The Krispy Kreme, 1315 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock, has closed, 15 years after folks lined up for blocks to try it out on opening day. Posters on the doors read: "Regretfully this Krispy Kreme shop has permanently closed." Reporter Josh Snyder says the store's manager, who was at the shop on Tuesday morning, said it shut down on Monday but declined to comment further. Photos taken by eagle-eyed observers showed a cherry picker in the parking lot removing the signs from the sides of the building on Monday afternoon.
The phone number, (501) 225-1699, had not yet been disconnected by deadline but nobody answered it during business hours. Snyder's emails to the company about the decision to close the business and whether they intended to open any new shops in Little Rock were still unanswered by Tuesday morning. Nor is there any word on what will happen to the prepackaged Krispy Kreme doughnuts at area supermarkets and other retail outlets.
In the 1980s, Krispy Kreme operated on Geyer Springs Road in Little Rock and on John F. Kennedy Boulevard in North Little Rock, but those had long been gone and area doughnut fans were in a tizzy for the Feb. 17, 2004, opening of the new outlet on Shackleford. "Our long statewide deep-fried deprivation nightmare is almost over," wrote the Democrat-Gazette's Michael Storey shortly before its debut, adding, "No longer need the faithful make the pilgrimage to Memphis to purchase the product." Among the early arrivals on the day of the ribbon-cutting: then-Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee, who showed up at 5:30 a.m.
There are two remaining Arkansas Krispy Kreme outlets: 1105 Dave Ward Drive, Conway, and 2821 E. Highland Drive, Jonesboro.
El Mezcal Mexican Bar & Grill is now open in the former Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock's Hillcrest neighborhood. The restaurant is serving an authentic Mexican menu; the bar program has a focus on the agave-based Mexican liquor that is the restaurant's namesake. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 747-1414.
The Little Rock branch of the Spa City's Bone's Chophouse opened Monday on schedule in the former Arthur's Prime Steakhouse space at 27 Rahling Circle. The core menu is the same as the original at 3920 Central Ave. in Hot Springs (boneschophouse.com/menus), with, according to co-owner Dean Jennings, 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 a few weeks down the line. The phone number is (501) 821-5800.
Gain a steakhouse, lose a steakhouse: Saddle Creek Woodfired Grill, 2703 Lakewood Village Drive, in North Little Rock's Lakewood Village, apparently also closed Monday, according to one of our eagle-eyed advertising salesmen. The gentleman who answered the phone — (501) 812-0883 — Tuesday morning had no comment except, "No comment." The website, for whatever it's worth, is saddlecreekwoodfiredgrill.com.
Much of the exterior work appears to be complete, but a spokesman for Saladworks, the create-your-own salad, grain-bowl and toast chain, says the opening of its first Arkansas location at the Wellington Center at Chenal, 15400 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, originally planned for April, has been pushed back to September. The chain, when it announced in January it was coming to central Arkansas, said five more locations would open within the next two years, including in downtown, Gibraltar Heights and University Park. Meanwhile, check out the menu at saladworks.com/salad.
The grand opening of Don Pepe's Gourmet Burritos and Tacos, 1427 N. Reynolds Road, Bryant, is to be today, according to the Facebook page (facebook.com/donpepes2014) of the progenitor restaurant at 2225 Prince St., Conway. Hours are the same as the Conway location: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.Friday-Saturday. We were unable to track down a telephone number by deadline; the number in Conway is (501) 358-6007 and the website, where you can view the Conway menu, is don-pepes.com.
The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will make its Little Rock debut, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday at the Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway. Why, you ask, does this qualify for inclusion in a restaurant/eatery column? Because the list of Hello Kitty merchandise and limited-edition collectibles for sale (sanrio.com/pages/hellokittycafe-trucks) includes a four-piece Minicake Set, a five-piece macaron box set, a two-piece Hello Kitty pocket pie set and giant Hello Kitty Cafe chef cookies. Food-affiliated items include stainless steel thermal bottles, bow-shaped water bottles and a cafe lunchbox filled with confetti popcorn. Spend $25 on food purchases and you'll receive a free Hello Kitty Cafe pink mini-tote. The Little Rock stop closes out the spring-summer leg of a tour of the eastern U.S.
And speaking of food trucks, the Downtown Little Rock Partnership sends out this reminder that the ninth annual Main Street Food Truck Festival will take place 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 22. And, yes, that is a Sunday. They're anticipating the participation of more than 50 trucks and vendors along six blocks of Main Street and three blocks of Capitol Avenue, plus "family-friendly activities and games, entertainment and adult beverages." Want to add your food truck to the roster or need more information? Call (501) 375-0121 or visit mainstreetfoodtrucks.com.
There's a waiting list for tickets for the sold-out "Genealogy of Foodways: The Summer Vegetable Plate" dinner, 6:30 p.m. July 11 at Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third St., Little Rock. Trio's owner-chef Capi Peck, whose family owned the Hotel Sam Peck, celebrates food lineage and explores how recipes and dining customs are handed down within families. The evening includes a cocktail hour sponsored by Rock Town Distillery during which Peck will speak about her family history in restaurants. Guests can also view a portrait of Sam Peck by Arkansas artist Adrian Brewer, menus from the hotel and a copy of The New Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Restaurants. The dinner, the finale in this year's Historic Arkansas Museum "History is Served: Arkansas Foodways Dinner Series," will also mark the kickoff for a special call for family cookbooks and recipes to add to the museum's research on the state's foodways heritage. Cost of tickets, should any become available: $60, $45 for museum members. To get on the waiting list, call (501) 324-9351; for more information, visit HistoricArkanas.org.
Hot Springs' mixed-media artist John Faginkrantz and his work will be featured for the monthly Art & Wine Dinner, 7 p.m. Sunday at The Avenue, inside The Waters hotel, 340 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Faginkrantz also owns Hot Springs' Whittington Gallery, 307 Whittington Ave. The artwork will remain on display in the restaurant through June 30. Executive chef Casey Copeland is using seasonal and locally sourced foods for his five-course meal, which includes seared scallops, fried oysters, a chorizo-spiced pork loin with a peanut/cashew "risotto" and Thai beef, with appropriate wine pairings; see it on the restaurant's website (theavenuehs.com). Cost is $75. Call (501) 625-3850 for reservations.
And speaking of Hot Springs, Splash Wine Bar has opened at 325 Ouachita Ave. Cathy Caver, who also owns Chrysalis Day Spa, is offering a selection of wines from around the world; her menu (splashwinebar.com) focuses on appetizers (charcuterie, cheese, veggies), sandwiches (standard and flatbread), smoothies and desserts. Hours are 3-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 701-4544.
Conway-based mini-chain Tacos 4 Life, having as of Friday successfully raised its milestone goal of 10 million meals for hungry children — they donate one meal for every taco, burrito, salad, rice bowl, nachos or kid's meal purchased at any of its 16 locations in four states — is celebrating by giving away free tacos for a year and a Tacos 4 Life T-Shirt to 10 guests via a Facebook promotion through Sunday — visit Facebook.com/Tacos4LifeGrill/videos. Like the post, tag a friend in the comment section and share the post. They'll announce the winners on Monday.
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 06/27/2019
Print Headline: RESTAURANT NEWS: Krispy Kreme closes in LR; El Mezcal opens in Hillcrest; Saddle Creek shuts in NLR