Rumbles: Poke Hula in The Heights, Proof Bar Opens, Slate Rock Brewery Coming Soon

It looks like the poke craze is big enough in Little Rock to add another restaurant. The owners of Poke Hula say they are putting a second location in the Heights neighborhood. This one is going up at Kavanaugh Boulevard, in the location that used to belong to Red Mango. Poke Hula opened its doors just a couple of months ago on 3rd Street, and so far ownership says the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Look for more information about Poke Hula in the Heights over the coming weeks; the space is largely ready from when Red Mango was there, so the opening shouldn’t take very long. For those who haven’t caught poke fever, we’re talking about a dish made of raw fish served on rice and tossed with toppings and a dressing. Little Rock’s other poke location is Ohia Poke on 6th Street in the former Lulav location.

Just down the road from the Heights, we’re pleased to report that Proof Bar + Lounge is now open for business. Owner Gene Lee has all of his permits in place and is ready to start serving drinks from the bar. Lee says he’s still working on getting kitchen staff in place, so for now Proof will not be serving food. However, with St. Patrick’s Day coming up this weekend, Lee wanted to make sure Proof was available for revelers to stop in. Proof Bar + Lounge is the newest bar in Hillcrest, in the same spot where Next Bistro and Bar used to be. Lee was the former bar manager of The Pantry and The Pantry Crest before setting out on his own.

Congratulations to Slate Rock Brewing in Amity, Ark. The start-up brew team of Shawn and Orianne Burgess has all of their licensing and will be opening their brewery and taproom next month. Slate Rock will be the first brewery ever in Clark County, which was a dry county until 2011. Slate Rock will operate a six-BBL system (1 BBL = 31 gallons) and will start out with four easy drinking beers, including a smoked stout and a lightly hopped pale ale. Slate Rock won’t have a kitchen; it’s “bring your own food” unless there’s a food truck parked outside. We’ll let you know as soon as Slate Rock announces an opening date.

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This Saturday marks the annual block party at Dugan’s Pub in downtown Little Rock. This is when 3rd Street closes for the day so that party-goers can enjoy food, beer and plenty of live music in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. with the arrival of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which starts in North Little Rock. The celebration goes until at least 11 p.m. While there is rain in the forecast, don’t think a little water will slow things down. The party has traditionally gone strong even in rainy weather.

You might notice something interesting in the food court at Park Plaza mall. David’s Burgers is no longer selling burgers at that location. Owner Allan Bubbus tells me that business throughout the mall has dropped significantly over the past year, but he still has to keep the business open due to the terms of the lease. So for now, David’s in the mall will only sell frozen custard and fries. Of course, all other David’s Burgers locations will still be grilling up fresh-ground beer six days a week.

Have you made lunch plans yet for today? How about coming to eat with us at La Terraza in Hillcrest? Today is the first Rock City Eats lunch club meet-up, where we post a lunch spot every month and you come dine with us. We hope to see a lot of you there!

Blue Canoe Brewing Company is the latest brewery to offer canned beer. We took a look this week at the beautiful can art and Blue Canoe’s canning plans for the future.

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Rumbles: Poke Hula in The Heights, Proof Bar Opens, Slate Rock Brewery Coming Soon