Rumbles: Zin Closing Downtown, Ira’s Opening Soon, South on Main Three-Course Dinner

After eight years in downtown Little Rock, Zin Urban Wine and Beer Bar is closing. Managing partner Michael Puckett announced on Facebook that he and Troy Deal will close Zin on June 30. In a separate post, Puckett said parking issues and the impending I-30 project convinced them to put their energy into the West Little Rock location. Zin will hold a going-away party on Friday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. to give their fans a last chance to say goodbye. Zin’s location at the Market Place Shopping Center on Rodney Parham Road will stay open seven days a week.

It’s been 18 months since it was announced, but Ira’s Restaurant is almost ready to open. The new Main Street spot has soft opens planned the first week of July and should be ready to open its doors the following week. Chef and owner Ira Mittelman closed Ira’s Park Hill Grill in January 2017 to make the move to downtown Little Rock and the Rose Building. However, the protected nature of the historic building has made for a very slow renovation and overhaul. Ira’s is bringing over some of the dishes from his Park Hill location. The plan is for weekday lunch service and dinner, as well as dinner on Saturdays. Ira’s will be closed on Sundays.

There’s a new way to enjoy dinner at South on Main. Chef Matt Bell is offering a prix fixe three-course tasting menu for $35 per person. The menu will change monthly. For the remainder of June, the menu will feature a first course Buffalo Quail with Slaw and Blue Cheese, second course Duck Confit with Black Eyed Pea Salad, and third course Blackberry Cobbler Jar. For an additional $20, each course will get its own wine pairing (obviously I recommend that). This particular prix fixe menu only lasts through Saturday; after that, we’ll have to see what the South on Main crew conjures up for July.

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The Pizzeria’s bar manager Dillon Garcia is leaving the Heights restaurant this weekend. Garcia is leaving The Pizzeria to join the team at Live Life Chill, which is going into the space that once housed the Revolution Restaurant on President Clinton Ave. Garcia helped shape The Pizzeria into one of the better cocktail menus in Little Rock, with an eye on expressing classic drinks in new and intriguing ways. Garcia will be at the Puffs on the Patio event Friday evening starting at 9 p.m. at The Pizzeria; the event is serving as an informal going-away party.

No word on if this is a permanent move yet, but for the last two Sundays Kontiki African Restaurant in Alexander has been offering a Sunday buffet for lunch and dinner. For $15, you get to try a little bit of almost everything the Sierra Leone restaurant has to offer. If you haven’t been, I strongly urge you to fix that soon. Kontiki is a completely new experience for Central Arkansas, and they make very good food to boot (get the cassava).

June appears to be the month to open a restaurant in Little Rock. This week, we broke down our favorite dishes at the new Cathead’s Diner in East Village.

And the folks from The Southern Gourmasian have opened their newest restaurant. We stopped by TAE at the Hotel Frederica for a First Look at a place that promises Southern classics done well.

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Rumbles: Zin Closing Downtown, Ira’s Opening Soon, South on Main Three-Course Dinner