A few months ago we spoke with Ashlee Long, a former bartender at Diversions. This summer the tapas bar closed unexpectedly, and she and a friend, Christy Smiley-Long, took over the lease with plans to open their own cafe. On November 1, Next had its grand opening, featuring rock duo Jessica and Ryan Carter.
"Business is amazing. I'm so thankful and blessed," Long said. "We've been busy since we've been open." She plans to book live music for Next every weekend, but she probably won't ever charge a cover. Currently Next only offers a handful of sandwiches and appetizers and one dessert. The cheese dip, a blend of several cheeses, guacamole, tomatoes and spicy seasoning, has sold out every night. After Thanksgiving, Long said the cafe will have a more fleshed menu. There's a party room, painted bright blue, and a mural by Little Rock artist and salon owner E.C. Haynes. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. till 2 a.m., and Saturday 5 p.m. till 1 p.m. The address is 2611 Kavanaugh.