The number one question about a new restaurant that I hear is “When is Minute Man coming back?” We finally have an answer for that. Matchbox Food Group founder Perry Smith tells me he’s aiming for this summer to bring the beloved burger restaurant back to Little Rock. At this moment, we don’t have a location to report, only an estimate of when Minute Man will return. Still, it’s the first update we’ve had in more than a year since Smith announced the revivial of Minute Man in Central Arkansas. Minute Man was founded in 1948 and expanded its franchise to 57 locations in Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee. The only remaining location is in El Dorado. Plans are for three Central Arkansas locations: two in Little Rock and one in Conway. We’ll stay in touch with the Minute Man team and update you when we have a location and any more information to share.
And speaking of classic restaurants, Black Angus on Rodney Parham has found a new home. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette first reported that Black Angus will be reopening on Markham and Van Buren streets, across the street from War Memorial Park. The restaurant will take over the current locations of Chi’s Too and Subway. The Chi’s Too building will house the restaurant; the Subway location will be razed to build a new parking lot. Black Angus is being forced out of its longtime location in a move that surprised owner Karla Creasy. She has until March 31 to leave that building. Black Angus will remain in business for the rest of this month before preparing for the move to Midtown.
kBird owner Richard Glasgow is back from his annual trip to Thailand and is changing things up a bit. The lunch schedule will stay the same, but kBird is modifying its dinner lineup. The restaurant will now be open on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. with only Kuay Teeow on the menu. That’s a Thai noodle soup made with pork that is an everyday meal in Thailand. The bowl will be $9; you can add in some extras for $1 or more. kBird will also be open Thursdays with a $19 Northern Thailand prix fixe menu. Diners will choose their salad, meat and curry from dishes served at last year’s khantoke dinners. Speaking of khantoke, it’s coming back on Saturdays with a brand new menu. The dates for those khantoke dinners have not been announced. This means kBird will be closed on Fridays for 2020.
In an update to our big story this week, former owner and head brewer John Lee has issued a statement after he was bought out at Rebel Kettle Brewing Company. The founding brewer posted this on Rock City Eats’ Facebook page:
“I founded Rebel Kettle Brewing Company upon a simple dream of sharing interesting and thought provoking beer. With a decision made between two families, that dream ultimately became a reality and in turn Rebel Kettle became my life. Over the past 4 years, I have poured every ounce of myself into making Rebel Kettle the brewery that I envisioned only to find out that dreams and reality aren’t always the same thing. I’ve always been thankful for the opportunity but as I have to close this door behind me, I am more grateful for the enduring support from my family, friends, and the community that have so graciously shared this experience with me.
Dare to be different but always be yourself.”
Rebel Kettle issued a statement that we published Monday; you can read it here. Neither Lee nor the brewery are commenting on the circumstances that led to Lee’s departure.
And in other beer news that we overlooked for this week, Mockingbird Bar and Tacos tonight is hosting Baxter County brewery Norfork Brewing Company for a tap takeover. Norfork will be pouring its beer from 5 to 9 p.m. at the SoMa restaurant. The team is bringing to Little Rock its Black Oak Stout, Woodsman Pilsner, Scurvy Dog Ale, Bury Your Nut Brown Ale, Liberty APA and EZ Ryder Lager to the event. You will also have a chance to chat with the Norfork team while you’re there. Mockingbird will also be serving up some food specials just for the occasion.
It’s difficult to imagine the Little Rock food scene without Bruno’s Little Italy in it. This week, we stopped in to talk about the history of the restaurant and learn the story behind some of the Italian businesses most iconic dishes.
And warmer weather appears to be back, so Big Orange Midtown is adjusting its cocktail menu. We checked in to find a new lineup of drinks perfectly tuned for springtime.