If you’ve ever spent an extended period of time in the Northeast region of our country, you know that restaurant parking can often be at a premium. Hell, more than once I spent 30 minutes looking for a spot in Boston. Even in Little Rock, several restaurants have very limited available parking. But for the most part, the overwhelming majority of eating establishments in our town have adequate, well-maintained parking lots.
Obviously, some lots are better than others. And some … well some, are just plain awful. In no particular order, here are the 5 Worst Restaurant Parking Lots in Little Rock:
This lot is a stranger to no one. The ever-popular Vino’s has been around for a long time, making fantastic pizza and brewing top-notch beer. But let’s get one thing straight … this parking lot is a complete sh*t storm of potholes, cracks, broken concrete and loose gravel that are all sure to wreak havoc on your car’s suspension. The one saving grace of this lot is its overall size—even on busy nights, I’m always able to find a spot.
Thank goodness diners can use the bank’s parking lot across the street. Why? Well, The Pantry’s oddly-configured primary lot is filled with potholes, and it’s damn near impossible to get a spot during popular dining times. If you somehow “luck out” and do find a space, have fun backing out of it later in the night. With poor sight lines, you literally feel as if you’re about to run over some poor shmuck. No one deserves such a fate after downing a delicious Rustic Bowl.
Casa Mañana (Cantrell location)
To be fair, Casa Mañana’s actual parking lot isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s actually pretty accessible and has a nice layout. But there’s just one little thing … trying pulling out onto Cantrell during a busy time of day. Be prepared to gun it! The exit sits just low enough, making it somewhat difficult to see often fast-moving westbound traffic on Cantrell.
The Faded Rose/Maddie’s Place
On paper, this looks like the perfect little parking lot. It’s located right across the street from a major row of restaurants, has a uniform, rectangular shape and seems to provide a fair number of actual spaces. Ahhhh, but try wedging your SUV into one of those spots. And even more insane is the nightmarish back out. It’s a freaking miracle if your car doesn’t love-tap a Jeep.
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse/Lenny’s Sub Shop/Starbucks
You know the parking lot I’m talking about—the one in WLR right across the street from that big Embassy Suites. I’ve never eaten at Kobe, but do find myself stopping in for a Lenny’s sandwich from time-to-time. BEWARE! Between the hours of 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., this lot is a complete cluster-f. First of all, it’s packed. Secondly, the lot has a fairly sharp curve right in the middle, making it difficult to see cars. The spaces are tight and there is a constant flow of traffic due to the quick in-and-out nature of the shops.
Honorable Mention: ZAZA’s
ZAZA’s has the perfect storm for a sh*tty parking lot—mega-popular restaurant, odd layout and one-way traffic flow. Not to mention half the parking spaces seem allocated for Feinstein’s which I have yet to see anyone enter.