won’t be a good bowl on December 28ish vs. an SEC or Big 12 school. It’ll be something like the Dilbo’s Washing Machine Parts Bowl on December 17 vs. Western Coastal A&M.

But enough grousing about Saturday’s Memphis misfortunes on the field and on the court. As Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E would say, it’s a new day! The basketball Memphis Tigers hit the court at 4 PM today for an exhibition game against Christian Brothers University. The game won’t be televised but you can hear it on 98.9 FM.

On to non-sports news… I haven’t been down to South Main lately, but I hear there’s a new awning on the location that used to be Pontotoc Lounge that reads “IBIS.” I did a search and found the website. So far there’s not much there; they mention dinner and drink menus but they aren’t linked.

Congrats to my friends on the New Wing Order team on their 2nd-place showing in the International Hot Wing Festival yesterday. Downtowners, don’t forget that you can get their award-winning wings at the Ghost River taproom on Beale.

There’s rain and a severe weather risk in Tuesday’s forecast.

The Flying Saucer will have Adam Sandler trivia Tuesday at 7.

Cars on Main 2022 comes to Court Square Saturday from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. 70 cars and a U.S. Army tank will be in the park, and food trucks will be there too. They’ll also be raising money for St. Jude.

Not a Downtown event but worth a Lyft or Uber to Crosstown: Skinny Teaches Bob Ross Terribly in the upstairs of the Hi Tone on Cleveland. From the event listing on Facebook:

This is not a training class. This is like minded individuals doing dumb shit. One night only. Paint, canvas , brushes provided. Special menu and drinks.
Purchase Tickets:

Big Cypress Lodge, the hotel inside Bass Pro at the Pyramid, is having a Halloween costume party on its Mississippi Terrace Friday night. DJ Snow will perform and there will be food, drinks, and costume contests with prizes. $15 cover, unless you’re a hotel guest, in which case you get in free. This event is 21 and up.

Memphis Mom Collective is hosting a Trunk or Treat at Edge Triangle Saturday from 2 to 5. Come dressed in your costumes. There will be food trucks, Killer Coffee coffee pop, a photo booth, and a DJ playing spooky music. You’ll be able to vote for your favorite trunk. Stay for a 5:30 showing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

There’s a security guard position available at a Downtown facility.

I led off at Bardog yesterday. It was a weird day, sort of. Two large groups showed up to watch football, a Clemson group who went downstairs and an Ohio State group who took the upstairs tables along the wall.

I talked to several of the Clemson group and they were very nice. I have to say, they raised my opinion of the school considerably. Previously, I had a low opinion of that university, but it was based on a VERY small sample size of fans/alumni of that school I knew. Go Tigers!

There were hardly any regulars there, though, and oddly, two hours went by without anyone requesting a game to be put on the front TV. I got bored and tabbed out about 1:30, and if you know me, you know that is a very early Saturday departure time for me.

Outta here for now. I may take tomorrow off from posting since I did two long posts this weekend.

Saturday update

You may have heard in the news that Olymbec Plaza (formerly Brinkley Plaza) has been closed for a couple of weeks due to a water main burst. A couple of times this week I’ve sat across the street at Bardog and watched the action. There have been industrial cleanup trucks in the alley between Olymbec Plaza and the Shrine Building. Thursday I saw workers in what appeared to be HAZMAT suits. They were completely covered head to toe and their noses and mouths were covered in face masks.

The Downtown core has the oldest water and sewer infrastructure in Memphis, dating back to the 1800s. I wonder just how bad a state of disrepair it’s in. I wonder if this will be more of a months-long fix rather than weeks-long.

In other Downtown core news: I was sitting in Local Thursday and a courier came by and handed a letter to the bartender. It was to notify them that Young Rock will be filming outside next week.

The Young Rock producers are seeking a PILOT to pay for jobs needed to film the third season of the show here. A similar jobs PILOT was used to help pay for the filming of Bluff City Law a couple of years ago.

Looks like you’ll have great weather if you attend River Arts Fest today or tomorrow. puts the high in the low 80s both days, a strong breeze from the south, and 0% chance of rain.

The Grizzlies rolled to 2-0 with a 129-122 win over Houston last night. Ja Morant scored 49 and is clearly looking like he plans to get back to that All-Star game… and even more importantly, get named to an All-NBA team this year. If that happens, his new contract that kicks in next season gets upgraded from a max deal to a supermax.

Feelin’ Memphis is throwing a party called Lovin N’ Livin South Main on Monday evening, November 7, from 5:30 to 8:30. The party will celebrate the gift shop’s second anniversary and will feature shopping discounts, dancing music, laughter, and food and drinks. Tickets are $30 and must be purchased in advance. Call 901-800-1488 or stop by the store at 509 S. Main to purchase.

Memphis 901 FC hosts Detroit City FC in first-round playoff action tonight at 7 at AutoZone Park.

Cincinnati-based John Doe/1200 Hobos is the guest DJ tonight at the Eight & Sand lounge in Central Station.

Slider Inn Downtown will throw a free Trolley Night concert Friday night. Marque will take the stage first for a Trap Jazz set, then soulful singer Raneem Imam will perform.

Today is Eat a Pretzel Day. Flying Saucer would be my recommendation to do that. There you can get two big soft pretzels along with your choice of two of these dips: cream cheese & chive, hot mustard, or queso.

A Memphis-area man has been sentenced to 4 years in prison for his role in the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot.

Record-low river levels have led to people finding hidden treasure along the river banks. Hmmm I think I’ll pass on the treasure hunt. Worried I might find an alligator instead.

A Bass Pro valet parking employee has been arrested after allegedly stealing a gun from a customer’s car as well as two high-end cars, a Jag and a Fin Fin.

MPD is giving away free steering wheel locks to Memphis residents Wednesday afternoon. You’ll have to drive out to Raleigh to get one, though.

Aaron Lewis: Frayed at Both Ends, the Acoustic Tour comes to the Cannon Center tomorrow.

Spy Ninjas, scheduled for the Orpheum on November 5, has been canceled. Refunds for ticket purchases are available through November 7.

Tonight is the 8th annual Memphis Monster Mash at 648 Poplar, the home of former Downtown Neighborhood Association president Jerred Price. This is considered to be Downtown’s biggest Halloween party of the year. $500 costume contest, drag show, OPEN BAR, finger foods, video DJ with dance floor. Tickets

There’s a “Sivad Buries Rock & Roll” record release party tonight at Mollie Fontaine Lounge. Recording artists Tyler Keith and the Apostles will perform, along with opening acts Andy V and Senpapi Red Moon. DJ Amy “Graverobbin'” Dobbins will perform and Draculisa will be your horror hostess. $5 at the door and the party runs from 6:00 to 9:30 PM. The flyer for this party reads, “You could win a real dead body!”

Deep Roots plays Loflin Yard Sunday brunch tomorrow at noon.

Memphis Youth Arts Initiative presents an ultimate drumline battle today at 2 PM at 294 S. Lauderdale.

The Metal Museum has a family fun day today. There will be some hands-on activities and you can watch the metalsmiths perform their craft. There will be an iron pour and for $20 you can design your own tile that will be cast from the pour.

Grape. and the Fast Mothers play Earnestine & Hazel’s tonight. Fast Mothers take the stage at 9, Grape. at 11.

There’s a Tales at Twilight tour of Elmwood Cemetery today from 4:30 to 6:30. Victorian cemetery symbolism, the cemetery’s famous residents, and the cemetery’s majestic trees.

From Axios: See how much the price of your favorite Halloween candy went up this year

The Hospitality Hub, which provides many needed services to the Memphis homeless, has several open positions: guest services receptionist, case coordinator, residential care specialist, Work Local shift supervisor, street outreach specialist, and driver. The positions pay $15-$19 an hour.

Alcenia’s, the soul food restaurant on North Main in The Pinch District, turns 25 this year. The CA has a look back at Alcenia’s over the years.

All right, time to figure out where I’m going to lead off for brunch today: Bardog or Blind Bear. I am completely undecided at this point.

  • I usually meet my friends Randy, Theresa, and Allison at Bardog at 11 but Randy and Theresa are out of town
  • Saturday brunch crowds are better at Bardog but Blind Bear has the edge on PBR price
  • I have a better chance at getting the game I want on TV at Blind Bear, but there really aren’t any 11:00 games I’m much interested in
  • Bartender situation is a draw – they’re top-notch at both places

I think what I’ll do is walk out of my apartment at 10:55 and head south. If I see a bunch of people waiting to be let in Bardog (and they’re not other regulars) I’ll continue south to the Bear. Otherwise I’ll turn right down Monroe and wait for the lock to click open on Bardog’s door.

Back tomorrow with more news.