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Restaurant Transitions: Casey's Bar-B-Q awaits city inspections, Cantina Cinco de Mayo latest + Arkansas pies on AETN

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published March 1, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Kat Robinson

David Henry, "managing member" of Casey's Bar-B-Q, says the resurrected restaurant will likely miss its Thursday target opening date in the former Arkansas Burger Company building, 7410 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, while waiting for city inspections. As of deadline, Henry had no firm timeline; he says the interior is just a few days from completion and the holdup is when he can get the city's mechanical inspector to approve the outside ventilation of the pit. You will recall Henry is the son of Casey's co-founder Dorine Henry. His two children, Mary, 25, and Johnny Henry, 22, are the owners; his sister, Diane Henry Williamson, "will be helping out on catering and training." The menu will look pretty much the same as it was at the popular Reservoir Road location that closed in 2005, with the addition of smoked baked potatoes. Hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. We only got the voicemail at the listed phone number -- (501) 615-8522.

Cantina Cinco de Mayo was also expected to open this week, Wednesday or today at 521 Center St., Little Rock, but as of Tuesday's deadline we could not confirm that that's happened/happening. We could only reach a voicemail box at the listed phone number, (501) 400-8194. At last check, co-owner Jose Jesus Valadez said the hours, still tentative, will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily; it will have the same menu as the other restaurants in the mini-chain, which has Little Rock outlets on Rahling Circle and on Stagecoach Road and locations in Bryant and Benton, and once the mixed-drink license comes through, a full bar.

[RELATED: Chinese restaurant in Little Rock's Heights neighborhood sells]

Omar Kassees, who with his brother Sam did in fact close their Mason's Grill and Rivershore Eatery on Feb. 21 in the River Market Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, citing "the ongoing harassments of the city of Little Rock and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau," charges that Diana Long, the Convention and Visitors Bureau's director of River Market operations, has categorically denied.

Make Room for Pie: A Delicious Slice of The Natural State, in which food and travel writer Kat Robinson takes viewers on a TV tour of pies at diners and cafes across the state, premieres at 6:30 p.m. March 8 on the Arkansas Educational Television Network. Among the restaurants and bakeries the film highlights: Charlotte's Eats & Sweets in Keo, Big John's/Tacker's Shake Shack in Marion, Lindsey's Hospitality House in North Little Rock, Honey Pies in Little Rock, Miss Anna's on Towson and Ed Walker's Drive-In in Fort Smith, Sweet Treats Sandwich & Pie Shop in Lamar, Hillbilly Hideout in Ozark, PattiCakes Bakery in Conway, Shangri-La Resort in Mount Ida, Mr. & Mrs. Chef in Hot Springs, Skillet Restaurant in Mountain View, Batten's Donuts & Bakery in Paragould, Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales & Pies in Lake Village, Backyard B-B-Q Co. in Magnolia, Grandma's House Cafe in Winslow and the Wooden Spoon in Gentry. In-studio guests for the premiere will include Patti Stobaugh of PattiCakes, Sharon Woodson of Honey Pies and Charlotte Bowls of Charlotte's Eats & Sweets. Make a donation to the AETN Foundation and get a copy of Robinson's new book, Another Slice of Arkansas Pie: A Guide to the Best Restaurants, Bakeries, Truck Stops and Food Trucks for Delectable Bites in The Natural State (Tonti Press, 2018). And check out the film's companion website, aetn.org/makeroomforpie.

And McDonald's is taking cheeseburgers and chocolate milk off its Happy Meal menu by June to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that children consume at its restaurants. Hamburgers and Chicken McNuggets will remain the main entrees on the Happy Meal menu. The idea is to cut Happy Meal options to 600 calories or fewer with less than 650 milligrams of sodium. It also wants less than 10 percent of the meal's calories to come from saturated fat and the same percentage from added sugar. If you actually want a cheeseburger or chocolate milk for your youngster, you can still ask specifically for them, but the company says not listing them will reduce how often they're ordered. The company says orders for soda with Happy Meals have fallen 14 percent since the company took it off the Happy Meal menu four years ago. Health advocates and parents frequently link Happy Meals to childhood obesity; in response, McDonald's has made tweaks over the years, including cutting the portion size of fries and adding fruit and, most recently, swapping out its apple juice for one with less sugar. Bottled water will be an option but will cost extra.

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 03/01/2018

Print Headline: Casey's still awaits city inspections

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Comments on: Restaurant Transitions: Casey's Bar-B-Q awaits city inspections, Cantina Cinco de Mayo latest + Arkansas pies on AETN

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 total comments

DoubleBlind says... March 1, 2018 at 9:22 a.m.

Not sure I approve of my AETN support being used to film an obese person waxing on about junk food, regardless of its supposed ‘cultural heritage.’

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DoubleBlind says... March 1, 2018 at 1:11 p.m.

Although, if I’m honest, I have to come clean about being a big fan of the Great British Bake-off. I think it’s the science behind baking, not to mention the amazing creativity. But it’s still junk food. I accept the penalty for my obvious pie-pocrasy.

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