Baked cupcakes and ice cream opened June 11 at 5621 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock’s Pulaski Heights, in the storefront that most recently housed a Poke Hula outlet. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday. (501) 353-2204; facebook.com/Cake-up-Cupcakes-US-102942475584533.
Cupcake fans are crossing their fingers that it holds up better than a series of previous and unsuccessful cupcake shops on this stretch of Kavanaugh, including two former occupants of the neighboring space on the corner of Fillmore Street, the Cupcake Factory and Cupcakes on Kavanaugh. And we are told that there are plans to open another Coated location at 559 Elsinger Blvd., Conway.
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People eagerly await the opening of Baohouse of Chiwho had been the Chi Restaurant Group The planned replacement for the former La Madeleine Country Fresh Cafe, 12210 W. Markham St., Little Rock, is going to suffer the same surprise that member of management Jacob Chi hit us with this week: they’re moving.
Negotiations are underway to acquire the site – which site, Chi won’t say exactly, but he confirms it is west of Little Rock, and hints: “It may or may not be on Shackleford Road, and he may or may not have sold himself donuts some time ago.” It looks a lot like the old one Krispy Kreme bakery, 1315 Shackleford, next to Arkansas Heart Hospital, which has been vacant since Krispy Kreme closed it in June 2019. The location would fit with plans to include “some sort of drive-thru element” which would have been impractical at best on the La Madeleine site, which Chi says will now be reallocated to non-restaurant use for his business.
Needless to say, the location change means the opening timeline “has been pushed back just a tiny bit.” The opening had already been pushed back several times by a series of construction delays, followed by a burglary in which someone cleaned the kitchen equipment.
Once it finally opens, the Baohouse (an apparent play on the name of the early 20th-century German school of arts, crafts and architecture, the Bauhaus) will offer a four-pronged menu – Sun sum all day, a selection of signature Taiwanese baos (buns made from lotus leaves surrounding meat, bean paste and other fillings), three or four noodle soups (including the recipe for Chi’s mother, Lulu, for beef noodle soup, plus pho and ramen options) and a range of boba teas.
Chi says work is also underway on a Rogers Baohouse, but admits setting a timeline for it to open would be a shot in the dark. And he tells us that construction is also continuing on a Baohouse on the ground floor of the building the family owns at 319 W. Second St., across from the Pulaski County Courthouse.
Chi Restaurant Group continues to operate six Little Rock locations: Chi’s Asian Coffee3421 Old Cantrell Road; Chi’s Chinese cuisine17200 Channel Parkway; Lulu’s Seafood Kitchen5911 R St.; Sushi Cafe5823 Kavanaugh Blvd, and Sushi Cafe West, 11211 Cantrell Road; and a non-Asian restaurant, Prospect Sports Bar.
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Little Rock’s west exit from The Grind Coffee Bistro, in downtown Pleasant Ridge, 11525 Cantrell Road, reopened on Saturday. Both locations – the other is at 21st and Commerce streets – were damaged in arson attacks on March 3, for which a North Little Rock man was arrested and charged. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Owner Heaven Mckinney tells us the reopening of the Pettaway location is on hold pending an insurance settlement. (501) 476-7511; le-grind-coffee-bistro.business.site; facebook.com/thegrindcooffeebistrolr.
SAP’s Creole cuisine opened at 13120 Crystal Hill Road, where North Little Rock borders Maumelle, in what was previously The Hybrid Kitchen, in a mall that also houses outlets of Mexican house, Taste of China and Shipley Do-Nuts. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Menu includes 9th Ward Gumbo, 504 Shrimp and Cheeseburger Po’boys, Bourbon Street Cajun Pasta, St. Charles Loaded Baked Potato, Crescent City Raspberry Chipotle Chicken, Alger Yaki Mein, Cajun Chicken Alfredo, Who Dat Red Beans and Rice, Desire Shrimp Etouffee, Cajun Grilled Salmon with Jalapeno Grits, French Quarter Shrimp and Grits, and Cajun Parmesan Crusted Salmon. (501) 808-7277; sapscc.com; facebook.com/808SAPS.
Brandon Smith reports in the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record that the Malco Lounge, which opened a year and a half ago as a cocktail lounge at the Malco Theater, 817 Central Ave., Hot Springs, will soon add a new menu to its full franchise of beer, wine and soft drinks. The theatre’s general manager, Brian Townley, who was previously a chef at The vault, says the new “carnival-themed” menu will include sandwiches on a donut, stuffed corn dogs and old-fashioned burgers and ham and cheese sandwiches: “Nothing too heavy, just to play with some of the carnival food and make our own,” he told the newspaper. “It won’t be very fancy, but it will definitely be good stuff. … Just stuff like that – fun little stuff.” The schedule for the new menu is still pending. The lounge opens at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. food and drink: his parents opened Rod’s pizza cellar nearly 50 years ago. (501) 538-3761; maxwellblade.com/bar-lounge.html; facebook.com/The-Malco-Lounge-107650258318439.
Based in Lebanon, Tennessee Cracker Barrel Old Country Store The chain is expanding its all-day breakfast menu to offer a “buildable homemade breakfast” (two eggs cooked any way, plus biscuits and gravy, a choice of meat – bacon, patties of smoked sausages or a trio of samples of bacon, sausage and sugar or country ham – and a “homemade” accompaniment, including a casserole of hash browns, French fries, large ground oatmeal and sliced tomatoes) . Also new are Impossible Sausage Made From Plants, the chain’s first plant-based meat option, and a stuffed cheese pancake. Visit crackerbarrel.com.
And Loblolly Creamery, in partnership with Arkansas PBS, Bell Urban Farm’s Farmstand and Faulkner County Library, celebrates the third season premiere of the public television network’s “Blueberry’s Clubhouse” with a “preview” and preview screening – premiere, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Muppet-like main character Blueberry will be on hand to greet guests. Loblolly, via his truck, will serve up an all-new flavor – Blueberry’s Jam Party – in honor of Blueberry and his friends at Camp Onomatopée; it includes blue-purple ice cream with a strawberry jam swirl, polka-dot color sprinkles, and a shortbread cookie crunch. The flavor will be available at Loblolly outlets in Little Rock and Benton through August. The Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler St., Conway, will host previews of Season 3 of Blueberry’s Clubhouse at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The show, produced in partnership with the Museum of Arkansas Fine Arts, airs at 9:30 a.m. from July 8 through August 8. 12 on Arkansas PBS, formerly Arkansas Educational Television Network.
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]