Originally published May 10, 2018 at 01:53a.m., updated May 10, 2018 at 03:27p.m.
The changes coming to Pizza D'Action, more familiarly known as Pizza D, 2915-2919 W. Markham St., at the "point" of Little Rock's Stifft Station, won't be quite as dramatic as originally reported. Instead of Corner Bar & Grill, it will now be known as Pizza D Bar & Grill. Assistant manager Patty Ivy says that, while they'll be slimming the menu and adding "some fun specialty burgers," instead of moving the focus to burgers and making pizza secondary, pizza will remain the focus. And they're keeping all the things, including the Camel Rider sandwich, "that everybody loves."
One big remaining question -- whether Pizza D will remain one of the area's few full-smoking establishments -- is still, well, up in the air, Ivy says -- it's possible that they'll change down the road, but as of now, she adds, they are considering making the dining room nonsmoking until 2 or 3 p.m. for the benefit of lunch customers but otherwise they'll continue to allow smoking for the remaining hours of operation.
Owner Orville "Davey" Davis has designed a new logo that appears on the new Facebook page, facebook.com/Pizza-D-Bar-Grill-193066068170596. The hours won't change: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-midnight Sunday. And the phone number will remain (501) 666-5403.
Tim Chappell says there has been slow but constant progress and he's looking at a rough target of sometime in June, hopefully no later than July 1, to open The Shack in what has been Gusano's Chicago-Style Pizzeria, 313 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. "The Shack barbecue sauce is the main driving source," he explains. "We've been championing the original sauce recipe for the last several years," including selling it in bottles at select locations. "We'll modernize our version, but what we won't change is the original-recipe sauce."
Chappell is planning to provide "the full Shack barbecue experience" in a fast-casual atmosphere -- order at the counter, get a buzzing coaster, sit where you want, but with drink service at the table. He's keeping Gusano's pizza ovens, turning out pies primarily for pickup and third-party delivery, but also for patrons who really want or prefer pizza over barbecue, or for when they run out of barbecue, which is not unlikely, especially if, say, there's a Razorbacks game in town. He's also looking to establish the place as an entertainment venue, with local and regional blues musicians performing on a newly reconstructed stage.
Meanwhile, he's also "pretty close to around the same time for the place on Third Street," specifically that papered-over, long-idle storefront at 402 E. Third St., a former hot-dog shop that was originally announced as the site for the resurrected Shack. That now is going to be Hickory Joe's, the brand name of Chappell's partner, Joe Finch, who has, over many years, operated about a dozen barbecue restaurants around the state, some with that name. "Joe Finch is a great barbecue man," Chappell says. "People in Little Rock need to meet Joe. He's been hiding out, retired in Bigelow, but he's ready to get back to cooking barbecue."
Chappell is now looking to open the Shack daylong, 11 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, closing later on weekends when there's blues music. It'll keep the Gusano's phone number -- (501) 374-1441. Hickory Joe's hours are still to be determined.
There is now a sign out front of the former Piano Kraft space, 1220 S. Main St., Little Rock, advising passers-by that Dos Rocas Beer and Tacos is "coming soon" -- possibly as early as some time this summer. It's from Jack and Corri Bristow Sundell, the people who run The Root Cafe, who describe it as a "farm to table restaurant featuring homemade Latin American street food (tacos, empanadas, pupusas) made with fresh, locally farmed ingredients," as well as a "community bar" featuring craft beer and house-made margaritas. And a pool table. The space was once the party room for Juanita's, so there are still some relics on the site from that era, including, we're told, a poured-concrete bar. There is now a website -- dosrocasbeerandtacos.com, which lists hours and phone number as TBD, but the food photos sure look pretty -- and a Facebook page, facebook.com/dosrocasbeerandtacos.
We reported a few weeks ago that there was a "closed for maintenance" sign on the door of J. Gumbo's, in the Centre at Ten center, 12911 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. An eagle-eyed colleague reports there is no longer a notice on the door, but the doors were locked during business hours; tables and chairs are still set up inside, "though they've been numbered (as if perhaps they've been doing inventory)" and there are heating trays stacked up on tables. Those at neighboring businesses Tropical Smoothie and Larry's Pizza say it has been shuttered for about a month or two. A follow-up call to the listed phone number, (501) 916-9635, which had at the time returned a rapid busy signal, now returns a message that it's out of service.
The Grind Coffee Bistro has opened next to Belk in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, 11525 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. Menu includes appetizers (dips, wings, garlic shrimp), soups of the day, sandwiches and paninis, salads and a few entrees (stuffed chicken, baked fish, a chicken-and-broccoli baked potato and homemade meat loaf), with vegan and gluten-free options. Hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 516-6165.
J Town's Grill, 2610 E. Johnson Ave., Jonesboro, owned by Lee County soybean producer Jeffrey Higgins, is the May Kitchen/Fields Table Tour partner with the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, seeking to educate Arkansans on where their food originates. Executive Chef Lisa Godsey has created a Greek-marinated chicken dish with a chipotle feta spread -- Kalamata olives, marinated artichokes, tomato, lettuce, drizzled with tzatziki sauce and served on toasted lavash bread. The restaurant phone number is (870) 275-6514; for more details on the Kitchen/Fields Table Tour, visit TheMiracleBean.com.
Little Rock brewpub Lost Forty Brewing, 501 Byrd St., won two bronze medals -- "on opposite ends of the style spectrum," says founder John Beachboard -- this past weekend at the 2018 World Beer cup competition at the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America at Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. The honors came in the "Experimental Beer-Style" category for its Wild Barrels Project No. 5 and in the "German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock" category, for master brewer Omar Castrellon's Double Love Honey Doppelbock, "a bold, imperial version of the brewery's flagship lager Love Honey Bock." An elite panel of 295 judges from 33 countries evaluated 8,234 beers during six sessions over three days.
Several local eateries have notified us they're planning something special for Mother's Day -- and yes, that's Sunday. The presence of an establishment on this list does not constitute an endorsement of any kind, and not being on this list does not amount to a condemnation. If a place isn't on this list, that doesn't mean nothing is going on there -- it just means you'll need to call, check out websites and/or Facebook pages, etc., on your own. Where possible, we've included phone numbers and/or other contact information for reservations, something we do recommend.
• The Wyndham Riverfront, 2 Riverfront Plaza, North Little Rock, offers a 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mother's Day buffet, including a carving station (inside round of beef au jus or with horseradish cream sauce), entree station; seasonal vegetables, salads and fresh fruit; and an omelet/waffle station. $24.95 (plus tax and gratuities), $22.95 senior citizens, $14.95 children 5-11, free children under 5 with paying adult. (501) 907-4826.
• The Castle on Stagecoach, 6601 Stagecoach Road, Little Rock, will also have a Mother's Day brunch, prepared by Gina's Catering, with specialty coffees and teas from Bryant's Koffee With a Kause, plus roses for moms, champagne mimosas, a strolling guitar player and carriage rides in and out of the property. $75; reservations required. (501) 960-0658; castleonstagecoach.com.
• The 10 a.m.-2 p.m. brunch buffet at Canvas, inside the Arkansas Arts Center in MacArthur Park, 501 E. Ninth St., Little Rock, will feature a ham/turkey carving station, a cold salad station, a waffle bar and a selection of breakfast items. $35. (501) 907-5946.
• Hawgz Blues Cafe, 5524 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, has two events going on Sunday -- a Mother's Day buffet patio lunch, 11 a.m-3 p.m., $34.95; and filming for an episode of the TV show American Road Trip, 1:30-3 p.m., featuring a special menu, which, says cafe CEO Kristian Nelson, involves a choice between the Lion King steak dinner and the Hawgz Trough (half a rack of smoked ribs, a pound of pulled pork and half a smoked chicken, with baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, a house salad and Texas toast). Specify when you buy the tickets -- $100 for two, available at the restaurant or by calling (501) 478-6300. And you can still enter to win one of two $100 gift certificates (which you can use for the Road Trip dinner); visit Arkansasonline.com/hawgzbluescafe. They'll draw names at noon Friday.
• The "Signature Mother's Day Brunch" buffet at Gigi's Soul Cafe & Lounge, 10840 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., will feature light jazz music, mimosas and bloody Mary specials and some new menu items. $25.95, $15.95 for children. (501) 800-2888; gigislounge.com.
• Four central Arkansas TCBY outlets -- Lakewood Village, 2600 Lakewood Village Plaza, North Little Rock; 11418 W. Markham St., Little Rock; 3900 Dave Ward Drive, Conway; and 227 Cornerstore Blvd., Hot Springs -- will offer 6 ounces of frozen yogurt free to mothers, open to close, on Sunday.
• Corky's Ribs & BBQ locations in Little Rock, 12005 Westhaven Drive, and North Little Rock, in Lakewood Village, 2947 Lakewood Village Drive, will serve moms free Bundtini (bite-size bundt cakes) from Nothing Bundt Cakes with purchase of entree (daylong, dine-in only, while supplies last).
• The brunch at Bravo Cucina Italiana, in the Promenade at Chenal, 17809 Chenal Parkway at Rahling Road, Little Rock, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, will feature Mother's Day specials, including bread-pudding French toast and a 6-ounce filet mignon. The restaurant's full menu will also be available. (501) 821-2485; bravoitalian.com/reservations.html.
• Saturday-Sunday at the two Little Rock locations of Zoes Kitchen -- Park Plaza, 6000 W. Markham St., (501) 663-3328, and 12900 Chenal Parkway, (501) 227-0704 -- get four free chocolate chip cookies with the purchase of any large Mediterranean Family Dinner. Sunday is also International Hummus Day, so also Saturday-Sunday, they're offering a free Hummus Starter with the purchase of any entree (in-store; online, get a free Classic Hummus starter with minimum $7 online purchase). And, not related in any way to Mother's Day, the chain is also offering a 10 percent military discount to all veterans and active members of the military at all locations. Present your military ID at checkout.
• And all central Arkansas locations of Papa Murphy's Take & Bake Pizza (Bryant, Conway, Hot Springs, Little Rock, North Little Rock and Russellville) are shaving 50 percent off all Mother's Day pizza purchases. (501) 831-2960.
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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