RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: PattiCakes in Conway hit by fire

Patti Stobaugh, owner of PattiCakes Bakery, says she doesn't know when she'll reopen her Conway establishments following a Monday-night fire at the Front Street bakery. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)
Patti Stobaugh, owner of PattiCakes Bakery, says she doesn't know when she'll reopen her Conway establishments following a Monday-night fire at the Front Street bakery. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

A fire of apparently considerable magnitude Monday night devastated PattiCakes Bakery, 1137 Front St., Conway. As of our Tuesday morning deadline, the full extent of the damage wasn't yet known, but owner and namesake Patti Stobaugh posted Tuesday morning on Facebook ( that it and the bakery's other Conway location, 2106 Robinson Ave., would remain closed until further notice. "Unfortunately, we produced 98% of our goods at our beautiful Downtown Location every day," Stobaugh explains. "All of our large equipment, large mixers, ovens, and production space were there. ... We don't know exactly when we will be back up and running or when we will be able to fill cases and orders for you. For that reason, we've made the decision to turn off our online ordering system, and we will remain closed until further notice." Stobaugh also noted that "we also produced cheese dips, gravies & strawberry jam here" for Stoby's, the popular Conway eatery at 805 Donaghey Ave.

Speaking of blazes, a Jan. 9 fire that started in an outdoor grill at the Texas Roadhouse, 2620 S. Shackleford Road, Little Rock, forced the restaurant to close briefly and evacuate the nearly 40 employees and nearly 40 customers. Photos posted to social media outlets made it appear as though the entire structure was ablaze but the effects were limited to the enclosure at the rear of the building, there were no injuries and there was no damage to the building's interior. The restaurant reopened the next afternoon. (501) 224-2427;

We're told the west Little Rock branch of The Bleu Monkey Grill is set to open Monday at the former Gusano's/Chili's space in the Village at Pleasant Valley Shopping Center, 10700 N. Rodney Parham Road at Interstate 430, Little Rock. We've been unable to confirm that; the operating hours, which tentatively are set for 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; or a phone number. (The original Bleu Monkey Grill, 4263 Central Ave, Hot Springs, was closed early this week due to the inclement weather.) Phone number in Hot Springs is (501) 520-4800; bl.

We're also working to confirm that the David's Burgers branch in the River Market's Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, has reopened. The website,, now lists it as active as opposed to "temporarily closed." Phone calls last week to (501) 400-8371 produced a recorded message that the restaurant would be closed through December; calls this week produce a message that the restaurant is closed due to inclement weather. Hours, if and when it's open, would be 10:45 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10:45 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

The Bagel Shop, 1501 Main St., Little Rock, has reopened after "a lovely winter break," with new hours: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Online ordering is available 15 minutes before opening time. (501) 295-5547;

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The American Culinary Federation has elected Robert Hall, lead associate teaching professor of culinary arts at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College's Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute, to its 15-member Accrediting Commission. He will serve a two-year term, until Dec. 31, 2025, and will be eligible for a second consecutive term. The position will require him to to participate in site visits to secondary and post-secondary culinary arts programs across the United States, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Peru, the Philippines and Switzerland.

Hall also serves as the vice president and certification chairman of the Central Arkansas Chefs Association, the Culinary Federation's local chapter.

Meanwhile, the World Association of Chefs' Societies, aka Worldchefs, has certified CAHMI faculty member Jamie McAfee as a Worldchefs Certified Master Chef, one of three such in Arkansas (the others are Hall and Jinnings Burruss, assistant professor of food service and restaurant management at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a former chair of the hospitality management department at CAHMI and chef de cuisine at Saracen Casino and Resort.

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Paris, Ark.-based Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Co. has opened two new business ventures at 107 W. Main St., Clarksville:

◼️ The Mercantile at Prestonrose Clarksville, a general store, coffee shop, bagel bakery, ice cream shop and deli, featuring traditional bagels baked fresh daily on site, specialty coffee and espresso drinks using all Arkansas and nearby artisan coffee roasters and a selection of non-alcoholic wines, beers, spirits and mocktail supplies. They also carry Little Rock's Loblolly ice cream, regional artisan cheese, local and regional meats and several dry goods. Their policy is to only carry goods from fellow small business producers and farmers. Current hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, with plans to add weekend hours come springtime.

◼️ Prestonrose Towne Bistro, which, as with Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Co's on-farm restaurant that opened in 2016, will serve elevated "Farm to Table Comfort Fusion." The "state-of-the-art kitchen" features specialty equipment "to produce traditional boiled bagels, Neapolitan style pizzas, fresh-scratch made pasta, and so much more," according to a news release. "The menu ... will feature thoughtful dishes inspired by the many food cultures revered by the chef and owner Liz Preston," with dishes limited to what's in season and most items "made on site or by local/regional producers." Hours are 5-11 p.m. Thursday-Monday and reservations are required -- visit (479) 491-4991.

The two businesses were "conceptualized in parallel and are designed to close food waste loops, generate revenue for more small businesses and offer farmers the opportunity to have their produce showcased and used locally," according to the release.

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Valentine's Day is the firm target for the first soft opening of Butter-Scotch Bakery & Bar, 104 Central Ave. in downtown Bentonville, owned by Samuel and Larissa McKenzie, with the bakery on the lower level and the bar on an upper level.

A reminder that the North Little Rock Tourism and the city of North Little Rock's Economic Development are supporting North Little Rock restaurants via North Little Rock Restaurant Week, Monday-Feb. 4. A raffle will encourage locals to spend at least $15 at a North Little Rock restaurant that week; keep your receipts and take them to the North Little Rock Welcome Center at 600 Main St. by noon on Jan. 29 or submit them online through the form at and get one raffle entry for every $15 you spend. First prize: Two tickets to see Stevie Nicks on March 6 at Simmons Bank Arena, two tickets to see Whiskey Meyers at the arena on May 3 and $180 gift bag. Second prize: Two VIP tickets to four Argenta Vibe Music Series concerts throughout the year, including VIP seating, food by Four Quarter Bar and drinks by Tito's and Flyway Brewing. And third prize: Tickets to the April 8 solar eclipse viewing party at Argenta Plaza and a basket of North Little Rock goods.

And Origami Sake and Hot Springs will host the Sake Brewers of North America's fourth annual American Craft Sake Festival, Feb. 29-March 2, billed as "the largest gathering of the North American sake industries." The festival culminates a 5-10 p.m. March 2 get-together in the Bridge Street Entertainment District, 105 Convention Blvd., Hot Springs, with a ticketed tasting area featuring craft sakes from breweries across North America and Japan, food trucks, Arkansas beverage vendors and live entertainment. Tickets are $45 in advance, $55 day-of, $150 VIP (includes access to a VIP-only area with food and exclusive sake that will not be served elsewhere, invitation to exclusive Sake Fest events including the Industry Welcome Party Friday night and the Saturday morning Industry Speaker Series). Visit

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:

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