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About ecity3138

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    Little Rock, Ark

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  1. ecity3138

    West Little Rock

    The market is saturated with restaurants that basically serve the same food item on the menu. As I mentioned in a previous post, we can’t have dozens of burger joints (ex: Burger 21, David’s Burger, Big Orange, Freddy’s Frozen Custard Steakburger, Five Guys, and Wayback Burgers) in the city that claimed they served the freshest ingredients on the menu such as organic burgers or steak burgers as well as Mexican or Chinese restaurants around the city. There’s too many of those type of cuisines that confused consumers on where to dine at. The city lacks a true seafood restaurants (not counting Cajun’s Wharf, Red Lobster, or Arthur’s Ocean Seafood restaurant to which I adore), Italian restaurants (other than Olive Garden, Bravo, La Madeline or Bruno’s downtown), family theme type dining, and other cuisine not found in the city. There are plenty of cuisines that the city would love to see such as more Thai, Indian, and Caribbean style cuisine (would be great if Bahama Breeze would come here). I guaurantee you there still room for more restaurants that don’t serve the same type food as existing restaurants. We don’t need another Chinese restaurants, Mexican restaurants, burger joints, bar style restaurants, or fish and chicken joints such as Shark’s Fish and Chicken or Eat My Catfish though I do love the latter. We need something different to introduce to the Little Rock market. We also need kid theme restaurants (many people has been requesting this for awhile) such as Purple Cow or All Aboard restaurants where family of ages can enjoy not just breweries or same old traditional restaurants. A unique family theme restaurant (I can come up with plenty of theme type dining from scratch that kids and families would enjoy while still providing excellent food and service) will help draw in more people because it’s something different from traditional restaurants such as Applebee’s and Chili’s. Thats one reason why Purple Cow is expanding its business north of the river due to its unique atmosphere as well as unique food such as Purple Vanilla Ice Cream or Milkshake. Overall, the market is saturated with restaurants with the same type of cuisines rather than saturated with restaurants in general.
  2. ecity3138

    West Little Rock

    The reason why this premise is brought up because there’s been multiple restaurant closures reported in the newspaper back to back and it does raises a red flag with our restaurant market. Everyone is entitled to their opinions as well as taste buds, but there’s not that many good reasonable price local dining spots in the West Little Rock area (besides burger joints, coffee shops, upscale steakhouses, etc) with all these unfortunate restaurant closures. Also, West End was a Little Rock staple and it is very sad to see them go after so many years of being in the local restaurant/nightlife industry. It would only be a matter of time when more restaurant closures be announced before the end of this year including some popular spots specifically in the western part of town. A couple of years ago, Little Rock was booming with several local and non-local restaurant openings announced all in one year, however, this year was completely the opposite with more closures announced than openings and it just not chains either. The Northwest Arkansas market is seeing a surge of restaurant openings this year and was even mentioned on the Arkansas Business site a couple of months ago, however, the Little Rock market seems to be losing its luster. This got to be fixed.
  3. ecity3138

    West Little Rock

    I disagree with the article stating there are more openings than closing this year. I get tired of seeing so many restaurant closing on the Arkansas Democrat Restaurant transition section back to back that it’s depressing. I understand there will always be restaurants closing every year but when there’s restaurants closing almost every single week and back to back that raises a red flag. This has to be the worst year for the restaurant market compare to previous years.
  4. ecity3138

    West Little Rock

    And yet another longtime dining spot closing. The Little Rock restaurant market is slowly declining regardless of whether it’s local or a chain eatery. I know that Catheads Diner and other local eateries opening near the downtown area but the future of the restaurant scene in West Little Rock and other parts of the city is slowly fading away. It is not a good sign for other eateries looking to open in the city to see all these closures. Also, the local restaurants that the article mentioned about opening this year are mostly bars (ex Fassler Hall) and nothing special. Sad!!
  5. ecity3138

    West Little Rock

    This is a waste of prime space for what could be a potential opportunity for other purpose such as retailers like Costco, restaurant row, or an indoor Entertainment center. The medical office plaza could been built in the middle part of town near St. Vincent or UAMS.
  6. That’s why the market should not be over saturated with these small strip centers that open in the mid- 2000s. People are not going to drive one end of the town to dine at a local eatery when they can go to a similar eatery nearby that’s just as good. The Promenade At Chenal has a mix of some wonderful local dining options (ex: Local Lime is one of my favorites at the shopping center) but Midtown or Shackleford Crossing eateries has eateries that’s just as good as the ones at the Promenade At Chenal. Also, when you have different restaurant brands offering the same food, it causes one of those restaurant brand’s sales to decline which eventually lead to closure. As an example, there are too many burger chains (ex: Big Orange, Five Guys, David’s Burgers, Burger 21, Wayback Burgers, and now Freddy’s Frozen Custard Burger) around the city that offer similar items on the menu which confuse people on which one to eat at. I may mentioned this on an early post but the city is in desperate need of a true full service seafood restaurant (besides Red Lobster, Cajun’s Wharf, and Arthur’s Seafood) in the area and hoping a seafood restaurant would locate at the Gateway Town Center development in the near future. With restaurants and breweries opening in the downtown area as more people are moving back downtown, the questions remains as to what will be the future of the existing restaurants in the western part of town. I, too, love Little Rock and want to see the city’s population and economy grow, but it’s just depressing seeing empty buildings around the city and reading multiple restaurant closures on the Arkansas Democrat Gazette paper almost every week. It’s also stirs confusion among companies who is looking to open in the Little Rock area. Many companies I spoke to pass up LR for other similar cities (Shreveport, Des Moines, etc) because of lack of good sites rather than the market itself. Though it’s hard to compete with big national brands, local restauranteaur can still be successful and offer something that national brands can’t such as friendly customer service, fresh quality ingredients on the menu, atmosphere and price value. For example, it would be too expensive for McDonald’s to offer an real organic beef burger that Big Orange (also my favorite) offer for a couple of bucks more. Overall, there’s still room for new restaurants to come in the city, it’s just finding the right site and area of town to locate where projected sales will be favorable among the company and offering some cuisine unique to the area. The local and non-local restaurants in the city need to step up their game with better service, fresh quality ingredients in terms of food quality, atmosphere, and price value in order to survive in the local restaurant market. Even if the food was the best out of this world, people will not dine at that particular restaurant if they encounter rude customer service for example.
  7. Topgolf will eventually come to the Little Rock area (possible the North Little Rock area) in the future especially if they are planning on opening a NWA locations. Pappadeaux is a family owned restaurant chain who opens two restaurants a year. Right now, they said Arkansas is not on their construction calendar but that don’t mean they will never come here. Even some larger cities such as Las Vegas, New York City, Oklahoma City, or Orlando don’t have one yet. Most of the new Pappadeaux location have been centered around the Texas area since their main headquarters is in Houston. They have barely open a Birmingham location not too long ago.
  8. While it’s good for locals supporting local restaurants, the market is not saturated with restaurants nor is the population any smaller than some of the markets where major restaurants concepts (ex: Chattanooga, Des Moines, Shreveport, etc) are located. The main problem with the Little Rock market is over saturated with multiple shopping developments (ex: Promenade At Chenal, Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center, the failed Shackleford Crossing, Park Avenue, and Gateway Town Center) across the city. That’s too many shopping centers for a mid-size market and is confusing companies who is still trying to find a site in the Little Rock area. I remember when Belk was originally supposed to go where Walmart now stands at the Shackleford Crossing site, but Belk bought Parisian, who was at the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center for a short time, and have decided to cancelled plans for the Shackleford Crossing site. Others smaller retailers (ex: Rack Room Shoes) have closed shops in older shopping development in favor of newer development such as the Outlets of Little Rock in the Gateway Town Center development. I have spoken with several major restaurant chains and non- chain restaurants who all said they are unwilling to open a location in LR due to lack of sites available or the fact the shopping area is not in a dense area of town. Even some local restaurants have closed over the past few months due to poor location in the city (ex Sharks Fish and Chicken is over saturated the market). As mentioned previously, had Little Rock build one major shopping center (ex: the failed Simon’s Summit Mall, Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga, TN; Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers, AR; or Jordan Creek Town Center in Des Moines, MA) rather than these mini strip centers that has been constructed over the years, I guarantee a million dollar that the Little Rock restaurant and retail market will be so much better. I bet Apple Store, J. Crew, and some of the other Promenade At Chenal tenants would have located at Simon’s Summit Mall along with other companies not presence in the market.
  9. The Shackleford Crossing shopping center was marketed and design poorly. The middle part of the shopping has been vacant for years and the space where Gordman’s and Babies r us once occupied (though both companies filed for bankruptcy which led to store closures) has yet been filled. Where Walmart now sits was originally supposed to be Belk department store but those plans fell through when Pleasant Ridge Shopping center open around the same time Shackleford Crossing opens and Belk move in to what used to be Parisian department store. I think the current developers of Shackleford Crossing needs to redevelop the middle section of the property into mixed used space similar to Park Avenue. I also wish the city would allow Simon to build the failed Summit Mall plan on the site where we could have seen stores and restaurants on our wishlist. I remember that even Neiman Marcus was considering open a store there at one point.
  10. Competition is always good because it encourages existing restaurant to step up their game in providing excellent food and serve along with value prices. Cajun Wharf, who has been in LR for more than 30 years, has been doing great despite new restaurants opening around the city. With that being said, there’s still plenty of good restaurant brands (not including Cheesecake Factory) that is worth coming to LR. The real question is where should they open in the city and will people continue to dine at their restaurants after a couple of months. I have spoken to numerous companies about the possibility of opening a LR area location and they all said they have issues with finding the right property for their establishment.
  11. Who thinks Little Rock restaurant market is declining? There’s been too many restaurants, even local establishments, shut ting down this year than restaurants opening. Not a good sign for other restaurants (including local establishments) looking to open up shops in the metro area.
  12. ecity3138

    Rock Creek Commons West Little Rock

    That’s true but it’s less populated out there than in the middle part of the city.
  13. ecity3138

    Restaurant Development in NW Arkansas

    Still don’t justify why would a chain who is known to locate in major metropolitan areas would open in a smaller market than Little Rock ( the city population is slightly larger than Chattanooga not including the MSA) or Nortwest Arkansas greater population. Nothing against Chattanooga, but the city doesn’t even some big city chains that we have already such as Apple, Container Store, or Dave and Buster’s (there’s two in Arkansas already) whose population requirements are much stricter than Cheesecake Factory’s requirements.
  14. ecity3138

    Rock Creek Commons West Little Rock

    Sounds like a wonderful development, however, I much rather see it in a more dense part of town such as the former Sears site on University than in a rural part of the city.