Technology is cool

As I thought might happen, I don’t have any Downtown news to report today. But I will share a quick story.

Last night I let myself in the front door of my apartment building, as I have just about every day for the last 20 years.

But last night was different. I didn’t hold a key fob up to a reader to unlock the front door.

I didn’t punch a passcode into the call box.

I didn’t call a neighbor on the call box and ask to be buzzed in.

I opened an app on my Apple Watch and swiped myself in.

How cool is that?

I want to travel back in time and tell 1985 me that I will one day be able to do that.

That’s it for today. Hopefully I’ll have some news to report tomorrow.

Sunday update

What a crap day of college football yesterday was. At least Memphis won.

Today is National Quesadilla Day.

The Vegan Goddess, LLC, Rich Health, LLC & Chef ENT Production, LLC are putting together a six-course vegan dinner on Saturday, October 1. Tickets for the dinner are $75 and it will be held at 10 N. Second. The courses will be made with high-quality seasonal ingredients and there will be cocktails as well.

The Soulful Food Truck Festival happens today at Tiger Lane.

CoComeleon Live: JJ’s Journey comes to the Orpheum Monday night.

More for Memphis will have a launch party Tuesday at Central Station from 4:00 to 6:30 PM. Harlem Children’s Zone founder and president Geoffrey Canada will speak. Attendees will hear from community partners about initiatives in the fields of art, education, health, justice and safety, economic development, and community development.

Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage and STAX Music Academy will headline Sunset at BRIDGES, a free concert celebrating BRIDGES’ 100-year legacy in Memphis, Thursday evening. You’re welcome to bring a blanket or lawn chair, and food trucks will be on-site if you’re hungry.

The Flying Saucer will host It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia trivia Tuesday at 7.

Bob Boccia performs live at the Hard Rock tonight from 7 to 10.

Denver Massey plays the Tin Roof today from 4 to 7:30.

Grind City Brewing Co. will host a combination Oktoberfest and 2nd-anniversary party this Saturday. Festivities will include

  • Bratwurst Toss competition
  • Axe Throwing competition
  • Beer Sliding competition
  • Stein Holding competition
  • Live music by Mighty Souls Brass Band, Max Kaplan, and Benton Parker & the Royal Reds
  • Food trucks
  • Vendor market
  • Cornhole, giant Jenga, hook and ring game, horseshoes

The Broom Closet hosts an introduction to runes Saturday at 1 PM.

I was accused yesterday of an instance of plagiarism in my Tuesday Update post. OK, let’s give credit where credit is due.

Pools are fun. Summer is fun.


Back tomorrow or maybe Tuesday, depending on how much news there is to report.

Saturday update

Confirmed – the GM of one of the restaurants that were going to enter Beale Street Wine Race got a call to let him know it was canceled. So if Wine Race was your plan for tomorrow, go ahead and make another plan.

Safety tip – if it’s late at night and you need to get from Main to Front on foot, don’t walk down Gayoso. Use Union or Peabody Place instead, even if it means some extra footsteps. Gayoso is a narrow street with tall buildings with few windows with street visibility on either side. Robbers have been known to park on that street and then target people leaving the bars in the wee hours.

South Main Trolley Night is next Friday, September 30. Shops in the area will stay open until 9 or later, many offering appetizers, beer, wine, and/or specials. The forecast for Trolley Night is looking beautiful, with plenty of sunshine and a high around 80.

Due to upcoming film activities, Maciel’s will be closed Wednesday, September 28-Friday, September 30. I wonder if that’s Young Rock, and if other businesses on that block of Main will be affected?

There will be a Back to the Light Fall Turnout free concert at Wiseacre Downtown on Saturday, October 15 featuring

  • The Subteens
  • J.D. Reager and the Cold Blooded 3
  • Rosey
  • S p a c e r
  • Loose Opinions

The U of M will retire linebacker Danton Barto’s jersey, number 59. Barto played for the Tigers from 1990 to 1993 and died last year.

Some good football on today. Check my Tuesday post for info on games of interest to Memphians.

From Fox 13: An extinct Mississippi volcano could lead to a nationwide beer shortage

St. Louis Cardinal Albert Pujols hit his 700th home run last night, joining Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds in the 700 club.

A tropical storm named Ian is expected to strengthen to a hurricane and make landfall in Florida next week. The current projected path has it making a direct hit on Tampa Wednesday night.

There’s a vegan fest happening at Grind City Brewing today.

Jeff Hulett plays the front porch of South Point Grocery today at noon.

Something called a Glamitzvah is happening in Court Square at 1 tomorrow. It’s said to be a small business hair & fashion festival.

My presence has been requested at Bardog at 11 today, so I will lead off there this morning. Later (if there aren’t too many shots) I’ll head down to Blind Bear and catch DJ Tree. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wine race not happening after all Sunday?

A GM of one of the restaurants planning to participate said he got a call saying Wine Race had been canceled. I’m going out this morning on a fact-finding mission about this and a few other things, so I’m going to cut this post short.

But if Wine Race was your plan for Sunday, might want to come up with a Plan B.

Thursday update

Go away, summer!

The Brass Door will be closed today for a private event,

Local on Main now has a shot called the Local Stimulus. It’s an espresso shot similar to one offered at a bar around the corner. I’m not a big coffee drinker myself but my friend Joe really likes them.

Katherine and Marc Bryan will supply the live music at Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday.

From the Memphis Flyer: 370 great things about Memphis

A friend of mine ate at the new Inches Taco Shop on Mud Island recently and was impressed. She recommended the steak nachos.

The 2022-23 Memphis Tigers men’s basketball schedule has been released.

SOB (South of Beale) will open a Collierville location.

The University of Missouri has approached the University of Memphis about buying out of their planned September 23, 2023 football game.

Today is National Ice Cream Cone Day.

The massively expensive Beale Street Landing is not even 10 years old and is already showing signs of wear and tear.

A former inmate has raised concerns about conditions at 201 Poplar.

Memphis magazine has a look at Inkwell, the new cocktail bar out in The Edge.

And that’s it for this morning’s news. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday update: Wine Race is this Sunday

Every year in April, usually the last Sunday in April, the annual Beale Street Wine Race happens. This competition is a day of debauchery that gives people in the service industry a chance to blow off steam before the hectic Memphis in May season begins.

Except this year, it didn’t happen in April. There was an announcement that Wine Race would be moved to September. I don’t know if there were COVID concerns, a scheduling conflict, or what.

You may notice that this coming Sunday is the last one in September.

And we found out yesterday that yep, that’s Wine Race.

Beale Street management did a HORRIBLE job promoting this event. They should’ve started getting the word out in August. Teams won’t have time to order matching shirts. People who normally work on Sundays and would like to come to the event won’t have time to ask off work.

But anyway, it’s happening. For those new to Memphis, let me explain what happens at Wine Race. People gather on the block of Beale between B.B. King Blvd. and Fourth around 1:00 in the afternoon to watch area restaurant teams compete in four events:

  • An opening parade, where teams conduct floats down Beale Street and into Handy Park
  • A Queen of the Vine beauty pageant
  • A grape stomp competition – who can use their feet to get the most juice out of a tub of grapes
  • A 4-person team wine relay. Each team member has to uncork a bottle of wine, put it on their team’s tray, and carry it down Beale

There are sometimes wardrobe malfunctions in Queen of the Vine. A lot of wine gets spilled in the relay.

Let’s check the forecast for Sunday: Mostly cloudy; scattered showers and a chance of thunderstorms. The morning starts off near 70 and the temperature will rise to the upper 80s by afternoon. Rain chance 40%.

Eight & Sand has released their DJ lineup for Friday and Saturday of this week:

  • Edan from New York City
  • Cavey Cave from L.A. (I think??? Hard to tell from the promotional flyer)
  • Guest DJs from Memphis: DJ Charlie Fuggit, Cadillac Zac, and Memphis Jones

The architect of shock rock, Alice Cooper, brings his paranormal show to the Orpheum next Tuesday.

Patti LeBelle has been announced for the Orpheum on Saturday, March 18.

Catherine & Mary’s will be closed this Friday for a private event.

The Memphis Wing & Turkey Leg Classic will happen Saturday, November 12 from 11 AM to 4 PM at the Ghost River brewery at Main and Crump. Here’s what you will find there:

  • Come vote on Memphis’ best wing and turkey leg
  • Celebrity appearances by Al Kapone, Gina Neely, and Sheriff Floyd Bonner
  • Live radio remote 104.1 FM
  • Vendors
  • Games
  • Live performances
  • Beer specials
  • Hookah specials
  • $2 wine samples 12-2
  • $2 tequila shots 12-2 is now on Patreon. Sign up for a monthly subscription to get benefits like members-only posts and weather Q&As.

Downtown Yoga will hold a two-part Advanced Breathwork workshop Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23.

Kids eat free at Memphis Chess Club on Tuesday nights. Purchase of one entree is required. Tuesday is also Open Play night where kids can receive personal chess instruction as they play.

This next item isn’t Downtown news, but it seems worth a mention. The Memphis metro has been lacking Chicago-style deep dish pizza since Wiseguys in Horn Lake closed several years ago. Well, that’s about to change with the opening of a new restaurant, Izzy & Adam’s, at 6343 Summer. They’ll have Chicago-style pizza as well as wings and sandwiches.

From YouTube: The Rock gives a special toast to Memphis.

DJ Tree will play the Blind Bear this Saturday from 10 PM to 2 AM.

Annual LGBTQ celebration the TEP Gumbo Contest returns this Sunday. It will be at the Museum of Science & History.

Wyly Bigger plays Live at the Tracks at Central Station this Thursday starting at 6:30.

MLK50 is hiring an audience engagement manager.

From Fox 13: Drunk, half-naked woman shoots from car in Downtown Memphis

Amazon broke the record for Prime sign-ups over a three-hour period last Thursday evening. Looks like acquiring exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football was a good move by Amazon.

Cooking chicken in Nyquil is a fad that’s been trending on TikTok. Oh my God people are stupid.

Today is World Gratitude Day.

Memphissippi Sounds play Blues on Beale at Handy Park tonight from 7 to 9.

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

Tuesday update

The Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Year-End Event is set for the Halloran Center on Tuesday, November 15 at 6 PM. DNA president Elijah Townsend will give a “State of Downtown” address and there will be guest speakers including mayors, state representatives, and city council members. A number of sponsorships are available that allow you to advertise your business to active Downtown residents.

American Airlines will begin offering direct flights to Austin beginning in January 2023.

Former Memphis Tigers basketball star Emoni Bates has been arrested on gun charges. Bates was set to play as a sophomore for Eastern Michigan this coming season. Bates’ attorney said he was not aware there was a gun in the borrowed vehicle he had been driving.

Primas Bakery and Boutique will have a Halloween cookie decorating party on Sunday, October 30.

Purple maters. Yup they exist. And they’re healthy.

Pools are fun. Summer is fun. But summer’s almost over. The 2022 fall equinox happens Thursday at 8:03 PM.

Yesterday was the last day of the year when the sunset was 7:00 or later.

Cordelia’s Market now carries Amylu Foods chicken sausages, burgers, and bacon.

FedExForum is receiving a number of service upgrades prior to the start of the Grizzlies’ season. The biggest changes are a new bar on the terrace level and more standing-room-only tickets.

From the BBC: The Queen’s funeral in pictures

Today is National Fried Rice Day. It’s also National Pepperoni Pizza Day.

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

  • Kent State at 1 Georgia, 11:00 AM, SEC Network
  • 5 Clemson at 21 Wake Forest, 11:00 AM, ABC
  • Missouri at Auburn, 11:00 AM, ESPN
  • Bowling Green at Mississippi State, 11:00 AM, SEC Network
  • 20 Florida at 11 Tennessee, 2:30 PM, CBS
  • North Texas at Memphis, 2:30 PM, ESPN+
  • Tulsa at 16 Ole Miss, 3:00 PM, SEC Network
  • 10 Arkansas at 23 Texas A&M, 6:00 PM, ESPN
  • Vanderbilt at 2 Alabama, 6:30 PM, SEC Network
  • New Mexico at LSU, 6:30 PM, SEC Network

Georgia needs to pull a Wilt Chamberlain and drop 100 on Kent State.

I’ll be rooting for the Demon Deacons in the 11:00 AM ranked vs. ranked ACC showdown.


Arkansas-Texas A&M should be a good game. A&M is favored slightly on both the spread and ESPN FPI.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. Back tomorrow with more.

Monday update

Levy, the company that handles concessions at FedExForum, is holding its second and final seasonal job fair at the arena this Tuesday from 9 AM to 6 PM. Jobs there make great second jobs to supplement an income. Many of my bartender friends applied at the first job fair, but there are still positions open, so come on down!

Elmwood Cemetery presents Soul of the City October 6-8, recognizing the vast amount of musical talent buried there. There will be walking tours every half hour. The tours last about an hour.

This week’s AP Top 25 is out. I’m really kind of surprised Arkansas remained number 10. They won Saturday but struggled against FCS school Missouri State.

The County Clerk’s office, or “Wanda World” as Bruce V from the Memphis Flyer calls it, is closed this week.

New Wing Order has some new specials they will run on NFL Sundays. They are

  • Loaded Pizza Fries tossed in Italian seasoning, drizzled in marinara, topped with mozzarella and pepperoni
  • Beer Brats simmered in Ghost River Gold for hours and then seared and topped with an Oktoberfest beer cheese, stone-ground mustard, onions, and peppers
  • Oktoberfest Wings which start with sauteed onion, garlic, ginger, and Ghost River Oktoberfest beer, cooked down with fresh lemon juice, honey, red wine vinegar, and plenty of spices

Get these specials 12:00-8:00 PM Sundays at the Ghost River taproom, where they will have wall-to-wall NFL coverage.

Oh dear God… today is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Saturday Night Live alumni Steve Martin & Martin Short come to the Orpheum Saturday. Be prepared to shell out some coin if you want to see them, though…. tickets start at $95 and go up to $350.

The Cannon Center hosts the Cancer Blows Benefit Concert featuring Robert Moody and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Twenty trumpet legends will blow cancer away.

There will be a free Cha Cha class this Saturday 6-7 PM at Fourth Bluff. You don’t need a partner or experience to participate.

Watching the Queen’s funeral procession as I type this. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Today is Cooper-Young Fest out in Midtown. Expect extremely heavy traffic in that area. That festival can draw more than 100,000 visitors. Plus, that area will be congested for the U of M game at the Liberty Bowl at 6.

The Blind Bear is starting a new 2 for $20 brunch special Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 3. You can pick two of

  • Biscuits and gravy – two fresh-baked biscuits topped with their scratch Bear sausage gravy
  • Breakfast bowl – cheesy hash browns topped with 3 eggs, peppers, and your choice of bacon or sausage
  • Sausage or bacon biscuits – two biscuits with a side of cheesy hash browns
  • Chicken and waffle – Crispy fried chicken breast with an apple pie moonshine waffle (NOTE: This item is marked “Limited Stock” on the menu)

Curfew will have a Chef’s Distiller Dinner with Old Dominick spirits Thursday, October 27. A mix & mingle will kick off the evening at 6:30 when you will be able to chat with chef Fabio Viviani and distiller Alex Castle. The three-course dinner begins at 7:15. Purchase tickets

WWE Smackdown returns to FedExForum Friday, January 6. WWE Superstars planned to be there include Drew McIntyre, Smackdown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan, unified tag champions the Usos and “the honorary Uce” Sami Zayn, The New Day, Natalya, Ricochet, Sheamus, Shinske Nakamura, and many more.

Expect to see lots of red and gray polos Downtown next week. The AutoZone national sales meeting comes to the Renasant Convention Center September 18-24.

The Memphis Flyer has a look at the new cutbank bluff that will provide an ADA-accessible walkway to Tom Lee Park.

In observance of National Adoption Weekend, Memphis Animal Services will waive pet adoption fees this weekend.

Soul & Spirits, the brewery on the far north end of Main in Uptown, is hiring front-of-house staff. Service industry experience is encouraged, but not required. Apply online

Hotel Pontotoc, the 1906 building at 69 East Ponroroc, has new owners. They have 10 apartments and a restaurant planned for the space.

From WREG: Memphis at the Movies: 23 films that left their mark

Andrew Cabigao plays the Slider Inn Downtown backyard tonight from 7 to 10.

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

Friday update

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be Monday morning at 11 London time, which is 5 AM U.S. Central time. USA TODAY has all the details of what will happen at the funeral and how to watch it. Multiple channels will cover the funeral but PBS sounds like the place to go. Their coverage begins at 3 AM Central and they’ll have a direct feed from the BBC.

Longshot has rolled out a new menu that includes Pollo Asado Nachos, a Smoked Mushroom & Shishito Philly, Crispy Duck, and a big Diner Burger. I’m glad to see they kept the lamb chili Frito pie.

Blind Bear is having an apparel sale today through Sunday. With purchase of food or a beverage, you can get the following discounts:

  • 10 year anniversary shirts $5 (regular $10)
  • Classic Bear shirts $15 (regular $25)
  • Grizz shirts $15 (regular $20)
  • “Universal” tanks $15 (regular $25)
  • Sweatshirts $25 (regular $40)
  • Zip-ups $25 (regular $35)

The DM has coverage and a photo gallery of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductions last night. Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant made a trip across the pond to induct Priscilla Presley. I wonder if he’ll stop by Winfield’s Clothing Store at Madison and Main to do some shopping today. I’ve been told Plant is one of many legendary rock stars who love that store.

Meghan Triplett, who had been the co-host of the Grizzlies’ “Rise and Grind” videocast, has joined the YES Network as the Brooklyn Nets reporter.

Varsity Spirit is leaving East Memphis and moving its headquarters Downtown. The new HQ will be in the Snuff District at N. Front and Keel. The move will let the organization be closer to two of its partners, St. Jude and the Grizzlies.

If you went to a bar or restaurant to watch Thursday Night Football last night, and it had Xfinity cable, you were out of luck. Amazon has acquired the rights to TNF games and will be streaming them on Prime. TNF will be available to watch in restaurants and bars across the U.S. – but only if they have DirecTV. Here’s an explainer.

Happy Mexican Independence Day to my readers from that country.

Today is also National Guacamole Day.

FOX 13, I feel the need to say this again: Your pop-up ad that appears after a website visitor has spent about 10 seconds on your home page is annoying AF. Please get rid of it.

Rodell McCord plays the Hard Rock tonight at 8.

Jones and Webster will provide the live music at the Memphis Farmers Market tonight.

That’s it for today. Back in about 24 hours with more news.