Now for some good news.
If you made it to last year’s Pop Up festival on South Main — or even if you didn’t — you might want to check out Saturday’s Pop Up in the Rock on Seventh Street, on the three blocks between Izard and Cross. You might think of the area as Vino-ville or Weekend Theater-town because of two of the thriving businesses located along the historic through street. On Saturday, though, Seventh Street will have more to offer in the way of urban shopping and entertainment besides eating calzones and grabbing a growler.
On the west end (Cross and Seventh), the space formerly occupied by Hangers Cleaners will be a pop up florist and Goodwill Industries will open up a resale shop, which was greatly successful at the SOMA Pop Up last year. Bookending that on the east end (Izard and Seventh) will be 16 Etsy vendors in the Closet Factory. In between: The Central Arkansas Library System will have a children’s library in one of two mobile units donated to the event by Hugg and Hall, and librarians will give away books and sign kids up for library cards. BACA (Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas) will operate a bike maintenance shop in the other mobile unit. There will be art: An installation by Chelsye Garrett of Arts Center yarn bomb fame — a mural of various plastics — will cover a fence in front of the Little Rock Vending property, a mural by the Central High mural club will cover a chain link fence on Central Fire Station property and Art Outfitters will have a graffiti art demonstration. Firefighters will give tours tours of the station; no word yet on pole-sliding. Weekend Theater is in rehearsal but volunteers will hand out brochures in the lobby. Architect Mason Ellis has built a pop-up putt-putt course for duffers and Naylor Auto will give car maintenance demonstrations at 1 p.m. Food trucks? Yes, on the parking lot across Seventh from Vino’s. Beer? Yes, served by Central Arkansas Roller Derby teammates in a pop-up beer garden in the parking lot east of Vino’s. Bands? Yep, in the beer garden, at 1 p.m. (Mothwind) and 3 p.m. (Whale Fire). There’ll also be films from the 48-Hour Film Festival projected on the wall there.
Seventh Street is narrow, so there won’t be a middle lane lined with trees as SOMA had, but there will be trees along the sidewalks and bike lanes painted on both sides of Seventh.
Chris East, an architect with Cromwell who is part of the planning team of Create Little Rock and StudioMain, said the pop-up party will demonstrate “what is possible within the city” — an active street edge with parking de-emphasized and pedestrian and bike traffic given some breathing room. It’s forward looking, but actually a return the traditional urban design, East said.
The all-day event begins at 9 a.m. Movies start at 6:30 p.m.