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story.lead_photo.caption Black Angus must move out of its current location on North Rodney Parham Road by March 31. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Black Angus Restaurant, which has been serving charcoal-grilled steaks and burgers for 30 years at 10907 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, is being forced to move. The exit date is March 31.

"We are relocating!" says a Jan. 10 post on the Facebook page (facebook.com/blackanguslittlerock). Customers are advised to "stay tuned for our new location address."

Owner Karla Creasey says she was shocked ("Actually, that's probably putting it a lot nicer — I was devastated") when she received a notice to vacate — on New Year's Eve. She admits she might have seen it coming, but it arrived right out of the blue.

The shopping center, which formerly housed a Kmart and in which her restaurant occupies an outlying plot, is now being developed into Premiere Medical Plaza by Premier Gastroenterology Associates and real estate firm Newmark Moses Tucker. Creasey says she had been in negotiations on a new lease, "but they didn't have real numbers" on what it would have cost her, "and to know how much you're going to charge for a burger, you have to know how much your overhead is going to be."

The notice to vacate gave her 30 days to move, 90 days if she chose not to sue, Creasey tells Tie Dye Travels blogger Kat Robinson.

A post on Facebook's "Remember in Little Rock" group page last week spilled the beans, and Creasey, who had told only a few of her customers at that point, subsequently confirmed it.

She has been getting support, help and suggestions for new locations from regular customers and the community at large. "I've been getting lots of community input, amazingly so," she says. "My phone number is quite well known. I've been getting texts and Facebook messages."

She says she has been avidly scouting new locations, a search made more difficult because she wants a new place close to her current spot. "I want to stay within 10 minutes of right here," she says. "This is the community I've served and grown to love. It's amazing the friendships you develop when you run a small business." Also complicating the search: Black Angus only grills its steaks, burgers, etc., on charcoal, so any new spot will have to be able to accommodate that. And there has to be, or at least there has to be the potential for, a drive-thru window. "Though lots of people do, this is not the kind of place you come in and sit," she explains. "One-third of our business comes from the drive-through. This is one of the only places where you can phone in an order for a T-bone and pick it up through the window."

In addition to her own issues, Creasey says, she's concerned about her employees, many of whom have been working for her for decades.

The venerable burger-steak-plate lunch establishment has been around since 1960, first at Markham and Van Buren streets (now the site of a Subway) and then on South University Avenue before it moved again in 1990 into the Rodney Parham building that had previously housed an outlet of the now-defunct Kenny Rogers Roasters chain.

Creasey says she has no idea what will happen to the building — "I guess we'll all find that out together," she says, on or about April 1. Whether there's a new tenant or a demolition crew "doesn't even matter," she adds. "It doesn't affect me at all."

Hours, at least until March 31, are 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 228-7800; the website is blackanguscafe.com.

***

Newfangled Love Kitchen has opened in the Lakewood Shopping Center on North Little Rock's Park Hill.
(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
Newfangled Love Kitchen has opened in the Lakewood Shopping Center on North Little Rock's Park Hill. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

Newfangled Love Kitchen, in the Lakehill Shopping Center, 3824 John F. Kennedy Blvd. on North Little Rock's Park Hill, two doors down from North Bar, appears to have moved out of the "soft opening" stage to full openness, offering a menu that co-owner Snee Dismang has described as "(gourmet-ish) diner food in a casual environment where you order at the counter" and including "plant-based vegan and gluten-free available cooked on dedicated gluten-free equipment."

There's a "his" and "her" dichotomy throughout the menu — for example, "His Loaded Nachos," with beef or chicken and cheese, and "Her Vegan Nachos," made with chorizo tofu, vegan cheese sauce and cashew avocado cream. A "bio" space on the printed menu explains: "A 'Carnivorous' guy named Kyle [Dismang] met a 'Vegan' woman named Snee. The couple couldn't ever agree where to eat." So this realizes her dream of a restaurant "with something for everyone and even some gluten-free options" where "Kyle has it 'his way' and Snee has it 'her way' and they lived happily ever after."

The establishment has a mixed-drink-minimum alcoholic beverage permit that allows for craft beers on tap and mimosas, etc., for Sunday brunch (and to add shots of booze to the self-serve coffee). The revolving-door space has most recently housed several Mexican/Latin American restaurants, including Bucanas Billar y Taqueria, La Salsa Mexican & Peruvian Cuisine and Las Palmas.

Hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 246-5094; the Facebook page: facebook.com/newfangledlovekitchen.

We reported last week on what at the time was supposedly the temporary closure of HEA Street Eatz and Catering, 6015 Chenonceau Blvd., Little Rock. On Friday, co-owner Sam Henson sent out an email to his customers and posted the same message on the website, heastreeteatz.com, and on the Facebook page, facebook.com/HEAStreetEatz: "It is with heavy hearts that we must inform you that we have closed HEA Street Eatz and Catering. We truly enjoyed all of our customers and wish you all the best going forward. We are looking at options for another adventure in the future, and you may see HEA again some day." Up until deadline, we got only a voicemail prompt at the phone number, (501) 673-4006.

***

We don't yet have a firm opening date for Arkansas' first outlet for Cheba Hut, 10825 Kanis Road, Little Rock, in a storefront that previously housed an outlet of Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes. But there is now a website — chebahut.com/little-rock — and a Facebook page — facebook.com/ChebaHutLittleRock, where late-December posts indicated that "We hope to be open in February" and that the establishment is hiring: "All positions, full time and part time! Interested? Send us an email at littlerock@chebahut.com."

The Colorado-based sub-shop chain/franchise operation "has built its brand around cannabis-theme eateries" (cheba, also spelled cheeba, or chiba, is slang for marijuana and a couple of variations are slang for marijuana); the menu features sandwiches named for various pot varieties, including Jamaican Red, Thai Stick, Acapulco Gold and Silver Haze; sweets include Rice Krispies bars and, of course, brownies; and "cottonmouth cures" include iced tea, soft drinks and Kool-Aid. Most outlets also have a full bar that features signature cocktails named Dirty Hippie, Hash Can and Cheba Rita. However, nothing the restaurant serves, food or drink, actually contains any cannabis compounds. Franchisees Hunter and Darcie Fletcher are also looking at opening "joints" in Conway and Fayetteville.

***

The opening, originally targeted for Monday, has been pushed back to Feb. 3 for Arkansas' first outlet of Baton Rouge-based Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux, previously known as Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, at 955 S. Amity Road, Conway. Hours will be 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday. We're still trying to track down a listed phone number. Meanwhile, Gordon Sizemore, Walk-On's senior director of new restaurant openings, confirms a second Arkansas location is pending at 4050 S. J.B. Hunt Drive, Rogers, expected to open mid-February.

The Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism will announce the finalists for the 2020 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, 2:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Arkansas Heritage building, 1100 North St., Little Rock. The program recognizes legendary restaurants, proprietors and food-theme events from across the state. The winners will be announced Feb. 24.

Taste of Home, a publisher of magazines with a website, has listed Little Rock's Dempsey Bakery, 323 S. Cross St., as Arkansas' best bakery (tasteofhome.com/collection/best-bakery-in-every-state). "For folks with food allergies, Dempsey Bakery is heaven-sent," says the listing. "All of their baked goods — pies, cakes, cookies and breads — are gluten-, soy- and nut-free. They also make treats free of eggs and dairy. Customers rave about how delicious their products are, and that you can't tell that anything is missing." Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is (501) 375-2257; visit dempseybakery.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 01/16/2020

Print Headline: RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Black Angus must move; HEA Eatz shuts; Walk-On's debut pushed back

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