City Silo in Memphis for the LR site; Repair work is planned for Sims downed by fire

City Silo table + pantrywhich has two locations (and one planned) in Memphis, will open its first Arkansas outlet in the former Pei Wei in Chenal Drive, 17701 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, in partnership with Nashville, Tennessee-based Fresh Hospitality (Michael Bodner, Chairman and Partner) and the Keets – father James and sons Tommy and Jake.

The restaurant occupies half of a freestanding building that also housed a mattress store. the new restaurant will occupy 3,600 square feet plus a patio, reports Arkansas Business, and will employ 30 to 35 people; the opening target is the first quarter of 2023. The space has been vacant since the closure of the Pei Wei outlet in August 2018.

A visit to the site, thecitysilo.comexplains that “owners Rebekah and Scott Tashie have been hanging out since grade school, long before most of us have ever heard of tempeh or #sustainability” and their “characteristic approach to conscious comfort food” aims for “a happy medium between eating healthy, hip foods that don’t fill you up and heavy Southern meals that induce naps.”

Scott Tashie says he and his wife have been frequent visitors to Little Rock, “and we fell in love with the town and its people; they were so warm and welcoming, and we knew we wanted to set up our first store in out of our hometown there.”

The menu, covering the needs of “vegans, vegetarians or omnivores”, will be the same as that offered in the two establishments in Memphis; it includes an all-day premium breakfast (including a bowl of Greek yogurt and tempeh dishes and dairy-free cheese options), small plates, salads (“Kale Caesar!” ), acai bowls, a la carte tacos, burgers, sandwiches, coffee concoctions, juice concoctions, smoothies and kombucha cocktails.

And speaking of Promenade du Chenal, we now have a tentative target opening date – April 7 – for Sullivan’s Steakhousewhich has taken over the independent steakhouse space, 17707 Chenal Parkway, which once housed Del Frisco’s Grille.

■ ■ ■

From time to time we receive inquiries about what is going on with the Sims Bar-B-Que at 7601 Geyer Springs Road, Little Rock, badly damaged by fire in May; the most recent query came after a correspondent noted activity on the site. Now we have a clue: Vinita Settlers has obtained a building permit for the 2,800 square foot building to carry out work worth $375,000, including, according to the permit application (punctuation is the ours), “remove and replace roof, rebuild smokehouse, add drive-thru window, replace and upgrade electrical work, replace and upgrade plumbing, replace entire HVAC system, refit the dining room and kitchen, repaving the parking lot – rehabilitation in case of fire.

Meanwhile, this list of building permits also includes one for The Oyster Bar3003 W. Markham St., for $120,000 to “open up the south wall, complete with doors; add a storefront (retail) with access to the bridge; and add a walkway for the restaurant entrance from the parking lot.”

Small central Arkansas brewery, StudDuck Beers, is staging a tap takeover in Mockingbird bar and tacos, 1220 Main St., Little Rock, from 5-9 p.m. today, with three of its products on tap: flagship drink, Harbor Water, a hard, sweet tea; Dick’s IPA; and Cherry Tree English Ale. The restaurant will make its full menu available for pairing. StudDuck founder and head brewer Brad Bassett and representatives from Prestonrose Farm & Brewing Co. will be on hand to meet customers and talk beer. Oh, and Mockingbird is now open for weekend brunch, 10 a.m. Saturday through Sunday. (501) 944-8500, [email protected], mockingbirdLR.com, facebook.com/mockingbirdbarandtacos.

■ ■ ■

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Taste of Little Rock, a fundraiser for the UALR Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, will return from 6-8 p.m. March 29 at the UALR Jack Stephens Center, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock. Dr. Sara Tariq, associate dean for student affairs at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine for medical sciences, will be the recipient. Nearly two dozen restaurants, retailers and caterers in central Arkansas, including CBR’z Catering, Community bakery, The withered rose, Fassler Room, Ocean’s at Arthur’s, Rock ‘n’ roll sushi, Sauce(d), Green onions, Shake ice cream custard, Smackey’s, The Croissanterie, threesome, Canteen Laredo, Well done in the heights, The Oyster Bar, At Samantha’s, Beautiful Cocoa Chocolates, Doe’s Eat Place, graffiti, LaTerraza Rum and Lounge, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Patti cakes — will serve small bites, drinks and/or desserts. General admission tickets are $75, $35 for UALR alumni who graduated within the last five years. Tickets and more information available at ualr.edu.

Youth Home Inc., a private not-for-profit mental health care provider, is merging two former fundraisers, Eggshibition and The Next Course, in “An Egg-Quisite Evening” a five-course wine pairing dinner on April 7, also at UALR’s Jack Stephens Center. A VIP reception at 5:30 p.m. precedes the dinner service at 6:30 p.m. Shane Henderson, executive chef at Ben E. Keith Foods Mid-South in North Little Rock, leads a corps of culinary professionals — he and Kennedy Cotton, executive chef at Heritage Catering, will handle the first course; second course will be the work of Sammy Rudd, head chef at four quarter bar, and Cody Rudd, director of food services at Fox Ridge; Patrick Carter, Executive Chef, and Jordan Baker, Food and Beverage Manager, at Chenal Country Club will tackle the third course; fourth courses will be Jay McAfee, chef at Ben E. Keith Foods, and Jamie McAfee, executive chef at Pine Bluff Country Club; and Beth Morris, baker, and Brayan McFadden, chef, respectively, at Brood & Barley, will provide dessert. Each chef offers private dining packages through a “live” auction. Henderson will auction his “Tailored to Your Tastes” dinner, held in Ben E. Keith’s test kitchen. (501) 821-5500; YouthHome.org.

social cypress, 7103 Cock of the Walk Lane, North Little Rock, will host a Smoke Wagon Whiskey Dinner, at 6 p.m. May 18, pairing a prix fixe menu with Smoke Wagon bourbons from Nevada H&C Distilling Co. Master Distiller Aaron Chepenik will be on the spot. The cost per person is $100 (taxes and tip not included). Make your reservations by calling (501) 916-2670.

And high schools across the country can apply for $5,000 grants from the Rachael Ray Foundation to enhance or launch their ProStart programs. The foundation provides grants to up to 25 ProStart schools or schools with culinary arts programs that wish to become a ProStart school. The deadline for submitting applications is March 31. Visit tinyurl.com/2zphsup5.

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]