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Night owls take note 

CLUBBY: Salut in the a.m.
  • CLUBBY: Salut in the a.m.

Among the arcane laws governing alcohol in Pulaski County, one is fairly clear. The vast majority of bars and clubs close between midnight and 2 a.m. Thereafter, for those of us who aren't gay, a member of a fraternal organization or interested in a lap dance, the pickin' get some kind of slim.

So it's no surprise that even though it only entered the late night fray in February, Salut Bistro at Prospect Place still managed a runner's-up in our reader's poll for Best Late Night. The Heights area restaurant and bar is the hot new spot. For variety and newness sake, but also for what it's not. For instance, it's not on the edge of town or tucked away in a warehouse district. Nor does it smell like smoke, grease or ass. There's no dancing or live music either.

Salut is simply a place to get some booze and food. A joint. With a small, carpeted dining room, a few well-placed beer signs, a compact, L-shaped bar and a large, tree-covered patio. With the hits of the '90s coming out of the speakers on a recent Friday, the space had the ambience of the Camden Country Club.

There's a secret clubhouse appeal at work, too. I can tell you that it's located on the north side of Prospect Place, a multi-storied building off University near the intersection of Cantrell, but you still probably won't even notice the sign from the street, and you certainly won't be able to see it. When you go for the first time, you'll likely make a few wrong turns before you find it.

That's not by design, but the Salut brass might not mind the anonymity. Co-owner Dave Bisceglia wouldn't say that, but did concede that the bar had its following and didn't have much room. Based on our observation and what we've heard from others, that following is largely young and post-frat with some older Heights/Hillcrest lushes in the mix. Veteran bartender Lee Edwards supervises late night and brings his followers from years of working all over town.

As of now, for a $5 cover that begins at 11 p.m., Salut will serve you drinks and cook you food — from a small gastropub-ish menu, filled with the likes of chicken wings and cheese fries —  until 5 in the a.m. Wednesday through Sunday nights. Bisceglia said that an expanded weekday schedule is not to come. If anything, he said, he'll cut back.

So don't bide your time. Drinking whiskey and eating parmesan fries with truffle aioli at four in the morning on a Sunday might be one of Little Rock's fleeting pleasures.

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