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Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 1:04 a.m.

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Restaurant Transitions: Hawgz Blues Cafe to open in ex-U.S. Pizza spot; The Meteor coffee shop/bakery sets May opening

posted: 03/23/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Hawgz Blues Cafe is going into the former Aydelotte's/U.S. Pizza mansion, 5524 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, with a March 31 soft opening, featuring "A Taste of Hawgz Blues Cafe"; a special April 4 "Celebration Day Honoring Dr. Rev. MLK Holiday in Arkansas"; and a grand opening slated for April 14. A building inspector for the North Little Planning Director told our ace reporter Jake Sandlin that the move-in has involved just some cleaning up and adding some paint so the project has not required a building permit; however, according to a news release, "Currently, our restaurant is undergoing a major remodeling and refurbishing -- inside and outside."

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Focus shifts at The Main Cheese in Little Rock; cheese still rules

posted: 03/23/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

We somewhat shamefacedly admit that we never made it to the original incarnation of The Main Cheese on Cantrell Road.

Restaurant Transitions: District Fare, Heights Corner Market look to open this month; La Hacienda weeks away

posted: 03/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Gallery Discuss

Tomas Bohm, who brought you The Pantry and Hillcrest's Pantry Crest, says he's still angling to get District Fare (briefly known as Hillcrest Market &; Nosh) up and running by the end of March, replacing former Hillcrest Artisan Meats at 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: 'Postflood' Capers pleases palate

posted: 03/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

No one would be able to tell classy, cozy Capers was in crisis mode a couple months ago.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Dairy Queen a Blizzard of nostalgia

posted: 03/09/2017 5:56 a.m. Comments 4

Dairy Queen -- it's good to have you back, and closer to home, old friend.

Restaurant Transitions: New restaurant opening in former Juanita's spot; downtown coffee shop news

posted: 03/09/2017 5:45 a.m. Comment 1

March 16 is now the pretty firm target for the opening of Argentine restaurant Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe, 614 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, the final resting place of Juanita's. Co-owner Flo Bruzatori-Mullins says they'll be doing an invitation-only soft opening at the top of the week. The family-run first-floor restaurant will serve "family recipes crafted with passion," including "asado, empanadas, Graciela's famous chimichurri and more," according to the restaurant's Facebook page. Hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; eventually they plan also to be open 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. for Sunday brunch. The phone number: (501) 904-2133.

Restaurant Transitions: Terry's Finer Foods closed; Damgoode expands delivery; Hacienda opening delayed

posted: 03/02/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Mason's Deli & Grill in the River Market's Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, is dropping the "Deli" and changing its name to Mason's Grill. Co-owner Omar Kassees says, due to the increase in burger sales (a bit of a surprise considering the recent opening of David's Burgers in the market hall), they have expanded their burger line and dropped most of their deli sandwiches (bye-bye, Reuben). The offerings include a Certified Angus Beef-brand burger, turkey and veggie burgers and, new to the menu, a lamb burger. Kassees says they'll also continue to offer grilled items, such as brats and sausages, and though you won't see it on the menu, you can still walk up and request their Philly cheesesteak sandwich. The phone number remains (501) 376-3354.

RESTAURANT REVIEW + PHOTOS: Ciao Baci winter menu a winner

posted: 03/02/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

If anybody is handing out a restaurant award for the area's dimmest interior lighting, Ciao Baci would be a top contender.

Selected restaurants

posted: 03/02/2017 1:46 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. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety, visit arkansasonline.com/restaurants.

Restaurant Transitions: IHOP at Markham and University, Capers, Tacos 4 Life opening soon

posted: 02/23/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

The target reopening date for the IHOP, West Markham Street and University Avenue, Little Rock, is April 3. You will recall that Golden Cakes Inc., which manages 10 of the 15 Arkansas IHOPs, is rebuilding the place from the ground up; the new place will have a "contemporary look, reflective of the warm and inviting atmosphere characteristic of IHOP restaurants nationwide," according to a corporate marketing statement; "special design touches include whimsical 'bubble' screens, porcelain wood-like tile flooring and the beloved banquette seating associated with the brand since first opening in 1958." Part of the building has a distinctly visible second story, which Susan North, franchisee/partner/owner, says will be an employee-only space, not a party room or overflow seating.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Paninis & Company plates a pretty package

posted: 02/23/2017 1:57 a.m. Discuss

Woman doesn't live on wheatgrass-kale-spinach-cucumber-parsley-lemon-and-celery juice alone. Or at all.

Selected restaurants

updated: 02/23/2017 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Weekly 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.

Restaurant Transitions: Three Fold moving; North Bar opened; changes planned for Bray Gourmet, Slick's

posted: 02/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. is moving from 215 Center St., Little Rock, where it has been vending authentic Chinese noodles, dumplings and buns, since December 2014, to the Fulk Building (which, by the way, was the original home of the Arkansas Democrat), 615 Main St., sometime in mid-August. Owner Lisa Zhang says she anticipates staying open as they move, though there is a possibility it may have to close for a week to complete the transition.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Baja style suits Fuzzy's just fine

posted: 02/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

Fuzzy's Taco Shop calls its cuisine Baja-style Mexican, fashioned after food of the Baja California peninsula, where seafood takes a prominent position in many restaurants. The chain's newest location is on John Harden Drive in Jacksonville.

Restaurant Transitions: Capers repairs; La Hacienda renovations; Buenos Aires looks to open at month's end

posted: 02/09/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

Progress is being made in the repairs at Capers, 14502 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, where last month a cold snap resulted in a burst pipe in the fire suppression system in the attic and caused quite a bit of damage. Co-owner Mary Beth Ringgold says they're shooting to reopen next week -- Wednesday at the earliest -- but it's a "moving target." Much of the interior work is done -- wiring, ductwork, new Sheetrock and the flooring. Among the items still pending: new chairs. Ringgold and colleague Marilyn Greene have, in the meanwhile, been working on some new menu items, "true to our style," with plans to "ramp up the appetizers" and add some entrees. During the down time, Capers' subsidiary market has remained open. And the phone number has remained active: (501) 868-7600.

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