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Restaurant Transitions: New Whole Hog in west Little Rock; new chef at B-side; Moe's on hold

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Photographs by Eric E. Harrison

The North Little Rock Department of Community Planning pasted a “stop work” notice on the front door of Moe’s Buffet & Diner in the Pike Plaza Shopping Center, 2619 Pike Ave., North Little Rock. Work on the restaurant cannot proceed until the owners file renovation plans with the city.

Assuming all the proper permits are in place by then, Saturday is the target to open the latest Whole Hog Cafe, in the former Main Cheese/Sai Gon/Gina's Sushi space at 14524 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. The menu will be similar to pretty much all of Whole Hog's restaurants (including pulled pork, ribs, chicken and brisket), but because there's already a major-size fryer, vent-a-hood and grease trap in place, says Chief Financial Officer Chris Maines, they'll be adding "our world-champion wings" -- as in, winner of the Memphis in May 2013 competition -- and fries. (A far-flung New Jersey location also does wings; the Whole Hog in Bryant does fries.) Also being added to all Whole Hog menus: mac and cheese. Hours will be 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. They'll serve wine and beer -- local brews in bottles and cans, not on tap. The phone number is (501) 673-3000.

B-Side Bistro, Market Place Shopping Center, 11121 N, Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, has a new chef -- Brenden Bauer, a 2015 graduate of the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute, with some new staff, new menu items and daily specials (find them on the Facebook page, facebook.com/bsidebistro). Hours are still 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The phone number is still (501) 716-2700.

Executive Chef Tyler Husser has built a new fall menu for Cafe@Heifer, in Heifer Village, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, focusing on locally sourced items, especially lots of root vegetables and squash. The list includes a banh mi turkey burger, hummus and avocado ciabatta and a roasted root vegetable quesadilla. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. The phone number is (501) 907-8801.

Somehow we neglected to keep track of the move of Little Caesar's Pizza from 4438 Camp Robinson Road, North Little Rock, across the street into what used to be a Wendy's. There was originally a March target date to open, but construction just began last week. Michael Fritz, president of Little Caesar's Pizza of Arkansas Inc., says various design changes caused the delay. They're now looking at a late November target, "but certainly before Christmas." The new space will roughly double what they're working with currently, Fritz says. They won't have any kind of table seating, but it will allow them to bring in new equipment and it will have a drive-through window the current location doesn't have. Hours, as they are currently, will be 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. And they'll keep the same phone number, (501) 758-1555.

We appear to have been premature in reporting that Moe's Buffet & Diner was pending in the former Cancun Mexican Restaurant-slash-Cyber Bar in the Pike Plaza Shopping Center, 2619 Pike Ave., North Little Rock. We missed the "Stop Work" notice on the front door from the North Little Rock Department of Community Planning, showing building permit and Arkansas fire prevention code violations. A department employee explained that the owners still have not submitted their renovation plans to the city and no work can take place until they do.

Little Rock chef Donnie Ferneau Jr., his wife, Meaghan, and sous chef Amanda Ivy ended up in third place in Sunday's Episode 2 of the Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. Challenges included feeding 50 service members on an hour's notice, selling their wares on the streets of Pensacola, Fla. (Ferneau and his Southern Frenchie food truck team made pimento cheese sandwiches) and creating -- and profiting from -- a dish featuring a single red snapper (Ferneau and folks paired fried snapper with their fried chicken). The five surviving teams proceed northward to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for Sunday's Episode 3. The winning team, by the way, gets $50,000 to fund a "dream" food truck business.

We're holding our figurative breath for what is supposed to be a Friday opening for the inaugural John Daly's Steakhouse, 912 Front St., just north of Toad Suck Square in downtown Conway. Calls to the listed phone number, (501) 358-6998, through Tuesday's deadline got us only to a voice-mail box that, according to the recording, hasn't yet been set up. Friday's post, the most recent, on the Facebook page, facebook.com/johndalysteakhouse, indicated they were still taking employment applications.

North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce will hold "A Taste for Business," its annual food, beverage and business networking event, 5-7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at North Little Rock's Verizon Arena. Area restaurants and caterers, members and nonmembers, will be supplying food and drink and showcasing products, services and attractions. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door; proceeds support the chamber's educational programs and local scholarships. Call (501) 372-5959, email nlrchamber@nlrchamber.org or visit nlrchamber.org.

And in the fifth and final week of Little Rock Restaurant Month, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau is promoting restaurants and food vendors in the River Market's Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave. A list of discounts and specials is at DineLR.com.

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:

eharrison@arkansasonline.com

Weekend on 08/31/2017

Comments

RBBrittain says...

Perhaps the city needs to go back and post a properly dated notice; that one is dated "5-3-19" which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Posted 31 August 2017, 6:51 a.m. Suggest removal

LR1955 says...

Seem that the Moe's work can proceed for almost 2 years, and they should be complete and open for business before the stop work takes affect.

Posted 31 August 2017, 9:40 p.m. Suggest removal

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