Rumbles: Southern Salt Closes, Saffron Indian Cuisine Opens, Bark Bar First Birthday

Southern Salt Food Company, one of the anchors of Little Rock’s food truck resurgence in 2014, has closed for good. The quirky little truck run by Lauren McCants hasn’t been very active in more than a year, and last week McCants announced she was closing the business. In its prime, Southern Salt was apt to put just about anything on the menu, though it specialized in tacos and burritos made with as many fresh ingredients as McCants could find. In 2016, McCants began limiting Southern Salt’s appearances while she helmed the kitchen at White Water Tavern. She is now going back to school, though she is available for private catering and smaller gigs. McCants promises to post some new menus in the near future.

West Little Rock is getting a new Indian Restaurant this weekend. Saffron Indian Cuisine is opening on Cantrell Road in the space that used to belong to J. Gumbo’s. The restaurant has posted to Facebook that it will be open August 25 and 26 for Raksha Bandhan, a traditional Indian and Nepalese festival. Saffron’s attractive website lists a menu for the restaurant, including some eye-opening dishes like Pastooni Lobster, Noorani Branzino and Dum Pukht Lamb Shank. While we haven’t gotten a look inside the restaurant, the menu certainly looks like a more upscale take on Indian food than we’ve seen in Little Rock before. We’ll be sure to check it out and report back soon.

Happy first birthday to SoMa’s Bark Bar. On Saturday evening, Bark Bar will hold its “First Birthday Pawty” celebration from 7 until 10 p.m. The first 50 doggos (and their owners) will get a free swag bag, and everyone will get to enjoy live music, pup portraits and drawings for prizes. Also, Loblolly Creamery will be bringing the food truck out for the occasion, and Bark Bar will have some food and drink specials for the humans in attendance. Tickets to the event are $10 and are on sale now online and in person. Humans must be 21 years or older to attend; pups must be four months or older, up to date on all shots, and have a record on file with Bark Bar. You can fill out the record online before bringing your dog to the event.

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It’s not currently “at Arthur’s,” but Ocean’s is open at its new location on Chenal Parkway. Earlier this month the sushi-plus restaurant started serving at the former Acura dealership across from Kroger. For the moment, Ocean’s is still serving Sunday brunch at Arthur’s on Rahling Road, but all other meal services are at 16100 Chenal Parkway. Ocean’s is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday. The restaurant is best known for sushi from its excellent chef Alex Guzman and his team.

Fayetteville Roots festival is underway today in Northwest Arkansas. Check out our preview of the Food and Spirits event, which features learning, competition, and plenty of great food and drink.

Heifer International is working with several Little Rock restaurants for World Food Day. Here’s our story on how the partnership will bring sustainable food to the needs while also helping drive business for restaurant owners.

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Rumbles: Southern Salt Closes, Saffron Indian Cuisine Opens, Bark Bar First Birthday