NEWS + POLITICS + ENTERTAINMENT + FOOD / JANUARY 9, 2014 / ARKTIMES.COM
STEAL THIS GUN Cabotâ€™s Cody Wilson headed a team that created the first firing 3D-printed pistol. At the collision of 21st century tech and 20th century gun regulation with a young rebel from Arkansas. BY DAVID KOON
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Good Big Ideas I think Sabine Schmidt presents a great argument for letting permanent residents vote in their area of residency (“Big Ideas for Arkansas 2013,” Dec. 19). Many legal non-citizens are very involved in their communities, and sometimes are more actively involved in their community than many citizens, and would like to serve on committees and would like to be able to vote. Anncha Briggs Little Rock I thought this latest Big Ideas piece (Dec. 19) had the best ideas I’ve seen so far — nothing ridiculous or too tough to implement and all would greatly benefit Little Rock! My favorite was Jennifer Carman’s Public-Private Urban Rehab Partnership; this is such a simple policy that should have been implemented many years ago. However, I’m writing to alert readers of a correction that needs to be made. In the CALS System idea by Benjamin Hardy, he calls for our Main Library to provide social services: “job training, adult literacy, tutoring for kids, and ESL classes.” I would like it to be noted that Literacy Actions’ offices are housed on the 5th floor of the Main Library by CALS. Literacy Action of Central Arkansas offers programs in Basic Adult Literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL) and bridge programs for adults who want to enter community college. Literacy Action has worked hard to teach literacy skills to struggling readers in the Central Arkansas area since 1986. Today, they are one of only a few organizations meeting this need for adults with low literacy levels. These increased skills are helping Arkansans to gain employment, to teach their children the value of reading and to improve their health and well-being. Students and volunteers can learn more by calling 501-372-7323, or visiting the website at literacylittlerock.org. Sara Drew Little Rock
From the web In response to the Dec. 26 cover story “Best and Worst 2013”: “In May, two years after the tiny Mineral Springs-Saratoga School District installed a state-of-the-art artificial turf football field at a reported cost of more than $700,000, the district was taken over by the state due to budget shortfalls ... the district employed a 4
JANUARY 9, 2014
head football coach/athletic director and seven assistant football coaches.” Want to understand why our state only earns 80 percentage of the national average? Why we have a lower percentage of college grads? It’s because countless school districts in Arkansas are run by jocks instead of educators. PVNasby Great list of bests and worsts, one of my yearly favorites. Tinaj I want to know how the Little Rock School District is going to enforce the mandatory undergarment dress code. Robert Middleton From the web, in response to “The five best bites of 2013”: Queso Fundido is one of my favorite dishes. La Hacienda has one of the best in town, but I will have to try Fonda soon if for no other reason. Sad to say that I have not had the chance to go to
Table 28 yet but hoping to make the excuse or reason for it soon. In the running from my standpoint, I would also offer for consideration the la Quercia American prosciutto, the fish tacos at E’s, and The Beast from Green Cart Deli. joel_dipippa In response to the post, “The Darr saga: Will he quit? And, if he doesn’t, what then?” Why would a Republican resign for doing anything? That’s would be like me stopping driving around drinking beer and smoking pot when I was a teenager, when my girlfriend’s dad was the county judge. It’s stupid. If you can break the law and get away with it, who the hell cares? There is no such thing as right and wrong, there are only consequences that can be avoided. Morality is relative and depends on the person and situation. More power to Darr. I_AM_THE_NRA
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The reconvening of the General Assembly is still over a month away, so there is plenty of time for Darr to screw up again, and each mistake will cost him precious political capital. He could fail to make his first payment on his Ethics Commission fines. He could fail to file his amended campaign finance reports — or he could file inaccurate reports again. He could increase his use of the state police as his personal chauffeurs. Etc., etc. I’ll disagree a bit with Max on his call for all Republican legislators to voice their opinions immediately. That is appropriate for the House members, but the senators should reserve their judgment, or at least refrain from public comments, especially Sen. Lamoureux. But perhaps Lamoureux will become the bellwether who changes his mind and persuades Darr to step down, as Goldwater did for Nixon. There are plenty of interesting parliamentary maneuvers in the rules. For example, it takes a two-thrids vote in the Senate to sustain a conviction. Assuming all 35 senators attend the vote (21 Republicans and 14 Democrats), it would take 24 votes to sustain a conviction. But if the Senate adopts a rule that the verdict is based only on the number of senators present and voting, and, say, five Republicans decide not to attend, then it would only take 20 votes, where six Republican votes for conviction would be sufficient to remove Darr from office. To me, the most interesting rules are about who pays for the impeachment if it passes the House. If Darr is convicted, he will be billed for the whole cost of the process and be responsible for his own legal expenses. Darr’s personal debts would instantly increase by hundreds of thousands of dollars and he would face years of financial ruin. If Darr is acquitted, he is entitled to be reimbursed by the state for his legal expenses, which are relatively minor by comparison. That cost/benefit analysis obviously favors resignation before impeachment. radical centrist It’s like watching a Mexican soap opera on the higher channels. Most of the actors are greasy toads delivering their lines poorly. Too bad dueling has been outlawed within the United States but I’m pretty sure we could rent a big casino bus for a quick trip to Juarez! Deathbyinches
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The duke himself Our discussion of lawyer and attorney evoked commentary from a longtime member of the legal profession. “As far as I can recall, I never knew that there was a difference between a lawyer and an attorney. When I was first called to the bar, right after Noah’s flood receded, I was told by the old-timer lawyers that even older lawyers often had on their letterhead, ‘Attorney at Law, Solicitor in Chancery, and Proctor in Admiralty.’ “I have always preferred lawyer. ‘Attorney’ sounds a little too high-toned for me. “The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, commonly known as the ‘American Trial Lawyers Association’ changed its name to ‘Lawyers for Civil Justice,’ or some such, because ‘trial lawyers’ has such negative connotations. Not for me. “Some self-styled trial lawyers commenced calling themselves ‘litigators’ several years ago. This was particularly true back east. My experience was that litigators took untold depositions and rarely, if ever, tried lawsuits.” “I’ve not only been inclined toward, I’ve always insisted on, ‘doughnut’ as the spelling for that sweet fried delicacy beloved of Homer Simpson and myself.”
Janice Botner writes, “I was surprised to see your use of ‘myself’ instead of ‘me.’ I was taught that DOUG myself was an SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org intensive or reflexive pronoun to be used for emphasis, as in ‘I myself will go,’ or ‘I will see for myself.’ Has this grammatical rule too gone by the wayside?” Success With Words says that myself can acquire a pompous character when used in place of I or me. “But it depends considerably on the context, and on the manner and tone of voice the person uses. There is nothing inherently wrong with the usage itself. ... Shortly before the Battle of Waterloo, someone asked the duke of Wellington what he thought the outcome would be. He replied, ‘By God! I think Blucher and myself can do the thing.’ In fact, myself is regularly used like this, to give a touch of objectiveness: the speaker is seeing himself from the outside. ... By all means avoid pompous or pretentious uses of myself for I or me, but there is no need to throw out the entire usage. It is a matter of taste rather than correctness.”
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WEEK THAT WAS
It was a good week for…
ARKANSAS WORKERS. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel signed off on the popular name and ballot title for a proposed initiated act to raise the state minimum wage. The ad hoc group, Give Arkansas a Raise Now, includes labor, church and other groups. It would raise the existing state minimum (which is lower than the federal minimum and applies to workers not covered by federal law) from $6.25 to $7.50 Jan. 1, 2015, $8 the following year and $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2017. Backers will need to gather 62,506 signatures to qualify the measure for the 2014 ballot. McDaniel’s opinion noted new state law — currently under challenge in court — that stiffens requirements on petition canvassing. ANOTHER DELAY FROM EXXON. The company once again asked the federal agency that regulates pipelines to extend a deadline to submit a plan for correcting the problems that caused the Pegasus pipeline to rupture in Mayflower. The outage has cost Exxon as much as $127 million in lost revenue and is unusually long relative to other recent spills. FROSTBITE. Brutally cold temperatures
swept through the state, leading to incessant complaining, burst pipes and several overwhelmed electrical utilities. CHARLIE STRONG. The Batesville native and UCA alum was named head coach of the University of Texas football team, long considered one of the biggest jobs in college football. Strong went 37-15 as head coach of Louisville in four seasons. He’s the first black head coach of any men’s team at Texas.
It was a bad week for…
LT. GOV. MARK DARR. Despite calls for him to resign from the governor, the Arkansas congressional delegation, a number of state legislators and right thinking people everywhere, Darr told reporters on Tuesday he didn’t plan to resign despite using more than $14,000 in taxpayer money illegally or without proper documentation and more than $31,000 in campaign money on illegal personal expense. GUS MALZAHN. The Arkansas native came seconds from football glory, nearly leading his Auburn Tigers — whose record last year nearly mirrored Arkansas’s this year — to a national championship, but ultimately falling in the final seconds to Florida State.
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ast week, the Attorney General certified a ballot initiative to increase the Arkansas minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 over a three-year period. If polls are any indication, the group behind the worthy measure shouldn’t have trouble gathering the necessary 62,000 signatures required to place the measure before voters this November — some 72 percent of respondents last summer said they believed raising the minimum wage was “just the right thing to do,” according to the public employee union AFSCME. When that same survey asked Arkansans if they would be more or less likely to support a candidate who voted for the Affordable Care Act, 55 percent said “less likely.” It’s not surprising that Arkansans who reflexively hate Obama also heap scorn on Obamacare. But a good number of those same red-tinted voters also support a minimum wage hike. Why? Public suspicion about the ACA is not unreasonable, especially after the embarrassing caricature of flailing governmental incompetence that accompanied the Healthcare.gov rollout last fall. Although the problems with the federal site are now largely fixed, Obamacare remains an unproven program. But the real fuel for conservative animosity, as evidenced by a safari into the comments section of any online article about the ACA, isn’t about the functionality of the program. It’s about handouts, or the idea thereof. It’s the image of an outstretched palm (maybe a brown one) grasping for a slice of tax revenue. People don’t like the idea of paying workers below a living wage for the same reason they don’t like the idea of giving away health care: It insults their sense of justice. Regardless of ideological affiliation, the majority of America feels deeply that the existing order of things is unfair, that labor and effort have come uncoupled from reward. There’s consensus that the country is intolerably rigged in favor of those with power, but profound disagreement about who’s winning and who’s losing. The sense of frustration and injustice that generates support for a higher minimum wage comes from the same place as populist anger over “takers” who “live off the government.” In reality, of course, takers and workers are one and the same population. As with food stamps, the vast majority of the beneficiaries of ACA subsidies, including those eligible for nearly free coverage under the “private option” Medicaid expansion, do work. Many of them work two or three jobs at more than 50 hours per week and don’t have a whisper of health coverage to show for it, relying on free clinics and the ER to address their inevitable medical needs. Many others work part time or are unemployed, because it’s damn hard to find a decent job in this economy. But when conservatives visualize who’s getting new access to basic health care, they don’t see workers; they see takers. To conservatives, this is about principle more than it is self-interest. Consider another question from the AFSCME survey last summer that asked voters whether raising the minimum wage would increase the cost of goods and services; almost 75 percent said yes (despite the fact that there’s no evidence minimum wage hikes adversely affect economic growth). A majority of people think that a minimum wage hike might hurt them a bit, but a majority still thinks it’s the right thing to do. Why? Because it seems fair. 6
JANUARY 9, 2014
EYE ON ARKANSAS
WHERE IN ARKANSAS?: Know where this slice of life in Arkansas is? Send along the answer to Times photographer Brian Chilson. Write to email@example.com to guess this week’s photo or for more information.
The end of the public school
he Arkansas State Board of Education is the forum this week for another couple of rounds in the ongoing battle over upending the conventional system of public education. The Board will review the performance of the Academics Plus charter school, established in Maumelle in 2001, and a proposal to start the Quest middle school in Chenal Valley. The charter schools are products of the “reform” movement backed by the Billionaire Boys Club — Walton, Gates, Stephens, Hussman and others. “Choice” is the mantra. Though vouchers for private schools are not yet fully in vogue, a functional equivalent, the charter school, is. Private organizations — unanswerable to voters or full public accountability — are allowed to set up publicly funded “charter” schools with broad ability to exempt themselves from the laws that apply to conventional public schools. These nominally public schools can set admission standards (disciplinary problems can prohibit you from attending Quest, for example). They can make requirements of parents and students that, if unmet, can cause a bum’s rush of a student to the exit door. Truly public schools must take all comers. Charters may opt out of substantive requirements. Quest won’t have a full-time school nurse, guidance counselor, gifted and talented program and library, to name a few. Backers say charters allow parents to avoid “failing” schools. Failing schools are all too often failures less because of faculty effort than because of the proven difficulty of reliably advancing the performance of poor children from dysfunctional families with no exposure to children of middle class backgrounds. Studies show charter schools do little better and many do worse. Academics Plus specifically vowed to recruit a diverse student body and to demonstrate that all children can learn. It is whiter now than it ever has been — only 15 percent black amid majority white Maumelle. Its middle school African-American students do far worse on math, literacy and other standard tests than those in neighboring public schools, with much higher percentages of poor and minority students. How will Quest do better? Its application is full of the
sort of education-speak that the reformers normally deride. Example: “The methodology places the student in a contained classroom with focused monitoring by an educator while also providing opportuMAX nity for individualized instruction BRANTLEY through aligned curriculum and firstname.lastname@example.org technology.” Imagine. A classroom, a teacher, grades, individual attention and computers loaded with the proper curriculum. What innovation! Then there is this troublesome sentence in the Quest application: “The campus is dedicated to the idea that education, home, and family are closely connected. Though the atmosphere feels like a private school, there is no tuition to attend Quest.” So true. School results ARE so intertwined with home and family. That, of course, is one reason so many relatively better-off parents hope Quest will create a school for people like them in comfortable Chenal Valley so that they must not choose either expensive private school or one of the public schools heavily populated with the poor, minority students in nearby middle schools. I hope the state Board of Education probes what these charter schoolers mean when they say “feels like a private school.” Diane Ravitch, the former school reformer who’s now the Waltons’ most outspoken foe, has a clue. She says charter schools aren’t really public schools, despite the tax dollars. No school boards. No way to pierce the corporate veil. Fewer rights for employees. Exclusionary enrollment practices. Racial, social and economic segregation. They have become an end-around of Brown v. Board of Education. Quest’s application actually argues that last point. It says the Pulaski desegregation case is all but over. Thus, no matter how many white students it leaches from the majority black and poor Little Rock School District, “Quest cannot be said to have a negative impact” on the three Pulaski school districts’ ability to comply with court desegregation orders. There are no more court orders! Segregation is officially OK. Points to Quest for candor, at least.
Obamacare reality means new GOP Rx
ew Year’s was a new day, too, for that abused two-and-a-half-yearold ragamuffin known familiarly as Obamacare, the milestone marking the end of any chance of its demise. With some nine million Americans now enjoying the new protection of health insurance guaranteed by the U.S. government and millions more assured by the end of the first enrollment period this spring, Republican leaders acknowledged that it had passed the point of no return. Like Social Security, disability insurance, Medicare and other rights conferred by the government, Obamacare reached the point that too many people who are not extremely poor are beneficiaries to go back. A Republican majority in Congress and president, both possibilities in 2017, may repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but in name only. Three more enrollment periods by the spring of 2017 will have left only a relative handful of people uninsured, and only the flintiest congressman would vote to lift their protections.
Republicans are beginning to craft reforms to replace the Affordable Care Act, but they largely keep and in some ERNEST cases build upon DUMAS the central features of the law or else are calculated to dismantle it subtly over time, as they hope to do with Medicare and Social Security with a voucher or privatization scheme. A piece in The New York Times outlined the Republican strategy on Obamacare from Jan. 1 forward. This year, as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina explained it, everyone will continue to blast away at the failures of Obamacare as the chief weapon for the 2014 congressional elections but begin to develop reforms that would replace the law with something they could claim would be better. It is the strategy they hope will defeat Sen. Mark Pryor and a couple of other Southern senators and give Republicans control of the Senate in 2015. Pryor and the others at risk
The do-right rule in Arkansas
o paraphrase Tolstoy, every successful small business shares the same traits. And they all begin with high quality employees. I’m thinking of three local establishments where I’ve traded for years: an auto repair garage, a dentist’s office, and a one-size-fits-all country store where I buy cattle and horse feed. Along with just about everything else the aptly named “Toad Suck One-Stop” might conceivably carry: from crickets and minnows to motor oil, pain remedies, kitty litter and homemade sandwiches. If you get up early enough, they’ll even fix you breakfast while somebody else loads feed sacks into your truck. (Toad Suck is a place name designating a long-ago ferryboat stop on the Arkansas River.) It’s much the same at George Jett’s auto garage down in Little Rock; also at my dentist’s, whose name is Lamar Lane. The first thing you notice is familiar faces. People who work at these places stay for years. And they do so because they’re well-paid, earn decent benefits, and are treated respectfully. So they like their jobs, take pride in their work, and are glad to see familiar customers. Now I’m not going to lie that I love going to the dentist. But I do like feeling among friends, even if it means hearing Dr. Lane carry on about his LSU Tigers. (Because
my wife was born in Baton Rouge, where her daddy played ball, I get a double dose.) Something else: GENE how a business LYONS treats employees also tends to be a reliable predictor of how they treat customers. Dr. Lane does highquality work and stands by it. If a crown breaks, he replaces it free without asking were you shelling pecans with your teeth. My man George Jett hires good mechanics, values their skills, and guarantees their work. If the rattle’s still there, he’ll drive the vehicle around the block and then put it back on the lift to figure out why — also at no additional charge. Jason down at the One-Stop isn’t exactly a philanthropist, at least not where Bermuda grass hay and Canadian night-crawlers are concerned. Keeping a business with so many moving parts running requires constant attention to detail. New hires that stand out back smoking when shelves need restocking tend not to last. Loyal long-time employees won’t cut them much slack. Gas is cheaper at the Walmart across the river in Faulkner County, but the OneStop’s pumps stay busy. It’s the community’s
have a more forlorn hope: that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act will sink in, the alarms built by three years of broadsides will subside, and he will be recognized for having done the decent thing by voting for it. Some 150,000 Arkansans who didn’t have it in 2010 by November will enjoy medical insurance, although many may not acknowledge how they got it. Most people’s insurance premiums will not be rising, or at least not at the rate of previous years, as they have been told repeatedly they would. Health care costs have been relatively flat since work on Obamacare began and new cost-saving initiatives undertaken in Arkansas and other states under the new law are flattening or even reducing health spending. People still see their doctor and take his advice, and Grandma gets even more treatment under Medicare rather than having it withdrawn as Republicans had threatened. But the Republicans seem to have a surer political strategy than Pryor or the Democrats. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a teaparty hero, acknowledged that nothing could be done now to scrap the law, although he filed suit last week to block his own coverage under Obamacare. “There’s something there now,” he said. “We have
to recognize that reality. We have to deal with the people that are covered under Obamacare.” Graham acknowledged that the Republicans must offer something better, not just a return to the terrible past. A conservative Republican congressman from Georgia, a doctor, is promoting his bill to repeal Obamacare but keep many of its provisions in some form, like requiring insurance companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions, barring them from cutting off insurance to the chronically sick, providing insurance pools for small businesses and giving tax credits up to $5,799 to help people buy insurance. Rep. Paul Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate, will introduce his Obamacare substitute, which would tax people’s employer-based health benefits and, much like Obamacare, use the money to provide tax credits for people to buy insurance. Like Obamacare, it would bar insurance companies from cutting off the sick and fix benefits that every policy must provide. Another GOP plan in the works would repeal Obamacare’s mandate for people to buy insurance and instead enroll everyone automatically unless they directly instructed the government not to insure them. Obamacare Lite, in other words.
unofficial town hall. If you want to know lant” and “unpresidential.” His hawklike who’s looking for a lost blue heeler or how visage appeared prominently in a Forbes Holly’s orphaned baby raccoons are doing, photo lineup of “Anti-Obama Billionaires.” it’s got to be the One-Stop. Scrutinizing the list, I noticed that almost Ordinarily, such commonplaces would everybody on it made his pile either by hardly be worth recording. So there are manipulating money or squeezing minifriendly folks at the country store. mum wage workers dry: casino operators, Who’d of thunk it? real estate speculators, corporate buyout Unless, that is, you live in the United scammers, hedge fund geniuses, fast food States of America, a large proportion of franchisers, big box retailers and Donald whose tycoon class appears determined to Trump. drag us back to the Gilded Age. Not a creator or manufacturer in the lot. If they gave a Scrooge McDuck Award This is our would-be new American arisfor the nation’s greediest knucklehead, the tocracy, largely bereft of — indeed actively 2013 winner would be Home Depot’s bil- hostile toward — the retail virtues I’ve cellionaire founder Kenneth Langone, a Catho- ebrated. (None of whose practitioners neclic who voiced public alarm at Pope Fran- essarily share my partisan views; I’m talking cis’s seeming enthusiasm for the gospel of morals here, not politics.) Matthew 19. That’s where Jesus observes But the good news is that according to that “it is easier for a camel to go through Adam Davidson in the New York Times, the eye of a needle than for someone who old-fashioned business ethics may be makis rich to enter the kingdom of God.” ing a comeback through the unlikely agency The Pope didn’t cite that verse, nor dis- of a Turk. According to Davidson, the going thing cuss politics as such. However, his encyclical Evangelii Gaudium did warn against “crude in corporate circles is “The Good Jobs Stratand naive trust in the … sacralized workings egy,” a book by Zeynep Ton, an M.I.T. business professor. of the prevailing economic system.” What, not worship money? Never mind Ton argues that what some call the that this is elementary Christian doctrine. “Costco” strategy of hiring better-trained, Langone warned that American plutocrats better-paid employees “will often yield hapdon’t want to hear about it even in church. pier customers, more engaged workers and You may not be surprised this same wor- — surprisingly — larger corporate profits.” As I was saying, who’d of thunk it? thy also regards President Obama as “petuwww.arktimes.com
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JANUARY 9, 2014
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his is, by the author’s own semimeticulous and possibly accurate numerology, the 100th edition of Pearls About Swine. Having penned this column for 2 and a half solid years now and received a surprising degree and depth of feedback, I’d like to first offer my humble gratitude to those who have read Pearls even once or twice, and my undying appreciation to those who are more regular readers. It’s been a joy doing this, even if at times the subject matter hasn’t lent itself to a lot of chipper reflectiveness. This de facto centennial, then, is as good a time as any to put forth a manifesto of sorts. It’s a minor benchmark, a new year, and with the Razorback basketball squad dutifully closing out non-conference play at 11-2 on Saturday night, there’s no time like the present to dissect some fundamentals about Arkansas sports coverage at large. The tangled mass of social media, sports-centered blogs and message boards have further complicated the coverage and exposure of amateur athletics in a state that already had a quirky history in that area. Hence, it’s apropos to throw a few tenets of Pearls out there for consumption and possible rejection: 1. Yes, this column in moniker, form and function serves to provide a patently biased Hog fan’s perspective on proceedings in Arkansas Razorback sports, primarily the big-ticket ones. That said, I am a native of this state, and have always been a little perplexed about any manufactured resentment among the universities and programs herein. Case in point: I’ve got nothing but cheery feelings about Arkansas State’s recent rise to respectability. After finishing off an 8-5 season with another bowl win in Mobile on Sunday night, the Red Wolves again cast aside head coaching upheaval and made John Thompson something of an interim coaching legend: the well-traveled defensive whiz has won as many bowl games in the span of a year as the last four Razorback coaches have won over the last decade. For ASU to thrive in its niche in the Sun Belt is quite alright, and doesn’t connote any sort of threat to the Hogs’ status as the breadwinner in these parts. Inasmuch as I do not think the two schools should square off on the football field by way of executive or legislative mandate, I also believe firmly these entities can coexist happily and thrive independently without rancor. 2. This will not be a space to needlessly wax blustery about conference superiority. Arkansas joined the SEC 22 years ago and has exactly zero football titles — conference or national — to show for it. The associa-
tion’s symbiosis is a ruthless one: The Hogs have reaped fiscal rewards from being part of this league, but so has BEAU every other instituWILCOX tion that comprises the 14-team behemoth. It flies in the face of every primordial instinct within me to suddenly root for Auburn in the final BCS-era title game just because my preferred team goes up against them annually. I don’t like Auburn. I don’t care that its coach hails from this state any more than I care that our current coach hails from Iowa. Weeks ago, I openly cursed the entire lot of them for feigning injuries and such. Auburn winning the league’s eighth title in a row (the Tigers, to my delight, did not execute the last of a season full of miracles) would not have meant that my hapless little 3-9, 0-8 team from the Northwest corner was suddenly going to thrive. Arkansas has occasionally pecked on the glass ceiling and seems to have paid dearly for it every time, usually by way of arcane misfortune. When the football team trends upward, there’s a Stoernover, an officiating gaffe or a coaching fiasco on the other side, ready to intervene. Maybe it’s a special kind of aneurysm being a Razorback fan, but I don’t need to hasten my own, certain coronary by pulling for a rival. Maybe my wiring’s faulty, but there’s something odious about the whole notion of conference allegiance. 3. The health of Hog athletics is still very much measured in the win column. People are pissed off about the football team ending the season with various fail-markers: ninegame losing streak that will likely reach double figures, first winless SEC slate, backto-back 52-0 slayings by Bama...and all of that goes back to the number on the left side of the hyphen. When the fan base is at its most feverish, none of the fury sources from ticket prices, stadium debates, player suspensions or staff changes. Pearls began in the fall of 2011 by chronicling the achievements of a Top 5 football team. Cautious optimism for a basketball team under a fresh regime followed, and the baseball team’s surge toward the precipice of a national title gave everyone a little pep after the Petrino ugliness sullied the springtime mood. From the summer of 2012 forward, though, it’s been harder to apply that loving sheen because every program is in transition. And that gets us to... 4. If the Hogs get back to winning, these next 100 columns get a helluva lot more bubbly.
THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE
Blue Christmas THE OBSERVER AND SPOUSE, like everyone still above ground, are getting older, so we’ve both been waiting for some dastardly medical shoe to drop. A few weeks back, we feared it had when Spouse’s fingers and hands began mysteriously turning a pale and ghostly blue at intervals that seemed to have no rhyme or reason. She never felt sick or short of breath, never felt like she was having a circulation issue or heart kerfuffle. It was just that every once in awhile, she’d glance down to find that her fine, pale fingers had taken a grey-blue cast that made her look like the Corpse Bride. The only similarity the incidents had was that they seemed to occur more often when it was cold out. Searches on the Internet only served to scare her more. Though she said she’d rather wait and see, her nervous beau became more and more insistent that she get her shapely behind to the doctor’s office, an idea shot down by her again and again. She hates going to the doctor’s office almost as much as The Observer, and that’s saying something. Just before Christmas, those blue digits worriedly tapping in the back of The Observer’s mind, we were going out shopping one morning with Spouse. Yours Truly is old school, and likes to get our lean on when driving, usually with a hand on Spouse’s knee. We’re cheeky like that. Lo and behold, when we drew back our paw after a few miles of motorvatin’, we found that her affliction was apparently catching: the heel of The Observer’s hand was that same pale blue as we’d seen on her. Spouse looked at her hands, and wouldn’t you know it? They’d gone a corpsey cerulean as well. Turns out, spouse had bought some new jeans from Old Navy a few weeks back, and the color ain’t quite as stuck to the denim as one might like. Do we have to mention that when it’s cold, she has a tendency to shove her hands in her pockets? Oh, the holiday hee-haws we had over that one, friends. That said, The Observer couldn’t help but let out a little sigh of relief as we kissed her dim blue fingertips. And yes, in case you’re wondering, she still has the jeans. A nice-fitting pair of britches is evidently too valuable a thing to discard, even if they did scare the bejesus out of a nervous husband. Apparently, as
long as they don’t kill her, blue fingers are something she can live with. NEW YEAR’S EVE AT MIDNIGHT, the clock in the parlor solemnly gonging in the first few seconds of The Year of Our Lord 2014, The Observer kissed Spouse and then we stepped out onto the frigid veranda of The Observatory for another New Year’s Eve tradition of recent years, listening to trigger-happy idiots turn part of the city into what sounds like the Battle of Gettysburg. Though some of the pops and crackles we hear every New Year’s Eve at midnight are undoubtedly fireworks bought from stands out in the county, we’d bet our Colt and gun belt that the majority of the noise is gunfire. We lived in the countryside once upon a time, and know our way around firearms, so The Observer knows those sounds well: the measured pop-poppop-pop of small-caliber semi-automatic handguns, the quick tac-tac-tac-tac of .380s and nine millimeters, the boom of shotguns, even the bark of semi-auto rifles, so many at once that the first minute of the New Year sounded like popcorn popping in the microwave. The thought of all that lead in the air at once scares the living hell out of your Old Pal, given that the night sky isn’t, in fact, a block of black wax that traps all rising bullets. It’s why we stayed safely under our portico until things quieted down, thank you very much. Standing there considering the idiocy of it all, we heard another sound in the darkness — applause. On the darkened porch of the house catercornered from The Observatory — the residence of an older gent who often tips us a wave while out walking a solemn white Labrador — someone was clapping. There was a loveliness to that, we thought: In the midst of the ruckus of shootin’ irons, one human being was standing alone in the dark, giving a standing ovation to the old year as she hobbled off stage, and applauding 2014 as she sashayed on in her finery. Such gratitude. Such a sound there in the darkness, more human and respectful of the passage of time than a thousand rounds of lead, powder and carelessness.
If you support the rights of all Arkansans to… •Have children, to not have children, and to raise the children we have in safe and healthy environments. •Access the full range of affordable, confidential reproductive health services and age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health education. •Make intensely personal and private decisions about our own reproductive health, free from shame, religious dogma and interference by politicians…
Join us for the 4th Annual Reproductive Justice Rally! Saturday, January 18th, 1:00 pm Steps of the Arkansas State Capitol Rain or shine facebook.com/ACforRJ
Additional support from the following groups: •Arkansas…Stop the War on Women •Arkansas for the Immediate Passage of the ERA •PFLAG Little Rock www.arktimes.com
JANUARY 9, 2014
IN S IDE R
Mark Martin on the spot Something funny happened on the way to the 2014 election on three constitutional amendments put on the ballot by the legislature. A Friday Law Firm lawyer got cute but the legislature wasn’t in on the hijinks. And now those three amendments are up in the air. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel explained it to legislators this week. Legislation he supported to make it harder for paid canvassers to gather signatures on ballot measures was adopted. It was written by Rob Shafer of the Friday Firm. Its major client, Oaklawn Park, has an interest in suppressing ballot drives because of the number of time would-be gambling competitors have floated casino measures. No problem with that. But Shafer included a clause nobody noticed at the time. It took away from the attorney general the power to approve popular names for proposed amendments and gave it to the legislature. Nobody told the legislature. So the legislature recommended three proposed amendments for 2014, all without popular names. One would further restrict the petition process. One would give the legislature absolute control over executive agency administrative rules. Another would toughen ethics laws, but also allow legislators to serve a few more years before term limits kick in. Secretary of State Mark Martin asked McDaniel for an opinion on what he should do, as the office that prepares measures for the ballot. McDaniel said he could recommend a popular name himself, or take McDaniel’s suggestion. But Martin is so far unsure. The law doesn’t provide for him to provide the name. He’s not sure he wants to do something the law doesn’t specifically authorize him to do. It is within his power to effectively quash the amendments for their lack of a popular name. A legislative committee this week asked for a formal response. At press time, his office said, the matter was still under study.
The latest on Mayflower Those hoping for a quick resolution to the Mayflower oil spill — be it restitution for victims or a decision on whether to reopen the ruptured Pegasus pipeline — will have to wait a while. Exxon has once again received an extension from the federal agency that regulates pipelines to extend a deadline to submit a plan for correcting the problems that caused the Pegasus pipeline to rupture in Mayflower. The delay in reopening the pipeline is unusually long within the industry. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10
JANUARY 9, 2014
Homebuilders alter building code State may violate ARRA caveat with ‘dumbed down’ residential rules. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK
he Arkansas Energy Office will schedule a public hearing this month on amendments and supplements to the state energy code for residential construction that were revised, at the request of the legislature, in association with the Arkansas Homebuilders Association. Thus, said one energy contractor, the state has “outsourced the code to the homebuilders,” considerably weakening its conservation measures. The state energy office revised the code after legislators on the Joint Interim Committee on Energy heard objections from contractors and directed the office to rework the code to suit them. Contractors were especially unhappy with the code’s requirement that new homes be rated for energy use, much like an Energy Star rating that goes on appliances; that the state’s climate zones be divided into two to reflect colder conditions and greater insulation needs in Northwest Arkansas, and mandatory duct testing to insure against leakage. State Rep. Bruce Cozart, a contractor himself and a member of the energy committee, said in an interview last week that the code would have been “cost prohibitive” and the committee “was looking at getting [code] a bit more friendly for homebuilders.” However, the weakened code could get the state in trouble with the federal government. Arkansas has received $137.3 million in federal stimulus dollars to promote energy-saving measures. The dollars have gone to the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, cities and counties, industry, schools and utilities to weatherize homes, provide rebates for appliances, assist in wind energy manufacturCONTINUED ON PAGE 31
AN ENERGY OFFICE EXPLAINER: Presented to the legislature last year. Now the 2013 code has been scratched, and a 2014 code is in the works.
BETTING ON 2014
Another year has wrapped up and we’ve digested every review and rounded up every notable event. Time to look to the future! What will happen in the year to come? We’ve always had a knack for prognostication, so we paid a visit to our local bookie to place our bets on 2014’s headlines and happenings. Here are the odds, listed from favorites to long shots. Time to place your bets.
Between now and November, at least six Arkansas politicians pose for campaign pics with guns. It’s an election year. When in doubt: lock & load, point & click.
1:500 Regardless of what actually happens, conservatives spend the year screaming that Obamacare is a trainwreck. Predicting the future is easy when facts don’t matter.
1:10 New local dining options Mylo Coffee and Butcher & Public earn rave reviews from the foodie set. Now open up already!
Lt. Gov. Mark Darr (eventually) resigns. Best to parlay this with a long-shot bet that Darr becomes a professional lounge singer to pay down his debts to the state.
3:4 Rep. Tom Cotton topples incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. Can a Tea Party extremist say “Obama” and “Obamacare” over and over enough times to win? The odds favor the extremist.
In the fiscal session, the Arkansas General Assembly reappropriates funds for the “private option.” Going to be dicey, but many of the state’s major interests — not to mention political talent — remain firmly behind the state’s unique policy for Medicaid expansion, which will have given coverage to more than 100,000 Arkansans by the time lawmakers vote on the appropriation. Plus, refusing to fund it would kill those tax cuts Repubs love so much.
Arkansas continues its tradition of governors named Mike. Riding the coattails of the retiring Mike Beebe, can Mike Ross make Asa Hutchinson a three-time loser in statewide elections? Flip a coin.
Arkansas Democrats re-take the House. The open seats are in their favor and they only need to pick up a pair — but has Arkansas gone permanently dead-red?
10:1 The Hogs have a winning season. Stars align, Razorbacks roll, throwing the A finally catches on.
500:1 “Mud” wins Best Picture at the Oscars. “Twelve Years a Slave” has this on lock, but the indie favorite from Little Rock native Jeff Nichols has an outside shot at a nomination.
Sen. Jason Rapert reveals Himself as the Lord. Big payout, but could you enjoy your winnings living under Rapert’s rule?
10,000:1 Arkansas overturns ban on same-sex marriage. The times may be a changin’, but it’s slow going in the Natural State.
Walmart: “Okay, fine, we’ll pay our workers a living wage.” Maybe next year.
Tune in to the Times’ “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes & arktimes.com
INSIDER, CONT. In an interview with InsideClimate News, pipeline safety expert Richard Kuprewicz said Exxon’s unwillingness to provide updates on progress is disconcerting. “I have no problem with the extensions if the parties are truly working toward addressing the issues/breakdowns that resulted in the Mayflower rupture — especially if the extension results in really meaningful progress to avoid future possible rupture … what’s unbelievable is the lack of details to show/ demonstrate meaningful progress.” Meanwhile, a tidbit from one of the many lawsuits over the spill that are currently working through the system: Tom Thrash, one of the lawyers for plaintiffs in one of the federal lawsuits over damages from pipeline break, has filed a required outline of some of his planned testimony. Interesting is the extent to which his witness Don Deaver, a former Exxon pipeline engineer, purportedly will testify about Exxon Mobil’s failure to properly maintain the line and meet federal safety regulations. He will say it is an imminent danger along its entire length. The trial is scheduled for early January 2015 with Judge Brian Miller presiding.
Radicals Talk about radicals. Republican John Cooper, the tea-bagging Senate candidate in the special election Jan. 14 to succeed Paul Bookout, has some nerve. He and an attack Republican mailer are calling an energetic group of Young Democrats campaigning for Democrat Steve Rockwell a bunch of dirty radicals. A radical being someone who votes for a Democratic presidential candidate. And someone who isn’t endorsed, as Cooper is, by the slavery-revering wackjob former Republican legislator from Jonesboro, Jon Hubbard. Democratic Party Chair Vince Insalaco comments in a fundraising e-mail: “The mail piece is completely false and full of outright lies, but then to target these young folks is simply deplorable. Is this what we have to look forward to from the Arkansas Republican Party this year? Will the Arkansas Republican leadership decry this kind of tactic?” Answer: Are you kidding?
CORRECTION In the Natives Guide issue (Jan. 2), we incorrectly listed the Quorum Court members for District 9 and District 12. Wilma Walker represents District 9. Her phone number is 590-0235. Karilyn Brown represents District 12. Her phone number is 580-9000. www.arktimes.com
JANUARY 9, 2014
A dangerous mind
Troll, genius, patriot, provocateur, anarchist, attention whore, gun nut or Second Amendment champion? Arkansas-born Cody Wilson has been peppered with labels since he started printing his way into the gun debate, and he’s clearly earned a few of them. // BY DAVID KOON
JANUARY 9, 2014
BIG BANG: The Liberator.
efense Distributed’s Liberator pistol is, on balance, a fairly piss-poor excuse for a gun. While the world’s first wholly 3D-printed firearm is somewhat gadget-beautiful — its components made of ecru plastic except for the nail used for a firing pin and a six-ounce block of steel glued into the frame in order to adhere to the Undetectable Firearms Act — it has a look that would probably send industrial designer Raymond Loewy into an epileptic fit: stubby, chunky, with all the charm of a plastic toilet brush handle blow-molded in Shanghai. The thick, 3-inch barrel, chambered for .380 caliber pistol ammo, is unrifled, which means at any range further than you can throw it underhanded, it’s mostly just a pointand-pray noisemaker. Because the ABS plastic barrel refuses to remember its shape after firing, deforming a bit more every time you run a bullet through it, the barrel can survive around eight shots before you’re basically holding a fragmentation grenade. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing in the media and political arena over the idea of a printed gun falling into the wrong hands. Hypothetical mental patients and kids printing out guns in their bedrooms come up a lot. While a printed gun is clearly a problem for countries with strict gun control like Japan and the United Kingdom, in America, where you could probably go a long way toward filling
the Potomac from source to sea with the perfectly functional guns already out there, there’s a whole lot better chance that Little Johnny is going to know where Dad keeps his Glock than that he’s going to go through the tedious, daylong process of printing himself a single-shot plastic gun if he gets a mind to plug his rival for Little Jenny’s affections. A Saturday Night Special it ain’t. So what is The Liberator, exactly, if not a reliable firearm in the commonly accepted sense? It’s clearly the first of something: the Wright Flyer of a maybe more worrisome future, especially as technologies to 3D print in metal alloy come online and grow cheaper. It’s also a real-world “troll,” an intentional and calculated provocation, designed to simultaneously gig the bear of the U.S. government while ruffling the feathers of the maximum number of people, from gun control advocates to hobbyists who see 3D printing as nothing more than a fun way to make Etsy-ready broaches and dust-catcher tchotchkies. Arkansan turned Texan Cody Wilson, 25, enjoys the provocateur role of his Defense Distributed collaborative in Austin. The philosophy-spouting Wilson’s clearly been reading his P.T. Barnum along with his Friedrich Hayek. The story of every project Wilson’s been involved in — from the printed (and serialnumberless) AR15 lower receivers that first got his name in the paper, to the high-capacity magazines Defense Distributed started print-
ing during the post-Sandy Hook assault weapons debate, to the Liberator pistol, to the Dark Wallet Bitcoin project he’s currently working on — begins with his and his colleagues’ efforts to attract as many calls from the likes of New York Times and Der Spiegel as possible. You can understand why reporters love him. Wilson’s a quote machine: smart, argumentative without turning shrill, prone to grinning out slogans. Sure, you can call that being an attention whore, or you can call it gaming the age of the 15-minute attention span. We live in the era of “Pics or it didn’t happen,” and whether you’re with him or not, Wilson’s had his picture taken many, many times since starting on his quest to upset the national apple cart on the subject of gun control. Too, Wilson grew up on the Internet, and the first rule of being heard on the Internet isn’t to shout the loudest, it’s to figure out a way to get everybody else to do the shouting for you. Talking to him, you get the sense that Wilson’s gun-related projects are actually thought exercises made real, a kind of political and regulatory Mt. Everest that Wilson climbed for no other reason than because it was there, to make the point that it could be done and that no law currently on the books could stop him. Though his attitude about gun control has won him fans from hardcore Libertarians to Glenn Beck — strange bedfellows for a guy who started out reading Lenin in high school and got more CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 www.arktimes.com
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economically and politically radical from there — he’ll tell you that his firearm-related projects are not about politics, and really not even about guns. They’re about, as he puts it, the liberation of information. They’re about getting out the message that, because of the Internet (and now, thanks to 3D printing, real-world things like guns), the powers that be can no longer control and regulate information. Whether you agree with that line of thinking or not, whether you see it as dangerous or not, it’s pretty much irrefutable that Wilson’s logic falls squarely in line with the kind of dream it/do it attitude that led to the creation of 3D printing in the first place, though it’s a sure bet that the printer designers never considered producing untraceable parts for AR-15s any more than Orville Wright ever imagined the Enola Gay. For Wilson’s critics, the debate always eventually comes back around to: Just because you can do something, should you? That’s another thing you realize in talking to Cody Wilson — for better or worse, the idea of “should you?” never really figures into his equation.
courses on Milton, hoping to have a job in five years, and describing how his schedule left him “darting around campus, often like a madman,” make it hard to believe he’d ever be named one of the “15 Most Dangerous People in the World” by wired.com. UCA English professor Raymond-Jean Frontain had Wilson in several classes as an undergrad, including his course on Milton. He called Wilson the finest student he’s had in 25 years of teaching. “He was extraordinarily thoughtful,” Frontain said. “His mind was constantly working. You could see thoughts pass over his face in the middle of a lecture. He was able to do more in the opening paragraph of an essay exam than most other students could do in their entire essay. He was simply the best critical thinker, critical reader, critical writer that I’ve had at UCA.” Frontain said that during lectures and class discussions, it was often clear that Wilson was “about three steps ahead” of the rest of the class, even him. “The level of discussion was so much higher in the classes that he took,” Frontain said. “When he was in the class, everybody was stimulated to
anti-globalism began to meld with the Internet, a place where the real-world rules often didn’t apply. “It wasn’t until college,” he said, “that I went ahead and said: ‘You know what? I’m an anarchist.’ ... I’ve always been on the Internet, but basically my zeal for the Internet and my anarchist tendencies all kind of cross-pollinated. I discovered crypto-anarchy and the cypherpunks and Internet radicalism.” While people bristle at the word “anarchist,” Wilson said that in his case, it’s an attempt at “persuasive redefinition” in order to “rehabilitate the old, poison word.” “But, essentially, it’s the correct one,” he said. “I don’t believe in political and social privilege and hierarchy. I don’t believe the free election of rulers somehow makes you in charge of your own life. I believe that people should be responsible for direct action and planning their own lives. This is less achievable in the real, but more achievable in software relationships.” Nearing graduation at UCA, Wilson had planned to attend NYU law school, but “got cold feet” at the last minute, mostly over the quartermillion in student loan debt it would cost to attend,
“It wasn’t until college that I went ahead and said: ‘You know what? I’m an anarchist.’ ... I’ve always been on the Internet, but basically my zeal for the Internet and my anarchist tendencies all kind of cross-pollinated. I discovered crypto-anarchy and the cypherpunks and Internet radicalism.”
THE POISON WORD Cody Wilson was born in Little Rock. The family — “your mainstream Arkansan conservative types,” he said — moved to Cabot when he was in the first grade. Wilson excelled in school, participating in varsity athletics at Cabot High, where he was elected student body president before graduating in 2006. By then, Wilson said, he was reading Marx, and had become sympathetic with the modern left’s concern for justice and equality. At the same time, he said, “I’ve always been maybe informed by the more conservative or individualistic kind of American stuff about the role of the individual in society.” Accepting a scholarship to attend the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Wilson majored in English, joined Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, traveled to China with the university’s study-abroad program, and was elected president of UCA’s Student Government Association. The Internet is a kind of amber where everything exists forever, and interviews with Wilson at the time, with him gushing about 14
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do far superior work than they would have done if he was not. That’s an incredible power to have.” Frontain noted that while Wilson was Student Government Association president at UCA, Wilson lobbied the administration and board of trustees to institute a mandatory library fee that was on par with the athletics fee, something that broke what Frontain called a stagnation of the library’s budget that had persisted for years. “I doubt that in the history of the institution any other student leader accomplished anything that has had a greater lasting effect as Cody did in this instance,” he said. He and Wilson remain friends, he said, with Wilson often stopping by for a chat when he’s in Arkansas. While most dorm room radicals are content to roll up their poster of Che Guevara the day they graduate from college, the changes in Wilson’s mind during those formative years seem to have stuck. While at UCA, he met many of the core of Arkansans who would eventually help him found the non-profit Defense Distributed — Benjamin Denio, Dana Bizzell, Sean Kubin, Chris Hancock and Brad Bridges — and soon, his Libertarian-flavored political thought about privacy, speech and
he said. Instead, he took a year off before accepting a scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. Though Wilson did well in law school, he says it bored him. Before too long, he was looking for ways to change the world that didn’t involve a suit and tie. By then, he was talking regularly with fellow UCA alumnus Benjamin Denio. Denio, who helped Wilson found Defense Distributed, had heard of Wilson in college, but didn’t begin to collaborate with him until after Wilson graduated. He said they soon found that they saw eye to eye on most political views. Denio characterized Wilson as driven, brilliant, “incredibly scrupulous,” and with a razor wit, able to distill very complicated philosophical and political ideas in ways that are “very ascertainable to the public mind.” Since emerging as the poster boy for printed firearms, Wilson has become something of a gun aficionado, showing off a home arsenal of handguns and rifles to camera crews visiting his apartment in Austin. When Denio first began talking to him, however, he said that Wilson didn’t own a firearm of any kind.
PARTS: A printed AR-15 lower receiver (left), and a printed 30-round magazine.
“When I first met Cody, he was in no way a ‘gun guy’.” Denio said. “He didn’t own any firearms, and as far as I know, his family wasn’t really into firearms either. In fact, he asked me when he sought to purchase his first firearm what he should get, and I gave him some advice on what he should get.” Part of Wilson’s personality, Denio said, is to want what others say he can’t have. Or, as Denio put it: “If they told him that he couldn’t have a tuna sandwich, he would want a tuna sandwich. You can really take him at face value. He’s absolutely scrupulous and honest about his intentions, and his background is not one informed by what the public might consider an insipid kind of radicalism. On the contrary, at least in his case, it’s very thoughtful and well-constructed.”
WIKI WEAPON In the spring of 2012, Wilson said, he was on the phone with Denio when they started talking about 3D printing. Soon, the conversation turned toward the question of whether you could build a gun with a 3D printer. Wilson said that he’d heard of 3D printing a few years before.
A 3D printer is something like a computer-controlled glue gun. A heated printing head liquefies a long strand of plastic filament, then deposits the resulting goo in a controlled pattern that represents a layer of a three dimensional object, as laid out in a digital computer-assisted design, or CAD, file. After that “slice” cools, it deposits another, and another. Do that a hundred or a thousand times, and you’ve got a plastic, three-dimensional object. Originally expensive, prices for 3D printers have plummeted in the last few years. You can now buy an entrylevel printer for $500-$1,000 dollars. “We were talking about how to bring different digital techniques to gun manufacture. Would that be something we were interested in doing?” Wilson said. “We weren’t, but then I said, ‘You’ve heard of 3D printers, right? I wonder if you could 3D print a gun?’ Then we were like: ‘If you could, that means anyone could, and it would be a Wikileaks-style brouhaha if we put that file out on the Pirate Bay [software-sharing website].’ ” On July 27, 2012, Wilson posted a video on YouTube titled “The Wiki Weapon.” In it, Wilson sits in a computer-cluttered room in a peach-colored shirt, Ray Bans in his pocket. The video has since
been seen over 1.2 million times. “A group of friends and I have decided to band together under a collective name,” Wilson tells the audience. “We’re not a company, we’re not a corporation, we’re not even a business association of any kind. We just call ourselves Defense Distributed. We want to share with you an idea. This idea is not original. This idea has been had before. But it’s an idea whose time has come. We think we have a way to get there. The Defense Distributed project has developed an idea we’re calling the Wiki Weapon. It would be the world’s first 3D-printable personal defense system.” Saying that the project was trying to raise $20,000 in online funding, Wilson said the real goal of the Wiki Weapon project wasn’t a gun, but a digital, 3D-printable CAD blueprint of working gun that could be distributed for free over the Internet. “As long as there’s a free Internet, that file is available to anyone at any time, all over the world,” Wilson tells the camera. “A gun can be anywhere. Any bullet is now a weapon. But Defense Distributed’s goal really isn’t about personal armament. It’s more the liberation of information.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 www.arktimes.com
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“Every dollar is a statement to these international kleptocrats that this isn’t in your control anymore,” Wilson says in closing. “You want to announce treaties and new legal regimes announcing greater and greater eras and strata of gun control? Listen, it’s over. You don’t understand the world you’re living in. We’re bringing something else into being.” It wasn’t long before some of the tech companies Wilson had relied on to make the idea a reality began to balk. Less than a month and $1,700 into the fund-raising drive, the crowdfunding website Indiegogo booted the Wiki Weapon project from its site. Indiegogo refunded all the money that had already been raised to the people who had contributed it, forcing Wilson to raise money for the project by accepting Bitcoin, an online currency that has been growing in real-world value in recent years. Then, in September 2012, Stratasys, the company that had leased Defense Distributed its printer, informed Wilson that he had broken the terms of his lease by using the printer for illegal purposes
the gun’s serial number. That number allows it to be tracked by the federal government, making the lower receiver the only “regulated” part of an AR15. Print the lower receiver, attach the other parts, and you’ve theoretically got an untraceable rifle. While the idea of a printed lower receiver wasn’t new — as early as September 2011, a Wisconsin gunsmith had posted a printable design for an AR15 lower online — the available designs were based on CAD files for machined-metal lower receivers, and were also under-engineered to stand up to the stress of recoil when printed in plastic. A YouTube video from December 2012 of Defense Distributed tests with printed lower receivers showed an AR15 only managing five shots before the stock snapped off, the rifle vomiting parts onto the shooter’s shoulder. Wilson and co. kept reinforcing their designs, however, and by the time reporters with vice.com visited Wilson in Austin in spring 2013 to shoot a documentary called “Click. Print. Gun.,” Wilson boasted he had a version that could fire more than
fitted with a drum magazine and the fifth version of its printed lower receiver firing over 660 rounds without breaking. That version of the receiver was soon uploaded to the Internet as a printable file. In April 2013, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel of New York proposed House Resolution 1474, the “Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act,” a bill that would reauthorize the ban on metal-detector-defeating plastic and ceramic guns, but which included changes that would make it illegal for anyone who wasn’t a licensed gun manufacturer to create ammunition magazines and lower receivers in any material, including printing those parts out of plastic. The proposed changes about 3D printed guns and gun parts were stripped from the final bill. The Senate passed a similarly watered-down version of the renewal a few days later. Politics aside, Wilson said that he was “more or less conscripted” into the gun debate while trying to make a larger point about information accessibility and a gun that exists “outside the system” of serial
SHOOTER: (Left) A still from video of Wilson’s first test firing of the Liberator and (right) the AR-15 printed receiver that broke 600-plus rounds without shattering.
because he didn’t have a federal firearms manufacturer’s license. (Wilson would later apply for and receive a federal firearms license in March 2013, allowing him to legally make and sell guns.) Even though Wilson hadn’t even unpacked the Stratasys printer from the boxes yet, they told him he had 48 hours to surrender it, which he did, filming it being loaded onto the truck. Defense Distributed soon acquired a used 3D printer, sought other funding sources, and pressed on.
MAGAZINES AND RECEIVERS Working its way up to a wholly-printed gun, Defense Distributed began printing lower receivers for AR15s, the widely-available, semi-automatic version of the military M16 assault rifle. In the exploded view, the lower receiver is the chunk of an AR15 that contains the trigger assembly and which the magazine snaps into. The other parts of the assembled rifle attach to the lower receiver, which is also the place where the manufacturer stamps or etches 16
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100 rounds before failure. A test filmed by the Vice crew, however, showed the rifle making it through just 30 before the stock broke off. That same month, on Dec. 14, 2012, a 20-year-old man armed with an AR15-style assault rifle massacred 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The online 3D file repository Thingiverse.com, run by 3D printer company MakerBot, pulled down all files pertaining to guns and gun parts. In response, Wilson and Defense Distributed announced fundraising for a website called defcad.org that would host gunrelated 3D design files. In January 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a ban on gun magazines holding more than seven rounds. Defense Distributed responded by releasing free plans for a printable 30-round AR15 magazine it called, pointedly, “The Cuomo.” In March, they would release a design for an AK47 magazine called the “Feinstein,” after gun control advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. By February 2013, Defense Distributed posted a video on its YouTube page that showed an AR15
numbers and government control. “The future is one of tumbling costs of the means of production, and more individual and unobserved production,” Wilson said. “That really scares people.”
THE LIBERATOR Cody Wilson’s baby is the Liberator. He rarely lets down the polished, Geek Cool aura — two clicks south of arrogance — that hovers about him most of the time. But there seems to be a weird kind of reverence that comes over him when he touches The Liberator, a product of countless hours of research and work. No matter how you feel about the thing itself — the gun, which could, if aimed in the right direction with malice, kill someone — it gives you a sense of the months he spent spinning it in his head, trying to want it into existence for reasons wholly his own. In his original video announcing the Wiki Weapon project in July 2012, he said his vision of a printed gun is “about the preservation of human
dignity.” Whether you believe that to be ultra-Libertarian horseshit or not, Wilson clearly believes it. Though the copy he brought to the offices of the Arkansas Times in late December is probably one of secret thousands by now, he still turned it in his hands the way anyone else would hold a unicorn horn. Defense Distributed started working on the Liberator pistol in March 2013. While printing magazines and lower receivers was floating in a gray area of the law, printing a working, firing gun was something else, both legally and politically, and his whole team knew it. Wilson admits he and his colleagues talked quite a bit about the consequences. “At the end of the day, we realized the political reality, which is that this is something that at least the current administration doesn’t want to happen,” he said. “They have a real antipathy for it. So at any opportunity, if you messed up, that’s a point of criminal investigation or prosecution.” Wilson said that during the time they were working on the Liberator, there was an undercover cop outside his apartment for a while, and the server logs of the Defense Distributed websites showed the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice “just sitting on our websites every day.” The work they’d done printing lower receivers and magazines paid off. “We’d gotten pretty good at building plastic guns. We had a secret location for Liberator tests, and we were doing other tests more in public,” Wilson said. “We heard we were being monitored by the Feds back in February — not that they didn’t know, but we’d go in [to the test site] with no phones and stuff. ... We tested barrels for about a month: What’s the right thickness? What’s the right concentricity? What direction should you print them? Very basic things.” They learned, for instance, that by fogging the plastic with acetone vapor, they could smooth the barrels out a bit and keep the print from cracking so quickly. Scanning the thick, stubby barrels before and after firing, Wilson and his engineer were also able to determine that the plastic showed significant expansion and deformation every time it was fired. “We knew the barrel would fail, because it would expand and it would stay expanded,” he said. “That’s the simplest way I can say it. So we knew that eventually these barrels would degrade.” Still in law school at UT, Wilson researched firearms law up, down and sideways. He also ran his plan and the National Firearms Act and Undetectable Firearms Act by everyone he could think of. “I took CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
7th & Thayer · Little Rock · (501) 375-8400
Thursday, January 9
Whale Fire w/ Collin Vs. Adam & Bombay Harambee
Friday, January 10
Mad Nomad w/ Stephen Neeper & the Wild Hearts
saTurday, January 11
The Salty Dogs & Amy Garland Band
Tuesday, January 14 Fistula w/ Pallbearer & Sea Hag
check out additional shows at
Yellow Fever, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Cholera, Flu and Hookworm A Fascinating History of Arkansas’s 200 Year Battle Against Disease and Pestilence
STory of a narraTIvE HI nSaS aS SE E In arka HEaLTH and dI Art, M.D. by Sam Tagg
tes, M.D. Joseph H. Ba Preface by
This is a great Arkansas history showing that tells how public attitudes toward medicine, politics and race have shaped the public health battle against deadly and debilitating disease in the state. From the illnesses that plagued the states earliest residents to the creation of what became the Arkansas Department of Health, Sam Taggart’s “The Public’s Health: A Narrative History of Health and Disease in Arkansas” tells the fascinating medical history of Arkansas. Published by the Arkansas Times.
Payment: Check Or Credit Card Order By Mail: Arkansas Times Books P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203 Phone: 501-375-2985 Fax: 501-375-3623 Email:email@example.com 96 PP. Soft Cover • Shipping And Handling: $3 www.arktimes.com
JANUARY 9, 2014
that to everybody,” he said. “My criminal law professors. I took it to the gun lawyers we had. Institute for Justice, a big Libertarian firm. Everybody read it and re-read it. We asked the big questions.” While most of the people he approached with the project were “curiously excited about it,” he said, one of his criminal law professors he talked to asked him what turned out, in hindsight, to be one of those big questions. “This was in late April ,” Wilson said. “It’s like two weeks before I released the Liberator. I said something like: ‘Nobody’s ready for this,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, but are you ready for this?’ ” On May 5, 2013, Defense Distributed uploaded video of Wilson performing the first in-hand test firing of the Liberator at a range outside Austin. While the video on the Defense Distributed YouTube page features a deep drum beat when the gun goes off and soaring music afterward, raw footage on another YouTube page seems to show a sense of apprehension on Wilson’s part as he prepares to pull the trigger: He waits for a long moment and looks at the gun for a pregnant second before snatching in a quick breath, jerking his hands up, and firing. If he was nervous, he had a right to be. Though a handle-less, .380 caliber version of the Liberator had earlier been successfully fired with a string tied around the trigger as a reporter from Forbes.com looked on, Forbes reported that a later test of a gun fitted with a different barrel and a larger-caliber cartridge exploded on the stand, “sending shards of white ABS plastic flying into the weeds and bringing the Liberator’s first field trial to an abrupt end.” With all his fingers still attached, Wilson and Defense Distributed released a CAD file to download plans for the Liberator, and more than 100,000 copies were soon downloaded. The files didn’t stay up for long, however. Within the week, the State Department’s Defense Trade Controls division stepped in. Citing the Arms Export Control Act, which regulates the export of firearms up to .50 calibers, the State Department requested that the Liberator files be removed from public access, along with files for magazines, silencers and other gun parts. There was an unspoken “or else.” Wilson reluctantly complied. By then, however, the Liberator CAD file was wild on the Internet, available from unregulated, offshore download sites like The Pirate Bay, where, barring changes to the fundamental structure of the Internet, it will likely exist forever. As for the political and press reaction to the Liberator, it turned out to be exactly the Wikileaksstyle circus that Cody Wilson had envisioned, with the word carried from one outraged ear to another. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, for one, called the Liberator “stomach churning,” holding a press conference in which he told the press: “Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage.” Wilson’s phone was soon ringing non-stop. “You can depend upon a certain reaction, and I especially mean the progressive wing of the Democrat party [and] the progressive, collusive members 18
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of the media,” Wilson said. “It’s just visual candy. People will flock to it and even if they disagree with it, they will carry the message. This entire project, in its strategy, was inspired by ... the idea that a complicit, unwilling media would be a kind of Trojan Horse.”
GOING DARK Where Defense Distributed’s work with lower receivers and magazines had created buzz with the Guns and Ammo crowd, the Liberator was finally the thing that captured the public’s imagination, bringing to mind the law prof who’d asked Wilson if he was really ready for it. “How can you be ready for something like that?” Wilson said. “It ended up being a kind of event. Not even just a couple of days, but the ripples and the reverberations. I mean, it was acquired by museums of design. All summer, it’s been traveling to different exhibits. It’s been the subject of more media well after it was released than our entire project beforehand.” Still in law school when he released the gun,
DIGITAL DOUGH: Real-world representation of online Bitcoins.
Wilson said he’d been thinking of dropping out since the spring of 2013, when he visited the Bay Area Libertarians in San Francisco. The press over the Liberator release sealed the deal. He may return to finish his degree, but it won’t be anytime soon. These days, he’s largely focused on projects revolving around Bitcoin, the encrypted, computergenerated digital currency that works “peer-topeer” online, without the need for a third-party intermediary like a bank. Developed as open-source software in 2008 by an anonymous programmer or group of programmers, Bitcoin was once a curiosity of hackers and technophiles, but speculation has caused the value to skyrocket in recent years. Though the currency took a major tumble following China’s December decision to ban Bitcoin transactions by Chinese banks and payment service companies, as of this writing, according to the Bitcoin tracking site coindesk.com, the value of a single Bitcoin was $940.10, up from $770.44 on Jan. 1. While some worry that Bitcoin is a Tulip Maniasized bubble, Wilson is a believer, mostly because the idea of an unregulated online currency fits
with his anti-government views. With Spanish colleague Amir Taaki, whom he met while fundraising for the Wiki Weapon project in Bitcoin, Wilson is working on something called Dark Wallet. While current systems for using Bitcoin can be difficult and tech-intensive to use, the Dark Wallet project hopes to simplify the process, creating a browser plug-in that makes Bitcoin transactions no more difficult than using a credit card. He hopes to launch the Dark Wallet early this year. Not only can Dark Wallet potentially open the door to Bitcoin use by the mainstream, Wilson hopes it will also lessen the role of the Bitcoin Foundation, which, according to its website, “standardizes, protects and promotes the use of Bitcoin cryptographic money for the benefit of users worldwide.” Wilson doesn’t like the idea of One Ring to Rule them All, and the Bitcoin Foundation was, as he put it, “getting a little too big for their britches.” As with many things in his life, at least part of the project was about getting his name in the paper, but it was also about decentralization of power. Unless the world goes through a radical monetary shift Wilson dreams of, however, it’s probably going to be guns that Cody Wilson is most remembered for in at least the short term. Asked if he believes in any form of gun control, he said he’s “too radical for that,” though he said he does believe there could be “some form of social enforcement and control,” in which individual communities set their own rules about firearms. “These strict liability regimes, based on just pure discovery and possession?” Wilson said. “No, I don’t think these are useful. I think they’re meant as suppressive techniques and social enforcement. In the end, the only way you can deal with guns is in that kind of older, liberal-core framework: You deal with people after they’ve committed crimes. If that 13-year-old shot his bully, that’s a tragedy, and justice should be served, but that’s not a justification for the establishment of an entire framework to prevent whole classes of people from having a weapon. ... We need the entire warfare-surveillance state because Jimmy might print out a gun and shoot his bully?” Still, mass shootings always come up in interviews. Wilson often bats those questions away, dancing into the abstract. The week after the Sandy Hook massacre, he told Popular Science of the tragedy: “Understanding that rights and civil liberties are something that we protect is also understanding that they have consequences that are also protected, or tolerated. The exercise of civil liberties is antithetical to the idea of a completely totalizing state. That just the way it is.” Though his stance on gun violence versus gun regulation hasn’t changed much a year later, it seems to have taken a more measured, and somehow darker, tone. “In the end, I’m saying: I recognize that there’s costs,” he said. “I accept the costs. I’ve made that decision. Some people would say: ‘Well, I didn’t.’ I’m sorry. There’s plenty of people living and acting in this world. The world’s moving into something where ‘one man, one vote’ doesn’t apply to some of the things that we’re getting into.”
Chasing the Light 2003â€“2013
A collection of fashion, sports and human-interest photos from Arkansas Times photographer Brian Chilson.
Opening Reception 2nd Friday Art Night
Come take a walk thru this special collection spanning the past 10 years.
January 10 Âˇ 5-8pm Historic Arkansas Museum
Show runs through March 10
Arts Entertainment AND
FEED SALLIS ‘Drive’ author travels more than one literary road. BY JEREMY GLOVER
elena native James Sallis’ career has run the gamut of styles and modes — crime noir, science fiction, poetry, translation, journalism, gritty novellas and more. His bibliography includes two books on jazz guitar, a biography on crime fiction author Chester Himes, several books of poetry and six novels about a New Orleans professor, poet, novelist and sometimes private eye. Yet it was the recent film adaptation of the 2005 novel “Drive,” a stark, brutal and stylized take on his work, that’s brought him wider recognition and acclaim. “I think the film is brilliant, from Hoss’ (Hossein Amini) screenplay on through the music and photography to every performance,” Sallis, 70, said 20
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in an interview with the Times. “Discrete from my novel? Yes, differing, but equivalent, vocabularies. Yet, the heart and soul of my novel beat away in Nicolas Refn’s film.” A literary life with stops in London, New York, Boston and now Phoenix, began in the Delta. His father worked for Arkansas Power & Light Co., and his mother was the Helena city clerk. His elder brother, John Sallis, a wellknown philosopher and a prodigious author as well, introduced James to the world of literature as well as other lifelong interests. “I stole the first books I ever read off his shelves, read ‘The Stranger’ for the first time when he brought it home from college, inherited my love of classical music from hearing him play it,” he said.
The science fiction of Robert Heinlein, C.M. Kornbluth and Richard Matheson first sparked his imagination. The writings of Theodore Sturgeon propelled him to write and gave him faith that he could become a writer. “Even then, what’s become a cornerstone of my criticism and of my own writing, I didn’t differentiate, didn’t throw writers, stories or books into wee bins that had ‘literary’ or ‘mystery’ or ‘genre’ on them,” he said. As early as he can remember, Sallis said he was writing short plays and stories. “Sometime around the 10th grade I started realizing that I couldn’t get away from it, that literature was going to hunt me down and eat me,” he said. Like many writers born in the South
who have sought work, experiences and professional life elsewhere in the world, Sallis’ birthplace continues to loom large. He said the rhythms and mood of the Delta have been a guide throughout his literary journey. “There’s definitely something more than cliche to that whole ‘Southerners are storytellers’ thing,” he said. “And to the richness of language, much of it derived from the blacks among whom we lived. As a child I’d listen to my grandfather coming up the hill to our house reciting ‘Snowbound’ or ‘Thanatopsis,’ the whole of these long, long poems.” It was his youth in the Delta and years later spent in New Orleans that inspired the disenfranchised characters living on the fringes of society that inhabit many of his stories. “I became firmly attuned to a prototypical reverence for individuality, even widely divergent individuality,” he said. “A respect, even a protective instinct, towards the marginalized, those living far off center, out on the edge.” His predilection for shifting styles and genres as he moves about a literary landscape as best he sees fit is not lost on fans, critics and friends, with one acquaintance once asking him if he had yet to decide on what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I still write in all those modes and manners,” he said. “I publish science fiction and ‘arealist’ short stories, contribute a regular books column to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. My latest novel is “Others of My Kind,” an oddly-shaped crime novel set in a near-future dystopia, with ‘Black Night’s Gonna Catch Me Here: Selected Poems 1968-2012’ set for publication next year.” Old family friends and any physical connections to his youth in the Arkansas Delta have long since passed on, yet Sallis said he still feels tied to this land of his kinsman and earliest memories. “My uncle, until he died, donated a copy of each of [my and my brother’s] books to the library in the tiny town of Marvel, Arkansas, where his mother, our grandmother, lived,” he said. “I love the notion of all those heavily intellectual philosophy books and all those gritty novels sitting there looking out mournfully on cotton and soybean fields.”
ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog arktimes.com
A&E NEWS WAKARUSA HAS ANNOUNCED the first slate of artists for this year’s festival (June 5-8) and it is a familiar-looking roster. Not that there’s anything wrong with that necessarily, nor would most folks expect a huge shakeup for the jam-friendly annual fest on Mulberry Mountain. Among the headliners announced so far: STS9, Umphrey’s McGee, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lettuce, Dr. Dog, Papadosio, Cherub, BoomBox and DJ Snake. There are also still two lineup announcements to go. Anybody wanna venture any guesses on who else might be there? While we’re making predictions, any ideas what the weather will do this year? The last three have seen everything from scorching heat to frigid rain to lightning storms and who knows what else. Seems like we’re due for a weekend of sunny and highs in the upper 70s, right?
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THE WILLIAM F. LAMAN PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM announced this week that Hope Coulter is the recipient of its 2014 Laman Library Writers Fellowship. The fellowship, which has been given yearly since 2010, awards $10,000 to a previously published Arkansas author. Coulter is a fiction writer and poet who has taught creative writing at Hendrix College since 1993. She has previously been a finalist for the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart prize. Her first two novels — “The Errand of the Eye” and “Dry Bones” — were published in 1988 and 1990, respectively, by August House Publishers, and her children’s picture book, “Uncle Chuck’s Truck,” came out in 1993 from Bradbury Press. The Laman Library will host a will host a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 10, to honor Coulter and present her check. The ceremony will take place during a reception, set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., for the library’s new exhibit, “George Fisher: The Presidents.” Fisher was a popular Arkansas political cartoonist for the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Times and the exhibit highlights his often-biting portrayals of the Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan and Bush administrations. Coulter was selected for the Laman Fellowship by a panel of literary professionals. Previous fellows are Grif Stockley, author of six legal novels and several non-fiction books on race relations in Arkansas; Kevin Brockmeier, adult novelist and children’s author, and Mara Leveritt, true crime journalist and Times contributor and Davis McComb, whose work appears in “The Best American Poetry” 1996 and 2008.
JANUARY 9, 2014
BY ROBERT BELL
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
The guys in Little Rock’s Bombay Harambee (David Aspesi, Alexander Jones, Trent Whitehead and Kurt Alaska) have been at it for several months now, honing their guitar-centric brand of indie rock with several shows across the state.
They’re gonna be hitting it hard for the release of their debut EP, “You Know Better,” with dates at White Water Tavern, Maxine’s in Hot Springs on Friday, JR’s Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville on Saturday and The Buccaneer Lounge in Memphis on Jan. 18. The EP boasts some satisfying shredding on “Hopscotch” and the title
track. The sound reminds me a bit of the icy, echoing guitar tone of Interpol. On several tracks (opener “Now You Know,” “Millionaire”), the guitarists nail the sound of the meandering six-string excursions of probably their most pronounced influence, indie rock legends Pavement. “Boulevard” is an uptempo rocker that comes
off like a punker-sounding Pixies. The band recorded “You Know Better” at Wolfman Studios, and it sounds fantastic, particularly the drums, but the mix is also right on. It’s well worth your time. Also performing will be Whale Fire and Collin vs. Adam, rounding out a bill of some of the best local rock bands.
‘CHASING THE LIGHT’ OPENING
5 p.m. Historic Arkansas Museum.
OAKLAWN OPENING: Opening day for horse racing at Oaklawn is Friday.
OPENING DAY AT OAKLAWN
1 p.m. Oaklawn. $2.50-$4.50.
Seems like you can do just about dangnear anything on a smartphone these days, I tell you what. Now you can even bet on the horsies at Oaklawn over your Samsung Galaxy or iPhone 5 or whatever. The track just launched OaklawnAnywhere.com, which, according to a press release, means that “race fans can set
up an account to use while at the track or ‘Anywhere’ they wish.” And it’s not just for smartphones — you can use your tablet, laptop or old-timey desktop computer as well. That’s mighty convenient for sure, especially if you live a ways from the Spa City. But they don’t yet have a website that’ll serve you up a corned beef sandwich and an ice-cold Miller Lite, now do they? And then there’s the
overall vibe of Oaklawn and the races, which just cannot be replicated by any means other than going there and maybe making a little extra spending money. Or losing some. But hey, you don’t have to bet. You can just watch the horses and also the people. Oaklawn has some of the finest people-watching anywhere. Oh, and those sandwiches? They’re only $0.50 on Saturday.
Times readers are no doubt familiar with the work of Brian Chilson, who has spent many years busting his hump all over the state to bring us all incredible photographs of the people, places and events that comprise the story of Arkansas. He’s not only one of the best photographers around, with a keen eye and a masterful talent behind the lens, he’s also one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met. Ask any of the folks who work in our office and they’ll tell you. The man works pretty much every single day, getting up at ungodly hours to trek across the state (or the entire country, on occasion) or racing from one appointment to the next, stopping off in between to capture some crazy event or another. And for all of the compelling photos that have made it into the pages of this publication, there are a multitude that haven’t. Here’s your chance to see some of Chilson’s best work from 2003-2013.
ZODIAC: BROWNIE’S LUV EDITION
8 p.m. Revolution. $10-$15.
It’s been a year since the passing of Jeffrey “Bushy” Hudnall, the muchloved concert promoter and lynchpin of Arkansas’s EDM scene. To honor 22
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Hudnall’s memory, his longtime friend and colleague Mike Brown has started a nonprofit called Brownie’s Luv Foundation. Mostly through events, the foundation will raise money to help out those who work in the hospitality and entertainment businesses in the event of personal tragedies, which
are so often financially disastrous in addition to being emotionally wrenching. Via email, Brown told me he’s lined up a treasurer to deal with the financial side of the organization as well as legal counsel. He decided to start the group after years of organizing fundraiser shows to help pay
for medical bills and funerals. Headlining this kickoff event will be DJ Titan out of Dallas, along with Cool Shoes alum Wolf-e-Wolf, Ewell and Jordan Get’em of Cybertribe and Mr. Napalm of School of Dub Digital. Balance Lighting Systems provides the lighting.
‘SHATNER’S WORLD: WE JUST LIVE IN IT’
8 p.m. Walton Arts Center. $50-$125.
BEAM HIM UP: William Shatner brings his one-man show to the Walton Arts Center Saturday.
Trekkies rejoice: William Shatner is coming to the Walton Arts Center for a performance of his one-man show, “Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It.” Now, everybody and their grandma is familiar with Trekkies, the “Star Trek” partisans who are up there with Deadheads in terms of cultural ubiquity. But Saturday will also be an exciting day for another, slightly more obscure group of obsessive devotees of one of Shatner’s TV shows. That’s right, I’m referring to Hookies. These are the folks who are rabid fans of “T.J. Hooker,” Shatner’s early ’80s police drama. They may not have conventions and all that, but trust me, they’re hardcore. But getting back to Shatner, I am forced to remark that the man looks pretty good for 63, which is incredible when you realize he’s actually about to turn 83 in March. That’s right, 83. What a career! I mean, there’s “Star Trek” and “T.J. Hooker” and “Rescue: 911” and “The Practice” and all the movies. But there are also the albums.
Who could forget the albums? I mean, 1968’s utterly timeless spoken word/pop hybrid “The Transformed Man,” with Shatner pairing strange poems with his sui generis deconstructions of the hits of the day (his “Mr. Tambourine Man” is a must-hear). His 2004 long-player “Has Been” contains a version of Pulp’s “Common People” that is so achingly gorgeous that Jarvis Cocker no doubt hung his head in shame shortly after hearing it. Then there’s 2011’s “Seeking Major Tom,” which featured what has to be the most mind-shatteringly weird collection of guests ever assembled on one record: Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Bootsy Collins, Brad Paisley and Steve Miller (on the latter’s “Space Cowboy”), Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice (on different tracks), Wayne Kramer, Johnny Winter, Steve Hillage, Steve Howe, Edgar Froese, Toots Hibbert, Michael Schenker, Warren Haynes, Zakk Wylde and freakin’ Dave Davies. Now, how many people are powerful enough to get all those folks to guest on their album? Not many. William Shatner is one of them. And on Saturday he’ll tell you all about his life in this acclaimed one-man performance.
The Weekend Theater opens its production of “blu,” Virginia Grise’s play that explores the lives of a queer Chicana family in the aftermath of losing a family member in the Iraq war, Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. From the hills of Northwest Arkansas, the string-pluckin’ madmen in Mountain Sprout come to town for an 18-and-older show with Banditos at Stickyz, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. Dino Davis and The D Train Band are at The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $8. White Water Tavern has your rock ’n’ roll needs covered, with Mad Nomad and Stephen Neeper & The Wild Hearts, 9:30 p.m. Philander Smith College hosts a Health Fair, with vendors and a number of free health screenings, presented by the school’s Department of Health and Wellness, Kendall Center at Philander Smith College, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Second Friday Cinema at the Old State House Museum features “Broncho Billy Anderson: Arkansas’s First Movie Star,” with screenings of “The Great Train Robbery” (1903), “Broncho Billy’s Fatal Joke” (1914) and “The Sonof-a-Gun” (1919), 6 p.m.
9 p.m. George’s Majestic Lounge. $10.
The re-thrash metal scene that really kicked off in the early ’00s found a seemingly inexhaustible supply of denimclad headbanger dudes doing their best to record the next “Kill ’Em All” or “Bonded by Blood.” I never personally got too deeply into it, aside from a few spins of albums by Municipal Waste and Warbringer. That scene’s obituary was written last April by Invisible Oranges’ Joseph Schafer, who took aim at what he saw as a whole lot of aping the past and not much real inspiration. Two notable exceptions were Vektor and Ohio’s Skeletonwitch, who had long been lumped into that crowd. “Both of those bands see the past not so much for what it was or was not, but for what it might have been — and could still be,” Schafer wrote. “Most importantly, they write songs I want to hear over and over
Judy Smith, the Washington political fixer who inspired the Olivia Pope character on “Scandal,” appears at the M.L. Harris Auditorium at Philander Smith College, 7 p.m., free, as part of the school’s “Bless the Mic” lecture series. The Live at Laman series this month features singer/songwriter Ashley McBryde, Laman Library, 7 p.m., free. The UALR Men’s Trojans basketball team takes on South Alabama, Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38.
Over at Juanita’s check out the heavy alt-rock sounds of Dark From Day One, with Dead End Drive, Absence of Ink and Zeroed Out, 10 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. Mother Hubbard and The Regulators rock the West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. The Salty Dogs and Amy Garland Band soundtrack Saturday night at White Water Tavern, 9 p.m.
SUNDAY 1/12 SEASON OF THE ’WITCH: Skeletonwitch plays at George’s Majestic Lounge on Monday.
again in the course of their revisionist histories.” This would prove to be a bit prophetic, as Skeletonwitch released probably their best record yet a few months later. “Serpents Unleashed” is lean and mean, short on song lengths (only one over the four-minute mark) and long on bitchin’ riffs, melodic guitar
lines and memorable solos (especially “Burned from Bone”). All of which is what many critics found lacking in the re-thrash scene. I bet these tunes sound particularly vicious live. Also on this bill: Arkansas death metal stalwarts Vore and Charnal, out of Fayetteville and Fort Smith.
Country legend Ronnie Milsap comes to the Walton Arts Center for a makeup show that had been canceled last month, 4 p.m., $24-$55.
At White Water Tavern, you can catch Pallbearer showcasing new material, with Fistula and Sea Hag, 9:30 p.m. The Broadway classic “Hello, Dolly!” comes to Robinson Center Music Hall, Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m., $27-$65. www.arktimes.com
JANUARY 9, 2014
AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please e-mail the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THURSDAY, JAN. 9
Aces Wild (headliner), Jamie Lou (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. cajunswharf.com. Bluegrass Jam hosted by Nate Kennedy. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Bombay Harambee (album release), Whale Fire, Collin vs. Adam. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. whitewatertavern.com. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Irish Traditional Music Sessions. Dugan’s Pub, 7-9 p.m. 401 E. 3rd St. 501-244-0542. www. duganspublr.com. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Little Rock Irish Song Session. Dugan’s Pub, second Thursday of every month, 7 p.m., free. 401 E. 3rd St. 501-920-8534. www.celladawnmusic.com. Live at Laman: Ashley McBryde. Laman Library, 7 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. www.lamanlibrary.org. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs, ongoing. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8559. newks.com. My Brother My Friend, The Supporting Cast. The Joint, 9:30 p.m., $3. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. www. senor-tequila.com. Rolex Money Gang with Zed Zilla and DJ Big TINY. Juanita’s, 10 p.m. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
Art of Motion: Tango. Arkansas Arts Center, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., $10 for non-members. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www.arkarts.com.
Bless the Mic: Judy Smith. Philander Smith College, 7 p.m., free. 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive.
UALR Men’s Trojans vs. South Alabama. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave. 24
JANUARY 9, 2014
UNDERCOVER: Kentucky indie rock outfit Sleeper/Agent comes to Revolution Saturday for an all-ages show, 8:30 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of.
FRIDAY, JAN. 10
Aces Wild. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. www.westendsmokehouse.net. Big Red. Thirst n’ Howl, 9 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-nhowl.com. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. Dance night, with
DJs, drink specials and bar menu, until 2 a.m. 1620 Savoy, 10 p.m. 1620 Market St. 501-2211620. www.1620savoy.com. Dino Davis and The D Train Band. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $8. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Ed Burks. Jan. 10-11 and Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu.
Ernie Biggs, ongoing. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Mad Nomad, Stephen Neeper & The Wild Hearts. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Mountain Sprout, Banditos. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 107 Commerce St. 501-3727707. www.stickyz.com. Rocktown Rap Showcase. With Nova Johnson. Quarternote Nightclub, 10 p.m., $5. 4726 Asher Ave. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG. Tonya Leeks (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf.com. Zodiac: Brownie’s Luv Edition featuring DJ Titan. With Wolf-e-Wolf, Ewell, Mr. Napalm, Jordan Get’Em. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10-$15. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com.
“A Fertle Holiday.” The Joint, Jan. 10-11, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Larry Reeb. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com.
If you’re not HERE, we’re having more fun than you are!
Ballroom Dancing. Free lessons begin at 7 p.m. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 8-11 p.m., $7-$13. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-2217568. www.blsdance.org. Salsa Night. Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.littlerocksalsa.com.
Fantastic Friday. Literary and music event, refreshments included. For reservations, call 479-968-2452 or email artscenter@centurytel. net. River Valley Arts Center, Every third Friday, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 1001 E. B St., Russellville. 479-968-2452. www.arvartscenter.org. Health Fair. With vendors and a number of free health screenings, presented by the Department of Health and Wellness at Philander Smith College. Philander Smith College, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., free. 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Opening Day at Oaklawn. Oaklawn, 1 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com. “Sing-a-long ‘Sound of Music’.” Walton Arts Center, 7 p.m., $10-$17. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.
Second Friday Cinema: “Broncho Billy Anderson: Arkansas’s First Movie Star.” Includes screenings of “The Great Train Robbery” (1903), “Broncho Billy’s Fatal Joke” (1914) and “The Son-of-a-Gun” (1919). Old State House Museum, 6 p.m. 500 Clinton Ave. 501-324-9685. www.oldstatehouse.com.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, through April 11: 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
SATURDAY, JAN. 11
Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Jan. 10. Dark From Day One, Dead End Drive, Absence of Ink, Zeroed Out. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-3721228. www.juanitas.com. Delta Symphony Orchestra: Young Artist Concerto Competition. The Fowler Center, 9 a.m., $10-$20. 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. 870-972-3471. www.yourfowlercenter.com. Ed Burks. Jan. 10-11 and Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. The Intruders. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. afterthoughtbar.com. John Nemeth. All-ages. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $6 adv., $8 day of. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub.com. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd.,
NLR. 501-835-7876. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All-ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs, ongoing. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Mother Hubbard and The Regulators. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. www.westendsmokehouse.net. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www.fcl.org. The Salty Dogs, Amy Garland Band. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-3758400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Sleeper/Agent. All-ages. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. Taylor Made. Thirst n’ Howl, 8:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl. com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG. The Woodpeckers (headliner), Some Guy Named Robb (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf.com.
“A Fertle Holiday.” The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com.
Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www. arstreetswing.com.
Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-noon. Main Street, NLR. Beginners Crochet Workshop. Plantation Agriculture Museum, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., $10. 4815 Hwy. 161 S., Scott. 961-1409. www.arkansasstateparks.com/plantationagriculturemuseum. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. “Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It.” With William Shatner. Walton Arts Center, 8 p.m., $50-$125. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479443-5600.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, through April 11: 1:30
p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com. UALR Men’s Trojans vs. Troy. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave. UALR Women’s Trojans vs. Troy. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 4:30 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave.
There’s still time, GET HERE!
SUNDAY, JAN. 12
Farm Hands Bluegrass Quartet. Primrose United Methodist Church, 6 p.m., free. 3006 W. Dixon Road. 501-888-3854. www.primroseumc.org. Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs, ongoing. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Ronnie Milsap. Walton Arts Center, 4 p.m., $24$55. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-4435600.
“Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. vinosbrewpub.com.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, through April 11: 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
MONDAY, JAN. 13
Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs, ongoing. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Monday Night Jazz. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Skeletonwitch, Vore, Charnal. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $10. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226.
A Chicago style Speakeasy & Dueling Piano Bar. This is THE premier place to party in Little Rock. “Dueling Pianos” runs Monday through Saturday. Dance & Club music upstairs on Wed, Fri & Sat. Drink specials and more! Do it BIGG! Open 7 Days A Week • 8pm-2am Shows Start at 8:30pm
Located in the Heart of the River Market District 307 President Clinton Avenue 501.372.4782 www.erniebiggs.com
PARTY AT OUR PLACE!
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Downtown Tip Off Club: Steve Shields and Joe Foley. Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m., $15-$20. 2 Riverfront Place, NLR. 501-371-9000. www.wyndham.com.
All American Food & Great Place to Watch Your Favorite Event
Finding Family Facts. Rhonda Stewart’s genealogy research class for beginners. Arkansas Studies Institute, second Monday of every month, 3:30 p.m. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5700 . www.butlercenter.org.
TUESDAY, JAN. 14
Fistula, Pallbearer, Sea Hag. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. whitewatertavern.com. Irish Traditional Music Sessions. Hibernia Irish Tavern, second and Fourth Tuesday of every month, 7-9 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. www.hiberniairishtavern.com. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, through Jan. 30: 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
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JANUARY 9, 2014
AFTER DARK, CONT. Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs, ongoing. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. www.copelandsrestaurantlittlerock.com. Music Jam. Hosted by Elliott Griffen and Joseph Fuller. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock. com. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. ferneaurestaurant.com. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com.
“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7:30 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090. www.littlerocksalsa.com.
SPOTLIT: Photograph by Brian Chilson in “Chasing the Light” at HAM.
Portraits, photographs, film The line-up for first weeks of 2014. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK
ew exhibitions and a competition are ushering in the 2014 art year, with 2nd Friday Art Night, dueling portraitists Saturday at the Arkansas Arts Center and more. Galleries downtown will be open 5-8 p.m. Jan. 10 for 2nd Friday and the Old State House will debut a film series, “Second Friday Cinema.” Among Friday’s after-hours art venues are the Butler Center Galleries in the Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave., where “Unusual Portraits: New Works by Michael Warrick and David O’Brien” opens and Das Loop provides music; the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third, which opens “Chasing the Light,” photographs by Brian Chilson, photographer for the Arkansas Times, and where Phil G. and Lori Marie will provide music; and Stratton’s, 405 E. Third, which will show paintings by Barry Thomas and host a wine tasting. The Second Friday Cinema series at OSH opens with three short films starring Gilbert “Broncho Billy” Anderson: “The Great Train Robbery” (1903), “Broncho Billy’s Fatal Joke” (1914) and “The Son-of-a-Gun” (1919). Screenings start at 6 p.m. and Ben Fry, KLRE/KUAR general manager and coordinator of the film minor at the University of Arkansas 26
JANUARY 9, 2014
at Little Rock, will lead a discussion. Other 2nd Friday venues include Paper, Scissors, Little Rock, 300 River Market Ave.; Cox Creative Center, 120 River Market, and Gallery 221 and Art Studios 221, 221 W. 2nd St. Also opening Friday: “Music, Myth and the Hard Travelin’ Man,” linoleum cut prints by Neal Harrington, associate professor of art at Arkansas Tech University, at Cantrell Gallery, 8206 Cantrell Road. An artist’s reception is set for 6-8 p.m. Friday. “Face Off: A Portraiture Competition” will be a bracketed contest between pairs of artists from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Arts Center. To enter, email email@example.com. The portraits created by the two artists in the final bracket will be exhibited at the Arts Center. Next door, at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, a panel discussion, “David O. Dodd: The Man, the Myth and the Window,” runs from 1-4 p.m.; the stained glass window provides the art element here. Coming Wednesday, Jan. 15, to UALR is “Conundrum,” recent work by David Clemons, artist in residence and head of metals at the university. The show includes multimedia work in forged and
fabricated mild steel, bronze and cast concrete. Laman Library, 2801 Orange St. in North Little Rock, has opened “George Fisher: The Presidents Exhibit,” work by the late editorial cartoonist for the Arkansas Gazette and Arkansas Times. The show goes down Jan. 19. Also in North Little Rock: Good Weather Gallery, the gallery in a garage at 4400 Edgemere, is featuring photographs by Trisha Holt. THE 27TH ANNUAL “SMALL WORKS ON PAPER” exhibition of the Arkansas Arts Council starts its year-long tour Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. The 2014 show features works (all no larger than 24 by 24 inches) by 39 Arkansas artists. Juror Mary Kennedy, CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance, selected 10 artists to receive purchase awards: Cindy Arsaga and Cindy Wiseman of Fayetteville, Claire Cade of Arkadelphia, Houston Fryer and Richard Stephens of Hot Springs, Lisa Kendrick and Miranda Young of Little Rock, Tom Richard of Monticello, Carrie Walker of Cabot and Carrie Wester of Conway. The show will travel to Arkansas Tech for the month of February and eight other venues after that.
Little Rock Green Drinks. Informal networking session for people who work in the environmental field. Ciao Baci, 5:30-7 p.m. 605 N. Beechwood St. 501-603-0238. www.greendrinks.org. Tales from the South. Authors tell true stories; schedule available on website. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. www.starvingartistcafe.net. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. beerknurd.com/stores/littlerock.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 15
Acoustic Open Mic. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-6631196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Brian and Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, through Jan. 29: 5:30 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf.com. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, through Jan. 30: 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs, ongoing. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Local Live: Runaway Planet. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., free. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. https://www.facebook.com/SouthonMainLR. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Ms. Pat. The Loony Bin, Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 17, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com.
AFTER DARK, CONT.
Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.
Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Maxine’s, 7 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. maxineslive.com/ shows.html.
THIS WEEK IN THEATER
Auditions for “Fiddler on the Roof.” Auditions for dancers and ensemble vocalists. Prepare 16 bars from show and bring resume. Sides available for cold readings. Argenta Community Theater, Thu., Jan. 9, 6 and 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 11, 1 and 3 p.m. 405 Main St., NLR. 501-353-1443. argentacommunitytheater.org. “Blu.” Virginia Grise’s play explores the lives of a queer Chicana family in the aftermath of losing a family member in the Iraq war. The Weekend Theater, through Jan. 25: Fri., Sat., 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-3743761. www.weekendtheater.org. “Hello, Dolly!” Robinson Center Music Hall, Jan. 14-16, 7:30 p.m., $27-$65. Markham and Broadway. www.littlerockmeetings.com/ conv-centers/robinson. “Mama Won’t Fly.” Comedy in which a woman must transport her mother from Alabama to California in time for her brother’s wedding, but her mother refuses to fly. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Feb. 2: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m.; Wed., 11 a.m.; Sun., 5:30 p.m., $15-$35. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. murrysdinnerplayhouse.com.
NEW EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS
New art gallery, art museum and history museum exhibits and events in bold-faced type. ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Face Off: A Portraiture Competition,” dueling artists 2-5 p.m. Jan. 11, top two winners will have art exhibited at the Arts Center, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Free event. 372-4000. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Unusual Portraits: New Works by Michael Warrick and David O’Brien,” through March 22, also works by Jacquelyn Kaucher featured in retail gallery, reception 5-8 p.m. Jan. 10, 2nd Friday Art Night, with music by Das Loop; “Reflections in Pastel,” through Feb. 22, main gallery; “Native Arkansas,” early Arkansas through the writings of early explorers and Native American artifacts, including Mississippian period, Caddoan and Carden Bottoms objects, Concordia Hall, through Feb. 22. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Music, Myth & The Hard Travelin’ Man,” linoleum cut prints by Neal Harrington, opens with reception 6-8 p.m. Jan. 10, show through March 1. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: Staff art in “A Thousand Words” on first floor, open 5-8 p.m. Jan. 10, 2nd Friday Art Night. 918-3093. GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid
Place: Artists cooperative, open 5-8 p.m. Jan. 10, 2nd Friday Art Night. 801-0211. GOOD WEATHER GALLERY, 4400 Edgemere, NLR: Photographs by Trisha Holt. www. goodweathergallery.com HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: “Chasing the Light,” photography of Brian Chilson, opens with reception 5-8 p.m. Jan. 10, 2nd Friday Art Night with music by Phil G. and Lori Marie, show through March 10; “A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America,” through June 22; “Dream and Imagery Entailed: Kerrick Hartman and LaToya Hobbs,” sculpture and printmaking, through Feb. 9; “Jason A. Smith: Stills”; “Arkansas Made,” ongoing. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St., NLR: “George Fisher: The Presidents Exhibit,” 30 drawings from the Arkansas Arts Center Library Collection, through Jan. 19. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sun. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Landscapes,” work by Louis Beck, giclee giveaway 5:15 p.m. Jan. 18. 660-4006. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, MacArthur Park: “David O. Dodd: The Man, the Myth and the Window,” panel discussion with Dr. Carl Moneyhon, Anthony Rushing, and Stephan McAteer commemorating 150th anniversary of trial and execution of the “Boy Martyr of the Confederacy,” 1-4 p.m. Jan. 11; “American Posters of World War I”; permanent exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. PAPER, SCISSORS, LITTLE ROCK, 300 River Market Ave.: Crafts and gifts, open 5-8 p.m. Jan. 10, 2nd Friday Art Night. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Second Friday Cinema” with KUAR’s Ben Fry, reception 5 p.m., screening 6-8 p.m. Jan. 10, 2nd Friday Art Night; “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!”, the state’s ties to Hollywood, including costumes, scripts, film footage, photographs and more, through March 1, 2015; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure, through March 2014. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. STRATTON’S, 405 E. 3rd St.: Paintings by Barry Thomas, wine tasting, open 5-8 p.m. Jan. 10, 2nd Friday Art Night. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Conundrum,” recent work by David Clemons, multimedia work, Jan. 15-Feb. 26, Gallery II; “Co-opt,” work created in class experiment by Taimur Cleary, Mesilla Camille Smith and Jennifer Perren, Gallery III, Jan. 15-29. PINE BLUFF ARTS AND SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 Main St.: 2014 “Small Works on Paper,” Jan. 9-30, artists reception and talks 5-7 p.m. Jan. 16; “Glazed with Fire,” ceramics by Joe Bruhin, through Feb. 24. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat. 870-536-3375.
ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Face to Face: Artists’ Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch Jr.,” through Feb. 9; “Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade,” Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery, show through Feb. 9; “Portraiture
Now: Drawing on the Edge,” Jeannette Rockefeller Gallery, through Feb. 9; “The People There: Paintings by Emily Moll Wood,” through Feb. 23. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ART GROUP GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Town Center: “Holiday Art Sale,” work by Ron Almond, Matt Coburn, Louise Harris, Ned Perme, Ann Presley, Vickie HendrixSiebenmorgen and Holly Tilley. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. 690-2193. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Dennis McCann, sculpture by Michael Warrick, gouache by Astrid Sohn, oils by Ron McGehee. 664-0030. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: Paintings from the Arkansas League of Artists and Local Colour. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: “Equinox,” works by artists published in UALR’s journal of literature and art. 9183093. THE EDGE, 301B President Clinton Ave.: Paintings by Avila (Fernando Gomez), Eric Freeman, James Hayes, Jerry Colburn, St. Joseph Thomason and Stephen Drive. 9921099. ELLEN GOLDEN ANTIQUES, 5701 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Barry Thomas and Arden Boyce. 664-7746. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: 19th annual “Holiday Show and Sale,” work by more than 50 artists in all, through Jan. 11. 664-8996. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: Work by Southern artists. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Evolu- tion,” exhibit celebrating the gallery’s 25th anniversary, with work by Lawrence Finney, Mario Robinson, Kevin Cole, Adger Cowans, Samella Lewis, Paul Goodnight and others, through Feb. 2. 372-6822.
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BENTON DIANNE ROBERTS ART STUDIO AND GALLERY, 110 N. Market St.: Work by Chad Oppenhuizen, Dan McRaven, Gretchen Hendricks, Rachel Carroccio, Kenny Roberts, Taylor Bellott, Jim Cooper and Sue Moore. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 860-7467. BENTONVILLE C RY S TA L B R I D G E S M U S E U M O F AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “The Artists’ Eye,” Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz collection, including works by O’Keeffe, Stieglitz, Arthur Dove, John Marin and others, shared collection with Fisk University, through Feb. 3; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.Sun. 479-418-5700. CALICO ROCK CALICO ROCK ARTISTS COOPERATIVE, Hwy. 5 at White River Bridge: Paintings, photographs, jewelry, fiber art, wood, ceramics and other crafts. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. calicorocket.org/artists. CONTINUED ON PAGE 28
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JANUARY 9, 2014
AFTER DARK, CONT. EL DORADO SOUTH ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, 110 E. 5th St.: “Arts in the Hearts for Decades,” retrospective of Artists in Education projects, through Feb. 7, Merkle, Price and Lobby galleries. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 870-862-5474.
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FAYETTEVILLE BOTTLE ROCKET GALLERY, 1495 Finger Road: “Makeshift Theatre,” photographs by Logan Rollins. 479-466-7406. WALTON ARTS CENTER, 495 W. Dickson St.: “Linking the Past to the Present: Recent Works by Anita Fields and Tony Tiger,” textiles and paintings by Oklahoma artists, through Jan. 25, Joy Pratt Markham Gallery, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat. 479-443-5600. FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave.: “RE: History,” 25 two- and three-dimensional works by James Volkert, through Feb. 16. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 479-7842787. HARRISON ARTISTS OF THE OZARKS, 124 ½ N. Willow St.: Work by Amelia Renkel, Ann Graffy, Christy Dillard, Helen McAllister, Sandy Williams and D. Savannah George. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. 870-429-1683. HOT SPRINGS ARTISTS’ WORKSHOP GALLERY, 610a Central Ave.: Watercolors by Terry O’Dell, paintings by Christine Lippert. 501-623-6401. BLUE MOON GALLERY, 718 Central Ave.: Work by Suzi Dennis , Caren Garner, Randall M. Good and Thad Flenniken. 501-318-2787. FINE ARTS CENTER OF HOT SPRINGS, 626 Central Ave.: “2013 National Diamond Art Competition,” juror Katherine Strause, through Feb. 1. 501-624-0489. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Glass by James Hayes. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827 Central Ave.: Work by Dolores Justus, Kari Albright, Steve Griffith, Robyn Horn, V. Noe, Rebecca Thompson, Dan Thornhill and others. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. 501-321-2335. PERRYVILLE SUDS GALLERY, Courthouse Square: Paintings by Dottie Morrissey, Alma Gipson, Al Garrett Jr., Phyllis Loftin, Alene Otts, Mauretta Frantz, Raylene Finkbeiner, Kathy Williams and Evelyn Garrett. Noon-6 p.m. Wed.-Fri, noon-4 p.m. Sat. 501-766-7584. RUSSELLVILLE RIVER VALLEY ARTS CENTER, 1001 E. B St.: Korean folk painting by Hye-Young Go, through January. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri. 479-968-2452.
ONGOING MUSEUM EXHIBITS
ARKANSAS INLAND MARITIME MUSEUM, North Little Rock: 371-8320. ARKANSAS SPORTS HALL OF FAME MUSEUM, Verizon Arena, NLR: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 663-4328. CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: Permanent exhibits on the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000.
ESSE, 1510 S. Main St.: “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags (1900-1999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 916-9022. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Robots and Us,” interactive exhibit on robotics, through Jan. 26; “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050. WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER, Riverfront Park: Exhibits on wildlife and the state Game and Fish Commission. CALICO ROCK CALICO ROCK MUSEUM, Main Street: Displays on Native American cultures, steamboats, the railroad, and local history. www.calicorockmuseum.com. ENGLAND TOLTEC MOUNDS STATE PARK, State Hwy. 165: Major prehistoric Indian site with visitors’ center and museum. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun., closed Mon. $3 for adults, $2 for ages 6-12. 961-9442. JACKSONVILLE JACKSONVILLE MUSEUM OF MILITARY HISTORY, 100 Veterans Circle: Exhibits on D-Day, F-105 Vietnam-era plane (“The Thud”); the Civil War Battle of Reed’s Bridge, Arkansas Ordnance Plant (AOP) and other military history. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $3 adults; $2 seniors, military; $1 students. 501-241-1943. JONESBORO ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM, 320 University Loop West Circle: “Shaping Our World,” science exhibit developed by Arkansas Discovery Network, through Feb. 16. 870-9722074. MORRILTON MUSEUM OF AUTOMOBILES, Petit Jean Mountain: Permanent exhibit of more than 50 cars from 1904-1967 depicting the evolution of the automobile. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 7 days. 501-727-5427. POTTSVILLE POTTS INN, 25 E. Ash St.: Preserved 1850s stagecoach station on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, with period furnishings, log structures, hat museum, doll museum, doctor’s office, antique farm equipment. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sat. $5 adults, $2 students, 5 and under free. 479-9689369. ROGERS ROGERS HISTORICAL MUSEUM, 322 S. Second St.: “Art from the Earth: A Pottery Exhibit,” prehistoric, historic and contemporary ceramics, through Feb. 22. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 479621-1154. SCOTT PLANTATION AGRICULTURE MUSEUM, U.S. 165 S and Hwy. 161: Artifacts and interactive exhibits on farming in the Arkansas Delta. $3 adults, $2 ages 6-12. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 501-961-1409. SCOTT PLANTATION SETTLEMENT,1840s log cabin, one-room school house, tenant houses, smokehouse and artifacts on plantation life. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thu.-Sat. 351-0300. www.scottconnections.org.
2014 ARKANSAS TIMES
MUSICIANS SHOWC A SE Announcing semi - finalis ts soon!
5 Rounds 20 Competing Bands 1 Winner
A Showcase first! Artists are competing for cash (and other prizes)
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‘INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS’: Oscar Isaac stars.
Song cycle with a sad sack Coens’ latest is a gem. BY SAM EIFLING
nside Llewyn Davis” is the rare and peculiar musical film in which the lead character doesn’t much care for many of the songs in it, including those he helps perform. Llewyn (Oscar Isaac, in a star-making turn) begins and ends this curious, sweet movie with a few of his own works — a sight better than the other songs swirling around the Greenwich Village folk music scene of 1961. Between, though, Llewyn must variously endure stage performances by a quartet of Irish-lilted lads in matching cableknit sweaters, by a spookily earnest G.I. and by a stringy-haired backwoods type from Arkansas, and suffers the indignity of performing in a studio session with a romantic rival (Justin Timberlake) on 30
JANUARY 9, 2014
a novelty song that begs the president not to send the singer into space. As he rolls his eyes, we feel his pain. If they can make it, why not him? It’s Llewyn’s loss that he doesn’t see the potential in others’ works — and somewhat to the audience’s, as the played-for-laughs “Please Mr. Kennedy” has been nominated for a real-life Golden Globe, as has Isaac. There’s a lot of room for musicians in this epoch, but little for Llewyn, despite his talent. Joel and Ethan Coen, sharing the director and writing credits, plop their latest screw-up antihero into a purgatory of his own making if not of his choosing. He drifts between couches nightly, lugging a small duffle, his guitar, and because of a momentary lapse as he lets
himself out of one crash pad, a flightrisk housecat. His hardships extend beyond general brokeness, and as they’re revealed, it becomes clear why Llewyn’s songs skew morose. Charlie Parker said that if you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. Llewyn sings of death and longing and regret because for him those things are true. Whether anyone else wants to hear it, of course, is another matter. His closest friend may be Carey Mulligan’s Jean, who may be carrying his child, and even she can’t get through two sentences without carving into him. He’s not a particular magnetic fellow, this Llewyn. But as the Coens build his world — he stars in every scene — we come to ease into it with him. He’s no-nonsense in a city that feeds him nothing but. To the credit of their writing and Isaac’s complete performance, we come to feel warm in the skin of a wretch. To ascribe a plot to “Inside Llewyn Davis” might put too much pressure on the story. He moves around, consumed with the seemingly simple tasks of scraping together a few bucks, and at one point, almost out of sheer
homelessness, hitches a ride to Chicago with a curmudgeonly jazzman (John Goodman, forever appearing in Coen brothers movies as the friend you don’t really want). Llewyn doesn’t laugh much, if at all. Love is out of the question. The future’s an apparition. There’s only the work, and the confusion Llewyn feels when no one seems to understand his enduring seriousness with his craft. The film is funny without ever reverting to the madcap, and it’s softly beautiful, shot with a hazy touch around the edges, as if seen through tears, to give it that 50-years-ago feel. It’s also consistently moving in a way the Coens usually achieve only in short stretches; the closest analogue might be their “A Serious Man,” except that movie showed the horror show suburban life can become. Llewyn’s not there yet. He’s still clinging to the city that is doing everything it can to evict him, a prisoner to his art and his ego, charting a life that’s pure enough and rough enough that what comes out of his horn may yet save him. It’s a recipe for disaster, best appreciated from the safety of a cinema in the ’burbs. But who could sell a song about that?
HOMEBUILDERS ALTER BUILDING CODE, CONT. From page 10 ing, retrofit schools and so forth. Little Rock and North Little Rock, for example, received more than $1.5 million to refit public housing with energy efficient lighting, appliances, thermostats and more. Details can be found at recovery.arkansas.gov. To accept the money, Energy Office Deputy Director J.D. Lowery said, the state had to agree to implement an energy code that complied with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. The state must meet at least 90 percent of the code — which requires duct testing and would keep Northwest Arkansas in a colder climate zone — by 2017. If Arkansas fails to meet the code, Lowery said, the state could lose future federal funding. “We’re not just talking about money that would pay my salary … but money that goes to low-income heating assistance, programs that help utilities get reimbursed for costs,” and other energy programs, Lowery said. But Cozart said homebuilders didn’t benefit from the stimulus dollars and weren’t eager to accept the federal caveat. “Builders did not accept that money. It may have gone to some people but it didn’t go to the majority. … They’re holding something over our heads that we didn’t do.” Cozart said that the duct-testing requirement was particularly onerous. “There’s a big push from people doing those type” inspections, Cozart said, and should a house fail the test, the builder would not be able to get a certificate of occupancy until costly changes were made. “We just object to mandatory testing. We’d like to see that it’s open to each builder and he can use that for his selling point.” He said he wanted the energy office to work out a “meet-in-the-middle type deal” with homebuilders. Arkansas Homebuilders Association Executive Vice President Julie Mills disputed that the stimulus funds hold the state to adopting the 2009 IECC as is. She said the state could amend the 2009 IECC. “It’s always amended,” she said. Ron Hughes, whose company HERS Inc. does energy cost inspections — including duct testing — and who teaches at Pulaski Technical College, says that in favoring the homebuilders and “dumbing down” the 2009 IECC, the legislature is forgetting consumers the code is meant to benefit. The HERS index — tossed from the new legislation — would have allowed consumers to know what it would cost to run a home. Energy-efficiency measures will raise a buyer’s cost to purchase a home, he said, but energy savings will make up for the extra cost within a few years and add value to the home. Hughes is one of 36 or more certified HERS raters in Arkansas. Another, Gary Kahanak of Home Energy RX, told the energy committee in October that about 10 percent of new homes are using HERS ratings as selling points. Third-party HERS inspectors, who are cer-
tified by the national non-profit organization Resnet (Residential Energy Services Network), calculate efficiency scores by comparing the inspected home to a “reference home” of the same size and shape. The 2009 IECC does not require HERS ratings, but it does require duct testing by a third party, which is part of the service that HERS raters provide. According to the state energy office, two out of three Arkansans support home labeling. Other information from the energy office: Arkansas ranks 45th in energy efficiency, and Arkansans’ energy expenses are 9th highest in the nation. The proposed 2014 code actually weakens the residential standard in Northwest Arkansas, where ceiling insulation requirements are greater. Zone 4 requires R-38 insulation; Zone 3, which the new code would put Northwest Arkansas in, requires only R-30, which allows more heat to travel through it than R-38. The exception would be Fayetteville, which adopted an ordinance in 2011 that meets the 2009 IECC and requires HERS ratings. Ben Booth of Booth Builders in Fayetteville said the requirements “have cost us time and have cost us money.” But, he added, he was speaking for builders in general rather than himself. As a custom home builder, the new code “hasn’t affected me at all; we were already doing quite a bit of this.” It’s builders of spec houses who must now invest more and ask more for their houses. Time issues, he said, are being resolved; the problem was that inspectors had to learn the new code’s requirements, from pulling permits to HERS ratings. “I don’t mean to paint the whole thing negative,” Booth said. “There is certainly payback for the consumer.” He estimated that energyefficiency requirements have added only 1 to 2 percent to the cost of a new home. He also estimated that the lower energy bills would make up for the higher purchase price of the home in 10 years at the minimum. Linda Miles, whose family owns Chenal Valley Construction in Little Rock, said the company is no longer building energy-certified spec houses. To build spec homes certified under the federal Energy Star program, which provides rebates and tax breaks on certain energy-efficient building products, is costly “and nobody wanted to pay any more per square foot. You are selling the intangible. … [the investment] did not make sense.” Miles said she was not opposed to energy ratings, but that she thought the market, rather than law, ought to set the standards. “The market has been awful for about five years and we don’t want to start doing things to drive the prices of houses up.” There will be a 30-day public comment period on the residential code, after which the code will go to the Bureau of Legislative Research. Energy office deputy director Lowery said the code should go before the energy committee again in March.
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JANUARY 9, 2014
Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ ROCKET 21, Frank Fletcher’s Kavanaugh Boulevard restaurant (formerly Ferneau) named for one of his race horses, has moved to the Wyndham in North Little Rock, another Fletcher property. Twenty One Restaurant already has a new website up. About the move: “Friends and loyal customers of Rocket Twenty One I wanted to inform you personally of the moves we are making with our restaurant. We have built a brand new building in front of Benihana and this will be the new home FOR ROCKET 21 about January 10th. This new location will have all the famous pieces of the Blue Dog Art and of course will have the same FAMOUS ROCKET 21 MENU with the SAME CHEFS preparing the great food.” The website also indicates unspecified plans in the work for the Kavanaugh location. “Now to your big question. WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THAT BEAUTIFUL BAR AND PREVIOUS ROCKET TWENTY ONE LOCATION. WE HAVE A NEW CONCEPT AND EXCITING NEW BUSINESS WE CAN’T TELL YOU ABOUT YET. There is nothing like it in the community and we will gladly announce our new plans as soon as we can get our NEW NAME REGISTERED and all the details finalized. LOOK FOR DETAILS ABOUT FEBRUARY 1ST AND I WILL LET YOU KNOW AS SOON AS I CAN.” Gift cards at the old restaurant will be honored at the new restaurant, the Riverfront Steakhouse and Benihana in the Wyndham. THE PANTRY, the widely beloved Czech/ German restaurant in West Little Rock, is branching out. Chef/owner Tomas Bohm confirms in an email to subscribers to his email list what’s long been rumored — he’s purchased the former home of The House restaurant, near the corner of Palm and Kavanaugh, and is renovating it to serve as a second outpost of The Pantry. “I would like to set the rumor straight,” Bohm wrote in the email. “It is true indeed. We are very excited to let you know that we are adding another baby to our family. I didn’t want to make my life harder but you know that feeling when something comes to you naturally. Well The House Restaurant building in Hillcrest did just that. We are proud owners and we will open as THE PANTRY CREST, same concept as our older baby. We got a lot of work ahead of us as we are rebuilding it from ground up. This 100 year old house deserves it. We will keep you updated with the progress. I hope April/ May I hope. Thank you for your support. I couldn’t do this without you and my great staff.” 32
JANUARY 9, 2014
FILLING STATION: The Philly cheesesteak from Gino’s Full Belly Deli.
Gas station greatness Gino’s serves up deliciously greasy fare.
egardless of where you go to eat, you always enter with expectations. You stroll inside Eric Ripert’s Le Bernadain, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry — you know darn well there are certain expectations that had better to be met. You pull around the corner at the Sonic drive-thru, you expect … well, you pretty much know what to expect, no need to spell it out here. But occasionally, when we’re fortunate, we’re taken by surprise. We leave a restaurant surprisingly pleased, expectations exceeded, with a glowing sense of satisfaction beaming inside of us. When you’ve determined to eat in a gas station, your expectations are often quite low. Maybe a few bags of M&Ms, the occasional stale snack cake, the
microwave burrito with the eternally frozen center. But over at the Shell Station on the corner of I-30 and Geyer Springs road, you’ll find something to shout about. Herein lies Gino’s Full Belly Deli — an easy-to-miss, classic American grill serving familiar fare in big portions at entirely reasonable prices. You won’t want to miss Gino’s fine rendition of the Philly Cheesesteak ($6.99). The formula is familiar, the ingredients expected, but it’s a sandwich prepared correctly. A soft white roll is toasted and dressed with mounds of thinly sliced ribeye. Before going on the sandwich, the beef is given a quick sear on the flattop, imparting a few crispy bits around the edges to the otherwise
soft, tender steak. Intermixed you’ll find sauteed, sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, and golden onions. Finally, a generous slathering of melted Swiss cheese rests atop the concoction. It’s full of rich, fatty flavor. Then there’s the Chicken Philly Cheese Fries ($7.99). One look at this behemoth of starch and fat is enough to make weaker hearts cower in fear. Throw away all thoughts of reasonable caloric intake and suggested daily dietary needs. This thing will squash the entire food pyramid in one swift, mighty blow. But they are good enough to make you not care. Here’s the winning formula: crispy, thick-cut fries, piled high with chunks of chicken breast, grilled peppers and onions. On top of all this lies a double blanket of cheddar cheese sauce and melted Swiss. Starve yourself for a week, pop a few extra Lipitor, run a marathon before visiting, slip your cardiologist a cool $100 bill under the table — do whatever you have to do to enjoy these glorious fries without guilt or shame. You’ll cherish every second of it. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34
Information in our restaurant capsules reflects the opinions of the newspaper staff and its reviewers. The newspaper accepts no advertising or other considerations in exchange for reviews, which are conducted anonymously. We invite the opinions of readers who think we are in error.
B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards
BELLY UP Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas arktimes.com
LITTLE ROCK/ N. LITTLE ROCK
4 SQUARE CAFE AND GIFTS Vegetarian salads, soups, wraps and paninis and a broad selection of smoothies in an Arkansas products gift shop. 405 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-2622. BLD daily. APPLE SPICE JUNCTION A chain sandwich and salad spot with sit-down lunch space and a vibrant box lunch catering business. With a wide range of options and quick service. Order online via applespice.com. 2000 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-663-7008. L Mon.-Fri. (10 a.m.-3 p.m.). ARGENTA MARKET The Argenta District’s neighborhood grocery store offers a deli featuring a daily selection of big sandwiches along with fresh fish and meats and salads. Emphasis here is on Arkansas-farmed foods and organic products. 521 N. Main St. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-9980. L daily, D Mon.-Sat., B Sat., BR Sun. ARKANSAS BURGER CO. Good burgers, fries and shakes, plus salads and other entrees. Try the cheese dip. 7410 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-0600. LD Tue.-Sat. ASHLEY’S The premier fine dining restaurant in Little Rock. The menu is often daring and always delicious. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-374-7474. BLD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. BELLWOOD DINER Traditional breakfasts and plate lunch specials are the norm at this lostin-time hole in the wall. 3815 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-753-1012. BL Mon.-Fri. THE BLIND PIG Tasty bar food, including Zweigle’s brand hot dogs. 6015 Chenonceau Blvd. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-868-8194. D: Tue.-Sun., L Sat.-Sun. BONEFISH GRILL A half-dozen or more types of fresh fish filets are offered daily at this upscale chain. 11525 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-228-0356. D Mon.-Sat., LD Sun. BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT The food’s great, portions huge, prices reasonable. Diners can look into the open kitchen and watch the culinary geniuses at work slicing and dicing and sauteeing. It’s great fun, and the fish is special. 2300 Cottondale Lane. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2677. LD Mon.-Fri. D Sat. BRAY GOURMET DELI AND CATERING Turkey spreads in four flavors — original, jalapeno, cajun and dill — and the homemade pimiento cheese are the signature items at Chris Bray’s delicatessen, which serves sandwiches, wraps, soups, stuffed potatoes and salads and sells the turkey spreads to go. 323 Center St. Suite 150. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-353-1045. BL Mon.-Fri. BUFFALO WILD WINGS A sports bar on steroids with numerous humongous TVs and a menu full of thirst-inducing items. The wings, which can be slathered with one of 14 sauces, are the starring attraction and will undoubtedly have fans. 14800 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-868-5279. LD daily. BY THE GLASS A broad but not ridiculously large wine list is studded with interesting,
diverse selections, and prices are uniformly reasonable. The food focus is on high-end items that pair well with wine — olives, hummus, cheese, bread, and some meats and sausages. Happy hour daily from 4-6 p.m. 5713 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-663-9463. D Mon.-Sat. CAFE@HEIFER Serving fresh pastries, omelets, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Located inside Heifer Village. 1 World Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-907-8801. BL Mon.-Fri. CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL Big hearty sandwiches, daily lunch specials and fine evening dining all rolled up into one at this landing spot downtown. Surprisingly inexpensive with a great bar staff and a good selection of unique desserts. 111 Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-7474. LD daily. CAPITOL BISTRO Serving breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. CATERING TO YOU Painstakingly prepared entrees and great appetizers in this gourmetto-go location, attached to a gift shop. Caters everything from family dinners to weddings and large corporate events. 8121 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-614-9030. Serving meals to go: LD Mon.-Sat. CATFISH HOLE Downhome place for wellcooked catfish and tasty hushpuppies. 603 E. Spriggs. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-758-3516. D Tue.-Sat. CELLAR 220 Ecclectic menu and strong wine list. 220 W. 6th St. Full bar, CC. $$$. 501-374-5100. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining in this casually elegant Hillcrest bungalow, though excellent tapas are out of this world. The treeshaded, light-strung deck is a popular destination. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-603-0238. D Mon.-Sat. CRAZEE’S COOL CAFE Good burgers, daily plate specials and bar food amid pool tables
and TVs. 7626 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9696. LD Mon.-Sat. CUPCAKES ON KAVANAUGH Gourmet cupcakes and coffee, indoor seating. 5625 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-2253. LD Mon.-Sat. DEMPSEY BAKERY Bakery with sit down area, serving coffee and specializing in gluten-, nutand soy-free baked goods. 323 Cross St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-2257. Serving BL Tue.-Sat. DIXON ROAD BLUES CAFE Sandwiches, burgers and salads. 1505 W. Dixon Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-888-2233. D Fri.-Sat. DOE’S EAT PLACE A skid-row dive turned power brokers’ watering hole with huge steaks, great tamales and broiled shrimp, and killer burgers at lunch. 1023 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-1195. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. DOUBLETREE PLAZA BAR & GRILL The lobby restaurant in the Doubletree is elegantly comfortable, but you’ll find no airs put on at heaping breakfast and lunch buffets. 424 West Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-4371. BLD daily. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The friendly neighborhood hoagie shop downtown serves at a handful of tables and by delivery. The sandwiches are generous, the soup homemade and the salads cold. Vegetarians can craft any number of acceptable meals from the flexible menu. The housemade potato chips are da bomb. 523 Center St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri. FILIBUSTER’S BISTRO & LOUNGE Sandwiches, salads in the Legacy Hotel. 625 W. Capitol Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-374-0100. D Mon.-Fri. FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES Nationwide burger chain with emphasis on freshly made fries and patties. 2923 Lakewood Village Drive. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-246-5295. LD daily. 13000 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-1100. LD daily.
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FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. The hamburgers are a hit, too. It’s counter-service; wander on through the screen door and you’ll find a slick team of cooks and servers doing a creditable job of serving big crowds. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-375-3474. LD daily. GINO’S PIZZA AND PHILLY STEAK 8000 Geyer Springs Road. 501-562-0152. LD daily. THE GRAND CAFE Typical hotel restaurant fare from this Hilton cafe. 925 South University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-5020. BLD daily. GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with lots of TVs, pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-3768. LD Mon.-Sat. GUS’S WORLD FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN The best fried chicken in town. Go for chicken and waffles on Sundays. 300 President Clinton Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-372-2211. LD daily. HOMER’S Great vegetables, huge yeast rolls and killer cobblers. Follow the mobs. 2001 E. Roosevelt Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1400. BL Mon.-Fri. 9700 N Rodney Parham. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-6637. LD Mon.-Sat. IRONHORSE SALOON Bar and grill offering juicy hamburgers and cheeseburgers. 9125 Mann Road. Full bar, All CC. $. 501-562-4464. LD daily. J. GUMBO’S Fast-casual Cajun fare served, primarily, in a bowl. Better than expected. 12911 Cantrell Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-916-9635. LD daily. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts for 30 years. Chicken salad’s among the best in town, and there are fun specialty sandwiches such as Thai One On and The Garden. Get there early for lunch. 5116 W. Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-6663354. L Mon.-Sat., D Mon.-Sat. (drive-through only). K. HALL AND SONS Neighborhood grocery store with excellent lunch counter. The cheeseburger is hard to beat. 1900 Wright Avenue. No alcohol, CC. $. 501-372-1513. BLD Mon.-Sat. (closes at 6 p.m.), BL Sun. KRAZY MIKE’S Po’Boys, catfish and shrimp and other fishes, fried chicken wings and all the expected sides served up fresh and hot to order on demand. 200 N. Bowman Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-907-6453. LD Mon.-Sat. LOCA LUNA Grilled meats, seafood and pasta dishes that never stray far from country roots, whether Italian, Spanish or Arkie. “Gourmet plate lunches” are good, as is Sunday brunch. 3519 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4666. BR Sun., LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. MILFORD TRACK Healthy and tasty are the key words at this deli/grill that serves breakfast and lunch. Hot entrees change daily and there are soups, sandwiches, salads and killer desserts. Bread is baked in-house, and there are several veggie options. 10809 Executive Center Dr., Searcy Building. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-2257. BL Mon.-Fri., L Sat. NATCHEZ RESTAURANT Smart, elegant takes on Southern classics. 323 Center St. Beer, Wine, CC. $$-$$$. L Tue.-Fri., D Wed.-Sat. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 www.arktimes.com
JANUARY 9, 2014
DINING REVIEW, CONT.
Gino’s Full Belly Deli Shell Station 8000 Geyer Springs Road 562-0152
QUICK BITE In only slightly more time than it takes you to fill your tank with gas, you can walk out of Gino’s with a Styrofoam container filled with an inexpensive, satisfying meal. Don’t expect anything too fancy from this gas station restaurant, but the variety is impressive. Everything from Frito pie to beef and lamb gyros can be found on the menu. And if you can’t decide what to order, the staff manning the counter is always able to point you towards some of the customers’ favorites. HOURS 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. FridaySaturday. OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted, no alcohol.
We’ve also enjoyed Gino’s Patty Melt Burger ($2.99). All of their burgers come in quarter-pound, half-pound, and 1-pound sizes. We opted for the more reasonable (yet still sizable) quarter-pound burger. In the patty melt, you’ll find two nicely toasted slices of white bread, filled with a juicy, tender beef patty loaded with melted Swiss cheese, a slather of Thousand Island dressing and caramelized onions. It’s messy and glorious, dripping with grease and dressing, but it’s a real plea-
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION KILLER: The Chicken Philly chese fries from Gino’s Full Belly Deli.
sure to consume. We were, however, less impressed with our meatball sub ($5.99). Again, size was not an issue; the sandwich could have sunk a small ship. Gino’s slices 4-5 large meatballs in half and crams them into a roll. The sub comes doused in a healthy dose of marinara sauce, with a generous
portion of Swiss and mozzarella. Our complaints were primarily with the meatballs. They were obviously of the pre-frozen variety, likely reheated and thrown into the sandwich. They were slightly mushy and underseasoned, and we’d definitely pass on this sandwich at our next visit.
Surely, part of the Gino’s charm lies in the fact that it’s surprisingly good food inside a gas station, but remove it from its humble home and the food still stands on its own. It’s working man’s food — cheap and familiar, with portions large enough to satisfy even the most impressive appetites.
DINING CAPSULES, CONT. OYSTER BAR Gumbo, red beans and rice (all you can eat on Mondays), peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, addictive po’ boys. Killer jukebox. 3003 W. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-7100. LD Mon.-Sat. OZARK COUNTRY RESTAURANT A longstanding favorite with many Little Rock residents, the eatery specializes in big country breakfasts and pancakes plus sandwiches and several meat-and-two options for lunch and dinner. Try the pancakes and don’t leave without some sort of smoked meat. 202 Keightley Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7319. BL daily. PANCETTA REGIONAL KITCHEN Upscale hotel food. 3 Statehouse Plaza. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-399-8000. LD daily. PANERA BREAD This bakery/cafe serves freshly-baked breads, bagels and pastries every morning as well as a full line of espresso beverages. Panera also offers a full menu of sandwiches, hand-tossed salads and hearty soups. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-0222. BLD daily.; 314 S. University. 501-664-6878. BLD. PLAYTIME PIZZA Tons of fun isn’t rained out by lackluster eats at the new Playtime Pizza, the $11 million, 65,000-square-foot kidtopia near the Rave theater. While the buffet is only so-so, features like indoor mini-golf, laser tag, 34
JANUARY 9, 2014
go karts, arcade games and bumper cars make it a winner for both kids and adults. 600 Colonel Glenn Plaza Loop. All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7529. D Mon.-Wed., LD Thu.-Sun. PURPLE COW DINER 1950s fare — cheeseburgers, chili dogs, thick milk shakes — in a ‘50s setting at today’s prices. 8026 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-221-3555. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 11602 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-4433. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 1419 Higden Ferry Road. Hot Springs. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-625-7999. LD daily, B Sun. THE RELAY STATION This grill offers a short menu, which includes chicken strips, French fries, hamburgers, jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks. 12225 Stagecoach Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-9919. LD daily. THE ROOT CAFE Homey, local foods-focused cafe. With tasty burgers, homemade bratwurst, banh mi and a number of vegan and veggie options. Breakfast and Sunday brunch, too. 1500 S. Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-414-0423. BL Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. SALUT BISTRO This bistro/late-night hangout does upscale tapas. 1501 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4200. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. SANDY’S HOMEPLACE CAFE Specializing in home style buffet, with two meats and seven
vegetables to choose from. It’s all-you-can-eat. 1710 E 15th St. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-3753216. L Mon.-Fri. SCALLIONS Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere, able servers — a solid lunch spot. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. L Mon.-Sat. SHAKE’S FROZEN CUSTARD Frozen custards, concretes, sundaes. 12011 Westhaven Dr. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-224-0150. LD daily. SHORTY SMALL’S Land of big, juicy burgers, massive cheese logs, smoky barbecue platters and the signature onion loaf. 1100 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-3344. LD daily. SLIM CHICKENS Chicken tenders and wings served fast. Better than the Colonel. 4500 W. Markham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-9070111. LD daily. SONNY WILLIAMS’ STEAK ROOM Steaks, chicken and seafood in a wonderful setting in the River Market. Steak gets pricey, though. Menu is seasonal, changes every few months. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-324-2999. D Mon.-Sat. SOUTH ON MAIN Fine, innovative takes on Southern fare in a casual, but well-appointed setting. 1304 Main St. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-244-9660. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat.
STAGECOACH GROCERY AND DELI Fine po’ boys and muffalettas — and cheap. 6024 Stagecoach Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-7676. BLD Mon.-Fri., BL Sat.-Sun. TABLE 28 Excellent fine dining with lots of creative flourishes. Branch out and try the Crispy Squid Filet and Quail Bird Lollipops. 1501 Merrill Drive. Full bar, CC. $$$-$$$$. 224-2828. D Mon.-Sat. TERRI-LYNN’S BBQ AND DELICATESSEN High-quality meats served on large sandwiches and good tamales served with chili or without (the better bargain). 10102 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-6371. L Tue.-Fri., LD Sat. (close at 5pm). WEST END SMOKEHOUSE AND TAVERN Its primary focus is a sports bar with 50-plus TVs, but the dinner entrees (grilled chicken, steaks and such) are plentiful and the bar food is upper quality. 215 N. Shackleford. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-7665. L Fri.-Sun., D daily. WINGSTOP It’s all about wings. The joint features ten flavors of chicken flappers for almost any palate, including mild, hot, Cajun and atomic, as well as specialty flavors like lemon pepper, teriyaki, Garlic parmesan and Hawaiian. 11321 West Markham St. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-9464. LD daily. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36
READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2014
Overall New Italian Chinese Japanese Mexican “Fun” Indian Other Ethnic Food Truck Vegetarian/Vegan Bakery Barbecue Breakfast Brunch Catfish Fried Chicken Deli/Gourmet to go Hamburger Pizza
Arkansas Times once again presents its Readers’ Choice restaurant poll. Yes, it’s time to cast votes in the state’s longest-running annual assessment of the best places to eat in Arkansas. Go to arktimes.com/readerschoice14 to vote for your favorite restaurants in all categories in the Little Rock area and throughout the rest of the state. Users can only vote once. One rule to keep in mind: If you don’t specify the location of restaurants with multiple locations, your vote will not be counted. Votes must be cast by Jan. 10, 2014.
Seafood Buffet Steak Desserts Coffee Home Cooking Place for Kids Romantic Gluten Free Business Lunch Yogurt Wine List Server Chef
ONLINE VOTING ONLY
REST OF STATE
BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE AREAS AROUND
Benton/Bryant ________________________________ Conway________________________________________ Eureka Springs ________________________________ Hot Springs ____________________________________
30 NOVEMBER 9, 2011 ARKANSAS TIMES
DINING CAPSULES, CONT.
A.W. LIN’S ASIAN CUISINE Excellent panAsian with wonderful service. 17717 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-5398. LD daily. CHINA PLUS BUFFET Large Chinese buffet. 6211 Colonel Glenn Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-1688. LD daily. CHINESE KITCHEN Good Chinese takeout. Try the Cantonese press duck. 11401 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-2242100. LD Tue.-Sun. HANAROO SUSHI BAR One of the few spots in downtown Little Rock to serve sushi. With an expansive menu, featuring largely Japanese fare. Try the popular Tuna Tatari bento box. 205 W. Capitol Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-3017900. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. LEMONGRASS ASIA BISTRO Fairly solid Thai bistro. Try the Tom Kha Kai and white wine alligator. They don’t have a full bar, but you can order beer, wine and sake. 4629 E. McCain Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-945-4638. LD daily. MIKE’S CAFE VIETNAMESE Cheap Vietnamese that could use some more spice, typically. The pho is good. 5501 Asher Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-562-1515. LD daily. MR. CHEN’S ASIAN SUPERMARKET AND RESTAURANT A combination Asian restaurant and grocery with cheap, tasty and exotic offerings. 3901 S. University Ave. $. 501-562-7900. LD daily. NEW CHINA A burgeoning line of massive buffets, with hibachi grill, sushi, mounds of Chinese food and soft serve ice cream. 4617 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-753-8988. LD daily. 2104 Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-764-1888. LD Mon.-Sun. PHO THANH MY It says “Vietnamese noodle soup” on the sign out front, and that’s what you should order. The pho comes in outrageously large portions with bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Traditional pork dishes, spring rolls and bubble tea also available. 302 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-312-7498. LD Mon., Wed.-Sun. ROYAL BUFFET A big buffet of Chinese fare, with other Asian tastes as well. 109 E. Pershing. NLR. Beer, All CC. 501-753-8885. LD daily. SEKISUI Fresh-tasting sushi chain with fun hibachi grill and an overwhelming assortment of traditional entrees. Nice wine selection, also serves sake and specialty drinks. 219 N. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-7070. LD daily. SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE The chefs will dazzle you, as will the variety of tasty stir-fry combinations and the sushi bar. Usually crowded at night. 2815 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-7070. D daily. TOKYO HOUSE Defying stereotypes, this Japanese buffet serves up a broad range of fresh, slightly exotic fare — grilled calamari, octopus salad, dozens of varieties of fresh sushi — as well as more standard shrimp and steak options. 11 Shackleford Dr. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-219-4286. LD daily. WASABI Downtown sushi and Japanese cuisine. For lunch, there’s quick and hearty sushi samplers. 101 Main St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-0777. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat.
CHIP’S BARBECUE Tasty, if a little pricey, barbecue piled high on sandwiches generously doused with the original tangy sauce or one of five other sauces. Better known for the incredible family recipe pies and cheesecakes, 36
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which come tall and wide. 9801 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-4346. LD Mon.-Sat. PIT STOP BAR AND GRILL A working-man’s bar and grill, with barbecue, burgers, breakfast and bologna sandwiches, plus live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 5506 Baseline Road. Full bar, No CC. $$. 501-562-9635. BLD daily.
EUROPEAN / ETHNIC
ANATOLIA RESTAURANT Middle of the road Mediterranean fare. 315 N. Bowman Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-219-9090. L Tue.-Sun., D Tue.-Sat. CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub with a large selection of on-tap and bottled British beers and ales, an Irish inspired menu and lots of nooks and crannies to meet in. Specialties include fish ‘n’ chips and Guinness beef stew. Live music on weekends and $5 cover on Saturdays, special brunch on Sunday. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. ISTANBUL MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT This Turkish eatery offers decent kebabs and great starters. The red pepper hummus is a winner. So are Cigar Pastries. Possibly the best Turkish coffee in Central Arkansas. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-223-9332. LD daily. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare — gyros, falafel, shawarma, kabobs, hummus and babaganush — that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.). L E O ’ S G R E E K C A S T L E Wonderful Mediterranean food — gyro sandwiches or platters, falafel and tabouleh — plus dependable hamburgers, ham sandwiches, steak platters and BLTs. Breakfast offerings are expanded with gyro meat, pitas and triple berry pancakes. 2925 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-7414. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. (close at 4 p.m.). LITTLE GREEK Fast casual chain with excellent Greek food. 11525 Cantrell Road. Beer, All CC. $$. LD daily. NEXT BISTRO & BAR Mediterranean food and drinks. 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. 501-663-6398. D Tue.-Thu., Sat. SILVEK’S EUROPEAN BAKERY Fine pastries, chocolate creations, breads and cakes done in the classical European style. Drop by for a whole cake or a slice or any of the dozens of single serving treats in the big case. 1900 Polk St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-661-9699. BLD daily.
CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork, seafood, steak and the like, plus great sauces, fresh mixed greens and delicious dressings, crisp-crunchy-cold gazpacho and tempting desserts in a comfy bistro setting. Little Rock standard for 18 years. 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-5355. LD Mon.- Fri, D Sat. CIAO ITALIAN RESTAURANT Don’t forget about this casual yet elegant bistro tucked into a downtown storefront. The fine pasta and seafood dishes, ambiance and overall charm combine to make it a relaxing, enjoyable, affordable choice. 405 W. Seventh St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-0238. L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. GRADY’S PIZZA AND SUBS Pizza features a pleasing blend of cheeses rather than straight mozzarella. The grinder is a classic, the chef’s salad huge and tasty. 6801 W. 12th St., Suite C.
Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-1918. LD daily. IRIANA’S PIZZA Unbelievably generous handtossed New York style pizza with unmatched zest. Good salads, too; grinders are great, particularly the Italian sausage. 201 E. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-3656. LD Mon.-Sat. MELLOW MUSHROOM Popular high-end pizza chain. 16103 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-379-9157. LD daily. PIZZERIA SANTA LUCIA A mobile pizza oven, imported from Italy, that churns out fine pies. They’re on the smaller side and not topped to excess, but quite flavorful. 1401 S Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-666-1885. Various times. ROMANO’S MACARONI GRILL A chain restaurant with a large menu of pasta, chicken, beef, fish, unusual dishes like Italian nachos, and special dishes with a corporate bent. 11100 W Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-2213150. LD daily. U.S. PIZZA Crispy thin-crust pizzas, frosty beers and heaping salads drowned in creamy dressing. 2710 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2198. LD daily. 5524 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-664-7071. LD daily. 9300 North Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-224-6300. LD daily. 3307 Fair Park Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-565-6580. LD daily. 650 Edgewood Drive. Maumelle. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-8510880. LD daily. 3324 Pike Avenue. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-758-5997. LD daily. 4001 McCain Park Drive. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-753-2900. LD daily. ZAFFINO’S BY NORI A high-quality Italian dining experience. Pastas, entrees (don’t miss the veal marsala) and salads are all outstanding. 2001 E. Kiehl Ave. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-834-7530. D Tue.-Sat.
BROWNING’S MEXICAN GRILL New rendition of a 65-year institution in Little Rock is a totally different experience. Large, renovated space is a Heights hangout with a huge bar, sports on TV and live music on weekends. Some holdover items in name only but recast fresher and tastier. Large menu with some hits and some misses. 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9956. LD daily, BR Sat-Sun. CANON GRILL Tex-Mex, pasta, sandwiches and salads. Creative appetizers come in huge quantities, and the varied main-course menu rarely disappoints, though it’s not as spicy as competitors’. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-664-2068. LD daily. CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads are the four main courses of choice — and there are four meats and several other options for filling them. Sizes are uniformly massive, quality is uniformly strong, and prices are uniformly low. 11525 Cantrell Road. All CC. $-$$. 501-221-0018. LD daily. COTIJA’S A branch off the famed La Hacienda family tree downtown, with a massive menu of tasty lunch and dinner specials, the familiar white cheese dip and sweet red and fieryhot green salsas, and friendly service. 406 S. Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-0733. L Mon.-Fri. EL CHICO Hearty, standard Mexican served in huge portions. 8409 Interstate 30. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-3762. LD daily. FONDA MEXICAN CUISINE Authentic Mex. The guisado (Mexican stew) is excellent. 400 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-3134120. LD Tue.-Sun.
LA HERRADURA Traditional Mexican fare. 8414 Geyer Springs Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-6063. LD Tue.-Sun. LAS MARGARITAS Sparse offerings at this taco truck. No chicken, for instance. Try the veggie quesadilla. 7308 Baseline Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. LD Tue.-Thu. LA REGIONAL A full-service grocery store catering to SWLR’s Latino community, it’s the small grill tucked away in the back corner that should excite lovers of adventurous cuisine. The menu offers a whirlwind trip through Latin America, with delicacies from all across the Spanish-speaking world (try the El Salvadorian papusas, they’re great). Bring your Spanish/ English dictionary. 7414 Baseline Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-4440. BLD daily. LAS AMERICAS Guatemalan and Mexican fare. Try the hearty tamales wrapped in banana leaves. 8622 Chicot Road. $-$$. 501-565-0266. LD daily. LOS TORITOS MEXICAN RESTAURANT Mexican fare in East End. 1022 Angel Court. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-261-7823. LD daily. MAMACITA’S Serviceable Mexican fare in attractive cafe. 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-916-2421. LD daily. SENOR TEQUILA Cheap, serviceable Tex-Mex, and maybe the best margarita in town. 2000 S. University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-6604413. LD daily. TAQUERIA KARINA AND CAFE A real Mexican neighborhood cantina. Freshly baked pan dulce, to Mexican-bottled Cokes, to firstrate guacamole, to inexpensive tacos, burritos, quesadillas and a broad selection of Mexicanstyle seafood. 5309 W. 65th St. Beer, No CC. $. 501-562-3951. BLD daily. TAQUERIA SAMANTHA II Stand out taco truck fare, with meat options standard and exotic. 7521 Geyer Springs Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-744-0680. BLD daily.
THE FINISH LINE CAFE Great breakfasts and a widely varied lunch selection including daily plate lunches, sandwiches, pizzas and whatever the students at the Arkansas Culinary School at Pulaski Tech come up with on any particular day. Great way to eat gourmet food cheap. 13000 S. Interstate 30. Alexander. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-831-2433. BL Mon.-Fri.
BROWN’S COUNTRY STORE AND RESTAURANT The multitude of offerings on Brown’s 100-foot-long buffet range from better than adequate to pretty dadgum good. 18718 I-30 North. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-778-5033. BLD daily. DAN’S I-30 DINER Home cooking and blue plate specials are the best things to choose at this Benton diner. Check out the daily special board for a meat-and-two-veg lunch — and if chicken stuffing’s on the menu, GET IT. 17018 Interstate 30. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-778-4116. BL Tue.-Sat. ED AND KAY’S The pies alone are worth a stop at this Benton-area mainstay. “Mile-High” pies topped with meringue and including coconut, chocolate and the famous PCP (pineapple, coconut, pecan) are dang good; plate lunches feature Arkansas-grown produce like purplehull peas and fresh garden tomatoes. Breakfast is pretty good, too — try the Everything Omelet, and don’t pass up on the home fries. 15228 Interstate 30. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (501) 315-3663. BLD.
DINING CAPSULES, CONT. LA VALENTINA There are touches of authenticity on La Valentina’s “real Mexican” menu, including specialties like palmadas meat pies, but otherwise you’ll find tacos, burritos, chimichangas and the like here. 1217 Ferguson Drive. Benton. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-776-1113. LD daily. SMOKEY JOE’S BAR-B-QUE A steady supplier of smoked meat for many a moon. 824 Military Road. Benton. All CC. 501-315-8333. LD Mon.-Sat. L Sun. SULLIVAN’S DINER Tasty chicken fried steak and other home cookin’ standards paired with well-executed Thai dishes. 520 Lillian St. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-778-4630. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. TAQUERIA AZTECA The best authentic Mexican in the Benton/Bryant area. Try the menudo on Saturday. 1526 Highway 5 N. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-794-1487. LD Mon.-Sat.
FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. 109A Northwest 2nd St. Bentonville. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 479-6576300. LD daily. THE HIVE The chef describes the menu as “High South,” with offerings like pimento cheese, “Arkansas Trail Mix” of pecans, soybeans, black walnuts and cheddar straws, grits, etc. You must have the frisee, egg or no. The pork chop is great. 200 N.E. A St. Bentonville. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 479-286-6575. BD daily, L Mon.-Fri. RIVER GRILLE Great steaks, fresh seafood flown in daily, and some out-of-this-world creme brulee. But though some offerings are splendid, others are just average. Service is outstanding. Prices are outrageous. 1003 McClain Road. Bentonville. Full bar. $$$-$$$$. 479-271-4141. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. TUSK & TROTTER It’s not just barbecue and pigs feet, despite the name. The dinner menu has everything from french fries (pommes frites) to burgers to duck confit. At lunch, find a lamb sandwich from local growers to hot dogs. Microbrews, too. 110 S.E. A St. Bentonville. Full bar, All CC.
HOME PLATE DINER This teal-and-chrome soaked diner in Bryant has drawn quite a following for generous breakfasts, great lunches, big burgers and an ever changing range of desserts each day. 2615 N. Prickett Road. Bryant. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-8473331. B Mon.-Sat. L Mon.-Fri. STRAW HAT PIZZA Pizza chain that bills itself as “genuine California pizza,” with a daily lunch buffet. 209 B St. Bryant. Beer, Wine, CC. $$. 501-847-1400. LD daily. TASTE OF D’LIGHT The dinner entrees are gigantic; the $8.50 Chicken Delight contains a full portion of General Gau’s, Chicken with Vegetables and Lemon Chicken and is easily enough for three people. Home of the fattest cheese rangoon in Arkansas (purportedly). 3200 N. Reynolds Rd. Bryant. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-847-6267. LD daily.
JANE’S KITCHEN Typical neighborhood joint serving up breakfast and lunch to a crowd of regulars. 211 E Main St. Cabot. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (501) 843-7171. BL Mon.-Sat. SORELLA’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT Big orders of pasta, pizza and salad. The sauces tend to be garlicky and the bread is a little salty, but it’s a pretty good deal for the money. 2006 S. Pine
St. Cabot. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-941-7000. LD Tue.-Sat. UNCLE DEAN’S CATFISH AND SUCH Hot fresh American raised catfish and egg rolls are the stars at this eclectic restaurant. Don’t miss out on the relish. 818 S. 2nd St. Cabot. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-941-3474. LD Mon.-Sat.
BUCKET LIST CAFE Serving daily specials. 5308 Highway 9. Center Ridge. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-893-9840. BL Mon.-Sat.
BEAR’S DEN PIZZA Pizza, calzones and salads at UCA hangout. 235 Farris Road. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-328-5556. LD Mon.-Sat. BLACKWOOD’S GYROS AND GRILL A wide variety of salads, sandwiches, gyros and burgers dot the menu at this veteran of Conway’s downtown district. 803 Harkrider Ave. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. 501-3293924. LD Mon.-Sat. BOB’S GRILL This popular spot for local diners features a meat-and-two-veg cafeteria style lunch and a decently large made-to-order breakfast menu. Service is friendly. 1112 W. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-9760. BL Daily. CASA MARIACHI Mexican fare. 2225 Prince St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-7641122. LD daily. CROSS CREEK SANDWICH SHOP Cafe serves salads and sandwiches weekdays. 1003 Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-764-1811. L Mon.-Fri. DAVID’S BURGERS Burgers, fries, shakes and drinks — that’s all you’ll find at this Conway burger joint. 1100 Highway 65 N. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (501) 327-3333. DOMOYAKI Hibachi grill and sushi bar near the interstate. Now serving bubble tea. 505 E. Dave Ward Drive. Conway. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-764-0074. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. DUE AMICHE ITALIAN RESTAURANT Stromboli, pasta, pizza, calzones and other Italian favorites. 1600 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-336-0976. LD Mon.-Sun. ED’S CUSTOM BAKERY Bakery featuring pastry classics, rolls, cakes, doughnuts and no-nonsense coffee. 256 Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-327-2996. B Mon.-Sat. EL ACAPULCO Tex-Mex served in hefty portions in a colorful atmosphere. 201 Highway 65 N. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-3278445. LD Mon.-Sun. EL HUASTECO Reasonably priced Mexican fare. 720 S. Salem Road. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-764-1665. LD Mon.-Sun. EL MEXICANO Three types of stuffed fried avocado are on the menu, along with nachos and a decent white cheese dip. Good sopapillas. 2755 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-764-1113. L daily, D Mon.-Sat. EL PARIAN Traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites are offered by this Arkansas restaurant chain. 2585 Donaghey. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-513-1313. LD Mon.-Sun. FABY’S RESTAURANT Unheralded MexicanContinental fusion focuses on handmade sauces and tortillas. 1023 Front Street. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-1199. L daily, D Mon.-Sat. 2915 Dave Ward. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-329-5151. LD Mon.-Sun. FU LIN RESTAURANT Japanese steakhouse, seafood and sushi. Good variety, including
items such as yam tempura, Karashi conch, Uzuzukuri and a nice selection of udon. 195 Farris. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-329-1415. LD Mon.-Sun. GREEN CART DELI Self-billed as “The World’s First Biocompostable Solar-Powered Gourmet Food Cart,” this hot dog stand serves up Sabrett-brand links with all sorts of inventive toppings. Various locations. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-908-1656. L Mon.-Sat. GUSANO’S They make the tomatoey Chicagostyle deep-dish pizza the way it’s done in the Windy City. It takes a little longer to come out of the oven, but it’s worth the wait. 2915 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-329-1100. LD daily. HOG PEN BBQ Barbecue, fish, chicken 800 Walnut. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-326-5177. LD Tue.-Sat. HOLLY’S COUNTRY COOKING Southern plate lunch specials weekdays. 120 Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-328-9738. L Mon.-Fri. JADE CHINA Traditional Chinese fare, some with a surprising application of ham. 559 Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-329-5121. LD Mon.-Sat. LAS PALMAS IV “Authentic” Mexican chain with a massive menu of choices. 786 Elsinger Boulevard. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-3295010. LD Mon-Sat. LOS 3 POTRILLOS A big menu and lots of reasonably priced choices set this Mexican restaurant apart. The cheese dip is white, the servings are large, and the frozen margaritas are sweet. Try the Enchiladas Mexicanas, three different enchiladas in three different sauces. 1090 Skyline Dr. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-327-1144. LD Mon.-Sun. MARKETPLACE GRILL CONWAY Big servings of steak, seafood, chicken, pasta, pizza and other rich comfort-style foods. 600 Skyline Dr. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-3360011. LD Daily. MIKE’S PLACE Delicious New Orleansinspired steaks and seafood, plus wood-fired pizzas, served in a soaring, beautifully restored building in downtown Conway. 808 Front St. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-269-6493. LD daily. OLD CHICAGO PASTA & PIZZA Pizzas, pastas, calzones, sandwiches, burgers, steaks and salads and booze. The atmosphere is amiable and the food comforting. 1010 Main St. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-329-6262. LD daily. ORIENTAL KITCHEN Traditional, reasonably priced Chinese food favorites. 1000 Morningside Drive. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-328-3255. L Sat. D Mon-Sat. PATTICAKES BAKERY 2106 Robinson Ave. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-205-1969. PITZA 42 You’ll find pizza made on pita bread and a broad salad menu here. 2235 Dave Ward Dr. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-205-1380. PLAYWORLD PIZZA AND FUN Typical pizza parlor and arcade geared at kids parties. 2736 Prince St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-450-7300. D Tue.-Sun., L Fri.-Sat. SLIM CHICKENS Chicken in all shapes and sizes with sauces. 550 Salem Road. Conway. All CC. $$-$$$. 501-450-7546. LD Mon.-Sun. SMITTY’S BAR-B-QUE Meat so tender it practically falls off the ribs, and combos of meat that will stuff you. Hot sauce means HOT. 740 S. Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-327-8304. LD Mon.-Sat. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38
hearsay ➥ With the new year in full swing, local retailers are clearing their racks to make room for new stuff. Here’s a roundup of some of the great sales around town: Jan. 9 is the last day of BOX TURTLE’S storewide sale, with clothing, shoes and accessories marked down 40 percent, holiday items 50-75 percent off and 20 percent off everything else. Over at CATERING TO YOU, Christmas items are 75 percent off, while cookbooks, stocking stuffers and toddler clothing are 40 percent off. All other gift and gourmet items are 30 percent off, with frozen casseroles marked down 25 percent. BARBARA GRAVES INTIMATE FASHIONS’ winter sale is also underway, with select sweaters more than 60 percent off. Children’s clothing store WHIPPERSNAPPERS has a huge sale on holiday items for next year. ➥ Other merchants are revamping their space, with TULIPS unveiling a complete renovation Jan. 6. PAPER, SCISSORS, LITTLE ROCK has cleared the decks and is reworking its sales floor. VESTA’S has also announced big changes coming in the near future. ➥ CYNTHIA EAST FABRICS has new pillows and gorgeous fabrics in stock for 2014, including some great modern florals. ➥ SANDALWOOD FOREST, the “cultural gift shop” located on the same block as The Oyster Bar, has new hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. www.arktimes.com
JANUARY 9, 2014
DINING CAPSULES, CONT. SMOKEHOUSE BBQ Hickory-smoked meats, large sides and fried pickles among other classics offered at this 40-year-old veteran of the Conway barbecue scene. 505 Donaghey. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-7644227. LD Mon.-Sat. STOBY’S Great homemade cheese dip and big, sloppy Stoby sandwiches with umpteen choices of meats, cheeses and breads. 805 Donaghey. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-327-5447. BLD Mon.-Sat. 405 W. Parkway. Russellville. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-9683816. BLD Mon.-Sat. WHOLE HOG CAFE The pulled pork shoulder is a classic, the back ribs are worthy of their many blue ribbons, and there’s a six-pack of sauces for all tastes. A real find is the beef brisket, cooked the way Texans like it. 150 E. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-0600. LD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. ZAZA The Conway spin-off of the beloved Heights wood oven pizza, salad and gelato restaurant is bigger than its predecessor, with a full bar and mixed drink specials that rely on a massive orange and lime juicer. 1050 Ellis Ave. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-3369292. LD daily.
CARIBE RESTAURANT & CANTINA 309 W. Van Buren St. Eureka Springs. Full bar, All CC. 479-253-8102. COTTAGE INN RESTAURANT 450 West Van Buren. Eureka Springs. Full bar, Beer, Wine, All CC. 479-253-5282. THE CRYSTAL DINING ROOM Extraordinary fine dining experience that centers on coordinated service, gourmet food and a fabulous wine list. Favored by diners on special occa-
JANUARY 9, 2014
sions. 75 Prospect Ave. Eureka Springs. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 479-253-9766. D. DEVITO’S You absolutely cannot go wrong with the trout here — whether it’s the decadent Trout Italiano, the smoky Chargrilled Trout or the cornmeal encrusted Trout Fingers. DeVito’s housemade marinara is also a winner. 5 Center St. Eureka Springs. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 479-253-6807. D. ERMILIO’S Great mix-and-match pasta and sauces, all done with fresh ingredients and creativity. Warm service in a classy atmosphere. 26 White St. Eureka Springs. 479-253-8806. LD. GARDEN BISTRO This locavore and organic restaurant nestled down Eureka Springs’ Main Street features fresh and innovative dishes on a creative ever-changing menu so fresh it’s written anew each night on the wall. 119 N. Main St. Eureka Springs. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 479-253-1281. L Tue.-Sun. D Wed.-Sat. GASKINS’ CABIN Solid American food highlighted by the fish specials and prime rib. Highway 23 North. Eureka Springs. 479-2535466. D. LOCAL FLAVOR CAFE This popular cafe along Eureka Springs’ Main Street features ecclectic and fresh entrees and sandwiches throughout the day, a flavorful breakfast selection and the best creme brulee in Arkansas. 71 South Main Street. Eureka Springs. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. (479) 253-9522. BL daily D Mon.-Sat. MUD STREET CAFE Voted many times as the best breakfast in the area, you’ll find lots of healthy and tasty items to choose from. The vegetable hashbrowns have more than a dozen different vegetables represented. The Mud Muffin’s a great balance between bean sprouts, eggs and black olives on a fresh English muffin, and you can’t beat the coffee. 22 G South Main
Street. Eureka Springs. Wine, All CC. $$. (479) 253-6732. BL Thu.-Tue. Closed Wed. NEW DELHI CAFE This Indian-American fusion cafe tucked under the hustle and bustle of Eureka Springs’ shopping district features a breakfast of ethnically-charged items and American favorites, a lunch buffet and some of the best live music you’ll hear on a patio. 2 N. Main St. Eureka Springs. Wine, All CC. $$. 479-253-2525. BLD. THE OASIS This Eureka Springs lunch spot may not be easy to find, but its hefty menu and daily specials incorporate Arkansas flavors in traditional Mexican dishes for a one-of-a-kind taste experience. 53 Springs St. Eureka Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 479-253-0886. L. SPARKY’S ROADHOUSE CAFE Burgers are the specialty, but there are plenty of creative dishes, deli sandwiches and beer choices. 41 Van Buren (Highway 62). Eureka Springs. Full bar, CC. 479-253-6001. LD.
AQ CHICKEN HOUSE Great chicken — fried, grilled and rotisserie — at great prices. 1925 North College Ave. Fayetteville. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 479-443-7555. LD daily. 1206 N. Thompson St. Springdale. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 479-443-7555. LD. BORDINOS Exquisite Italian food, great wines and great service in a boisterous setting. Now serving Nova Scotia mussels. 310 W. Dickson St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. 479-527-6795. D. CAFE RUE ORLEANS Top quality Creole food and a couple of Cajun specialties (a soupy gumbo, a spicy and rich etouffee) from a cook who learned her tricks in Lafayette, La., and the Crescent City. Best entree is the eggplant Napoleon. Oyster bar downstairs to make your wait for a dining table pleasant. 1150 N. College Ave. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. 479-443-2777. LD Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. COMMON GROUNDS All-day dining on Dickson Street with a broad selection of eats, including breakfast late in the day on the weekend and great coffee anytime. Probably the largest coffee drink menu in Northwest Arkansas. 412 W. Dickson St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. $$. 479-442-3515. BLD. CORNER GRILL Hearty sandwiches, a tasty and inexpensive weekend brunch, friendly staff in new location away from Dickson Street. Highway 112. Fayetteville. 479-521-8594. BLD. DOE’S EAT PLACE This may be the best Doe’s of the bunch, franchised off the Greenville, Miss., icon. Great steaks, and the usual salads, fries, very hot tamales and splendid service. Lots of TVs around for the game-day folks. 316 W. Dickson St. Fayetteville. 479-443-3637. D. ELLA’S Fine dining in the university’s vastly reworked Inn at Carnall Hall. A favorite — it figures on the UA campus — is the razor steak. 465 N. Arkansas Ave. Fayetteville. 479-582-1400. BLD. GRUB’S BAR AND GRILLE A commendable menu that includes pub fare and vegetarian both is full of tasty offerings. The Hippie Sandwich and the Santa Fe burger come to mind. But what’s really great about Grub’s is the fact that kids under 12 (with their parents) eat free, and there’s no stale smoke to fill their little lungs, thanks to good ventilation. 220 N. West Ave. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. 479-9734782. LD. HERMAN’S RIBHOUSE Filets, not ribs, are the big seller at this classic, friendly, dumpy spot. The barbecue chicken is another winner. 2901 N. College Ave. Fayetteville. 479-442-9671. HUGO’S You’ll find a menu full of meals and munchables, some better than others at this
basement European-style bistro. The Bleu Moon Burger is a popular choice. Hugo’s is always worth a visit, even if just for a drink. 25 1/2 N. Block St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. 479-521-7585. LD Mon.-Sat. JAMES AT THE MILL “Ozark Plateau Cuisine” is creative, uses local ingredients and is pleasantly presented in a vertical manner. Impeccable food in an impeccable setting. 3906 Greathouse Springs Road. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 479-443-1400. Serving:D-Mon.-Sat. JOSE’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT Epicenter of the Dickson Street nightlife with its patio and Fayetteville’s No. 2 restaurant in gross sales. Basic Mexican with a wide variety of fancy margaritas. 234 W. Dickson. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. 479-521-0194. LD daily. MARKETPLACE GRILL Appetizers set on fire, Italian chips, funky low-fat dressings, prime rib and pasta in big ceramic bowls, the fare is a combination of old standbys and new-age twists. Also at 3000 Pinnacle Hills in Rogers. 4201 N. Shiloh. Fayetteville. No alcohol. 479-7505200. LD 600 Skyline Dr. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-336-0011. LD Daily. PENGUIN ED’S BAR-B-Q Prices are magnificent and portions are generous at this barbecue spot with an interesting menu, a killer sausage sandwich, burgers, omelets and wonderful lemonade. 2773 Mission Blvd. Fayetteville. 479-587-8646. BLD. PESTO CAFE This nice little Italian restaurant in, yes, a roadside motel offers all the traditional dishes, including a nice eggplant parmesan. 1830 N. College Ave. Fayetteville. Beer, Wine. $. 479-582-3330. LD Mon.-Sun. POWERHOUSE SEAFOOD Build-your-own fried seafood platters, great grilled fish specials. 112 N. University. Fayetteville. 479-442-8300. LD. UNCLE GAYLORD’S The fare is billed as “variety,” but that description just gives the kitchen license to dabble in all of the great cuisines, and breakfast is fabulous, though the weekend offerings aren’t as elaborate as they once were. 315 W. Mountain St. Fayetteville. 479-444-0605. BLD. VENESIAN INN People swarm in for the Italian fare and feast on what may be the best homemade rolls in the state. 582 W. Henri De Tonti Blvd. Fayetteville. Beer. $$. 479-361-2562. LD Tue.-Thu., D Fri.-Sat.
BENSON’S GRILL This 24 hour diner is a popular spot for folks from all walks of life in the Fort Smith area. Burgers are griddle-fried, breakfast is served all the time, and the waitresses are used to putting up with strangeness. 2515 Rogers Avenue. Fort Smith. No alcohol, All CC. $. (479) 782-8181. BLD 24 hours. CALICO COUNTY The spot for breakfast on the Western Wall, Calico County serves up all the favorites with a diverse menu with something for everyone. Country cooking defined at its finest, served up with those comforting cinnamon rolls at every meal. 2401 S. 56th St. Fort Smith. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 479-4523299. BLD. ED WALKER’S DRIVE-IN Famous for its French Dip Sandwich (with housemade au just and lots of wet, savory beef), this diner is the only place in Arkansas where you can get curbside beer service. The five pound cheeseburger is the largest known burger in the state of Arkansas. 1500 Towson Rd. Fort Smith. Beer, CC. $-$$. (479) 242-2243. LD. LEWIS FAMILY RESTAURANT This popular family dive features a lot of different plate dinners, ample breakfasts served anytime and several burgers — including the Inferno Burger,
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www.facebook.com/CruzWay DINING CAPSULES, CONT. what could be the hottest burger in Arkansas. 5901 Highway 71 S. Fort Smith. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (479) 646-4309. BL seven days. NEUMEIER’S RIB ROOM They cook up Memphis-style “dry” ribs that some say compare favorably to any in the Bluff City. 817 Garrison Ave. Fort Smith. 479-494-7427. LD.
BELLE ARTI RISTORANTE Ambitious menu of lavish delights in a film-noir setting; excellent desserts. 719 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. 501-624-7474. LD. CAJUN BOILERS Expertly prepared boiled shrimp, crawfish and such, served in a fun atmosphere. 2806 Albert Pike. Hot Springs. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-767-5695. D Tue.-Sat. CULINARY DISTRICT A coffeehouse and lunch cafe inside a kitchen store/gourmet grocery with delectable sandwiches and such. The grilled cheese with blue-cheese mayo is addictive. 510 Ouachita Ave. Hot Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-624-2665. L Tue.-Sat. DON JUAN’S Mex-style enchiladas, runny white
cheese dip, great guacamole and great service in strip-mall locale. 1311 Albert Pike Road No. A. Hot Springs. No alcohol, All CC. 501-3210766. LD. THE ENGLISH MUFFIN The muffins referenced in the name are those famed Wolfermann muffins brought in fresh each day in a dozen or so different flavors. Breakfasts are well-balanced with light omelets in a wide variety. Blue plate specials are also available. 4832 Central Avenue. Hot Springs. All CC. $-$$. (501) 525-2710. BL daily. FACCI’S This longtime favorite of the Oaklawn crowd offers an all-you-can-eat spaghetti lunch, lots of sandwiches and pasta and extraordinary Italian dishes for dinner. 2900 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-623-9049. LD Wed. only. FISHERMAN’S WHARF Reminiscent of a coastal seafood joint, complete with large menu and fish nets adorning the wall. Boisterous, family style place. 5101 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. 501-525-7437. LD. MCCLARD’S Considered by many to be the
best barbecue in Arkansas — ribs, pork, beef and great tamales, too. 505 Albert Pike. Hot Springs. Beer, No CC. 501-624-9586. LD. NOM NOMS MEXICAN GRILL-N-CHILL More than 50 flavors of delicious ice cream, with many exotic options (Avocado Cream, Tamarind Sorbet). Plus, excellent fresh and authentic Mexican fare. 3371 Central Ave. Hot Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-623-8588. OAKLAWN LAGNIAPPE’S BUFFET Small, overpriced and with an underwhelming variety of bland choices, the buffet in Oaklawn’s expanded gaming complex leaves a lot to be desired. If you’re hungry, hit the shops under the race track grandstands instead 2705 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-623-4411. BLD daily. OHIO CLUB Great atmosphere and a standout burger highlight what claims to be the state’s oldest bar. 336 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-627-0702. LD daily. THE PANCAKE SHOP The Pancake Shop’s longevity owes to good food served up cheap, large pancakes and ham steaks, housemade
apple butter and waitresses who still call you “honey.” 216 Central Avenue. Hot Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-624-5720. BL daily. RED OAK FILLIN STATION This unusual blend of convenience store and country restaurant serves up country favorites including a full breakfast, pigs-in-a-blanket, catfish and more. 2169 Carpenter Dam Road. Hot Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (501) 262-0400. BLD daily. ROCKY’S CORNER Knock-out pizza at ahopping eatery across the street from Oaklawn Park. 2600 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Beer, All CC. 501-624-0199. LD. ROD’S PIZZA CELLAR Terrific handmade pizzas highlighted by the Godfather, a whopper. Lunch specials are a steal, especially the buffet. 3350 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-321-2313. LD Tue.-Sun. R O L A N D O ’ S N U E V O L AT I N O RESTAURANTE Mexican fare with flare, such as spinach and sour cream enchiladas and house favorite tilapia with black beans and mango. 210 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. www.arktimes.com
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