We’ve been watching work taking place on the building at 1706 W. Third St., Little Rock, a onetime gas station catti-cornered from the state Capitol that has been a restaurant since the late ’80s, housing Solar Cafe (1989-1993), Olde World/O.W. Pizza (1994-2013) and, most recently (June 2015-January 2016) Fresh! — An Urban Eatery.
Now we have learned that K.D. Williams, a Tampa, Fla., native who played linebacker at Henderson State University and for several seasons in the NFL (“I was a Dallas Cowboy for a split season,” he says, and spent the 1998 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, 1999 with the Oakland Raiders and 2000-01 with the Green Bay Packers) is putting in another restaurant.
He explains it’s a matter of returning, in a way, to his roots, or at least one set of roots — coming back Arkansas, he says, to “be home.” Also, his daughter attends the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
The target “kickoff” for The Capital’s Seafood House is Sept. 9, coinciding with the kickoff of the 2018-19 NFL season. Williams plans for the opening to be “an Arkansas milestone,” complete with the singing of the national anthem.
He promises “real authentic Caribbean seafood taste — it’s our passion, this is what we do,” along the lines of the Tampa restaurant he operates with his wife, Erika Carter — K&D Crustaceans. The menu will be the same, he says (check it out at kdcrustaceans.com ); they’ll be serving fresh and/or fried crab, lobster, shrimp and mussels; an assortment of po’ boy sandwiches and a lobster roll; and seafood pasta dishes. And the popular specialty of the house, the Seafood Burger, which Williams explains combines shrimp, lobster and crab, “turned into a hamburger, deep-fried, served on a Hawaiian roll, with lettuce, tomatoes and special sauce” (served with fries, hush puppies and cole slaw, $15.99). He’ll bring in lobsters from Maine and other fresh seafood from Memphis, Louisiana and Florida.
Meanwhile, he’s enclosing the west-side patio to make it “sanitary and more cozy” and installing a privacy fence behind it (the property, on one side of a bridge over train tracks, has been an occasional camping spot for transients), with the blessing of the Capitol Zoning District Commission, according to its executive director, Boyd I. Maher, because after several years as a gas station, used car lot, an auto detail shop and several restaurants, “we determined the property had been so altered as to have lost its historic integrity.”
Co-owner Tim Chappell says he’s only awaiting final approval from the fire marshal for the newly installed fire suppression system to finally open the The Shack in what has been Gusano’s Chicago-Style Pizzeria, 313 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. His new, new target: Sept. 1.
Chappell has said the restaurant will resurrect, as much as possible, “the full Shack barbecue experience,” including a “modernized version” of the original sauce recipe, while turning the restaurant into what he wants to be a major blues venue. The place will have a fast-casual atmosphere, with an ordering process similar to that of The Flying Fish down the street — order at the counter, get a buzzing coaster, sit where you want — with at-the-table drink service. He’s keeping the pizza ovens so he can turn out pies for pickup and third-party delivery, for patrons who really want or prefer pizza to barbecue, or for when they run out of barbecue — not unlikely, especially if, say, there’s a Razorbacks game in town.
Chappell’s other project, in the long-long-long-idle storefront at 402 E. Third St. that was originally announced as the site for the resurrected Shack, is on track to open shortly thereafter as Hickory Joe’s, the brand name of Chappell’s partner, Joe Finch, who, though now retired, has, over the years, operated about a dozen barbecue restaurants around the state, some with that name.
Shack hours will likely be 11 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, closing later on weekends when there’s blues music. It’ll keep the Gusano’s phone number — (501) 374-1441. Hickory Joe’s hours are still to be determined.
Former owner Roxane Tackett on Monday posted on the Facebook page for Morningside Bagels, 10848 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock: “Very excited to update that we are preparing for a new owner! The sale should be completed around the end of September.” Tackett says the owner, whom she cannot yet identify for the record, is a “a local who is excited to have a family business” and will continue to use the Morningside Bagels name and recipes — which, by the way, the Tackett family obtained after a chain operation called New York Bagel shut down a west Little Rock outlet. Morningside shut down over Easter weekend and Tackett’s estranged husband and co-owner, David Tackett, was arrested April 5 on a felony warrant for damaging the shop’s chairs, baking equipment and glass fixtures and for attempting to torch a Maumelle residence he co-owned.
Expect to finally see Shambala Vegan Mobile Kitchen up and running next week in the River Market Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock — initially for lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and subsequently, probably the week after, says co-owner Phoebe Glass, breakfast, 7-10 a.m. And they’ll be hosting the Vegan Dinner Club Little Rock, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 10. The phone number is (501) 554-3388.
Todd Taylor of East End Cafe in Hensley and partners Todd and Callie Havens have converted the former Abe’s Ole Feed House, 510 Arkansas 5 North, Benton, into a new restaurant called Silos Cafe. Taylor says the Southern-style home cooking menu is pretty much identical to the one he’s serving up at East End Cafe, including omelets, French toast, biscuits and gravy and pancakes for breakfast; half-pound burgers; more than a dozen sandwiches; and beef, chicken and seafood entrees and combos. Hours are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 794-2219.
Co-owner Jay Nguyen says they’re still putting in the finishing touches but he’s still looking at a Monday target for the opening of the second Ohia Poke, opposite the Nike store in the Promenade at Chenal, in the 17000 block of Chenal Parkway, Little Rock. Hours 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; the menu will be the same as the one downtown, 220 W. Sixth St. There’s still no phone number — Nguyen says that’s one of the finishing touches he mentioned. The phone number for the downtown shop is (501) 502-6330.
We reported March 9, 2017, that Delta Biscuit Co. owner Hayne Begley was looking to launch a food truck sometime early that fall. Expect now to see it on the streets by late October or early November, a little more than a year beyond the original estimate, and two years after Begley first explored the idea of opening a biscuit restaurant in Little Rock. Begley expects to offer a biscuit-centered menu at a location or locations to be determined; he says he hopes to have a permanent morning spot, serving fried chicken biscuits, biscuits and gravy, and possibly more creative options, such as a “hillbilly Benedict”; traveling to different parts of town for lunch, experimenting with items such as biscuit burgers and biscuit chicken pot pies. Tentative hours of operation are 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. weekdays. A website, deltabiscuits.com , is under construction; you can keep track via phone — (501) 712-3535 — or email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the Facebook page, facebook.com/deltabiscuitco.
DQ restaurants in Sherwood, Little Rock and Cabot will donate $1 from every Blizzard they sell to Arkansas Children’s Hospital today, part of the national Miracle Treat Day promotion to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Tiffany Lee, Miss Greater Hot Springs, will pose for pictures with fans at DQ Sherwood 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Kyla Soden, Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers, will take over 5-7 p.m.
Chef Andre Poirot and Certified Sommelier Jonathan Looney will immerse diners in the Mediterranean for the August “Food, Libations & Conversations,” 6:30 p.m. today in the Baxter Parlor, Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Poirot’s Mediterranean menu, which he’ll serve “family-style,” will include a hummus-baba ghanoush-olive platter with pita; a poached fish fillet in saffron broth; Poirot’s Chicken and Olive Tagine with couscous; and, for dessert, phyllo-nested marinated berries. Cost is $93. Visit tinyurl.com/ycdrte9b.
Also at the Capital Hotel: a Laurent-Perrier Wine Dinner in One Eleven at the Capital, 7 p.m. Aug. 22. Chef Joel An-tunes’ menu pairs five courses with wines that “will reflect two centuries of vinicultural evolution complemented by the finest in contemporary technology/winemaking” from one of France’s most prominent Champagne houses. Check it out at tinyurl.com/ ya5knyz6. Cost is $168 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservation must be confirmed with a credit card. Call (501) 370-7068 or email email@example.com.
And Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, marking its 10-year anniversary in Arkansas, is giving away a six-day/five-night trip for two to Greece that will include:
A round-trip coach/economy plane ticket out of Little Rock or Northwest Arkansas
Two nights at the Hotel Electra (or similar hotel) in Athens
Three nights at the Petasos Beach Hotel (or similar) in Mykonos
Private airport transfers, round-trip ferry tickets between Athens and Mykonos and private tours of both places.
Visit goo.gl/b4XKde to enter and for more information. The contest concludes Sept. 24; the winner will be announced Sept. 25 at an anniversary event at the first Little Rock Taziki’s, 8200 Cantrell Road.
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:
Print Headline: Restaurant transitions: Ex-NFL player plans seafood restaurant near Capitol