The now-closed Chi's Dim Sum & Bistro, 6 Shackleford Drive, Little Rock, has now been supposedly fully consolidated with its younger sibling, Chi's Fine Chinese Cuisine, 17200 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, or at least as much as is practical. Some portions of the menu have made the move -- and management says the place was packed for dim-sum cart service this past weekend -- but the kitchen out west is just too small to handle all of it. The Chenal Parkway location had started out primarily as a to-go operation called Chi's Express, but a few years ago expanded into what had been a coffee shop at the apex of the L-shaped Centre at Chenal center. Hours are 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 821-8000.
Jacob Chi, who handles much of the family business, confirms they'll keep and repurpose the Shackleford Drive building, but not what it will become. And he gave us this bit of news: Construction has started on a planned downtown location, 319 W. Second St., across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, to resurrect the Chi's Express name, with a focus on lunch, take-out and delivery, which the Chi's Asian Cafe and Sushi Bar, 3421 Old Cantrell Road in Riverdale, has not been able to accommodate for downtown customers. Construction has apparently already started and Chi expects it to take nine to 10 months.
It'll join the Chi's Little Rock restaurant "empire," which includes both branches of Sushi Cafe, in the Heights and in west Little Rock; Lulu's Crab Boil, 5911 R St., and Prospect Bar and Grill, 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd., also in the Heights; and the Little Rock outlet of La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe, 12210 W. Markham St. (It does not include Chi's Too, 5110 W. Markham St., which started out as a Chi's branch but which the family sold years ago to a former chef.) They also operate or have pieces of a couple of area hotels, with one in the works.
The new River Market branch of Jimmy's Serious Sandwiches opened late last week in the cafe space in the Cox Creative Center, 120 River Market Ave., Little Rock, on the Central Arkansas Library System Main Library campus. The menu will be basically the same as it is at the original restaurant, 5116 W. Markham St., Little Rock, including soups, salads, side items, but sandwiches, instead of being toasted, will be grilled on a panini grill, says manager Brad Ahrens, so the texture will be "a little bit different." Owner Jimmy Wiseman has added several tables and hanging plants to the small seating space. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. A phone number is pending.
Owners Barbara and Tom Fuge report they'll once again be reopening The Happy Egg (formerly B-Side), in the Market Place Shopping Center, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, on Friday "with a streamlined menu and streamlined service." Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The phone number is (501) 716-2700.
Sandy Woods marked the 40th anniversary of her Sandy's Homeplace Cafe, in a little yellow house at 1710 E. 15th St., Little Rock, on Tuesday by giving away cake to loyal customers. Woods does all the cooking and, says her daughter, Cassandra DeCoursey, "For several years she was the only person running the whole operation." The cafe offers a country lunch buffet with a weekly rotating menu, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The phone number is (501) 375-3216.
The website, blackbeardiner.com, for the Redding, Calif.-based Black Bear Diner chain, which has outlets in several Western states (previously no farther east than Oklahoma), lists a North Little Rock location as "coming soon." A company spokesman told us it's headed for Lakewood Village Drive, which would put it in the Lakewood Village Shopping Center, off McCain Boulevard -- very possibly, though we have not yet confirmed it, in the free-standing building left vacant by the closure of the Dixie Cafe chain -- with a target opening date of mid-November. The restaurants serve an all-day breakfast menu of impressive proportions, plus a lunch that focuses on burgers and sandwiches and a more-or-less homestyle dinner menu.
Woodland Bakery is moving at the end of the month from 2808 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood, to 13121 Arkansas 107, at Brockington, and with a new name: Woodland Bakery & Bistro, reflecting the addition of a homestyle lunch and dinner menu. That, in turn, will likely result in a change in the hours of operation, currently 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The move is supposed to be seamless, with no closure planned. And the new location, according to the Facebook page, facebook.com/woodlandbakerysherwood, will also apparently include an event center, with two rooms each holding up to 32 people that can be combined to make one larger room. The current phone number is (501) 819-5070; the website: woodlandbakeryar.com.
A Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers outlet opened July 12 at 820 E. Oak St., Conway, next to the Best Western. The 3,400 square-foot, freestanding restaurant seats 100 with drive-thru service. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The phone number is (501) 205-4091. It joins central Arkansas locations on East McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock and at Bowman Road and Chenal Parkway in Little Rock.
And speaking of burgers and frozen treats, the Dairy Queen that opened Friday at 1000 W. Main St., Cabot, opened to what its owners, Blake and Gracie Lively of You Scream Holdings, LLC, say was DQ-record-breaking business -- the most transactions in one day and a worldwide DQ record for highest one-day sales, and "outpacing all 7,000 DQ stores in the company's 78-year history," according to a news release. Fans, they say, started camping out on the restaurant patio at 7:30 p.m. the previous day to receive one of 100 tickets for free Chicken Strip Baskets for one year with the purchase of a DQ cake on opening day. The Livelys and their company also own Dairy Queens in Sherwood and Little Rock and are planning a fourth central Arkansas store by the end of 2018.
And today, in case you missed it, is Global McDelivery Day. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., McDonald's will be delivering food and merchandise via Uber Eats -- visit McDeliveryAtMcDonalds.com -- "to receive," according to a news release "a free, fun and exclusive piece of the Throwback Collection, while supplies last!" Each participating restaurant has bought specific merchandise, so we cannot tell you just what you'll get, but the list of "fun, '90s inspired items" includes socks, popsockets (devices one locks on the back of a cellphone to use a hand grip or kickstand), bandanas, scarves, track pants and T-shirts.
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:
Weekend on 07/19/2018
Print Headline: Two Chi's consolidate on Chenal; Jimmy’s opens its library branch