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RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Reopening is unlikely for Hubcap; Irish tavern plans to serve breakfast

by Eric E. Harrison | May 26, 2022 at 7:01 a.m.
Hubcap Burger Co., closed since a pickup truck plowed through a wall March 23, isn't likely to reopen, owners say, because their insurance claim has been denied. (Democrat-Gazette file photo/Eric E. Harrison)

Hubcap Burger Co., 7410 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, has been closed since a pickup truck plowed through the side wall on March 23, and “most likely we will not reopen,” says owner Erin Griffin, because “the insurance claim on the damage to the building was denied.” Certainly the restaurant, which once was Casey’s Bar-B-Q and Arkansas Burger Co., has taken more than its share of hits, literally and figuratively, of which this wasn’t even the most recent — per a May 12 post on the Facebook page ( “I swear we cannot catch a break, someone broke out the glass to the front freaking door!” And in July 2021, “A truck hit the vent fan and we cannot cook.” (501) 353-0130.

Hibernia Irish Tavern, in the Galleria Shopping Center, 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, starting Monday will be serving breakfast, 7 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, with a small menu that includes an Irish eggs Benedict, a special quiche of the day and a “Hibernia breakfast.” The full bar will be available and there will be drink specials. Hours otherwise 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m.-midnight Sunday. (501) 246-4340;

The Rail Yard, 1212 E. Sixth St., in Little Rock’s East Village, hosts the Rail Fest Food Truck Festival, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. Among the food trucks expected to be on hand: Fry Fry Crazy; Tacos Godoy; Prickly Pickle; La Casa De Mi Abuelita Mawmaw’s House; Millie’s Shrimp, Fish & Chicken; Tamalcalli; and Disadattato Italian Ice. There’s a $5 entrance fee. Visit the Facebook events page:

Target opening for Little Rock’s first Big Bad Breakfast, 101 S. Bowman Road, is now coalescing on June 21.

Banana Leaf, the Indian eatery in the Simmons Tower, 425 W. Capitol Ave. at Broadway, Little Rock, will be closed through June 24 and reopen June 28 while its management and staff are on vacation.

  photo  Saddiq Mir, former vice president of hospitality at Oaklawn Racing Casino and Resort, and his wife, Jeannie, are the new owners of J&S Italian Villa in Hot Springs. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Saddiq Mir, former vice president of hospitality at Oaklawn Racing Casino and Resort in Hot Springs, and his wife, Jeannie, are the new owners of J&S Italian Villa, 4332 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Mir has more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, running hotels and resorts in San Francisco, New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas, Denver and Dallas. At Oaklawn he oversaw the recent expansion of hotel, spa and food and beverage. Mir promises renovations inside and outside; the menu will continue to focus on Italian cuisine, but add new dishes and regional delicacies; the goal, according to a news release, is “a fun, trendy, and unforgettable experience.” The Mirs hope to reopen as early as mid-June and are hiring for all positions, including what the release describes as “a talented, up-and-coming chef and sous chef to lead the kitchen, or as Saddiq calls it, ‘The Heart of the House.’” Apply by emailing or by calling (501) 525-1121 or (713) 818- 5711. Follow along at the website,, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Speaking of Hot Springs, the online Hot Springs Post reports that the owners of A Narrow Escape, Shane Light and Kirsten Kendall, have opened Robo World, a coffee and waffle shop run by robots that, according to the proprietors, are trying to make enough money to take over the world. “Guests will have an opportunity to interact with the robots that have their own personalities, and listen in on their ongoing conversations among one another about their plans to dominate humanity,” the Post explains, quoting Light thus: “The goalpost is the weirdest coffee shop in the country.” For example, a robot named Keith operates a “death ray” suspended from the ceiling, while Rob, the delivery bot, brings your food order; Greg, a “sweet old man” bot, greets customers at the door; Ben, a 9-foot-tall robot who for a $5 bill becomes a target for laser guns; and Don, a mob boss robot lightly based on “The Godfather,” who oversees the operation. The cafe serves human customers with locally roasted coffee, buttermilk waffle sticks and candy-infused soft-serve ice cream. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. We don’t yet have a phone number — and it’s possible robots don’t answer phones — but we do have a website:, and a Facebook page:

And the opening of a long-awaited Arby’s is pending at 104 E. Railroad Ave. Morrilton. Hiring is underway.

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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