Rumbles: Arturo Solis Leaves Capital Bar & Grill, Refined Ale Expands Hours, Dunbar Garden Holds First Market

Little Rock mainstay Capital Bar and Grill is now in the market for a new chef. Former chef Arturo Solis has left the restaurant to be a sous chef at the new 21C Hotel in Oklahoma City. Solis worked at the Capital Hotel for several years, studying under One Eleven chef Joel Antunes before taking over on the other side of the hotel lobby. Under his leadership, Capital Bar and Grill began focusing more on fresh flavors that worked well in a bar environment while still maintaining some of the classics that make the restaurant special.
One of Little Rock’s oldest and lesser-known breweries is expanding its business hours. The taproom and restaurant at Refined Ale Brewery on Cedar Street will now be open seven days a week from noon until 5 p.m. Previously, Refined Ale was only open on Sunday afternoons, and since its beer is only sold on location, it has largely gone unnoticed in Little Rock’s recent brewery boom. Refined Ale opened back in 2009 and prides itself on being Little Rock’s only black-owned brewery.
Speaking of beer, Blue Canoe Brewing Company is just about finished with its latest expansion. Taco Beer Burrito will hold its soft opening tomorrow in the space formerly held by Brown Sugar Bakeshop. The taco bar will be separated from the brewery and will sell fast-casual Mexican favorites made with meat braised in Blue Canoe beer. The new restaurant will also allow Blue Canoe to feature its own brews and beers from around the state on its 16 taps. Be sure to check back here Friday when we’ll have a First Look at the new space.
If you missed it yesterday, the Facebook page for Lost Forty Brewing has shared a picture of two massive new smokers that will soon be heading to Little Rock. The two 1,000-gallon offset smokers are still under construction, and it’s unclear as of now how long it will take them to arrive.
Dunbar Community Garden is holding its first ever market today at its location on Chester St. from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Dunbar will be selling produce from the garden, including kale, collard greens, Swiss Chard, fava beans and cabbage. There will also be a limited amount of eggs for sale. Volunteers who run the garden say this market will be a trial run that will hopefully become a weekly event. The plan is to operate the market once a week through the summer.
Don’t forget, Westover Wednesday is tonight from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church in the Heights. This month’s lineup features Hot Rod Wieners, Beast Food Truck, Southern Salt Food Co., Fathead BBQ, Slader’s Alaskan Dumplings, Loblolly Creamery and Brown Sugar Bakeshop.
Our big news this week finds upstart bakery Honey Pies getting a permanently location in West Little Rock on Bowman Road. Daniel Walker has the story and how you can get your hands on these pies well before the new spot opens.
The Pantry is one of Little Rock’s most-loved restaurants. We got an early peak at some of the new summer specials that will grace the menu at both the west and Hillcrest locations.
The Pizzeria at Terry’s Finer Foods keeps producing wonderful cocktails, and this summer’s lineup is no different, as our Becca Bona found out.
May 7th 12th Annual Buzz-B-Q – One of Arkansas’ largest BBQ competitions is back at the Downtown RV Park in North Little Rock. Tickets are $10, though you can get a special buy-one-get-one-free deal at Doublebee’s locations around Central Arkansas.
May 8th Bernice Garden Farmers Market Strawberry Festival  This special event will feature loads of strawberry-themed activities, including recipe swaps, a cooking demo, a strawberry photo booth, and of course loads of fresh strawberries from Arkansas farms.
May 8th Mother’s Day Dinner at Kent Walker Artisan Cheese – Brunch will be hopping around town on Mother’s Day, escape the crowds for a cheesier version at Kent Walker’s. They will have food from Southern Gourmasian, wine, and music fromDanny Vazquez. Tickets are $40 for the first, and $30 for each ticket after. Send an email to to get signed up
May 9th Strawberry Blonde Release Party – Diamond Bear Brewing Company will celebrate the release of its new year-round canned brew with a special food menu, live music and a cornhole tournament. A quarter of the sales of the new cans on this night only will go to Ballet Arkansas.
May 10th Picnic by the Pint – Lost Forty Brewing Company is teaming up with Ciao Baci for a special spring beer dinner. Ciao Baci chef Jeff Owen is creating a six-course menu for the evening to pair with six of Lost Forty’s best brews. Tickets to the dinner are $65 each and will go on sale Friday, April 29. You must call 501-603-0238 to order beginning Friday.
May 12th Patio on Park Hill – North Little Rock’s regular outdoor festival is coming once again to the Lakewood Shopping Center. Confirmed trucks include The Southern Gourmasian, Katmandu Momo and Slader’s Alaskan Dumplings. Admission is $1 at the gate.
May 14th Black Food Festival – The Arkansas Association of Black Professionals is hosting this inaugural festival at Philander Smith College featuring food from black-owned restaurants. Confirmed vendors include K Hall and Sons, Big Um Catering and Brown Sugar Bakeshop.
May 15th Indiafest – Plenty of Indian food and live entertainment will be on display for this annual celebration of Indian culture at the First Security Amphitheater in the River Market. Admission to the event is free.
May 17th ACBW May Beer Dinner – The Southern Gourmasian’s monthly Stone’s Throw beer dinner coincides with American Craft Brew Week. The five-course meal with beer pairings is $50 per ticket, though you can get two tickets for $90. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
May 19th RCE’s Truckin’ Thursdays  Join us for our monthly food truck meet in Bryant. Trucks for this month to be announced soon.
May 19th Taste of the Rock – More than 30 restaurants, vendors and distributors will be featured at this year’s festival at the River Market Pavilion. Tickets for the event are $15 and are on sale now.
May 20th 2016 Arkansas Greek Food Festival – Easily Little Rock’s most popular food festival, the event features plenty of Greek food as well as other Mediterranean dishes. Admission is free, though the food and many entertainment offerings must be purchased.
May 21st Hot Springs Craft Beer Festival – The festival will celebrate its third year with beers from all over Arkansas and beyond. Tickets are $30 for general admission and $55 for VIP access.
May 23rd Sushi Class at Stone’s Throw Brewing Company – This two-hour beginner’s course will teach about properly preparing sushi rice, how to handle the sushi, how to roll and how to make sure your raw sushi is safe. Tickets are $40 and are on sale now.


kBird’s weekly special is its Sour Curry with Shrimp and Papaya
Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its specials for the month of May:

  • Luau Burger’wich (with grilled chicken) and Arkansas Strawberry Cream Butter Cake at Big Orange and Big Orange Midtown
  • Sous Vide Boneless Short Rib Nachos and Strawberry Chocolate Pie at Local Lime
  • Spring Beet Salad with Arkansas beets and radishes at ZAZA
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