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RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: U.S. Pizza closure cited as due to staffing, not covid-19; doughnut shop open in Lakewood Village

by Eric E. Harrison | April 21, 2022 at 7:15 a.m.
Five of Rock Town Distillery's products came away with top honors from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

A colleague accustomed to grabbing a salad on Saturdays from U.S. Pizza Co.'s Levy branch, 3324 Pike Ave., North Little Rock, reports it had been closed for several weeks — not, as the gentleman who answered the phone on Monday told us, due to covid-19, as it has been several times over the past couple of years, but because they were short of staff. At that, they are back open now only on weekdays — 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday. (501) 758-5997.

AR Donuts has opened in North Little Rock's Lakewood Village — 2623 Lakewood Village Park, to be exact. Hours are 4 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Folks at two Little Rock stores with the same name, at 102 Markham Park Drive and at 10815 Colonel Glenn Road, say there is no connection. (323) 697-7777.

The new Waffle House at 10319 Stagecoach Road, Little Rock, is listed as open on the website, One of our eagle-eyed correspondents spotted a sign in the window proclaiming that, although WH's are generally supposed to be open 24/7, this one is currently open 7 a.m.-2 p.m., possibly because they're short-staffed. (Also in the window: a "now hiring" sign.) (501) 260-8837.

Little Rock's outlet of Healthy James, a health food restaurant and store, opens Sunday in The Center at Ten shopping center, 12911 Cantrell Road, next door to Saffron Indian Cuisine. The menu offers smoothies, salads and wraps. The mini-chain has outlets in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Indiana. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, closed Saturday, 5:30-8 p.m. Sunday. (501) 313-4605; the website is

A contractor who contracted covid-19 and delays in equipment delivery have held up the opening of the outlet of the Naples, Fla.-based I Heart Mac and Cheese and More chain at 20320 Interstate 30, Benton, more or less behind the Red Robin. Franchisee Michael McNamara says he's now estimating his target opening date for May 12. Hours, once it's up and running, will be 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Check out the menu at

The Little Rock Farmers Market returns May 7 to the River Market pavilions, 400 President Clinton Ave., for its 48th season, featuring farmers, locally prepared foods, artists, crafters and other vendors from around the state, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 3. The Ottenheimer Market Hall will also be open the same Saturday hours. Visit or the Facebook page, For specific questions, email

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Mud Street Cafe, 22 S. Main St., and the Mud Street Annex, 28 S. Main St., Eureka Springs, have changed hands. Jennifer "Jenn" Cross, who has worked at and managed both restaurants for more than 15 years, bought them from from her former sister-in-law, Bobbie Foster. Cross says she's keeping things as they are for the time being (including serving all-day breakfast at The Annex), but if she can come up with enough staff, she'll add Annex dinner hours. For now, both places are open 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday-Monday. For the cafe: (479) 253-6732,; for The Annex: (479) 253-5399;

Yellow Rocket's Bentonville Taco & Tamale Co. (a sibling of Little Rock's Heights Taco & Tamale Co.), 101 W. Central Ave., Bentonville, opened for business last week. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. (479) 448-4480;

And the Fayetteville Flyer reports that a Chuy's is apparently in the works for 642 E. Millsap Road, Fayetteville, currently occupied by a Colton's Steakhouse.

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Little Rock's Rock Town Distillery's Craft Cordials Elderflower Liqueur and Small Batch Hand Crafted Vodka received double gold awards at this year's San Francisco World Spirits Competition, March 31-April 1. Rock Town's Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey, Craft Cordials Ginger Beer Liqueur, and Cognac Cask Finished Single Malt Whiskey each received a single gold medal. The judging panel, we're told, uses controlled blind tastings, without regard to information about producer or price point, to award gold, silver or bronze medals. Entries that receive a gold medal from all the panel's judges earn a Double Gold award. Visit

And speaking of Arkansas distilleries, Fox Trail Distillery, 2121 Bellview Drive, Rogers, is celebrating its third anniversary, 4-8 p.m. Friday with a "surprise" tasting, taco plates from the El Chefe food truck, a cookie cake and an "amazing playlist." Fox Trail is releasing its new, limited-quantity Wild Parallel Guyana Rum Barrel Bourbon, with specialty cocktails also available at the bar. Free tours of the distillery kick off every half hour starting at 5. Visit the Facebook event page (

And Capi Peck of Trio's reports, "So very proud that Trio's Raspberry Cream Pie won the Arkansas Pie Festival today [April 16] in Cherokee Village. We were one of 22 entries in the commercial division." She says the restaurant has been serving that pie since 1986.

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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