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story.lead_photo.caption The former Cock of the Walk building is being turned into a restaurant/bar/event center called Cypress Social, scheduled to open in December. Democrat-Gazette file photo

Jim Keet, the first "J" in JTJ Restaurants LLC (that's Jim, Tommy and Jake Keet), says extensive changes in the design and construction of Cypress Social, a new restaurant/bar on the former Cock of the Walk campus in North Little Rock, 7103 Cock of the Walk Lane (off Maumelle Boulevard), have pushed the target completion date from November-December to February, hopefully before Valentine's Day.

"We have decided to add a major multilevel bar extension, [and a] new multitier patio/deck on the lake side of the restaurant," Keet explains, and "[we] have literally rebuilt the entire facility from roof to the ground. It will be a brand new restaurant with an iconic look from the past."

Keet gives props to KO Construction, architect Michael McCallum and designer Garry Mertins, who also did the interior and exterior of Petit & Keet, and who says Cypress Social "is going to have a fantastic vibe both inside and outside." Keet says Petit & Keet general manager Brent Lenners is heading up the project, which has retained "a lot of the natural cypress" from Cock of the Walk — hence the name. Louis Petit, Keet's Petit & Keet partner, is also a partner and collaborator.

Keet describes the new establishment as having "approachable but elevated atmosphere and menu," with seafood and "exceptional steaks that we cut ourselves" at average price points of $20 or less per entree. It'll be open for dinner from either Tuesday or Wednesday through Saturday plus for Sunday brunch; during the day, they'll be able to use the space seven days a week for weddings, special events and corporate parties. It'll have more space than any of the current JTJ restaurants for larger parties at night, including two private rooms, one of which will seat 50.

Meanwhile, Keet says his sons and partners in JTJ, which holds the Arkansas franchise for Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe, are looking toward an on-schedule mid- to late February opening for the mini-chain's latest Central Arkansas establishment, being built from the ground up on Arkansas 10 (aka Cantrell Road) in west Little Rock, just west of Taylor Loop Road. It's a prototype for a new type of Taziki's; the 3,500-square-foot building will feature limited indoor seating, a pickup window and curbside service, a meeting room/private dining space and a covered patio.

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Pizza Cafe has two Little Rock locations — the original at 1517 Rebsamen Park Road and Pizza Cafe West, 14710 Cantrell Road. Now we hear that a third location is pending in North Little Rock, reportedly but as yet unconfirmed, in the Lakehill Shopping Center, 4000 block of John F. Kennedy Boulevard on Park Hill. We're also told it won't be under the control of owner Richard Harrison but will instead operate under something similar to a franchise license. Harrison did not respond by deadline to a message we left for him.

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Taco Mama, 1209 Malvern Ave., Hot Springs, has added a second Spa City location, Taco Mama Side Town, at 510 Ouachita Ave. The limited menu includes tacos (on "freshly made heirloom corn tortillas," according to an ad in the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record), soup, salads, burgers and beer and wine. Hours are 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. The phone number is (501) 781-3102.

Other recent openings up the street:

Splash Wine Bar, 325 Ouachita Ave., which we first reported in June — hours are 3-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 701-4544; the website, splashwinebar.com.

Olde Crow Chili Parlor, 120 Ouachita Ave., which we reported in July was pending. Hours are 3-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 545-7999.

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A reprise of our limited list of Central Arkansas restaurants open today (Thanksgiving Day). Where possible, we have included phone numbers for reservations and for folks to double-check any details (because we have verified information as much as possible but are not vouching for absolute accuracy). Some of the information is courtesy of the Real Deal Blog (retailmenot.com/blog/restaurants-open-on-thanksgiving.html) and Offers.com.

As we noted last week, inclusion is purely a matter of a restaurant, hotel, lodge, etc. providing information to us and does not in any way constitute an endorsement; absences do not constitute either proof that a restaurant isn't open or of any form of disdain on our part.

Arthur's Prime Steakhouse and Oceans at Arthur's, 16100 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, will jointly offer a 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. brunch buffet on the covered patio between the restaurants, with seating in both. $55, $19 for children, free for kids under 5. Call (501) 821-1838.

The Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St, Little Rock, has already sold out its lunch at One Eleven at the Capital and its Mezzanine brunch; there may still be reservations available for the three-course, $45 prix fixe meal at the Capital Bar & Grill. (501) 370-7068.

• At the Marriott Hotel, West Markham and Louisiana streets, Little Rock, the Heritage Grille, Steak & Fin will have a lunch and dinner buffet, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. $38, $19 for children, free for kids under 5. (501) 399-8030; email caryn.murray@littlerockmarriott.com.

YaYa's Euro Bistro, Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway, has a 10 a.m.-5 p.m. brunch buffet — $34.95, $16.95 kids 10 and younger, reservations only. (501) 821-1144

The Wyndham Riverfront, 1 Riverfront Place, North Little Rock, will offer an 11 a.m.-2 p.m. buffet. $25.95, $23.95 for senior citizens, $14.95 for children 5-11, free for kids 5 and younger with a paying adult, plus tax and gratuities. (501) 907-4826.

The Shoreline Restaurant at DeGray Lake Resort State Park Lodge, 2027 State Park Entrance Road, Bismarck, is offering a lunch buffet, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., that includes turkey, ham and brisket, with giblet gravy, dressing, vegetables, a salad bar, beverage and desserts for $22 (including tax and gratuity), $11 for children under 10. Call (501) 865-5866 for reservations and more information.

Cracker Barrel locations at 3101 Springhill Drive, North Little Rock; 2618 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock; 218 W. Commerce St., Bryant; and 525 Skyline Drive, Conway, will serve turkey and dressing for somewhere in the vicinity $10 per person, 11 a.m. until close, as well as the regular menu. By the way, Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year.

• Select Applebee's restaurants offer a Thanksgiving Day meal in addition to regular menu items. Call ahead to find out whether your Applebee's is select.

• Many Denny's locations will be open regular hours (24/7), serving traditional Thanksgiving and seasonal menu items.

Golden Corral is offering a special Thanksgiving buffet.

• Most Hooter's outlets will open for Thanksgiving NFL games; call ahead to verify.

• Many McDonald's locations will open — some are 24/7 — but double-check.

• Many Starbucks locations remain open on Thanksgiving (hours may be different).

Waffle House pretty much stays open 24/7/365, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.

• Most IHOP restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day; some close early.

Verona Italian Restaurant, 190 Skyline Drive, Conway, says it's sharing Thanksgiving "with those in need," serving turkey, stuffing, gravy and salad "at no cost for anyone in our community that can't be with family or can't afford to prepare it at home ... until we run out," according to its Facebook page, facebook.com/VeronaConwayAr. (501) 358-6801; veronasitalianrestaurantconway.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:

eharrison@adgnewsroom.com

Weekend on 11/28/2019

Print Headline: Keet eatery in North Little Rock aims for opening in February

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