Memphis News Update: Cocktails To Go, Reopening Updates, and a Pyramid Patio

Memphis News Update: Cocktails To Go, Reopening Updates, and a Pyramid Patio

Today in Memphis, we have a quick rundown of Memphis re-openings and a debate about alcoholic drinks to-go, plus local restaurant/bar closings (sad), renovations (yay!), and openings (double yay!) You'll find all that and more in today's important news update.

Mississippi Terrace at the Pyramid. Photo courtesy Big Cypress Lodge.

Keep the slushie train rolling
The governor's ordinance allowing takeout alcohol at restaurants expires on May 29. Should we keep it going? In my opinion, yes. It's more money for local restaurants and their employees and it makes social distancing easier. There's a petition in favor of allowing bars and restaurants to keep selling drinks to-go, and Edible Memphis has a good breakdown of the issue. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading for more Memphis news...


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Phase II is here
Surprise! The Memphis/Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force announced on Monday morning that we'd be starting Phase II of the Back-To-Business plan for reopening...immediately. What does this mean and how is it different from Phase I, which lasted for the minimum two week's required time?

Now, the guidelines include:

  • increasing “acceptable group numbers” up to 50 people but still requiring social distancing with masks strongly encouraged
  • gyms and libraries can have more people, now at 50 percent capacity versus 25 percent at Phase I
  • salons, tattoo parlors, etc. can reopen with restrictions
  • restaurants stay the same, but bars and bar areas can open with social distancing and no standing

This is the super short version, so be sure and take a look at the full plan on the Memphis Covid website.

Is Graceland open? What about the Children's Museum/Zoo/Dixon?
I'm keeping up with all the re-openings on the What's Open In Memphis? Guide.

MCA Book Sale
The Memphis College of Art will host the first of several weekly book sales on Thursday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rust Hall in Overton Park. It’s foot traffic only, and masks are required. Get more details or shop online here. See the Overton Park’s parking/traffic map here.

Hopdoddy burger

Restaurant closings

  • Hopdoddy in Midtown will not reopen; the East Memphis location at Poplar/Perkins Ext. is still open.
  • Sear Shack has reportedly closed all of their Mid-South locations.
  • Farm & Fries in Germantown has closed, and the building is for sale.
  • The Grove Grill in Laurelwood has closed after 23 years, though that was in the works before corona.
  • Strano, my favorite East Memphis brunch spot, has closed. I'm not ready to talk about it yet.
  • The Avenue coffee shop by the U of M has closed after six years.

Restaurant renovations

Mississippi Terrace at the Pyramid. Photo courtesy of Big Cypress Lodge.

A patio at the Pyramid
Big Cypress Lodge at the Pyramid will open a new patio space on May 22nd. The Mississippi Terrace has a couple of fire pits, a full bar, and a stage for live music in the future. They'll be open May 22-25 for Memorial Day weekend and after that, Thursdays through Sundays.

See the animals, support our Zoo
The Zoo reopened last week with social distancing guidelines, mask requirements, and capacity limitations. Read the guidelines and see how many people are in the Zoo right now on the Memphis Zoo website. Don't want to go out yet? You can still support the animals by donating to the Emergency Support Fund.

Does anybody really know what time it is?
Not that time matters anymore, but the clock tower at downtown's Civic Center has been demolished to make way for the Loews Hotel that's being built.

New Memphis tunes
Tired of listening to the same songs over and over? In need of some summer jams? The Memphis Music Hub released a new Spotify playlist featuring exclusively Memphis artists with new music recorded in 2020. Give it a listen. 

Trolls-hungry children (and their moms) are overjoyed
The Malco Summer Drive-In theater opened last week, with new rules. It's open every day and tickets must be purchased in advance. The first movies were double features of Trolls World Tour/Dolittle and The Invisible Man/The Hunt. Here's what you need to know.

Congrats, grads!
Local colleges and universities recently held online graduations for students.  The University of Memphis held a virtual ceremony for the 2,592 degrees and certificates awarded with videos from President David Rudd, students, and staff, and a listing of all the graduates. Christian Brothers University is celebrating grads on social media with plans for a fall Commencement ceremony. Rhodes College held a virtual graduation on Saturday for 484 students, with recorded messages from President Marjorie Hass, a choir performance, and photos and videos from the year.


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Wiseacre 2
ICYMI, Wiseacre is building a huge new brewery and taproom downtown at B.B. King and Butler, opening date TBD. Artist Rachel Briggs (who designs their labels) and Youngblood Studio are busy turning the new HQ into what sounds like it might be a Beer Disney World, with murals, sculptures, signs, and a giant cuckoo clock. A few previews:


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