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Neil’s Bar in Midtown Gets Demolished

Following a summer fire and extensive property damage, longtime Memphis drinking hole Neil’s Bar at 1835 Madison Ave. has been demolished.

Neil’s 9,618-square-foot space sat on 31,102 square feet of property at Madison and South McLean that’s owned by Don McCormack and Ceylon Blackwell.

Blackwell – a residential real estate agent for Crye-Leike Realtors Inc. – told The Daily News in October that rebuilding Neil’s space didn’t make sense in this economy.

“If we rebuilt it, we’d probably have a piece of property worth about the same as the lot would be worth,” Blackwell said.

Neil’s was housed at 1835 Madison for nearly 20 years. Madison Automotive, also a longtime tenant of the lot, was not affected by the demolition and is “staying awhile,” Blackwell said.

Only rubble remains at 1835 Madison, the address of Neil's Bar for nearly 20 years.

Tenn. Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.1 Pct.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point since January 2009.

The state Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced Thurs., Dec. 15, that the state’s jobless rate fell from 9.5 percent in October to 9.1 percent last month.

The state’s jobless rate in Jan. 2009 was 9.0 percent.

The national unemployment rate for November was 8.6 percent, down 0.4 percent from October.

Blue Collar Sinatra

The Memphis law firm of Glassman, Edwards, Wade & Wyatt PC is throwing a cool holiday party this year.

They’re bringing in this construction worker-turned-singer to perform.

Morgan Keegan departures continue

A Memphis-based rival of Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. has scooped up some departing Morgan Keegan financial advisors who’ve left recently as the auction of Morgan Keegan by Regions Financial Corp. drags on.

Wunderlich Securities this month added Dallas broker Howard Sparkman, who left Morgan Keegan after 17 years with the firm. This spring, James Parrish left Morgan Keegan after more than two decades to join Wunderlich as co-president of Wunderlich’s private client group.

Also last week, two advisors in Maryland – Chris Wallace and Sarah Ehrlich – left Morgan Keegan for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. They were a $1.3 million revenue team, according to one source indirectly involved with their move.

Morgan Keegan has lost about 20 brokers since June, but many others are on the fence. One industry recruiter said he’s currently in talks with about three dozen.

Morgan Keegan had 1,218 financial advisers at the end of October, according to a Reuters story this week.

A response to Slate.com’s “Don’t support your local bookstore” story

It seems ironic to me that on the same day we ran a story about the re-launch of The Booksellers at Laurelwood, which has overcome a lot of the familiar struggles facing bookstores around the country, Slate.com ran a piece under the headline “Don’t Support Your Local Bookstore.”

The subhead claimed “Buying books on Amazon is better for authors, better for the economy and better for you.”

How about it, book-lovers? What do you think of these lines from the Slate writer? –

“If you’re a novelist – not to mention a reader, a book publisher, or anyone else who cares about a vibrant book industry – you should thank (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) for crushing that precious indie on the corner.”

“Bookstores present a frustrating consumer experience.”

“An independent bookstore’s shelves don’t have much to do with your community.”

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve never had trouble finding what I’m looking for at the Booksellers at Laurelwood or Burke’s. If they don’t have it, they’re happy to order it.

Everything’s labeled. The staff is friendly. The only thing frustrating I’ve found is I always want more than I can afford.

The Slate writer goes on to lament the recommendation system at bookstores (which often come in the form of staff picks) versus Amazon’s recommended buys for you, which are based on what you’ve bought and searched for in the past.

The writer seems to imply the bookstore recommendations are somehow rigged, since no one buys movie tickets based on what the ticket taker at a movie box office recommends. (How many ticket takers have to demonstrate their movie knowledge before they get the job, though, in the same way booksellers have to often prove their knowledge of the field before they’re hired at indies?)

And then there’s the old thing about price. That’s where the Slate writer says Amazon is unbeatable, since you can find titles – even otherwise expensive new releases – at big markdowns.

Something tells me the writer really doesn’t believe his own argument that he only buys the cheapest product he can. Otherwise, whenever he eats out, I’m sure he never chooses anything more expensive than McDonald’s.

Because, c’mon, they’ve got burgers for a buck. You can’t beat value.

 

Dansette

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