Sad Day...Raiford's is closed

I know I've been missing a lot of posting potential, but I saw this on two other Memphis blogs. Raiford's has closed. Check out the story on Downtown Paul's and CA Mark's. This is an end to a Memphis landmark. In honor of our collective mourning I'll tell my favorite Raiford's experience:

I was home from college one summer. My buddy DP came over and I cooked steaks. We had a bunch of beers and decided that we needed to head out for the night. We grabbed a six pack to last until we got downtown. We went to Ernestine & Hazels for a few hours. After a bunch of beers, I got a call that some friends were "probably" heading to Raiford's. So we jumped in the car and headed there. We walked in and grabbed our 40's.
My back was to the dance floor as I took my first sip. I felt a woman's hand grab my hand and pull me to the dance floor. I handed DP my beer and said adios. When we got to the dance floor I realized through the clouds of smoke and my beer goggles that it was my friend's mother. She's a good family friend also so I knew I wasn't going to be in trouble. We danced for a song or two when all of a sudden she looked me in the eyes and grabbed my shoulders. I had no idea what was about to happen as she spun me around to face the walkway coming up the dance floor. As I regained my balance I saw a man coming straight at me with his fist clenched and pulled back in order to punch me in the face. He saw who I was, and I realized who he was - her husband, my friend's father. His fist dropped, and he stuck out his hand to shake mine. We said our hellos and then he said to get back to dancing with his wife so I didn't have to.
I danced a few more songs and then went back to find DP. My other friends never showed up so we decided to head back to E&H. The problem was DP drank both his 40 and mine while I was dancing. No big deal. When we got to E&H, I ordered two soul burgers. DP excused himself to go to the bathroom. I drank and chatted the folks around us. After the soul burgers arrived, I wolfed mine down and looked around for DP. I couldn't find him anywhere until I looked outside. He was sitting on the sidewalk making sure E&H's wall didn't fall down. I put his burger in front of him, but he did feel like eating (or staying upright). Now in all fairness we were both beyond fitshaced. But we had to get home. As I was the more sober one I ate his burger to coat my stomach in a little grease. I drover us home and called it a night. Probably shouldn't have driven, but I was young, stupid, and in college.

That's my favorite Raiford's memory. Unfortunately there are hardly any great memories from Raiford's. Most involved drunken stupidity...either on my part or someone else's. I had a chance to go three weeks ago and I passed it up. Kinda wish I hadn't, but it's too late now.

Anyone know if he'll reopen elsewhere?


mendi said...

Why would you drive from E&H to Raifords???

Philip said...

Because we were 21 and drunk as hell. Why leave the car 4 blocks away?

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