Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
Local promoters and men-about-town Erin Hurley and Mike Brown have partnered to develop what they call Little Rock's first “rock ‘n' roll grocery and bodega,” where they'll sell staple groceries; tourist items; locally-produced clothing, art, and CDs; smoothies, tickets to local concerts and other sundries. “It'll be a little store with a lot going on,” Hurley said.
The future location of Green Grass Rock ‘n' Roll Grocery and Bodega, as Brown and Hurley are tentatively calling it, is 301 Presi-dent Clinton Ave., the former home of River Market ArtSpace. The move comes as part of a sort of real estate hop scotch. The former 3,800-square-foot ArtSpace storefront has been subdivided into two separate 1,600-square-foot spaces. Ten Thousand Villages, currently located at 305 President Clinton, will take the corner space, 301 B, and Green Grass will go in 301 A. And Ernie Biggs will expand into the old Ten Thousand Villages space.
Brown and Hurley plan, at least initially, to be open daily. They may stay open until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday for special events.
In addition to smoothies, there'll be what Brown says is an “old-school soda fountain.” Yarnell's ice cream and Diamond Bear root beer will be available.
Hurley and Brown say they'll continue in their current jobs. Brown bartends at Revolution and books the occasional show at the venue or elsewhere. Hurley books for Juanita's.
The Arkansas Literary Festival has announced its line-up for the seventh annual book event, April 8-11 in the River Market district. No super stars but some good authors and programs are on the bill. Here are a few to anticipate:
• Nolan Richardson biographer Rus Bradburd.
• Marjorie Rosen, author of “Boom Town: How Wal-Mart Transformed an All-American Town into an International Community,” who had readings canceled in Bentonville and Rogers libraries last year.
• The Oxford American Southern Food Issue panel, which includes New Orleans Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie and restaurant writer Brett Anderson along with Sam Eifling, who's writing about the nature of Arkansas food for the issue.
• Martha Hall Foose, author of the fantastic cookbook “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea,” and Katherine Whitworth, talking about food.
• Lauren Hall, a former Little Rocker and a director of the Dave Eggers-founded non-profit 826 Valencia, which really needs a branch in Little Rock.
Of all those slated to speak, Christian Lander, author of the blog Stuff White People Like and a subsequent book version, is probably the biggest name.
?“The Last Ride,” a feature film about the mysterious final days of Hank Williams Sr., is currently filming in and around Central Arkansas. Henry Thomas (familiar to most as Elliott in “E.T.”) takes the lead role and Jesse James (Helen Hunt's sickly son in “As Good As It Gets”) is Hank's teen-age chauffeur. Arkansan Ray McKinnon and character actor Stephen Tobolowsky feature in as-of-yet unnamed roles. The movie marks the directorial return of Arkansas native Harry Thomason (“Designing Women,” “Evening Shade”). It's his first trip back to the director's chair for a theatrical non-documentary since “The Day It Came to Earth” in 1979.
?No big shock here, but the AP has reported that the Coen brothers will film their Arkansas and Oklahoma-set adaptation of “True Grit” in New Mexico, land of opportunity and really good film incentives, beginning in March.
?Lost Highway released “American VI: Ain't No Grave,” the final chapter of Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin's “American” series, on Tuesday. At least at press time, it was selling for $3.99 in Amazon's MP3 store.