Our sources say Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, Wednesday closed a deal to buy a house in the upscale Shady Valley neighborhood of North Little Rock.

The house was purchased directly from the owners, Jerry and Billie Neal, who are moving to Maumelle. The price: $525,000. The specs: 6,400 square feet, five bedrooms, five baths, two half baths, two kitchens, a pool, an office, a deck, a curved drive.

The Huckabees are selling their Lake Greeson retreat; that ought to help make the down payment on their new luxe address. The Nashville News said the small lake house may sell in the neighborhood of $380,000, but at press time the deal hadn’t closed so no public records were available.

A home in Central Arkansas makes sense for someone considering a run for president of the United States, but it will be a long commute from North Little Rock to Arkadelphia, where Huckabee has been hired by his alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University, to direct the school’s new Center for Education and Public Policy after he leaves the governor’s office in January.

Foodie alert

Here’s good news for downtown. Scott McGehee tells us that a full-size, full-service branch of his Boulevard Bread Co. will open Nov. 15 in space now occupied by Andina Cafe in the River Market.

This will bring to the growing number of downtown residents all the cheese, bread and gourmet takeout now available at the original store in the Heights. He says he hopes to continue the small deli operation in the nearby Cox Center, but that decision hasn’t been finalized.

McGehee also said that, in addition to expanding, Boulevard is moving toward a “green status” as a restaurant and business.

“By the time the new location opens this statement will be proudly displayed at all locations: Boulevard Bread Company is committed to supporting sustainable agriculture, small farmers and organically grown produce. In addition, all of our disposables are biodegradable & compostable made from corn or potato byproducts and our coffee is 100% fair trade and organic. Give back to the land and community. Don’t take from it!”

Short takes

Gadwall’s, a standby for burgers and other good solid food in Sherwood since 1989, is eying an expansion to the south side of the Arkansas River, on the booming Highway 10 corridor. … A free-lancer for lad magazine FHM was cruising the bars in the River Market recently as part of a chronicle of the bar scene in Midwestern towns. … Add Lewis and Clark Outfitters, a Northwest Arkansas-based outdoors store, to the lineup of the Midtowne Little Rock shopping center.


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