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story.lead_photo.caption Cafe Prego in the Heights and Beef O'Brady's in Maumelle have been closed for an extended period and could be on the terminal list. (Democrat-Gazette file photos)

What is the status of Cafe Prego, 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, which has been closed since the pandemic hit? We aren't ready to sign the certificate yet, but there's very few signs of life there. The last post on the Facebook page was in June 2019. And a call to the phone number, (501) 663-5355, gave us a recorded message that the number had changed, but the new number was unknown.

A similar situation applies to the Beef O' Brady's outlet at 115 Audubon Drive, Maumelle, which has been closed for more than a month. A call to their phone number, (501) 803-3500, produces the same message — phone number has changed, new number unknown — with the added weight that it is no longer among the locations listed on the website, beefobradys.com (locationstogo.com/beefs).

Meanwhile, East Sixth Brewing Co., 822 E. Sixth St., Little Rock, is closing its taproom until further notice. A Monday post on its Facebook page (facebook.com/eastsixthbrewingco) and on its website (eastsixthbrewingcompany.com) explains that as covid-19 cases spike with colder weather on the horizon, "the hard truth is that we can't sustain taproom operations in this climate." For the time being, the post continues, "you can continue to find our products in your local liquor stores." The phone number is (501) 374-2791.

Cafe Prego in the Heights and Beef O'Brady's in Maumelle have been closed for an extended period and could be on the terminal list. (Democrat-Gazette file photos)
Cafe Prego in the Heights and Beef O'Brady's in Maumelle have been closed for an extended period and could be on the terminal list. (Democrat-Gazette file photos)

The Keet family's JTJ Restaurants is gearing up to open as many as 20 outlets in Arkansas and Oklahoma of Waldo's Chicken & Beer, a concept belonging to Nashville, Tenn.-based Fresh Hospitality, from which the Keets also franchise their eight Arkansas Taziki's Mediterranean Cafes, and with which the Keets are forming a partnership that gives them an ownership stake as well as a franchise, says paterfamilias Jim Keet. As the name suggests, the chief features are fried and rotisserie-roasted chicken ("It's the best fried and rotisserie chicken I've ever had," he says), with house-made sauces and sides, and as many as 12-16 beers on tap, some of which will be local craft brews.

Son Tommy Keet is the lead on the project, says his dad, who adds that as of Jan. 2 they'll be closing on the long-vacant former Johnny Carino's, 4221 Warden Road, North Little Rock (that's the service road that runs north to south along U.S. 67/167, "behind" McCain Mall). They'll level the building and build a prototype; building design ongoing so the interior is still a work in progress but Keet promises two drive-thrus and a 400- to 600-square-foot patio. Target to open is sometime in June.

The Keets already operate a Waldo's, with a partner, in Tulsa. In addition to their Taziki's restaurants, JTJ has two higher cuisine operations, Petit & Keet in west Little Rock and the recently opened Cypress Social, just on the North Little Rock side of Maumelle.

■ ■ ■

Up the road a little, at 5001 Warden Road, North Little Rock, the Golden Corral Buffet & Grill has reopened its dining room, and also once again started serving Saturday-Sunday breakfast. Hours are now 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The phone number is (501) 771-4605; the website is goldencorral.com.

Sushi Cafe West, 11211 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, has started delivering sushi through a third-party service. Order online via sushicafelittlerock.com. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 954-7866.

The folks who are working on Blue Heaven, going into the former Ed and Kay's at 15228 Interstate 30 North, Benton, say work is continuing on the building and they hope now to open in mid-December. They recommend checking their Facebook page (facebook.com/BlueHeavenBenton) for updates. The menu reportedly will once again focus on home cooking, with additional "fresh" options and more grilled items, with eventual plans for farm-to-table eats, and brick oven pizza on the patio. Ed & Kay's occupied the building for more than two decades before closing in mid-2014. There's an email address — info@blueheavenbenton.com — and a website, blueheavenbenton.com.

Bob's Grill, 1112 Oak St., Conway, reopened Tuesday on schedule under new ownership. The temporary menu features omelets, morning burritos and light and full plates. Hours are 5 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 329-9760; search Facebook for its page.

If your restaurant will be open Thanksgiving Day for dine-in, takeout or both, or you're in the process of preparing full-meal Thanksgiving dinners for pickup or delivery, give us a shout-out by email: eharrison@adgnewsroom.com. We'll run the list, as full as we have it, Thursday, Nov. 19, with a Thanksgiving Day update Nov. 26. Deadline for the initial list is noon Nov. 15 and to be determined for the update.

And the Department of Arkansas Heritage reports receiving more than 2,000 nominations — more than twice as many as last year — from all 75 Arkansas counties for the 2021 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. Nominations closed Oct. 31. The judging committee will name the finalists Jan. 25 and announce the winners Feb. 22.

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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