Owner Karla Creasey breathed a big online sigh of relief after getting her Black Angus open on Monday at 5100 W. Markham St., Little Rock, on the lot it had occupied before moving three decades ago to North Rodney Parham Road. The new sign went up over the weekend; a red-and-black "now open" banner on Monday replaced the yellow-and-black banner on the front patio railing that has been proclaiming for some months that it's "coming soon." As of the moment, you won't be able to dine in, but you can walk in to place to-go orders and the resurrected restaurant offers curbside and drive-thru pickup, plus picnic tables when the weather allows for outside seating. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number has transferred from Rodney Parham — (501) 228-7800 — and the website is blackanguscafe.com.
AfroBites Food Truck, debuts Saturday at 1702 Wright Ave., Little Rock. It will serve authentic African food, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The grand opening menu, available on the Facebook page (facebook.com/afrobitesLR), includes jollof rice with fish, lamb and beef fried rice, Chicken Yassa, Moroccan Chicken Tagine and Moroccan Vegan Tagine, egg rolls and meat pies. The phone number is (501) 483-8721; the website, still a work in progress, is tryafrobites.com.
Mockingbird Bar & Tacos, 1220 Main St., Little Rock, is getting a grant of $14,260 from an organization called HartBeat of Main Street, which, according to owner Jack Sundell will go toward the "infrastructure, staffing, and programming" of the SoMa Outdoor Dining Room at 13th and Main. Mockingbird was one of 67 businesses nationwide to qualify for the grant from the program, created by Main Street America in partnership with the insurance company The Hartford. (Visit mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/hartbeat.) The outdoor dining area will close for most of the winter, but Sundell says he hopes to reopen it in early spring with several grant-funded enhancements.
If, like us, you get ticked off by constantly seeing TV ads for chain places that don't have nearby outlets, rejoice that there is now a central Arkansas Jersey Mike's — 20770 Interstate 30, Benton, where its neighbors include Academy Sports and Kroger Marketplace. (There are Jersey Mike's restaurants in Rogers and Bentonville, but for most folks reading this that's quite a haul for a sub.) Among the things we've gleaned from viewing the menu (jerseymikes.com/menu): gluten-free bread is an option. Hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 794-6275; the website is jerseymikes.com/46004.
Up the road a piece, Dan's I-30 Diner reopened last week at 17018 Interstate 30, Benton, after being closed since March. Hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is (501) 778-4116.
Earlier this month, the new owners of Bob's Grill, 1112 Oak St., Conway, announced plans on Facebook to reopen Tuesday, but on Monday doused those plans with a new post: "Unfortunately, we will not be opening tomorrow. I know y'all don't want to hear that, just know it breaks our hearts too. The date has changed many times and it's a hard and disappointing conversation every time. So, instead of giving another possible date and it changing again, we will just say that we hope it is very soon and we'll definitely let you know as soon as we know for sure." The phone number, (501) 329-9760, took us to a generic voicemail message.
Sheridan will get a Dairy Queen in the spring. That's according to Blake Lively, who operates franchisee You Scream Holdings, LLC; it will be his second pairing with Big Red (the other is in Searcy), and will be part of the new Big Red Store at 3265 U.S. 167 North. As the opening nears, folks will be able to vote for Mini Blizzards or Grillburgers as the prize for the first 100 DQ fans who purchase a cake to receive free every week for a year. Hours are to be 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
This Saturday being Halloween, area Slim Chickens will feed kids 10 and younger free with the purchase of any adult meal for dine-in, drive-thru or online order using the code TRICKORTREAT.
And Blaze Pizza outlets will give away a free full-size Crunch candy bar to everybody who says "trick or treat" in person after 4 p.m. Saturday. (The news release announcing this helpfully notes that if you can't make it to a Blaze location on Halloween, the bars retail nationwide for $1.19.)
Meanwhile, Tuesday being Election Day, The Faded Rose, 1619 Rebsamen Park Road, Little Rock, will close for the day; Laurie Hilton David, who runs the place, explains via Facebook that "We want to encourage everyone that is eligible to vote, to get out and do it. That also includes our staff." They'll resume normal operating hours on Wednesday.
And The Flying Saucer, with a Little Rock outlet at 323 President Clinton Ave. in the River Market, will let patrons vote with their gullets, with the option to order brew in presidential candidate pint glasses. You can pick 'em on-site or order them online at beerknurd.com. The news release notes that Beerknurds, as Saucer devotees call themselves, have accurately predicted the election outcome this way since 2004.
The Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View has called off the annual Thanksgiving buffet at its Skillet Restaurant because of covid-19. For several years CNN Travel has listed it among the top 10 places to enjoy Thanksgiving nationwide. The state park is also closing its Craft Village on Thanksgiving Day but will reopen it, with free admission, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 27-28, selling the work of area artisans to give folks a shop-local option. Call (870) 269-3851.
And a reminder that midnight Saturday is the deadline to put in nominations for the 2020 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame at https://tinyurl.com/yy77vj7w. The five categories: Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event, People's Choice and Gone But Not Forgotten.
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: email@example.com