Thursday, November 4, 2010

As the restaurant world turns

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 9:59 AM

JUST OPEN:  Davids Burgers in Conway
There's a lot of news rolling around about Arkansas' restaurants right now — openings, closings and whatnot. Hang onto your hats — there's a lot to cover.

The epicenter of restaurant change seems to be in Conway right now — with two openings in a week’s span. I was told before I went up yesterday that David’s Burgers would be opening soon. They were already open, with a packed lot. Turns out from conversation at both places that the place does have direct ties to CJ’s Butcher Boy Burgers in Russellville; David's is owned by Butcher Boy founder David Bubbus, who started CJ's in Russellville and has family-run outlets in Magnolia and, in the near future, in El Dorado. David Bubbus Jr., founder David Bubbus' son, is running the Conway branch. The concept is the same at all locations — simple, straight forward burgers, fries, shakes and beverages. I’m going to have to get back there and get myself a burger.

TO DIE FOR:  PattiCakes fudge
The other big story out of Conway is PattiCakes, the new bakery opening next week behind Stoby’s. It’s actually the second PattiCakes; the original is next door to the Russellville Stoby’s and has some of the best fudge I’ve ever tried. Let’s hear a big yay for Patti Stobaugh’s Colossal Cinnamon Rolls. I’m sure the Conway Stoby’s is going to benefit from having baked goods created within shouting distance of that store.

More on Conway, Fort Smith, Russellville, North Little Rock and Little Rock restaurants... on the jump.

Beef O’Brady’s is expanding its Arkansas franchise spread. In addition to the Maumelle store, new locations are coming into Fort Smith (at 12200 Highway 71 in the next few weeks) and Conway (in a few months, location still being determined). The chain is an Irish-themed pub operation heavy on pub food, burgers, babyback ribs and other manfood.

Speaking of Fort Smith, the state’s first Longhorn Steakhouse just opened this past weekend. It’s located over in the Fort Smith Pavilion (in front of Target).

CLOSED FOR GOOD?  Russellvilles Paradise Donuts
In Russellville, Paradise Donuts has been closed due to non-payment of sales taxes. The family-run shop has been open since the 1970s.

Attempted to try Russellville’s Pudgy Pig BBQ last night — but was shocked to pull up just after seven to find they close… at 7pm. What sort of barbecue joint closes at 7pm? It’s on Parkway a block east of Weir Road. Let me know if any of you try it out.

Also, Sparky’s Hamburgers in the old Russellville Rally’s location at Main and 4th was short lived. The building is up for lease.

In North Little Rock, Starlite Diner has indeed reopened, though we’re getting mixed reviews. The early word is that breakfast is still great but lunch is spotty. I’ll keep an eye on it.

I have to head back over to Argenta Market — been out and about too much and have missed the bit about the Lindsey’s doing the smoked meats served up in those awesomely large sandwiches. Never fear, research will be done.

Here in Little Rock, I’m sure you’ve already heard about the fire that’ll have On The Border out of operation for a while.

Capi's is debuting its new Nuevo Latino menu tonight, but is apparently keeping a lot of its small plates concept.

COMING SOON:  Yogurt Mountain
Down Chenal at Markham there’s a new yogurt place going in called Yogurt Mountain. It’s another self-serve yogurt operation and it’s expected to open on the 22nd, just in time for Thanksgiving. Wonder how it’ll impact the sales of TCBY just down Markham from that location.

Further out (and mentioned earlier this week), Koto is undergoing a renovation and is currently closed. The restaurant has also applied for a liquor license. I anticipate drunken sushi-fueled karaoke in someone’s future.

IS IT EXTINCT:  Hot chai last winter at Satellite Cafe
  • Kat Robinson
  • IS IT EXTINCT? Hot chai last winter at Satellite Cafe
And speaking of restaurants that have closed for this or that and haven’t reopened… Satellite Café in the Heights was originally supposed to reopen in October; the phone number has been disconnected, the website has disappeared and there seems to be little process in the building at Kavanaugh and University.

And whither The Box? The original reports were that the Little Rock burger mainstay would be closed for just one month, moving from its old haunts to a new location at 7th and Ringo. I drive by that intersection every couple of weeks to check — no Box, no restaurant. If it doesn’t resurface it’ll be a real shame.

Meanwhile, Browning’s is now set to reopen in 59 days and counting, according to its website.

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