The owner of Midtown Billiards says she plans to reopen the Little Rock bar, which was damaged by fire in September, by the start of June.
Owner Maggie Hinson said Thursday that three-fourths of the restoration work had been completed as of this week.
Midtown has long been a staple of Little Rock's South Main District. Its history in Arkansas' capital city dates to 1940.
The popular bar moved to its current location in the 1970s.
For Hinson, the return of the bar at 1316 Main St. in the South Main District is long overdue.
"What should have taken three or four months has taken about nine," Hinson said.
Midtown's bar area is going up, the ceiling is in place, and bathrooms have been installed, Hinson said. Among the tasks remaining: installing kitchen equipment.
The owner said that process should be completed by the end of next week.
"We've missed [the bar] just as much as they have," she said, thanking the community for its support in the months after the fire severely damaged the late-night establishment.
As for what patrons can expect when Midtown returns, Hinson says to expect the same atmosphere as before -- with efforts to rid the bar of some of its newness and return it to the unique, gritty character of the past.
"We're trying to take it back to the way it was," Hinson said, noting the original setup's "antique" status.
A malfunctioning refrigerator caused the Sept. 19 blaze that damaged Midtown, Arkansas Online previously reported.
Capt. Jason Weaver, a spokesman for the Little Rock Fire Department, said the faulty appliance "generated enough heat" to cause objects nearby to catch fire.
Metro on 05/05/2017