Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Online

Eric E. Harrison

Arkansas Online

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Past articles by Eric:

Restaurant transitions: Arbela Middle Eastern Grill finally open, Thanksgiving Day meals

To paraphrase the poet, the best laid plans of mice, men and restaurateurs gang aft agley, and Buck Sayyah, co-owner of Arbela Middle Eastern Grill, on the ground floor of the Tower Building, 323 Center St. (actually on West Fourth between Louisiana and Center streets), Little Rock, has had his share of plans go agley, up to and including having to replace the vent-a-hood that the former tenant,… → Read More

Restaurant transitions: new Pei Wei in Promenade at Chenal, Grampa's Southern Catfish closed?

Lee Strother, principal and vice president of brokerage at real estate broker Colliers International, says that through his representation, Pei Wei Asian Diner, LLC has leased 3,000 square feet at 17701 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, which happens to be the address of the Promenade at Chenal. Although the folks in the upscale shopping center's marketing department wouldn't confirm or deny the… → Read More

Restaurant transitions: Silent Sunday, new food court planned

Nearly four dozen central Arkansas restaurants, restaurant chains and other commercial providers of comestibles will be providing food, drink and desserts for Silent Sunday, the annual benefit for the Arkansas School for the Deaf (this year's proceeds go directly to technology programs), noon-3 p.m. Sunday at the Statehouse Convention Center, Markham and Main streets, Little Rock. Todd Yakoubian… → Read More

Restaurant transitions: Fu Lin has new owners, Jerky’s Spicy Chicken to open soon

According to a couple who have been "very regular customers for many years" of Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant in the Bowman Curve Center II shopping center, 200 N. Bowman Road, Little Rock, owners Wei Chiu and Jing Wen How have retired and sold the business to a gentleman named Yitan Chen. We've been unable to come up with any other details so far, but we'll keep checking. → Read More

Restaurant transitions: Sonny Williams' Steak Room has new owner, John Daly's set to open in 2016

Andy Agar, who opened Sonny Williams' Steak Room at 500 President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock's River Market District in 1999, before there was a River Market District, and sold it in 2002, has bought the restaurant back. Arkansas Business reports that he and several investors whom he is declining to name closed the sale Oct. 9. He told the publication he has been meeting with designers,… → Read More

Restaurant transitions: Changes at One Eleven, Plano opening, new McDonald's offerings

One Eleven, the upscale restaurant in Little Rock's Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., and the One Eleven Bar are making some changes to cater to early and later diners. There will be a $6/glass "wine of the day" and "beer of the day" to attract more of the after-work crowd (a possible "drink of the day" is still in the works). Chef Joel Antunes has come up with, along the lines of his already… → Read More

Lulu's offers taste of Andes

We enjoyed our first dinner experience, more or less, at Lulu's Latin Rotisserie & Grill in the Colonnade Center on Little Rock's North Bowman Road. We returned on a recent Wednesday night and -- shock! -- the place was locked, the wicker blinds drawn over the windows and nobody answered the phone. → Read More

Restaurant transitions: Mama B's new location, Lulu's new hours, Kemuri opens for lunch

The closure of the popular Mama B's Big Burgers, aka Burger Mama's, formerly at 10721 Kanis Road, Little Rock, to make room for outlets of chains -- to wit, Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts -- caused great lamenting. A migrant location on Cantrell Road was short-lived. Now, phoenix-like, Mama B's is back in Little Rock, reopening a couple of weeks ago at 1200 W. Daisy Gatson Bates Drive (at Cross… → Read More

RESTAURANT TRANSITIONS: Juice bar opens, winery delayed, cheese dip fest set

As of our deadline, Juice Bar Midtowne, despite some delays, was still on track to open today in the Midtowne Shopping Center, 201 N. University Ave., Little Rock. Hours, per the website (, are 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday; we still don't have a listed phone number (as of last week, the store, according to management, had a store cellphone but not a… → Read More

Restaurant transitions: Damgoode Pies to reopen; Latin American-Mediterranean spot set for Hillcrest

Damgoode Pies' Chief Operating Officer Roddy Crawford says there's now an Oct. 5 target date for the reopening of the original Hillcrest location, 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, which has been undergoing renovations for several months. Owner Jeff Trine told our colleagues at Sync a couple of weeks ago that the building "was in pretty rough shape." Among the holdups was the need to replace… → Read More

Restaurant roundup: Burger chain comes to Arkansas; Middle Eastern grill set for downtown LR

Mount Olive, N.C.-based Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries opened its first Arkansas franchise outlet Monday at 212 E. Beebe Capps Expressway, Searcy. The menu at the retro-themed diner ( offers fresh, never-frozen burgers, house-made frozen custard and other "classic favorites," like premium sliced cheesesteaks, from an open kitchen. Franchisees Louis and Shannon Froud say this will be… → Read More

Eatery takes a Fresh approach

Fresh: An Urban Eatery has a mission of sorts: "to prepare a fresh, quality meal for you in a casual, friendly and inviting environment," using, whenever possible, "local ingredients, meats, breads and produce." → Read More

Downtowners join brunch bunch

Once upon a time, Sunday brunch appeared to be the exclusive property of west Little Rock, Hillcrest and the Heights. Elsewhere, brunches were scarcer than the proverbial teeth of domesticated fowl who laid the eggs for Eggs Benedict. → Read More

Dickey's BBQ ribs please

For chain barbecue, it's not bad. → Read More

Heights Taco: Ark-Mex redux

The opening of any new project from Yellow Rocket Concepts (Scott McGehee et al., proprietors) prompts considerable anticipation among central Arkansas foodies but none, perhaps, more eagerly anticipated than Heights Taco & Tamale Co. in the former Browning's Mexican Grill in Little Rock's Pulaski Heights. → Read More

Ira's Grill has a hill to climb

There's much to like at Ira's Park Hill Grill, but not everything. → Read More

Bistro is epicurean's delight

It has been a natural progression for Boulevard Bread Co., from a fairly small-scale bakery/deli in the Heights, to a four-outlet mini-chain with an expanded menu, to the new, full-service, full-bar restaurant that recently opened next door to the original Heights bakery/deli. → Read More

Mr. Cheng's authentic, fresh

It is understandable to confuse Mr. Cheng's Authentic Chinese Cooking, which took over the former Lemongrass storefronts in an East McCain Boulevard strip center, with Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking, in south central Little Rock's Village Shopping Center. → Read More

Lost 40 brews, food top finds

The food at the Tap Room at Lost 40 Brewing is excellent. → Read More