LITTLE ROCK You knew he couldn’t stay away for long. On his website, hotdogmike.com, Michael Juliano, aka Hot Dog Mike, announced this week that he’s coming back to Little Rock with some pretty grand plans. “The Big News: Hot Dog Mike returns with Phase II and it’s all about community,” reads the screamer headline. Juliano left town a few weeks ago to take care of some family business in New Jersey, which, “having attended to and happily resolved,” he is looking to develop “a multi-cart operation dedicated to providing both an opportunity and a working wage for those that have the ‘Hot Dog Mike spirit.’”
Juliano, considering his own previous small-level philanthropic work, but not yet capable of cloning himself, is talking about putting “15, 25, or even more Hot Dog Mike hot dog carts out in Little Rock and the surrounding communities,” while at the same time developing “his own brand of Hot Dog Mike hot dogs and products that will be available at local grocers, with a portion of the proceeds going back into the community,” the site reports.
For the time being, he’s basing himself out of NYPD Pizza, 6015 Chenonceau Blvd., Little Rock, where owner Ron Logan will be helping him put together his Phase II project. He won’t be serving up hot dogs, but he will be developing a signature Hot Dog Mike pizza. “Hot Dog Mike has created a significant brand in Little Rock,” Logan says via the site. “We are looking to add 50-plus jobs to Little Rock as well as creating a brand new way of delivering community service.”
Ken Dempsey, formerly of the Maumelle Country Club and Ristorante Capeo, who filled in for owner-chef Elizabeth McMullen while she was laid up earlier this year, has officially joined McMullen inthe kitchen as co-chef at E’s Bistro in the Lakehill Shopping Center, 3812 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock. Dempsey has won awards for his barbecue, which he made as specials during his temporary tenure. New lunch and dinner menus now offer appetizers along with some new entrees and sandwiches while preserving a few of McMullen’s signature favorites, and the restaurant has expanded its hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for Sunday brunch. The phone number remains (501) 771-6900.
Mustang Sally’s, 303 W. MainSt., on Perryville’s “Historic Rock Square,” has reopened after a major month-long renovation with a new decor, new menu items and a new website (mustangsallysburger.com). The renovation, according to a news release, has involved adding more seating (including a bar seating area), kitchen improvements, the addition of free Wi-Fi service and a new sign and awnings. The restaurant will mark the occasion with a special “Friends & Neighbors Night” 6-9 p.m. March 14, with 25 percent off burgers, appetizers and ice cream. Restaurant hours are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 889-1501.
Tandra Watkins, the pastry chef at the Capital Hotel, who just got a Best Pastry Chef Award nomination from the James Beard Foundation, will put on a cooking demonstration titled “Breads and Spreads with Tandra Watkins,” 6 p.m. Wednesday at Eggshells Kitchen Co., 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock. Cost is $50; participants will be offered a glass of wine and will be provided with water, but bring your own beverage if you want something else. Call (501) 664-6900, e-mail eggshellskitchencompany@ gmail.com or visit eggshellskitchencompany.com.
Six restaurants in the Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock - A.W. Lin’s Asian Cuisine, Big Orange Burgers, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Local Lime, the Tavern Sports Grill and YaYa’s Euro Bistro - will participate in the shopping center’s “Kids Eat FREE*” on Mondays promotion. The small print after the asterisk: “Get a Kids Meal at your choice of six restaurants located at the Promenade at Chenal every Monday between 11 a.m.-7 p.m. from the lunch and dinner kids menu entrees only. Kids must be 12 and under with paid adult (limit one kids meal per each adult entree ordered). Drinks not included. Not valid with any other discount or offer. See participating restaurants for details.” Or visit ChenalShopping.com/hot-deals.
The Little Rock Zoo, 1 Jonesboro Drive in Little Rock’s War Memorial Park, will host Breakfast With the Easter Bunny, 9:30-11 a.m. March 30. Guests will receive a photo with the Easter Bunny, meet some animal friends, decorate an Easter cookie, make an egg basket, and pick out a surprise! Cost is $25.95, $16.95 for children, plus tax ($21.95 and $16.95 for zoo members) and you must buy your tickets in advance. Call (501) 661-7218.
On Friday, Panera Bread is inviting customers to helpprovide meals for hungry Arkansas children by participating in “2nd Friday,” a monthly fundraiser for local snackpack and backpack programs in which the company donates a portion of sales of featured items. In the Conway and Little Rock restaurants, it’s the Arkansas Rice Depot’s Food for Kids program; in North Little Rock, Central Baptist Food Pantry’s Back Pack for NLR Public Schools. At the Fort Smith restaurant, it’s Community Clearinghouse’s Meals for Kids; in Bentonville and Fayetteville, Samaritan Community Center’s Snack Pack program. The menu items that will trigger the donations: Whole Mediterranean Salmon Salad, Salmon Caesar Salad or Salmon Club Sandwich ($2 donation), Any You Pick Two Combination with a salmon item ($1 donation); and a cinnamon roll ($1 donation). Panera Bread says it donated almost $5,000 to local programs in Arkansas last year. Visit panerabread.com.
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 34 on 03/07/2013
Print Headline: TRANSITIONS