A restaurant serving a fusion of Indian and Pakistani food is scheduled to open next month in a vacant Dixie Cafe in west Little Rock, the owner said Thursday.
Mehfil Indo-Pak Cuisine is tentatively set to open Nov. 15 in the Village at Pleasant Valley shopping center at North Rodney Parham and Interstate 430, owner Anita Arab said.
The restaurant will occupy the old Dixie Cafe, whose founders announced in December 2017 that they were closing all Arkansas locations of the country-cooking restaurant.
Arab said Mehfil will serve dishes from the Mughal era, which ruled the territory of India and Pakistan from the early 1500s to the mid-1700s.
"It's different from today's food," she said. "Normally people don’t make it because it takes a long time to prepare and you have to have very authentic recipes."
Although she is still finalizing the menu, Arab said it will include several barbecue dishes, as well as vegan and vegetarian options.
The restaurant will offer a-la-carte items and a regular lunch buffet with extended hours on the weekends. Live music and other entertainment will also be provided during "Arabian Nights" events on the weekend.
Renovators will also add a bar and a small banquet room for about 100 people that can be reserved for receptions, meetings and seminars.
"I lived most of my life in Manhattan, which is a happening place, so when I moved to Little Rock, that is something I really missed," Arab said. "The happening place here is downtown. There’s nothing in midtown, so I was looking at places to do something like that. The location here is centrally located, and it’s big enough to do what we want to do."