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The beer boom

posted: 10/27/2015 2:29 p.m. Discuss

The nationwide explosion of craft beer has become increasingly evident in central Arkansas. Of course, there were the pioneers of Little Rock. Diamond Bear Brewing Co. and Vino’s Brewpub are not only the longest-serving brewers in central Arkansas, but they also both laid the foundation that made this recent craft beer boom possible. It was through their work that the state of Arkansas passed the Native Brewery Act of 2003, allowing beer makers to sell and distribute their beer to restaurants without using a distributor, sell beer out of their own taprooms and open for business Sundays.

On the market

posted: 10/27/2015 2:19 p.m. Discuss

In the 1980s, Arkansas’ wine market was virtually nonexistent. Actually, that’s not particularly noteworthy because at that time, even New York didn’t really have a stronghold in the wine world. In reality, the spread of great wine across the U.S. has only really happened in the past 30 years as more information about wine and better communication with vineyards became more readily available.

A Southern calling

posted: 10/27/2015 2:06 p.m. Discuss

The hustle and bustle at the heart of American politics in Washington, D.C., is the destination for many people in the U.S. who see it as the ultimate place to find a career — not to mention some of the best public transportation, schools and suburbs in the country.

More to love

posted: 10/27/2015 1:14 p.m. Discuss

Kemuri has been open for just over a year, but in that short time, it’s become one of Little Rock’s best dining experiences. Jerry Barakat took his outstanding sushi menu and pedigree from Ocean’s at Arthur’s and expanded upon it, introducing Japanese robata-style grilling and slickly designed Asian-themed entrees to the Hillcrest neighborhood. If there’s been any criticism I’ve had of Kemuri, it’s that, until recently, the restaurant was only open for dinner. But this summer saw the introduction of Sunday brunch service, and just a few weeks ago, Kemuri began serving lunch, as well. Keeping the same quality food and service at a reduced price, Kemuri hasn’t missed a beat with its new lunch menu.

Local arts organizations team for Dracula Unearthed

posted: 10/27/2015 12:57 p.m. Discuss

A brand-new telling of a classic tale will soon reveal what happens when the undead becomes unearthed.

BASH Burger halts business in Benton

posted: 10/27/2015 12:43 p.m. Discuss

Just as soon as it became an immensely popular Saline County location, BASH Burger Co. has announced it is temporarily suspending its business on Military Road in Benton. BASH hasn’t given specific reasons for this move but says it was an issue that didn’t relate to any health department activity or state regulation. It appears to be a simple business move.

Hutchinson announces 10-year plan to curb state obesity

posted: 10/27/2015 12:16 p.m. Discuss

In hopes of combating the state’s obesity epidemic, along with other health issues, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced a plan that aims to not only reduce obesity but also encourage healthier practices by Arkansans.

Sync weekly magazine to cease publication Wednesday

posted: 10/23/2015 2:19 p.m. Discuss

Sync, a sister publication of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette created in 2007 with the intent of reaching a young adult audience, will cease publication Wednesday, newspaper leadership said Friday.

Stop bullying

posted: 10/20/2015 1:04 p.m. Discuss

Missy Jenkins Smith was only 15 years old when a victim of bullying changed her life. She says she remembers going to prayer circle that chilly Monday morning after Thanksgiving break. Her twin sister went, too. They went every day.

Writing romance

posted: 10/20/2015 12:51 p.m. Discuss

Arkansas is for lovers? Maybe not, but there is something that kindles the creative flame of the state’s romance writers.

A step down

posted: 10/20/2015 12:14 p.m. Discuss

“Oh, wow. It’s just about everything on the menu,” said our waitress when asked what had changed at Juanita’s Cafe and Bar. That’s true of more than just the food. There was a time when you could have made a convincing argument that Juanita’s was the cultural hub of Little Rock. Its location in the SoMa neighborhood hummed along through the ’90s and the start of the century, churning out solid, accessible Tex-Mex while serving up a number of memorable live acts.

‘Ultimate’ Elvis tribute show to visit Maumelle

posted: 10/20/2015 11:43 a.m. Discuss

For a short time in the metro, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll will live.

Golf legend announces steakhouse

posted: 10/20/2015 11:35 a.m. Discuss

Kudos to my colleagues at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for breaking the news that PGA golfer John Daly, a University of Arkansas alumnus, is opening a new steak house in downtown Conway. John Daly’s has plans for a 5,000-square-foot restaurant at 912 Front St. to open in 2016. Project CEO Sam McFadin tells the Democrat-Gazette the restaurant will feature memorabilia and signature menu items relating to Daly’s golf career and personality. Daly is also planning to make five appearances at the restaurant over the course of the year. And this is just the beginning. McFadin says John Daly’s plans to open 10 locations in the next five years, including a possible spot on Dickson Street in Fayetteville. The Conway restaurant is going in the first floor of a building that will also feature four lofts and a patio space on the second floor.

Lack of rain presents drought conditions in southern Arkansas

posted: 10/20/2015 11:25 a.m. Discuss

“When Will It Rain?” is a once-popular song by the band Jackyl that told the story of a person suffering in the summer heat. While the heat is leaving central Arkansas, it doesn’t seem like the rain is coming.

Debates and ’80s movies

posted: 10/20/2015 11:24 a.m. Discuss

As I was watching the Democratic presidential debate, I was struck by the characters onstage and their relationship to the ’80s, and I’m not just talking about the average age of the participants. No, there was a feel to the candidates and characters from some classic 1980s movies.

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