After receiving a $15,000 grant, the district hopes to open a semi-permanent outdoor experience by March 2021.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Tents in the parking lots throughout the Soma District in downtown Little Rock have provided an outdoor dining experience for customers throughout the summer months. They’ll be closing for the winter.
“You know, it was just getting so cold. It felt like sort of the outdoor dinning scene just came to an end for the most part,” said Jack Sundell, co-owner of The Root Cafe in the district.
He says they received a $15,000 grant from Main Street America. They’re looking to building a semi-permanent structure similar to an outdoor patio by March of 2021.
“It’ll be good for restaurants and bars to use as the pandemic continues into the spring time, but once the pandemic it’s just going to be a really nice outdoor gathering dining space for folks in the SoMA neighborhood,” he said.
The SoMA Outdoor Dining District offered safe entertainment for diners, vendors, and restaurant owners.
Dayshawn Lafaye is a local vendor who says she heard about the tents too late.
“I didn’t even know it was available to me, and then I found out that this was available and they took them down so I was like, ‘awe man,'” said Lafaye.
She’s looking forward to the spring project.
“Maybe we just kind of have to hit and miss where we can through the winter months, but it’s something great to look forward to,” Sundell said.