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TRANSITIONS

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published March 13, 2014 at 2:48 a.m.

We hate to say we told you so, but we told you so: After a couple of months in which Mamacita’s Mexican Bar & Grill, 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, had been indefinitely closed for “renovations,” sharp-eyed observers have spotted “For Lease” on the front and patio doors and the phone number, (501) 916-2421, has been disconnected. Speaking of phone numbers, this one appears on those “For Lease” signs: (501) 551-7434.

Down the boulevard a way, at 5018 Kavanaugh, Terry’s Finer Foods on Monday opened The Pie Shop at Terry’s Finer Foods, offering a wide variety of sweet and savory pies, whole and by the slice. Jacquelyn Pittman, pie shop partner with Terry’s owners Lex and Ellen Golden, says the pie shop is in the middle of the grocery store with the deli. (Terry’s has now taken over the whole of the building; Terry’s Finer Foods the Restaurant recently moved to the “left” side that had been occupied by the Foster Cochran gift shop. The space on the other side, where the restaurant had been located, Pittman says, will become a Neapolitan-style pizzeria with an emphasis on craft beer, with a summer target for opening. We’ll keep you posted.) The pie menu will rotate every two months, Pittman says; this month they’re serving up rhubarb, German chocolate, a peanut-butter-banana-cream with honey-roasted peanuts and, for savories, crawfish and spring onion-goat cheese. They’ll also always have a quiche (right now it’s broccoli cheddar) and, year-round, sausage egg and cheese, chicken-spaghetti and spinach enchilada. You’ll find pecan pies in the fall, but you can always special-order anything. The shop will be turning out fresh pies from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., but you’ll be able to “grab-and-go” anytime during grocery hours, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. (The restaurant hours, by the way, are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.) The phone number is (501) 663-4154.

Grampa’s Catfish, 9219 Stagecoach Road, Little Rock, has put in the paperwork for its beer permit and, barring any unforeseen complications, should be serving within a month. The phone number is (501) 407-0000.

The Sbarro outlet in the food court in North Little Rock’s McCain Mall has closed, its front roped off and papered over and its phone number, (501) 758-6202, disconnected. That happened, according to a couple of our sharp-eyed observers, a couple of weeks ago. It joins the outlet in Park Plaza, which mall officials say closed late last week. The Sbarro in Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville is still open, however. All this may (or may not) be connected with the chain’s filing for bankruptcy protection Monday, for the second time in three years, after, according to Reuters, struggling with too much debt and fewer mall customers.

You may remember in mid-January we reported that the La Quinta Inn & Suites Downtown Conference Center, 617 Broadway, Little Rock, was weighing several options on filling its long-idle, first-floor restaurant space, including a possible relocation for Rocky’s Pub, which closed in January in the Indian Hills Shopping Center on John F. Kennedy Boulevard in North Little Rock. Tuesday, as it turns out, was the grand opening of the finalist: something called Brightside Grill, serving 4-9 p.m. daily. We couldn’t turn up any details, but we’ll keep you posted. The hotel phone number is (501) 374-9000.

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main Street, Pine Bluff, will hold its third annual Beer Tasting, 6:30-8 p.m. April 16, for which renowned brewmaster George F. Reisch has selected four different ales and lagers and recommended food pairings for Pine Bluff Country Club Chef Jamie McAfee. Tickets are $30, $25 for center members. Call (870) 536-3375 or visit Arts-ScienceCenter.org.

And in our chain mail this week:

Little Rock’s Bonefish Grill outlet, in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Road, will now open for lunch at 11 a.m. Saturday. Check out the menu and a $10-off promotion at tinyurl.com/mbqkxev.

Atlanta-based chain/franchise operation Mellow Mushroom has “crowd-sourced” its own employees in 160 outlets for new food and beverage concepts that are now debuting via a limited-run menu through March 31, including the Quirky Turkey Club Pie (pizza with an olive oil/garlic base topped with applewood smoked bacon, turkey, caramelized onions, fresh spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan and finished with sliced organic apples and a swirl of honey mustard), a Turkey Club pizza, a Chicken Cordon Bleu Calzone (chicken, maple-glazed ham, Swiss and mozzarella with Dijonnaise sauce in a warm-baked dough pocket) and the Thaidal Wave Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Hoagie (sweet Thai chili chicken, grilled onions and mushrooms, provolone, fresh broccoli and tomatoes, mayonnaise, finished with a balsamic glaze drizzle). Visit mellowmushroom.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. P.O. Box 2221, 72203. Send email to: eharrison@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 40 on 03/13/2014

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