Rumbles: New Bathhouse Hotel and Restaurant, Jewish Food Festival Postponed, Kamikaito to Open Next Month

The resurgence of downtown Hot Springs is getting stronger every month. This weekend, Hot Springs mayor Pat McCabe and his wife, Ellen, announced plans to transform the Hale Bathhouse into a boutique hotel and restaurant. The plans call for a nine-room hotel, two of which will be suites, with access to Hot Springs’ famous thermal waters. Plans are still in the works for the restaurant, but Ellen McCabe says there will be two dining rooms, likely one for informal use and the other for dinner service. The couple also plans to put in a juice and smoothie bar. With most of its construction done in 1892, Hale is the oldest bathhouse in Hot Springs. The McCabes expect the project to take five or six months, and hope to have it open by the time racing season is underway early next year.
The Jewish Food and Cultural Festival has announced it will take a year off and not hold a festival in 2018. Festival director Marienne Tettlebaum announced the next festival will take place April 14, 2019. The festival committee is using the time to review activities and talk with vendors and attendees about ways to strengthen the event. The Jewish Food Festival has taken place every year since 2005, recently at War Memorial Stadium. It benefits the Jewish Federation of Arkansas.
It appears we’re less than a month away from getting a new restaurant in the former Argenta Market. Kamikaito by Kiyen’s is slated for a Sept. 14 opening in North Little Rock, more than a year after it announced it was taking over the space. The restaurant is owned by Kiyen Kim, chef and owner at Kiyen’s in West Little Rock. Expect a very similar menu at Kamikaito, with sushi, hibachi and Asian entrees dominating the menu. The Argenta Market space has been vacant since early 2016 when Good Food by Ferneau closed.
And speaking of Ferneau, Donnie and his team with The Southern Frenchie are still alive in this season of The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network. Donnie and Meaghan Ferneau and Amanda Ivy have survived New Oreleans and Pensacola so far. Episode 3 pits them against the other four remaining trucks in a showdown in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a challenge involving cracking pecans by hand. You can catch The Great Food Truck Race on Sunday night at 8 p.m. (and now that Game of Thrones is done for the season, you really should flip over).
Those of you who were missing Kent Walker Artisan Cheese will be glad to know that Southern Table is now open for business. We stopped by the new bistro for a First Look at the beautifully updated space and the cheese-focused menu.
When the restaurant is as solid as South on Main, you know its top dish is going to be special. We took a close look at the Main St. restaurant’s signature plate: the Hot Chicken Sandwich.
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Yellow Rocket Concepts has unveiled its specials for the month of August:

  • Big Orange: Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich and Key Lime Pie Milkshake
  • Local Lime: Fried Avocado Tacos with pineapple, lime slaw, and pickled carrots and onions
  • Zaza: Ahi Tuna Niçoise Salad with Arkansas cherry tomatoes, green beans and roasted potatoes

Ristorante Capeo’s weekly special is a fresh fish entree. The risotto of the week is made with chicken and mushrooms.

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