North Little Rock-based catering business Simply the Best has closed. The business shut down last week after the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration issued a close order due to nonpayment of state sales tax. The company’s website and Facebook page have both been shut down. There are several people who have posted on social media that they had made catering plans with Simply the Best and are now having to scramble to get their events covered. I briefly spoke with owner and chef Brian Kearns, who said only that he was disappointed with how things ended up. Kearns bought the company after serving as its executive chef two years ago. Kearns previously worked at YaYa’s Euro Bistro, Kemuri, Arthur’s Steakhouse and the Country Club of Little Rock. Simply the Best had previously held a restaurant location at the Arkansas Arts Center, but that location is now run by Petit and Keet.
Congratulations to Raduno Brick Oven and Barroom, which this weekend will celebrate its fourth anniversary. Originally opened as Piro before a name change in its first year, Raduno has fostered a dedicated fan base in the SoMa neighborhood with its pizzas, salads and excellent craft beer selection. The fourth anniversary celebration is Saturday, which coincidentally is also National Pizza Day. On Saturday, all Raduno classic pies will be $10 and all 20 of its taps will pour for only $4 each. Given a few of the rare selections on the tap wall, this is really a great deal. There will also be smoked meat from Mr. Mason’s BBQ and a photo booth. The party starts at 11 a.m. and lasts until the restaurant closes.
I can’t believe this is possible, but tickets are still available for the annual Love for Flyway Beer Dinner at South on Main Tuesday. Every year, Flyway and South on Main partner up for a multi-course dinner before Valentine’s Day, and both times I’ve been have been some of the most memorable dining experiences I’ve had in Little Rock. Tuesday’s menu features welcome hors d’ouevres and four courses, all paired with a Flyway brew. They all look good, but the second course of Lamb Vindaloo paired with Early Bird IPA looks like something truly exciting. Tickets are still available for $55 (tax and tip not included) by calling the restaurant at 501-244-9660 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fassler Hall this weekend is adding a craft market shopping experience to its typical brunch. On Sunday, the beer hall is hosting the Valentine’s Brunch Market, a collection of craftsmakers, artists and local merchants who will be selling their products during brunch service. Businesses like Loblolly Creamery, Electric Ghost, Bang-Up Betty and many others will be available from 12–3 p.m. on Sunday. And yes, you can definitely grab a mimosa while you shop (or better yet, a glass of Bourbon Barrel-aged Love Honey Bock by Lost Forty Brewing). Fassler Hall will also have its full brunch menu available. There is no charge to attend the brunch market.
And the SoMa neighborhood is getting yet another new bar and restaurant. We took a First Look at the new Atlas Bar and found an all-star team working toward the grand opening.