Prior to leaving for the corner convenience store Flanagan stopped by an ATM to get cash for lottery scratch cards and, while doing, he also applied for Memphis’ Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program. According to his application Flanagan was at least buying a twelve pack and potentially as much as a case of cheap domestic beer. “Look,” he said, “I’m a big fan of Memphis. And given the chance, I’d like to make this next beer purchase in Memphis too. But the fact is, I’m already considering a trip to Walmart in West Memphis, which is just like Memphis but further west. And if this doesn’t work out I can always buy and possibly even drink the beer while I’m in Arkansas.”
Business leader Eddie Joe of EJ’s Kwikie Shoppe in Marion, AR, met Flanagan while the two men were waiting to use a RedBox outside of the Union Ave. Walgreens. He has since used social media to encourage his new friend to bring both his money and his astonishing thirst over the bridge to play.
“Ted’s a badass dude,” Joe says. “And I told him I’d totally hook him up with a killer price on some imports.”
Flanagan has a long history of successfully purchasing beers and other adult beverages in Memphis. He had even purchased a craft beer Growler from the Madison Ave. Cash Saver earlier in the day but quickly realized it wasn’t enough. “I’m ready to move on this right now,” he says. “I’m just hoping the city recognizes the value of what I'm trying to do here, and what I'm likely to do if I get really tanked and start throwing my cash around. And I hope they can see fit to meet me halfway.”
Do-It-Downtown President Chelsea Lamar believes that, while PILOTs for beer are unprecedented, Memphians should keep an open mind. “I think this is a really exciting moment for the urban core,” Lamar says. “We’ve lost a lot of alcohol sales to surrounding counties, but now we have a chance to reverse the momentum. We already know that every twelve pack Flanagan buys typically creates three to five new drinking opportunities. If he winds up needing that extra cooler, I think we’re gonna have a real party tonight.”
Although it’s still too early to tell whether or not Flanagan’s beer party will attract the kind of strippers that attract sketchy guys who are free with their cocaine, there are several reasons to be optimistic.
“Hey, I’ve got a bunch of Pancho’s cheese dip in the fridge,” Flanagan says. “And that’s coming out no matter what.”