The Little Rock restaurant scene has evolved dramatically in recent years. Those of us who have been around Little Rock for a while can attest to the dramatic growth. Many of the places we eat at today were nonexistent, old gas stations, warehouses, or called something different even 10 years ago.
My first job out of college for example was in the building that now houses Dempsey Bakery, we would go next door to Diamond Bear (now Kent Walker Cheese) after work and have a beer at the only non-restaurant brewery in town. Now both of those places have changed, Diamond Bear has moved and the brewery scene has exploded.
While I cannot dig back into my early 90’s memories of the restaurant scene, we can leverage Google Map’s history to look back at the progress of over the past ten years. Many of the places we ate at have changed hands several times. (Give it a second to load, it is worth it)
Brownings became Heights Taco and Tamale.
Ferneau became Kemuri.
Juanita’s became South on Main.
In addition to all the changes, several places renovated old buildings to become some of our favorite eats.
Capital Hotel was a dump (for those picky readers, “in desperate need of a renovation”) before the renovation that brought us changes to Ashley’s that later would become One Eleven, and Capital Bar and Grill.
Flyway Brewing used this shady little pool hall and later furniture storage in Argenta.
Rebel Kettle turned this non-descript warehouse into a top notch brewery.
The Fold went from gas pumps to an awesome patio.
Finally, there are those places that just didn’t exist 10 years ago that the growth in the restaurant industry, along with downtown housing, and westward expansion have helped spur.
Dugan’s Pub was an empty lot.
The whole Promenade at Chenal was a forest (recently cleared in this photo).
Cache was just a small Rivermarket police outpost.