We have no shortage of food news throughout Arkansas, so each week, we’ll be providing you with a snapshot of the goings-on inside the culinary world, from events to specials to restaurant openings to awards. Do you have news to share? Please email our writer, Emily Beirne at ebeirne@aymag.com.


Atlanta-based Chicken Salad Chick, the franchise that has taken the southeast region of the country by the tail feathers, has now set its sights on a location in west Little Rock. Business partners Emily Gray and Hudson Sandefur signed the lease on a location in the Shoppes at Chenal at 17406 Chenal Parkway. The new Chicken Salad Chick location has not been added to the website yet, but AY will keep readers posted on any updates. 


Any brunch foodies out there?  From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, The Hall in downtown Little Rock is hosting a long list of local eateries for Brunchfest, a community fundraiser for the Centers for Youth and Families. The event says guests should prepare for, “brunch samples from your favorite local spots, mimosas, music and more.” Hosted by The Center’s Emerging leaders young professionals group, each ticket sold for the event will support children and teens living at the Centers. “While in our care, [the children and youth] receive specialized treatment to work through traumatic experiences, navigate everyday life and build a brighter future,” the Centers for Youth and Families says. Find tickets, participating restaurants and more information about Brunchfest here.


Fans of Three Fold need to hold on to your bowls because the new location at Pleasant Ridge Town Center is shooting for an opening by the end of June. The restaurant closed its mobile location on Rebsamen Park Road the second week of June in preparation for the opening in Pleasant Ridge. An exact date has not yet been announced, but AY will keep you updated. 


We are barely a third of the way through the summer and the heat has already been unbreakable. Luckily, help is on the way – for Fayetteville at least. Icescreams will be opening in July at 4220 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. This cold-treat eatery will serve everything from soft-serve ice cream to handcrafted burgers. The menu has not yet been added to the website, but there are plenty of food photos online and on the restaurant’s Instagram to get your mouth watering while you wait on its opening. 


The Grind Bistro has officially reopened with a ribbon-cutting and community day on Saturday, June 18. After a temporary closure due to fire damage from arson at the two separate locations of the bistro, the community showed their support for owner Heaven McKinney with a GoFundMe campaign that raised a total of $6,150 from 103 donations. This reopening is not the only good news coming from The Grind Bistro as McKinney has confirmed that the shop has applied for its liquor license. Live jazz and neo-soul music are also in the plans for this new chapter. For more information regarding The Grind Bistro and to stay up-to-date with new happenings in the shop, follow them on their Facebook page.


Something sweet is headed to Conway. Caked Up is opening a bakery in the Conway Commons neighborhood at 559 Elsinger Boulevard. Located directly next to Target, the shop will offer homemade goodies, ice cream and dog treats. The signature of the bakery is the “Cupcake and Ice Cream in a Cup” with two scoops of ice cream sandwiched between two cupcake halves and served in a cup or mason jar. An official date has not been set, but AY will keep readers posted on when Conway and surrounding areas may enjoy this sweet treat.


While we’re on the topic of Conway, there’s another sweet treat now available in town. Kassi’s Cookies, a locally-owned bakery, is now sold at Zetêo Coffee’s downtown location and the Conway Regional Hospital location. Browse the different treats made with Kassi’s Cookies here.


Scooter’s Drive-Thru Coffee, a franchise founded in 1998 in Nebraska, is on its way to Fort Smith. The City of Fort Smith announced that its Board of Zoning Adjustment and Planning Commission has approved a variance and development plan for Scooter’s which will be located at 5607 Rogers Avenue. This location will be the first for Fort Smith, but the franchise has locations in Rogers and Harrison. The Fort Smith location is slated to open in Nov. of this year. For more information, follow The City of Fort Smith on Facebook or visit Scooter’s Coffee website.


Could Wright’s BBQ be coming to Little Rock? Only time will tell as owner Jordan Wright teased Central Arkansas with a suspicious Little Rock ping on his Twitter sending his Twitter followers into a conspiracy frenzy. Located in northwest Arkansas, Wright has developed a large fanbase since his food truck days in 2016. He now has several brick-and-mortar locations in Fayetteville and Bentonville, but the fans that travel many miles to these locations for wood-fire pit cooking would love for a location closer to Central Arkansas. Stay up to date on Wright’s BBQ news on their website or socials


Don’t forget to mark on your calendars the opening date of Big Bad Breakfast which is only one week away. Located on 101 South Bowman, Big Bad Breakfast will open on June 28 and will be able to seat up to 116 indoors with 12 additional outdoor seats available. Find more information on what to look forward to on the Big Bad Breakfast website or Facebook page.


Tune back in next week for the next taste of Arkansas food news.


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