The owners of Little Rock’s Three Fold Noodles + Dumpling Co. are proceeding with plans to redevelop a property in Little Rock's Riverdale neighborhood into a restaurant with an outdoor dining space, a bar and a sake brewery.
Owner Lisa Zhang said Friday they have adjusted the site plan they are submitting to the Little Rock Board of Adjustment to reduce the size of the proposed building at 1509 Rebsamen Park Road from 10,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet. They are also eliminating a six- to seven-foot grade on the property to provide at least 48 parking spaces, the principal source of concern for neighboring businesses that led the board to defer for a month — to its April 29 meeting — its decision whether or not to approve the proposal. Zhang said the change should satisfy the neighbors that the facility’s customers won’t be parking on their lots.
The property formerly housed the Marshall Clements Antique Store.
Zhang said the facility, the name of which is still to be determined, will represent a second Chinese cuisine project for Three Fold, which has steadfastly concentrated on a limited menu of dumplings, noodles and buns, both in its original location, 215 Center St., and its current spot, 611 S Main St.
She said she envisions a two- to three-year timeline for the new facility, based on how long it will take to raise the necessary funding, at which employees will create Asian pickles, cure meats, bake pastries and brew sake, a Japanese rice spirit with a complicated history that apparently includes Chinese origins.
“We don’t want to put ourselves into deep debt,” Zhang explained.
Hours will be the same as Three Fold’s: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
In the meanwhile, Zhang plans to open a pop-up restaurant in the original Center Street location, which Hanaroo, a Japanese-Korean-sushi restaurant took over in December 2017, but which is closing this weekend. Zhang said she’d known about the closing for about a month but it had not — and apparently has not — otherwise been announced. Hanaroo had moved to Center Street from 205 W. Capitol Ave., where it had operated since 2005.
Zhang said the new restaurant, to be named Haybird Chicken, will serve an Asian-style fried chicken, lighter than the traditional American Southern-style, consisting of seasoned, marinated, boneless chicken breasts (light meat) and full legs (dark meat), cut into portions of manageable size and served with a side of sauce in three spice levels (non-spicy, spicy and “poison”), either as a plate or a toasted/steamed whole-wheat bun. A gluten-based vegetarian “chicken” and lightly fried vegetables, tofu and wood ear mushrooms will be available for vegetarians.
Thin “hay” fries, house-made pickled daikon, cucumbers and carrots, deep-fried mini-buns and gizzards will be available as side items. As at Three Fold, the beverage list will include fountain-dispensed soft drinks and iced tea, hot tea, Mountain Valley bottled water, bubble tea and draft and bottled beer.
Target to open, assuming all permits are in place date, will be May 25-28. Zhang said she has signed a one-year lease on the space, with an option for a second year; if the concept becomes popular and profitable, it can be made permanent, either at that location or a new one.
Zhang said Three Fold is continuing to do well since it moved to Main Street in the fall of 2017 — the move made it possible to prepare more items to order and slightly expand the menu — to the point at which it occasionally runs out of one or more of its three menu items. Zhang said the new facility will also have space to make additional noodles and dumplings to supplement the Main Street kitchen.