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RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Chick-fil-A outlet in west Little Rock closes down for remodel; 30-45 days predicted on McClard’s in city's southwest

by Eric E. Harrison | August 25, 2022 at 6:26 a.m.
Nothing Bundt Cakes on Chenal Parkway will hand out birthday Bundlets Sept.1 to mark the Dallas-based chain’s 25th birthday. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

The Chick-fil-A outlet at 12500 W. Markham St., Little Rock, near the intersection with Chenal Parkway, is closing this week for a 2 ½-month remodeling. Unlike the other West Markham location, across from Park Plaza mall in Midtown, this one apparently will not be drive-thru only — renovation plans, we're told, include the dining room. The phone number is (501) 228-0404.

The physical conversion of Down Home Restaurant & Catering, 9219 Stagecoach Road, Little Rock, to McClard's & Down Home Catering is complete, says owner Tori Morehart. The name has officially changed, the signs are up — and all they lack is being able to serve the actual barbecue, which will take another month or so. "Realistically, it's 30-45 days to our having the barbecue available," Morehart says. "We don't want to serve it until we have it 100%." You will recall she formed a partnership with Hot Springs' legendary McClard's Bar-B-Que, extending McClard's full menu to her southwest Little Rock establishment; she'll continue to serve her regular home-cooking menu as well. Meanwhile, she's in the process of hiring for all front of house and kitchen positions, particularly wait staff, to be able to extend her operating hours — currently 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, but she wants to add dinner until 7 on weeknights and weekends, 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (Apply in person at the restaurant.) And the McClard's food trailer, which made its debut at the center of Central Arkansas in November 2020, is parked behind the restaurant and Morehart expects to be able to send it out for catering and other assignments in the near future. (501) 821-3344;

The Frontier Diner, 10424 Interstate 30, Little Rock, has new owners: Paul, Taylor and Mona Fleming. We're told they plan no changes to the menu or the hours, which are 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. The phone number, (501) 565-6414, also remains the same.

We spotted a Facebook hiring notice ( for a second location at the Outlets of Little Rock for Otaku Takeout, with a target to open early this fall, at which "takeout" apparently involves actual food: "We will also have a bar/lounge area with a simple curated menu." The original, inside Park West Pharmacy at 904 Autumn Road, Little Rock, is, according to Facebook, "a pop culture boutique featuring a curated collection of primarily Japanese imported collectibles, snacks, and apparel." For the second location, Otaku is hiring a store manager who "must also be willing to learn food service training/requirements"; a bar/kitchen manager — "must have 3 years of bar and/or food service experience collectively"; and a part-time "team member," for whom "at least 1 year of retail and/or food service experience is preferred." Send resumes to

The online Hot Springs Post ( reports Will's Cinnamon Shop, which turned over its brick-and-mortar space, 1001 Central Ave., earlier this year to Destiny's Bakeshop, will reappear on the Spa City's Park Avenue next month. After Sept. 17, Will's food truck will park upon a lot at 910 Park — directly across from Redlight Roasters, 1003 Park — at which area residents and visitors will also be able to get a burger from Bailey's Dairy Treat, a home-cooked meal from Emma Lee's and Redlight's locally roasted coffee. Will's will continue to put out bulk orders through the takeout window at the Central Avenue space. The Post reports that Will's co-owner Will Byrd bought the lot with the proposed amphitheater that was to have been built on the ashes of the Majestic Hotel in mind, and even after the buyer of the hotel property backed out of the contract, he saw a rise in the through traffic from those entering the city on the existing highway, which is currently being widened. The lot will also feature indoor bathrooms, a table area covered by shade trees and a small roof-covered sitting area, which will have fans and heaters. If you're interested in putting your food truck on the lot, call Byrd at (501) 538-4650 or email

On Sept. 1, Nothing Bundt Cakes, 12312 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, will give away free Confetti Bundtlets (individually packaged miniature bundt cakes) to the day's first 250 guests to celebrate the Dallas-based chain's 25th birthday. The chain is also holding an online contest in which one fan can win a $25,000 birthday party; 25 runners-up will each receive a $100 gift card. Enter, Sept. 1-25, by submitting, via (where you will also find complete contest rules), a photo from your favorite birthday memory, describing what you enjoyed about it and sharing what winning the party would mean to you. Winners will be announced on the contest website in October. (501) 904-5151;

Cheba Hut outlets nationwide, including the one at 10825 Kanis Road, Little Rock, are marking "back to school" and celebrating teachers and students with an 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 2 event that includes live music and a beer pong tournament and free "nug" sandwiches (four-inch subs) for those with a valid ID. (501) 420-1420;

  photo  Hill Station is one of the area establishments taking part in this year's Rock City Burger Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 2. (Democrat-Gazette file photo/Eric E. Harrison)
And hamburgers and cheeseburgers will go for $9 at area establishments during Rock City Burger Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 2. Some are creating unique burgers just for the week; others are featuring their usual fare. And patrons can upload their receipts showing the purchase of the featured burger to the Rock City Burger Week website — — for a chance to win a PKGo Tailgating Grill package and gift cards to purchase beef at a local meat market (amounts vary for first, second and third place). Visits to at least four different restaurants will be required. Arkansas Food Bank will receive $1 from the Arkansas Beef Council for each of the first 1,000 burgers sold at participating restaurants. The list of participating restaurants so far includes, in Little Rock, The Root Cafe, Big Whiskey's, Hill Station, The Box, Rosie's Pot & Kettle, Town Pump, Loca Luna, Red Door, Dugan's Pub, South on Main, Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro and Alley Oops; in North Little Rock, Diamond Bear Brewery and Skinny J's; and in Sherwood, Bennett's by Keith & Co. Sponsors include the Arkansas Beef Council and beef producers in Arkansas through their $1 per head Beef Checkoff; the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; and Ben E. Keith Foods.

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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