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story.lead_photo.caption The House Waffle at Press Waffle Co. features strawberries, cookie butter, Nutella and house-made whipped cream. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Press Waffle Co. has a March 25 target (which happens to be International Waffle Day) to open an outlet at the 1424 SoMa development, 1424 Main St., Little Rock. It'll be Arkansas' first.

The menu includes "fully customize-able authentic Belgian waffles" (Liege waffles, actually, dough-based with a brioche-like texture and caramelized clusters of Belgian pearl sugar) and "savory waffle creations." In the latter category you'll find a House Waffle with strawberries, cookie butter, Nutella and house-made whipped cream; the s'mores-inspired Happy Camper, with toasted mini marshmallows, chocolate syrup and cookie butter; Chicken and Waffles; and the Elvis, with, naturally, sliced bananas, peanut butter, honey and crumbled bacon. And, through local partnerships, it will offer locally roasted coffee, a full espresso bar, ice cream and gourmet milkshakes, wine and locally produced beer. Tentative hours are 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

The local owners, lifelong Little Rock residents Mary Busby and her daughter, Rosemary Compton, are part of the family that owns the Dallas-based mini-chain, which started as a food truck in 2016 and since expanded to storefronts in Oklahoma City and, in Texas, Plano and Waco (another outlet is in covid-constrained progress in St. Louis). Check out the website, presswaffleco.com/locations/soma.

Oh, and if that address seems familiar, it's also that of Central Arkansas' first outlet of Atlanta-based Original Hot Dog Factory, due to open early next year.

A new building at Little Rock's 1424 Main St. will house the Original Hot Dog Factory in Suite 101, on the corner, and Press Waffle Co. in suites 103-104. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
A new building at Little Rock's 1424 Main St. will house the Original Hot Dog Factory in Suite 101, on the corner, and Press Waffle Co. in suites 103-104. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

Grand opening is slated for 11 a.m. Friday for the first Arkansas location of Cinnaholic, 12800 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, next-door to the Cold Stone Creamery. The bakery franchise-chain makes cinnamon rolls and other baked goods that are "100% vegan, dairy & lactose-free, egg-free and cholesterol-free," according to its Facebook page (facebook.com/Cinnaholic.Arkansas). Hours will be 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 916-2170. The website is cinnaholic.com.

Trio's, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, is weathering an assault by covid-19. The restaurant first posted Dec. 2 that it would be closed until Monday after an employee tested positive for covid-19, forcing all other staff members who came in contact to quarantine; the post assured, however, that he had no contact with the public. But on Friday, owner-chef Capi Peck posted on Facebook that she and partner Brent Peterson had both tested positive for the virus, though "we are asymptomatic so far and very thankful for that." It's particularly galling considering how careful and scrupulous Peck and her staff have been in fending off the virus, and that she just recently reduced the dining room capacity, in keeping with Centers for Disease Control guidelines, from 66% to 25%, after several months of doing takeout only. There's no word yet on when the restaurant will reopen; the phone number is (501) 221-3330 and the website is triosrestaurant.com.

Trio's, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, is closed after employees, including owner-chef Capi Peck, tested positive for coviv-19. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
Trio's, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, is closed after employees, including owner-chef Capi Peck, tested positive for coviv-19. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

And we're planning to once again run a list of establishments that are either open Christmas Day or are preparing meals in advance of Christmas Day, which we will run initially Dec. 17 and repeat, with any additions (and deletions of places that will have required action prior to Christmas Eve) Dec. 24.

To kick off the list, we have this from Simmons Bank Arena, East Broadway and Interstate 30, North Little Rock, which is offering four ready-to-go (fully cooked and chilled) meal packages developed by their food and beverage team, led by executive chef Jack Daugherty. Three feature a quantity of sliced turkey breast with gravy, buttermilk cornbread dressing, herbed mashed potatoes, green beans with sauteed onions, cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole, dinner rolls and pumpkin and pecan pie. The one that serves 10 is $250; that serves eight, $230; that serves six, $200. Or you can order four pounds of sliced baked brown sugar glazed ham, serving 8-10, for $60. Prices include taxes and fees and come with reheating instructions. All orders must be placed by 5 p.m. Dec. 17; pick them up, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 22 or Dec. 23. A full menu is available at bit.ly/3mHymH7. Visit simmonsbankarena.com.

Food delivery service Bite Squad is teaming with local restaurant partners to support area food banks this month, collecting nonperishable food donations at Grady's Pizza & Subs, 10901 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock; The Mean Pig BBQ, 3096 Bill Foster Memorial Highway, Cabot; American Pie Pizza, 9709 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock; and Mama's Gyro, 3309 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood. Drop off nonperishable food — most-needed items include proteins (canned tuna, dried or canned beans, soup, peanut butter), grains (high-fiber cereal, oatmeal, pasta, rice), canned fruits and vegetables and bottled water — through Dec. 23 and Bite Squad will deliver it all to area food banks.

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: eharrison@adgnewsroom.com

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