Safran has new owners, adds a weekend buffet; George’s remodel will cost $2.7 million
Indian food with saffronin The Center at Ten shopping mall, 12911 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, has new owners and is under new management, according to a Facebook post (facebook.com/SaffronLittleRock).
New manager Hussain Jivani says the first of several changes is a weekend lunch buffet — 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday through Sunday, $14.99 plus tax — “with the varieties of Indian dishes to offer you a fine dining experience,” according to the post, including, at least this past weekend, Sambar and Chicken Hot & Sour soups; Starters Aloo Bonda, Mini Samosa, Chicken Wings and Chicken Seekh Kebab; vegetarian entrees (Mix Dal, Punjabi Kadhi Pakoda, Paneer Dum Pukht Biryani); non-vegetarian starters (Butter Chicken, Mughlai Chicken, Lal Mas Goat, Manchurian Chicken, and Kheema Biryani); and dessert (Sevaiyya Kheer and Gulab Jamun). And Jivani confirms this Facebook post: “We are delighted to let you know that the meats we serve are Halal Certified.”
Jivani says he and his partners, one of whom ran Trail House in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas, are looking to add menu items including biryani and kebabs; considering possibly extending the buffet to three days a week; and adding a chaat night on Thursdays. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to Sunday for the buffet, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for Sunday dinner; 11am-2.30pm and 5pm-10pm from Monday to Thursday, 11am-2.30pm and 5pm-11pm on Friday and 5pm-11pm on Saturday evening. (501) 313-5335; safronarkansas.com.
Oh, and they added an Indian market next door, Indian market, open 10am-8pm Sunday-Thursday, 9am-8pm Friday-Saturday, where they are looking to add a halal butcher. (501) 817-6363.
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We reported last week that “an exciting new neighborhood Italian restaurant” called George’s was going to the old Cafe Prego, 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock. Now comes a building permit application that shows owners Mary Olive and John Stephens expect to spend more than $2.7 million to renovate the space, including a “complete renovation/addition to the building and site. of existing restaurants” which will require “the demolition of the existing structures and site areas required for the new design and development. East Harding Inc. of Little Rock is the contractor. “End of 2022” is still the goal to open the venue.
Hogg’s Meat Market & Catering last week completed its move from 4520 Camp Robinson Road, North Little Rock, to 3901 John F. Kennedy Blvd., on North Little Rock’s Park Hill, across the road from the mall that encompasses North bar and Old Mill Pizza. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (501) 758-7700; hoggsmeatmarket.com.
J&J Food Truck Yarda new food truck lot at 3295 Arkansas 367, Cabot, opens Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with six food trucks in attendance: Cheesecake on the verge, Nach’yo Nachos, The Cajun Kit, PopPop & YumYam, Juicy J Chicken & Fish LLC and ShoBo’s kitchen. Some small businesses in the area will also be setting up stalls and there will be “other fun activities throughout the day,” according to the Facebook post (facebook.com/JJFoodTruckYard). The organizers expect to be open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day, they can reserve food trucks.
And speaking of food trucks, the Maumelle Flavors Food Truck Festival is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Maumelle Middle School, 1000 Carnahan Drive, Maumelle. (501) 269-6642, [email protected]
Largest in Arkansas dairy queen franchisee, You Scream Holdings, LLC, will open its 13th DQ store “this summer” at 1222 S Rogers St., Clarksville. As usual, once the doors open, the first 100 people to purchase a cake will receive one free item each week for a year – residents of Clarksville can choose between Mini Blizzards or Stackburgers. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Details to follow via the Facebook page: facebook.com/DQClarksville.
Al fresco dining along North Little Rock’s Main Street returns with the The Argenta Dogtown Challenge, which will close the street between Broadway and Fifth Street, from 4 p.m. on April 8 to 10 p.m. on April 9. The festivities will kick off with a Dogtown Drinks happy hour at participating restaurants and bars at 4:00 p.m. on April 8 with local musicians performing on the Argenta. Library Stages 6-9 p.m. Tent seating will be available and more than half a dozen restaurants and drinking establishments will be selling food and drink for alfresco consumption. Saturday’s schedule includes crawfish broth from 1 to 5 p.m. (details to come) and, from 6 to 9 p.m., music with Dikki Du and the Zydeco Crew on the lot at 410 Main. For more information, visit argentaartsdistrict.org/dogtown-throwdown. The following Throwdowns will take place the second week of each month until October.
Meanwhile, the Argenta Farmers’ Market, featuring Arkansas, baked goods, meats and crafts, is moving to 410 Main (the parking lot south of the Argenta Library) in his return, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 9. continue on Saturdays until October. Visit argentaartsdistrict.org/argenta-farmers-market.
Bathhouse Superior Brewery Founder Rose Schweikhart discusses the process of turning Hot Springs National Park’s geothermal water into beer, 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 14 at the Ozark Bathhouse, 491 Central Ave., Hot Springs. This will be the first of five events in the Mid-America Science Museum’s new “Drink and Think” lecture series, in partnership with Friends of Hot Springs National Park and Superior Bathhouse Brewery. Museum educators will also present interactive science exhibits. Tickets, $25 ($20 for museum members), include admission to the Ozark Bathhouse, two drink tickets redeemable for premium beer, light appetizers and admission to the event. A multi-night pass is $90, $70 for museum members. Proceeds from all sales benefit the museum. Visit midamericamuseum.org/drink-and-think.
Modoko Asian Cuisine5204 W. Village Parkway, Rogers, Collaborates with Rogers Fox Trail Distillery on a four-course meal accompanied by specialty bourbon cocktails, 6 p.m. on April 7. The menu pairs green curry ceviche, lobster Wellington and prime rib with cocktails made with Fox Trail’s Wild Parallel Bourbon in Straight, Toasted and Islay finishes as well as Fox Trail’s O’Highlands Bourbon. Tickets are $120 per person; visit tinyurl.com/yc7ueu5x.
the OASIS Arts Festival, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 14 on Jonesboro’s Main Street, celebrates the visual, performing and culinary arts in northeast Arkansas with handmade goods and art of all kinds , a hobby baking contest, live music, children’s activities, and “a restaurant-friendly food-sampling contest vying for “crowd favorite.” The deadline is April 15 for restaurateurs and home bakers to register, via oasisfest.org; visit facebook.com/OasisArtsandEatsFest for more information.
And Little Rock is in the top third of U.S. cities — 66th out of 197 — when it comes to brunch, according to LawnStarter, an online lawn-care company, which ranked the best cities for brunch-goers in 2022 (lawnstarter. com/blog/studies/best-cities-brunch-lovers/#rankings) to mark National Brunch Month, which is April. (What does a lawn care business have to do with brunch? Your guess is as good as ours.) Ranking criteria includes access ranking (number of establishments serving brunch per square mile; number of brunch offerings at local and nearby establishments), quality (average consumer rating for establishments serving brunch; number of highly rated establishments: 4.5 stars and above); community (number of brunch clubs, number of brunch events); and demand (average monthly Google searches for “brunch” or “brunch near me” over the past 12 months).
Has a restaurant opened or closed near you in the last week? Does your favorite restaurant have a new menu? Is there a new boss in charge? Write U.S. Send an email to: [email protected]