Photographs by Democrat-Gazette file photo
A scion of the family that ran the now-closed Rocky’s Pub near the juncture of North Little Rock and Sherwood is now selling Philly cheesesteaks like this one out of a commercial kitchen on West Markham Street in Little Rock.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
The KFC, 100 Markham Park Drive, Little Rock, which, phoenix-like has arisen from its own ashes a year and a month after a fire gutted it, reopened, and was immediately and has since been besieged by walk-in and drive-through customers. (A reminder that since that fire, there have been no KFC restaurants operating in Little Rock and only a tiny handful operating elsewhere in the metropolitan area.) Hours are 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 221-4353.
Meanwhile, Little Rock's newest Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, 4900 W. Markham St. at Monroe Street, next to Wendy's and across from War Memorial Stadium, opened the same day. Walk-in hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; the drive-through stays open until midnight. The phone number is (501) 661-9594.
Fans of Philly cheesesteaks were upset to see the sudden closure some years back of Rocky's Pub, a steak sandwich shop/Italian restaurant/bar in the Indian Hills Shopping Center on John F. Kennedy Boulevard, just on the North Little Rock side of the border with Sherwood. But it's hard to keep a good idea down. Joel Dunlap, part of the family that operated Rocky's, has brought it back, or at least the Philly steak part of the business, as Rocky's Togo (that's pronounced "to-go," not the like the country in Africa). Dunlap makes and sells cheesesteaks and Philly chicken sandwiches out of the Arkitchen Commercial Kitchen (behind the Fuller & Sons hardware store), 9813 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Starting this week, he's expanding his hours, which had been Tuesday only, to 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. A 12-inch chicken or beef cheesesteak with sauteed onions, melted white American cheese and a side of marinara, is $16, including tax; a 6-inch sandwich is $8; a combo -- 6-inch sandwich, chips, and a drink -- is $10. Place orders by text to (501) 732-7400, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and pick up at the kitchen (or arrange for delivery of larger orders). Dunlap accepts cash and cards (plus an extra fee). Visit the Facebook page. facebook.com/Rockys-Togo-145365862968443.
Owner Flint Fanoy says he's aiming for a June 4 grand opening for Flint's Just Like Mom's Home Cooking in the ground-floor space in the Union Plaza Building, West Capitol Avenue and Louisiana Street, Little Rock, that formerly housed Sufficient Grounds Cafe. A couple of soft-opening events may happen if his construction and permitting processes permit. And yes, the menu will focus on Southern-roots cuisine just like the name says. Hours will be 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday -- breakfast 6:30-10 a.m.; lunch 10:15 a.m.-2 p.m., serving hamburgers, sandwiches and daily plate lunch specials; and the kitchen will stay open through the afternoon to handle catering orders, so you'll be able to order something light and there will be take-home dinners in the catering cooler. The phone number will be (501) 502-0100. Fanoy, you will recall, is a 48-year-old Marianna native and 30-year veteran of the city's culinary scene, with credits that include stints at Ciao, Flint's Lucky 7, the Flight Deck and Regas Grill in Little Rock and GiGi's Soul Cafe & Lounge in Maumelle. If a boutique hotel under construction across the street opens, dinner menu and hours will be an option.
El Dorado-based Murphy Oil USA Inc. has sold the Taco Bueno, 113 W. Pershing Blvd., North Little Rock, to Hemaxon Enterprises, a Pennsylvania limited liability company, for $1.3 million, reports Business section columnist David Smith. The restaurant is directly next to the Murphy Oil USA gas station where Pershing, Main Street and Interstate 40 converge. Meanwhile, at last check, the Taco Bueno pending at 9101 W. Markham St., Little Rock, in the shopping center parking lot in front of Burlington Coat Factory, was still just a partially enclosed frame. No word at this point as to when to expect either its completion or its opening.
Sunday was apparently the last day for Revolution Restaurant, 300 President Clinton Ave., in Little Rock's River Market District. A video accompanying a Sunday posting at the club's Facebook page (facebook.com/revroomlr) offered "[one] last look at our little Rumba/Revolution restaurant before we move out today." The adjoining Revolution Room music venue will remain open.
George Qandah, who with wife Sharon last year closed Smokey Joe's Bar-B-Que on Military Road in Benton almost exactly a year ago -- saying they were retiring after 36 years in business -- says it'll be "another couple of weeks" before they reopen in the former Dickey's Barbecue Pit, 13503 Crystal Hill Road, North Little Rock, in a strip center in front of Walmart. Assuming the Health Department inspection takes place this week as scheduled (and, of course, that the restaurant passes), "it's not 100 percent, but we're shooting for the 16th," he says. The former tenant left behind a lot of equipment, which has eased the process, Qandah says, but "we still we have a lot to do." Meanwhile, he's in the storefront and he's hiring -- apply in person, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Hours, Qandah says, will likely be 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 803-9445. And they're posting progress reports on Facebook (facebook.com/Smokey-Joes-BBQ-161551440523346). The Qandahs operated the original Smokey Joe's on Chicot Road in Little Rock for 14 years before they moved it to Benton.
Expect to see Little Rock's second Poke Hula, 5621 Kavanaugh Blvd. in the Heights (that's the former Red Mango space), open sometime next week -- that's the target, at least. It'll be serving Hawaiian-style poke (POKE-eh) bowls, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 661-6119. Meanwhile, target date for a third central Arkansas outlet, 1115 W. Oak St., Conway, is on or about June 1. Hours and phone number for that location are still to be announced. The original is at 419 E. Third St., in Little Rock's River Market District. Hours there are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, and the phone number is (501) 246-3368.
Expect its neighbor, the new full-service, brick-and-mortar Conway outlet of Nepalese restaurant Katmandu MoMo, 1018 Oak St., Conway, to open early next week, pending the result of inspections, says co-owner Kyler Nordeck, perhaps with soft openings on Monday and Tuesday, maybe just for lunch, and a grand opening scheduled for May 12. Co-owner Saroja Shrestha is vastly expanding the menu, which has included steamed pork, chicken and vegetarian momo dumplings and sides of spring rolls, spicy potatoes and fried rice that they've served first from their food truck and joins the food truck also now from a kiosk in the Ottenheimer Market Hall, 400 President Clinton Ave. The Conway menu will feature pan-seared, deep-fried, soup and chili momo; a range of appetizers, including spicy marinated peanuts, chili chicken, samosas and a Nepali-style cucumber salad; noodle soups, including chicken, pork and vegetarian thukpa; and chatamari, a rice crepe topped with ground meat or vegetables, eggs, red onions and cilantro. Hours, tentatively, will be 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; once they have a an alcoholic beverage permit, which they'll apply for sometime after June, to serve beer, wine and mixed drinks, they'll tinker with closing times. A phone number is still in the works; the "main" phone number is (501) 351-4169.
And speaking of the Ottenheimer Market Hall, it's expected to reopen today after closing Wednesday for an emergency replacement of a sewer line that serves that building (and the next-door police kiosk) made it necessary to shut off the water. The hall's restrooms, we're told, had been closed for several days prior. A supposed sewage leak in the hall's basement was among the factors that Market Hall merchants Omar and Sam Kassees, the owners of Rivershore Eatery and Mason's Grill, cited in closing and leaving the hall several months ago. River Market officials denied at the time that there was a problem.
Don't forget: If your restaurant is doing something particular and/or special for Mother's Day -- that's Sunday, May 13, if you haven't made your brunch reservations yet and don't want to take Mom out to KFC or Popeyes -- give us a holler (we'll extend the grace period to noon Monday) so we can add it to our list for May 10 column.
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:
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