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TRANSITIONS

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published August 9, 2012 at 4:27 a.m.

— Dogtown Coffee and Cookery, 6725 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, has jettisoned its dinner menu, shortened its hours and gone back to operating 6 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. They’ve extended breakfast all day, also serving lunch from 10:30 a.m.-closing time. Recent additions to that lunch menu, by the way, include pork roast sliders and a chicken-fried steak sandwich. The phone number is (501) 833-3850.

Something called Kebab House Mediterranean Restaurant is “coming soon,” according to the out-front banner, to the strip-center storefront at 11321 W. Markham St., Little Rock, that most recently housed Zogi’s Euro Asian Bistro. The already installed sign over the front door features a smiling Mediterraneantype chef waving a carving knife at a gyros skewer. No listed phone number yet.

After receiving a flood of phone calls and e-mails regarding Hunka Pie, 250 E. Military Drive, North Little Rock, prompted by months of spotty service and folks driving up to the front door only to find it locked during supposed regular business hours, we have actual news. Owner-chef-pie maker Chris Monroe, who set up his third location in the former Starlite Diner at MacArthur and Military, now says he’s fully open, up and running, “retooled to better serve our customers,” working to resolve those service issues and promising that from now on his hours — 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday — will be stable. He has also extended his breakfast service to all-day. The phone number is (501) 224-1104.

We’ve gotten reports that the Larry’s Pizza outlet at 109 E. Bell St., Sheridan, has closed. The phone number, (870) 942-3712, has not yet been disconnected, but nobody answers it.

And speaking of pizza, U.S. Pizza has reportedly completed its purchase of the building, land and fixtures at 3307 Fair Park Blvd., Little Rock, from Jerry Meyer, who had briefly operated Patio Pizza in the building.

And still speaking of pizza, many Arkansas businesses tend to go hog wild about this time of year. NYPD Pizza, 6015 Chenonceau Blvd., Little Rock, hopes to lure in Hog fans with its 110-inch HD projection-screen TV as well as the “Hogzilla” pizza, a thin/ crispy crust topped with Canadian bacon, sausage, pepperoni, salami, smoked bacon, ham, tomato sauce and mozzarella and served with a side of ranch dressing. The 18-inch pie, $24.99, feeds four; the pie is also available in 16-, 14- and 10-inch versions. The phone number is (501) 868-3911.

And still speaking of pizza, we’re a little late in catching up to this one, but Chi Zi’s Pizza has closed in the Market Place Shopping Center, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. We know this because the west Little Rock location of La Hacienda is going to be moving into those storefronts with a new name later this month. A sign on the door at La Hacienda’s former location, 12315 Chenal Parkway, reads, “As of today [Monday, July 16], La Hacienda will no longer be opened. We are relocating to 11121 N. Rodney Parham [Road,], Suites 9-10a, in the Market Place Shopping Center ... Our new name will be La Casa Real. We are planning to open sometime in mid-August. We hope to see you there soon. Thank you!” The La Hacienda phone number, (501) 223-2716, has been disconnected.

Restaurants in downtown North Little Rock’s Argenta Arts District will be offering special $8 twocourse lunches and/or $25 three-course, prix-fixe dinners, along with their regular menus, during Argenta Restaurant Week, Monday-Aug. 18. It’s a project of the Argenta Arts Foundation. Participants include Cornerstone Pub and Grill, Cregeen’s Irish Pub, Reno’s Argenta Cafe, Ristorante Capeo, Starving Artist Cafe, Riverfront Steakhouse, Benihana and Argenta Market. Menus are available at ArgentaArtsDistrict.org.

Lancaster, Pa.-based Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is looking to add a fifth Arkansas location in McCain Mall, 3929 McCain Blvd., North Little Rock, and is seeking an owner-operator to help them make that happen. The pretzel chain got its start at a farmers market in Downingtown, Pa., but now is primarily found in shopping malls, preferably ones that have movie theaters or other big “engines” to drive foot traffic, says Andy Kmiec, Auntie Anne’s director of real estate, East Coast. Kmiec says he’s not bothered in the least that there is already a soft-pretzel chain outlet, Pretzelmakers, in McCain Mall. “We’ve gone head to head with competition before and we’ve always come out ahead,” he says. He did not seem to be aware, however, of the return of a Mr. Dunderbaks this fall to Mc-Cain Mall (it’ll be in the lower-level food court); they’ll serve pretzels, too. However, Kmiec notes, the Bavarian style pretzels are heartier and go better with sausages and beer, whereas Auntie Anne’s product is “a bakery item, it’s sweeter, it has a different taste.”

Chef Justin Patterson, former sous chef at Pleasant Valley Country Club, is on the road in a food truck he has named The Southern Gourmasian, which puts an Asian twist on Southern staples like pulled pork, chicken and dumplings and shrimp and grits. The truck is usually parked at the University Market at Four Corners, on the lot at University Avenue and Colonel Glenn Road, on weekdays, and has been serving brunch at the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Saturdays. The phone number is (501) 954-0888; you can find the menu at thesoutherngourmasian. com and daily specials on Facebook.

And the Little Rock outlet of Outback Steakhouse, 105 Markham Park Drive, is being remodeled, and they’re offering customers a chance, via a silent auction, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 20, a) to get a first look at what it’s going to look like, and b) to bid on the outgoing “Australian decor elements,” taken right from the walls, the proceeds to directly benefit the local branch of Operation Homefront, which supports military families. “Customers can also enjoy complimentary passed Aussie-tizers during the auction,” according to a news release. The restaurant phone number: (501) 221-7655.

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 08/09/2012

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