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TRANSITIONS

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published December 19, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.

Le Pops Gourmet Ice Lollies is closing Saturday in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Market Hall. The owner expects it to reopen in a new location sometime in the spring.

Le Pops Gourmet Ice Lollies is closing its location Saturday in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. Co-owner Laurie Harrison (no relation) says she’ll continue producing her exotic ice pops in a commercial kitchen space, and the pops will still be available through the winter at Argenta Market, Little Rock Climbing Center, both locations of Pizza Cafe, Hillcrest Artisan Meats and All Aboard Restaurant, or by calling (501) 554-3936. She expects to have a new retail location in the spring.

Harrison’s Market Hall neighbor, Jay Baxter, who operates Jay’s Pizza just across from Le Pops, will be taking over that space, and is planning “on having several breakfast options, lunch and food up until 6 p.m. when the River Market closes.” He plans to take a month to make the move. In the meanwhile, he has once again shut down his on-again, off-again delivery service: “Zero response.”The phone number will likely remain (501) 374-5297; you can follow Baxter and his enterprise on Facebook at facebook.com/JaysPizzaLR.

Ponchito’s Mexican Grill opened Monday at 10901 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, in a former Lone Star Steakhouse. Hours 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 246-5282.

Today is the grand opening of the new Dunkin’ Donuts, 6725 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, which the restaurant is marking with a month-long opening-day special: for the next 30 days, 99 cents for any size hot or iced coffee. Hours are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The listed phone number is (501) 835-1818.

And Alan Littlefield of the soon-to-close Starlite Diner, MacArthur and Military drives, North Little Rock, has opened Littlefield’s Cafe in the Indian Hills Shopping Center, Suite 33, 6929 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, in a free-standing building that most recently housed Metro Burger and before that Casa Mexicana and a Three Flamingos frozen yogurt store. Littlefield says he’ll be offering the “exact same menu” as he has been slinging at Starlite, plus a few additional items; hours 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 819-6120.

Christmas Day brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday at the Marriott’s Pancetta Regional Kitchen & Wine Bar (West Markham and Louisiana streets), will feature as yet unspecified “specialties and traditional Christmas fare.” Cost is $45 plus tax and gratuity, $16 for children 6-12, free for children 5 and younger. Reservations are required; call (501) 399-8062.

And barbecue merchant and competition sponsor Pork Barrel BBQ has listed Pine Bluff’s barbecue entrepreneur Ronnie Cates, president and CEO of Smoke on the Water Productions, at No. 25 in its “25 Most Influential People in BBQ” (porkbarrelbbq.com/blog, click on “25th - Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions”):

“There can be little argument that the rapid growth of competition barbecue is in large part due to the increased number of competitions popping up throughout the country and the increasing value of the prize purses being offered. No one in the world of barbecue has contributed more to the increase in prize money than Ronnie Cates. His Smoke on the Water Productions is known throughout the sport for promoting premier contests with some of the richest prize purses year after year.”

And, the posting adds, “Ronnie Cates is a major influencer in the world of [barbecue] today and with a goal to host the world’s first million dollar barbecue contest is likely to continue his influence on the world of competition barbecue for years to come.” 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 email to: eharrison@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 39 on 12/19/2013

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JohnMcGraw says... December 20, 2013 at 5:25 p.m.

Man, those were great lollies. Farewell, Le Pops, I thought Estem kids would make you stinking rich.

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