I often tell potential restaurant owners that the best part about living in Little Rock is that there is no pressure to create something new, we stay a solid 3-5 years behind trends and something unique will likely fail. The positive is that it gives restaurant owners a chance to study trends across the country, pick out the best examples of them, and create a perfect version of the concept that is still first to our market.
The Rail Yard, opening this week, plays this script perfectly. It certainly is not the first food truck park, not the first backyard style setup, and certainly not the first trendy BBQ joint. Instead, it is the right place, opening at the right time, and the right combination of successful concepts that they pulled from to make the perfect spot.
Owners and sisters-in-law Murry and Linda Newbern, along with their friend and relative Virginia Ann Young researched the concept well. The Rail Yard combines ideas from some of the best food truck parks in the country like The Truck Stop in Dallas and some of the best patio venues like Loflin Yard in Memphis. The space is flexible, dynamic, and heavily casual. It is a spot you really feel comfortable in. It can be a music venue one night, a party next, and just a normal sit down restaurant the following. There is no limit to how the area can be utilized.
The biggest trend they uncovered while researching was that the most successful food truck parks had a permanent restaurant attached. It provides consistency to the offerings, and service for when no trucks are out. They made the smart move to team up with the highly successful folks at Count Porkula to create the BBQ restaurant that Little Rock was missing.
BBQ is certainly nothing new, but the new wave of BBQ owners who take their craft very seriously is. Go to several of the hot spots in Texas and you will often find a line hundreds deep, set up hours before the space opens. Count Porkula is the first BBQ spot in Little Rock to be on that level of craft, and will no doubt generate the following they deserve.
Combined it is the perfect marriage of space and food, something that will get variety and spark with the various food trucks that shuffle through the outdoor area. It is perfected by having a strong inside area with televisions, comfortable seating, and a full bar. Throughout the Rail Yard has full-service wait staff handling drinks and Count Porkula’s food menu, while food trucks are self-service. The bar features a strong selection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails.
Outside they have several games like large Jenga, baggo, and massive beer pong. They will have heaters and firepits up for the colder months and have a covered area to protect from any weather. Food truck wise they have several spaces for trucks along with full power, so no loud generators. They also have a setup for live music that will no doubt be a hot spot for concerts.
The Rail Yard officially opens this Thursday (November 15th) with a launch party featuring Say Cheese and Pinches Tacos food trucks along with Count Porkula and live music. After that, the hours are Sunday – Thursday 11-9; Friday & Saturday 11-10.
The Rail Yard
1212 E 6th St, Little Rock