The Arkansas Times annual restaurant poll is now open. To vote for your favorite restaurants in Central Arkansas and throughout the state, visit

Hunka Pie owner Chris Monroe has purchased the Starlite Diner in North Little Rock and closed Hunka Pie’s dairy bar location on Cantrell. Monroe said he doesn’t plan on taking the Starlite sign down anytime soon. He said he’s hoping to incorporate both the Hunka Pie and Starlite brands into the business.


The new Starlite Diner will reopen Nov. 10 and serve pie from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily. The full menu, which will be similar to Hunka Pie’s offerings on Cantrell Road plus plate lunch specials, salads and breakfast items, will debut Nov. 28. Starting then, the diner will be open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday for breakfast only.

Monroe said he’s accepting pie orders for Thanksgiving via phone (612-4754), e-mail ( or Facebook.


Sushi Cafe’s Robert Tju hopes to open a new restaurant in The Heights by Valentine’s Day 2012. The new yet-to-be-named venue will be located at 5501 Kavanaugh, in the space once occupied by Colianni Piano, and will seat around 120 in the restaurant and around 100 in an adjacent lounge. The restaurant may be a steakhouse, Tju said, but that’s yet to be decided.

The inaugural Arkansas Cornbread Festival drew 2,600 to Bernice Garden and two blocks of South Main Street on Saturday, Nov. 4. Below are the winners:


Best Overall Winner (best in show): Terry Wright; Best Professional Winner: El Dorado’s Old South Cornbread; Best Amateur Winner: Terry Wright; Best Professional, Traditional: Old South Cornbread; Best Professional, Non-Traditional: Loblolly Creamery; Best Amateur, Traditional: Terry Wright; Best Amateur, Non-Traditional: Johnny Reep; Best Amateur, Sweet: Ramona Cash.