A construction crew was busy last week bringing life to the Fassler Hall-Dust Bowl Lanes project on East Capitol Avenue in downtown Little Rock.
Remodeling is underway on both buildings — Fassler Hall at 307 E. Capitol, the old Paragon Printing building, owned by Central Arkansas Water, and the Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge at 315 E. Capitol next door, in the former M.M. Eberts American Legion Post.
The McNellie’s Group of Tulsa, the hospitality company behind the project, hopes both Fassler Hall, a German-style beer hall, and the Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge, an eight-lane bowling alley, will be open by late fall.
That’s according to Jim O’Connor, McNellie’s chief operating officer, who gave us a tour of the site. “We’d love to be open for the holidays,” O’Connor said.
A $1.3 million building permit was taken out for Fassler Hall and an $850,000 permit was obtained for the bowling alley. Central Construction Group of Little Rock is the general contractor on the project. The architecture firm is AMR Architects of Little Rock.
Initial plans called for a beer garden between the two buildings, but that has changed; the beer garden will now be on the west side of Fassler Hall. The restaurant will seat over 200 inside and over 100 in the beer garden. Inside Fassler Hall, diners will be seated at long communal tables. Tall windows at the front, on East Capitol, will bring in ample natural light.
Fassler Hall will focus on German beers as well as local brews, O’Connor said. And the menu will include six to eight house-made sausages, hand-cut French fries fried in duck fat and schnitzel.
Live music is also planned, O’Connor said. “Ideally, we’d like to set up a circuit with up-and-coming bands.”
Dust Bowl Lanes will be able to wall off two of its eight lanes for private parties of 16 to 20 people, O’Connor said.
The lounge of the bowling alley will be at the front of the building and will feature the original bar of the American Legion Post it once was. A karaoke room is also planned.
The Dust Bowl Lanes menu will be hamburgers and hotdogs, typical bar fare.
The bowling alley will be open to all ages during the day but at night will restrict customers to those 21 and over.
Fassler Hall and the Dust Bowl Lanes will be the 19th and 20th McNellie’s Group properties.