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TRANSITIONS

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published April 5, 2012 at 3:40 a.m.

— From our report in February, you might have thought that Oceans at Arthur’s, Jerry Barakat’s seafood sideline to Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse, in the Village at Rahling Road, just off Chenal Parkway, was by now well established, but it has taken Barakat a bit longer to get the place up and running. The new restaurant, which occupies what has been the Jerry B’s/Gaucho’s area of Barakat’s restaurant megaplex, has been in the process of remodeling. Barakat just installed the necessary equipment for the sushi bar (for which he has been hiring accomplished sushi chefs) last week. The rest of the menu will feature “fresh oysters to fresh lobster and everything in between.” Hours, once it’s open, will be 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 821-1814. Meanwhile, once it does get up and running, Gaucho’s, which has moved in and out and around the shopping center, will go on an extended hiatus while Barakat seeks a new location for the Brazilian steakhouse.

We had reported in recent months the travails of Grampa’s Catfish, which had lost its lease on its Otter Creek branch and closed. And had closed, then reopened, its flagship location, 100 Shadow Oaks, Sherwood. Now, in this newspaper’s Monday Bankruptcy Watch column, we learned that Grampa’s Restaurants LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 23. The Sherwood restaurant apparently remains open; we got an answering machine at the phone number, (501) 834-5400. We’ll let you know when we learn more.

Whole Hog Cafe has opened a branch in the food court near Gate 6 at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, Adams Field, providing pulled pork, beef brisket and smoked chicken for folks waiting for flights. It’s a bit more exclusive than Whole Hog’s other outlets, however: You’ll need a boarding pass and a Transportation Security Administration pat-down to eat there.

One of our sharp-eyed readers has spotted a notice posted on the door of the former Underground Pub in the River Market, 500 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, that somebody has applied for an alcoholic beverage permit. Anybody with details, give us a shoutout.

Meanwhile, while we were rooting around looking for information on that, we came across confirmation that the state Alcoholic Beverage Control board has granted a conditional mixed-drink permit to All American Wings, 9201 Maumelle Blvd., Maumelle.

Cameron Phillips of SBiP’s Restaurant, in the Quapaw Tower building, 700 E. Ninth St., Little Rock, says the restaurant will cease offering lunch on Monday and Tuesdays, but the remaining hours — 4-11 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday — will stay the same. The restaurant will debut a new menu Monday with an eye toward offering some particular favorites for people who live in the building. The phone number also remains (501) 372-7247.

Andrew’s Restaurant, which describes itself in a recent advertisement as “Old World New Orleans feel with beautiful views,” has opened at 410B Central Ave. (also at 107 Exchange St., the rear entrance), Hot Springs. The space has housed several previous restaurants. The ad also mentions “Chef Stanley Clarke from New Orleans,” who “specializes in his award-winning gumbo and jambalaya,” as well as a Friday-Saturday “Lobster Newberg special with 10 oz. Angus Beef filet” and fresh-cooked-all-day beignets. Hours are 11 a.m.-closing daily. The phone number is (501) 623-3200.

We have some additional information regarding what kind of occupant is going into the former Masala Grill & Teahouse, in the Ashley Square Shopping Center, North Rodney Parham and Reservoir roads, Little Rock: a doorside now-hiring sign with an e-mail contact address of “kebabaladdin@yahoo.com” and a pair of promotional posters in the window plugging a mouth-watering “Kebab Koobideh.” Or perhaps that’s the name of the restaurant. We will keep you posted.

And speaking of advertisements, a sticker stuck on the front page of many copies of Sunday’s Democrat-Gazette pitches “Room service to your office, hotel or home” via the chefshuttle.com restaurant delivery service. A visit to chefshuttle.com reveals the service delivers lunch or dinner from several west Little Rock restaurants, including Cheeburger Cheeburger, El Porton, Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some, Mt. Fuji and Shorty Small’s. Order online via the site. Delivery appears to be limited to certain ZIP codes, but it does include downtown. Hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Call (501) 379-8294.

John McClure, director of the World Cheese Dip Championship Festival, reports that the third annual championship will take place Oct. 20 at the Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. The competition will once again be divided into amateur and professional divisions, and a series of blind tastings by a panel of celebrities, politicians and food writers/critics will determine the winners of cash prizes and trophies. The overall professional division champ gets a trip to New Orleans for the 2013 New Orleans Roadfood Festival. Festival attendees will once again select the People’s Choice awards. Festival proceeds benefit Harmony Health Clinic, a Little Rock-based nonprofit that provides free health care for the uninsured and underserved in Pulaski County. Register online through Oct. 10 at cheesedip.net.

Mark Abernathy of Little Rock’s Loca Luna and Red Door, will be headed back May 10-13 to the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, highlighting chefs, food and drinks from around the South. He serves on the festival’s Founders Council and his schedule will include a May 13 presentation on “New Age Tamales.” “Last year was their first and I was really impressed. A well organized event with a respectable smattering of ‘celebrity chefs,’ a lot of local Southern talent and really large and impressive tasting tents,” Abernathy says. Also participating this year: Lee Richardson, executive chef at the Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel, who is scheduled to do a tasting seminar with three other chefs. On the website Atlfoodandwinefestival.com under “get tickets” you’ll find the festival class schedule, which includes a May 13 special event to benefit The Oxford-American the literary magazine published in Little Rock.

Has a restaurant opened — or closed — near you in the last week or so? Does your favorite eatery have a new menu? Is there a new chef in charge? Drop us a line. Call (501) 399-3667 or (501) 378-3513, or send a note to Restaurants, Weekend Section, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 121 E. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, Ark. 72201. Send e-mail to:

eharrison@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 38 on 04/05/2012

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