El Sur street food owners Luis Vasquez and Darren Strayhorn, who served authentic Honduran and Latin American dishes in a food trailer, move into the old Esters, 1214 Main St., in the South Main neighborhood of Little Rock. The opening target is this summer. Vasquez, a Honduran native who was due to become a US citizen this week, and Strayhorn expect to expand their menu, which currently focuses on signature baleadas (similar to Salvadoran pupusas and Mexican-American soft tacos, grilled, thick flour or corn tortillas folded over refried black beans and white farmer’s cheese), tacos and arepas. The venue will have “plenty of seating” and a full bar, according to a press release. “We spent a lot of time with the truck in SoMa and it’s an area that is home to us,” Vasquez says. We’re told to follow the progress on El Sur’s Facebook page (facebook.com/elsurstreetfoodco) and Instagram (instagram.com/elsurstreetfoodco). Oh, and don’t, as we did initially, confuse El Sur with Tren al Sur, a Venezuelan food truck that also specializes in arepas.
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So this is for real: the long-awaited whataburger The outlet at 49 US 79 North in Magnolia opened March 31, weeks earlier than a mid-April estimate previously provided by Brian Gingrass, regional manager for the San Antonio-based chain. It features “a state-of-the-art kitchen, dual drive-thru lanes and an open dining area,” according to a press release; inside, a custom mural depicts Magnolia landmarks, including the University of Southern Arkansas and Magnolia High School. It is open 24/7 for dine-in, take-out and drive-thru service, with self-service kiosks. The phone number is (870) 626-4263. Whataburger has two locations in Fayetteville and one in Rogers, Springdale and Texarkana (but not one in Russellville, where Feltner’s Whatta Burger is not linked in any way to the chain).
And this one was an April Fool’s joke: an “exclusive” from a web outlet called #FunTV that surfaced Friday on Facebook (with corrections here and there), and all of it – at except for the mention of the Magnolia outlet, which, of course, is for real – fake, fake, and fake (and with lousy punctuation):
“whataburger President and CEO Ed Nelson has confirmed to #FunTV his plans to open four more Whataburger locations in Arkansas. The decision was made after an overwhelming response from you, our viewers, to Wednesday’s article about the opening of the newest whataburger location in Magnolia, Arkansas on Thursday, March 31.
“In an exclusive interview only to #FunTV, Nelson said he’s grateful for the enthusiasm Arkansans has for the Texas-based food chain and sees a definite market for his burgers in Arkansas. … Nelson confirmed the company’s plans to open Arkansas locations in the following cities: Little Rock, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff and Fort Smith. Nelson said in a phone interview with #FunTV that the new consumer demands in Arkansas will determine whether the business expands to other locations in the state of Arkansas. . ..
“Construction of the next Whataburger location is scheduled to begin June 2022 in Little Rock on a former site owned by a former restaurant that was built a few years ago on 1.40 acres. Whataburger purchased the property yesterday for $2,795,000 , which is $536,000 less than the asking price of $3,331,000. Nelson said it was a smart move for the business since the property was already a food chain restaurant. He said customers can s expect this location to open by August 1st.
Other versions of it identified the location as the DQ at 12th Street and University Avenue, which, by the way, has not closed, nor does franchisee You Scream Holdings, LLC have any plans to sell it or turn it into Whataburger. There are also no plans, at least in the works, to open Whataburger outlets in Pine Bluff, Jonesboro or Fort Smith.
We spent all day Friday and even the weekend trampling this one. Sorry, Whataburger fans who fell for it.
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Roasted yellow coffee, a Houston-based brunch-focused chain and franchise, announced via Facebook (facebook.com/TheToastedYolk) that it will be opening 10 new locations “this spring and summer!!” across the South, including one in Little Rock. The website, thetoastedyolk.com (where you can also check the menu), confirms that a “Little Rock, AR” location is “Coming Soon”, but does not indicate, as is the case with several other locations pending, a street address . However, one of our eagle-eyed correspondents tells us that food blog The Mighty Rib reports that he goes to the 17000 block of Chenal Parkway, across from Promenade sur Chenal. The chain suggests you watch its social media “for opening dates and event information.”
Speaking of brunch franchises, we’re awaiting an update from Ben Brainard on the progress of Little Rock’s premiere. big bad breakfastin the former Arvest Bank building at West Markham Street and Bowman Road, behind David’s burgers, which originally had a target opening of “early 2022”. On its website, bigbadbreakfast.com, the Birmingham, Alabama-based chain always says Little Rock is “coming soon.”
And speaking of chains and the Promenade du Chenal, the premiere of Little Rock Sullivan’s Steakhouse scheduled to open today as scheduled in the former Del Frisco’s Grille, 17707 Chenal Parkway. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday. The phone number is (501) 817-3971. sullivanssteakhouse.com.
The coffee corner, in a former laundromat in a strip center at 9823 Maumelle Blvd., North Little Rock, opened. The menu consists of coffee, coffee drinks and sweet and savory croissants. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. (501) 420-1127.
And speaking of coffees, we confirmed that The good news, “coming soon” at Chenal Promenade, 17711 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, will actually be a coffee purveyor. The mall’s website page, chenalshopping.com/merchants/the-good-news, bears a logo that proclaims “Great Coffee and Good Vibes.” No timeline showing when we can expect it to be open, or contact information where we can find out.
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]