Rumbles: So Restaurant’s Regina Smith Passes Away, Cilantro’s Grill Closes, New Happy Hour at Raduno

The longtime owner of SO Restaurant in Hillcrest has died. Regina Smith passed away Friday at her home surrounded by her family and closest friends. Smith had fought cancer and health issues for years while running the restaurant and making the chocolate sack dessert that she introduced to Little Rock’s food scene more than a decade ago. On Facebook, SO head chef Cody Rudd said “Her generosity and compassion have made so much of my life over the past few years possible. Just know that She wanted SO to live on, and that’s what is going to happen, we’ll all do our part to make this place run just the way she would have wanted it to. She did a lot for us up here and we are far from repaying that to her and her family.” The family is holding visitation services Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., and funeral services Saturday at 11 a.m. at New Life Church in North Little Rock. Smith’s favorite color was red, and her favorite pattern was leopard print. The family is asking guests to wear red or an animal print in her honor.

North Little Rock’s Cilantro’s Grill has closed its doors for good. In late November, owner Ignacio Jimenez posted the closing notice on the restaurant’s Facebook page, thanking his loyal customers for their business and promising to see them again soon. Cilantro’s was one of the more authentic Mexican restaurants in North Little Rock, serving up classics like posole and making tortillas fresh every day. While Cilantro’s is now closed, fans of the business should know that Jimenez also owns Nacho’s Fine Authentic Mexican in Cabot, which is still going strong.

Raduno Brick Oven and Taproom is changing up the traditional happy hour model. Instead of a set discount on a particular food or beverage item, each weekday Raduno is open will have its own special sale from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays have drink specials as well as $5 meatballs and whipped feta. Wednesdays are for lower prices on wines and whiskeys, and Thursdays will have rotating draft beer specials. This all kicks off Friday at 2 p.m. with a special launch party event.

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Maumelle barbecue restaurant Smoke Shack now has a new website up and running. While shackbarbq.com has everything you would expect, like the menu, contact information hours and media reviews, it also has a small shop that sells the restaurant’s rub mix and sauces. When we stopped by Smoke Shack for a feature earlier this year, we were especially impressed with the restaurant’s sauce lineup. All three – Original, Hot, and Sweet & Spicy – were very well made and capably accented the smoky meat. All three sauces run $4.95 a piece, while the spice rub is $5.95. If you don’t have time to stop in at the restaurant (and you should make time at least once to go), this is a great option for getting some of the best barbecue sauce in town to your home.

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Rumbles: So Restaurant’s Regina Smith Passes Away, Cilantro’s Grill Closes, New Happy Hour at Raduno