THE RETURN: Brandon Brown is now running District Fare. District Fare Instagram

Tomas Bohm, the owner of The Pantry and The Pantry Crest, has sold District Fare, his Hillcrest sandwich shop at 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd., to Little Rock restaurateur Daniel Bryant. More big news: To run the deli, Bryant has hired Brandon Brown, who owned and operated Hillcrest Artisan Meats in the same location from 2014 until 2017, when Brown sold to Bohm.

At least for now, the name will remain District Fare. Don’t look for the name to return to H.A.M., Brown said. The hours, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., also remain the same, but may expand.
Brown has only been on the job for a little more than a week, but already he’s switched up the sandwich menu, adding several H.A.M. favorites and eliminating several in the District Fare lineup. Look for burgers at some point. He’s also greatly expanded the meat cabinet, with hanger steaks, rib-eyes and his popular sausages. He plans to expand District Fare’s grocery options; a wide variety of jams, sauces, condiments and treats were a hallmark of H.A.M. Brown said he’s especially excited to take advantage of District Fare’s meat curing cabinet. Already he’s filled it with duck prosciutto, duck ham and bresaola. He said the cured meats would be more competitively priced than they were under the previous ownership.

Brown and his wife, Tara Protiva-Brown, sold to Bohm to spend more time with their children and take a break. Brown did that and worked for a while at kBird. What drew him back? The creative freedom Bryant offered, and another opportunity to work with meat. Brown had been attached to another project of Bryant’s: the family friendly restaurant he and Doug Martin plan to build on the corner of Kavanaugh and Beechwood Street in the former home of Helmich garage. That restaurant is a long time out. Down the road at District Fare, look for Brown to test burger and sandwich recipes for the future restaurant, Bryant said.