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Restaurant Transitions: New catfish restaurant, Fuzzy's Taco Shop planned, new space for The Veg

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published July 21, 2016 at 5:45 a.m.

little-greek-fresh-grill-in-the-pleasant-ridge-town-center-11525-cantrell-road-little-rock-is-marking-its-anniversary-this-week-with-discounted-pita-sandwiches-and-on-sunday-free-cake-baklava-and-spinach-pie-samples

Little Greek Fresh Grill, in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, is marking its anniversary this week with discounted pita sandwiches and, on Sunday, free cake, baklava and spinach-pie samples.



Candy Wilkerson says in a recent Facebook post that she will continue to operate Capital Smokehouse and Grill, 915 W. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, in the wake of the July 1 death of her husband, co-owner and chief cook, Doug Wilkerson: "The restaurant is indeed still open and I have no plans of closing it. Doug would want me to carry on with our dream so I will do it for him." Hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. The phone number is (501) 372-4227.

Grampa's Catfish opened over the weekend in the former Mi Burrito building, 11608 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The phone number is (501) 904-5355; the website is grampasnlr.com.

And speaking of catfish, Eat My Catfish, in the Breckenridge Village Shopping Center, 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, ran a soft opening over the weekend and held its grand opening and ribbon cutting Tuesday, on schedule. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, as per locations at 1205 Military Road, Benton, and 2125 Harkrider St., Conway. The Breckenridge phone number is (501) 222-8055; the website: EatMyCatfish.com.

After negotiations fell through on locations on West Third Street near the state Capitol, Shiem Swift, owner of The Veg, has negotiated a lease agreement for the bottom part of the revolving-door space at 801 W. Markham St., Little Rock, with a Oct. 1 target date for his vegan establishment. By leasing only the ground floor, Swift hopes to avoid one of the building's major drawbacks: There is no internal stairway between the ground floor and the second floor -- getting from one to the other has always required going outside. Swift says he has a year to decide whether he might make some use of the upper story; meanwhile, he wants to make sure he has his kitchen established as his principal operation. Swift has kept the phone number he used for his previous River Market Ottenheimer Market Hall operation: (501) 838-3634.

Arkansas Online reported last week that the Texas-based chain Fuzzy's Taco Shop is planning to open locations later this year -- in November at 140 John Harden Drive, Jacksonville, and by an unspecified date at 4204 S. J.B. Hunt Drive, Rogers, with five more in Pulaski, Saline and Faulkner counties, including Little Rock, Benton and Bryant, within the next five years. The Baja-style taco shop will serve tacos, nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos and breakfast options.

We reported last week that Bash Burger Co. had closed in the Colonnade Shopping Center, 315 N. Bowman Road, Little Rock. Turns out it was to open Bash Burger Co. at Silver Springs, 6301 Trace Creek Road, Benton (technically Haskell, but with a Benton ZIP code). Manager Brad Johnson explains that the decision was made after both Bash's Benton-based food trucks broke down, and to return to Saline County because its original customer base was upset that they'd moved to Pulaski County. The menu is the same, with the addition of weekly burger specials. Hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 315-1843.

Owner Bill Gu says his Asia Buffet Sushi, Grill, BBQ, going into four storefronts in the Market Place Shopping Center, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, is still in the midst of the inspection process and he's now targeting to open on or about Aug. 1.

Grand opening of a new Tropical Smoothie Cafe, 2600 N. Main St., North Little Rock, will start at 6 a.m. Friday with giveaways, product tastings and $1.99 smoothies all day (with purchase of a wrap, sandwich, flatbread or salad). The first 50 customers will receive free smoothies for a year (with purchase, via a coupon good for one free smoothie per week for 52 weeks). Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 904-5212; the website is tropicalsmoothiecafe.com.

Little Greek Fresh Grill, in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, part of a Tampa, Fla.-based chain/franchise operation, is marking its first anniversary through Sunday with $5 gyros, chicken and vegetarian pitas; on Sunday, the celebration will include free cake, baklava and spinach pie samples for all customers. The phone number is (501) 223-5300; the website, littlegreekrestaurant.com.

One of our sharp-eyed observers reports that the former KFC at 1815 N. First St., Jacksonville, has been torn down and replacing it on the site is a Hardee's.

One of our sharp-eyed Spa City observers reports the apparent closure of Cafe Alexander, 2608 Albert Pike, Hot Springs, which opened in January serving a mostly Greek menu. A call to the listed phone number, (501) 767-0700, returned a recorded message that the number has changed, but that the new number is unknown.

The Tulsa-based Hideaway Pizza chain is looking for photos to complete a two-sided, 24-foot long art collage "representing Arkansas' natural beauty and reflecting the state slogan, Arkansas, the Natural State" for its first non-Oklahoma outlet, 5103 Warden Road, North Little Rock (next to Chuy's), targeted to open the first week of October. One side of the collage will be covered with images of "Razorback Life"; the other will feature images of Arkansas' natural beauty, as well as "images of people out enjoying their natural surroundings." The company is offering no compensation "other than having your image immortalized on a giant piece of art in a public place." Aug. 1 is the deadline to submit images online, via tinyurl.com/zr5fqea, where you can also read the rules, regulations and fine print on what you can and can't submit. Presumably it will issue a similar request for a planned location in Conway when it's about to open in spring of 2017. Email questions to Social@hideawaypizza.com.

And the Little Rock Planning Commission this week approved a conditional use permit for the construction of the first Arkansas location of the New Orleans-based dine-in movie theater chain Movie Tavern in the Gateway Town Center, where Interstates 430 and 30 meet, Little Rock. The theater, scheduled to open next year, will have 11 screens and 1,100 recliner seats, a full-service lobby bar and a menu of chicken wings, mac and cheese, burgers and pizza, with breakfast options for early showings.

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:

eharrison@arkansasonline.com

Weekend on 07/21/2016

Print Headline: Restaurant Transitions: Little Greek Fresh Grill marks its first anniversary

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