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Downtown mission

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Last weekend’s news about Fellowship Bible Church decision to sell most of its Hinson Road campus to Pulaski Academy included a mention that the church’s expansion plans include a new downtown satellite. The megachurch has existing partnerships with schools and churches in the area south of midtown, but its membership hails mainly from outside Little Rock’s urban core.

Where would Fellowship locate downtown, we wondered? Who did they envision joining?

Tim Lundy, teaching pastor at Fellowship, said the downtown branch is part of the church’s evolution into a “multi-site” model, where each branch has its own ministerial staff and Sunday services, but generally watches the same sermon via video feed. There’s no location yet for the downtown site, but Lundy said the church hopes to have a functioning congregation there within two years — the same timeline for building a new main campus further west, likely on Highway 10, and another satellite in Cabot.

“We don’t want to get behind the curve so that we’re scrambling to catch up, but we don’t want to be too early and struggle to get momentum,” Lundy said.

They’d target newer residents of downtown, he said, and might even encourage some current Fellowship members to move downtown to help get things started.

Eat Little Rock

Come Feb. 6 and 7, Little Rock foodies might want to keep an eye out for a familiar face: Food Network personality Rachael Ray, who’ll be in town to shoot an episode of her show “Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels.”

Supervising producer Wade Sheeler said the “budget and tip related” show will showcase Little Rock restaurants that embody four themes: political haunts; locals’ faves; down-home cooking; and places to go after dark.

“That doesn’t mean Rachael will be going to all these places, but we will be filming there,” Sheeler said. “It’s kind of like flipping through a magazine.”

Wade said the show will spotlight Cotham’s, Doe’s Eat Place, Cafe 42 in the Clinton Library, Damgoode Pies, Brave New Restaurant, Loca Luna, Whole Hog Barbecue, The Faded Rose, Homer’s, Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack and Juanita’s. No air date is set.

Get your buzz on

Little Rock developer Hank Kelley will add a Starbucks in July to his new shopping center at the intersection of Sam Peck Road and Highway 10. He says it will be the first Starbucks in the city to be built for the company itself and to its specifications, as opposed to using existing structures.

The state of the race

Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey is slated to give his state of the city speech next week, but we’re told it isn’t likely to deal with the political question of the day, whether he’ll seek re-election this year. We’re still guessing the answer is no and that the announcement will come in the spring.

Who’ll run? City Director Barbara Graves has told close friends she’s in. No decision yet from Directors Dean Kumpuris or Michael Keck. It’s dangerous to make predictions about former Sen. Bill Walker. But we’ll predict that he won’t. Mark Stodola, the former city attorney and prosecutor, is also thought to be a potential candidate.

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