Saturday was the last day of operation for Valhalla Kitchen and Bar, 226 W. South St., Benton. Owners Craig Roe and Heather Baber-Roe are converting it into a new concept they're calling Revival :: restaurant + beer garden, which they expect to open on Friday. They're keeping some of the elements of Valhalla's menu, but the new one, according to a post on the Facebook page (facebook.com/eatdrinkrevival), will feature "Craft burgers. Clever cocktails. Creative wings. Loaded fries. Home of the 'Sausage Dog.' Vast beer list. Craveable bar fare. Brick oven pizza."
A Saturday post on Valhalla's page (facebook.com/valhallabenton) explains the change: "This new concept will be located in The Palace with Baja, where Valhalla currently resides. ... If we were just 'business people' we would continue with no change. But as our crews & anyone who dines with us know, Craig and I are ... in the kitchens, we're bussing tables, creating recipes, mowing the yard, running food, greeting guests, etc., etc. So for that reason, and because we spend so much of our time in our restaurants" -- they also own and operate Baja Grill in Benton and Little Rock's Pulaski Heights, and Rober in Benton -- "we want to be serving a menu & working in a concept of our own.
"Rest assured, although this is a totally new restaurant, we will be keeping a few of Valhalla's most-loved items. ... If staffing permits ... yes, we will be open for lunch."
That's all we know at the moment about operating hours. They're keeping the same phone number: (501) 317-1251. The new website, EatRevival.com, is a work in progress.
In other Saline County restaurant news:
We don't yet have an opening date for the outlet, Arkansas' first, at 3429 Market Place Ave., Bryant, for Crave Hot Dogs & Barbecue, a Long Island, N.Y.-based chain/franchise operation – earlier this year we reported that franchisee Jamie Page had a May target -- but the chain's online locator, Iwantcrave.com/arkansas, reports it's "coming soon." The menu offers hot dogs, sausages and brats with more than 20 toppings, with pulled chicken, pulled pork and smoked brisket available for sandwiches, sliders and plates and "classic BBQ sides, desserts and appetizers."
And Benton's Hurricane Creek Village, which, according to a news release, is the seventh most visited shopping center in Arkansas, will be getting outlets of Taco Bell and HTeaO, on lots between the Dairy Queen and Kroger Fuel on Arkansas 5. Taco Bell you are probably familiar with; this will be the first Arkansas franchise location of Midland, Texas-basedHTeaO (another, we're told, is in the works for North Little Rock), which offers "a diverse selection of refreshing and healthy tea-based beverages," according to that release. No timeline on opening, but it's at least close enough so the website, hteao.com, lists a street address: 2044 Arkansas 5, Benton.
And speaking of Taco Bell, we're told that the new location at 17116 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, on the same plot of land as the new Whataburger out that way, is open, 8 a.m.-3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 a.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number Google lists: (501) 859-9882.
Meanwhile, we're told, that's a Taco Bell under construction and nearing completion at the intersection of Colonel Glenn and Tally roads (roughly halfway between South Shackleford Road and Interstate 430), Little Rock. We are also told to expect it to open on or about June 8.
And speaking of tacos, Tacos Atilano is establishing a fifth location in, if it's opening as a brick-and-mortar restaurant, outside of it's a food truck operation (and we're not yet sure which) the former Taco Bueno at 102 Savannah Drive, Maumelle. (The Facebook page, facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090164097438, has a picture of a food truck, but that could be temporary.) The other food truck locations: 3501 Pike Ave., North Little Rock; 8703 Geyer Springs Road and 8420 Old Stagecoach Road, Little Rock; and 8213 Arkansas 107, Sherwood. The listed phone number, (501) 817-5165. The website, tacosatilano.com, lists the Maumelle location as "coming soon."
A1 Sushi & Hibachi is pending at the Bowman Pointe apartment complex, 3331 S. Bowman Road, Little Rock. The new building that went up there last year kept the first-floor space for commercial enterprises. And yes, it's the same folks who operate a restaurant of the same name at 914 Southwest Drive, Jonesboro; they tell us it has a target to open sometime in June. Phone number for the Jonesboro A1: (870) 203-9630.
What appears to be Arkansas' first outlet of Beef-A-Roo, a chain based in Rockford, Ill., has an August target to open in the former Krispy Kreme, 1315 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock. The menu, available at Beefaroo.com, features burgers, beef and chicken sandwiches, wraps, gourmet salads. Hours will be 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. (And yes, we had previously reported that we expected, apparently erroneously, that space to be the home of Chi's Baohouse, based on a hint from Chi Restaurant Group's managing member Jacob Chi that negotiations are in progress to acquire a site in west Little Rock that "may or may not be on Shackleford Road, and it may or may not have sold doughnuts awhile ago." You will recall Chi had changed plans to open in the former La Madeleine Country Fresh Cafe, 12210 W. Markham St., Little Rock.)
The folks at Trio's, in Pavilion in the Park, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, were hoping to have a reopening date by Wednesday (after our deadline for this column), marking the recovery from the March 31 tornado that left the mini-mall unsafe to occupy. Owner-chef Capi Peck told TV station KTHV, Channel 11, earlier this week that she hopes to be open by the end of the month. Keep an eye on their Facebook page, facebook.com/TriosLR, for details.
Around the state:
Hot Springs is getting a Hurts Donuts outlet. We don't yet know where -- the website, wannahurts.com/locations, only says it's "coming soon" and the Facebook page specifically devoted to it, facebook.com/HurtsDonutHotSprings, similarly lacks a street address or any other location identifier. Like all outlets of the Springfield, Mo.-based chain/franchise operation, it'll be open "25/8." There's one other Arkansas location: 107 E. Markham St., Little Rock. (501) 916-9201.
We're a bit behind the curve (no pun intended), but we've learned that Sweet Cheeks Espresso, billed on the Facebook page (facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083125278975) as "Central AR's FIRST drive-thru bikini coffee shop" (well, we're certainly not aware of any other), started serving espresso-based items and Red Bull-infused drinks at 912 Eastline Road, Searcy. Hours are 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. (501) 230-3484.
Hawaiian Bros, an outlet of a what a spokeswoman describes as "an Island-style fast food chain known for its Hawaiian-inspired plate lunch and friendly aloha spirit," opens Monday at 4515 W. Sunset Ave., Springdale. The traditional Hawaiian plate lunch options are a protein (chicken, pork or vegetables), on a bed of steamed rice, with a side of mac salad. Hours are 11 a.m.-midnight daily. (479) 396-5900; hawaiianbros.com.
We've received a few more Mother's Day options:
Cypress Social, 7103 Cock of the Walk Lane, off Maumelle Boulevard in North Little Rock, is offering a brunch buffet, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday. The offerings include prime rib, maque choux, biscuits and sausage gravy, bacon, maple sausage, French toast, eggs (plain or cheesy with peppers and onions), mashed potatoes, hash-brown casserole, grilled salmon with lemon dill beurre blanc, Southern fried chicken and various pastries and desserts. $52, $18 for kids 12 and younger. Reservations: (501) 916-2670.
Red Moon Tavern, 6015 Chenonceau Blvd., Little Rock, inaugurates what the owners hope to be an ongoing Sunday brunch this weekend with one for Mother's Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., serving steak and eggs, chicken biscuits, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, breakfast pizzas, vanilla panna cotta, Cajun-style eggs Benedict and breakfast skillets. Reservations: (501) 367-8188.
And in Northwest Arkansas:
The Ruth's Chris Steak House at 3529 S. Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Rogers, will be open, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. for Mother's Day with a brunch menu, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. that includes garlic crusted halibut, crab-cake Benedict, barbecued shrimp and grits, blackened ahi tuna salad and petite filet and spicy crab, plus a range of specialty cocktails. Price is by the entree. Reservations: (479) 633-8331; ruthschrisphg.com/rogers.
Pink House Alchemy, 928 N. College Ave., Fayetteville, offers two Mother's Day brunch seatings, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and noon-1:30 p.m. Cost is $60 for four courses and beverage pairings. tinyurl.com/362bsyy5.
The Basin Park Hotel, 12 Spring St., Eureka Springs, is offering Mother's Day brunch seatings at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. Check out the menu at tinyurl.com/bsmp6hk9. Cost is $35, $10 for children; rent a room overnight on Saturday and mom gets her brunch for free. Reservations: (877) 643-4972. Eureka Springs' Crescent Hotel, 75 Prospect Ave., has a similar room-for-brunch deal. (877) 342-9766.
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: