Rumbles: Ester's Takes over Core Pub in SoMa, Village Steakhouse Closes, Brewed in Arkansas Drops

Some changes are happening in the SoMa district. Esters, which has been operating out of the Core pub in SoMa has officially taken over full ownership of the pub. Esters has one of the best vegan food lineups in town (along with plenty for the carnivores) and the move will allow them to expand and focus on being an even better restaurant. We had a visit with the owner Evan Mathis who previously worked for Core and he says a long list of changes are underway, including having a larger beer lineup outside of the Core brand. We will preview all the changes next week.
Some sad news from around the state, The Village Steakhouse (previously Layne’s) in Star City announced last week that they plan to close. They were in business for over 25 years and their last day will be July 25th. The steakhouse was a favorite of many in that area, my wife and inlaws included, and represented a quality that far exceeded the area. The sister locations in the Country VIllage including the bakery and BBQ restaurant seem to be unaffected.
Speaking of closing, a reminder that this is the last week of longtime Little Rock hot spot Cajun’s Wharf. June 1st is their last day of business, so stop out and enjoy the patio and watch the flood waters one last time this week. Owner Mary Beth Ringgold announced last week that she plans to carry over their famous Play-De-Do drink to Copper Grill.
In the “we didn’t believe they were really closing” category, we have a little more information on the Pizza D’s anticipated rebirth that we wrote about last week. There are now signs up outside of the D’s announcing the name “OD’s Dairy Bar”. We are not sure if they really plan to keep this, give it a little corner of the restaurant, or what. Keep in mind, it is not the first time they have attempted to change the name and turn Pizza D’s into a hamburger joint. My guess is it will last for about a week after reopening and they will turn it back into Pizza D’s yet again.
A renewal that needs no clarity, Haybird Chicken opened yesterday. Haybird is a second concept from the owners of Three Fold Noodle & Dumpling Co. and is in the original Three Fold location. The restoration back to the original Three Fold style is remarkable, it is like they were never gone. We covered the menu last week, but for a recap, it is essentially three items consisting of chicken bowls, salads, and sandwiches all with variations in each.
Our next issue of Brewed in Arkansas is set to hit the shelves the end of this week/first of next. Brewed in Arkansas is a collaboration between Rock City and the Daily Record covering the craft beer scene in the state, and includes most of us who write here.  Once out you can find it on the racks around town, or use this location list. This quarter we are focusing mainly on the NWA beer scene and the launch party will be at Growler USA in Rogers tomorrow. Come visit if you are in the area.

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