Less than three weeks after the North Little Rock City Council announced that the city would host the state’s newest entertainment district, the Argenta Outdoor Dining District is open.
The Argenta Outdoor Dining District is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The district includes Main Street from 8th Street to Broadway, 4th Street from Maple to Poplar and Argenta Plaza. The sidewalks were marked with boundaries on Thursday to ensure that customers will stay within the designated area.
The entertainment district will allow patrons to enjoy Argenta eats in a socially-distant fashion and carry drinks within the district’s boundaries.
Participating businesses will be marked with a window sticker to let customers know its policy on alcoholic beverages.
“Participating locations have a window sticker to let patrons know they may leave with a drink if the business sells alcohol, or may enter with a drink if the business does not,” says a North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau press release.
The decision to open the Argenta Outdoor Dining District is a result of North Little Rock Mayor Joe A. Smith’s urgency to support small businesses in the area.
“Our Argenta businesses have been hit especially hard, because the neighborhood thrives on an atmosphere of togetherness,” Chris Kent, Executive Director of the Argenta Downtown Council, said in a statement. “The live performances and events that are part of the Argenta experience have, for good reason, been put on hold. This outdoor dining district allows us to recapture some of that spirit, but in safe ways.”
According to Stephanie Slagle, North Little Rock Convention and Visitor Bureau marketing director, the district is getting creative with new ways to cater patrons who hope to enjoy the entertainment district safely.
“Aside from adding outdoor seating at their businesses, the downtown restaurants are already brainstorming about creative ways they can collaborate to use the district for serving and entertaining their patrons in a safe, outdoor environment. In the immediate future, the North Little Rock CVB is working on an outdoor seating area – similar to but smaller than Flyway Brewing’s “Tent City” – a couple of times a week. This could help those restaurants that don’t have a patio space or enough room on the sidewalk in front of their business. As far as downtown events go, and specifically in Argenta Plaza, we are keeping an eye on the ever-changing rules for events, advising and working with event organizers, and thinking up creative ways we can safely get together for free, public events like Art Walk,” she said.
Participating restaurants in the Argenta Outdoor Dining District include Brood & Barley, Cregeen’s Irish Pub, Crush Wine Bar, Flyway Brewing Four Quarter Bar (temporarily closed for renovations), The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse and Skinny J’s.