New restaurant openings look to be the biggest story in June, with four highly anticipated new businesses opening their doors this month. Cathead’s Diner, a collaboration between Donnie Ferneau and Kelli Marks, opened yesterday and is serving breakfast and lunch six days a week (closed Mondays). Ira’s Restaurant by chef Ira Mittelman on Main Street is going through its final permitting and is looking to open next week. The same is true for TAE, or True Arkansas Eatery, in the Hotel Frederica. Justin Patterson and CC Key’s follow-up to The Southern Gourmasian should also open in the next 1–2 weeks. And Hallin’ Good Food, a food truck from K. Hall and Sons, should be out on the street any day now. All of these restaurants fill a specific niche in Little Rock’s food scene; here’s hoping they all meet with success.
One of the state’s most popular food festivals has set its date for 2018. The Arkansas Cornbread Festival will be held on Oct. 27 in the SoMa neighborhood. If you’ve never been, this is as fun a celebration of cornbread as you can have. Cooking teams will be sampling out their best cornbread recipe to the crowds for both a people’s choice award and for the judges. There’s also a bevy of Southern arts and crafts, music, and plenty of fun for the kids as well. Tickets for the festival are $8 in advance and $10 at the gate. They go on sale Aug. 20.
La Terraza Rum and Lounge has announced it is closing its lunch service during the week. The restaurant hasn’t been seeing the type of business during these hot days to justify staying open on weekdays. La Terraza will still serve lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sundays, along with its regular dinner service Tuesday through Saturday. La Terraza has scheduled one of its ladies’ night events for Wednesday, June 27. The event features three specially made small plates and either a glass of wine or mojito for $18. In addition, ladies can take advantage of La Terraza’s $3 wine special for select pours Wednesday; that deal is good every Wednesday (including tonight).
Former South on Main pastry chef and Loblolly Creamery manager Matthew Lowman opens the doors on his new restaurant in Missouri next Wednesday. Lowman is helming the crew at The Farmer’s Daughter: An Ozark Eatery in Cassville, Missouri. The menu is a mix of Southern diner favorites, from cheese dip and fried chicken salad to a pimento grilled cheese sandwich and steaks. The restaurant opens June 20. Cassville is about 45 minutes north of Eureka Springs in the Ozark Mountains.
And the new restaurant planned at the former Helmich’s Auto Garage in Hillcrest is looking for its final go-ahead next week. The Little Rock Board of Directors will consider the redevelopment at its meeting on Tuesday. Daniel Bryant, who is behind restaurant concepts like Sauce(d) and The Fountain, is planning a burger, craft beer and ice cream shop on the property, as well as an outdoor park. The plan would create a new structure on Kavanaugh at Beechwood and would include tearing down a house on Beechwood behind Helmich’s to make room for the park.
Rock Town Distillery is holding a special anniversary tasting and opening of their new space on South Main on June 23rd. Their anniversary whiskey this year will be a 4 year old Bottled in Bond Straight Rye Whiskey that is only available in the tasting room. That will be available starting at 11am on the 23rd, followed by a special ticketed anniversary tasting at 6:30 that night. You can buy tickets for the tasting here.
Planning a trip to Northwest Arkansas? Do not miss Saiwok Vietnamese Street Food. We stopped in this week and were just blown away by the food and the very generous prices.
Ever wonder about the food served at The 1836 Club on Cantrell? We took a look at how the private restaurant has developed its tastes since opening two years ago.