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story.lead_photo.caption McClard’s Bar-B-Que’s food truck was to debut in west Little Rock on Wednesday. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

The Spa City's legendary McClard's Bar-B-Q was to have unveiled its new Little Rock-based food truck on Wednesday in the parking lot of Bones Chophouse, 27 Rahling Circle off Chenal Parkway, where it's set to serve chopped beef and pork sandwiches, tamales and loaded fries, plus coleslaw, beans, potato salad, fries and desserts through Saturday. Its subsequent schedule will post on Facebook and Instagram. It's the first official expansion of the restaurant, 505 Albert Pike Road, Hot Springs, since its doors opened in 1928, according to a news release. Restaurateur Lee Beasley and business partner Dean Jennings, who own the Bones Chophouses in Little Rock and Hot Springs restaurant, bought McClard's in May. McClard family members have continued to be involved with the restaurant.

Several readers have asked us what's up with the U.S. Pizza at 9300 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. The answer: It has been temporarily closed after staff members were exposed to the coronavirus, and is expected to reopen Friday. Covid-19 exposures have also hit the locations in Sherwood, 8403 Arkansas 107, which is operating on a to-go basis, and Fayetteville, 202 W. Dickson St., which has been closed altogether. Both are expected to reopen for business fully on Monday.

A helpful reader tells us that Overtime Lounge, which the website ( calls "the ultimate sports bar experience," has replaced the Beef O' Brady's outlet at 115 Audubon Drive, Maumelle. The menu is upscale pub grub. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily, with Saturday-Sunday brunch, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The phone number is (501) 734-8176.

Malvern native Neal Gray takes over in December as executive chef of The Preacher's Son in Bentonville. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Malvern native Neal Gray takes over in December as executive chef of The Preacher's Son in Bentonville. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Neal Gray, a Malvern native who has worked in some distinguished kitchens, most recently as chef de cuisine at Simon and The Whale on Lexington Avenue in New York City, takes over from Matthew Cooper in mid-December as executive chef of The Preacher's Son, 201 N.W. A St., Bentonville. According to a news release, he "plans to cultivate a casual environment for his team while paying homage to, and celebrating the bountiful seasons in Arkansas and honoring The Preacher's Son's mission rooted in sustainability and regionality." The restaurant focuses on sustainably sourced ingredients from local farmers and ranchers. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is (479) 445-6065; the website is

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All right, here's our promised Thanksgiving list, divided into two parts: Places that expect to actually be open on Thanksgiving Day, and places that are offering prepared meals for pickup in advance of the holiday. Information comes from the restaurants themselves, either by direct submission or by gleaning details from their online presences. It is very likely we have left out several worthwhile establishments; if yours will be open next Thursday, please rush us the details today (via and we'll work to add you to the list we'll reprise on the holiday. Note that reservations in the time of covid-19, if not mandatory, are still more important than usual.


◼️ Arthur's Prime Steakhouse, 16100 Chenal Parkway, will be open from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost: $45 per person, $15 for children 7-12, $9 for children 3-6. The last reservation will be at 3:15. A to-go menu will also be available but we haven't seen it yet. (501) 821-1838.

◼️ Benihana, in the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 2 Riverfront Place, North Little Rock, will be open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thanksgiving, serving their current dinner menu. (So, no hibachi turkey.) Reservations are required — (501) 374-8081.

◼️ Bobby's Cafe, 18505 MacArthur Drive, North Little Rock, will be open 11 a.m.-2 p.m., serving only its Thanksgiving Day dinner. (501) 851-7888.

◼️ Outlets of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store this pandemic-ravaged year will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; available all day: Grandma's Holiday Sampler, "a new breakfast tradition featuring hand-breaded country fried turkey alongside buttermilk pancakes." Or you can order in advance one of two Thanksgiving Heat n' Serve Feasts, complete meals that can be prepared in two hours — one that serves 8-10 and a smaller feast that serves 4-6.

◼️ Taj Mahal, 1520 Market St., Little Rock, will be open. Call for times: (501) 520-4900;

◼️ Verona Italian Restaurant, 190 Skyline Drive, Conway, is teaming up with Conway's PattiCakes Bakery to offer a free Thanksgiving Day dinner to those in need; Verona will serve turkey, stuffing, gravy and salad "at no cost for anyone in our community that can't be with family or can't afford to prepare it at home," while the food lasts, and PattiCakes will supply the desserts, according to its Facebook page. (501) 358-6801;

◼️ YaYa's EuroBistro, in the Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, will serve a plated Thanksgiving dinner for $40, $14.95 for kids 12 and younger. The menu: turkey (white and/or dark meat), ham, cauliflower steak or carved beef tenderloin with a chianti gorgonzola demiglaze (an additional $10 per person), plus sides — mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, turkey gravy and cranberry sauce, plus your choice of pecan or pumpkin pie. Order for pickup before Tuesday, pick up 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. (501) 821-1144;

◼️ Denny's, IHOP and Waffle House locations are, mostly, open 24/7/365; some IHOPs close early on Thanksgiving Day. However, with the pandemic in play, check in advance to make sure.

◼️ And if you happen to be in, or headed to, the northwest corner of the state, The Hive, in the 21c Museum Hotel, 200 N.E. A St., Bentonville, will be open, 1-6 p.m. Chef Matt McClure's "classic" Thanksgiving menu includes pasture-raised turkey with cornbread stuffing, pole beans, gravy, whipped potatoes and cranberries and pecan pie, as well as "Hive favorites like ... campanelle with vermouth cream, Swiss chard and roasted squash." Reservations are a must; call (479) 286-6575. Curbside take-home kits (for two people, $90; for four, $170; for six, $240) are also available; order online ( through Sunday.

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Here's a partial list we've managed to compile of advance-order meal options for Thanksgiving Day, with an attempt at alphabetical order:

◼️ Bobbie D's Southern Cuisine, 3201 W. 65th St., Little Rock. Visit for a link to the holiday menu; place orders by 2 p.m. Saturday. (501) 565-1699.

◼️ Boulevard Bread Company, 1920 Grant St., Little Rock, is offering complete Thanksgiving meals, "start to finish," including soup and half a smoked chicken with braised Armstead Farm collard greens, roasted balsamic potato salad and Alabama white sauce. All orders are due by close of business Monday. (501) 663-5951;

◼️ Count Porkula BBQ at the Rail Yard, 1212 E. Sixth St., Little Rock, offers smoked meats (turkey, spiral ham, turkey breasts, whole brisket, pork butt, whole smoked chicken), with side dishes from deviled eggs and sweet potatoes to dill pickle pasta salad, plus family dinners for 6-8 ($175). Taking orders through 5 p.m. Friday. (501) 804-9561.

◼️ Cypress Social, 7103 Cock of the Walk Lane (off Maumelle Boulevard), North Little Rock, is offering a Thanksgiving Feast — $125, includes a house-smoked whole turkey (12-14 pounds), sides and pie, all of which can be ordered separately. Order by 3 p.m. Monday, pick up 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday or 9 a.m.-noon Thursday. (501) 916-2670;

◼️ Dave's Place, 210 Center St., will do smoked turkeys (12-pound average, $30), spiral hams ($40), "fixins" and pies. Order by 2 p.m. Tuesday, curbside pickup, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. (501) 372-3283.

◼️ Dickey's Barbecue Pit locations are offering heat-and-eat and ready-to-eat holiday options, available for pickup and delivery, including individualized holiday box lunches containing carved turkey sandwiches with a choice of sauce, sides of cornbread dressing and bags of chips and cookies. A deluxe version also includes a side of Southern-style green beans. For gatherings of 8-12, there's the ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box, with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls. And they've also got a trio of heat-and-eat options.

◼️ Esters, 1214 Main St., Little Rock, is offering a vegan Thanksgiving menu including "Stuffed Turk'y Roast" made from seitan, stuffed with brown rice, lentils and veggies; feeds 3-5, $32. They're taking orders through Friday; arrange a pickup time Wednesday. (501) 353-2489,

◼️ 42 bar and table at the Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, is once again prepping meals for pickup. Cost depends on the size of the traditional roasted or mesquite-wood-smoked turkey — $68 if you're feeding 8-10, $90 to feed 18-20, price includes two quarts of gravy, and of course dressing, sides, snacks and desserts cost extra. Deadline to order is Friday; pickup is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday. Order online at or call (501) 537-0042.

◼️ Graffiti's, 7811 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. Order by Tuesday, schedule a pick up on Wednesday. (501) 224-9079,

◼️ Heritage Catering, Colonnade Shopping Center (next to Little Caesars Pizza), 315 N. Bowman Road, Little Rock, is taking a la carte Thanksgiving orders through Friday. Orders, with reheating instructions, will be ready for pickup, 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday. (501) 246-3787,

◼️ Keith & Co, 9B Crestview Plaza, Jacksonville, is putting together full meals — entrees, sides and desserts, including a $50 turkey that serves 4-6, a grilled or smoked whole beef tenderloin that serves 6-8 and a pork tenderloin that serves 2-5, plus cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, creamed corn, cranberry sauce and garlic-mashed Yukon gold potatoes. Call or text (501) 515-1313 or send a Facebook message via, where you can get a look at the menu. Deadline to place orders is noon Monday.

◼️ La Terraza Rum & Lounge, 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, is offering traditional Venezuelan holiday dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas — check out the menu on the Facebook page, Order by Saturday. (501) 251-8261

◼️ Loca Luna, 3519 Old Cantrell Road, Little Rock, is offering half of an herb-roasted turkey (serves 6-8) for $29.95 each, or a 5-pound boneless, hormone-free applewood smoked carving ham for $30, plus a wide range of sides and "other goodies." Deadline to order is 6 p.m. Sunday; pick it up all day Tuesday or until 4 p.m. Wednesday. (501) 663-4666,

◼️ The Pantry, 11401 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, is offering a range of its usual menu items in bulk for Thanksgiving. Order by phone — (501) 353-1875 — by 5 p.m. Monday for pickup by 8 p.m. Wednesday.

◼️ Petit & Keet, 1620 Market St., Little Rock, is offering whole (13 pounds, $325) or, half (6.5 pounds, $175) roasted prime rib roast, and a bunch of sides and desserts. Putting together an entire Thanksgiving Feast: $375 (whole prime rib roast, choice of three sides, and choice of pie). Place orders by 3 p.m. Monday; pick 'em up 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday or 9 a.m.-noon Thursday. All orders come with detailed reheating instructions. (501) 319-7675;

◼️ South on Main, 1304 Main St., Little Rock, will offer a la carte Thanksgiving meals, including smoked turkeys and a wide range of side items and a couple of desserts. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated. All orders must be in by today; pick up orders on Wednesday. (501) 244-9660;

◼️ Trio's, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, is offering appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, and desserts — everything but the turkey. See the lineup at Order by 3 p.m. Saturday, pick up by 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. (501) 221-3330.

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:


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