The Rail Yard, a beer garden and indoor/outdoor dining spot, opens at 4 p.m. today in a 15,000-square-foot former warehouse at 1212 E. Sixth St. in Little Rock's East Village. Food for the enterprise comes from the new brick-and-mortar version of the Count Porkula BBQ food truck, which will operate out of the Rail Yard's kitchen space, and a rotating cast of food trucks (Say Cheese and Pinches Tacos will be on hand for today's grand opening).
A full bar inside will initially serve craft beer and draft wine; once a cocktail menu is in place they'll also serve booze. There will be seating for approximately 55 inside, 100 (after getting a variance from the city) outside (some on a covered loading dock, others open to the sky), where there will also be a game space. Rail Yard and Count Porkula hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Parking might be a problem during the day, admits the Rail Yard's Linda Newbern, but after 5 p.m., spaces taken up by eSTEM and other area operations will open up. Count Porkula's phone number is (501) 804-9561; the number for the Rail Yard is (501) 372-9273.
The Delta Biscuit Co. food truck debuted Sunday outside Proof Bar + Lounge at 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock's Hillcrest neighborhood and drew long-ish lines of customers, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., for the biscuit-centered menu and fulfilled owner Hayne Begley's November target to get the truck onto the streets. Keep track of its whereabouts via the website, deltabiscuits.com -- on this weekend's schedule: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today at the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, 1 81st St., Little Rock; noon-7 p.m., "Trucksgiving," 6876 U.S. 64, Pottsville; and noon-4 p.m. Sunday at The Rail Yard. The phone number is (501) 551-2177; visit the Facebook page, facebook.com/deltabiscuitco.
Feastros, 4218 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood, has reopened, with limited hours, 11 months after an early-morning Jan. 4 fire totally destroyed the kitchen. Owner Mark Spaight said that as of the end of last week, buffet and take-out service was available 4-9 p.m. The phone number is (501) 864-7860.
The latest target now for the reopening of MorningSide Bagels, 10848 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock, according to the most recent Facebook post: "It's looking like we may reopen [the] week after Thanksgiving or first week in December." New owner Robyn Edwards promises to keep us posted. Hours will be 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The shop's phone number is (501) 753-6960.
And based on their Facebook page, facebook.com/mehfilcuisine, we also have a new target -- "estimated soft opening ... in the first week of December" -- for Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine in the former Dixie Cafe in the Village at Pleasant Valley shopping center, 10700 N. Rodney Parham Road at Interstate 430.
Look now toward the end of February as the target date for the opening in the former Dixie Cafe North Little Rock's Lakewood Village Shopping Center of an outlet of the Redding, Calif.-based Black Bear Diner chain. Their 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; check it out online at blackbeardiner.com.
Cache, President Clinton and River Market avenues in Little Rock's River Market District, now provides a unique delivery service for weekday lunch "for our friends in the downtown area," via the Cache Cart, an eight-person golf cart. Call (501) 658-2278 to order -- there's no delivery charge but there is a $25 minimum order; find the $10-$12 daily special (for example, fried pork chops on Mondays and fried chicken on Fridays) after 10 a.m. at the Facebook page, facebook.com/cachelittlerock. You can also summon the cart to pick you up for lunch or dinner.
A sign announcing that Umai Sushi is coming has appeared at the former J. Gumbo's, 2050 John Harden Drive, Jacksonville. We have neither any additional details nor word on an opening date.
There's also a banner out front of the restaurant building at 200 Higdon Ferry Road, Hot Springs, proclaiming the "coming soon" of Capo's Tacos, proclaiming it as "Hot Springs' first modern taco shop ... brought to you by the Oseguera Family," which, we understand, is part of the same clan that operates La Hacienda in Hot Springs, Benton and Little Rock and Cotija's in Little Rock. Across the street from Oaklawn, the space has previously housed barbecue and Cajun restaurants.
And speaking of Hot Springs Mexican restaurants, or sort of, ItalMex Kitchen has opened at 1803 Airport Road, Hot Springs, next to Tri-Lakes Liquor in a shopping center that formerly housed a steak-and-seafood place, apparently not in the same space, called Jahnas. The menu features a traditional Italian lineup of pasta dishes and steak, chicken and surf-and-turf entrees, and Mexican specialties, including fajitas, mole con pollo, nachos and street and seafood tacos. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. And they'll be open Thanksgiving Day with an 11 a.m.-8 p.m. buffet, featuring prime rib and turkey and dressing with all the fixings, $24.95 for adults, $12.50 for kids. The phone number is (501) 760-4727; the website, italmexkitchen.com.
And speaking of being open Thanksgiving Day, here is our very limited list, for the most part submitted by the establishments (so if the place you're wondering about isn't here, it's not our fault). We've supplied phone numbers to make reservations.
• At the Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St, Little Rock, One Eleven at the Capital is serving Thanksgiving lunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; it's $95 ($135 with a wine pairing), $35 for children 6-11, free for kids 5 and younger. They'll also serve Thanksgiving brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the Mezzanine; cost is $58, $25 for children 6-11, free for kids 5 and younger. And the Capital Bar & Grill is serving a three-course, prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., for $39; you can also order off a limited menu. And the hotel is offering a complete Thanksgiving dinner to go, serving 12-15, for $275. Call (501) 374-7474; order the dinner to go online at tinyurl.com/capitalturkey.
• The Wyndham Riverfront, 1 Riverfront Place, North Little Rock, is offering an 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thanksgiving Feast, with a tom-turkey carving station, omelet/waffle and dessert stations and a buffet with ham, chicken and pork loin entrees plus sides. It's $25.95, $22.95 for senior citizens, $14.95 for children 5-11 and free for kids 5 and younger with a paying adult. Tax and gratuities are extra. Call (501) 907-4826.
• Four central Arkansas Cracker Barrel locations -- 3101 Springhill Drive, North Little Rock; 2618 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock; 218 W. Commerce St., Bryant; and 525 Skyline Drive, Conway, will be serving turkey and dressing from 11 a.m. until close ($12.99, $7.99 for children) as well as the regular menu.
• Franke's Cafeteria in the Market Street Shopping Center, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The phone number is (501) 225-4487. (Franke's downtown location will be closed.)
• Pinnacle Valley Receptions, 8501 Pinnacle Valley Road, Little Rock, will serve "traditional turkey day favorites," 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost is $15.05 (including tax and drink); reservations only. They're also taking orders for pick-up meals -- turkey, a pan of cornbread dressing, dessert or full meal -- 9 a.m.-noon. Call (501) 673-3900.
And our friends at Offers.com rounded up this list (offers.com/blog/post/restaurants-open-on-thanksgiving -- details may vary by franchise and location and any individual restaurant may have reduced hours or be closed, So call ahead. The list at the website includes many chains that don't have area outlets, so if you live somewhere where you can access some of those, it's just gravy.)
• Applebee's: Many locations will be closing early, so check the hours in advance.
• Denny's: Many locations will be open regular hours, and there are plenty of traditional Thanksgiving and fall menu items to choose from. Plus, order from Denny's online ordering platform and get a meal for four to five, which includes carved turkey breast, stuffing, gravy and two sides.
• Hooter's: Watch Thanksgiving NFL games at many Hooter's locations on Thanksgiving afternoon. Be sure to call ahead to make sure your location is open.
• McDonald's: Need a quick bite? Many McDonald's locations will remain open, but double check the hours.
• Starbucks: You can count on many Starbucks locations to remain open on Thanksgiving (although hours may be different from regular hours). Get your caffeine fix on the way to visiting family with holiday beverages.
• TGI Friday's: Many locations will be open Thanksgiving Day; hours will vary. Check your nearest location. And take advantage of the Fridays Feast for 2 (starting at $20).
• Waffle House pretty much stays open 24/7/365.
We'll run this list again Thanksgiving Day.
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 11/15/2018
Print Headline: Restaurant Transitions: Rail Yard opens today; Delta Biscuit food truck debuts; Thanksgiving list