Tuesday update

Friday night at RiverBeat music festival could be a soggy/muddy one. FOX 13 weather has Memphis on track to get 1.1 inches of rain by Saturday morning.

Download the MEMPHO Presents app to have the RiverBeat festival schedule on your phone, as well as band bios and a park map.

The CA has a list of the food options at RiverBeat. Gus’s!!!!!

The DM has things to know before you head to SmokeSlam, the new BBQ festival to be held in Tom Lee Park Thursday-Saturday of the third weekend in May. SmokeSlam is also presented by Mempho.

Midtown Tavern, a new restaurant and bar on Overton Square, is hiring this week. It is the sibling restaurant of Downtown’s Local on Main, but is NOT affiliated with Local on the Square, the restaurant that was last in Midtown Tavern’s location.

Memphis Tigers basketball coach Penny Hardaway is confident the team can schedule John Calipari and the Arkansas Razorbacks next season. That was an awesome rivalry in the 1990s and it would be great to have it back.

Memphis-distilled Blue Note Bourbon has been named the official bourbon of Major League Pickleball. Did you know that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S.?

In other Blue Note news, the bourbon achieved platinum status at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco.

Holy crap there was a huge brawl at Southaven Springfest!!! It had to be closed down early. When I was on a BBQ team, we always did Springfest’s BBQ competition to practice for Memphis in May. Just goes to show you, the suburbs are NOT safer. 

At least people out in that neck of the woods still have Hernando Water Tower Fest in the fall to look forward to…

Videos and photos have been released of an alleged shooter on Beale Street this past weekend.

Today is Bugs Bunny Day. On this day 86 years ago, dat wascally wabbit made his first appearance.

It’s also National Mr. Potato Head Day.

Come to Soul & Spirits on May the Fourth (Be With You) dressed as your favorite Star Wars character and get 10% off your tab. $5 Hound Dog beer all day.

The Blind Bear has rolled out new menus.

Vice & Virtue Coffee in the ARRIVE Hotel on South Main is closing.

Shred415 has closed.

The Grizzlies may have their eye on the Brooklyn Nets’ Nic Claxton to fill a need at center.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will kick off its free spring movie series with Sister Act on the lawn of BRIDGES at 477 N. Fifth this Thursday at 7:45. A food truck will be on site and there will be plenty of free parking.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow probably.

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Sunday update

After Burners Cigar Lounge has opened at 109 G.E. Patterson. That’s in between Arcade restaurant and Max’s Sports Bar, in the former Cheesecake Corner and Walking Pants Curiosities locations.

The DM reports that work restarts this summer on the river cobblestone landing project.

The DM has a photo gallery from Saturday’s Bark in the Park at the Redbirds.

Three Memphis Tigers football players got NFL contracts despite not being drafted.

From YouTube: Volunteers do some spring cleaning in Downtown Memphis

Short post today on I can head out to Beale. Back tomorrow.

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Friday update

Jasper Float Spa in The Washburn will have its grand opening today at 2 PM. For four hours there will be exclusive offers, raffles, giveaways, spa tours, and product demos. The spa has been helping people with their wellness journeys since its soft launch in November 2023.

Tonight is South Main Trolley Night, with many of the shops of the South Main District staying open until 9 or later. Some will put out hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Some will offer discounts. It’s a great night to come out and socialize with your neighbors.

Cossitt Library will host a plant swap beginning at noon on Saturday.

Prior to Wine Race on Sunday, there will be a Parade of Clauses on Beale Street. 200 Santas and Mrs. Clauses will march down the street at noon. It’s part of the International Santa Celebration conference that is in town this weekend.

KEM will be live in concert at the Orpheum Saturday night. Rising R&B star Levelle will open. Tickets are $89.50-$99.50.

Next door at the Halloran Centre, soul violinist Amari Dillard will perform Saturday night at 7. Tickets are $64-$86.

RAIN, a tribute to the Beatles, will be at the Orpheum Sunday night. Tickets are $30-$70.

Ja Morant, who parted ways with his agent earlier this month, has hired a new agent whose name is well familiar to Memphians: Mike Miller. Up until the deal with Ja, Miller’s top client was Paolo Banchero, the number-one pick in the 2022 NBA draft.

The CA says it’s unlikely a Hard Rock Hotel, once planned for Downtown Memphis, will happen here.

Milton Howery III has been hired as the Downtown Memphis Commission’s communication vice-president. Howery had previously been the VP of marketing at Memphis Tourism. He’s also known for The Link Up Memphis, a series of networking events.

Soul & Spirits, the brewery far north on Main, is running a to-go special this week:

  • 15% off 4- or 6-packs
  • 25% off cases

Someone stole an MPD cruiser and crashed it near Mud Island last night.

Today is National Static Cling Day.

That’s all for now. I am dead tired. Back tomorrow or Sunday or Monday.

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Thursday update

Tom Lee Park’s playground has been named one of the 11 most unique playgrounds in the U.S. by Mental Floss.

The Memphis Flyer has a look at the International Santa Celebration that is in town this weekend.

Also in the Flyer: A “We Saw You” photo gallery from Rock ’n Dough’s grand opening in The Edge.

Also in The Edge, Flyer staff gave JEM Fine Dining a try and proclaimed that JEM is a gem.

If you’re a nature fan, check out South Front Street where it bends west and becomes Georgia Avenue shortly after dark. There are lots of bunnies hopping around.

We’ll soon have a Buc-ee’s about 28 miles away in Fayette County. Buc-ee’s is a travel center, usually located near exits off major interstates like I-40. Huge country store, great snacks, camping and outdoors supplies, souvenirs.

A teen has been arrested after a video of a group attack and beatdown near the intersection of Gayoso and Hernando was posted online.

There’s a park ranger job open in Overton Park.

Over the past few years, there have been protests that shut down I-40. The Tennessee legislature recently passed a bill that would make that illegal.

I Love Memphis has a TikTok of the new Zio Matto gelato shop in Central Station.

A new art gallery called Ugly Art Company opens in The Edge Saturday. It’s at 635 Madison. It evolved out of an artists’ collective.

Twelve hours of DJ action comes to Slider Inn Downtown Saturday for its Sliderdaze party. The lineup:


 11 AM: Jordan Rogers


 1 PM: Atia




 5 PM: ASH


 7 PM: Andy Chance



I bet Sunday would be a great day to win some bingo prizes at Momma’s (bingo starts at 3 PM). The event will likely be sparsely attended because most of Downtown will be at Wine Race on Beale Street.

There’s a new Spaceball Shot at Bardog. It consists of

  • Spacebird Donut Stout from Memphis’ very own Crosstown Brewing Co.
  • Screwball peanut butter whiskey
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream

That’s it for today. I’m at the Cossitt Library staying out of the rain that is moving in. I may walk out to Midtown tonight for a late-night beer or two… maybe Zinnie’s or the Deli or Slider Inn Midtown. Back tomorrow with more news.

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Tuesday update: Beale Street Wine Race is this Sunday plus lots more news

Beale Street Wine Race is this Sunday beginning at 1 PM. This is a competitive event for the staff of area restaurants. It’s also one last opportunity for them to have some fun before the busy season (May through October) kicks in. 

There are four parts to the event:

Opening parade – Participating restaurant employees proceed down Beale Street and into Handy Park in their homemade floats.  

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The floats, usually with the restaurant’s pageant contestant inside, have come perilously close to being dropped in past years. Many restaurant staffers start drinking hours before the parade. 

Queen of the Vine – This is a beauty pageant where the participants design their own costumes and answer interview questions by a creepy host. 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Nip slips, vagina slips. There’s never a shortage of slutty costumes, but the winner almost always combines sexy with classy. 

Grape stomp – One member of each team stomps grapes in a metal tub. Whoever produces the greatest volume of grape juice within the time limit wins. 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Participants have been known to rig up hoses inside their jeans and through holes in their shoes, adding the volume of their own bodily fluids to that of the grape juice. Ewww.

Wine relay – Teams of 4 run a dash over hurdles carrying a tray. A wine bottle and glass is added each time a team member tags off to a teammate. The time taken to run the course, along with the amount of wine not spilled, are both used in the judges’ computations to determine a winner.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Huey’s. I don’t know how much time they spend practicing, but they look like PROS every year. 

IF YOU’RE NOT DRIVING: Walk across Beale to Wet Willie’s and get you an aptly-named Call-a-Cab frozen daiquiri. 

Wine Race used to be the 2nd-most debaucherous event on the spring calendar. Now that BBQ Fest has jumped the shark, Wine Race is now THE most debaucherous. 

I haven’t been around much this spring, but unless the weather is just horrible, I’ll be on Beale Sunday and and I look forward to seeing some familiar faces. 

In other news…

The Brass Door will be closed today for some repairs. They’ll be back open Wednesday.

University of Memphis athletic director Laird Veatch is leaving, having accepted a job at Mizzou. Under Veatch, the university got to the Cotton Bowl and arranged a $25 million name, image, likeness deal with FedEx. To use the language of my fellow clients of the Union Mission, he a John Cena-lookin’ ass muthafucka.

Riverside Drive has closed to get ready for RiverBeat Fest, although Tom Lee Park will remain open through this Sunday.

Today is German Beer Day.

Time to rock that iambic pentameter, because it’s also Talk Like Shakespeare Day. 

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will present Tchaikovsky’s Fifth and a Wynton Marsalis violin solo Saturday at the Cannon Center.

Ozzy’s going into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Redbirds will host Miranda Lambert at AutoZone Park on September 28, launching its Music on the Diamond series.

The I Love Memphis blog reports that hot spring baths are coming to South Main.

Discover the sport of hurling Saturday at UT Doctors Field, 248 S. Dunlap. Teams from Little Rock, Nashville, and Knoxville will be in town.

Bardog specials today

  • Grilled chicken sandwich- lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, bacon, cheddar, BBQ sauce – 18
  • Shrimp penne pasta- bell peppers, onions, chipotle garlic butter sauce – 20
  • Soups: Beer cheese with pretzel, chipotle chicken & veggies 
  • Dog: Bacon, onion, bell pepper, ketchup, mustard 
  • Mussels: White wine, garlic, tomatoes 
  • Red velvet cake 
  • Guava cheesecake 

Blind Bear specials this week

  • Egg drop soup – Lightly seasoned chicken broth, egg ribbons, green onions – cup 6, bowl 10
  • Pepper steak stir fry – Tender seasoned steak, crisp bell peppers and onions on a bed of white rice topped with savory sauce – 20
  • Colossal cheesecake – Strawberry puree topping – 8

Out with my MacBook. Got a couple of writing projects I want to get done. Back tomorrow with more news.

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Monday update

Rajun Cajun crawfish fest yesterday was COLD!!!!! It seems like it’s been blazing hot or windy & cold most of April. What we need is some Poplar Avenue weather

Know what Poplar Avenue weather is?


Look it up on a map if you don’t get it. 

I discovered a new Mexican food truck at the festival: Slutty Salsa.

So, I told you that Thursday we had Commissary BBQ sandwiches for dinner at the Union Mission. Now let me tell you about Friday. 

We had a rich, thick chili whose flavor was tremendous- tangy and spicy, yet not overpoweringly hot. I noticed the chili appeared to have hunks of steak rather than ground beef. 

After dinner, in chapel the pastor told us that the chili meat was a donation from Capital Grille. 

Daaaang. As well as we’ve been eating lately, I gotta worry that the Union Mission will start requiring a jacket and tie in the dining room. Seriously, though, it’s a testament to the fine work the Mission does that so many of Memphis’ best restaurants want to partner with it. 

Oh, and one more reason I’m a fan of the Mission: Friday night, some of the guys requested the channel be changed on one of the common area TVs. They wanted to watch WWE Smackdown, where Solo Sikoa is breaking out as the next must-see heel.

I tried a sample from that chocolate vendor at the Farmers Market Saturday. Delicious! I tried milk chocolate. They also had dark chocolate, white chocolate, and 3 other varieties. I want to go back and try one of their parfaits. 

I got to try a slice of the guava cheesecake at Bardog on Saturday. Perjorie T. Roll and Bartender Supreme #1 posed for a picture with it::

It was good, although Perjorie was a little disappointed it wasn’t the same color as her hair. 

Monterey Bay FC beat Memphis 901 FC 2-1 Saturday. It was 901’s fifth straight loss.  TANK TANK TANK. …wait, wrong team.

Yuta Watanabe is gone from the Grizzlies. He declined his player option and is headed back home to Japan to play.

Memphis Tiger David Jones has declared for the NBA draft. He will be able to maintain his college eligibility if he backs out. 

There was a shooting at Fourth and Adams Friday night that injured two juveniles. 

Brit Floyd, the Pink Floyd tribute band, plays the Orpheum Wednesday. The tour is said to be “a faithful recreation of Pink Floyd’s final Division Bell tour.”

O.J.’s white Ford Bronco is for sale.

The Memphis Flyer’s 2024 Beer Bracket Challenge is going on. Vote for your favorite local beers.

Bike Night on Beale will be monthly rather than weekly this year.

The DM has a recap and photos of Africa in April.

Overheard at Bardog: “An El Camino is like a car with a mullet”

POLITICO Playbook discusses what to watch for in the Trumpster’s criminal trial. The jury has been seated and opening arguments are today. Is the Stormy Daniels matter just a well-known affair, or is Trump’s handling of it a case of criminal corruption?

The Memphis Redbirds seek a marketing manager.

The South Main Association’s inaugural South Main Social of 2024 is Tuesday night at Wiseacre Downtown. One free beer per SMA member, bites from Little Bettie, DJ, guest speakers from various South Main businesses.

I had a story get “boosted” on Medium last week. That means the editors liked it and flipped a switch to show it to a wider audience. The article was about homeless outreach and things to do/not to do when traveling around an urban area distributing food and supply bags. It’s my first boosted story since I returned to that platform last month.

I have more Medium ideas and am probably going to stay out of the Mission Tuesday and Thursday nights so I can be at the Cossitt Library until 8 PM working on them. (I’d stay out tonight but it’s too cold.)

Back tomorrow with more news.

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Friday update – I had some stuff stolen, but I’m going to have an awesome weekend anyway

Yesterday wasn’t a great day. My Ziploc bag containing toiletries, hygiene items, and my charger for my iPhone and Apple Watch got stolen at the Union Mission. 

But, it could have been worse. There was a witness who pointed the thief out to me. I confronted him and recovered my charger, razor, and deodorant. 

The witness and I then went to a supervisor, who threw the thief out of the building and banned him. The supervisor was kind and helpful.

I’ll be out about $20 replacing stolen items, but thank God I got my charger back. And thank God my phone and wallet were on my person and not in the Ziploc bag. 

This does not change my highly positive opinion of the Mission. In fact, hours after the theft I got an additional reason to like the place. Crossroads Baptist Church showed up and fed us Commissary BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, and mini-Chips Deluxe cookies with M&Ms. 

On to the news, of which there is plenty today…

Memphis 901 FC hosts Monterey Bay FC at AutoZone Park Saturday night at 7.

FedEx has announced a $25 million, multi-year agreement to fund NIL (name, image, likeness) deals for University of Memphis athletes. That agreement, along with Liberty Bowl upgrades, will help the U of M stand out as a possible addition to a power conference.

The U of M has agreed to a home-and-home basketball series with Mississippi State. It’ll be the first time the Tigers have hosted the Bulldogs since 1983.

The DMC will offer a beginner biking class for adults from 2 to 4 PM Sunday, May 5. The class will be run by expert instructors and will use Explore Bike Share bikes. Each participant will receive a personal helmet to use and take home.

The DM has coverage of last night’s community meeting at Central Station to discuss a possible new bridge over the Mississippi that would replace the I-55 bridge.

Also in Central Station, Zio Matto Gelato has opened. They offer 14 gelato flavors including several seasonals.

Action News 5 reports that crime concerns were a major factor in the decision to close Downtown steakhouse 117 Prime.

Today’s Chef Special at Momma’s is The El Caminero: open-faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, bacon, fried onion, and caramelized apples.

Today is National Amaretto Day.

The Orpheum seeks a barback. Pay is $15 an hour plus tips. ABC card is desirable but if you don’t have one, you’ll have 60 days to apply.

Collage Dance brings its show Elevate to the Cannon Center this Saturday and Sunday.

Today is the first free French fry Friday at Wendy’s. Ordering within the app, you can select any size fries for free with additional purchase. The promotion will run through the rest of the year. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

There were multiple car break-ins on Mud Island overnight.

Grace Morrison, Andy Sydow, and Brian Blake play South Main Sounds tonight 7 to 9.

Church Health presents Rhythm of Care at Comeback Coffee tonight 7 to 9. Raneem Imam with Fergus Barnes on guitar will perform, as will QEMIST.

Soilpimp’s Riesling Study with DJ Muggs will come to Eight & Sand Lounge at Central Station this Saturday at 9 PM.

Posts this weekend may be sparse. Tomorrow I want to hit the Farmers Market in the morning then head over to Bardog about 11. Bardog’s brunch will have a guest bartender who’s #1 in my book. Then on Sunday I want to go to Rajun Cajun crawfish fest, so I’m not sure if I’ll be in the vicinity of Wi-Fi long enough to write a post.

Back sometime soon with more news.

It’s free to read this blog, but I gratefully accept tips! 
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Wednesday update

The Cossitt Library is unexpectedly closed today. “Maintenance issues,” says the sign on the door. Sigh… that complicates life for me. I had already decided that I was gonna take today/tonight off from staying at the Union Mission in order to work on my blog/Medium articles. Without the Cossitt’s free Wi-Fi, device charging, and bathrooms, I am at a disadvantage.

I’ll try the next closest branch, the Cornelia Crenshaw Library at 531 Vance, this afternoon. In the meantime, I’m renting Wi-Fi, electricity, and bathrooms at the Flying Saucer for a $5.00 Fire Sale plus tip.

The TacoNganas location at Danny Thomas and Adams is open for business:

The public is invited to a meeting Thursday to discuss a new $787 million bridgr crossing the Mississippi. It would replace the 1949 “old bridge” connecting I-55 and Crump Blvd. The meeting will be 5-7 PM at the Central Station Hotel.

The Memphis Flyer has a review of WICKED at the Orpheum. You have until Sunday to go see it.

Vintage901 will have a grand wine tasting at The Medicine Factory (85 W. Virginia Avenue) Saturday. From the website:

The Grand Tasting, our flagship event, features an array of wine vendors from numerous Old World and New World wine producers. A series of classes are curated for guests to learn about wine and food pairings. Guests also have an opportunity to talk directly with wine and food professionals. Chef demonstrations and good Memphis music are all part of this event.

The Tennessee legislature is considering a bill that would let hair stylists sell drinks in their salons.

Monday, April 22 is Earth Day, and the DM has a guide to events. Two of those happen Downtown:

  • Saturday of Service at Tom Lee Park 8-10 AM Saturday, April 20
  • Storytime Celebration with Chris Cooper at the aforementioned Crenshaw Library 10-11 AM Monday

Today is Malbec World Day.

The Grizzlies seek a cabling technician and a carpentry and maintenance technician.

The Saucer is rolling out some special dishes for 4/20 weekend.

You can’t burn one at the Saucer, but you can come there to eat afterward. The annual 4/20 Saucer pint glass goes on sale tonight at 7.

From the Flyer: Approachable fine dining comes to The Edge as JEM opens April 25

The Moxy Hotel is hiring a combination front desk clerk and bartender, someone who can assist, educate, and entertain guests.

There will be a Downtown Spring Clean Friday, April 26 from 1 to 5 PM. A variety of tasks will be available, and a post-cleaning party will happen from 5 to 7.

Action News 5’s latest 5 Star Story explores the Gattas family’s (big names locally in jewelry) partnership with St. Jude.

Velvetina’s Speakeasy Burlesque returns to the Blind Bear Friday, April 26. Tickets are $20.

The New Wing Order food truck will be at Cordelia’s Market from 4:30 to 7:30 PM today.

I’m finding myself in the midst of an issue most homeless men in Memphis face: when to make the switch from jeans to shorts. I made the jump yesterday. That’s considered pretty early – the average low for Memphis today is only 53, and it’s expected to dip into the mid-40s Monday AM. But we all know I like to wear shorts when it’s cold out.

Back tomorrow with more news. I sure hope the Cossitt Library will have its maintenance issues fixed.

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Tuesday update

There’s a squirrel that got run over this morning at Main and Madison. I didn’t take a photo but you can go by and see him.

For those who prefer news about squirrels that aren’t dead, they were humping this morning in Court Square. Expect litters of squirrel babies around June 1.

Based on a sign I saw this week, it appears Calvary Episcopal has taken over the old Hospitality Hub building on N. Second and is transforming it into something called “The Welcome Inn.” The Hub moved out of the building and into 590 Washington several years ago.

… Okay, here we go, Calvary has info about the Welcome Inn. It will be a place to stay with showers for youth groups serving in Memphis. Also, Calvary will host a Room In The Inn space there for the next several years. Calvary owns the building and rented the space to the Hub for $1/year for 8 years.

Speaking of Room in the Inn, First Congo out in Cooper-Young is having a fundraiser for that organization on April 27.

Penny’s Memphis Tigers will begin a home-and-home with UNLV next season.

From Beale Street Bears: 4 Memphis Grizzlies players who definitely won’t be back next season

Mid-South Jeeps will have Takeover Tuesday at the Blind Bear tonight. Specials at the Bear this week:

Hamburger Soup
Cup 6 Bowl 10
Ground beef, Green Beans, Carrots, Onions, Celery, Tomatoes, Sweet Peas in a Seasoned Broth
Southern Style Fried Fish Dinner 20 ️
Seasoned Fried Fish, Spaghetti, topped with our House-made Sauce & a Side of Coleslaw
Colossal Cheesecake 8
Strawberry Purée topping

India Ramey debuts at South Main Sounds Saturday.

Africa in April, this year saluting The Republic of Gambia, takes place in Robert Church Park at Fourth and Beale this weekend.

The Grizzlies’ young breakout star GG Jackson is expected to play in NBA Summer League this year.

Today is Day of the Mushroom. I recommend the Grateful Shroom burger at the Flying Saucer to celebrate.

Automatic Slim’s seeks a full-time bartender.

The Cossitt Library hosts Spring’s Metamorphosis: A Celebration of Storytelling Saturday from 1 to 3 PM.

That’s all for now. I am very tired but I’ll be back tomorrow with more news.

It’s free to read this blog, but I gratefully accept tips! 
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Cash App: $Paulryburn1
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