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 editor, Dustin Jayroe, at djayroe@aymag.com.


You may remember us reporting that Chef Alicia Watson of Little Rock’s Vito and Vera was a finalist in the Food Network competition Big Restaurant Bet. We have some good news to follow up with: Chef Watson won the series, and the $250,000 investment from host Geoffrey Zakarian.


It looks like Conway might be finally getting that long-awaited Olive Garden. The city confirmed last week that the Italian food chain had applied for a sign variance in the city.


Another update: Cook’s Hook, the Cabot food truck damaged by a driver in a stolen vehicle, is selling homemade cakes to fill the void until all the repairs can be made to the truck. The GoFundMe page set up by the community to help the local owners raise the necessary funds is still about $2,000 away from the $10,000 goal. If you’d like to support that fund, click here.


There’s a new food truck yard in town in Northwest Arkansas — Springdale, to be exact. The Boardwalk Food Truck Court is open for business, with nearly a dozen participating trucks. Read more about this venture here.


A variance was just approved by the city of Fort Smith for a new 7 Brew Coffee location in the city. The brand posted on Facebook that it expects an August opening date for the coffee spot.


Little Rock’s Breckenridge Village is under new ownership, and this week that group unveiled some big plans to revitalize the location.


“The group intends to bring back the glory days of Breckenridge and revitalize it with a diverse combination of restaurants and other retail spaces,” says Jim Keet, Chairman of JTJ Restaurants, LLC. “At least four restaurants with various cuisines will be a part of the new plan for the center.”


Sources tell AY‘s sister publication, Arkansas Money & Politics, that a DeLuca’s location is among these restaurants slated for the village. This would be the second Deluca’s location, which has been a Hot Springs staple for years.


The new YGFBFKitchen location in Little Rock had its formal grand opening Monday. It’s located at 27 Rahling Circle.


Nexus Coffee & Creative is hosting a Golden Girls Trivia Night on May 18 at 7 p.m.


BoBrook Farms in Roland is hosting a Sweet Summertime Vendor Market on Saturday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


The Rail Fest Food Truck Festival is coming to The Rail Yard in Little Rock on Saturday, May 28.


The second annual Pulaski County Fair is this month at the North Little Rock Riverfront Park from May 25-29.


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



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