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story.lead_photo.caption At Doe's Eat Place, management will continue to wait and watch before reopening. (Democrat-Gazette file photo) \

Bar none? Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that bars inside restaurants can resume operations and that free-standing bars will be able to reopen Tuesday. Social distancing restrictions will be similar to the ones placed on restaurants for reopening their dining rooms: seating limited to 33% of total capacity, all staff who come in contact with patrons must wear masks and gloves; patrons are supposed to wear face coverings.

In the meanwhile, La Pasadita Mexican Restaurant opened its long-awaited location, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Suite 34B (formerly B-Side and the Happy Egg), May 13 for curbside, takeout and dine-in service. It comes after a successful run at its walk-up food stand (once The Hop) at 7706 Cantrell Road; after they were evicted, they set up a food truck at nearby 201 Keightley Drive. In keeping with recommended and mandated steps for sanitizing and safety, you should call in takeout orders ahead of time and check on table availability and reservations — (501) 747-1777. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; the Facebook page is

Folks on the edge of their literal or metaphorical seats for the Central Arkansas resurrection of Minute Man will be glad to know that interior demolition is complete and the awnings are down at their debut location at 140 John Harden Drive, Jacksonville (most recently Fuzzy's Taco Shop). Target for Minute Man AR Mgmt LLC's Perry J. Smith is July for curbside delivery and drive-thru; limited indoor seating, if covid-19 restrictions are eased or lifted, could start in the fall. You can follow their progress at the Minute Man Memories Facebook page:

Stuffed animals maintain social distancing in the dining room at Alley Oops. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

Alley Oops, 11900 Kanis Road, Little Rock, is now open for dine-in service (as well as carry-out) with a new menu and a new drive-thru on the right side of Creekwood Plaza building. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 221-9400, the website is and the Facebook page is

Katherine Eldridge of Doe's Eat Place, 1023 W. Markham St., Little Rock, explains via the restaurant's Facebook page ( her decision not to open the dining room at this time: "We will continue to watch the numbers and we will open when we feel it's safe to do so. The next couple of weeks we will be cleaning, painting, and getting things ready for when we do open." The phone number is (501) 376-1195; the website:

At Doe's Eat Place, management will continue to wait and watch before reopening. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Canon Grill, 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd., in Little Rock's Hillcrest, is taking advantage of its covid-19 closure until further notice to perform "some major structural repairs to our kitchen area," according to a recent post on its Facebook page (

The recently opened second location of Baja Grill, 224 W. South St., Benton, appears to be on the verge of opening its dining room, if last week's hiring notice for servers and bartenders on its Facebook page ( is any indication. "You will not be forced to serve dine-in guests if uncomfortable with it," the notice notes. "You will be asked your preference during our 'phasing-in.'" The post adds these pluses: "Collaborative team, energetic atmosphere, fun, health insurance, 401(k) — coming soon" and "cool neighbors." Visit; the phone numbers are (501) 680-7109 or (501) 690-6837.

The Ruby Tuesday outlet at 115 E. Harrell Drive, Russellville, has closed within the last two weeks and the phone number, (479) 858-7151, has been disconnected. It's part of a wave of closings for this chain — an estimated 26 over the past year — and chain restaurants in general.

Tuesday was the groundbreaking for a David's Burgers in the 3800 block of Central Avenue in Hot Springs (at the corner of Central and Section Line Road, in front of First Church of the Nazarene). The restaurant will set up on the north end-cap of a new 12,500-square-foot shopping center, occupying approximately 3,000 of those square feet. Opening is expected by end of the year.

Canon Grill in Hillcrest is doing major structural repairs to its kitchen while it's closed. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

And nominations from customers have earned Dempsey Bakery, 323 S. Cross St., Little Rock, a national prize of $2,500 toward staying afloat during the covid-19 crisis in the "Food Love" contest from Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, a national natural food supplier headquartered in Milwaukie, Ore. ( Owner Paula Dempsey says in a news release that the award for the gluten-free, nut-free bakery "couldn't have come at a better time. ... This prize will help keep operations going and staff working." Current hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and they'll alert customers when they resume lunch service and/or reopen on Saturdays.

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. Send email to:

[email protected]

Weekend on 05/21/2020

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