by Kat Robinson
UPDATE: Rumor confirmed. Not only will Ferneau remain chef, all employees will be retained. More details coming directly.
UPDATE II: See a release from Frank and Judy Fletcher about their acquisition of the restaurant on the jump.
Frank and Judy Fletcher of North Little Rock have purchased Ferneau Restaurant, Little Rock’s well-known and critically-acclaimed fine dining venue. The ownership transition will take place immediately, but without any interruption in the restaurant’s operations, with Donnie Ferneau continuing as Executive Chef.
The Fletchers’ business holdings include two restaurants, Benihana Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar and Riverfront Steakhouse, both located in their Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock. The Wyndham Benihana has received national recognition from Benihana International as the top Benihana Restaurant in the country, having earned this award despite competition with Benihana restaurants in the country’s major metropolitan areas. The Riverfront Steakhouse serves only Prime USDA certified beef, in addition to offering several seafood alternatives in a casual but upscale setting.
Although there will be gradual upgrades to enhance the restaurant’s already elegant décor and design, these upgrades will be made without any interruption in the restaurant’s operations and its hours of service will not be in any way affected. Frank Fletcher stated that he and Mrs. Fletcher are firmly committed to continuing to provide Ferneau patrons with the superb food, wine and service to which they have become accustomed at the restaurant’s venerable Hillcrest location. Mr. Fletcher also stated that, “Judy and I are excited about our purchase of Ferneau and we look forward to continuing — and even enhancing — its reputation as one of Arkansas’s premier fine dining experiences.