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story.lead_photo.caption The Jewish Food Festival will have to find another source for bagels after the closure of Morningside Bagels on the North Little Rock side of Maumelle Boulevard.

Morningside Bagels, 10848 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock, has closed "for personal reasons," according to the website, Later postings there and on Facebook and in various media reports since April 2 have revealed those reasons: Maumelle police had issued an felony warrant April 3 for Robert David Tackett, who co-owned the establishment with his now-estranged wife, Roxane, on charges of criminal intent to commit arson of a Maumelle residence he co-owned. He was subsequently arrested April 5 without incident on his pontoon boat on Lake Ouachita by the Montgomery County sheriff's office, with assistance from Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officers.

Roxane Tackett had called Maumelle police April 2 to report that her husband had "destroyed the business" while it had been closed over the Easter weekend, slicing open all the chairs, bending and/or breaking the baking equipment and breaking glass fixtures. He had also allegedly set up four gasoline-and-timer devices "in order to detonate the house, basically," a police spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the decade-old business establishment's many regular customers have been in "mourningside" for what has been one of the very few sources in the area for properly made bagels. (The Tacketts bought the recipes and equipment from the west Little Rock location of Oklahoma City-based N.Y. Bagels when it went belly up.) The bakery also supplied other area outlets and also the bagels for the Jewish Food Festival. Roxane Tackett has posted an email address -- -- for anybody who'd be willing to step forward and pick up the torch.


Just up the boulevard, a resurrection is in progress: George and Sharon Qandah, who closed Smokey Joe's Bar-B-Que on Military Road in Benton almost exactly a year ago -- saying they were retiring after 36 years in business -- have announced via Facebook ( that they will be opening anew in the former Dickey's Barbecue Pit, 13503 Crystal Hill Road, North Little Rock, in a strip center in front of Walmart. They have not yet announced an opening date. The Qandahs operated the original Smokey Joe's on Chicot Road in Little Rock for 14 years before they moved it to Benton.

And speaking of resurrected barbecue joints, David Henry, Casey's Bar-B-Q "managing member," was still awaiting some inspections as of Tuesday's deadline, but was hopeful he'd finally be able to get the place, which closed on Reservoir Road more than a dozen years ago, open again this week in the former Arkansas Burger Company, 7410 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. The most recent delays have focused on the need to move the barbecue pit from the front of the building to to the back, which had the silver lining of allowing the family to install a walk-up window. Hours are still expected to be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. We continually get only the voicemail at the listed phone number -- (501) 615-8522.

Hours at Wayback Burgers, opening its first Little Rock outlet sometime next week in the Chenal Curve Shopping Center, 16900 Chenal Parkway, will be 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 404-5858; visit the Facebook page:

Mugs Cafe, 515 Main St., North Little Rock, is now open Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; they're open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 379-9101; the website,

The area's second Saltgrass Steak House, 6040 Warden Road, where North Little Rock meets Sherwood, opened on schedule Tuesday. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 833-2223. Visit the website,, or the Facebook page, The other outlet is at 10 Anglers Way, Little Rock, near the Bass Pro Shops.

If the disconnected phone at the Dunkin' Donuts location at 10721 Kanis Road, at Shackleford Road, Little Rock, was not enough to convince folks that its closure was something more than "temporarily," according to the sign on the door -- a real estate company has now posted for-sale signs.

Little Rock's branch of the Movie Tavern chain, 11300 Bass Pro Parkway, which has been serving up movies and food for a couple of months now, will host a special grand opening event and "family fun day," 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday with a portion of proceeds from the weekend to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. The event will feature balloon twister, caricature artist, a photo booth and a screening of the movie The Sandlot, and guests can order from theater's "chef-inspired" menu. Admission is free. Visit

Nearly 1,000 volunteers will work together to pack more than 500,000 meals for children in need as Tacos 4 Life and Feed My Starving Children host their annual Conway MobilePack today-Saturday at the Conway Expo and Event Center, 2505 E. Oak St., Conway. The mini-chain operates restaurants in Conway and Little Rock and has a buy-a-meal, give-a-meal mission. Visit

The central Arkansas food delivery sweepstakes has acquired another player: Grubhub, which has expanded its delivery service to 34 more markets across 19 states, including Little Rock. The website,, says it's currently delivering from The Sports Page, Subway, Mickey's Cakes & Sweets, Back Yard Burgers, Great Wraps, Sharks Fish and Chicken and Capitol Bistro; chain restaurants with central Arkansas outlets that are using the service, according to a news release, though they aren't currently listed on the site, include Buffalo Wild Wings, BJ's Restaurants & Brew-house and On the Border and the list will eventually include Yum! Brands restaurants KFC and Taco Bell. To be part of the "Grubhub Delivery team," visit; to sign your restaurant up, visit


Approaching food and wine events and benefits:

• Cocoa Belle Chocolates' owner/chocolatier Carmen Portillo is pairing a wine flight with "truffles, desserts, sauces, bars and much more," in a "Chocolate & Wine Tasting" event, 6:30-8 p.m. April 20 at her shop, 3614 Market Place Ave., Bryant. Space is "very limited." Tickets are $65 and you must buy them in advance -- visit

• Hailey Trefethen, granddaughter of Napa, Calif.'s Trefethen Family Vineyards founders Eugene and Catherine Trefethen, will be on hand for a five-course wine dinner, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner, May 3 in One Eleven at the Capital, Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Cost is $145 per person, plus tax and gratuities. For reservations, call (501) 370-7068.

• St. Joseph Center of Arkansas hosts the third annual Lettuce Grow dinner and auction, 6:30-9:30 p.m. May 4 at the center, 6800 Camp Robinson Road in North Little Rock. The dinner, marking the nonprofit's 10th anniversary and celebrating spring planting, features a menu compiled by Southern Table chef Margie Raimondo; libations, including craft beer; tours of the building, farm and new High Tunnel Greenhouses; a preview of the 2018 farm stand; a silent auction (including art by folks who have studios at the center); interaction with farm animals; and music. Tickets are $50 plus service charges in advance -- call (501) 993-4560 or visit; $65 at the door. Visit

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:

Photo by Jennifer Christman
For-sale signs have sprouted outside the “temporarily closed” Dunkin’ Donuts at Kanis and Shackleford roads.
Photo by Democrat-Gazette file photo
Mugs Cafe in North Little Rock’s Argenta District is now open Sundays.

Weekend on 04/12/2018

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