Gettin Kinda Bizzy….Yesssir…Foam Ringing!!!

in·sti·tu·tion
ˌinstəˈt(y)o͞oSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: institution; plural noun: institutions
  1. 1.
    a society or organization founded for a religious, educational, social, or similar purpose.
    “a certificate from a professional institution”

So now that we have gotten our ‘learning’ done for the day let us talk why CBT posted that definition. If you have ever visited 1445 Jackson Avenue in the Crime- Free Cross Town/Evergreen district in Memphis you will understand what I am talking about. Located in that former Greek, Italian and Irish neighborhood is the oldest family owned Tavern in Memphis. Yes I am speaking of Alex’s Tavern owned by none other than my good friend Rocky Kasaftes. Rock-Mo’s father, Alex Kasaftes, opened the bar on November 13, 1953 as a place for the businessmen to socialize with a drink after work before dinner. Rocky’s mother, Eugenia, served as the bookkeeper when she wasn’t running the Weakly Dance Studio. Rocky took over the family business and has been running it ever since.

Rocky’s best friend was John McCormack who growing up would ‘sneak’ some of their music into the jukebox which naturally would anger Alex. Finally a deal was made and they would have 2 jukeboxes in The Tavern. One for Alex’s older music (Frank Sinatra, Temptations, ect) and the other would have Rockys and Bad Dog’s music (Cream, John Fogerty, you know the classics) both jukeboxes still remain at the Tavern.

Rocky had a long time employee by the name of Sonny Wilson. Sonny was something else. He is immortalized in the men’s room with his “World Famous Sonnyism’s” and if you have ever heard me say the phrase “Foam Ringing” well you can thank Sonny for that one.  Sonny was also famous for his bookkeeping skills in keeping the bar tabs. But that is probably why Rocky is almost bald headed and grey too. Another great longtime employee is Andy. Andy keeps the Sonnyism’s alive and well and keeps the joint going during the ‘lunch rush’.

The cuisine at the Tavern back when I was ‘drinking on a falsified ID’ was Wings, Chicken Tenders and Burgers with Chips. Rocky made some modifications to the kitchen and added Fries, Gumbo, Greek Wings and Ribs. It is the Ribs that Rocky is starting to get mad props for by various food critics. Me, I am a purist and stick to the Trifecta; Wings, Tenders and Burgers with some Bud Lights of course. I won’t go into the method that Rocky cooks his burgers or the secret spice that he puts in them but just say “Go get a damn burger and see for yourself!”

img_0093Yessir two good looking fellas there. Side Note – Rocky knew Mrs. Trumpet as a patron for years before we even dated and got married. The first time we both went into the Tavern Rocky told her “Watch out for this one *pointing at me*.” Her response was “Too late, I married him!”

img_0095Alex’s portrait still hangs over the Jukeboxes

img_0099The Classic Greek Burger and Chips

img_0094Andy lines up the Bud Light like Rockettes in the coldest beer fridge in the world. Seriously, half of them are frozen hence why the lid is open.

img_0098Rocky and Bad Dog in a pic that hangs behind the bar.

img_0092We were being Difficult that night, we asked for Ranch and Blue Cheese.

img_0096In that Skillet something beautiful happens. The Cake Topper is what melts the cheese

img_0100Of course we had to hang J-Bob’s baby picture behind the cash register. The Little Bastid wasn’t available for a picture. (J-Bob’s picture is to the left of the green Margaritaville Sticker dressed in that gender neutral smocked outfit)

img_0101My sister went to a football game so we got to babysit the Lady Killer one day. Naturally we took him to the Tavern to meet Sonny. It is very odd in that for some reason we never got asked to babysit again. I wonder why?

258sThe Sonnyisms

img_0102We love you Rocky, see you in late January!

Go see Rock-Mo and tell him that Carbunkle sent you!

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