The long standing 1620 location closed its doors late last year after being opened for more than 26 years. Now Petit & Keet Bar and Grill is ready to set a long standing run of their own with a new “polished-casual” eatery in the same spot. The grand opening will be May 18th, and will bring one of Little Rock’s legendary restaurant names back to town.
Owners Jim Keet (previously the president of the Taziki’s chain) is combining forces with Louis Petit, who is a Arkansas Food Hall of Fame inductee, known best for his ownership of the famed Jacques & Suzanne.
“We are excited to bring a chef-driven menu, original signature cocktails, and an expansive wine list with affordable prices to the West Little Rock area,” said co-owner, Jim Keet. “Little Rock has a growing number of food savvy customers who are looking for restaurants that are locally owned with great food, unique and vibrant atmospheres, and a top-notch staff. We look forward to exceeding their expectations.”
Jim Keet has been in the Arkansas restaurant business since 1975, and currently owns and operates Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafés and Paninis and Company in Arkansas with his sons, Tommy and Jake (also partners in Petit & Keet).
The restaurant barely resembles the old 1620, which was in desperate need of a dramatic face lift. Gone are the late 80’s club styling, in are very modern finishes both inside and out.
The interior of Petit & Keet was designed in collaboration with Little Rock native Garry Mertins and the construction was performed by KO Construction Management. “We are so excited about how the restaurant has come together. There is no place else in Arkansas that will have the look and feel of Petit & Keet,” said Luke O’Gary, COO of KO Construction.
The new restaurant will offer a variety of menu items, including dishes crafted by local chefs, and utilize as many local products and ingredients as possible. Petit & Keet will also feature a full bar with specialty drinks, cocktails and a first class bartending staff. With the restaurant’s polished-casual redesign, guests will be able to enjoy the outdoor patio, a new sidewalk café, or the redesigned dining room. Petit & Keet will also have three private event rooms, accommodating parties from 10 to 70.
“Jim and I have been friends for decades and share a passion for excellent food and outstanding service. We have been talking about bringing an exciting new restaurant to Arkansas for years and we are looking forward to making Petit & Keet an unforgettable venue for our guests,” said co-owner Louis Petit.
Petit’s most known spot, Jacques & Suzanne, became an iconic fine-dining establishment that brought fine cuisine in a romantic atmosphere to Little Rock. Petit is considered responsible for inspiring many of the fine dining concepts around the city today. Petit later moved to the Florida Gulf Coast area where he opened and ran a restaurant until returning to Little Rock
Brent Lenners will serve as Petit and Keet’s general manager. Mr. Lenners’ experience includes acting as food and beverage director for Native Lights Casino in Oklahoma and Margaritaville Resort and Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana. His wife, Tyler, will act as assistant general manager and event coordinator.
Petit & Keet will open to the public on May 18th, expect plenty of information about the new spot in the weeks to come.