Juicy Jim’s Pizzeria on South Highland Street is the go-to place for open mic on Tuesday nights.
Jim Matson, owner of Juicy Jim’s Pizzeria, is originally from New Jersey, but moved to Memphis in 1992 and opened Juicy Jim’s in 2003.
Matson got the name Juicy Jim when he was 16 and working at a place called Greasy Tony’s, where he impressed two young ladies with his “juicy” burgers.
Toke Up Tuesday is the formal name for the open mic event hosted every Tuesday night, which started two years ago.
It started when University of Memphis student Kenneth Hall asked Matson for the opportunity to make some money and get the restaurant exposure though the open mic night.
“I love coming to Juicy Jim’s on Tuesdays. I love to hear the good and bad performers. Some of the bad ones come back every Tuesday to try and redeem themselves,” Jamon Harvell said a junior engineering major at the university
Throughout the night there are countless acts--some good, some bad.
Some participants perform spoken word and others perform stand-up comedy.
“I’m here every Tuesday getting on stage showing off my comedic talents,"said Darius Wilder, a junior at the U of M. "The first couple of times I was pretty nervous but now I’m something like a pro,”
“I came in support of my friend who sung and she did a really good job. The crowd also seemed to have enjoyed her performance,” said Ronnisha Howell a first timer.
The host Stephon Smith tries to keep the crowd engaged with his antics to keep the show moving and ease the next act along.
There is a full bar and the kitchen is open all night so that people can order Jim’s juicy burgers, freshly cut fries and hand tossed pizza.
“I come almost every Tuesday, but tonight was my first time purchasing food and I was very surprised that it was as good as it was,” said Lovie Hudson, a senior journalism major.
During the show you can also purchase hookahs—a water pipe that is used to smoke specially made tobacco that comes in different flavors.
All ages and races are encouraged to showcase their talents. People are also encouraged to rent out the bar for birthdays as well as graduation and organization parties.