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What's cooking/Capsule reviews June 29

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What's cooking

Mike’s Place, the New Orleans-inspired steak and seafood restaurant in Conway with a private club liquor license, apparently has been so successful in its short life, owners Mike Coats and Mike Kraft are expanding their restaurant holdings. Michelangelo’s(obviously playing off the two Mikes’ names again) is in the construction phase in the same building that occupies Mike’s Place at Oak and Front streets, and the Italian-cuisine restaurant is targeted for a November opening. Kevin Barnes, the general manager at Mike’s Place, will move down to Michelangelo’s when it opens. While Mike’s Place faces Front Street, the opening of Michelangelo’s, at the end of the restored building, will be at 1117 Oak.

The newest Starbucks coffee shop in Little Rock, at 12901 Cantrell Road (Highway 10 and Sam Peck Road, west of Interstate 430), is scheduled to open Friday, June 30, a company spokeswoman says. The store manager is Tony Phillips.

Capsule review

UPDATE: CHEERS ON BROADWAY When you want a beefy burger you can’t finish, or maybe a hearty BLT, and a big old piece of coconut pie with a cream topping as thick as an iceburg, you’ll be satisfied at Cheers, on the ground floor of the Metropolitan National Bank Building. The menu of sandwiches and salad is consistently good, but if you don’t want your hamburger meat cooked through, you’ll have to tell the cook. The pies are made in-house, and worth the trip. This place is packed at high noon; try to go early or late. Capitol and Broadway. Beer and wine. $$ 372-5494 BL Mon.-Fri.

NEW: MACK’S FISH HOUSE For the longest, Mr. B’s in Heber Springs has had no peer when it came to catfish, but there’s a new kid in town and people are taking notice, judging by the crowd we encountered on a recent Saturday night. Mack’s cooks up great catfish, using a light, tasty breading and a fresh-tasting fish, and offers it in a variety of entree sizes, ranging from a 3-piece dinner (6.49) for smaller appetites to a 7-piece dinner (11.95) for the hungry sorts. They move the piping-hot fish out quickly, which is all the more important. All the typical sides are there, from your basic hushpuppies to a not-overly-creamy slaw that we just loved. Tartar sauce is made in house, in fact. And, besides catfish, there are hand-breaded shrimp dinners and, for the non-seafaring folk, chicken entrees and steaks. We saw a lot of folks trying the steaks, in fact, and we heard from others that the steaks were great, but we were on a catfish patrol this night, and we ended up happy. For that matter, we might as well confess how we found the place: Our old faithful, Mr. B’s, lost its electric power earlier in the evening and starting sending folks home, but we refused to be denied our quest for catfish, even if it meant driving a long ways. Fortunately for us, somebody mentioned a new joint east of town, and we soon happened on Mack’s, situated where Heber Springs has grown with a new strip mall and other businesses, where the Highway 25 bypass meets Highway 110 from town. Don’t miss Mack’s, and we’re going back for a steak and shrimp next time. 559 Wilburn Road, 501-362-6225. LD Mon.-Sat. $-$$. No alcohol, take out available.

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