The Beer Is Near 

Grab your beer stein: Two local events will be keeping beer enthusiasts busy in the next couple weeks.

During the Memphis Zoo's first Zoo Brew on Friday, August 31st, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., visitors can sample beers from around the world. On tap for the evening are more than 20 beers from Southwestern Beverage Distributing, including Avery White Rascal, San Miguel, Singha Lager, Yazoo, and Murphy's Irish Stout.

The evening will also include live entertainment from Jeremy Sharder's Quintessentials and a sale of mixed-media paintings and sculptural clay pieces from local artists Susan Inman and Skippy Gronauer. Proceeds from the art sales will benefit the zoo.

Tickets for the event are $15 for zoo members and $20 for non-members. All guests must be 21 or older to attend.

Art on Tap at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens started 10 years ago with only 100 guests and 20 beer varieties. Today, the event has become the Dixon's second-largest fund-raiser.

At this year's Art on Tap on Friday, September 7th, from 6 to 9 p.m., more than 125 beers — microbrew, import, and domestic — will be provided by local beverage distributors as well as Boscos Brewery and the Bluff City Brewers and Connoisseurs. Blue Coast Burrito, Elfo's, and Jimmy's Chicago Style Pizza, Dogs, & Beef will supply the food.

Tickets are $25 for Dixon members, $35 for nonmembers, and "Young at Art" members are admitted free. All guests must be 21 or older to attend.

Fresh Slices Sidewalk Café & Deli, a popular neighborhood restaurant on Overton Park Avenue will open a second location in Cordova in September.

The deli is a family affair, started by Ike Logan and supported by his wife Willie and daughter Tasha. Although Fresh Slices is Logan's first venture as a restaurateur, he's been in the business for 35 years. "My dad started as a busboy at Bennigan's, worked his way up to cook, [then] manager, and eventually became area director," Tasha explains.

Ike Logan's desire to have his own restaurant was strong, but it took the whole family to finally make it work. "We were trying to find the right location, and then one night at 2 a.m. after a party, I drove down Overton Park and saw this beautiful space," Tasha remembers. "I called my dad immediately and made him get out of bed to look at the building right then."

Fresh Slices has been on Overton Park for four years now, serving an extensive selection of sandwiches, burgers, entrées, and salads. While Willie Logan will reign over both locations, Tasha will lead the Midtown restaurant as her dad gets the slightly larger Cordova Fresh Slices off the ground.

Fresh Slices, 1585 Overton Park Ave.(725-1001). Opening soon at 8566 Macon

Circa is offering a special treat for diners who plan to take their family to see The Lion King, which is playing at the Orpheum through September 16th.

Between 5 and 6 p.m. on show nights, guests can enjoy Circa's three-course Lion King Prix Fixe Menu for $30 per person plus tax and gratuity. Kids can select from the three-course Cub's Menu for $12 per child plus tax and gratuity. In addition, valet parking at Circa is just $5, so you can walk to the Orpheum after dinner.

Your choices on the menu: lobster and crab bisque, the chef's soup du jour, or a petite mixed salad for the first course; a six-ounce filet mignon bordelaise, grilled blackened fish du jour, or Tasmanian King Salmon for the main course; and fresh strawberry sponge cake or Circa's "Il Diplomatico" (dark chocolate mousse layered with coconut rum cake) for dessert accompanied by a selection of teas or coffee. The kids can start off with a selection of fresh vegetables and fruit and then choose between chicken à la Lion King with potato purée, macaroni 'n' cheese, or a pair of beef sirloin sliders with pommes frites. They can end the meal with a choice of homemade sorbets or ice creams.

Circa, 119 S. Main (522-1488)

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