Restaurateur Mark Abernathy says he plans to start construction in March or April of next year on Lyne Bob's, his long talked about restaurant just off the corner of Woodrow and Seventh Streets, near the Woodrow St. exit on the Wilbur D. Mills Expressway. Abernathy says he's secured all zoning approvals and is currently working on blueprints and designs. The restaurant, which Abernathy hopes to open in early fall 2008, will specialize in barbecue, grilled meats, fish and soul foods.
Velo Rouge Brasserie has opened on the corner of President Clinton Ave. and Cumberland in the space that once housed Nu. The brasserie is the first concept developed by the Riviera Restaurant Group, a team of investors that includes Nu's Rebekah Hardin; she declined to identify other investors. Little Rock native Robbie Lewis, who's currently the executive chef at San Francisco's Bacar, will pull double duty as executive chef for Riviera. He'll return to Arkansas month to month to supervise Velo Rouge and to monitor progress on Restaurant Artesia, the second project Riviera is planning for the Heritage East building. Lewis says Artesia will be more of a “chef-as-artist-restaurant” that will reflect his cooking style. He hopes to open the restaurant by Valentine's Day 2008. For more details, visit the Times' food blog, Eat Arkansas.