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Restaurant Development in Little Rock Metro area

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7 hours ago, theman said:

May be since the Mooyah on Highway 10 has closed. But if it is unique it may survive.

Really?  I actually quite like Mooyah.  Is the one on Kanis still open?

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Spoke to a person connected to the Steak N Shake in Russellville.  The SnS in Russellville has been under construction for the last year and the building complete for the last several months.  They encountered "unexpected delays" but will open on February 29.  They are planning on opening next in Conway and then Little Rock.  I was told they are looking at the Gateway Town Center area for the Little Rock location.  

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6 hours ago, Arkanzin said:

Spoke to a person connected to the Steak N Shake in Russellville.  The SnS in Russellville has been under construction for the last year and the building complete for the last several months.  They encountered "unexpected delays" but will open on February 29.  They are planning on opening next in Conway and then Little Rock.  I was told they are looking at the Gateway Town Center area for the Little Rock location.  

This won't be Steak N Shake's first go-round in greater Little Rock.  There used to be a location on southbound Landers Road in NLR near McCain Mall.  They closed it when they changed the access roads (Landers) to one-way.

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5 hours ago, Architect said:

This won't be Steak N Shake's first go-round in greater Little Rock.  There used to be a location on southbound Landers Road in NLR near McCain Mall.  They closed it when they changed the access roads (Landers) to one-way.

I remember that. I think it was where the El Porton is now.

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15 hours ago, ndark said:

I remember that. I think it was where the El Porton is now.

Yup. That's the spot.  It would be nice to see Steak n' Shake — skinny fries and all — back closer to Little Rock. The building at the southwest corner of W. 3rd and Broadway is currently for sale. Maybe with some work, it could be a good location.

Edited by ArkansasTraveler

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I wish Little Rock could lure some new to the market seafood places such as Pappadeaux, Joe's Crab Shack or non-seafood places like Saltgrass Steakhouse. Why does Little Rock always attract burger joints?

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On February 19, 2016 at 6:04 AM, SangreRaVen said:

because it's Little Rock... pretty much known for being basic and boring. 

 

-R

Lol, agree. The only development that is interesting is Dave and Buster and Movie Tavern at the Gateway Town Center. The rest of the announcement so far are nothing special.

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On February 19, 2016 at 6:04 AM, SangreRaVen said:

because it's Little Rock... pretty much known for being basic and boring. 

 

-R

I concur with this.  Often times when something is brought to the Central Arkansas market and it does gangbusters in other markets, it performs mediocre or doesn't do well and closes.  I wish it weren't this way but it's the truth.  At least that's my $0.02.  To each his own, because I'm sure there's lots of folks that would disagree with me or get defensive about that statement but so be it.  

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6 hours ago, LRretail said:

I concur with this.  Often times when something is brought to the Central Arkansas market and it does gangbusters in other markets, it performs mediocre or doesn't do well and closes.  I wish it weren't this way but it's the truth.  At least that's my $0.02.  To each his own, because I'm sure there's lots of folks that would disagree with me or get defensive about that statement but so be it.  

Examples?

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On February 19, 2016 at 6:04 AM, SangreRaVen said:

because it's Little Rock... pretty much known for being basic and boring. 

 

-R

You must not eat out often if you believe that dining options, in Little Rock, are "basic and boring".  Beside some of the chain restaurants mentioned frequently (Cheesecake Factory) on this site, what do you see as lacking?

 

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5 hours ago, LRU1967 said:

You must not eat out often if you believe that dining options, in Little Rock, are "basic and boring".  Beside some of the chain restaurants mentioned frequently (Cheesecake Factory) on this site, what do you see as lacking?

 

Basically every time a restaurant is announced to the media it's usually burger joints, pizza places, or Chinese restaurants which is nothing special. There's plenty of restaurants that are feasible for the Little Rock market beside Cheesecake Factory such as  seafood restaurants (not counting Flying Fish, Bonefish Grill, and Red Lobster) similar to Cajun's like a Pappadeaux or Legal Seafood for example. As mentioned previously, Little Rock is oversaturated with burger joints, pizza places, Mexican restaurants, and definitely Chinese restaurants.

Edited by ecity3138

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3 hours ago, ecity3138 said:

Basically every time a restaurant is announced to the media it's usually burger joints, pizza places, or Chinese restaurants which is nothing special. There's plenty of restaurants that are feasible for the Little Rock market beside Cheesecake Factory such as  seafood restaurants (not counting Flying Fish, Bonefish Grill, and Red Lobster) similar to Cajun's like a Pappadeaux or Legal Seafood for example. As mentioned previously, Little Rock is oversaturated with burger joints, pizza places, Mexican restaurants, and definitely Chinese restaurants.

A city is not defined by its diversity of chain restaurants.  Rather, just the opposite...and in that regard, Little Rock is a foodie jewel.

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3 hours ago, ecity3138 said:

Basically every time a restaurant is announced to the media it's usually burger joints, pizza places, or Chinese restaurants which is nothing special. There's plenty of restaurants that are feasible for the Little Rock market beside Cheesecake Factory such as  seafood restaurants (not counting Flying Fish, Bonefish Grill, and Red Lobster) similar to Cajun's like a Pappadeaux or Legal Seafood for example. As mentioned previously, Little Rock is oversaturated with burger joints, pizza places, Mexican restaurants, and definitely Chinese restaurants.

Little Rock actually has quite an excellent local restaurant scene.  Far better than cities of similar size.  These chains you mention are fine, but nothing particularly special compared to the real restaurants in town.  It always amazes me that folks continue to clamor for Cheesecake Factory as if it's particularly stellar food.  I mean, it's not bad, but not something needed either.

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5 hours ago, ecity3138 said:

Basically every time a restaurant is announced to the media it's usually burger joints, pizza places, or Chinese restaurants which is nothing special. There's plenty of restaurants that are feasible for the Little Rock market beside Cheesecake Factory such as  seafood restaurants (not counting Flying Fish, Bonefish Grill, and Red Lobster) similar to Cajun's like a Pappadeaux or Legal Seafood for example. As mentioned previously, Little Rock is oversaturated with burger joints, pizza places, Mexican restaurants, and definitely Chinese restaurants.

You want seafood? Check out The Mighty Rib's list of 30 great seafood dishes served at Little Rock restaurants.  http://themightyrib.com     

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5 hours ago, EJC said:

Little Rock actually has quite an excellent local restaurant scene.  Far better than cities of similar size.  These chains you mention are fine, but nothing particularly special compared to the real restaurants in town.  It always amazes me that folks continue to clamor for Cheesecake Factory as if it's particularly stellar food.  I mean, it's not bad, but not something needed either.

I'm not saying that Cheesecake Factory have the best food ever and that Little Rock don't have great food, but the city needs diverse options for everybody. Our market should not have all these burger joints, pizza places, Mexican or Chinese restaurants whether it's a chain or local. And though a lot of people have negative stereotypes of these restaurant chains, these places make billions of dollars a year and attract business and create jobs which provide economic growth to the community. Dave and Busters, for example, originated in Arkansas and is now a chain of arcade-restaurant across the US. The same goes for Walmart which is now a mega corporation. Now, I do love the local dining options (ex: US Pizza, Cajun's, Shotgun Dan's, Senor Tequlia, Whole Hog Cafe, Sim's Barbecue, David's Burger, etc) in our city and definitely prefer them over the chains we already have but feel the city needs more economic growth and competition in a good way.

Edited by ecity3138

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23 hours ago, ecity3138 said:

I'm not saying that Cheesecake Factory have the best food ever and that Little Rock don't have great food, but the city needs diverse options for everybody. Our market should not have all these burger joints, pizza places, Mexican or Chinese restaurants whether it's a chain or local. And though a lot of people have negative stereotypes of these restaurant chains, these places make billions of dollars a year and attract business and create jobs which provide economic growth to the community. Dave and Busters, for example, originated in Arkansas and is now a chain of arcade-restaurant across the US. The same goes for Walmart which is now a mega corporation. Now, I do love the local dining options (ex: US Pizza, Cajun's, Shotgun Dan's, Senor Tequlia, Whole Hog Cafe, Sim's Barbecue, David's Burger, etc) in our city and definitely prefer them over the chains we already have but feel the city needs more economic growth and competition in a good way.

This town has so many options that are not pizza, burger, etc.  If you visit Heights, Hillcrest or downtown, you'll see some wonderful options.

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On February 22, 2016 at 4:42 PM, Architect said:

Examples?

From a restaurant standpoint often times places that open LR stores are on the low end of sales par: Chipotle, every Darden restaurant, BJ's, Cracker Barrel, PF Changs, Starbucks, etc.  Mooyah is an example of stores closing that would otherwise do better in a different market.  Other stores like Melting Pot, Ruth Chris, Torchy's Tacos, etc can't find a suitable location with solid demographics so they don't open in our market.  Much of this is also due to the fact that most customers favor local brands such as David's Burgers, Larry's Pizza, Chi's, etc. over franchise or national brands.  From a retail standpoint, every store that has opened and closed in Chenab Promenade, Shackleford Crossing, or Park Plaza.  Often times, there's not enough business to keep the doors open.  I'll add also that the Del Frisco's in Chenal is not doing well and they would be doing very well in another market.  

Edited by LRretail

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5 hours ago, LRretail said:

From a restaurant standpoint often times places that open LR stores are on the low end of sales par: Chipotle, every Darden restaurant, BJ's, Cracker Barrel, PF Changs, Starbucks, etc.  Mooyah is an example of stores closing that would otherwise do better in a different market.  Other stores like Melting Pot, Ruth Chris, Torchy's Tacos, etc can't find a suitable location with solid demographics so they don't open in our market.  Much of this is also due to the fact that most customers favor local brands such as David's Burgers, Larry's Pizza, Chi's, etc. over franchise or national brands.  From a retail standpoint, every store that has opened and closed in Chenab Promenade, Shackleford Crossing, or Park Plaza.  Often times, there's not enough business to keep the doors open.  I'll add also that the Del Frisco's in Chenal is not doing well and they would be doing very well in another market.  

Well, you only named one example (Mooyahs)...and just one location at that.  Let me offer a few:  Coach and Godiva Chocolate at Park Plaza (and Disney...literally years ago).  I can't recall anything notable beyond that, and none at Shackleford Crossing or the Promenade.  Another example, which was admittedly a bit of a shocker to me was Ann Taylor not renewing their lease at Park Plaza last year.

But in response to your other examples, Mooyah's closing one location isn't a sign of the strength of the market, but rather the strength of the competition...Five Guys, David's, Arkansas Burger, etc.  I also wouldn't categorize PF Chang's and Chipotle as "low end of sales"...really?  You name Melting Pot and Ruth's Chris like their on some other level than the aforementioned.  They're not.  Del Frisco's?  Doomed from the start, since I can name five or six local places that serve better food for equal or less money.

I think the preponderance of people is to somehow hold sacred these "chains" that once here, just mentally get categorized as now run-of-the-mill...you know, since they're now in Little Rock.  The truth is, the trend is away from national chains.  The quality of place and draw of young people now reside in unique, local fare...that's where things are going, and that's what should be important.  So of COURSE people prefer local.  It's better, and it's the future.  And in that regard, I'd put Little Rock up against just about any city our size and even larger...So, South on Main, Lost Forty, ZaZa's, Southern Gourmasian, Copper Grill, Samantha's, the list could literally go on, and on, and on...

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9 hours ago, Architect said:

Well, you only named one example (Mooyahs)...and just one location at that.  Let me offer a few:  Coach and Godiva Chocolate at Park Plaza (and Disney...literally years ago).  I can't recall anything notable beyond that, and none at Shackleford Crossing or the Promenade.  Another example, which was admittedly a bit of a shocker to me was Ann Taylor not renewing their lease at Park Plaza last year.

But in response to your other examples, Mooyah's closing one location isn't a sign of the strength of the market, but rather the strength of the competition...Five Guys, David's, Arkansas Burger, etc.  I also wouldn't categorize PF Chang's and Chipotle as "low end of sales"...really?  You name Melting Pot and Ruth's Chris like their on some other level than the aforementioned.  They're not.  Del Frisco's?  Doomed from the start, since I can name five or six local places that serve better food for equal or less money.

I think the preponderance of people is to somehow hold sacred these "chains" that once here, just mentally get categorized as now run-of-the-mill...you know, since they're now in Little Rock.  The truth is, the trend is away from national chains.  The quality of place and draw of young people now reside in unique, local fare...that's where things are going, and that's what should be important.  So of COURSE people prefer local.  It's better, and it's the future.  And in that regard, I'd put Little Rock up against just about any city our size and even larger...So, South on Main, Lost Forty, ZaZa's, Southern Gourmasian, Copper Grill, Samantha's, the list could literally go on, and on, and on...

I'm not surprise Del Frisco not performing well considering the location and the fact the menu don't look appealing to everybody taste buds. While I do agree that supporting local business is  important, people tend to dine at restaurants where it's affordable and the food is high quality. If it's not a good value or the food quality below expectations then people won't go whether it's chain or not. For example, I went to a local pizza joint recently where a large salad surpreme is $8.00. Why pay that when I can go to another restaurant or simply make the same dish at home that taste just as good or better. Local dining chains need to be price competitive (though some are very affordable and give these chains a run for their money) and affordable to everybody as well as providing a variety of menu options that appeal to everybody's taste buds.  I'm sorry, but not all local chains (ex:  Dixie Cafe sadly) offer high quality food (and I dine out to local chains quite often) just like not all chains (Taziki's, Chuy's, Chipotle, Chick Fil LA, etc) offer mediocre food even though I'm not a fan of places like Chili's, Applebee's, or Friday's. I understand everybody got different taste buds and disagree with my opinion but I'm just saying.

Edited by ecity3138

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11 hours ago, Architect said:

Well, you only named one example (Mooyahs)...and just one location at that.  Let me offer a few:  Coach and Godiva Chocolate at Park Plaza (and Disney...literally years ago).  I can't recall anything notable beyond that, and none at Shackleford Crossing or the Promenade.  Another example, which was admittedly a bit of a shocker to me was Ann Taylor not renewing their lease at Park Plaza last year.

But in response to your other examples, Mooyah's closing one location isn't a sign of the strength of the market, but rather the strength of the competition...Five Guys, David's, Arkansas Burger, etc.  I also wouldn't categorize PF Chang's and Chipotle as "low end of sales"...really?  You name Melting Pot and Ruth's Chris like their on some other level than the aforementioned.  They're not.  Del Frisco's?  Doomed from the start, since I can name five or six local places that serve better food for equal or less money.

I think the preponderance of people is to somehow hold sacred these "chains" that once here, just mentally get categorized as now run-of-the-mill...you know, since they're now in Little Rock.  The truth is, the trend is away from national chains.  The quality of place and draw of young people now reside in unique, local fare...that's where things are going, and that's what should be important.  So of COURSE people prefer local.  It's better, and it's the future.  And in that regard, I'd put Little Rock up against just about any city our size and even larger...So, South on Main, Lost Forty, ZaZa's, Southern Gourmasian, Copper Grill, Samantha's, the list could literally go on, and on, and on...

With all due respect, my point was to say that many concepts when brought to Little Rock don't do as well as they do in other markets.  You asked for examples, I gave you some.  The truth is that brands like PF Changs and Chipotle experiences sales figures that are on the lower end of their range.  Having said that, I agree with you that most in Little Rock and Central Arkansas support local brands over national.  Is that a bad thing?  It depends on which side of the coin you're on.  I don't view it as a bad thing.  But it does drive away some national brands.  I'm taking from your viewpoint that local is end all be all and to hell with the national brands.  But that's not the point of my statement.  Your point is that our local brands make Little Rock a foodie jewel.  I don't disagree with that.  We should be proud of South on Main, Southern Gourmasian, etc.  Those are good operators and they are good people.  I know them all.  But my point is that this mentality drives away support for things that are brought to town (which are usually national and do better in other markets.  And that's just the way it is.  To second what ecity was saying, you have to present a good value proposition with high quality product in order to be successful in our market.  Not all national brands do that.  Not all local brands do either.  

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5 hours ago, LRretail said:

With all due respect, my point was to say that many concepts when brought to Little Rock don't do as well as they do in other markets.  You asked for examples, I gave you some.  The truth is that brands like PF Changs and Chipotle experiences sales figures that are on the lower end of their range.  Having said that, I agree with you that most in Little Rock and Central Arkansas support local brands over national.  Is that a bad thing?  It depends on which side of the coin you're on.  I don't view it as a bad thing.  But it does drive away some national brands.  I'm taking from your viewpoint that local is end all be all and to hell with the national brands.  But that's not the point of my statement.  Your point is that our local brands make Little Rock a foodie jewel.  I don't disagree with that.  We should be proud of South on Main, Southern Gourmasian, etc.  Those are good operators and they are good people.  I know them all.  But my point is that this mentality drives away support for things that are brought to town (which are usually national and do better in other markets.  And that's just the way it is.  To second what ecity was saying, you have to present a good value proposition with high quality product in order to be successful in our market.  Not all national brands do that.  Not all local brands do either.  

Thanks for clarifying, and I completely concur with your summary above.  I just couldn't think of many examples of closings or unsuccessful attempts at this market.  My apology for my response coming across defensive...I appreciate your perspective.

You were making the point that many don't perform well on a per store basis (so Chipotle and Changs haven't done well locally?).  I don't have access to that information, and perhaps you do (either way, you know potential retailers have that info...data is king).  If that's the case, that is disappointing. I hope some of that is simply due to unique market tastes or demographics, or local competition, and not strictly an indictment on our economic health.

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