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Entries - Entry Category: Foodways - Starting with D

Diamond Bear Brewery

Diamond Bear Brewery in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) revived beer brewing in the state of Arkansas. Its name is derived from two previous monikers used by Arkansas: the “Diamond State” and the “Bear State.” Russ Melton, president and chief executive officer of Diamond Bear, served in the military in Germany for four years, where he acquired a taste for fine beers. He and his wife, Sue Melton, came up with the concept of a local brewery in 1999 and, along with seven other owners, started production in the fall of 2000 at a Little Rock (Pulaski County) facility. The mission statement of the company is: “To provide the people of Arkansas and the surrounding region with their own local brewery, which produces great …


In nineteenth-century Arkansas, the distilling of spirits was done mostly for home consumption. Some small-scale distillers set up taverns in their homes or supplied nearby drinking establishments, and several larger operations emerged by the late 1800s. Distilleries at that time were plentiful and could be found all throughout the state, although prohibition efforts in the early twentieth century put an end to legal distilling in the state for many years. In the twenty-first century, the state’s handful of distilleries focus mostly on small-batch specialty spirits. Newspapers of the 1800s frequently advertised distilleries that were opening, closing, or up for sale. One such example was a steam distillery located on Mine Creek in Hempstead County that was listed for sale in …

Dixie Cafe

The Dixie Cafe was a chain of home-cooking restaurants based in Little Rock (Pulaski County) that grew into twenty-three locations in three states before abruptly closing in late 2017. In August 1980, Little Rock businessman Dan Lasater, who had founded the Ponderosa steakhouse chain, and partners Garland Streett and Allan Roberts bought a building at 1220 Rebsamen Park Road in Little Rock and announced they were going to convert it into a new restaurant as part of the Black-eyed Pea chain (based in Dallas, Texas), which offered home-style cooking in a casual dining atmosphere. The new restaurant opened in late October 1980. “The food comes close to rivaling that of smaller, well-established restaurants,” an Arkansas Gazette reviewer wrote in November …