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RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Consortium buys center, plans to add four eateries; smoke damage shuts west Little Rock Senor Tequila

by Eric E. Harrison | May 19, 2022 at 6:55 a.m.
An artist's rendering of a renovated Breckenridge Village in west Little Rock prominently features a Waldo's Chicken & Beer outlet, strongly indicating that it's one of the "at least four restaurants with various cuisines" that the shopping center's new owners plan to open there. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

The Keet family and their JTJ Restaurants group are among the buyers of Breckenridge Village Shopping Center, 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, part of a consortium called KBK-Breck LLC that also includes the Kelley Group, Dale V. “Bo” Briggs and the Bodnar Group of Nashville, Tenn. Bodnar has partnered with the Keets on, among other projects, Waldo’s Chicken & Beer in North Little Rock and City Silo Table + Pantry, a Memphis-based mini-chain with a pending Little Rock outlet headed for the Promenade at Chenal on Chenal Parkway. JTJ Restaurants Chairman Jim Keet promises that “the group intends to bring back the glory days of Breckenridge and revitalize it with a diverse combination of restaurants and other retail spaces,” adding that “at least four restaurants with various cuisines will be a part of the new plan for the center.” One of those restaurants is very likely to be another Waldo’s Chicken & Beer outlet, since it appears prominently in an artist’s rendering of what the center will look like after the renovations. The two places already in the center proper, Mt. Fuji and Eat My Catfish, are expected to remain; there are also a McDonald’s and a Tropical Smoothie Cafe on separate pads on the center’s periphery.

Across the street, in the Colony West Shopping Center, firefighters confined to the kitchen a May 10 fire at the Senor Tequila restaurant at 10330 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, but smoke damage to the building will likely to keep the location closed for several weeks.

Little China & Latino Food has opened at 8211 Geyer Springs Road at Dreher Lane, Little Rock, in a building that formerly housed K-Beeez Chicken & Waffles. The menu will eventually include Chinese and Latin American cuisine, but until the installation of a vent-a-hood in the kitchen, it’ll just be Chinese food for the time being. The restaurant has filed for a wine-and-beer permit. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 353-1292. A Yelp site (yelp.ca/biz/little-china-and-latino-food-little-rock) offers 34 photos, including one of the Chinese menu page.

A spokesman for David’s Burgers confirms that the company’s co-founder, David Alan Bubbus, has bought a parcel of land in the parking lot in the Rock Creek Shopping Center, on the southwest side of the intersection of West Markham Street and Bowman Road, but tells us Bubbus has not yet made clear for what purpose. Rumors sent our way say the plan is to build a new building to which David’s Burgers would move from its current spot on the intersection’s southeast side. Part of that former Arvest Bank building is where Ben Brainard is opening Little Rock’s first Big Bad Breakfast, with a June 14 target date.

The spokesman also reports that progress is marching along to complete the building at 10907 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, for long-awaited David’s Burgers offshoot Jess’s Chicken, with the expectation that it will be finished by the end of May. And while there’s no firm opening target yet, plans are to start training staff with the expectation to get open by July 1, if not sooner. (Bubbus, of course, is the “David” of David’s Burgers; his wife, Jessica, is the company’s vice president.) Bubbus recently told AY Magazine that if it’s a hit, he’ll open more locations throughout Central Arkansas.

Target for the reopening of Lea Lea’s Gourmet Dogs at 3400 S. University Ave., Little Rock, in what had been a hookah bar in the strip center a bit off the main drag, is now “in a couple of months” — possibly the end of June or early July. We reported that owner Cherreyl Alexander has closed the original, at 215 Center St. downtown, and that the new space, originally reported as a second location, will in fact be the one and only Lea Lea’s.

The Good News, a coffee shop from Little Rock entrepreneur Creighton Ralls’ Cleopatra LLC, has opened in the Promenade at Chenal, 17815 Chenal Parkway, F111, Little Rock, formerly Ohia Poke. The coffee shop’s website, thegoodnews.coffee, explains, “The Good News is a cafe that serves coffee, tea, fusion drinks, breakfast and lunch fare with an emphasis on craft and a relationship with our customers!” Ralls says the menu will be similar to that of the affiliated The Paranoid Android in the Little Rock Technology Park in the 400 block of Main Street, including pastries, wraps and avocado toast, plus, he says, “a few new items as we get going — we have a kitchen to work with — but not yet.” And it also maintains an affiliation with Cleopatra’s other shops, 2Twenty1 at Second and Center streets downtown, and Cleo’s Corner, located inside the Arkansas Department of Commerce, 1 Commerce Way in Little Rock’s Riverdale. Operating hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. (501) 817-3056.

Jonesboro TV station KAIT, Channel 8, says Monday is the target date for the opening of a Krystal outlet at 2229 S. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. The announcement comes nearly 18 months after the station reported (Nov. 30, 2020) that the restaurant was pending, and more than two years (Sept. 10, 2019) after the chain announced, via a news release, that franchisees Anand “Andy” Patel and Kalpesh “Junior” Das of Slider Joint, LLC, which operates several Jonesboro restaurants, had signed an agreement to bring Krystal back to the university town (a previous Jonesboro location closed in 2002). Krystal, which once upon a time had outlets across the state, now has only one other in Arkansas, at 1804 Missouri Road, West Memphis.

A couple of readers were kind enough to remind us after our report last week about the much-missed Cordell’s Delicatessen that a late incarnation of the original Browning’s at 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock’s Pulaski Heights, in or around 2008, featured some items that former Cordell’s owner Dean Cline got onto the menu. That would explain why that address, now the home of Heights Taco & Tamale, as well as the phone number, (501) 663-9956, which at one time belonged to Browning’s, would surface in a Google search for Cordell’s.

And Sherwood-based Shotgun Dan’s Pizza has added vanilla, chocolate and strawberry pops from Little Rock gourmet frozen treat maker LePops to the pizza, wings, salads and sandwiches on the menu at its Little Rock and Sherwood locations.

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: Consortium buys center, plans to add 4 eateries; smoke damage shuts Senor Tequila site

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