RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: ‘Chick out’ West Little Rock outlet of franchise; Indian restaurant set to open on Markham

Chicken Salad Chick's menu includes a Chicken Salad BLT. The latest outlet opens next week in west Little Rock. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
Chicken Salad Chick's menu includes a Chicken Salad BLT. The latest outlet opens next week in west Little Rock. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Atlanta-based Chicken Salad Chick's third Little Rock-area location, at 17400 Chenal Parkway, and the chain/franchise operation's sixth restaurant in Arkansas, has its grand opening on Tuesday, with a weeklong series of promotions that include free chicken salad for a year to the first 100 guests. (For a complete list of the week's grand-opening promotions, visit The new restaurant features a drive-thru and patio seating. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. (501) 436-2442;;

Co-owner Emily Gray, who holds the area franchise with business partner Hudson Sandefur under the company name Little Rocking Chick, notes the May opening at 3901 Warden Road, North Little Rock, alongside restaurants in Benton, Jonesboro, Conway and Fayetteville, and while probably not for at least another year, they are looking to expand further into Little Rock and eventually to Hot Springs and Texarkana.

G.O.A.T. Indian Restaurant is opening in about three weeks at 11321 W. Markham St., a revolving-door space that most recently housed Dockside Bar & Grill, in the same strip center as a Wingstop and Kebab House. The menu style will be primarily North Indian. Hours are yet to be finalized but will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. A phone number, website and Facebook page are all pending.

The folks at Coulson Oil, which operates the Shell station and the Roadrunner convenience store at the confluence Chenal Parkway and West Markham street, confirm our report from last week that a Chipotle is, in fact, pending at that location.

Hanabi Hibachi Express opened Monday, serving sushi and hibachi-grilled meals in the former Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza outlet, 9120 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 615-8111 (pay no attention to the wrong number you may have seen on the banner that has been hanging over the front of the building).

Chicken Wangs III, formerly at 10505 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock, has moved to 1121 Gamble Road, Little Rock, inside VFW Post 9095. Hours are noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; the Facebook page ( also shows menus for Soul Food Sunday, noon-5 p.m. (501) 353-3127.

  photo  Management at the Village at Pleasant Valley are shopping the 6,000-plus-square-foot Gusano's space. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)
For those who have told us they are grieving the closure of Gusano's in the Village at Pleasant Valley shopping center, 10700 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, and wondering if indeed it's permanent, we must, alas, dash any hope that it will reopen. Kelley Commercial Partners, which manages the shopping center, is peddling the 6,120-square-foot space in email blasts and online, offering photos of the exterior and interior, which apparently still has at least some of the equipment (including a walk-in fridge and soft-drink dispensers). Visit

Signs on the building at 613 E. Broadway, just off the Broadway exit off Interstate 30, North Little Rock, indicate that it is, or soon will be, the new home of Magnolia Skillet, which closed in late 2019 or early 2020 rather farther east on Broadway — 5231 E. Broadway, to be specific (the home for 99 years of the White Pig Inn). We know it's the same operation because the logo is the same, and so are the slogans: "A Taste of Mississippi" and "Made by Family, Cooked With Love." The building started out as a KFC, became a hybrid KFC/Long John Silver's, then housed a number of fried-food restaurants, culminating as an outlet of the almost omnipresent Sharks chain. We were unable to get through at the phone number listed on the sign: (501) 414-8457.

The Bagel Shop folks will continue their residency for at least another month at Stone's Throw Brewing Stifft Station, 3015 W. Markham St., Little Rock. "We had an absolute blast in October with our pop-up ... . For the month of November we will continue our hours of Thursday and Friday 11-2 and Saturday 10-2." The in-house residence "has allowed us to create a regularity in our service, and resulted in ... a really great opportunity for us to fully offer a lunch and brunch service like we've always dreamed of. We're even finding time to recipe-test new bagel flavors," the owners tell customers in an email blast, and have been able to feature a "rotating sandwich special each week" and on Saturdays, "we've been having bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches on a bagel, too." Visit

A new Church's Chicken outlet is set to open Tuesday at 1901 Reynolds Road, Bryant. Details are pending.

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A near-handful of chains have alerted us to Veterans Day specials:

◼️ On Friday, actual Veterans Day, Bonefish Grill is offering an order of Bang Bang Shrimp with a soft beverage to service members, veterans and first responders with ID. Available all day, no purchase required. (The chain also offers a year-round, 10% off "Heroes Discount" to service members, veterans and first responders.)

◼️ On Friday, Dickey's Barbecue Pit provides a free pulled pork sandwich to military veterans in-store for carryout, via the Dickey's app, or online at using the code VETFREE. (Small print: "not valid with any other offer or discount. Limit one Pulled Pork Sandwich per customer.")

◼️ Twin Peaks offers all active and retired military personnel a free lunch on Friday, 11 a.m-3 p.m., limit one per person, dine-in only. Options include cheeseburger, chicken tenders or pulled pork sandwich, all with fries; the soup and salad lunch combo; or the chicken Caesar salad ("guests can swap protein to shrimp").

◼️ Golden Corral restaurants "honor our nation's heroes" with a complimentary meal on Monday for all U.S. service members, retired military and veterans of each branch: a free dinner buffet and beverage, 5 p.m. to close, dine-in only, not applicable to spouses or family members. No military identification required.

And though it isn't exactly a real holiday, Zaxby's restaurants are serving free fried pickles on National Pickle Day, Monday, as an add-on to any adult meal. You must order through the Zaxby's app (apply "Fried Pickles with Adult Meal Reward"). Small print: available at participating locations while supplies last; one order per customer.

And speaking of holidays, we'll run our usual list of restaurants, etc., that we know to be open, and/or are offering special packages, for Thanksgiving, Nov. 17 and 24. If your establishment qualifies, send information to the email address at the end of this column. Make sure you include a phone number and/or web address, especially if patrons need it to make reservations.

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: