After launching in 2020 and serving out of a "ghost kitchen" for nearly three years, Certified Pies had already built a certifiable following of its hit pizzas, wings, pastas and calzones when it opened its brick-and-mortar doors at 9807 W. Markham St. in September.
Renovations at Breckenridge Village are still underway with several restaurants in the works, including a new Mt. Fuji space, a Flyway Brewing taproom and second locations for The Root Cafe and DeLuca's Pizzeria. Meanwhile the center's new coffee and comic book shop Neverwhere opened this summer.
At the corner of Rahling Road and Chenal Parkway, Blue Ember Smokehouse has plans to open in spring. This will be the fifth location for the barbecue joint, which has sites in Fort Smith and Jonesboro, as well as two in the works in Hot Springs and Texarkana. Across the street, Memphis-based City Silo Table + Pantry opened this summer in The Promenade at Chenal.
The buzz of the fall event season is slowly coming to an end, but not without a bit more community fun.
- Dec. 3: Christmas Market at Chenal on Rahling Circle
- Dec. 3-4, 7: River City Men’s Chorus holiday concert at St. James United Methodist Church
- Dec. 7-10: "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914" at Wildwood Park for the Arts
- Dec. 16: Ugly Sweater Race at Two Rivers Park
Since launching as a fitness group on Facebook in 2016, then as a business in 2020, Jolly Bodies has been winning over locals to its world of bright, fun-powered workouts. Now owners Lee Ann and Burke Jolly are ready to move out of their garage gym into a much (much) bigger space at 1521 Merrill Drive, Ste. D175. Jolly Bodies will offer sneak peeks throughout December before opening on New Year's Day, and memberships are available for presale now. But first, Soirée caught up with the Jollys to get the scoop on the new digs.
What can customers expect in the new gym?
JB: We sought to create a new fitness experience that combined the expertise found in boutique spaces, the square footage of a traditional multi-use gym, the individualization of a personal training program and the innovation of our favorite entertainment venues. We're ambitious, to say the least! It's taken us three years of nonstop planning out of our garage to get here, and we can't wait for Little Rock to experience it.
Our new space will debut with two large studio spaces under one roof, each with its own unique programming scheduled Monday through Sunday. We will offer six exercise formats that all incorporate varying levels of strength, cardio and mobility. Some have more cardio. Some are solely focused on building muscle. To provide a more customized approach to group training, each guest at JB will have access to our training planner to build their own personalized weekly training plan that's based on their specific goals. This means our guests don't have to guess which formats they should do on any given day; we tell them what class to do and what day to do it every week. Our goal is to do all the mental heavy lifting so they can focus on the bigger objective: having fun while they do the literal heavy lifting. Our guests should expect an immersive, energetic, whimsical environment that is designed to turn the world off so they can escape.
What was behind the decision to move?
JB: A team that refused to give up! We've always had our dream of seeing Jolly Bodies come to life in a large, multi-studio JB mothership. We knew from the get-go that we wanted the new JB 2.0 experience to be innovative, unconventional and fantastical (words that aren't used to describe a workout experience).
With any "outside the lines" vision in an industry, there's always challenges and pushback. For the last three years, the JB lab (our 550-square-foot garage-turned-workout studio) has provided us the space to continue running our business while simultaneously allowing us to develop and bring our wild and imaginative ideas to life. Everything Little Rock will come to experience at the new JB was tested with our JB lab members, who have provided a constant source of feedback, support and inspiration to us through thick and thin for three years. They are the wind beneath our Jolly wings.
How will the space change what you offer?
JB: Moving from 550 square feet to 10,000 square feet means that we have room to spread our wings and finally reveal what we've been planning from day one: a JB dreamhouse. It's going to be better than any mojo dojo casa house on the planet, and we promise we won't play guitar at you.
A few highlights of our new training facility include:
- two expansive group training studio spaces
- six signature exercise formats, each specializing in cardio, strength, mobility or a combination of these components (all classes are 30-45 minutes)
- 60 classes per week (Each day, a specific format will be offered five to six times per day per studio beginning at 5 a.m. on weekdays, with Saturday and Sunday offerings later in the morning.)
- "Splash and Dash" lounging rooms that include showers, changing rooms, restrooms and vanity areas stocked with high-end amenities to help you relax after a tough workout
After the March 31 tornado destroyed Rock City Running, the community rallied around the store owners with fundraising events and a lot of #shoplocal power. This summer, the store celebrated its 10th anniversary by reopening in its new location in the Market Place Shopping Center at 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road.
Shoppers will find some familiar faces with a new name in The Promenade. Antique Brick Outdoors has rebranded and moved from its downtown location to become Ninth and Co., an expansion of the home decor component of Antique Brick & Block, which remains downtown. Also in The Promenade, the adorable and family-owned CuteC Kids Boutique opened its doors last month across from DSW Shoes.
The Soap Factory also recently opened its sixth shop (its first outside of Tennessee) in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center.