In good times and bad, we’re here for you, we’re in this together

By , Daily Memphian Updated: March 31, 2020 1:58 PM CT | Published: March 31, 2020 1:57 PM CT
Jennifer Biggs
Daily Memphian

Jennifer Biggs

Jennifer Biggs is a native Memphian and veteran food writer and journalist who covers all things food, dining and spirits related for The Daily Memphian.

I started this column almost a month ago, in pre-COVID-19 Memphis, when Tiger Lane was for tailgating, not deep-nasal swabbing. When I wrote Version 1, it was on the tails of a big masquerade party at Bishop to celebrate the grand opening of Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman’s French brasserie in Central Station Hotel.

It was a few days after Kelly English joined me on the Destination: Delicious podcast to talk about Mardi Gras. A few days after I reviewed Coastal Fish Company, the upscale restaurant Russ Graham and Tom Powers opened at Shelby Farms. Right after I wrote about the fabulous enchiladas rancheras at the newly opened Crazy Cactus on Summer Avenue.

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Just two or three weeks later, our world changed. English came back to the podcast on March 16, two very long weeks ago. We talked about how the local restaurant community was in shambles because by then, COVID-19 was in Memphis. Mardi Gras in New Orleans saw to that, though we didn’t know it at the time.

What we knew, two weeks ago, was that restaurants were hurting like never before. Within hours of recording, English made the decision to close down the dining rooms of Restaurant Iris, The Second Line and Fino’s and go to takeout and delivery.

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Two days later, Ticer and Hudman shut their doors and furloughed almost all their employees. One day after that, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland ordered all dining rooms in the city to close, and on March 20, that’s what happened. Many restaurants are open for takeout and delivery, but it’s going to be a while before we break bread together again.

That time will come. We’ll gather again for Friday lunch, we’ll drink margaritas on a sunny patio, we’ll splurge on fine wine with dinner. I’ll look for $10 Deals and tell you about My Favorite Things again.

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Until then, we live and work this COVID life. At The Daily Memphian, we are on the news frontlines. Not only are we all working every day to bring you stories, we’re keeping up two daily blogs. One is for COVID-19 news, and the other records the surprising upside of COVID-19; we call it the Kindness Blog. As we learned after 9-11, when the worst happens, people show their best. 

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Through this crisis, we’ll be here for you. I won’t review restaurants, but I’ll review their takeout meals and I’ll tell you how they’re getting through this tough time. There are plenty of stories to tell, and I’m here to do it. My coworkers are here, too, and we’ll keep writing. There will be bad news ahead, but we’ll deliver it to you because it’s important you stay informed.

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There will be good news too. A trickle here and there, and one day, schools will reopen, parks will be full, hospitals will have plenty of empty beds and restaurants will have waiting lists. We’re with you now and will be with you then; we need you to be with us, too.

Our COVID-19 coverage is free to anyone, but it’s not free to produce. News isn’t. You can count on us to bring it to you, but we count on you to make it possible. I love doing this for you, and I can’t do it without you. If you value what we do at The Daily Memphian, please support us.


COVID-19 Kelly English Andy Ticer & Michael Hudman


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