After 25 years (and some change) of fine dining in Little Rock, 1620 Savoy announced that they will close immediately. The restaurant building will continue to operate events and private parties while seeking a permanent tenant.
1620 opened in 1990, 1620 was once a bright spot in Little Rock dining. It become a go-to spot for fine dining, and at the time one of the highest priced restaurants in the city. It changed hands a couple of times before settling with RH Cuisine owned by Rush Harding.
With the rise in fine dining it was in desperate need of a facelift and menu overhaul. RH Cuisine remodeled and rebranded to 1620 Savoy in 2012, adding the Savoy portion as a nod to Harlem’s the first integrated jazz club. The rebranded 1620 was led by Payne Harding in his first restaurant role along with Tim Morton.
In 2014 RH Cuisine brought in beloved Little Rock restaurateur Denis Seyer to consult with reinventing the menu and bring new life to the location. Ultimately 1620 Savoy was never able to revive the once-great appeal of the location and RH Cuisine sold the restaurant operations to Jeffrey Edwards in May 2015.
Edwards had no previous restaurant ownership experienced, but was excited to take on the restaurant calling it a lifelong dream to own a restaurant. Former chef Tim Morton stayed to guide the kitchen through the transition with Joseph Salgueiro taking on the executive chef role.
Unfortunately in under a year of ownership 1620 was never able to attract a sizable following, even though during a visit in the fall we found the food to be improved and the prices more reasonable. We reached out to Edwards’ team yesterday for a statement, but at the time of posting have yet to receive one. We will update the story when/if one is released.
RH Cuisine still maintains ownership of the building. In a release they said they that all catering obligations will be fulfilled by RH Catering, led by Chef Tim Morton. Going forward the building will be available immediately for full service catered events and parties as well as long-term commercial lease for pre-approved restaurant or food service operations.
No word yet on potential tenants for the building. The area was once a hotbed for restaurants, but there have been a number of closings in the area recently as dining has shifted. There is potential for success in the spot, nearby restaurants Table 28 and The Pantry have been very successful. A new restaurant with a fresh concept and the right price point has the potential to do well here.