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Restaurant Transitions: Starbucks takes over ex-Shogun space in Little Rock; new buffet in North Little Rock

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published August 10, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.


Moe’s Buffet & Diner is going into the former Cancun Mexican Restaurant in North Little Rock’s Pike Plaza Shopping Center.

If you've been wondering what might become of the dilapidated former Shogun Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, 2815 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, which closed in April, we have the answer. Maumelle-based Holloway Engineering has filed an application for a zoning variance, stating that the applicant "would like to accomplish an upgrade of the existing [Shogun restaurant] through demolition and reconstruction of the lot for a Starbucks coffee shop." It would occupy 2,300 square feet, with, after some street buffering and parking variance, 23 parking spots. The Little Rock Board of Adjustment is expected to take it up at its Aug. 28 meeting.

Moe's Buffet & Diner is going in to the former Cancun Mexican Restaurant/Cyber Bar in the Pike Plaza Shopping Center, 2619 Pike Ave., North Little Rock. A frieze of signs on the exterior, linked to appetizing photos, promises shrimp, tacos, salads, steaks, meat loaf, wings, chicken fried steak, enchiladas, fajitas, fried chicken and catfish. We don't yet have any other details, or a phone number, but we do know it's not affiliated in any way with the Moe's Southwest Grill chain -- a corporate spokesman confirmed that "we do not have a location on Pike Avenue."

We're looking at a target date of Aug. 24 -- the latest of several targets that have come and gone over the last several months -- for the opening of Kamikaito by Kiyen's in the former Good Food by Ferneau/Argenta Market space, Sixth and Main streets, North Little Rock. That's about all we know right now. Owner-chef Kiyen Kim, who also brought you Kiyen's Seafood Steak and Sushi, 17200 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, has been keeping things close to his chest, especially the menu. It should resemble to some degree the one he has at his west Little Rock operation -- sushi, Japanese hibachi meals, Korean and Asian fusion specialties (see it at Kiyen has long since dismissed reports he was planning things like Korean-style pizza or Asian-fusion hot dogs. We still also don't have operating hours, but the place will be open at least for lunch, dinner and possibly Sunday brunch. We don't yet have a listed phone number; the one at the west Little Rock restaurant is (501) 821-7272.

Co-owner Patti Stobaugh says it looks like Wednesday will be the reopening of Conway landmark Stoby's Restaurant, 805 Donaghey Ave., rebuilt after a March 19, 2016, fire. Consider that still tentative -- she says she'll know for certain by Saturday. Meanwhile, just a reminder: they're holding a benefit preview, 5-8 p.m. Saturday for Haven House, a Conway girls shelter, with the full opening menu and bottomless cheese dip. Sign up for one of six seatings, 40 people per; tickets are $100 and all proceeds go to the nonprofit. Visit Hours for the restaurant once it reopens: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number will once again be (501) 327-5447.

A banner outside the former Fonda's/Faded Rose space in the Bowman Curve shopping center, 400 N. Bowman Road, Little Rock, proclaims: "Coming soon! Chano's Mexican Grill." We've so far been unable to turn up a phone number, website or Facebook page, but one of our eagle-eyed colleagues spotted an application with the Arkansas Beverage Control Board ( for a mixed drink (minimum) permit, which would indicate they plan to serve margaritas but probably won't have a full bar.

First week of September is the target for the opening of the David's Burgers outlet in Bryant, 23140 Interstate 30 North, off the Reynolds Road exit (Exit 123). Hours will be 10:45 a.m-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10:45 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number: (501) 487-7024.

And speaking of burgers, Burger King, 403 E. Broadway, North Little Rock, has closed and orange barrels block all entrances into the parking lot, where a couple of pieces of heavy construction equipment are already at work. A construction company has posted its sign but we haven't been able to determine yet just what is going on -- could be remodeling, could be razing. Two days' worth of calls to the restaurant's listed phone number, (501) 372-8649, returned only a constant busy signal.

Our Business section resident real-estate transfer guru David Smith reports that Franchise Management Investors U.S. LLC, which owns more than 300 Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and Panera Bread outlets in Canada and six U.S. states, last month bought the KFC, 20704 Arkansas 365 N., Maumelle, from John Green for $584,000. It's one of five recent purchases of Arkansas KFCs by the Canadian company. The others: 2670 Donaghey St., Conway, and stores in Clarksville, Russellville and Crossett.

Meanwhile, Smith reported last month that Hideaway Properties LLC of Tulsa bought the Hideaway Pizza on Warden Road in North Little Rock for $3.2 million from Patmurphy Properties LLC, an Oklahoma company that initially paid $1.5 million for the property in December 2015. Turns out the sale was an administrative shuffle. A Hideaway Pizza spokesman explains that Patmurphy is Hideaway's private development company.

And speaking of chains, McDonald's, which used central Arkansas as a test market for its Pico Guacamole and Sweet BBQ Bacon "Signature Crafted Recipes" a bit over a year ago, is adding to that lineup the Signature Sriracha, your choice of a quarter-pound beef patty, crispy or grilled chicken with a "creamy Sriracha Mac Sauce," paired with onion crisps, baby spinach and kale, a tomato slice and white cheddar cheese on either a "toasted artisan roll or sesame seed bun." McDonald's is also offering the Sriracha Mac sauce as a dip for McNuggets and fries. On "Sriracha Saturday" this weekend, all customers can get the sauce free with any order and "select stores" will offer samples of the new sandwich. Visit

Arkansas Online reports that Sept. 1 -- following the expected Aug. 20 awarding of a private-club liquor license -- is now the planned opening date for the first John Daly's Steakhouse, 912 Front St., just north of Toad Suck Square in downtown Conway. What was originally to be a refit of an existing two-story building involved its razing and the construction of a new one. A 5,000-square-foot dining room occupies the main floor with second-floor loft space and private dining area. The developers are also planning 10 more restaurants over the next five years, starting in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas. Visit the Facebook page,

Rector's has opened at 538 W. Grand Ave., Hot Springs, a former house that was the longtime location of Mollie's and, more briefly, Jay Baxter's eclectic but short-lived Jay's). Hours are 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Menus are posted on the Facebook page, The phone number is (501) 463-9493.

For the second week of Little Rock Restaurant Month, a project of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau to promote local restaurants and neighborhoods, two dozen restaurants and food vendors in the so-called "West" district, west of Interstate 430 and north of Lawson Road, will offer breakfast, lunch and/or dinner discounts or promotions. Visit

Wes Jones, one of the folks who operate 501 Brewing Co., has been seeking a location, preferably somewhere in downtown Benton, to sell his products that's more customer-congenial than the brewery, 1350 E. Colonel Glenn Road (the post office is Little Rock but the address is actually in Saline County). He and those who run The Main St. Station, 303 N. Main St., Benton, had reached an agreement, but, Jones says, the Health Department wanted considerable renovations to the building, beyond what he considered do-able. He hopes to still be able to bring in the brewery's portable set-up for events at the food-truck gathering place. More details about the brewery are available on Facebook (

And speaking of breweries, Brave New Restaurant sous chef Matt Clark is pairing five courses with five Rebel Kettle brews for the 7 p.m. Sept. 7 Rebel Kettle Beer Dinner at the Flying Saucer, 323 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. Tickets are $45, $40 if you're a Flying Saucer UFO member. Call (501) 372-8032, email or 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 08/10/2017

Print Headline: Restaurant Transitions: Starbucks takes over ex-Shogun space; Moe’s Buffet coming to Pike Plaza


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