I don't know why, maybe it was the thought of the old Gators on the River that had me a little worried about what the Salty Parrot would turn out to be when I joined the media and LR/NLR city officials for a grand opening of the place yesterday.
Man, somebody has spent some jack on this nice place. "Dive" it is not, but it's much more like those cool, breezy bars you find along the Redneck Riviera (Destin, Seaside, Orange Beach). The food we sample last night was good, especially the onion rings (finally, somebody around here has duplicated that fabulous onion rings we used to get in Fayetteville at the old B&B). The steel drum band might have been a little loud, but it was all festive and fun.
The Salty Parrot is still testing driving with some special parties around the happy hour time, including today, but it's open to the public tonight, and ImprovLittleRock will be performing on the Salty Parrot stage starting at 8:30 p.m. So, get one of those breezy drinks like you'd get at the Keys and sit back and enjoy some talented local improv.
The Salty Parrot is behind the NLR seawall on Riverfront Drive, alongside the Arkansas Queen riverboat and its tugboat (the old Gator's in fact). There's plenty of parking. If you're like me, and if you were expecting something thrown together, you'll be stunned.
It's going to be open only from April to October. And yes, it does get hot in Arkansas, but they've made plans for that too with a micro-drop cooling system with its multitude of ceiling fans that is said to lower the temperature 20 degrees while still keeping the windows open for that ocean-like breeze off the river. Close your eyes and picture yourself at Skinny Legs on St. John, U.S.V.I.