by Kat Robinson
And then came B-Side. It opened on a cold February day with only a little notice on Face book — and within a week and a half a crowd had packed in, spilling out to the doors on a Sunday morning. Menu items like Bacon Wrapped French Toast on a Stick and Beignets with Lemon Curd garnered attention, and the good cooking and variety of items kept customers coming back.
But how did Nancy Tesmer and Jeffrey Moore come up with the idea to start a breakfast-only restaurant in Central Arkansas?
I came to Little Rock eight yeas ago, and all I could see were the holes in the market. The biggest one was breakfast,” said Tesmer. “We had several places like IHOP and Denny’s, then we had the put-on-your-Sunday-best and go downtown to Ashley’s, and nothing in-between.”
Tesmer and fellow restaurateur Kathy Webb are already well known for Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some, which occupies the next space on the shopping center strip. In fact, B-Side occupies the space that used to be Lilly’s party room. But why would Tesmer and chef Jeffrey Moore want to tackle a breakfast-only restaurant?
"Simple, to fill in the price pocket and menu gap,” Tesmer answered. “Breakfast is my favorite meal. So in coming up with the concept - to bring a new twist to breakfast classics, unique to this restaurant. Our philosophy, like Lilly’s, is to be a good old school restaurant. If it doesn’t come in the back door looking good, it’s certainly not coming out the front door.”
“We get everyone in here,” Tesmer continued. “You’ll see men in business suits, and a guy in dreads at the next table. There’s no pattern here. Everyone comes in.”
“Just simple ingredients again,” said Moore, “that’s just good cheese, grits, milk, cream, butter and water. It’s just done well. Like hash browns. We take and poach our potatoes before we finish them so they’re crispy on the outside and creamy within.”
“Soups?” I asked. “For breakfast?”
“More for brunch. It’ll be something to warm up with.”
Tesmer and Moore have more ideas and projects coming up. If they’re half as successful with them as they’ve been with B-Side… we could find ourselves with even more dining options in Central Arkansas.
B-SIDE 11121 Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock. CC $$ (501) 554-0914 Wed.-Sun 8am-2pm.