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H.A.M. opens 

The much-anticipated butcher shop Hillcrest Artisan Meats (H.A.M.) has opened at 2807 Kavanaugh, in the block that fronts Kroger.

As we reported several months back, H.A.M. is the brainchild of former Boulevard chef Brandon Brown, who moved to Little Rock with his family about a year ago from Eugene, Ore., where he was charcuterie chef at King Estate Winery for four years.

H.A.M. is a full-service butcher shop and charcuterie. Brown butchers, cures and makes everything on-site, including five kinds of fresh sausage, duck confit, duck hams and all sorts of cuts of beef and pork. His inventory, of dry goods and meat, is at about 70 percent of where he plans for it to be, he said.

"We're definitely taking requests," Brown said. "We're hoping that the people will dictate our selection."

H.A.M. is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday. Daily, it's offering a soup of the day and three to five sandwich options — usually a mixture of grab-and-go and hot options.

The official grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, when Brown said he'll be offering cider and sausage samples.

The butcher shop's phone number is 671-6328, and it's active at facebook.com/HillcrestArtisanMeats.

Frank and Judy Fletcher of North Little Rock have purchased Ferneau Restaurant. Among a number of other holdings, the Fletchers own the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock and the two restaurants inside, Benihana and Riverfront Steakhouse. All of the restaurant's employees and chef/previous owner/namesake Donnie Ferneau will be retained. In a news release, the Fletchers said they plan to "enhance" the restaurant's decor and design.

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