As we were in the process of reporting last week about the possible reopening of Pizza D'Action, 2919 W. Markham St., at the "point" of Little Rock's Stifft Station, possibly as something else, Pizza D' was actually reopening May 30 — as Pizza D'. Proprietor Minor Booth says they're operating with a soft-opening menu, but they're going to try to get it back to the "full, old menu" as soon as possible. That will include, of course, the famous Pizza D'Resistance and most of the sandwiches, and he's working on a couple of other specialty pizzas with Donnie Ferneau. Also on the boards: re-instituting Sunday brunch. And yes, they'll keep it a smoking establishment — the main dining area will be nonsmoking during lunch, probably until about 3 p.m. — so you'll have to be at least 21 to enter. Mike Brown, who used to manage the Rev Room, is running the place on a day-by-day basis. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday. The phone number remains (501) 666-5403. Oh, and that OD's Dairy Bar sign we spotted in the east-end window? Turns out that was just something that had been stored in a back room and wasn't ever meant to be taken seriously.
And speaking of Stifft Station, Arkansas Money & Politics (amppob.com) reports that Little Rock restaurateur Chris Tanner, who owns Cheers in the Heights and Samantha's Tap Room & Wood Grill in Little Rock and who recently opened Cheers at the OPO in Fayetteville, is in the process of buying The Oyster Bar, 3003 W. Markham St., although the deal is not yet finalized.
Bawarchi Biryanis Indian Cuisine, the Little Rock franchise outlet of a Plano, Texas-based chain/franchise operation, opened May 30 in the Market Place Shopping Center, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. The menu, which you can see at bawarchilittlerock.com, features more than a dozen versions of biryani (an Indian rice dish) plus vegetarian and nonvegetarian appetizers and entrees. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The phone number is (501) 379-9973 ; the Facebook page is facebook.com/BawarchiLittleRock.
June 17 is the new target for the opening of the Little Rock branch of the Spa City's Bone's Chophouse in the former Arthur's Prime Steakhouse space at 27 Rahling Circle. Co-owner Dean Jennings says training staff this week and anticipating some soft-opening activity next week. The core menu will be the same as he serves at 3920 Central Ave. in Hot Springs, with some different appetizers and a few different dinner features. Hours will be 4-10 p.m. daily, with a 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday brunch. The phone number is (501) 821-5800.
Going into the former Starbucks, 9401 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock: an outlet of Dallas-based Dickey's Barbecue Pit. Franchisee Lonnie Shere says his target to open is Aug. 1; he's working on providing inside seating, a drive-through and "an awesome patio." Shere's experience has been with Sonic Drive-Ins; this is his first Dickey's franchise. Tentative hours will be 11 a.m.-9 or 10 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 223-3425. He'll also run a catering operation out of the site, and has plans, once this one is up and running, to open another in North Little Rock in the general direction of Sherwood. If you visited the now defunct location at 13503 Crystal Hill Road, North Little Rock, on the edge of Maumelle, you'll remember that Dickey's serves primarily a Texas-style barbecue menu. The website, dickeys.com/location, also shows central Arkansas outlets at 3213 Main St., Bryant, and 407 S. Main St., Searcy, and Northwest Arkansas locations in Rogers, Lowell and Fayetteville (including three at Razorback Stadium and two at Bud Walton Arena).
And speaking of former Starbucks locations, Mugs Cafe, 515 Main St., in North Little Rock's Argenta District, announced via a May 24 Facebook post that it will open a second location in Little Rock's Pulaski Heights "later this summer." And yes, it will be in the former Starbucks at Kavanaugh Boulevard and North Pierce Street in the Heights, and we're told the target to open is mid-July. Rock City Eats reports owner Michael Hickmon expects to incorporate Mugs' full menu, "plus a few enhancements we have worked on," with table service and plans substantial renovations to the interior to provide more seating and a better layout and improve the patio area.
And still speaking of Starbucks, in this case a currently operating outlet, a $150,000 building permit application on file with the Little Rock Planning & Development Department indicates major interior remodeling of the space at 917 Broadway in downtown Little Rock — specifically for "new bar casework, [to] relocate and install some new bar equipment, install new finishes, fixture and furniture," and "minor electrical and plumbing work." No timeline for completion.
Pasta J Italian, an offshoot of the Pasta J Italian at 1314 Green St., Benton — there's no connection with restaurants of similar names in Bryant or (now closed) in west Little Rock — could open as early as Saturday, pending inspections and/or any last minute glitches, in the River Market Ottenheimer Market Hall kiosk most recently occupied by Katmandu MoMo. The limited menu will focus on items the Benton restaurant serves as lunch specials — pasta, salads, four sub sandwiches — with a kids' menu. Hours will be 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday. We don't yet have a phone number, but the number in Benton is (501) 315-6800.
Saturday was supposed to be the last day of business for landmark Little Rock restaurant Cajun's Wharf, 2400 Cantrell Road, overlooking the Arkansas River, but the flooding river had already sent water into the parking lot and up to the restaurant's front steps by Friday, which put the kibosh on the finale. Owner Mary Beth Ringgold closed the place, which opened in 1975 as Anderson's Cajun's Wharf, citing an expiring lease (June 30) and the enormous amount of maintenance and repair required to keep operating in a 45-year-old, 20,000-square-foot building. She will continue to operate her two other Capers Group restaurants, Capers on Cantrell Road in west Little Rock, which she and some friends and business partners opened in 1995, and Copper Grill, which opened in 2007 on Third Street downtown.
Faulkner Lake Orchard Wedding and Event Center, 503 Morris Road, North Little Rock, hosts a farm-to-table dinner 7 p.m. June 22. The four-course menu, by Andrew Gresham, a chef with the Affinity Group food sales and marketing company, includes cucumber lemonade; purple hull pea hummus; orange-and-champagne-vinegar marinated tomatoes with field greens and shaved parmesan; honey-glazed, sweet-tea-brined pork loin; lemon-rosemary roasted chicken breast and a peach brulee with lemon zest whipped cream. Cost is $38 per person. Seating is limited. Call (501) 961-9988 or visit faulknerlakeorchard.com/product/farm-to-fork-dinner.
PattiCakes Bakery, 2106 Robinson Ave., Conway, is opening a second location, shortly after July 4, or at least by mid-July, says owner Patti Stobaugh. PattiCakes Downtown is going into a century-old former warehouse 1137 Front St., where PattiCakes has four pastry chefs and Stoby's, Stobaugh's "other" operation, makes cheese dip for its restaurants and for general distribution to retailers. The downtown operation, she says, will be "more like a European patisserie; we'll serve a light lunch as well as European type pastries," with "some crossover from the other bakery." Hours will be 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The telephone number, though, Stobaugh says there's not yet a phone hooked up to it: (501) 205-1723. The phone number at the original bakery is (501) 205-1969; the website, PattiCakesBakery.com.
Speaking of Conway, Spartanburg, S.C.-based Addison Street Investments, LLC, the developer of Denny's restaurants, has bought an approximately one-acre lot at Lewis Ranch, South Amity Road and East Dave Ward Drive, Conway, with plans to break ground within 60 days and with the expectation that late 2019 will see "Denny's come back to Conway," according to a news release from real estate broker Colliers International Arkansas, which brokered the sale.
The Benton Courier reports that the state Health Department has a pending permit for a Newk's Eatery in the Hurricane Creek Village shopping center in Benton (behind Tacos 4 Life). No construction or opening dates have been set. Newk's has nine locations across the state, including two in Little Rock and one each in North Little Rock and Hot Springs.
A fire in the wee hours of Tuesday morning destroyed Jason's Burgers N More, 148 Amity Road, Hot Springs, which had recently reopened after a closure of several months. The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported Tuesday that the cause of the fire was still under investigation; according to Lake Hamilton Fire Chief Doug Davey, "It looks like the fire originated on the C-side of the building [toward the back], which is the kitchen side of the building."
The Layne Baugh family announced May 24 via Facebook that "with saddened hearts" July 13 will be its last day of operation for the Village Steakhouse, 156 Knight Haven Circle, Star City. The restaurant, originally known as "Layne's," opened its doors in 1993. "This decision to close our family business has been a very difficult and emotional process .... We know the last 25 years would not have been possible without our dedicated and friendly staff that many of you have grown to love. ... Our FINAL night to serve customers will be Saturday, July 13. We will continue to be open on our regular nights and times" — 5-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday "until then." They'll continue to honor gift cards until then, and "if you know of anyone that would like to carry on the legacy of The Village Steakhouse please contact us. We would love to see it continue with new ownership." The phone number is (870) 628-5053; the website, vsteakhouse.com.
Little Rock-based You Scream Holdings, LLC, which operates Dairy Queen outlets in Sherwood, Little Rock, Cabot and Saline County, has become the state's largest DQ franchisee by acquiring the stores in Monticello (266 U.S. 425) and Hot Springs (708 W. Grand Ave.). Both closed briefly at the end of last week for training and reopened Monday. Grand re-openings will be in mid-June, dates to be announced via Facebook; as has been You Scream's operating procedure, the first 100 fans who buy a cake will receive free Blizzards for a year. Meanwhile, You Scream spokesman Gracie Lively says the franchisee is planning, by the end of 2019, two more stores, "late fall and late winter, both in the most central part of Arkansas. I can say that the next two will be different from the traditional ones we have built so far." Keep an eye open online at dqarkansas.com.
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 send a note to Restaurants, Weekend Section, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203. Send email to:
Weekend on 06/06/2019
Print Headline: RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Pizza D'Action reborn, Bone's Chophouse sets target for debut, Mugs Cafe to open in the Heights