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story.lead_photo.caption Little Rock's Taj Mahal Indian Kitchen has opened a second outlet in Conway. Democrat-Gazette file photo

Popular Little Rock Indian restaurant Taj Mahal Indian Kitchen, which has been operating for 11 years at 1520 Market St., Little Rock, has opened a second outlet in Conway, in the former Tour of India space, 2850 Prince St. (You will recall that the Tour of India folks have moved to Little Rock, where they operate Mehfil Indo-Pak Cuisine, 10700 N. Rodney Parham Road.) The menu, which you can check out at tajmahalar.com, is the same as the one in Little Rock; the lunch-only buffet features 30 items. A private club license is in the works. Hours are 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-10 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday (closed Mondays and Tuesdays for the time being). The phone number is (501) 712-5772.

Tandoori chicken at Little Rock's Taj Mahal Indian Kitchen. Democrat-Gazette file photo
Tandoori chicken at Little Rock's Taj Mahal Indian Kitchen. Democrat-Gazette file photo

Mugs Cafe, 515 Main St., in North Little Rock's Argenta District, announced via a May 24 Facebook post that it was planning to open a second location, with a late July target, in the former Starbucks at 5719 Kavanaugh Blvd. at North Pierce Street in Little Rock's Pulaski Heights. Not only did it not open in late July but there appeared to be no progress whatsoever since. Now the Oct. 14 list of Little Rock Planning and Development Department building permits includes an application for $145,853 (an unusually specific amount, actually) to "remodel existing space for new coffee and cafe business." Mugs owner Michael Hickmon said last spring the interior renovations would result in more seating and a better layout and exterior renovations would improve the patio area. He also said the new location would incorporate Mugs' full existing menu, plus a few enhancements, and add table service.

Taqueria la Catrina, 18715 MacArthur Drive, North Little Rock, opened in August under our radar, but a reader who's a fan has called it to our attention, noting that it remains open until 2 a.m. on weekends and that tacos (and the photos on the Facebook page, facebook.com/Taqueria-La-Catrina-110055897043978, are pretty alluring) are $1 on Tuesdays. Hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.—2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 410-3133.

The Jackson, Miss.-based Newk's Eatery chain on Monday opened its sixth Arkansas restaurant at 20670 Interstate 30, Benton (near the Shoppes at Benton), with a grand opening today that includes a 9:30 a.m. "Dozen-Layer Cake Cutting Ceremony" and all-day prizes and giveaways. (Other opening-week specials: Friday is "$6.99 Pizza and a Drink Day," Saturday is "Kids Eat Free Day" and Sunday is "Free Cup of Soup Day.") The 4,419-square-foot restaurant in Benton can accommodate 148; there's a large patio space and a pickup window. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 316-4027; the website, newks.com.

And Kona Ice of Little Rock has extended its reach to southwest central Arkansas, including (in no particular order) stops in Benton, Bauxite, Sheridan, Redfield, Jefferson, Hensley, Wrightsville, College Station, Scott, Prattsville, Poyen, Traskwood, Mabelvale and Lonsdale. The shaved ice product can be topped with 10 pour-over flavors from the Kona's Flavorwave interactive system or any of the other 20-plus flavors; the atmosphere involves tropical calypso music. Right now the operation is set up through Sunday at the Arkansas State Fair and at Bauxite High football games; look for a truck at the Hot Springs Renaissance Festival in Malvern from Nov. 2-3, in addition to regular routes. (Follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/rockingkona.) Franchisees Kenny and Tina Daniel have pledged to donate to local school groups, teams and community organizations. Call (501) 672-6729 or email kdaniel@kona-ice.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@arkansasonline.com

Weekend on 10/17/2019

Print Headline: RESTAURANTS: 2nd Taj Mahal now cooking; latest on Mugs Cafe in Heights; Newk's Eatery open in Benton

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