RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Wienerschnitzel opening in Bentonville in June; Indian restaurant moving in to Zam Zam’s space

Arkansas first Wienerschnitzel is set to open in June at 1530 E. Centerton Blvd., Bentonville.

(Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Wienerschnitzel)
Arkansas first Wienerschnitzel is set to open in June at 1530 E. Centerton Blvd., Bentonville. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Wienerschnitzel)

Wienerschnitzel, billed as the world's largest hot dog franchise, is set to open its first Arkansas location, at 1530 E. Centerton Blvd., Bentonville, in early June. Texas-based franchisee Tejas Dogs -- Mike Smith and Alvin Fults, owners -- plans to open 20 Arkansas locations over the next five years and "already has multiple sites approved," according to a news release.

Founder John Galardi started with a single hot dog stand in Wilmington, Calif., in 1961 and the chain now serves more than 120 million hot dogs each year from 340 restaurants in 10 states, while, it says in a news release, donating a percentage of profits to charitable partners.

The Galardi Group is also the parent company and franchisor of Hamburger Stand and Tastee Freez, LLC. And the photo the chain sent us of the Bentonville location-in-progress shows a Tastee Freez frieze-sign on the tower opposite the one that says "Wienerschnitzel."

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Curry House Indian Kitchen is a few weeks away from opening in the former Zam Zam Grill Middle Eastern Restaurant storefront, part of the Middle Eastern market and halal grocery of the same name, in the Galleria Shopping Center, 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. We're awaiting details on the menu and operating hours. It swells the number of Indian restaurants along the Rodney Parham corridor that already includes Taj Mahal Indian Kitchen and Bawarchi Biryani. (The mini-restaurant inside Asian Groceries store in the shopping center at Rodney Parham and Reservoir roads that at one time was called Masala Wok recently closed.) Indian restaurants elsewhere in west Little Rock: G.O.A.T. Indian Bar and Restaurant, Saffron Indian Cuisine and the venerable Star of India.

And speaking of Indian restaurants along the Rodney Parham corridor, Infusion Resto Bar & Hookah Lounge is open in the former Handi Fine Indo-Pak Cuisine/Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine/Dixie Cafe space in the Village at Pleasant Valley Shopping Center at 10700 N. Rodney Parham Road at Interstate 430, Little Rock. There's a limited menu of "traditional cuisines," including Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Hariyali Chicken and Sheekh kababs, Tandoori Chicken, vegetable samosas and naan (butter and garlic). Bar food includes fries, fried shrimp, nachos, chicken and vegetable egg rolls, chips and salsa, mozzarella sticks, chicken wings and tenders and jalapeno poppers. Hours are 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. (501) 313-4652;;

The new west Little Rock location of Chipotle Mexican Grill opened last week at 12524 Chenal Parkway. Hours are 10:45 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. And it is the second Central Arkansas location to feature the "Chipotlane," a drive-thru pickup lane that lets guests pick up digitally placed orders without leaving their cars. (The other is the one that opened late last year at 3929 McCain Blvd., North Little Rock.) Little Rock has two other Chipotles: 100 S. University Ave. at West Markham and in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Road. (501) 451-6783.

West LR Social opened Monday at 18406 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, a little bit east of where Cantrell meets Chenal Parkway, across from Milano's Italian Grill. It's a juice and smoothie bar, serving "clean energy drinks," shakes, smoothies and protein coffee, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. (214) 542-3169;

Allsopp & Chapple, 311 Main St., Little Rock, plans a June 14 French wine dinner, with chef James Hale pairing four courses (we haven't yet seen the menu) with what an email blast to patrons describes as "a carefully curated selection of exquisite French wines," including Veuve Clicquot "Yellow Label" Brut Champagne; Domaine Pascal Jolivet Blanc Fume, from France's Loire Valley; Louis Latour Valmoissine Pinot Noir, from Burgundy; E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape, from the Southern Rhone region; Chateau de la Coste Margaux, a Bordeaux; and Rock Angel Cotes De Provence Rose. Cost is $149 per person; valet parking is complementary. Seating is limited, and yes, you must make reservations: Call (501) 902-4911 or visit

And it's "Swag Week" through Friday at the newest drive-thru coffee shop outlet of Northwest Arkansas-based 7 Brew, 8023 Cantrell Road, Little Rock (on a plot of land that used to house a Regions bank branch). Buy a large drink from 5:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and get a free T-shirt; the chain is donating a portion of its sales at this stand this week to area tornado relief efforts.

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Around the state:

◼️ In case there were any lingering questions about the closure of Luigi's Pizza & Pasta, 22000 Interstate 30, Bryant, a banner hangs over the sign that reads, "For lease," with a Little Rock phone number. And speaking of phone numbers, since we checked last week, Luigi's number, (501) 847-1110, has in fact been disconnected.

◼️ We are now told there's a July 1 target for the opening of Crave Hot Dogs & Barbecue at 3429 Market Place Ave., Bryant, Arkansas' first outlet for a Long Island, N.Y.-based chain/franchise operation.

◼️ The Rogue Roundabout Craft Kitchen + Beverage Lab was set to open Wednesday at 804 Chestnut St., Conway. We're still foggy on the details, including the hours; the website ( explains that "We will bring fresh, locally sourced ingredients and techniques together to hand-craft something unique, artistic and delicious. Cuisine that is memorable," and, regarding craft beverages, "We will have a core selection of your tried-and-true favorites, and we are also a place to experience something experimental, one-of-kind, and interesting."

◼️ Boba Love Cafe & Drive-Thru, 985 Carson Cove, Conway, is now open, offering various versions of milk and fruit teas (with or without boba pearls), sushi rolls and build-your-own poke bowls. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Neither boba nor poke are new to Conway -- Kawaii Boba House has an outlet in the Commons Shopping Center, 463 Elsinger Blvd., and you will recall that Conway once had an outlet, now closed, of the Poke Hula minichain at 1115 Oak St. (501) 336-9555;

◼️ Owner and executive chef Joshua Garland says the construction schedule puts him "three to four weeks out" -- that's a target now of mid-June -- to open Don's Southern Social at 901 Central Ave., at Market Street, in Hot Springs. (The space used to house an architecture firm.) We previously reported that the place will offer what Garland calls an "upscale Southern comfort menu," along with cocktails and wine -- in fact, it will have a wine cellar. Tentative operating hours will be 5-11 p.m. Thursday-Monday with the bar opening at 3 and serving bar snacks until dinner service starts.

◼️ And expect a June opening for an Andy's Frozen Custard outlet to open at at 1644 E. Centerton Blvd., Centerton. Hours will be 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday.

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:

  photo  The Chipotle Mexican Grill at 12524 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, opened last week, with a "Chipotlane," a drive-thru pickup lane that lets guests pick up digitally placed orders without leaving their cars. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
  photo  Curry House Indian Kitchen opens in a few weeks in the Galleria shopping center on Little Rock's North Rodney Parham Road. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)
  photo  A "for lease" banner hangs over the sign of the now-closed Luigi's Pizza & Pasta on Interstate 30 in Bryant. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stan Denman)

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