Sunday update

New Wing Order wants to make your Christmas side dishes. Collard greens and 3 kinds of mac & cheese? GIMME!

Want to work Downtown and be stared at like an animal in a zoo all day long? APG Office Furnishings at Main and Gayoso, in the Barboro Flats building next to Aldo’s Pizza Pies, is hiring an account manager. They embrace the open-office plan and there is not a smidgen of employee privacy anywhere. At least this is a sales position so you’d have an excuse to get out of there often and go see clients.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical comes to the Orpheum Tuesday, December 19. There will be performances at 11:00 AM, 3:30 PM, and 7:00 PM. Tickets are $30-$60.

Let’s have a look at Memphis basketball happening in the next week or so.

  • Today 3:00 PM: Memphis Tigers away at 21 Texas A&M. TV: ESPN2.
  • Monday 7:00 PM: Memphis Grizzlies at home vs. Dallas Mavericks. TV: NBAtv and Bally Sports. Tickets
  • Wednesday 7:00 PM: Memphis Grizzlies away at Houston Rockets. TV: Bally Sports
  • Friday 7:00 PM: Memphis Grizzlies at home vs. Houston Rockets. Free Grizzlies holiday wrapping paper to the first 5000 fans through the gate. Memphis Grizzlies Ford Scholars Night. TV: Bally Sports. Tickets
  • Saturday 2:00 PM: Memphis Tigers at home vs. 24 Clemson. TV: ESPN+

Big week for the Tigers, with the opportunity to pick up two wins vs. ranked Power Five schools.

The Grizzlies have a pretty sweet 6-game holiday pack for sale. It includes January-February home games vs. San Antonio, L.A. Clippers, Orlando, New Orleans, Atlanta, and the L.A. Lakers. Be one of the first fans in FedExForum those nights and you could score a Jaren Jackson Jr. growth chart, a Derrick Rose travel chess set, and a Grizzlies clear crossbody bag.

Bleacher Report projects the Grizzlies to finish 33-49 this season.

The Blind Bear has announced a masquerade party on New Year’s Eve. Come dressed glamorously like the old days of Hollywood, including a mask… or come dressed casually, it’ll all work. Get table reservations by messaging Blind Bear Memphis on Facebook or by texting Jeannette. $15 cover at the door. DJ Jordan Rogers at 9 PM. The full dinner menu will be available along with a few specials. Hats, noisemakers, etc. included.

  • WSJ has a feature on where to still find that Old Hollywood look in L.A. – maybe it will inspire some costume ideas.

Click this link for info about the Tennessee Vols watch party Blind Bear will host on January 1. Brunch, game day, and NYD menus including blackeyed peas and Tony’s greens for good luck. Drink specials, special Tennessee-themed cocktails. Go Hawkeyes!

Today is National Lager Day.

Daaaaamn… we heard last week cuts were coming to educational programs at Christian Brothers University as a result of faculty layoffs. I figured the cuts would hit fringe programs – but they’re cutting chemistry, English, history, and physics.

ABC24 has a look at the Deck the Diamond winter wonderland at AutoZone Park.

The 30 worst Christmas songs ever, ranked. The Biebs, Paul McCartney, John Denver, Lady Gaga, and disco divas The Weather Girls made the list.

All right, time to get Perjorie T. Roll ready for her play date with Alexander the hippo this evening. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update: Beale Street holiday parade canceled

Today’s Beale Street holiday parade has been canceled due to weather concerns. WREG meteorologists say the worst of the line of storms will move through about 2:30 PM, the parade’s planned midway point.

The Orpheum hosts performances of Ballet Memphis’ The Nutcracker this weekend and next. Tickets are $13-$78.

The list of the best things CA food columnist Jennifer Chandler had to eat this week includes a Downtown dish: the Fried Green Tomato BLT at By the Brewery at 496 Tennessee Street.

From men’s magazine The Manual: This $80 bottle of straight bourbon whiskey just won an award for best in the South. The South’s Best Spirits Awards recently placed that distinction upon Old Dominick Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey, distilled right here in Downtown Memphis.

Scott Southworth & Daryl Wayne Dasher Trio plays The Central BBQ Sessions at Downtown Central BBQ tonight from 6:00 to 8:45.

“The Boogie Woogie Man,” Handsome Jimmy Valiant, will make a live appearance at Memphis wrestling this Sunday. There’s a VIP meet and greet where you can meet the Handsome One in person.

One11 Madison has started doing a bottomless brunch with a buffet on the weekends. The event’s cover photo shows 7 different varieties of mimosas. I wish them all the success in the world, but in a town like Memphis I can’t imagine how something like this could turn a profit. People will show up and eat and drink them out of house and home.

Turnstyles play Momma’s tonight.

Sip, Shop & Santa comes to Soul & Spirits Brewing Co. at 845 N. Main today at 1. Pop-up local vendor market, pop-up bookstore, Cousins Maine Lobster, Albees, and Sno Junt food trucks.

This Tuesday, Bishop will host a wine dinner featuring Radsomm’s 2023 French favorites.

St. Peter Catholic Church presents Christmas with Memphis ChoralArts Monday at 7. Familiar carols, new tunes, and a carol sing-a-long followed by a reception.

Grind City Brewing will host a Connect Four tournament Sunday afternoon.

In Friday’s post, I mentioned that I found out something really adorable about Butt Slut #1. She texted me, “Do tell,” and quoted that part of my blog in her message. She also texted her Bardog message group to see if any of them knew. They didn’t.

Friday I went to Bardog to watch the Grizzlies game. Butt Slut #1 came in and sat to my left. After she got done with her happy hour shift – and after throwing nearly every napkin, coaster, and piece of ice in the entire place at me – Butt Slut #2 took the seat to my right.

“So, what is it about me you think is adorable?” asked Butt Slut #1, fishing for compliments.

“Last night you showed me a stuffed hippo,” I replied. “You told me it was your spirit animal and said you carry it around with you everywhere. That’s so cute.”

She took the hippo out of her purse, and I got Perjorie T. Roll out and we took a photo. “Does it have a name?” I asked, not even sure if it was a male or female hippo.

“No,” Butt Slut #1 told me. “I’ve carried him around with me for 2 years, but I’ve never named him. He’s always just been ‘my hippo.'”

Butt Slut #1 turned the conversation in the direction of her Dallas Cowboys. “My Boyz play the Eagles in the Sunday night game,” she said. I was aware; the game has huge playoff implications. “We’ll watch it when you come visit me,” she said, (in the Underground Room at Bardog, where she and Jack bartend on Sunday night. She’ll have the room open by the 7:20 kickoff.)

About 30 minutes passed as we watched JJJ get in foul trouble, AGAIN. The Grizzlies fell behind Minnesota and their chances to catch up dimmed. Night bartenders Leia and Nick came on, but they left Butt Slut #2’s phone plugged in so we could get some bonus minutes of #2’s atrocious taste in music. #1 mouthed the words to the songs, using the hippo as a microphone.

“What’s your middle name, Paul?” Butt Slut #1 asked.

“Alexander,” I replied.

“Alexander,” she said. “That’s the hippo’s name.” She set the hippo down next to Perjorie T. Roll. “Look, they’re best friends now.”

She named her hippo after me. The hippo she’s carried around for two years. My heart just melted. I call her “butt slut.” I pull her hoodie over her head. I pretend to like her Dallas Cowboys and then talk shit about them behind her back. And yet she named her hippo after me.

I guess I’ll have to go visit her and Alexander tomorrow night in the Underdog Room. And I’ll have to root for the Cowboys for real.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

I have great news: Local on Main fixed its upstairs unisex restroom. FINALLY!!! The restroom had been out of order since Veterans Day, leaving patrons to make a 15-stair (yes I counted) walk to the ground floor and then back up.

Need ideas for Christmas gifts? Check out the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Holiday Shopping Guide.

There will be a Tiny Kitchen Concert at Dos Hermanos Kitchen inside the Cossitt Library from 4 to 6 this afternoon.

The Grizzlies host Minnesota tonight at 7 at FedExForum. $1 off drinks (max 5) when you show a ticket at Slider Inn Downtown.

Ben Gilbreath plays Momma’s tonight at 8.

Momma’s will close at 5 PM on Tuesday, December 12 for a private event.

Espresso martinis and spiked hot chocolate are now available at Slider Inn.

Part of Main Street near Court Square has been dedicated to late Memphis Chamber CEO Phil Trenary, killed in a robbery attempt five years ago.

The blog has a look at Memphis’ chances for severe weather on Saturday.

It looks like the Blind Bear will have a Tennessee Vols watch party for their New Year’s Day game vs. Iowa (Cheez-It Citrus Bowl, noon CST). You may remember that the Bear hosted a get-together for UT alumni earlier this week. Jeannette and Wade’s hospitality impressed them to the point that they wanted to book more, and larger, events at the Bear.

One other piece of insider Blind Bear info: A large wedding party (close to 100) plans to come there 9:15-9:30ish tonight following their rehearsal dinner. If you’re there this evening, I suggest you time your drinking accordingly and order another one around 9:10… if you wait, you may be competing with a LOT of people for the bartender’s attention.

The good news is, I know the spending limit on their communal tab, and it’s not that high given the number of people. So they won’t be crowding the bar all night. Also, the members of that group I met last night seem to “get it” when it comes to ordering at bars. They understand that when 30 people are behind them waiting, you order something easy and quick to make. You don’t go, “Ooooo… I don’t know what I want… can you make me something BROWN… but not TOO brown?”

More inside info to plan your weekend: Nucor Steel is having its Christmas party tomorrow at the Peabody. They are third-shifters/day drinkers and they love Bardog. I can easily see them showing up en masse post=party. And I have absolutely no idea what time that might be.

A building at 240 Madison will get a Blue Cross Blue Shield neon sign.

Saturday is National Llama Day.

Share your home or business security camera feed with MPD to help them fight crime.

The Mid-South Food Bank is looking for a nutritional guidelines contractor.

Memphis Medical District Collaborative is hiring the following:

Woman-Owned Wonderland, a celebration of woman-owned businesses in the heart of the Downtown core, happens this evening from 4 to 7.

I found out the most adorable fact about Butt Slut #1 last night. I don’t know if I should publish it here. But it makes me proud that I usually marry her when her name comes up in the FMK game. Although, my desire to marry her has more to do with her being the heiress to a liquor store than it does with her being adorable.

Video: Fishing for catfish on Mud Island

Bardog specials today:

  • Fried chicken hoagie – lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, pepper jack cheese, chipotle – $16
  • Shrimp lo mein  – onion, celery, peppers, fettuccini – $19
  • Soup: Red beef pozole
  • Dog: Wrapped in bacon with pickles, jalapenos, and cheese sauce
  • Mussels – Garlic, tomato, white wine
  • Pecan pie
  • Tiramisu

No idea what I will do tomorrow (Saturday). My brunch buddies are in New Zealand. Maybe I’ll go to the Christmas parade on Beale Street. Then again, with storms in the forecast, that may not be the best idea.

Time to hit Publish and head to Local on Main. I’m excited about getting to use the upstairs restroom. Back later this weekend with more news.


Bardog’s “Bear of the Dog” beer dinner featuring Hampline Brewing Co.

Yesterday I was composing my Wednesday Update blog post when I got a text from my friend. Eric. Eric does marketing for Packed House, the umbrella company over Bardog, the two Slider Inns, the two Aldo’s Pizzas, and Momma’s.

“Paul, do you think you could mention the beer dinner one more time?” He asked. He was referring to last night’s collaborative beer dinner with Hampline Brewing Co.

“Of course,” I said, and added a mention. With 8 oz. pours instead of piddling dribbles that are the norm at beer dinners, this event sold itself.

About 11:00 Eric texted again. “Thanks for that,” he said. “Do you want a ticket to the dinner?”

Do I want a ticket to the dinner?


I returned to Bardog at 3 and hung out with a fabulous mix of people. Then at 6, those of us attending went downstairs. I got a seat with Bardog employees and fellow regulars at the high center bar in the middle of the room.

We each got a menu so we could anticipate the upcoming courses.

Owner Aldo gave opening remarks, followed by GM Melissa and Hampline’s reps. Then the first course came out.

Problem Sauvin IPA. This style of IPA is less harsh and bitter than a typical IPA. Downright drinkable. I believe they said it was a New England-style IPA.

The IPA was paired with tuna carpaccio, thin slices of raw tuna on wontons with a spicy sauce. The dish brought out the flavor profile of the IPA.

A Hampline rep came around with hops for us to smell; then she invited us to take another bite of tuna and sip of IPA, and notice how the smell changed the flavors of both. It was remarkable.

This is Natch Lager, pronounced “Naitch.” Here we get into “Bear of the Dog,” the dinner’s name. Natch was a bear given to the city around 1910. Not knowing what to do with the bear, leaders chained him to a tree in Overton Park.

Prominent Memphis citizens found the bear’s living conditions to be inhumane. They raised money to build better accommodations for Natch… and that was the beginning of the Memphis Zoo.

The bear’s lager was paired with asparagus bisque. The light lager served as a counterpoint to the creamy, heavy soup. I got an unexpected and most welcome surprise: There were shrimp in the bisque! Yummy.

Cherry Bomb cherry amaretto sour gose was the next beer to come out. Normally, sours are not my favorite, but this one had good flavor, especially when paired with…

A beet salad. This was the surprise hit of the evening. The beets, the glaze, the blue cheese crumbles… It all just… worked. And it worked even better with the glass of gose.

When I was a little kid, I thought beets and sweet potatoes were the same thing. I was a stupid kid.

Hoot & Haller Pilsner, and wait ’til you see what this got paired with…

Beef Wellington, beautifully cooked with plenty of red on the inside. Mashed potatoes, carrots, and a slice of bacon. Perfection.

I texted Butt Slut #1 a photo of my food and commented, “I think I just came in my pants.”

We learned the origin of Hampline’s name. Hampline’s brewery runs alongside one of several greenlines in the city. It’s the Blinghampton Greenline – Hampline for short.

The final beer was a snifter of Dunk Tank Oktoberfest, so you know it would pair well with a fall food…

… Such as pumpkin cheesecake. A delicious end to the evening.

Aldo partook in the dinner, and the beers. It was fun to see him cut loose and really enjoy himself.

Memphis music luminary Al Kapone attended, but I did not get a chance to talk to him.

While at the dinner, I heard what the Bardog staff is thinking for New Year’s Eve. Details are still being worked out so I’ll not list specifics yet, but if you enjoy food, drink, and friends – and if you don’t enjoy random, loud drunk people with no concept of manners or personal space, this event should appeal to you.

You may notice in these photos that Perjorie T. Roll is back. Today is her 7th birthday.

This is my second post today. Keep scrolling for the Thursday news.

Thursday update

One year ago this week, we lost our Nate. Downtown has not been the same without him.

Mayor-elect Paul Young has been selected for the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard’s program for new mayors. This will help future Mayor Young set strategic priorities and build an effective team. He’ll join 28 other new mayors for a 2-day classroom experience.

A new brewery and taproom are coming to South Main. Memphis Beer Blog reports that MFS Brewing will open a taproom and small kitchen at 206 G.E. Patterson. MFS picked up the People’s Choice award at the recent Coopet-Young Beerfest and people had been clamoring for them to get a brick-and-mortar location open.

The Grizzlies are hiring a Ticket Analytics Coordinator.

Cocozza is hiring front of house (all positions).

The Memphis Tigers beat VCU 85-80 in overtime last night. The Tigers improve to 6-2.

The Grizzlies beat Detroit last night with Desmond Bane dropping in 49. This was the 18th consecutive loss for the Pistons.

Severe weather could affect Memphis Saturday afternoon into the evening. Gusty winds, hail, and heavy rain should be the main threats.

An owner is in search of their missing black cat near Front and Huling.

Happy Hanukkah to my readers who celebrate that holiday.

RIP producer/TV writer Norman Lear (All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude). Lear was 101.

Happy 7th birthday to Perjorie T. Roll!

She’ll be out and about today if anyone wants to buy her a shot or a PBR.

Taylor Swift is TIME’s Person of the Year for 2023.

Bardog specials today:

  • Bacon-wrapped filet – Gorgonzola, balsamic demi glace with carrots & mashed potatoes – 19
  • Steak salad – Blueberry, strawberry, apple, goat cheese, red onion, peppers – 18
  • Soup: Red beef pozole
  • Dog: Peppers, bacon, BBQ sauce
  • Mussels – Garlic, tomato, white wine
  • Pecan pie
  • Tiramisu

I hope to be back later today with a recap of the Bear of the Dog beer dinner at Bardog featuring Hampliine’s beers. Just gotta figure out some photo upload issues.


Wednesday update

One last reminder: Hampline beer dinner tonight at Bardog.

Pours are 8 oz. each and these are the pairings:

Starter�Tuna Carpaccio w/ Handlebar Haze New England IPA
First Course�Asparagus Bisque w/ Natch Lager
Second Course�Beet Salad w/ Cherry Bomb Cherry Amaretto Gose
Third Course�Beef Wellington w/ Hoot & Haller Pilsner
Dessert �Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Dunk Tank Oktoberfest

Commercial Appeal foodie Jennifer Chandler is reporting that Edge Alley will close after 7 years. December 10 will be the last day for the popular restaurant in The Edge District. Chef/owner Tim Barker has decided not to renew the restaurant’s lease and he’s ready to move on to other ventures.

Chandler has a look back at Edge Alley in photos.

Did you know you can get a whole brisket or whole turkey breast smoked at Loflin Yard, ready to serve your family for Christmas dinner? Send inquiries to and they’ll get back to you about pricing and packages.

The Des Moines Register reports that some Iowa State fans are “meh” about playing Memphis in the Liberty Bowl. The Register, however, defended the Tigers and the stadium.

I-State fans do have one sorta-valid objection, though: Many other bowl destinations offer better weather than Memphis. Which makes me wonder… of the 41 bowl games, how many have WORSE weather?

  • New Mexico Bowl – Albuquerque, NM
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Boise, ID
  • Quick Lane Bowl – Detroit
  • Military Bowl – Annapolis, MD
  • Fenway Bowl – Boston
  • Pinstripe Bowl – The Bronx
  • Music City Bowl – Nashville

So, yeah – Memphis has the 8th worst weather of any bowl game. Although, Boston and New York City have so much to offer that I doubt anyone minds the weather. Can you imagine busting your ass on the field all season and your reward is a trip to BOISE??? At least Memphis has great BBQ. They have potatoes.

I don’t normally post job listings in Germantown but this one is kinda cool: Apple is hiring for their Genius Bar.

The Apple Store in G’town has Instructor/Creative positions open too. Someone who’d lead scheduled training sessions and interact with customers one-on-one. If I still had a car I would apply for this role myself.

Discounts on Apple products and the chance to purchase stock are among the benefits of the two jobs I just mentioned.

Riverside Drive will open back up on weekends. The closure was part of MPD’s weekend safety plan, but that plan has been suspended.

The University of Tennessee Alumni Association is holding a winter mingle event tonight at Blind Bear from 5 to 7. So if you are not a fan of that institution, you might want to make plans to be elsewhere during that time. I plan on being at Bardog getting ice, coasters, and napkins thrown at me, then I’ll walk over to the Bear about 8 to get a good seat before karaoke begins.

Oh God… what if some of the Vols alumni stick around and sing “Rocky Top”? There will not be enough Rumple, Fireball, Jager, and Ole Smoky Blue Flame in the house to dull my pain.

Here’s a pic of that Cajun chicken Alfredo special Blind Bear has this week:

They’ll likely have it through Saturday, so you won’t miss out if you choose to avoid the UT clown show tonight. And yes, Tony did it again – the chicken Alfredo was as yummy as it looks.

And, one more piece of Blind Bear news. They’re having an ugly sweater party this Saturday night. You don’t have to wear a sweater, but if you do and it’s selected as the ugliest, you’ll walk out with a Blind Bear gift card. Drink specials. DJ Mylon on the 1s and 2s.

Seen on Facebook yesterday:

No dude has ever said

Man she’d be really hot if her eyelashes were longer

Max’s Sports Bar news:

Remember the ’80s when KFC used to sell Lil’ Bucket parfaits? Max’s cheesecakes kinda look like those.

There will be a Carnegie Writer’s Group workshop tonight from 6:30 to 8:00 presented by the Cossitt Library and held virtually on Microsoft Teams. The workshop is free and all writers are welcome.

Another Sip Cafe, a new coffee shop, has opened in the Canopy by Hilton at 164 Union across from the Peabody. Its hours are 6 AM to 4 PM.

Grizzlies at Detroit, 6:00, Bally Sports. Tigers at VCU, also 6:00, ESPNU.

The City Council grilled Memphis River Parks representatives yesterday, wanting to know why money earmarked for improvements to Mud Island has apparently not been spent.

Bardog specials today:

  • Grilled chicken pesto fettuccine with bell pepper
  • Choripan sliders – Chorizo, onion, tomato, chimichurri
  • Soup: Red beef pozole
  • Dog: CORN DOG!!!!! Sides of mustard & ketchup
  • Mussels – Garlic, tomato, white wine
  • Pecan pie
  • Tiramisu

That’ll do it for now. Possibly back with another post before the end of the day.

Tuesday update

Yahoo! Sports ranked every 2023 college football season bowl game, all 41 of them, in terms of their potential to be good. December 29’s Liberty Bowl, featuring Iowa State vs. Memphis, comes in at number 19.

Blind Bear specials for this week:

  • Tony’s famous cactus chili – Cactus, ground beef, diced tomatoes, onions, corn, Northern beans, spinach, rich broth with a kick; just the right amount of spice – cup 6, bowl 10
  • Cajun chicken Alfredo – fettuccini noodles tossed in house-made Alfredo sauce topped with pan-seared Cajun chicken breast, green onions, and tomatoes; with garlic Texas toast – 18
  • Peach cobbler – sweet tender peaches in a flaky golden crust topped with Margie’s 901 vanilla bean ice cream – 8

McKinney Wright pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2018 shooting of Memphis Chamber CEO Phil Trenary as Trenary was walking home from Loflin Yard. Wright will get 25 years without parole with credit for time served.

The Cornelia Crenshaw branch library will have holiday treats noon to 2 Saturday. Cocoa, treats, crafts, story time, photos with Santa (bring your smartphone or camera). 531 Vance.

Today is Light Up a Life Day… oooh… “You Light Up My Life” would make a great song to sing at Wednesday night karaoke at Blind Bear… here’s a video with lyrics.

Daaaang are we witnessing the fall of Christian Brothers University? This DM premium article indicates the school will lay off about 30 faculty members this week in an effort to balance the books. The university announced earlier this fall that it’s looking to cut $4 million. It sounds like even tenured faculty – normally close to untouchable – could be on the chopping block.

Memphis Crisis Center seeks a call center representative.

Force Dance comes to the Renasant Convention Center Friday-Sunday.

There’s a Downtown Beer Runners group departing from the Downtown Wiseacre taproom tonight at 6:30. 3-mile run then post-run beers.

DJ Flame spins hip-hop this Friday at Eight & Sand Lounge in Central Station Hotel.

Random thought: If Montgomery, Alabama has a college football bowl game, why doesn’t Little Rock have one? They’re both state capitals. Little Rock has the edge in city population (204,405 to 200,603) and in metro population (748,031 to 386,047). Montgomery has better December weather (avg. 61/39) but Little Rock’s (avg. 53/33) is similar to Memphis which has the Liberty Bowl.

Today’s specials at Bardog:

  • Carne asada street tacos – onion, cilantro, salsa, corn tortillas – $18
  • Salisbury steak – mushroom & onion gravy. With squash, zucchini, snd msc & cheese – $19
  • Soup: Crawfish bisque
  • Dog: Onions, pickles, tomato, mustard, ketchup
  • Mussels: Garlic butter, white wine, tomato
  • Pecan pie
  • Tiramisu

That’s it for this morning. Back soon with more news.


Monday update

The Liberty Bowl will be played in Memphis on Friday, December 29 at 2:30 PM, with a television broadcast on ESPN. The Liberty Bowl’s contractual affiliation is

Big 12 vs. SEC

It has some latitude and can pick (I think I have this approximately right) anywhere from the 3rd- to 8th-place finisher in those conferences. That allows the bowl to select a good matchup that will intrigue traveling fans of the two invited schools as well as local football fans.

Given who was available, the Big 12 pick was pretty obvious:

Iowa State Cyclones vs. SEC

The Iowa State Cyclones are 7-5 (6-3 in conference) with a recent win over ranked Kansas State. Iowa State fans have traveled very well to previous Liberty Bowls and are known to love Memphis as a travel destination.

The “SEC” side of the equation was a bit murkier. Mississippi State, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt failed to win the requisite 6 games to be invited to a bowl game. That left the SEC unable to fulfill all of its contractual obligations, including its obligation to the Liberty Bowl.

So the Liberty Bowl became

Iowa State Cyclones vs. At-large

Now it was up to the folks at the Liberty Bowl to find a team that would match up well with I-State and which would appeal to the local audience and sell plenty of tickets. Presenting the lineup for the 2023 Liberty Bowl:

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Memphis Tigers

This is fantastic news for Memphis… and yet not the best news for the Downtown Memphis economy. This year we’ll have one team’s fans staying in Downtown hotels, eating in Downtown restaurants, rather than two.

Let’s embrace the Iowa State fans who will be coming to Memphis – show them a good time, point out our favorite spots that they might otherwise miss. Maybe we can convince some of them to extend their stay until New Year’s.

Other bowl games of interest:

  • December 23: Camellia Bowl, Montgomery, AL: Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois, 11:00 AM, ESPN
  • December 29: Cotton Bowl, Arlington, TX, Ohio State vs. Missouri, 7:00 PM, ESPN
  • December 30: Peach Bowl, Atlanta, Penn State vs. Ole Miss, 11:00 AM, ESPN
  • December 30: Music City Bowl, Nashville, Auburn vs. Maryland, 1:00 PM, ABC
  • December 30: Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, FL, Florida State vs. Georgia, 3:00 PM, ESPN
  • January 1: ReliaQuest Bowl, Tampa, LSU vs. Wisconsin, 11:00 AM, ESPN2
  • January 1: Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, AZ, Oregon vs. Liberty (Group of Five representative), noon, ESPN
  • January 1: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Iowa vs. Tennessee, noon, ABC

It’s National Cookie Day. You can celebrate with a visit to Makeda’s at 301 Jefferson. Or you could visit Butterific Bakery & Cafe at 488 S. Second. Or the pastry shop inside the Peabody. Or Insomnia Cookies on Beale.

Travel South International Showcase comes to the Renasant Convention Center today through Thursday.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to FedExForum Thursday, December 14.

Eight & Sand Lounge in Central Station Hotel will be closed for a private event Wednesday, December 6.

Westy’s celebrates its 40th anniversary this coming weekend.

The annual Memphis holiday parade rolls down Beale Street from 2:00 to 3:30 PM Saturday.

Streetdog Foundation hosts Sippin’ with Santa Paws this Saturday at Loflin Yard. Silent auction, drink specials, dog costume contest, adoptable dogs, photos with Santa Paws. This event will be held in the heated Carriage House.

On Sunday there will be a gingerbread decorating party at Loflin Yard.

Old Dominick Distillery will hold a Speakeasy Soiree Tuesday evening to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal.

There will be a holiday bazaar in Tom Lee Park Saturday and Sunday. It’s free to the public and there will be a free Double Dutch Aerobics class Saturday 10-11 and Sunday 2-3.

Bardog news:

Today’s specials at Bardog:

  • Fried chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheddar, bacon, BBQ – $17
  • Grilled salmon penne in a Tuscan butter cream sauce – $19
  • Soup: Crawfish bisque
  • Dog: Peppers, onions, ketchup, mustard, bacon
  • Mussels: Garlic butter, white wine, tomato
  • Pecan pie
  • Tiramisu

That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow probably.


Memphis basketball on TV this week and more Sunday news

Let’s take a look at Memphis basketball on TV in the next 7 days:

  • Memphis Grizzlies away at Detroit Pistons, 6:00 PM Wednesday. TV: Bally Sports
  • Memphis Tigers away at VCU, 6:00 PM Wednesday. TV: ESPNU
  • Memphis Grizzlies home vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 7:00 PM Friday. TV: Bally Sports. Tickets
  • Memphis Tigers away at 14 Texas A&M, 3:30 PM next Sunday. TV: ESPN2

The week is a little slow for basketball due to the NBA in-season tournament knockout stage and final exam week at universities.

The College Football Playoff lineup has been revealed:

  • 1 Michigan vs. 4 Alabama (Rose Bowl, January 1)
  • 2 Washington vs. 3 Texas (Sugar Bowl, January 1)

Florida State was left out despite being undefeated and a conference champion. Georgia was left out after having a stellar year in which its only loss came to the #8-ranked team in the country.

Now it’s being reported that top-two left-outs Florida State and Georgia will meet in the Orange Bowl.

Today is National Apple Pie Day. I recommend you celebrate with some apple pie moonshine from Ole Smoky. Bardog and Blind Bear carry it.

Today is also National Green Bean Casserole Day.

The founder of Downtown’s biotech Hera Health Solutions has made the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Memphis health tech accelerator ZeroTo510 played a big part in Hera’s growth.

Seth Henigan will be back as Memphis Tigers quarterback for the 2023-24 season.

Yesterday’s St. Jude Marathon raised $15 million, a new record.

Real estate developer Henry Turley is retiring.

One of those three cool-looking cottages at the corner of Mulberry and Talbot is for rent.

The Moxy Hotel hosts Christmas Music Bingo Monday night.

By the way, the Moxy is looking for a Hotel Operations Manager.

And the city is looking to hire a court clerk. (appointed position, $173k per year)

Archer Malmo seeks a marketing analyst.

In some professions, a 33% success rate is good enough to be recognized as the person of the year.

My friends Luke & Sheryll just dropped off 7 cans of PBR left over from their wedding, so I’m about to head home, pop one open, and turn on the TV. DRUNK LOVE BOAT!!! Mickey Rooney is a guest on today’s Christmas-themed episode. After that I’ll head back out to Butt Slut #1’s bar in Bardog’s Underdog Room. Back tomorrow with more news.


Friday update #2 – two more marathon weekend specials

Couple of last-minute items came in:

Virtual golf bar Birdie’s  at 495 S. Main will offer 50% off golf all weekend when you show your St. Jude race credentials. The HERO World Challenge will be on TV for all you St. Jude Heroes to watch.

The Blind Bear has added a fettuccine chicken Alfredo special for those looking to carb up tonight:

The previous post has a complete list of things happening Downtown this weekend for the marathon, holidays, and conference championships.

This isn’t a Downtown event, but it’s Downtown-related and worth a Lyft or Uber: The Memphis Listening Lab at Crosstown Concourse will host a free listening party for the Orpheum’s new album featuring its Wurlitzer organ. There will be copies of the album for sale, refreshments, and a conversation with the group who produced the album. Wednesday, December 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

Random fact I learned this weekend: Your head is slightly older than your feet

The Downtown YMCA seeks a membership coordinator.

The Blind Bear is having a piano request show with Adam Heart at 10 tonight (Friday). These shows are a lot of fun and I think they’ll have a good crowd tonight. I don’t normally reveal Bear door passwords on my blog, but tonight’s involves a particularly fabulous person, so I’ll make an exception: Tell them “Sharmin sent me” to get in without paying cover. Happy birthday Sharmin!

That’s all. As I explained earlier, I will probably take a day off from blogging tomorrow.