Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas
The year 2010 saw a number of shifts among Central Arkansas's clubs. On the Rocks, the home to dirt-cheap drink specials and all-chrome decor, shut its doors. Ditto for Satellite, the Heights cafe and emerging venue; and Rio's, the short-lived dance component of Gaucho's. Meanwhile, several other clubs changed booking focus, including Downtown Music, Juanita's and Vino's, and inveterate smoker's haven White Water Tavern went non-smoking and began to draw a new audience. Sway, a new downtown dance club, entered the scene along with "Gilligan"-themed restaurant/pub Thirst N' Howl.
ACAC: The home of the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative hosts art and film events, as well as local, regional and national acts of all genres, with special emphasis on experimentation. Covers and times vary. No smoking. 608 Main St., 244-2979, www.acacarkansas.wordpress.com.
Afterthought: The long-time home for jazz in Little Rock also hosts acts that specialize in blues, soul and roots-rock, 8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation presents local, regional and national jazz acts, including, notably, New Orleans' contemporary masters Astral Project, 8 p.m. Mon. Cover varies. 21 and up. No smoking. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd., 663-1196, www.vieuxcarrecafe.com.
Cajun's Wharf: A sprawling restaurant and bar, where local and regional rock, blues, cover and funk acts converge. Free happy hour entertainment, often on Cajun's massive deck overlooking the Arkansas River, begins at 5:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri. Headliners 9 p.m. Thu.-Sat. with $5 cover after 8:30 p.m. 21 and up for bar (not restaurant). No smoking inside. 2400 Cantrell Road, 375-5351, www.cajunswharf.com.
Capi's A Nuevo Mexican restaurant with local folk, jazz and rock music usually Thursday, Friday and Saturday, usually at 8:30 p.m. Free, all ages and no smoking. 11525 Cantrell (in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center), 225-9600, www.capisrestaurant.com.
Capital Bar and Grill: Arguably the state's best jazz ensemble, the Ted Ludwig Jazz Trio, is the house band at this swank hotel bar. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 111 W. Markham, 374-7474, www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
Cornerstone Pub: Argenta's most active music venue hosts local and occasionally regional and national acts of all genres, usually Thu.-Sat. Times and cover charges vary. Smoking is allowed, which means only those 21 and up can enter. 314 Main St., NLR, 374-1782, www.cstonepub.com.
Discovery: The venerable (or notorious?) Riverdale nightclub expanded its dance floor in 2010. Now the large theater, previously the exclusive home of drag shows, hosts a "mainstream" dance crowd, the lobby area caters to a hip-hop audience and the compact "disco" room continues to offer house music. Open 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Sat. only. Adjoins Backstreet, a gay dance club and bar open 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Fri. only. Private club. 1021 Jessie Road, 664-4784, www.latenightdisco.com (Discovery); 664-2744, www.backstreetdanceclub.com (Backstreet).
Downtown Music: An ownership change in 2010 meant that the traditionally metal-oriented club broadened its booking scope, but more often than not you're still likely to hear something with a heavy edge here from local, regional and national acts. Also, the home of popular monthly dance party Cool Shoes. Times, cover charge varies. Concerts and events — save Cool Shoes which is 18 and above — are open to all ages. 211 W. Capitol Ave., 376-1819. www.downtownshows.homestead.com.
Electric Cowboy: Dance music of all genres and occasional live acts Wed.-Sun. Open 7:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. Fri.-Sat., at least 2 a.m. Wed., Thu. and Sun. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. Private club. 9515 Interstate 30, 562-6000, www.electriccowboy.com/littlerock.
Ernie Biggs' Chicago Style Piano Bar: A dueling piano bar with an upstairs lounge, usually manned by a DJ, and occasional special events. 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. daily. 307 President Clinton Ave., 372-4782, www.erniebiggs.com.
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium: A popular River Market hangout thanks to its 75 beers on tap, where you can watch sports, play group trivia competition at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tue. and listen to local musicians, usually 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat, with around a $3 cover. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 323 President Clinton Ave., 372-7468, www.beerknurd.com.
Fox and Hound: Sports pub and private club that hosts local and regional acts 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., open mic 10 p.m. Sun and karaoke 9 p.m. Tue. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. Lakewood Village Shopping Center, NLR, 753-8300, www.fhrg.com.
Gusano's: Local and regional rock mostly on weekends. Cover and times vary. 21 and up. No smoking. 313 President Clinton Ave., 374-1441.
Juanita's Cantina Ballroom: Under new ownership in 2010, the venue turned its focus to "mainstream" acts. That still encompasses most genres, but there's an emphasis on hard rock, pop and country. Age limit, cover and times vary. No smoking. 1300 S. Main St., 372-1228 (restaurant and bar), 374-3660 (concert info), www.juanitas.com.
Khalil's This West Little Rock restaurant hosts local folk and rock acts in its lounge, where smoking is allowed. Also, the Arkansas Celtic Music Society hosts jam sessions on the second and fourth Monday of the month, 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford, 224-0224.
Loony Bin Comedy Club: National touring comedians Thu.-Sat., open mic Wed. (unless a performance is scheduled). Food and drinks available. Show times vary. Cover charge $6-$9. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road, 228-5555, www.loonybincomedy.com.
Mediums Art Lounge A venue once located in Hillcrest, reborn downtown, that hosts spoken word events, neo-soul concerts and zumba exercise sessions. Times and cover charges vary. 512 Center, 374-4495.
Midtown Billiards: This all-night club — the only one in downtown Little Rock — is the end of a funnel of nights spent out all over town. It hosts blues, rock and jam band music at 12:30 a.m. Fri.-Sat., plus occasional midnight shows midweek. $5 cover charge above private-club membership fee when there's music. Open daily at 3 p.m. for pool and other games, plus bar and grill. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 1316 S. Main St., 372-9990, www.midtownar.com.
Off Center: A gay club with live piano music on Friday and Saturday. With dance club Pulse attached. DJs Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m. Cover and age limit vary. No smoking. 307 W. Seventh St., 374-4699, www.pulseatoffcenter.com.
Peabody Hotel: Hosts RiverTop Party series in the summer and special New Year's Eve and Halloween events. Except for holidays, usually at 9 p.m. Fri. 21 and up. Smoking allowed outside. 3 Statehouse Plaza, 399-8059, www.rivertopparty.com.
Pizza D'Action: A Stifft Station dive bar and pizza restaurant, where you'll find occasional local and regional rock concerts. Cover and times vary. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 2919 W. Markham St., 666-5403.
Revolution: The bigger sister venue to Sticky's, this 550-person capacity room is the largest in the River Market — and one of the largest in town. It hosts an incredibly diverse array of local, regional and national acts. Times and prices vary. All ages. No smoking. 300 President Clinton Ave., 823-0090, www.rumbarevolution.com.
Sonny Williams' Steak Room: Piano music 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Tue.-Sat. All ages. No smoking. 500 President Clinton Ave., 324-2999, www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com.
Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack: A trademark battle stripped this venue and chicken joint stripped of its former name — Sticky Fingerz. No worries; regulars have long called the bar Stickyz for short. As the Rolling Stones reference in the old name suggests, you'll find rock 'n' roll here as well as just about every other genre. Times and cover vary. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 107 S. Commerce St., 372-7707, www.stickyfingerz.com.
Sway: A swank, gay-friendly dance club that occasionally hosts live music, Thu.-Sat. 412 Louisiana St., 907-2582.
Thirst N' Howl: Hosts free folk and rock most Thu.-Sat. nights. Times vary. All ages. No smoking. 14710 Cantrell Road, 379-8189, www.tnhrocks.com.
Town Pump: A popular Riverdale hangout that hosts local, regional and occasional national acts, mostly rock. Cover charge, showtimes vary. No smoking, except on the patio. 1321 Rebsamen Park Road, 663-9802.
The Underground: A late-year makeover at this River Market staple in 2010 saw it transition from a British-style pub to a Prohibition-themed dive bar. On the concert front, the music now tilts less towards dance-y pop than harder rock, usually from local acts and usually Thu.-Sat. Cover and times vary. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 500 President Clinton Ave., 375-2537.
The Village: The former stadium-style movie theater hosts national acts of all stripes, with a special emphasis on heavy rock, rap and electro. Cover and times vary. All ages. No smoking. 3915 S. University Ave., 240-9336, www.thevillagelive.com.
Vino's Brewpub: A pizza joint and brewery connected to concert space that's long been the city's preeminent always all ages venue. A move, in 2010, away from teen-targeted pop-punk, meant an unpredictable concert calendar. Cover and times vary. All ages. No smoking. 923 W. Seventh St., 375-8466, www.vinosbrewpub.com.
West End Smokehouse and Tavern: More than 50 TVs, a massive bar, pool tables and local and regional acts usually Fri.-Sat. Membership required. Music starts at 10 p.m., usually $5 cover. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 215 N. Shackleford, 224-7665, www.westendsmokehouse.net.
White Water Tavern: Colorful dive bar with a strong following. With local, regional and national acts of all types, but especially blues, country/bluegrass and rock. Cover usually no more than $5. Tuesday, the door charge is typically donations only. Times vary. 21 and up. No smoking. Seventh and Thayer Sts., 375-8400, www.myspace.com/whitewatertavern.
Willy D's: River Market dueling piano bar and restaurant with dinner service. Music at 7 p.m. Tue.-Sat. Beneath the bar is
Deep, a lounge that features DJ music Wed.-Sat. Attached through a passageway is Prost, a restaurant/bar that hosts live music on weekends. One cover charge affords access to all three bars. Smoking in Prost and Willy D's, no smoking in Deep. 21 and up. 322 President Clinton Ave., 244-9550, www.willydspianobar.com.
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