Chef-owner Nathan Miller, formerly of YaYa's Euro Bistro, has a September target to open BCW -- that stands for Bread, Cheese and Wine -- at 1424 Main St. in Little Rock's South Main neighborhood. Yes, it's in the space that had been set to be the Original Hot Dog Factory franchise location and in the same strip as Press Waffle Co. (We've been reporting that the hot dog project had run into several buzz saws involving construction delays and supply chain issues, and now appears to either not be happening at all or eventually happening someplace else, depending on to whom one talks.)
Miller's concept involves "elevated" grilled cheese sandwiches and shareable items (Miller suggests that'll include charcuterie boards, "cheese puff-type things" and a house-made ricotta dip) plus wine and an extensive cocktail program, for lunch and dinner; "we're hoping for slightly later nights, maybe until midnight some nights," he says, which will be a boon for folks downtown who otherwise have few late-night, post-play or post-concert options. "It won't necessarily be food first or wine first, but built for the neighborhood," he explains. They're ripping out almost everything, decor-wise, that had been going into the hot dog place. "We're just keeping the floors," Miller says.
Miller is bringing a quarter-century of restaurant experience "in some capacity or another" to the project. He trained at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt., and had worked in New England and for a period in Nashville, Tenn., in addition to his stint at YaYa's.
Meanwhile, BCW's cross-corner SoMA neighbor, The Bagel Shop, is closer to opening at 1501 Main, with regular updates and email blasts from co-owner Myles Roberson. For example: "Shop update! Every day something new is happening. like getting our HVAC installed or receiving a giant bagel boiling machine or learning things about plumbing that I never thought I would learn." Adding Monica Chatterton, owner and creator of Flake Baby Pastry, to the staff has resulted in the addition of fresh biscuits and strawberry cream-cheese danish to the shop's weekend offerings. Keep abreast of developments at thebagel.shop or instagram.com/thebagel.shop.
Luigi's Pizza & Pasta, 22000 Interstate 30, Bryant, has apparently shut its doors. Google lists it as "permanently closed." The phone number, (501) 847-1110, has not yet been disconnected; we reached a recording saying the place, normally closed on Sunday and Monday, would reopen at 11 a.m. Tuesday; a second call shortly after 11 on Tuesday only reached the same recording and a connection to an automated attendant. Nothing at the website, luigisbryant.com, indicates anything is amiss.
And speaking of pizza, the Damgoode Pies location at, 6706 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, seems to be open some days and not others. The website, damgoodepies.com, explains, as it has for some time, that the "dining room [is] closed for renovations; delivery and pick-up window open!," but customers have reported not being able to place orders for delivery or pickup either by phone or online. Exterior signs suggest, if and when that's the case, contacting the folks at their other Little Rock location, 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd., which had popped up and down during the covid-19 pandemic and even afterward, but now appears to be fully open for dine-in, takeout and delivery, 4-8 p.m. Monday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. The phone number for both Little Rock operations is the same: (501) 664-2239.
Arkansas Business reports that the original location of The Purple Cow, 8026 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, heavily damaged by the March 31 tornado, has an October target to reopen, possibly with some renovations or revisions to the 34-year-old premises. Six staff members sheltered in and emerged unhurt from the restaurant's walk-in coolers while the storm ripped off the patio canopy, did major damage to a stone wall and resettled the roof. So the building will require at least a new roof, new windows and new HVAC units. Chain president Ken Vaughan told the publication that they are considering temporarily operating a food truck on the property; meanwhile, Little Rock's other Purple Cow, 11602 Chenal Parkway, has started opening an hour earlier, at 10 a.m., Saturday and Sunday to better accommodate brunch customers.
Meanwhile, similarly tornado-torn Trio's, down the street a bit in Pavilion in the Park, 8201 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, will reopen Monday, says owner-chef Capi Peck. We've been monitoring their Facebook page, facebook.com/TriosLR, as well as Peck's for details. (501) 221-3330.
Something called Kold Kreamy, which we are presuming will be a vendor of some variety of frozen dessert, is pending in the storefront in the L-shaped Pinnacle Creek Shopping Center center at 14810 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, that formerly housed The Smoke Station. We're still seeking details, including a target opening date. Restaurant-food neighbors in the center include Forbidden Garden, Grill Pollo, DJ's Do-Nuts and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Petit & Keet, 1620 Market St., Little Rock, named for partners Jim Keet and Louis Petit, marks its sixth birthday -- it opened May 18, 2017 -- with a weeklong celebration, Monday-Saturday, marked by the return of executive chef Steve Binotti, the debut of new menu items and a "Louis Petit-Style" shirt contest. Petit was the semi-legendary restaurateur who made his debut at Restaurant Jacques & Suzanne in the mid-'70s. More details presumably will surface at the Facebook event page, facebook.com/events/6070006939778810; (501) 319-7675.
And speaking of restaurant anniversary celebrations, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, 323 President Clinton Ave., in Little Rock's River Market, is marking 25 years of this location, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday, by tapping what a news release calls "rare brews" throughout the day and offering $25 anniversary flights. Also on tap for the anniversary celebration: complimentary anniversary cupcakes and ice cream. Musician Rodge Arnold performs at 6 p.m. Admission is free; beer and food, of course, cost money. Hours of operation are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Sunday. (501) 372-8032; beerknurd.com.
The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record recently listed a business permit application for a $350,000 interior remodel of Suite Q, 3310 Central Ave., Hot Springs, "to become Hokkaido Ramen House." That's in the Central City Shopping Center.
And speaking of Hurts Donut, following up on our report last week on the one coming to Hot Springs, we now have an address: 200 Spring St. It's the same franchisees -- Conner and Heather Grimes -- who operate the Little Rock location at 107 E. Markham St.; Grimes tells Democrat-Gazette reporter John Magsam that he's finalizing some details and doesn't yet have an opening date. wannahurts.com/locations; facebook.com/HurtsDonutHotSprings.
Also in the Spa City, there's an October target date for the opening of a Crumbl Cookie bakery in the Cornerstone Marketplace, 423 Cornerstone Blvd., in half of what had been Nest's space. Franchisees Cody McPherson and business partner Aaron Duty also operate the recently opened Crumbl Cookie outlet in North Little Rock; McPherson also owns the franchise in Jonesboro.
And still in Hot Springs, Ouachita Bar & Grill co-owner Rob Koller plans to have a food truck operating by May 26 -- in other words, starting Memorial Day weekend -- on a lot at 915 Central Ave., serving barbecue, burgers and sandwiches, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Monday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday (brunch only). Two well-known Hot Springs names, both formerly of The Ohio Club, are affiliated with the project: Michael Dampier (aka "The Burger Chef"), who in addition to being in charge of burgers will be the restaurant manager, and Corey Coleman (aka "The Gangster Chef"), the chef/pitmaster. Koller describes it as "a huge food trailer, with a huge old hickory smoker." Eventually, he says, he and wife and co-owner Tiah are looking at establishing a restaurant on the back side of the building at 911 Central.
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: