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RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: 42 bar & table wants proof of vaccination; Monday target seen for Cotija’s ‘crossing’

by Eric E. Harrison | August 5, 2021 at 1:47 a.m.
Cotija’s Mexican Grill is leaving the storefront at 406 Louisiana St., Little Rock, its home since 2005, and moving across the street to the Union Plaza Building, where it is expected to open next week. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

The Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, shut its doors again Monday, after reopening to the public July 1 from 15 months of pandemic-forced closure. The center's restaurant, 42 bar and table, will remain open but will return to requiring reservations, and will now also require proof of vaccination from patrons before they can enter — patrons are to be considered "fully vaccinated" at least 14 days after a final dose of an FDA authorized vaccine. Make reservations by calling (501) 537-0042 or online at 42barandtable.org.

Leonardo Alvarez, manager of Cotija's Mexican Grill, says he has a Monday target to reopen in the former Flint's Just Like Mom's, in the Union Plaza Building, 124 W. Capitol Ave., Little Rock. You will recall that we reported a few weeks ago that Flint Flenoy, rather than turn the space into Flint's Southern Fried Chicken, instead agreed to sublet it to Cotija's, which has been operating across the street at 406 Louisiana St. since 2005. Cotija's phone number is (501) 244-0733; the website is cotijaslr.com.

Little Rock entrepreneur Creighton Ralls is crossing his fingers and, "if all goes well," hopes to open The Paranoid Android, the new coffee shop in the Little Rock Technology Park, 417 Main St., formerly Blue Sail, today, and recommends checking social media and Instagram for updates. It's the third area coffee shop from Ralls' Cleopatra company (the others are 2Twenty1 at Second and Center streets and Cleo's Corner, located inside the Arkansas Department of Commerce, 1 Commerce Way in Little Rock's Riverdale). The shop will serve coffee and coffee-based drinks, light breakfast and lunch options and pastries, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. The phone number, Ralls tells us, is (501) 457-6268 (45-ROBOT); the website is theparanoidandroid.co.

The Paranoid Android could open as early as today in the Little Rock Technology Park, 417 Main St. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
The Paranoid Android could open as early as today in the Little Rock Technology Park, 417 Main St. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

And speaking of coffee shops, the Leiva family, which has run a coffee roasting business for several years, has opened Leivas Express, 6323 Ranch Drive, Little Rock. Hours are 6 a.m-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Visit leivascoffee.com.

And still speaking of coffee shops, developers have applied for a $350,000 building permit from the Little Rock Planning & Development Department to build a "New Stand alone ground-up shell building for an upcoming Coffee Shop" at 8001 Geyer Springs Road. A check on the address shows it is across Geyer Springs from a Shell station, just off the Interstate 30 service road, and its immediate neighbors will be a car wash and a bank branch.

The Chick-fil-A in the food court at North Little Rock's McCain Mall, McCain Boulevard and U.S. 67/167, closed July 31 after 37 years of operation.

Blue Dolphins, a seafood/chicken/sandwich restaurant, opened July 26 at a former Taco Bell at 4324 Camp Robinson Road, North Little Rock. Hours are 10 a.m.-midnight daily. The phone number is (501) 753-9000. It's a second location — the original is at 4920 Baseline Road, Little Rock. The menu is the same — chicken wings and tenders, catfish, rice dishes and specialty sandwiches (including gyros, Philly steaks and Italian beef).

Repeated delays in the opening of Restaurant Bar Mar y Tierra Seafood & Grill, 1900 W. Third St., Little Rock, represents a tangled situation in which the the manager has quit and could indicate a change in ownership. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
Repeated delays in the opening of Restaurant Bar Mar y Tierra Seafood & Grill, 1900 W. Third St., Little Rock, represents a tangled situation in which the the manager has quit and could indicate a change in ownership. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

Long delays in the opening of Restaurant Bar Mar y Tierra Seafood & Grill, 1900 W. Third St., Little Rock, apparently has created a tangled situation in which a manager has quit and which could create a change in ownership. There is a listed phone number: (501) 476-3336. The website, restaurant-bar-mar-y-tierra-seafood-grill.business.site, already carries a 5-star review from one Patti B, who tells potential patrons, "Love to shop here. Outstanding folks work here!" The latest posts on the Facebook page, facebook.com/MaryTierraLittleRockSeafoodandGrill, offer a few versions of an octopus-based logo now visible on the outside of the building.

Meanwhile, on the east side of the Third Street Viaduct, work is in progress to clear, level and lay a new layer of red-brown dirt on the patch of ground between the ravine through which the train tracks run and the vacant restaurant building at 1706 W. Third St., Little Rock, that most recently housed The Capital's Seafood House, and was the longtime home of O.W. Pizza. To what purpose? We don't know, but it could be an expansion of the parking area toward an eventual new restaurant there. We're continuing to keep an eye out.

Hubcap Burger Co., 7410 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, reopened July 29 following the installation of a new vent fan. You will recall the place was closed for nearly two weeks after a truck struck the old one and, according to a July 15 post on Facebook (facebook.com/hubcapburger): "[W]e cannot turn on any cooking equipment without a functioning fan." Hours are back to 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday. And they are once again answering the phone at (501) 353-0130.

And Milano's Italian Grill, 1800 Club Manor Drive, Maumelle, reopened July 28 after being closed for a month while its management attended "a family event." The phone number is (501) 734-8027; the Facebook page is facebook.com/MilanosMaumelleAr.

Meanwhile, U.S. Pizza's Co.'s Maumelle outlet, 109 Commons Drive, which had temporarily shut down due to covid-19 exposure, has reopened. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 851-0880.

And Bruno's Little Italy, 310 Main St., Little Rock, reopened Tuesday after more than a week's closure after an employee had tested positive for covid-19.

Look for Twisted Fries, Disadattato Italian Ice, Riverside Grocery & Catering and Poppop & YumYam at Food Truck Friday, 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Downtown Farmers Market, 125 Ashley St., Benton. Country singer Matt Moseley is slated to perform. The event is scheduled to continue the first Friday of the month, shifting for holiday weekends, through November. Call (501) 776-5900 or visit bentonar.org.

And the QQA — formerly the Quapaw Quarter Association — hosts the "City Garden: Beer & Ice Cream Family Social," 4-7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Curran Hall, 615 E. Capitol Ave., Little Rock. It will feature George Bros. Historic Arkansas Ale from Stone's Throw Brewing honoring the German heritage of early Little Rock settlers and ice cream from Loblolly Creamery made from ingredients that would have been locally available in the mid-1800s. The social will also offer lemonade, root beer and popcorn; activities for kids; music by the Rackensack Folklore Society and blues and roots music by Fonky Donkey featuring Ben "Swamp Donkey" Brenner and Gil Franklin; and a preview of properties on the Oct. 2-3, 2021, QQA Tour of Homes. Stone's Throw brewer Ian Beard, a new member of the nonprofit's board, found inspiration from details he found in 1840 and 1841 Arkansas Gazette advertisements for the City Garden beer garden, on what is now River Market Avenue between Fourth Street and Capitol Avenue, explains QQA Executive Director Patricia M. Blick. Tickets are $25 in advance if you're over 21, $15 if you're younger. Tickets at the door are $35 and $25. Even though the event will be primarily outdoors, unvaccinated attendees will be required to wear a mask. Visit Quapaw.com or Tix.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. Send email to: eharrison@adgnewsroom.com

Print Headline: RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: 42 bar & table wants vaccination proof; Cotija's aims for Monday reopening

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