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What's cooking Jan. 12



Little Rock restaurateur Jerry Barakat has shrunk Jasmine’s and Sesame’s both by about a quarter, combined the two restaurants out on Rahling Road off Chenal Parkway in one room, and will be opening West Little Rock’s version of a piano-martini bar in the coming weeks in about half the space that had been Sesame’s.

The combined Jasmine’s-Sesame’s includes about 75 percent of the menus from the two restaurants — Jasmine’s is more Asian-fusion in a P.F. Chang’s style, while Sesame’s was Mediterranean deli meets the Cheesecake Factory. The new bar, named Jerry B’s, will have “live quiet” music entertainment, 50 types of martinis, TVs for sporting events and more.

While we were off a week and the Native’s Guide was substituted, this is what you missed (but we carried on our Arkansas News and our Little Rocking entertainment blogs):

You’ll find Beechwood Grill in Hillcrest at Beechwood and Kavanaugh temporarily closed for about the next two weeks as the restaurant undergoes a revamping: a paint job that will add warmer colors, the addition of more leather and a complete menu overhaul that will differentiate the restaurant’s lunch and dinner offerings. You also may find a new name though no new one had been chosen as of last week, according to owner Linda Bennett. Look later for an updating of the next-door Afterthought lounge, which Bennett and her husband also acquired recently. The bar will also be revamping its music lineup somewhat.

Iriana’s Pizza appears to be headed to the Heritage West building, which is home to the Arkansas Times. The popular lunch spot on West Markham has to vacate its present quarters, which will be torn down by owner Stephens Inc. in the coming months, and space formerly housing an art gallery on the bottom floor of Heritage West, 201 E. Markham St., became available at the first of the year.

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