Cannibal & Craft — the subject of a lackluster review in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette two years ago — permanently closed its doors at 307 President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock’s River Market this week.
In a Tuesday post on its Facebook page, the club’s owners announced the closure “with a heavy heart,” thanked patrons “[a]fter years of unforgettable nights, incredible live performances, and countless memories shared,” and urged them “to continue supporting the local music and entertainment scene.”
The post gave no indication as to why the establishment, which had a restaurant and cocktail lounge that resembled a classic British club on the ground floor with an upstairs tiki bar, was closing.
The telephone number, (501) 414-8870, was still in operation Friday but nobody answered it during business hours. The website, cannibalandcraftlr.com, gave no indication of the business’ present status.
Cannibal & Craft, an offshoot of a club with the same name on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, opened in October 2020 in a space that had formerly housed Ernie Biggs, a piano bar.
A dress code posted at one point on its window sparked significant backlash, particularly on social media. Among the code's "unacceptable attire": baggy/ripped jeans; cut-off/ sleeveless shirts; sports-affiliated hats, T-shirts and jerseys; "gang/ club-affiliated colors, patches and jackets; "sunglasses worn inside"; backwards hats; beanies, white T-shirts (presumably not otherwise covered), shorts, sweatpants, leggings, "excessive jewelry" and (not, apparently, the same as "excessive jewelry") gold chains.
The code raised questions as to whether it would have meant barring potential guests wearing Razorback paraphernalia during football season. Meanwhile, the club’s female wait staff was clad in tight black outfits that would appear to have violated the code. Management subsequently backed off the policy.
A June 24, 2021, review of Cannibal and Craft noted that “There are so many dining and drinking options in the River Market, many of them mediocre at best. So we were hoping that Cannibal & Craft had something extraordinary to offer. Alas, it doesn’t.
“The menu consists of upscale but pedestrian pub grub, with due credit to the kitchen for the work it puts into plate presentation. The three cocktails at least had the advantage of not being weak or watered down, but none of them were very exciting and two were expensive (the third we got at a happy-hour discount).”
Other complaints in the review were that the $12 Margherita Flatbread was tepid and the marinara dipping sauce that came with it was cold — “cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.” The $12 Jerk Chicken Quesadilla “turned out to be somewhere south of ordinary,” the review also notes.