Within the next couple of weeks, the Chi family will close its flagship Chi's Dim Sum & Bistro, 6 Shackleford Drive, Little Rock, overlooking the Markham-Shackleford intersection, and will move it west and consolidate it with Chi's Fine Chinese Cuisine, 17200 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock.
Just how much of the menu will move along with it is still not certain, but paterfamilias Bill Chi says the move will include at least some of the dim sum items, for which Chi's has been pretty much the only source in the region and which draw a good-sized Asian customer base on weekends.
Reports that the Chenal restaurant would expand into the vacant next-door storefront are apparently premature at best. The hours for the Chenal Parkway location, which started out primarily as a to-go operation but a few years ago expanded into what had been a coffee shop at the apex of the L-shaped Centre at Chenal center, probably won't change -- 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 821-8000.
The family will continue to own and repurpose the building, though we have not yet been able to confirm just what it will become.
The Chis' Little Rock restaurant "empire" also includes Chi's Asian Cafe and Sushi Bar, 3421 Old Cantrell Road in Riverdale (but not Chi's Too, 5110 W Markham St., which it sold years ago to a former chef); both branches of Sushi Cafe, in the Heights and in west Little Rock; Lulu's Crab Boil, 5911R St.; and the Little Rock outlet of La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe, 12210 W. Markham St. They also operate or have pieces of a couple of area hotels, with one in the works.