News of three new eateries downtown has surfaced:
Ira Mittelman, owner of Ira’s Park Hill Grill, will move the restaurant to the historic Rose Building at 307 Main St.; he hopes to open by late spring. Mittelman, who opened Ira’s Park Hill Grill two years ago on JFK, will close that location. The new spot will be called simply Ira’s and will serve lunch, dinner and have a bar menu. He said he chose downtown because “that part of the city is just booming.” Thus will the 300 block be known as Food City: The restaurant will be the fourth on the block, joining Samantha’s Tap Room, Bruno’s Little Italy and Soul Fish Cafe. The Rose Building, designed by George R. Mann, architect for the state Capitol, was built in 1900 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was named after Uriah Rose; a statue of Rose is in Statuary Hall in D.C. The building’s first floor interior is gutted; Mittelman has already got the kitchen plans drawn up.
Ira’s Park Hill Grill has been sold to the owners of the Garden Bistro on North Hills Boulevard.
Coming soon to the space formerly occupied by Juanita’s, 614 President Clinton Ave., is Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe, which will serve asado, empanadas, chimichurri and other dishes reflecting the Italian and Spanish heritage of the owners, the Bruzatori family. The Bruzatoris have lived in Arkansas for 14 years. Flo Bruzatori, who will be working with her parents, Graciela and Guillermo Bruzatori, as well as a brother and sister, said cooking is what the family likes to do, though this will be their first brick and mortar venture. The cuisine matches the new identity of the space: it’s the home of Little Rock Salsa’s Club 27, which offers dancing and lessons in dancing to salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia and more on Friday nights.
The Potbelly Sandwich Shop chain will open at 401 W. Capitol Ave., in the Lyon Building. Potbelly, which also caters, serves up “original, flats or big” sandwiches, defined by the thickness of the bread, and “skinnies,” all under 400 calories. It also serves salads, soups, shakes, smoothies and other things that don’t start with an s, like baked goods. The shop should open this spring; it will be the second Potbelly in Little Rock. The first is located on University, in the Park Avenue shopping complex.