Today's Paper Latest Coronavirus Elections Cooking 🔵 Covid Classroom Families Core values Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive
story.lead_photo.caption The Mighty Crab plans a soft opening Wednesday on South University Avenue in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

The Oyster Bar, 3003 W. Markham St., Little Rock, has opened wider, now serving lunch and dinner, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations are still needed for parties of six or more. The phone number is (501) 666-7100; the website,

Captain Express Hawaiian BBQ & Sushi has opened in the former Domino's Pizza location, 115 Carnahan Drive, Maumelle, about a block off Maumelle Boulevard. As the name suggests, the menu focuses on Hawaiian-style barbecue chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and fish, noodle dishes, rice bowls and sushi rolls. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 734-8220; the website,

"The wait is finally over!" proclaims the post last week on the Facebook page ( of The Mighty Crab, 1817 S. University Ave., Little Rock. They're doing a soft opening, starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday; subsequently, hours of operation will be 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday. That's the former Catfish City, and The Mighty Crab is part of a mini-chain that includes an outlet that opened in March in the former Saddle Creek in Lakewood Village, 2703 Lakewood Village Drive, North Little Rock. (There are also Mighty Crab restaurants in Monroe, La., and Jackson, Miss.) The phone numbers are (501) 747-1638, (501) 747-1438 and (501) 747-1538.

Covid-19 has felled several area restaurants in the past week:

◼️ Bruno's Little Italy, 310 Main St., Little Rock, reopened Tuesday after having been closed for more than a week following a staff member testing positive for the coronavirus. The reopening comes "after quarantine, sanitization and confirmed negative tests of all employees," according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page. The phone number is (501) 372-7866; the website is

◼️ Capers, 14502 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, was to reopen Wednesday after owner-chef Mary Beth Ringgold posted last week on Facebook): "We have had our first brush with covid-19 with one of our staff members testing positive. So, we have decided to close the restaurant for the next two weeks in order to alleviate any potential risk to our work family and our guests. During this time, we have contracted a company to professionally sanitize the entire building and all of its surfaces." The staff undergoes daily temperature checks and "we take the temperature of every guest who enters the restaurant." Also, "we have invested in high-tech air purification systems and placed them throughout the restaurant." The phone number is (501) 868-7600 and the website is

◼️ Gadwall's Grill, 7311 North Hills Blvd., North Little Rock, on the border with Sherwood, reopened Tuesday after posting Monday on its Facebook page that an employee had tested positive for covid-19. "Even though she hadn't been at work for 5 days before testing we went ahead shut down and cleaned and we also have needlepoint bi-polar ionization which cleans the air." The phone number is (501) 834-1840; the website,

All three restaurants' postings stressed that the safety of employees and customers is a priority.

■ ■ ■

Owner-operator Devin Marcel now says he's exactly six weeks from finishing the construction on Central Arkansas' first outlet of Atlanta-based Original Hot Dog Factory at 1424 Main St., in downtown Little Rock's South Main neighborhood, so look for it shortly after the first of the year. He expects his hours, once open, will be 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 am.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Check out the menu at

The Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers at 620 S. University Ave. at Interstate 630, Little Rock, opened on schedule Nov. 24. The dining room won't open for awhile — until it is safe to reopen for crew and customers, according to a news release — but you can order takeout, dine on the patio or go through the multi-lane drive-thru. Hours are 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 265-0163 and the website is It's Central Arkansas' second outlet — the other is at 4311 E. McCain Blvd., North Little Rock.

Area McDonald's restaurants have added BiteSquad to their list of third-party delivery services. Different outlets, depending on the franchisee, use different services; the list includes Uber Eats, PostMates and Door Dash.

A building permit has been filed for $500,000 worth of work for the pending Dairy Queen — or more properly a DQ Grill & Chill — set to open in early 2021 at 19426 Cantrell Road, where it intersects with Chenal Parkway, in west Little Rock. Hours will be 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. According to the Facebook page, it will be Arkansas' first location to use "the new Grill & Chill updated store image." It'll be the ninth restaurant from franchisee You Scream Holdings, LLC, with outlets in Sherwood, Little Rock, Cabot, Saline County, Hot Springs, Monticello, Greenbrier and Searcy. Visit

■ ■ ■

The Preacher's Son, 201 N.W.A St., Bentonville, bids farewell to founding chef Matt Cooper on Dec. 12 with a Farewell Dinner Celebration, a ticketed, five-course menu featuring some of Cooper's favorite dishes, including a choice, for entrees, of Halibut with Gnocchi, Heirloom Squash, Brown Butter and Fromage Blanc or Braised Pork Shank with Anson Mills Grits and Winter Truffle. There will be two seatings — at 5 and 8 p.m. — with "an available wine menu addendum." Tickets are $125; make reservations at Malvern native Neal Gray, most recently chef de cuisine at Simon and The Whale on Lexington Avenue in New York City, will take over the kitchen upon the departure of Cooper, who has still not announced his post-Preacher's Son plans, but a spokesman says he intends to remain in Northwest Arkansas. The restaurant phone number is (479) 445-6065; the website is

And the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College Foundation is bolstering the local restaurant and hospitality industry with an initiative it's calling "Diamond Chef Gives Back." It's a lead-in to the fundraiser and cooking competition that has been postponed to an April 22 virtual event because of covid-19 and recognizes the impact of the pandemic on the places on which it depends. Visit or text "DCGivesBack" to 71777 and choose a restaurant to benefit; the foundation will use the donation to buy gift cards to those restaurants for a silent auction during the April event.

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. Send email to:


Sponsor Content

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. The Democrat-Gazette commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.