The fire that broke out around 11 a.m. Monday morning at Midtown Billiards caused enough damage to suspend operations for a yet-to-be-determined period of time at the stalwart staple of pre-dawn debauchery in Little Rock’s South Main District.
General Manager David Shipps reports that he will do what it takes to open again, and several groups have announced efforts to support the establishment’s employees in the interim. Conan Robinson of Argenta’s Four Quarter Bar, who worked as a manager and bartender at Midtown from 2000 until 2015, says that all $7 cover charges collected for Saturday’s performance from The Great Whiskey Rendezvous will go to support Midtown employees, as will the band’s earnings. Robinson credits Midtown owner Maggie Hinson with helping him launch Four Quarter, which he says is “almost like a sister bar to Midtown.”
An impromptu benefit show at Stickyz Friday night has been scheduled, featuring performances from Go Fast, Dangerous Idiots and American Lions, 9 p.m. Admission is donations-based, 100 percent of which will go to Midtown staff.
Tuesday night, Ernie Biggs hosts a party for Midtown staff, featuring performances from Big Brown, Paul Grass and Luis Mondragon, 9 p.m. Admission is also donation-based.
Midtown Billiards — longtime home of sumptuous burgers served in red-and-white-plaid paper boats, walls whose graffiti details decades of Little Rock love triangles, bottle tosses and indiscretion — was founded in 1940, has been in its current location since sometime
in the 1970s and is one of only a handful of establishments with licenses that
allow alcohol to be sold into the wee hours of the morning.