A Magically Delicious Event at Street Grub; Ray Verner is Making Music in Portland


You can’t help but notice that we, as a society, are quickly moving on to our post-COVID lives. Not that the pandemic is over, but public events are coming back, school is in session and March Madness, while not as mad as usual, is back.

This week I talk with some of my favorite interesting folks — Jared Fox Matthews, Michael Beckmann and Caroline Knop — about the fantastic dinner they’re planning for St. Patrick’s Eve, March 16. With a global theme and Chef Ellen Gill McCarty in the kitchen, 70 lucky diners will enjoy a 4-course meal and some surprises at Street Grub and Pub in St. Matthews.  I talk with Matthews about surviving in the restaurant business, and with Beckmann and Knop about this special event.

In Portland, Ray Verner is serious about making music. In Gill Holland’s Portland Anchor Building’s basement, he’s built a state-of-the-art recording studio where up-and-coming stars can get their music recorded, and Verner uses his connections to hook them up with record deals. And it’s more than that. Verner plans to teach the business he’s been a part of for two decades to young West Enders who want to make a living in the business, whether as performer or producer.

The special optimism I’m feeling has something to do with how easy it was for me to get my first vaccine dose on Wednesday. Just 10 minutes online and I had an appointment. Which means a LOT of people are getting the vaccine, and COVID numbers all over are falling. You might think that Texas removing its mask mandate was premature, but I’m betting even Andy Beshear is going to lighten up soon.

Consider this — Beshear announced this week that restaurant capacity could go up from 50 to 60 percent. U of L announced it will sell more tickets to its game with Virginia on Saturday, and Churchill Downs said it was re-evaluating its plan for the Derby to accommodate more guests. The YUM! Center said it is hosting a touring event — Professional Bull Riders – at the end of March.  JCPS is holding in-person classes next week.

Next week, a rare hiatus  for the city’s longest-running podcast. But the show will return with more of the most interesting people in the ‘Ville. Thanks to Home Cuisine and eXp Realty for sponsoring the show.