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    Little Rock eateries feed construction boom

    5:51 PM, Apr 25, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Central Arkansans can look forward to new choices when it comes to eating out. Several new eateries are popping up around the area, and it seems that Little Rock is experiencing a restaurant boom.

    With the economy on the upswing, restaurants are setting their sights on Little Rock, and investors say their tapping into a growing community.

    Area Supervisor for Chuy's restaurants, Philip Lazenby said they've had a following in Arkansas for a while.

    "There's high energy people, [and] new businesses coming to town. Great family area of town, and families love our restaurant, and that's why we chose here," he explained.

    Lazenby said Chuy's is excited to bring their Tex-mex to Little Rock.

    "We're just growing like crazy, and we've had lots of contact and lots of interest to come here," Lazenby added.

    They're not the only dining establishment drawn to the area. Just across the way, Mellow Mushroom, a pizza joint is getting ready for their summer opening.

    Lance Turner, Interactive Editor for Arkansas Business said a growing economy is to thank.

    "I think restaurants see this as a place where people are spending again, and there's a food scene here

    On Markham near UAMS, another eatery is prepping for its opening day. Slim Chickens, A Fayetteville-based company has taken over the old Backyard Burger location.

    "Every new business is going to attract somebody down here, and we have an opportunity to meet some new customers, and we're excited about that," said Lazenby, who is excited about the competition. "So, the more the merrier. I hope there's a whole lot that comes this way."

    Turner said investors see Little Rock as a desirable market for dining out.

    "It may be kind of a hidden secret that we've got this restaurant scene that has performed well in the past, and now that the economy is opening up again a little more, it's poised for that kind of a comeback," Tuner concluded.

    Chuy's and Slim Chickens  are both slated to open in early May.

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