Posted: August 21, 2014 at 1:51 a.m.
Sometimes it takes a while for word to reach us, which is why we haven't reported previously on the closure of the Quiznos outlet at Fourth and Spring streets in downtown Little Rock. That leaves the sandwich chain/franchise operation, which used to have at least half a dozen Little Rock area outlets, just two -- kiosks at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport and in the Donaghey Student Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. We've heard reports that a fairly distinguished Little Rock chef/restaurateur has taken over the storefront space, but as we have yet been unable to confirm them, we'll have to keep you posted.
Speaking of distinguished Little Rock chef/restaurateurs, Donnie Ferneau Jr. reports he expects to have his Good Food by Ferneau open by the end of the month in the former Argenta Market space, 521 Main St., North Little Rock. The delays have been, unlike many new eateries, not connected to permits, but, he says, largely due to a hold-up in the delivery of the chairs and tables. Ferneau's business, which started out as a catering/take-out operation in a Hillcrest church kitchen focusing on gluten- and sugar-free meals, will now have a sit-down component until 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Ferneau says he also expects his new partner, Chef Travis McConnell's Butcher and Public, will also be up and running when he is. Ferneau says he's awaiting approval of his restaurant mixed-drink license from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. We'll keep you posted.
And "food evangelist" Tomas Bohm says he's making progress on The Pantry Crest, the Hillcrest "branch," 722 N. Palm St., Little Rock, of his west Little Rock establishment, The Pantry. He hopes to complete construction by the end of the month on the 100-year-old house, much of which he has rebuilt from the ground up. "We just want to do it right," he explains. "I didn't skip anything and that's what's set us back. Everything is custom-built," and he has been trying to preserve those aspects of the building worth preserving (he has kept the 100-year-old staircase, for example, but it took his crew a week to clean and repair it). Then he'll start training his staff in the space, and is looking at a similar pattern to the one he used when he was getting ready to open on Rodney Parham Road: a series of soft openings, and "I'll do it like I did it here -- just unlock the doors," he says. Could be as early as the end of September, he says, or as late as the end of October. The kitchen will be open 4 p.m.-midnight Monday-Saturday; no lunch, closed Sunday. There's no phone yet, but you can reach the west Little Rock place at (501) 353-1875.
And from the Facebook page, Facebook.com/LittleRockMarriott, this update on the restaurant in the Marriott Hotel, West Markham and Louisiana streets, Little Rock: The restaurant, formerly Pancetta Regional Kitchen & Wine Bar, will now be named, when it reopens, Heritage Grille Steak and Fin. We'll keep you posted as soon as we track down more details.
A sign in front of the former Browning's Mexican Grill, 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, touts a restaurant equipment sale scheduled for today. Scott McGehee, who fronts the Yellow Rocket Concepts restaurant consortium that operates Big Orange, Local Lime and ZaZa, says the target date to open the Tex-Mex-style Heights Taco & Tamale Co. there is now mid- to-late November. "So much work left to do, so a real moving target," he says, but "It is going to be absolutely amazing how we evolve that space and concept. Can't wait to unveil it!" We'll keep you posted on that one, too.
We reported a few weeks ago that a partnership dispute had led to the closure of W.T. Bubba's, in the Museum Center, 500 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, and that co-owner Jeff Cook said at the time that he hoped to have the establishment back up and running sometime this month. However, the the phone number, (501) 244-2528, has now been disconnected, usually the last signal that the establishment, at least in its former form, has died and won't be coming back.
A trio of culinary-centered events are scheduled to take place next month:
• The American Culinary Federation and the Central Arkansas Cook's Association will hold its annual Chef Ball, 6 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Institute, 13000 Interstate 30, Little Rock. A baker's dozen area chefs will each prepare one facet of the feast: Billy Ginocchio, breads; Daniel Darrah and Robert Best, hors d'oeuvres; Jason Knapp, amuse-bouche; Coby Smith, appetizer; Dan Capello, soup; Brandon Douglas, fish; Cindy Malik, salad; Suzanne Campbell, "intermezzo"; Philippe Ducrot, main course; Brian Kearns, cheese; Jan Lewandowski and Cathy Kincaid, dessert. Tickets are $200; call (501) 812-2861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Meanwhile, the Arkansas Hospitality Association will hold its annual Arkansas Chef's Culinary Classic at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in Hall IV of the Statehouse Convention Center, Main and Markham streets, Little Rock. Arkansas chefs will compete in one of four categories: soup/salad, dessert, entree and appetizer; judging starts at 4:30. Tickets are $45, which includes the awards ceremony, a wine and beer tasting, a silent auction and the after party. Call (501) 376-2323, email email@example.com or visit arhospitality.org/events/culinary-classicsilent-auction.
• The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will hold its second annual A Vintage Affair for MS at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at Next Level Events, in the Historic Union Station, 1400 W. Markham St., Little Rock. The auction and wine tasting event raises money for MS research and programs and services for the thousands of Arkansans affected by the disease. Bank of the Ozarks is the sponsor; the event will honor Rex Kyle, the bank's president of trust and wealth management. In addition to wine tasting and live and silent auctions, there will be a cork pull and a private VIP reception, sponsored by Presqu'ile Wine. Glazer's of Arkansas is providing a full bar; Next Level Events Catering is providing the food. Cocktail attire is the dress code; tickets are $100. Call (501) 663-6767, Extension 35307; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit avintageaffairMS.org.
An outlet of the Atlanta-based Boneheads restaurant chain will open Tuesday at 1403 S.E. Moberly Lane, Bentonville, with a Sept. 19 grand opening celebration. Boneheads, which has eight other stores in five states, also says it has 31 stores in development, including one in Little Rock and five in Pakistan. Specialties on the restaurant's Caribbean-oriented menu include grilled fish and Piri Piri chicken (a peppery/spicy dish from the African nation of Mozambique). Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily; the phone number is (479) 715-6699. Check it out at eatboneheads.com or visit the Facebook page, facebook.com/boneheadsbentonvillear.
Has a restaurant opened -- or closed -- near you in the last week or so? Does your favorite eatery have a new menu? Is there a new chef in charge? Drop us a line. Call (501) 399-3667 or (501) 378-3513, or send a note to Restaurants, Weekend Section, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203. Send email to:
Weekend on 08/21/2014