Rumbles: New Owner for Next Bistro, Wee Betty’s Closes, kBird Winter Break Soon

Longtime bar manager at The Pantry Eugene Lee is leaving that job after purchasing Hillcrest’s Next Bistro and Bar. Lee has spent years making The Pantry and The Pantry Crest into one of the better bar programs in Little Rock. Having spent a few evenings at Next, I have little doubt that Lee will provide an immediate upgrade in the cocktail menu and management of the establishment. In a Facebook post, Next Bistro and Bar announced it will close for the next few weeks while Lee and his team make changes and get the staff trained on the new menu and techniques. We will let you know Next holds its grand reopening.

We’re only a few days into the new year, and already 2018 has claimed its first restaurant victim. Wee Betty’s Café in Jacksonville will close its doors after today. The restaurant and café have already closed; only the market is open now. The owners say they will be selling off the restaurant equipment over the next few weeks and potentially moving back to the United Kingdom. Wee Betty’s was a traditional English restaurant that featured classics like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and scones.

You have one week to get your kBird fix in before the restaurant closes for its traditional winter break. Richard Glasgow will close his Thai spot on Thursday, Jan. 11, and return to reopen it Feb. 12. Every year, Glasgow closes for about a month and heads to Thailand to see friends and learn more about the heritage of Thai food. kBird is open for lunch during the week and for dinner Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Due to the cold weather, La Terraza Rum and Lounge has announced it will only be open weekdays for dinner service until March. The restaurant opted to cancel its weekday lunch service during the colder months; considering how important the Venezuelan spot’s patio is to business, this is a pretty logical move. La Terraza will still be open for lunch on Saturdays and brunch Sundays. The move should also give Armando and Sarah Bolanos more time to update Graffiti’s, which they purchased last fall. The two have promised some changes in 2018 to improve the quality of that restaurant.

Ira’s chef and owner Ira Mittelman tells me his new restaurant on Main Street in downtown Little Rock should be ready to go sometime in February. Mittelman last year closed Ira’s Park Hill Grill to prepare for the move into the Rose Building, an early 1900’s construction that will also be home to A.W. Lin’s second location. Mittelman and his design team are working on a space that will feature modern touches while celebrating the heritage of one of downtown Little Rock’s oldest buildings. Mittelman has been working for more than a year to get the spot open. Most of the delays in construction have been to ensure that all changes maintain the building’s historical significance.

With the new year comes opportunities for new restaurants and veteran owners to make their mark on Little Rock’s food scene. We took a look at what you can expect to change in 2018.

Events

  • January 20 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

    LIVE Music: Mark Currey

    at Core Public House – North Little Rock Argenta

    Early show. No Cover. Solo acoustic music, great food, and fine Arkansas Craft Beers!

  • January 23 @ 7:00 am - 7:00 pm

    National Pie Day with Honey Pies

    at Honey Pies Gourmet Bakery & Cafe

    Our favorite day of the year is Tuesday, January 23rd: National Pie Day!! Don’t be left out, pre-order your whole pie or pop in for a mini pie and celebrate Pie Day with us. We’ll be hosting a “check-in” Facebook contest all day at the bakery for a chance to ...

  • January 23 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Game Night

    at Flyway Brewing

    Join us for game night at Flyway Brewing’s tasting room! Game Goblins, your friendly local game store, will be providing unique, fun games of all types. Come on by from 5pm until 9pm on Tuesday, January 23rd, bring a friend or join a group, enjoy a local brew and some ...

  • January 23 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

    Kat Robinson’s ‘Another Slice of Arkansas Pie’ pre-order party

    at Honey Pies Gourmet Bakery & Cafe

    Our favorite author & Queen of Arkansas Pie, Kat Robinson, is working on a new book for our collection and we couldn’t be more pleased! Join us on National Pie Day for a pop-in reception in Kat’s honor including pie story-telling pie sampling & a pie-themed cocktail provided by o...

  • January 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Big Red Ball Homebrew Contest

    at Next Level Events

    Our 5th annual pro-am contest to crown the official beer of the LRKA – Little Rock Kickball Association! We will be raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas again this year. Tickets available now! $25 General Admission: includes hor d’oeuvres, samples from contestan...

  • January 28 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Little Rock Soup Sunday 2018

    at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

    Ask anyone – Little Rock Soup Sunday is one of THE MOST FUN events in Central Arkansas! The atmosphere is “souper” casual and family-friendly, the food is always delicious, and the cause most important – the future of Arkansas’s kids. The Wally Allen Ballroom will be lined with...

  • February 25 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Italian Wine Dinner

    at Ristorante Capeo

    Travel to the northern province of Piedmont, Italy without leaving Arkansas! Chef Eric Isaac will prepare four courses with special wine pairings that will transport you to the foothills of the Italian Alps. Come feast with friends to benefit our 2018 Nonprofit Partner (to be announced on Jan 9th). ...

  • April 19 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Diamond Chef Arkansas

    at UA – Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute

    The University of Arkansas – Pulaski Tech Technical College Foundation and the UA-PTC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute (CAHMI) present the premier culinary competition and fundraiser—Diamond Chef Arkansas. Diamond Chef Arkansas is a competitive culinary competition that pit...

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Rumbles: New Owner for Next Bistro, Wee Betty’s Closes, kBird Winter Break Soon