Benton's loss; LR's gain | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Benton's loss; LR's gain

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

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WET AGAIN: New restaurant headed to former Vermillion.

Good news on the restaurant scene, particularly for that crowd -- you know who you are -- who had made Mike Selig's Vermillion their unofficial clubhouse. The restaurant closed in the spring.

Now comes word, contingent on completion of lease negotiations, that it will reopen -- target date Nov. 1 -- as Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro. It will be the new location for the popular Dizzy's Grill, a roaring culinary success in Benton for more than 13 years.

Owner Darla Huie says she'll add her father, out of work after 43 years at Affiliated Foods, as a partner and continue  the eclectic scratch cooking for which Dizzy's was known. She said she envisioned the restaurant positioned somewhere between the nearby Copper Grill and Sticky Fingerz, with a menu blending top favorites from Dizzy's and, for the gypsy part of the name, recipes collected in Huie's world travels. The Dizzy's in Benton will close.

Huie lives in Little Rock, admires the downtown redevelopment and thinks, though she confesses nervousness, that she can grow the business more readily than in Benton, where she was a pioneering holder of a private club permit for drink sales. It seems safe to guess that openness to diversity, environmental concerns and free-wheeling artistic spirit might not have been universally admired in conservative Saline County.

"It’s a risk," she said. "I have parking issues. I'm occupying a spot someone failed in recently. But it’s a tenant’s market and it’s a great market. It's a great position to be in."

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