Rumbles: Franke's Coming to Conway, Rodney's Handlebar Closes, Delta Biscuit is Back

Arkansas Hall of Fame restaurant Franke’s Cafeteria turns 100 years old this year and will be celebrating with a brand new location. Franke’s is opening a cafeteria in Conway in the coming weeks. The new location in the former Dixie Café on Fendley Drive will be the third Franke’s spot and the first outside of Little Rock. Franke’s opened in 1919 as a donut shop on Capitol Avenue before switching a few years later to the cafeteria model. Franke’s sold to manager Abraham Delgado last fall, the first time in its 99-year history it was not owned by a member of the Franke family. The closing of all Dixie Café locations has led to multiple opportunities for new restaurant spots, including Mehfil Indo-Mughlai Pak Cuisine on Rodney Parham.
Rodney’s Handlebar and Grill on Interstate 30 West near Chicot Road has closed. In a Facebook post, owner Rodney Roberts thanked his family and customers for their support for the last five years at the motorcycle-themed bar and restaurant. Rodney’s served up a classic bar fare menu of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and other traditional fare. Roberts said that the hard work of running a restaurant finally caught up with him and his family, and that it was time to close.
A shooting at a Mexican ice cream parlor on Baseline Road last night left one person dead and three others injured. Our content partners THV 11 report that the shooting at La Michoacana happened after there was a fight over a gun. Little Rock police say all suspects have been arrested.
Delta Biscuit Company is back up and running after some short down time for repairs. Hayne Begley’s food truck wouldn’t start last week, and Delta Biscuit had to miss a few events over the weekend. The truck is back starting Thursday at USAble in West Little Rock, Friday at Brandon Moving in Maumelle, Saturday at McLarty Honda on Colonel Glenn, and at The Rail Yard for brunch on Sunday.
And one of the best spots to get a bite in Saline County has gone wet. Verona Italian Restaurant in Benton announced it is serving beer and wine now. Since it opened a couple of years ago, Verona has reliably been one of the area’s better restaurants. The Atashi brothers came to Benton with years of restaurant experience between them, and that pedigree has led to regular lines out the door during dinner service and for Sunday lunch.
The finalists for the third class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame have been announced. We have the full lineup of nominees, which includes restaurants from Fordyce to Springdale.
And it looks like Graffiti’s is beginning to hit its stride after changing owners last year. We caught up with the Bolaños family to see what you can expect on the upcoming new menu.

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