The River Market area has always been the entertainment hub of Little Rock. It is even more so now with the entertainment district designation.
The Library: Kitchen + Lounge is looking to take full advantage of the entertainment value of the area when they open up late this year in the old Gusano’s location at 313 Clinton Ave.
“The idea is to bring a high energy concept, into a newly created entertainment district,” Rob Byford, project manager for The Library tells us. ”We were approached to create a concept, in an iconic building in downtown Little Rock to support the newly created RMED (River Market Entertainment District), and there is no doubt that we have done just that.”
One of the big additions will be a street-facing takeout window that will serve alcohol during RMED designated times and will allow for to-go food orders any time during restaurant hours.
The main part of the restaurant will feature garage-style doors facing the street that moves into a lounge-style area complete with astroturf in the front area. Inside will be a complete overhaul with the bar moving to the center of the room as a main focal point. They plan to feature a number of local craft beers and cocktails at both bar areas.
Entertainment wise there will be plenty of mounted televisions around the restaurant to broadcast sports. A stage will remain in the back and the Library will feature frequent music acts.
Food-wise Byford says to expect a lot of Delta influence, playing off his Memphis and Arkansas roots. BBQ will naturally be prominently featured in the form of meat platters, sandwiches, nachos, wings and Memphis style ribs. Byford always wants to play on some of the Italian influence in Arkansas by bringing in pasta selections featuring the Sunday Italian Gravy that he won this year’s Italian Food Festival competition with. Finally, since the Library is starting in the winter, expect a strong rotation of soups on the menu.
The name “The Library” comes in connection with the surrounding area, and something Byford says he wanted to have fun with. CALS main branch is next door and the Clinton Library is just down the road.
“We wanted this to be fun and ironic,” Byford says. “A library is a place you go to be quiet and study. THE Library is a place you come to be loud and have a good time. We want it to create a one of a kind experience in the River Market.”
Byford should know a thing or two about creating an entertainment space. He quite literally cut his teeth on Beale Street growing up in his father’s night club before working in the hospitality industry his entire adult life.
The Library is expected to open later this year in November or December. We will follow the progress and give updates as soon as we have them.