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RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Ex-North Little Rock Pizza Hut to become a Fazoli's; new concept pends for Hillcrest Brazilian bakery

by Eric E. Harrison | November 18, 2021 at 6:40 a.m.
Rosca bread from Rosalia's Family Bakery, which is currently closed but will open soon in a new configuration. (Democrat-Gazette file photo/Staton Breidenthal)

The former Pizza Hut, 3701 Warden Road, North Little Rock, behind the Target in The Other Center, is to be a Fazoli's. The North Little Rock Planning Department confirms a permit has been issued for a construction company; conversion can begin once the company picks that permit up. We don't have a timeline yet for when it will open, nor do we know if it is affiliated in any way with Pasta Joint LLC, a Jonesboro-based company that holds the franchise for Fazoli's outlets in Jonesboro and Paragould.

We reported way back in October 2018 that the Italian fast-casual restaurant chain was looking to expand in the state, with plans to open three new Central Arkansas locations in the Benton, Conway and Searcy areas; this was not on that list. A Little Rock Fazoli's, at 12318 Chenal Parkway, closed in December 2007. There were also, at one time, Fazoli's outlets in Conway and Hot Springs. The chain's website is

Rosalia's Family Bakery, 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock's Hillcrest, has been closed for a bit, with a sign on the door — and also on the website ( — that "Something new is brewing!" The website augments the explanation slightly: "We are working on a new concept and excited to soon share [it] with the Hillcrest community. It will be fast, fun, and delicious!" The phone number, (501) 319-7035, takes the caller to a voicemail that explains the bakery is "temporarily closed; we're looking forward to reopening soon." A young woman who answered the phone at Cafe Bossa Nova — Rosalia Monroe, proprietor and bakery namesake — of which the "Brazilian-inspired padaria," open since 2010, is an adjunct, said she thought the bakery would reopen "in a couple of weeks." The cafe phone number is (501) 614-6682; the website,

  photo  An opening date is still indefinite for Jess's Chicken on North Rodney Parham Road. (Democrat-Gazette file photo/Eric E. Harrison)
An opening date is still indefinite for Jess's Chicken, 10907 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, but the corporate folks at David's Burgers, which is behind the concept, say they're now shooting for the first of next year. The menu will feature fried chicken, nuggets, chicken salad and chicken sandwiches, plus the same or similar hand-cut fries. You will recall that the building, which started out life as an outlet of the Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken chain, housed Black Angus for three decades before that operation moved back to its previous home, West Markham and Van Buren streets.

Meanwhile, the David's Burgers at 3802 Central Ave. in Hot Springs has opened, temporarily for drive-thru service only, while the company attempts to acquire enough "hands on deck" to open the interior. And look for the pending David's Burgers at 11915 Interstate 30, Little Rock, somewhere in the vicinity of February.

And the weekly list of Little Rock building permits includes one for the Wendy's at 3923 S. University Ave. for a $315,000 "Interior Dining Room Refresh," specifically new tile on floors and walls, paint, a new dining room seating package and new bathroom fixtures," as well as some work on the exterior. Other area outlets of the burger chain have undergone similar "refreshes."

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Here is our so-far-limited list of Thanksgiving options, including places that we know will be open and serving, and places that are offering prepared Thanksgiving dinners and elements thereof. This is a combination of submitted material and stuff we found online; we have verified the details insofar as has been practical, but we are not to be held liable for things that change or don't turn out to be the same next week as they were this week. So we recommend double-checking before taking anything at face value, which is one of the reasons we're supplying telephone numbers. Another is that if you plan to eat out on Thanksgiving, reservations are, if not mandatory, strongly recommended.

Presence on these lists does not constitute an endorsement and absence does not constitute condemnation or anything deliberate. And if your establishment isn't listed here, but should be, shoot us an email at the address below and we'll endeavor to get it into an online roundup.


◼️ Arthur's Prime Steakhouse, 16100 Chenal Parkway, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., sit-down feast, featuring Southern deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, sushi, Caesar and mixed green salads; entrees — choice of turkey breast with giblet gravy and cranberry relish, cola-brown sugar glazed ham or beef tenderloin with a mushroom demiglace; choice of 10 side items and eight desserts. $70, $30 for children 11 and younger. (501) 821-1838;

◼️ Capital Bar & Grill, Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., Little Rock, is offering a Thanksgiving "dine-in" buffet, pretty much throughout the ground floor, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $72, $32 for children 12 and younger. However, it is already completely booked with a waiting list.

◼️ Black Bear Diner, Lakewood Village, 2724 Lakewood Village Drive, North Little Rock. Open regular hours, 5 a.m.-7 p.m.; starting at 11 a.m., three-course meals — centered on prime rib, roasted turkey or holiday ham — while supplies last. Carry-out and delivery orders starting Monday at (501) 812-0393.

◼️ Bobby's Cafe, 18505 MacArthur Drive, North Little Rock, will be open 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., first-come, first-served, fixed-price ($14.29) Thanksgiving dinner, including dessert and drink. (501) 851-7888.

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

◼️ YaYa's EuroBistro, in the Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, will have Thanksgiving buffet, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with a carving station (turkey, prime rib, Petit Jean ham), trimmings, sides, salads and desserts, $39.95, $15.95 children 12 and younger, free for children 5 and under. Complete Thanksgiving To-Go Dinner, includes turkey, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, choice of pumpkin or pecan pie, feeds a family of four for $170. Individual items are also available a la carte. Order by Monday, pick up on Wednesday or 7-9 a.m. Thanksgiving. (501) 821-1144;

◼️ Denny's, IHOP and Waffle House locations are, mostly, open; some IHOPs close early on holidays. However, with the pandemic in play, hours could shift or shorten. Check in advance to be certain.


Advance-order meal options for Thanksgiving, with an attempt at alphabetical order:

◼️ Boulevard Bread Company, 1920 Grant St., Little Rock, is offering complete Thanksgiving meals, "start to finish," including roasted French-cut turkey breast with applewood smoked bacon glaze, lemon, rosemary and garlic; traditional cornbread stuffing, local sweet potato gratin with caramelized onions, roasted autumn vegetables, turkey gravy; cranberry, orange and apricot chutney; pumpkin-caramel and pecan pies; cranberry orange bread or pumpkin bread; and challah rolls. All orders are due by close of business Monday; pick up 2-7 p.m. Wednesday. (501) 663-5951;

◼️ Burge's, 5620 R St., Little Rock, orders for smoked hams and turkeys. (501) 666-1660;

◼️ Count Porkula BBQ at the Rail Yard, 1212 E. Sixth St., Little Rock, offers smoked meats (brined and smoked turkey, spiral ham, turkey breasts, whole brisket, pork butt, whole smoked chicken). Deadline for orders: 8 p.m. Friday — email (501) 804-9561;

◼️ Cypress Social, 7103 Cock of the Walk Lane (off Maumelle Boulevard), North Little Rock, offers $56 smoked-on-the-premises turkeys (12-14 pounds); side options: sweet potato casserole with toasted pecans and brown sugar; granny-style green beans with bacon marmalade jam; classic sourdough dressing; cornbread with whipped maple butter; cranberry sauce with orange zest and ginger; and giblet gravy; and for dessert: chef Sara's handcrafted pies (apple, pecan). A whole Thanksgiving feast, including the entire menu and a pie of your choosing is $140. Order by 4 p.m. Monday, pick up 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday or 9 a.m.-noon Thanksgiving. (501) 916-2670;

◼️ Dave's Place, 210 Center St., will do smoked turkeys (12-pound average, $40), 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.

◼️ 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 — $70 if you're feeding 8-10, $95 to feed 18-20, price includes two quarts of gravy; dressing, sides, snacks and desserts cost extra. Deadline to order is Friday; pickup is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday. (501) 537-0042;

◼️ Loca Luna, 3519 Old Cantrell Road, Little Rock, is offering "support dishes" — "Sorry," proclaims an email blast to patrons, "no Turkeys this year. Too few and too expensive!" But you can order their "Famous Cheese Dip & Chips," spinach artichoke cheese casserole dip, and Southern-style sides (mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, roasted new potatoes, country cream gravy, brown turkey gravy, Southern pecan dressing, green beans, buttered cabbage, fresh turnip greens with bacon, mac & cheese, fiesta pinto beans, squash & cheese casserole, black-eyed peas, wild fiesta rice, sweet corn kernels). Order, pre-pay and pick up until 6 p.m. Nov. 23. (501) 663-4666,

◼️ The Pantry, 11401 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, is offering its full catering menu in advance of Thanksgiving. Order by phone — (501) 353-1875 — "the sooner the better," saith the gentleman who answered the phone, but absolutely by 5 p.m. Monday for pickup by 8 p.m. Wednesday.

◼️ Petit & Keet, 1620 Market St., Little Rock, is offering whole (14 pounds, $325) or, half (7 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 4 p.m. Monday; pick 'em up 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday or 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 25. All orders come with detailed reheating instructions. (501) 319-7675;

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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