← Back to issues
Toast of the Town 2017

Toast of the Town 2017

October 19, 2017

Vol 44 • No 7

Read the print version

Toast of the Town 2017

The best of bars, beers and booze in Central Arkansas and beyond.

High spirits at Four Quarter

Good times and reports of a famous ghost in Argenta.

Bark Bar opens for drinkers, best friends

It's off the leash.

2017 Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival preview

Dozens of breweries, hundreds of beers, food, music and more.

Comedy of bad manners

A sugary Moliere remix helps the medicine go down at The Rep.

What's in a name? Plenty, Mosaic Templars supporters say

Little Rock museum considering changing its name.

Cotton to CIA?

Political junkies without a real election to overanalyze fill the void with "what if?" scenarios. With the State Fair underway, consider this column a helping of cotton candy for such readers.

Jarret Middleton's 'Darkansas' is sinister and mystical

It's a family tree, darkly.

Jeff and Bret

Arkansas Black Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration

and much more.

Caution: government at work

I have several government targets this week.

Thumped again

Seems like a bad prescription for beating the all-pro assemblage of talent that dons Alabama garb year in, year out, but the Arkansas Razorbacks started their third quarterback in three years against the Crimson Tide, and the end result was predictable.

In response to the Oct. 16 Arkansas Blog post "UA Little Rock picks firm to study football"

I guess UALR has money to waste. This study will probably conclude with the same results the 30 Crossing [study] did, i.e. this is a "have to" idea.


This whole "raising a kid" thing is closing up shop now, Junior somehow 18 years old this coming December and graduating soon after that.

A diner that's the real deal

Littlefield's on JFK.

Fantastic Negrito comes to South on Main

Also, Southern Avenue lands at Stickyz.

The casting couch

Long ago and far away, I had an academic superior who enjoyed sexually humiliating younger men. There was unwanted touching — always in social situations — but mainly it was about making suggestive remarks, hinting that being a "hunk" was how I'd got hired.

Inconsequential News Quiz: Operation I'm My Own Brother-In-Law Edition

Play at home, with your bicyclist-threatening machete close at hand!

Law stopped that would halt Planned Parenthood from providing abortions

Also, French Hill's hypocrisy, the First Amendment, yo, and more.

April Ryan speaks tonight at Philander Smith

April Ryan,who covers the White House for American Urban Radio, will open this year's edition of Philander Smith College's Bless the Mic Lecture Series at 7 p.m. today at the college.

If Cotton tapped for CIA, then what?

Times columnist Jay Barth speculates this week on the fallout should Sen. Tom Cotton be appointed as Donald Trump's CIA director (itself only speculation at this point).

UA is higher on Hogs financially this year

The football team is off to a rocky start, but the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville is nonetheless getting an added financial bonus from athletic efforts.

UPDATE: Amazon's HQ2 a no-go for Little Rock, but new PR campaign coming

Little Rock won't go after an Amazon headquarters after all. Instead, it launched a Love Little Rock public relations campaign.

Fountain Fest sculpture reveal tonight at the Arts Center

You'll have to go to the Arkansas Arts Center's Fountain Fest tonight to see how Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects' winning sketch was carried out as the temporary sculpture in the Carrie Remmel Dickinson fountain. The party, with food, drink and music, gets going at 5:30 p.m.

LR told D.C. before it told city residents it wasn't going after Amazon

Little Rock told Amazon it wouldn't be applying as a site for a new headquarters in a full-page ad published in this morning's Washington Post. It kind of jokes that Amazon would just mess up this wonderful city.

Arkansas Supreme Court orders gender neutral treatment of parents on birth certificates

As ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court, a fractured Arkansas Supreme Court today ordered that same-sex couples must be treated the same as opposite-sex couples in the issuance of birth certificates.

Legislators continue to advocate for race relations discussions

Senators Joyce Elliott and Jim Hendren discussed ways to continue discussions on race relations after the vote last month against their subcommittee.

'Dangerous' Tom Cotton

The Intercept reviews U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and doesn't much like what it sees of the "Trump whisperer" and his seeming ache to war with Iran.

Thursday's open line and the daily news roundup

The open line, plus today's news and comment.

Judge sets $17.6 million damages in deaths from botched 911 call

Circuit Judge Timothy Fox has awarded a $17.6 million default judgment against Candace Middleton, a former city of Little Rock 911 dispatcher who mishandled a call Jan. 14, 2013 on a traffic accident in which two people eventually died.

Rutledge goes to meddling again, this time to stop legal abortion in Texas

Thanks to Vanessa for noting that Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge had found another out-of-state case to stick her nose into, this time joining the Trump administration in preventing an undocumented 17-year-old immigrant from obtaining an abortion.

Deficits don't matter any more; tax cuts for the rich do

Remember when the crushing federal deficit was a primary point of Republican campaign attack?That was then.

Unemployment rate steady at 3.5 percent

The Arkansas unemployment rate in September held steady at 3.5 percent, with a rise in the workforce of almost 1,500.

Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Fatal shooting at Col. Glenn apartments

Little Rock police say Kordell Johnson, 19, died of gunshot wounds in a shooting before 11 p.m. Wednesday at apartments at 6200 Col. Glenn.

Try tailgating with Edwards – sausage and ground beef on sale now!

Edwards’s has everything you need for tailgating with friends and family this fall!

The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.

Guest Playlist: Alex Flanders of KABF-FM 88.3's "GIRLS!" gives a primer in advance of tonight's benefit show

Courtesy of Alex Flanders, host of KABF's GIRLS!, 27 tracks of further proof that women are behind some of the most inventive rock being made today.

Friday: An open line and closing thoughts

Friday's open line and the week-ending news wrapup.

Allan Siebert pleads guilty to tax evasion, illegal gambling

The U.S. attorney's office announced today that Allan Siebert, 75, of Little Rock had pleaded guilty to a two-count federal charge of tax evasion and operating an illegal gambling business.

12th person sentenced in food program fraud

The U.S. attorney's office has convicted all the people originally indicted in a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme using federal money distributed by the state Human Services Department to pay for meals for poor children.

The PR Stunt Edition

Little Rock’s Amazon PR stunt, the Tom Cotton to the CIA rumor, French Hill and Puerto Rico and UA-Little Rock's football future — all covered on this week's podcast.

Ethics Commission again says it has no power over Little Rock campaign issue

The state Ethics Commission has again said it has no power to enforce a city ordinance on campaign contributions to exploratory committees established by city candidates.

Errors and omissions: Little Rock mayor's race

Did Mark Stodola really say that? Did he really complain that his election opponents aren't obeying a city ordinance that he is also flouting?

The lying liars of the Trump administration and the missed point

John Kelly should apologize. There's too much he said/she said about combat deaths. Let's talk instead about what happened in Niger.

Saturday night live

The open line includes Bill O'Reilly news.

Hog football: The lawyers take over

If you believe social media, it's all over but the post-season buyout for Razorback football coach Bret Bielema. That means, in turn, that the issue of what the coach's contract buyout is worth is not just an academic question.

Freeways are falling out of favor. In some places, if not Little Rock

It's too radical for Little Rock's establishment, but the movement away from community-damaging urban freeways is increasing around the country.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's "French Connection" tackles Milhaud, Weill, Ravel and Debussy: A Review

The repertoire for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's "French Connection" is a lively mix, alternately voluptuous, inquisitive and goofy.

Sunday open line

The open line is open.

Might the Weinstein case lead to a safer world for women?

The exposure of Harvey Weinstein's serial offenses against women is quickly progressing far beyond the story of one man. It has begun to raise the question of whether it might, in time, change the world in treatment of women.

The Monday Democrat-Gazette was slimmer this morning

Did your Monday morning Arkansas Democrat-Gazette include a business section?

Potlatch acquires Deltic Timber

Two major woodlands companies, Potlatch and Deltic Timber, are combining in a stock deal that will leave Potlatch shareholders with 65 percent control of the new company, which will be organized as a real estate investment trust. Potlatch is acquiring Deltic by giving its shareholders 1.8 shares of Potlatch for each Deltic share, making the deal worth about $1.18 billion.

Arkansas cities fare poorly on LGBT equality, save Eureka and Fayetteville

The Human Rights Coalition has released of how some 500 U.S. cities stack up on equal treatment of LGBT people. On average, the eight cities ranked in Arkansas fared poorly.

Dear Little Rock,

This is not a love letter, Little Rock, though we do love you. This is an intervention.

Highway sanity spreads to Texas

What's this? A headline in a TEXAS newspaper that says adding lanes to freeways doesn't ease traffic congestion?

Sabin raises $100,000 for mayor's race

Michael Cook, a political consultant, has issued a news release saying state Rep. Warwick Sabin has raised $100,000 for his race for Little Rock mayor against incumbent Mayor Mark Stodola.

Criticism arises on Hutchinson appointee to dental board UPDATE

Criticism has arisen of Gov. Asa Hutchinson for not taking a Dental Association recommendation for a dental regulatory board appointment and appointing instead someone with a record of dental practice violations in the early 1990s.

Another week, another open line

The Monday open line and today's news and comment.

Brad Cazort to head Crime Information Center

Brad Cazort has been named director of the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

Review: Bruno Mars at Verizon Arena

Mars is sort of a modern-day Carmen, sauntering through his set as if "That's What I Like" were a rehash of Bizet's famed "Habanera" and blending cocky swagger with a pleading, vulnerable sensuality.

Sen. Trent Garner's fight for discrimination against gay people

The Democrat-Gazette today wrote about a topic, I've been trying to ignore. That is Sen. Trent Garner's latest publicity stunt, a "sermon protection" law that copies demagoguery pioneered in Texas.

Life imitates The Onion: First lady edition

Melania Trump on cyberbullying and kindness. No, it's not from The Onion.

Another central LR homicide

Little Rock police report a homicide about 2 a.m. today near 16th and Woodrow. Details coming shortly.

More details emerge in incident between community activist and LRPD

Little Rock Police Department's interaction with community activist Benny Johnson — in which officers mistook his cellphone for a gun, searched his apartment and pointed multiple guns at him — is worse than described in the police report, according to videos created by blogger Russ Racop recounting the incident.

Tenure debate brewing at the University of Arkansas

Much remains to be explored on this topic, but take note of a brewing academic debate in the University of Arkansas System, a proposal to change tenure policy.

A Halloweekend To-Do List

If you're on the fence as to how to spend the tail end of October, here are a handful of ideas.

27 layoffs announced at Democrat-Gazette, 86 in all at WEHCO newspapers

I'm tracking details  of further downsizing at WEHCO Media and its flagship property, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Tough times are being experienced by all in the publishing business thanks to advertising ravaged by the Internet.

Tuesday's open line

Here's the open line. Also, news and comment, from Donald Trump's latest to more bad news in the newspaper business.

Sen. Jeff Flake joins Bob Corker in repudiation of Donald Trump

Now two Republican U.S. senators have questioned Donald Trump's fitness for office.

Cotton, Boozman join anti-consumer vote in Senate

With Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie, the U.S. Senate last night wrecked consumer protection for bank and credit card customers by repealing a rule against forced arbitration of disputes. Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman voted against the consumer protection rule.

Another SWLR homicide

KARK is reporting that one person is dead and another wounded in a shooting earlier today at an apartment project in the 5000 block of West 65th Street.

Jan Morgan adds staff to campaign for governor

Jan Morgan, the gun range owner from Hot Springs who's "exploring" a Republican primary challenge from the far right to Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Facebook last night that she'd added a Republican campaign operative to her effort.

Examining 2016 vote shifts and the destiny of demographics

A 2016 election analysis finds a common theme in places where voters shifted dramatically in favor of the Republican presidential candidate.

Hot Springs, with Walton help, building new mountain bike trails

Hot Springs is embarking, with Walton Family Foundation help, on the construction of 44.6 miles of mountain bike trails, to be known as the Northwoods Trail System.

Immigrant teen obtains abortion

The Trump administration tried its damnedest to deny medical rights to an immigrant teenager, but the ACLU has announced she's obtained the abortion she sought, albeit much later than should have been required.

Pulaski County to offer free spay/neuter services

A voluntary 2016 tax on Pulaski County residents raised around $45,000 for the spay/neuter fund – $10,000 more than expected. Some of these funds will be put toward the county's first spay/neuter event, to be held Nov. 30 at the Little Rock Animal Village.

Over the hump

The Wednesday open line and the day's roundup of news and comment.

Mental health professionals, Bar Association ask governor for mercy for Jack Greene

Twenty-eight mental health professionals have written Gov. Asa Hutchinson for mercy for Jack Greene, scheduled to be killed by the state Nov. 9 for his capital murder conviction.

City raises concern about security for another entertainer, Jacquees Sunday at La'Changes

Little Rock police have again raised concerns about a black entertainer scheduled to appear in Little Rock because of problems at past concerts in other cities. The club hosting the R&B singer, Jacquees, says it's not even a concert.

Eddie Joe Williams to leave state Senate for Trump appointment to Energy Board

Sen. Eddie Joe Williams of Cabot said he'd been offered a  position on the Southern States Energy Board by Donald Trump and, when sworn in, will resign from the state Senate.

Mandela photographer to give talk

Matthew Willman, who was South African President Nelson Mandela's documentary photographer, will talk at the Clinton Presidential Center at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1. The talk is in conjunction with the Clinton Center exhibit, "Mandela: The Journey to Ubuntu," about the life of the extraordinary leader, which runs through Feb. 19, 2018.

Illustrator Nathalie Lecroc coming to Esse

Esse Purse Museum hosts “Petite Anthologie de Sacs: An Evening with Nathalie Lecroc,” with the French illustrator of women's handbags and their contents, from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. At the event, Lecroc, who has been illustrating purses for two decades, will reveal the contents of museum founder Anita Davis' purse and draw live at the event.