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Restaurant Transitions: New burger food truck; fire at Midtown Billiards; Stoby's reopening progress

posted: 09/22/2016 5:45 a.m. Comment 1

There was a lot of talk at the farewell dinner for 1620/1620 Savoy, 1620 Market St., Little Rock, a couple of weeks ago about what was going to happen to the building. Now we know that Jim Keet and his family, who operate three current and one pending area Taziki's restaurants, have bought the building, contents and equipment from Rush Harding III in a deal set to be consummated today. And he has formed a working partnership with a Little Rock culinary legend -- Louis Petit, who has been in Florida for several years helping his son Louis Petit Jr. with the popular and aptly named Louis Louis on the Gulf Coast near Destin. Petit, of course, started out at Jacques and Suzanne's, and ran or was involved in several area restaurants, including Piccolo and Cafe Prego.

REVIEW: Honey Pies in Little Rock a sweet choice

posted: 09/22/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Sometimes you just want pie.

Restaurant Transitions: The Pizzeria opening soon; new sports bar in the Heights

posted: 09/15/2016 5:28 a.m. Comment 1

Following up on our report last week on the closure of the Wendy's at 4600 Camp Robinson Road, North Little Rock, that also mentioned the closure of an outlet on Cantrell Road in Little Rock, colleague Jennifer Christman caught up with Wendy's marketing director, Nan Trammell, who explained, "Our leases were up for those stores. We have also closed ... Geyer Springs. The stores we closed are 40 years old, so we are looking for new locations like we did on Cantrell. We have a newer store on Baseline [Road] and are remodeling McCain [Boulevard in North Little Rock]. Those stores needed to be completely redone to keep them open." Meanwhile, we've received as-yet unconfirmed reports that the Little Caesar's Pizza currently on the other side of Camp Robinson Road will move in, thereby acquiring a drive-through window.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Core good for what ales you

updated: 09/15/2016 1:12 p.m. Discuss

The great country songwriter Tom T. Hall released a song in 1975 titled "I Like Beer," a rollicking number whose rhythm and words evoke a honky-tonk sing-along complete with sloshing pint glasses.

Selected restaurants

posted: 09/15/2016 1:45 a.m. Discuss

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. Restaurant reviewers' visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Restaurant Transitions: Sam's Southern Eatery now open; Main Street Food Truck Fridays resumes

posted: 09/08/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

The new North Little Rock franchise of Sam's Southern Eatery finally opened last weekend, after nearly another month's delay, in the former KFC/Long John Silver's hybrid, 613 E. Broadway, just off the Broadway exit off Interstate 30. The menu is close, but not quite identical, to the menus across the chain, which you can find at samssoutherneatery.com -- primarily fried chicken and grilled and fried catfish and shrimp in various combinations. Hours are tentatively 10 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends. We're still trying to track down the phone number. Franchisee Abu Bakr "Al" Sayyah and his family also operate Zam Zam International Market and its next-door restaurant in the Galleria shopping center, 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, and one or more Popeye's franchises.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Little Rock's new Soul Fish Cafe

posted: 09/08/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Soul Fish Cafe is a catch.

Selected restraurants

posted: 09/08/2016 1:45 a.m. Discuss

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. Restaurant reviewers' visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Bargain means a meal (without beverage or dessert) typically less than $12. Moderate: $12-$25. Expensive: $25 and up. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety, visit arkansasonline.com/restaurants.

Restaurant Transitions: Taco chain to open in Little Rock; new sushi in Argenta; Luby’s location closed

posted: 09/01/2016 5:45 a.m. Comments 3

In case you missed this last week, Conway-based Tacos4Life, with two popular outlets in Conway and one in Jonesboro and Fayetteville, will open sometime in early 2017 in Little Rock, on a streetside pad between Longhorn Steakhouse and the Boomerang Carwash in the Shackleford Crossings Shopping Center, 2600 block of South Shackleford Road, Little Rock. It's not just any taco outlet -- its ultimate goal, according to a news release, is to "eradicate childhood hunger worldwide, [providing] Feed My Starving Children the funds necessary to purchase one meal for every meal sold in the restaurant." Check out the website, tacos4life.com, for the menu and other details.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: 'New' Sekisui fills the bill

posted: 09/01/2016 5:45 a.m. Gallery Discuss

When it opened in west Little Rock in 2000, Sekisui, an offshoot of a Memphis mini-chain, was a Japanese triple-threat hybrid -- Japanese entrees, sushi and teppanyaki grills. And it had the added allure of serving simple nigiri and sushi rolls that customers could snatch from small boats that circled around the sushi bar.

Restaurant Transitions: JJ’s Grill opens, new sports bar in Heights, plan for Melting Pot in Little Rock fizzles

posted: 08/25/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

JJ's Grill Little Rock has opened in the former Another Round/Villa space in the Rock Creek Shopping Center, 12111 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Kitchen hours are 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday; the bar stays open until 2. The phone number is (501) 891-6769. No word yet on an opening date for the new JJ's in the former Jose's Mexican Restaurant, 324 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, which would become the chain's eighth outlet (the one in Little Rock, two in Rogers, one other in Fayetteville, one each in Fort Smith, Conway and Bella Vista). The menu for all locations is the same and available on the website, jjsgrill.com.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Samurai Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar continues the fight

posted: 08/25/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

We couldn't believe that it has been eight whole years since Samurai Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar opened in Little Rock's Shackleford Crossings Shopping Center.

Selected restaurants

posted: 08/25/2016 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. Restaurant reviewers' visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Bargain means a meal (without beverage or dessert) is typically less than $12. Moderate is $12 to $25. Expensive is $25 and up. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety, visit arkansasonline.com/restaurants.

Restaurant Transitions: New menu at Core Public House, Kemuri makes MSN best sushi list

posted: 08/18/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Core Public House, 411 Main St., North Little Rock, unveiled its new menu last week, including tapas -- Open Faced BLT Bites, Gulf Coast Deviled Eggs (topped with a fried oyster and Creole remoulade), empanadas, hummus and Naughty Bacon Bleu Cheese Fries; entrees and sandwiches, including fish and chips, fish tacos, a blackened turkey sandwich, an oyster po'boy, the Buddha Bowl (couscous, sauteed kale, bell peppers, shredded carrot, snap peas, pickled radish and goat cheese tossed in a roasted shallot vinaigrette) and the so-called Bouvier Burger ("house-made everything" on a pretzel bun, evidently named for chef Jeff Wetzel of Bentonville's Le Bouvier Chef Services, whose logo appears on the menu). Hours are 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 372-1390; the website is corebeer.com. There are also Core brewpubs in Fayetteville, Rogers and Fort Smith and a separate pub and taproom in Springdale.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Go ahead, Eat My Catfish

posted: 08/18/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

If the name of your restaurant is Eat My Catfish, your catfish had better be worth eating.

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