Rock City Eats reports that Don Dugan and Tasha Stratton are purchasing South on Main.

Dugan and Stratton are restaurant industry mainstays who currently operate Dugan’s Pub, Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro and Stratton’s Market.

Chef Matt Verch, a Little Rock native, will be promoted from sous chef to executive chef. Verch has been with South on Main since last year; previously he spent five years in New York working under Michelin-star chefs.

South on Main’s current owner, chef Matt Bell, announced  last week that he is selling the restaurant to take over over in February as executive chef at Gray & Dudley, the restaurant in the 21c Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.


Bell opened South on Main in 2013 after previously being a sous chef at Ashley’s at the Capitol Hotel. The restaurant has partnered with the Oxford American magazine, which is headquartered in the same building, for musical and cultural programming. That partnership is expected to continue under the new ownership.

Bell’s last service will be Feb. 9. The transfer to Dugan and Stratton will then take place with no interruption in restaurant service. The music programming is likewise slated to continue without interruption.


Here’s Dugan’s statement:

We are very excited to continue the legacy of South on Main. Chef Matt Bell contacted us, and after meeting with him and Amy we both felt like this was the right direction. For us it is an opportunity to continue and build on the legacy of the incredible food, service, and live music that Chef Bell has built, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Sounds like we shouldn’t expect any major changes to the downhome gourmet menu. Dugan told the D-G, “We want to make sure the food is still approachable but upscale.