Little Rock certainly didn’t need one less Italian restaurant and George’sa new restaurant by the natives of Little Rock, married couple Mary Olivier and John Stephenswill continue the tradition of Italian cuisine in the old Cafe Prego space at 5510 Kavanaugh Boulevard in the Heights. Cafe Prego – the consistent “rustic ramshackle charmer”, like the Arkansas Times the staff once said, was opened by Louis Petit in the early 90s on Grant Street in the current location of Fantastic China, then moved to Kavanaugh in the mid 90s – permanently closed in 2020.
A statement from the restaurant says George’s name, decor and atmosphere are inspired by some of Olive and Stephens’ favorite restaurants during trips abroad. It will feature three distinct dining areas, an outdoor patio and a hidden speakeasy bar. A press render teases what looks like a complete makeover with a green and white exterior design that “will blend into the character-rich fabric of the Heights neighborhood compared to the Tudor design of the original home.” The menu is said to offer fresh, homemade Italian classics with a local twist.
George’s is expected to open in late 2022. A visit to the website’s homepage reads ‘Opening soon, but not too soon’. Follow the evolution here or on his Instagram.