Good morning. 👋 Trista here, and I know — it’s early, it’s Monday, and staying in bed sounds so nice. But hey, I have some good news for y’all. A new restaurant is coming to downtown Chattanooga, and we couldn’t be more excited. Lil Mama’s is a Chicago-style hoagy shop and it’s going to be on Patten Parkway, where Southern Squeeze used to be. (Don’t worry, juice fans, Southern Squeeze is still open at its North Shore location.)
A Lil Mama’s Chicago-style hoagy | Photo provided by owner, Tiffany Banks
Lil Mama’s is a product of owner Tiffany Banks’ love for feeding others. In fact, the origin story is really cute. 👇
“I love cooking. It’s like my therapy. I have a son, and when his friends come over, they eat good. But one day they wanted to know what I was cooking and I didn’t feel like doing a lot of work, so I told them I’d make them hoagies. One of his friends knocked on my door and said ‘Ms. Tiffany, you can sell these.’ And that’s how it started.”
Owner of Lil Mama’s, Tiffany Banks | Photo provided by Tiffany Banks
Before finding the storefront, Tiffany and her husband Eugene (AKA Joe) were fulfilling orders out of a commercial kitchen. Now, they’re focusing on opening the shop. In the meantime, though, Tiffany + Eugene have provided free lunches for multiple organizations, including We Over Me, Chattanooga Preparatory School, and Rise Chattanooga.
Lil Mama’s will have a ‘90s concept with bright, bold graffiti + decade reminiscent tunes. (Think Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, and A Tribe Called Quest.) Tiffany and Eugene are from Chicago, so you’ll get some Windy City vibes, too.
Lil Mama’s is set to open in mid-September and the new menu is coming out soon, so be on the lookout. 👀 While you wait to dig into a hoagy, you can follow the progresshere + here.
Alright, Chattanoogans — have you had a Chicago-style hoagy before?
○ The Hamilton County jail has had three corrections employees and six inmates test positive for COVID-19 as of July 23. Several of the inmates who tested positive worked in the jail kitchen, so evening meals were disposed of before being served and new inmate kitchen workers were assigned out of an abundance of caution. (WRCB)
○ A vaccine trial that is being partly trialed in Nashville induces two types of immunity — antibodies and T-cell response. The vaccine is a common cold virus that has been modified to look like a COVID-19 virus, and results on whether the vaccine should be distributed widely could be known by the end of the year. (NewsChannel 9)
○Are you wondering what, exactly, is contact tracing? Check out this “Ask a Doctor” article from the Chattanooga Times Free Press about what contact tracing is and the steps that are involved within the contact tracing process. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Chattanooga’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
Lil Oso has been slingin’ delicious food from Proof Bar and Incubator’s space, and their time in that space is almost up. If you’ve been loving their dishes, be sure to get a couple more orders in this week. Oh, and this was posted on Thursday, July 23, so you have until Thursday of this week. Go go go!
Don’t fret, in true Lil Oso fashion, we hear they’ll be back, and we can’t wait to tell y’all about it. 🙌
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Cause ○ The Chambliss Center for Children recently completed a six-unit apartment building to be used by youth who are “aging out” of foster care as part of the Children’s Transitional Living Program. The program also offers counseling + training in life skills like financial planning and budgeting, cooking, interviewing, and job readiness. 🙌 (Chattanoogan.com)
Civic ○ In preparation for changing Houston Street from one-way to two-way between E. 11th and Lindsay streets, CDOT has closed the traffic lanes. Houston Street will open to two-way traffic between E. 11th Street + Lindsay Street on Aug. 6. In addition, the exit ramp from Highway 27 Northbound to 4th street will be closed through Sept. 15 starting on July 25. 🚧
Biz ○ Freight data and analytics company FreightWaves has raised $37 million since April in two rounds of funding. The latest round of funding for FreightWaves puts the total capital raised by the company at $75 million. The latest round was led by Kayne Partners Fund, which committed $30 million to accelerate FreightWaves’ Growth.
Active ○ City Gym Chattanooga, which is the home of 3 Bridges CrossFit, has relocated to the heart of downtown at 313 E. 11th St.Street. You can find more information about class times and services here. 💪
Edu ○ Instead of cancelling music classes due to oral transmission of COVID-19, the Songbirds Foundation’s Guitars for Kids music program will be replacing many chorus classes at middle + high schools across Hamilton County this fall. Songbirds will offer intensive training to chorus teachers and provide them with a donated set of 25-50 guitars, curriculum books, equipment, and ongoing support. If you would like to donate to support this initiative, click here. 🎸 ○ Chattanooga State Community College recently received a $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant to purchase training equipment for a new workforce training instructional site. The equipment will allow the Tennessee College of Applied Technology to offer industrial electricity + industrial maintenance technical diploma programs to about 40 residents of Rhea and Bledsoe counties each year in response to local workforce needs.
Arts ○ The Bessie Tribute Public Art Committee is seeking black artists to design, fabricate, and install a sculptural marker and tribute to Bessie Smith at the Blue Goose Hollow trailhead. For more information on the project + how to submit applications, click here. ○ EPB is inviting local artists to submit bids for a new community mural project along 10th street, with the theme “The Soul of MLK – How artists visualize the heartbeat and soul of MLK in arts, music and culture.” The project committee will choose nine murals in total, with the open call ending on July 31 at 4 p.m. For more information about the call for submissions, contact [email protected]. 🎨
Volunteer ○ Blood Assurance is currently in critical need of platelet donors for the treatment of cancer and trauma patients. Any platelet donors who give now through July 31 will be given the choice to either receive COVID-19 antibody testing, a beach towel, or a $10 Amazon gift card. Click here to find local donor centers + make an appointment. ○ The Red Cross is in need of local volunteers as the country heads into hurricane + wildfire season. The organization is in need of help with sheltering efforts, health services, and pet sheltering from established partner organizations. If you are interested in volunteering, click here to learn more.
DYK ○ The annual Tennessee Valley Heart Walk will now be a virtual event this year due to COVID-19 precautions. The virtual walk will take place on Oct. 10, from any location that you choose to walk. You can register for the walk + donate to the cause here. 🚶
Pet ○ Starting on Aug. 1, McKamey Animal Center will be participating in Clear the Shelters — which typically lasts 12 hours — all month long. The event will have an added focus this year on raising critical dollars and supplies to support homeless animals + programs that allow families to keep their pets during difficult times. You can donate to McKamey Animal Center here. 🐱
TryThis ○ If you’re in search of a socially-distanced vacation spot, you could try this recently-opened boutique eco-camp. Pomelo Grove is an eco-friendly glamping experience that is located at Bloomsbury Farm near Nashville (roughly a 2-hour drive from Chattanooga).