Monthly Archives: July 2014

MarketPlace Grill plans first Little Rock location

1239984_10151652750622659_311486798_nMarketPlace Grill, the Arkansas chain based in Conway, is planning to open its first Little Rock location in September. The restaurant will be taking over the space formerly occupied by Carino’s at 11600 Pleasant Ridge Rd.

MarketPlace Grill features a wide menu (seriously, you want it, they seem to make it) with items like Italian nachos, a pulled pork salad, wood-fired pizzas, burgers, shrimp tacos, jambalaya pasta, Hawaiian chicken, prime rib and more. Managers in Conway say the Little Rock menu will be modeled after their other locations. MarketPlace Grill also accepts take-out orders online, a win for busy people who also don’t like talking on the phone (guilty!).

MarketPlace Grill currently operates locations in Conway, Springdale, Ft. Smith and Fayetteville.

For more, check out the restaurant’s website here.… Read more >

Southern Blonde cans launch party set at Diamond Bear

1924354_10102374392305740_7052327332517710477_nDiamond Bear’s new canned version of Southern Blonde may already available at the North Little Rock brewery, but the brew will be officially welcomed into the fold with a party on Monday, July 28.

The party is set from 6-9 p.m. with tickets available for $25 in advance or $30 at the door for food, music and plenty of Southern Blonde. Proceeds will benefit the Arkansas Brewer’s Guild.

 … Read more >

EJ’s launches brunch

EJ’s Eats & Drinks is launching a Sunday brunch at their 6th and Center restaurant downtown.

Brunch will be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays with a menu that includes dishes like Eggs Benedict and biscuits and gravy. The menu also features several of the lunch dishes from the EJ’s weekday menu.

In a news release, owners said that expanding EJ’s hours is in response to growth in the Main Street area, and they eventually hope to keep the restaurant open for business all weekend.

“We are excited about the growth in downtown and have been looking forward to an opportunity to be open on the weekends,” EJ’s co-owner Jim Miners said in a new release. “My family recently moved into a home on Center Street, and having more dining options downtown, especially a Sunday Brunch, is something our own family is looking forward to.”… Read more >

Stone’s Throw Birthday Bash details

Grab a pintDetails have been rele ased on Stone’s Throw Brewing’s first birthday bash, set for Saturday, Aug. 2 from4-9 p.m.

A block party along the 800 block of Rock Street will include live music, food trucks, craft beer and more. And, yes, in true block party fashion, the street will be closed to traffic.

A $3 admission will benefit the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. Owners suggest BYO lawn chair to use as The Cane Hill Engagement and Flight Machine perform. Food trucks on hand will include Southern Gourmasian, Luncheria Mexican Alicia (which is new to us!), Waffle Wagon, BlackHound Bar B Q, Loblolly, Hot Rod Weiners and The Pie Hole.

The event will also feature twelve Stone’s Throw beers on tap, which a news release notes is the most ever available at one time.

“Our families and friends, the neighborhood, the brewing community, our partners on the Kickstarter campaign, all the great local businesses that have supported us, we just want to thank them all and have a beer and a good time with everyone who has made this year a success,” co-owner Ian Beard said in a news release.

For more on Stone’s Throw, check out

 … Read more >

ICYMI: Southern Gourmasian, Butcher & Public put down roots

Serious pork is headed to Argenta by way of Butcher & Public

Serious pork is headed to Argenta by way of Butcher & Public

Kudos to fellow food writers at the Arkansas Times and Little Rock Foodcast for bringing the masses some great local restaurant news this week.

Long awaited brick & mortar locations for mobile food favorites Southern Gourmasian and Butcher & Public have been announced.

Arkansas Times reports that Southern Gourmasian has secured a spot in downtown Little Rock dangerously close to Sync headquarters at 219 W. Capitol Ave. Tentative opening is set for this fall. Read more here.

Travis McConnell of Butcher & Public confirmed on Little Rock Foodcast that he’ll be serving his wares at a shared space with Good Food by Ferneau in the former Argenta Market. In addition to the restaurant space, McConnell will be offering up a CSA-style “meat share” program. Listen in for all the details here.… Read more >

Oishi Hibachi + Thai to open in The Heights


RJ Tao, aka Cafe 5501, is being reborn as a hibachi grill and Thai restaurant

RJ Tao, aka Cafe 5501, is being reborn as a hibachi grill and Thai restauranThe long-papered storefront at 5501 Kavanaugh is on its way to re-opening in just a month.

The former Cafe 5501 (which was previously known at RJ Tao) is set to return as Oishi Hibachi + Thai, with a tentative opening set for mid-August.

Robert Tju, co-owner of Sushi Cafe and the upcoming hibachi and Thai spot, says that the old Cafe 5501 space has been completely renovated.

“The area with the garage doors will be our entrance, waiting and cocktail areas and the main dining area will have four hibachi grill tables.”

Tju says the restaurant will employ the latest in “smokeless grill” technology on the hibachi side while highlighting Thai in an effort to fill the void of that cuisine in Little Rock.

The restaurant group is still working to open Sushi Cafe West, which Tju says should open two months after Oishi.

“We’re trying to get everything up and running by the end of the year.”

 … Read more >

Closed for good: Rocket 21

I completely missed this one: Seems that Rocket 21, the former Hillcrest eatery that had relocated to the Wyndham in North Little Rock, closed for good on July 1. Riverfront Steakhouse has expanded its menu to include a few items from the Rocket 21 menu.

Seems as though Benihana will expand into the former Rocket 21 space, which was little more than a private dining room.

Will you miss the Fletcher-owned concept?… Read more >

ICYMI: Stone’s Throw Brewing to expand

Stone's Throw Brewing is expanding capacity in downtown Little Rock.

Stone’s Throw Brewing is expanding capacity in downtown Little Rock.

In a press release Friday, Little Rock’s Stone’s Throw Brewing announced plans to expand their brewing capacity in their second year of operation.

The brewery added two new fermenters in October, and now plans to increase brewing capacity from 24 to 48 barrels per month. Other upgrades include adding a larger glycol chiller, bigger pumps, more kegs, an automated keg cleaner and more.

The release states that the increased tank space will “allow Stone’s Throw to produce beers that need more time, like German Lagers and higher gravity beers.”

Also in the works for the Ninth Street brewery: An ‘Ales for ALS Hoppy Wheat’ to be released July 18 with partial proceeds donated to Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A block party to celebrate the brewery’s first anniversary is scheduled for August 2.… Read more >