In news that will make people in Saline County happy, David’s Burgers has completed a deal to purchase some land in Bryant for the company’s ninth (or tenth) location. What’s more, owner Allan Bubbus says he hopes to be open before 2017. Bubbus says the deal is for the lot west of Reynolds Road at the I-30 West access road. If you’ve ever driven by around the Fourth of July, this is the spot where the fireworks tent sets up every year. Bubbus says in addition to the restaurant, the land is large enough to build a full retail center that he will lease to businesses looking to come to Bryant. David’s is nearing the opening of its River Market location, which will be its eighth restaurant. In addition to the Bryant purchase, David’s has also acquired land in Conway on Dave Ward Dr. However, Bubbus believes the Bryant restaurant will be ready first.
Yellow Rocket Concepts has spent most of 2016 expanding and upgrading its capacity and team rather than opening new restaurants, and that continued this week with the business announcing it is relocating its corporate headquarters. Yellow Rocket will move its offices out of Lost Forty Brewing and into an office on Rebsamen Park Road. The new spot currently houses Roy Dudley Estate Sales and once was the home of the Wine Cellar. Yellow Rocket spokeswoman Amber Brewer says the growing brewery business means the company is out of space at Lost Forty, and the company has been looking to move its offices since earlier this summer. The new space will also be used for storage for Yellow Rocket’s restaurant supplies. Brewer says Yellow Rocket is targeting December to complete the transition.
Speaking of growing beer business, Rebel Kettle Brewing Company is already expanding its capacity just months after opening. This week, the brewery brought in two new 15-barrel fermenters and a 15-barrel bright tank that will double its existing output. Head brewer John Lee says most of that will be used for the core beers, though some might be used for specialty brews as well. Lee says the expansion gives Rebel Kettle the ability to send more of its brews to restaurant taps and growler bars around the city, though it’s not yet enough to begin canning or bottling. Lee says the new tanks should be online in the next three weeks.
The overhaul of Best Impressions at the Arkansas Art Center is nearing completion. Executive chef Brian Kearns tells me he hopes to have the new spot open on Sept. 29. The small bistro is changing its name to Canvas at the Arkansas Arts Center and will serve lunch Monday through Friday. Kearns says he will also cook for special events out of Canvas a couple of times each month. Canvas is operated by Simply the Best catering company.
If you haven’t been to Ceci’s Chicken and Waffles yet, you now have more opportunities to visit. Starting in September, the North Little Rock soul food restaurant will be open for weekday dinner service from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Owner Ciceley McDowell has seen her business boom since she opened in November, and the new hours are in response to the demand. By the way, one taste of Ceci’s eponymous chicken and waffle dish will make it obvious why the extra hours are needed.
The new patio expansion at Raduno Brick Oven and Taproom is now ready for customers. Raduno started working on the addition back in March, which will give the restaurant a few extra seats and, perhaps more importantly, handicap access via the front door. Raduno had to extend the Main Street sidewalk into a road parking spot to make room for the new patio area.
Northwest Arkansas-based JJ’s Grill has opened its first location in Little Rock. The popular casual dining restaurant opened its doors on Monday and is already making a splash. Check out our First Look here.
Ask just about anybody in the Little Rock bartending scene about South on Main’s Sarah Harrington, and you’re likely to hear nothing but rave reviews. We sat down with Sarah in our Drink Insider.
And in The Natural State, it makes sense that Little Rock restaurants showcase plenty of produce in their dishes. We put together a vegetarian food guide that only begins to scratch the surface.
August 26th Conway Food Truck Friday – All day on Friday, Conway will host more than half a dozen food truck serving up lunch and dinner at 1023 Main St. Trucks include Katmandu Momo, Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co., WunderBus and Conway’s Dream Cart.
August 28th Pop-Up Wine Dinner (Taste of Spain) – Chefs Joseph Salgueiro and Charlie Daniels are teaming up for this special dinner event at Cache Restaurant. The six-course dinner features dishes inspired by Spanish cooking. Tickets are $75 ($125 with wine pairings) and are available online.
August 29th Siembra Azul Dinner at Local Lime – For the second time, Siembra Azul Tequila founder David Suro-Piñero will be in Little Rock for a unique, paired dinner event. This was a huge success the first time around, so I wouldn’t miss this one if I were you. Tickets for the event are $65 and only available online. Be quick, there are only 35 seats for this special dinner. Update: the dinner is now sold out.
August 30th 5 Beers 5 Bites Dinner – It’s the monthly beer dinner between The Southern Gourmasian and Stone’s Throw Brewing. The menu for the event has not yet been announced. Ticket’s are $50 a piece or $90 when you buy two. You can buy tickets in person at The Southern Gourmasian or pick them up online here.
September 1st Good Earth Garden Center Food Truck Meet-Up – August’s meet had to be canceled due to excessive heat, so your next chance to get all these trucks together will be next month. Confirmed trucks for this one include Katmandu Momo, Hot Rod Wieners and The Southern Gourmasian, and Flyway Brewing will be on hand serving their craft beer.
September 15th Zoo Brew – The Little Rock Zoo will host this annual craft beer festival celebrating Arkansas beer and brews from around the world. You’ll also find some of the the city’s best food trucks as well. Tickets are $25 now through the end of the month, so make sure to get yours early.
September 17th The Naterators Tots Cooking Contest – This fun event at Dunbar Community Garden is still accepting applications for competitors. All you have to do is make a dish using tater tots! If cooking isn’t your thing, it’s $5 to show up and eat some innovative tater tot dishes. Proceeds from the event go to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
September 24th Little Rocktoberfest 2016 – This annual event features tons of locally made beer, including some beers made by home brewers that you can’t taste anywhere else. The event goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $40 at the door. There are also several VIP tickets available for $65 that will get you in early and let you take home some extra memorabilia.
Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its monthly specials for August:
- Big Orange: Hatch Green Chile Burger, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie and Blueberry Lemon Bar Yogurt Shake
- Local Lime: Fried Chicken Tacos with House-Made Spicy Ranch and a Snickers Turtle Pie
- Zaza: Vietnamese Chicken Salad and various new gelato flavors