RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Beef-a-Roo closed for a ‘remodel’

Beef-A-Roo, 315 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock, has been closed for "remodeling."
(Democrat-Gazette file photo)
Beef-A-Roo, 315 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock, has been closed for "remodeling." (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Beef-a-Roo, 1315 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock, has been down for a couple of weeks at least with a sign on the door saying it is "closed for remodeling." (Why a restaurant that opened in October is in need of remodeling, we cannot say.) The restaurant, the second Arkansas outlet (the first opened in July in Harrison) of a Rockford, Ill., mini-chain, has had periodic closures and/or was just open for drive-thru business, off and on since it opened; the hours of operation have shifted, at least once, and are now listed on the door as 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Calls to the phone number, (501) 246-5647, are not answered.

A placard at the bottom of its website,, declares that Riviera Maya is "Coming Soon! 11312 Bass Pro Parkway, Little Rock, possibly as early as next week. We got no answer at the phone number, (501) 508-5658, but it is the same as it has been at the location at 11701 Interstate 30, Little Rock, so we're guessing that it's moving, not opening a new restaurant on the other side of the highway. Hours, for whenever it reopens, are listed as 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Riviera Maya's other restaurant, at 801 Fair Park Blvd., Little Rock, reopened in October, rebuilt in the wake of a a devastating fire at the end of March 2022. The phone number there: (501) 503-5580.

Meanwhile, a neighbor, Rising Star Boba Co., is set to open March 2 in the Outlets of Little Rock, 11201 Bass Pro Parkway. We have no further details.

  photo  EJ's Eats and Drinks, on Center Street, is in the process of regaining its alcoholic beverage license. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

EJ's Eats and Drinks, 523 Center St., Little Rock, is still up and running, and open for lunch at the top of the week, although we confirmed it was closed on Saturday. We also confirmed that the restaurant lost its alcoholic beverage license some months ago; a sign in the window notes it has applied for a new license. And the young woman who answered the phone -- (501) 666-3700 -- confirmed that they're short-handed; a Sunday Facebook post ( notes they are "Currently hiring front of house individuals!" Hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

  photo  Fat Jaws on West Sixth Street closed for the holidays and has not reopened. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

Round the corner, Fat Jaws, 220 W. Sixth, Little Rock, closed at the end of last year, supposedly temporarily, but apparently has not reopened. A call to the phone number, (501) 492-6925, produced this voicemail response: "We are currently closed for the holiday and plan to reopen Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 11 o'clock, for lunch."

Area franchisees of Omaha, Neb.-based Scooter's Coffee are actively pursuing sites to open coffee kiosks in west Little Rock and Conway, according to a spokeswoman, with a goal to open the first such location in July. Scooter's has two locations in the Maumelle area -- at 6600 Corporate Drive, just off Maumelle Boulevard in North Little Rock, and at 20715 Arkansas 365 North in Maumelle proper – and two in Saline County -- 1816 N. Reynolds Road, Bryant, and 1921 Arkansas 5 North, Benton.

The Meat Shoppe, 14509 Arkansas 107, Jacksonville, has closed after two dozen years of operation, as per this Feb. 12 post on Facebook ( from owner Kent Berry: "Well, after 24 years, 2 fires, 2 divorces, 1 global pandemic and 1 Inflation Reduction Act, I'm sorry to announce that effective today The Meat Shoppe is closing up shop. ... Truly one of the most difficult decisions of my life."

The Bagel Shop, 1501 Main St., Little Rock, is adventuring into dinner service, with a "Fancy Place!" pop-up dinner, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday. We haven't yet seen a menu nor do we know the cost, but an email blast to patrons explains, "Fancy Place is a ticketed multi-course dining experience inside The Bagel Shop. We serve flavors heavily inspired by American nostalgia with Italian, French and Asian influences swirled in. ... Reservations are available in the form of pre-paid tickets ... for tables of 2 or 4 guests and are tax and gratuity inclusive. Each ticket includes one six-course meal per person. Soft drinks, coffee, and tea are included; wine and beer will be BYOB." There's a limit on the number of tickets -- email

Arkansas Business reports that the rebirth of of Coy's Steakhouse at the Hotel Hot Springs, 305 Malvern Ave. in the Spa City, missed its Feb. 14 target to open. Hotel owner Keith Holland tells the publication that, "Instead of trying to pin down a specific date, we are now saying that it's going to be open in spring. Hopefully we can hit a target that big!"

And Northwest Arkansas' second outlet of Big Chicken, a fast-casual restaurant chain founded by NBA Hall of Fame star Shaquille O'Neal, opened Monday at 1120 Mathias Drive, Springdale. The menu features crispy chicken sandwiches and tenders, mac and cheese and shakes. Hours are 10 a.m.-midnight daily. (479) 361-8191;

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:

Upcoming Events