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This article was published November 29, 2012 at 3:03 a.m.

— While we’re waiting for the identity of the new executive chef at the

Capital Hotel

in Little Rock, we got word that Darryl Downs has been promoted to manager of the hotel’s

Capital Bar & Grill, a position that had been open since Lee Edwards departed for

Local Lime

  1. Downs spent several years as owner/manager of

Cheers in Maumelle

and his credits also include stints at

Trio’s, Cajun’s Wharf and



About a month ago, as we were reporting the opening of Little Rock’s first

Gigi’s Cupcakes

location in the Park Avenue development, 416 S. University Ave., corporate official Kevin Bauerle, a business development representative with the Nashville, Tenn.-based chain, told us he expected the second location, 12800 Chenal Parkway, to open 30 days thereafter.

Bauerle now says construction problems have delayed that opening, and now sets the target date about four weeks hence, or, perhaps less specifically, sometime between now and Christmas. Interestingly, the website,, which used to list it as “opening soon,” no longer lists it at all. We’ll keep you posted.

And speaking of cupcakes, somehow we missed the opening several months ago of

Cupcake Factory, 18104 Kanis Road, Little Rock (make a left onto the “second” Kanis, just past the Kroger Marketplace; it’s between Chenal Parkway and the Denny Road fork). The establishment sells cupcakes, homemade pies, custom-decorated cakes, cookies “and other bakery treats.” Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is (501) 821-9913.

Jamal Afkhami, the “J” in

J&S Italian Villa Restaurant & Bar, says his target date is Dec. 11 to reopen on the south side of the Temperance HillSquare shopping center, 4328 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Dining room hours will be 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday,5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; the bar will open at 4 and close “whenever.” The phone number is the same one the restaurant had before fire destroyed the roof on its original location, five blocks south (4836 Central Ave., on Lake Hamilton): (501) 525-1121. The website,, has not yet been updated, by the way.

And, according to a recent ad in the Hot Springs Sentinel Record, coming in 2013 to the same shopping center:

Hibachi Sushi Buffet

  1. We’ll keep you posted.

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:

Weekend, Pages 40 on 11/29/2012

Print Headline: TRANSITIONS


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