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Restaurant Transitions: Cathead's tentative opening set; Core Brewing to debut on Main; Cotham's in the City adds dinner on Fridays

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Look for a May 1 tentative opening for Cathead's Diner, 515 Shall Ave., Little Rock, says Kelli Marks, the executive pastry chef and partner in the enterprise with head chef Donnie Ferneau Jr. She says the menu is still a work in progress, but anticipates they'll serve all-day breakfast and "we have decided all of the things served on bread, customers will be given a choice of having it on a [namesake cathead] biscuit, a doughnut or on Texas toast." A liquor license that will allow the sale of wine, beer, bloody Marys and batch-pours of things like whiskey punch; they'll also have a frozen-drink machine. Tentative hours, according to the website, catheadsdiner.com, are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. brunch Saturday-Sunday, but Marks says they're still discussing whether to stay open later on Friday and/or Saturday, "based on what the area will support." And Ferneau, with connections to culinary luminaries around the country, is looking to pull in guest chefs for specialty, book-in-advance dinners with special menus. The phone number is (501) 837-6044.

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The Core Brewing Public House at 1214 Main St., in Little Rock's SoMA area, opens Friday. Jessie Core, the namesake of Springdale-based Core Brewing Co., admits the conversion of an aging building took awhile longer than expected -- originally they announced a December target date -- "but it's been worth it." The menu will come from Foghorn's, a Northwest Arkansas chicken wing restaurant, "customized for our location, a little smaller" than the one at its two locations in Fayetteville, one each in Springdale, Rogers and Siloam Springs. It will will officially operate as Foghorn's Express No. 4. In addition to their own beer, Core will have "guest taps" to showcase the work of area breweries and serve Rock Town Distillery spirits. The hours will be 3-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 3 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday. The phone number is (501) 353-2489.

Meanwhile, Foghorn's Express No. 2 has displaced the menu in the Core Brewing Public House in Argenta, 411 N. Main St., North Little Rock (hours there are 3-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday); the phone number is (501) 372-1390. Visit foghornswings.com or the Facebook page, tinyurl.com/yczwrkvb. And Foghorn's Express No. 3 is what's serving food in the Core outlet at 833 Central Ave., Hot Springs, in the former home of Banjo Dan's Vintage Guitars. Hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. The phone number: (501) 701-4390.

Springdale-based Core Brewing Co. also has brewpubs in Fayetteville, Rogers and Fort Smith, plus a pub and a separate taproom in Springdale.

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April 2 is the target opening date for the Eat My Catfish in the McCain Plaza Shopping Center, 4216 E. McCain Blvd., North Little Rock, next to the pending Dick's Sporting Goods (formerly the dollar movie theater). It will have the same menu -- farm-raised catfish, crab legs, shrimp and, in season (which usually is mid-February to early summer) crawfish -- as the existing locations in west Little Rock, Conway and Benton. Hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. The listed phone number is (501) 235-8667. The website is EatMyCatfish.com.

And speaking of crawfish, contiguous Loca Luna and Red Door, 3519 and 3701 Old Cantrell Road, Little Rock, respectively, are doing Crawfish Thursdays. Owner-chef Mark Abernathy says he's trucking in mudbugs fresh this morning and on subsequent Thursdays in season, "still kickin' from south Louisiana," boiling them up from 5 p.m. until they're gone and serving 'em with Cajun corn, potatoes and andouille sausage. Cost: pound and a half, $13; 2.5 pounds, $22; 5 pounds, $40. They're also running a special on Louisiana's Abita craft beer. Call (501) 663-4666 (Loca Luna) or (501) 666-8482 (Red Door).

Cotham's in the City, 1401 W. Third St., Little Rock, which has heretofore been open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays, is now also open 5-8 p.m. Friday. The phone number is (501) 370-9177; the website, cothams.com.

We're still trying to track down a reopening date for the "phoenix" KFC, rising from its ashes at 100 Markham Park Drive, Little Rock, but we have discovered, through jobs.kfc.com, that they're hiring an assistant manager, a shift supervisor and a "team member."

Cantina Cinco de Mayo opened March 7 at 521 Center St., Little Rock. It has the same menu as the other restaurants in the mini-chain, which has Little Rock outlets on Rahling Circle and on Stagecoach Road with one in Benton, and a full bar. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 400-8194.

Bobbie D's Southern Cuisine II is up and running at 1016 W. South St., Benton. Hours 11-6 Monday-Saturday and every other Sunday. The phone number is (501) 778-3000. It has the same menu as its progenitor, Bobbie D's Southern Cuisine, 3201 W. 65th St., Little Rock. The phone number there: (501) 565-1699.

Nick's Bar-B-Q and Catfish, 1012 Bobby L Glover Highway, Carlisle, opened in its new building -- its third since it was established in 1972 -- March 8. Owner Clay Waliski told the Lonoke County Democrat he anticipates a "better overall experience" for diners, as the move has made it possible to streamline the menu and double the seating space, while still paying homage to the business' history (that could mean the comeback of the original electric toy train delivery system even as the restaurant retains full service). There's also a new parking lot, with truck and RV parking in the current lot. Hours are 10 a.m.-9:30 Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number: (870) 552-3887.

And sometime this spring they'll break ground on a Steak 'n Shake in the Centerstone development on Dave Ward Drive, between South Donaghey Avenue and the Stone Dam Creek Trail, in Conway. That's according to a news release from Salter Properties, which manages the site. It would be central Arkansas' first location, at least in awhile (the chain previously had restaurants in North Little Rock and Hot Springs); a food truck with a limited menu opened in September at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. There are also franchise operations in Fayetteville, Rogers, Russellville and Clarksville with plans to open in Jonesboro and Greenbrier.

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

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Kelli Marks of Cathead's Diner + Enlarge

Weekend on 03/15/2018

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