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Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal


By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published May 22, 2014 at 2:21 a.m.


Sign of the times: One of our sharp-eyed colleagues spotted this notice at Blue Coast Burrito in North Little Rock.

Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Shop has awarded its first Arkansas franchise and will open shop sometime this summer (target is late July or early August) in the Park Avenue development, 314 S. University Ave., Little Rock. The menu ( features signature sandwiches and hand-dipped milkshakes, and, starting in August, the venue will feature music by local talent. Little Rock native Ryan Hamra, the operating partner, also runs North Little Rock's Blue Coast Burrito. He'll open the shop with business partner Mark Needler.

The River Market Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, will observe summer hours for the first time Tuesday through Aug. 26: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and opening on Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Several of the food vendors, including Bangkok Thai Cuisine, Big on Tokyo, Casa Manana, Coast Cantina, Garden Square Cafe/Grocery, Jay's Pizza, Mason's Deli, Middle Eastern Cuisine, Rivershore Eatery, Sweet Soul and The Veg will expand their hours as well. Hours for the Boulevard Bread outlet at the east end of the hall will be 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Call (501) 375-2552 or visit

There are two major food-related events before and during this year's Riverfest:

• Flowing on the River, a pre-festival wine and craft beer tasting event with hors d'oeuvres from area restaurants, presented by Insalaco Tenenbaum Enterprises, 5:30-7:30 p.m. today in the River Market pavilions. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Visit

• The Amstel Light Best Burger in Arkansas Competition, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Family Free Zone on the grounds of Heifer International. A panel of celebrity judges will rank "sliders" or full-size burgers cut in fourths from area restaurants including Big Orange, David's Burgers, Stratton's Market, Cafe 42 and Heifer Cafe. The public can also taste and vote for $5. No Riverfest admission wristband or ticket is required. First place in each category -- judges panel and fan favorite -- is $500 cash, a trophy, a congratulatory ad in the Democrat-Gazette recognizing the business as having "Arkansas' Best Burger" and guaranteed entry in next year's competition.

Cafe Brunelle is now open in the Promenade at Chenal, 17000 block of Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, serving deli-style sandwiches, soups and salads, pastries and specialty coffees and other beverages. Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 448-2687.

Julie Brearley has joined Rachael Crosby in the ownership of Scallions, 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, which is now open for breakfast. Hours are 7-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch Monday-Friday (but they'll continue to serve breakfast items on request), 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, serving breakfast and lunch all day. The phone number is (501) 666-6468.

Target date is early June for the opening of Little Rock's second Chipotle outlet, 100 S. University Ave.; the chain's website has it on the list of locations as "coming soon," and offers a phone number that hasn't yet been connected: (501) 404-2557. Hours are expected to be the same as the one in the Pleasant Valley Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Road, Little Rock: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. The number for that restaurant, by the way, is (501) 221-0018.

Tomas Bohm (The Pantry), Donnie Ferneau, Travis McConnell (Butcher and Public), Matt Bell (South on Main) and Arturo Solis (le klaxon noir, a boutique catering company) are teaming up for Pop on Main, noon-4 p.m. May 31 on Main Street between Clinton Avenue and Second Street, Little Rock. It's a pop-up restaurant event in conjunction with the Little Rock Gran Fondo, a 60-to-70-mile bicycle ride in and around town, which starts and ends at the Orbea on Main concept store at that intersection. Tickets are $35, $10 for children 6-12, free for kids under 6, available at Seating is available but limited; parking is available at the City Parking Garage at Second and Main for what the news release describes as "a nominal charge."

The state's Alcoholic Beverage Control office has granted a new restaurant mixed drink license to Glynda C. Tarpley for the Hillcrest-redux second location of EJ's Eats & Drinks, coming to 3604 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock. It's conditional "upon receipt of all city permits, completion of remodeling, receipt of health department approval, installation of kitchen facilities, lighted fire exit signs, a telephone and verification of seating capacity with reinspection by ABC." We'll keep you posted.

J. Tom Miller III, 71, aka Tommy Miller, founder of Tommy's Famous Pizza, 205 Famous Place, in Mountain View, died May 6 at his home near Oxley. According to his obituary in the Stone County Leader, he opened the pizzeria in 1991. He is survived by his wife, Terri; four sons; a daughter; a sister; nine grandchildren ; and two great-grandchildren. The family is continuing to operate the restaurant. The phone number is (870) 269-3278; the whimsical website is

Southern Living magazine is devoting its June issue, which hits the streets Friday, to "everything about food that speaks to the culture of the American South right now -- the agricultural renaissance and focus on vegetables, the state of Gulf and Atlantic seafood, highlighting key trends, and tapping into some of the region's keenest minds." It contains 15 pages of "simple, minimal-ingredient summer recipes" and a 32-page "A to Z" people, place and provision guide. That includes, in its "B: Beer" section, Rogers-based Ozark Beer Co.'s American Pale Ale as Arkansas' top craft beer. Visit

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, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203. Send email to:

Weekend on 05/22/2014

Print Headline: TRANSITIONS


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