Three Sams BBQ Joint is finally starting to look like its old self again. Construction crews have begun work on rebuilding the front porch, which will be screened in to provide some new outdoor seating. The walls are up around the kitchen, and a new metal roof has been installed. Three Sams owner Annette Jones says she is close to announcing a reopening date, though there’s no indication how far out that might be. Three Sams has been closed for 10 months after burning down in a fire that started in one of the restaurant’s smokers. It is still open for lunch from a concession trailer in the parking lot every Wednesday through Friday.
At its winter meeting Monday, the Arkansas Brewers Guild released updated statistics on the state of brewing in Arkansas. The guild says 28 breweries produced more than 24,000 barrels of beer in Arkansas in 2015 (a barrel is 31 gallons). That total represents a 63-percent increase in production over 2014, which is an impressive jump in just one year. There are now craft breweries in nine of Arkansas’ 75 counties, and the guild says at least eight more are in the planning stages. The Arkansas Brewers Guild estimates Arkansas breweries had more than half a billion dollar impact on the state’s economy in 2015.
Justin and Andrea Wilson of Hot Rod Wieners food truck have opened a new brick-and-mortar restaurant in Cabot. Pea Farm Bistro opened earlier this year on South Pine Street. The restaurant is open 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and serves a trim menu of soups, sandwiches and side items. Already, the Wilsons are working with local vendors to make their products, including Honeysuckle Lane Cheese. They say they will be adding new items to the menu in the future, including more vegetarian options and new sandwich recipes.
Speaking of sandwiches, you can now find a lineup of paninis at Juice Bar Little Rock in the Midtowne Shopping Center. Paninis & Company sells directly beside Juice Bar with a lineup of paninis and salads with housemade dressing. I got to try the turkey salad last week and found it really enjoyable. Be warned, if you buy something from Juice Bar and from Paninis & Company at the same time, you will have to make two separate transactions. Paninis & Company is developing a catering menu, as well as several vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Locally Labeled, a promotion of Little Rock and North Little Rock, has expanded its passport program to 14 breweries, wineries and distilleries. Newly added are the area’s most recent breweries: Flyway Brewing, Rebel Kettle Brewing Company, The Water Buffalo and Buffalo Brewing Company, and Core Public House in Argenta. You can now pick up a Locally Labeled Passport at every adult beverage maker in town. With every visit, you’ll add a stamp to your passport, getting you closer to souvenirs, including a Locally Labeled coaster and t-shirt.