George's Italian Restaurant Coming to Former Cafe Prego Location


John and Mary Olive Stephens have announced plans to open an Italian restaurant called George's at the former Cafe Prego location in Little Rock.

The restaurant, named as a tribute to some of the couple's favorite restaurants abroad, is set to open in the Heights neighborhood in late 2022. The menu will feature "fresh, homemade Italian classics with a local spin," according to a news release. In addition to three dining rooms, the restaurant will have an outdoor patio and a hidden speakeasy bar.

The property at 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. is also getting a new look. Renderings show the red exterior of the building will be replaced with a white and green color scheme that will "blend into the fabric" of the neighborhood with respect to the original house’s Tudor design, the release says. 

Activity at the property was reported in a Whisper in January. East Harding Inc. of Little Rock applied to the city for a building permit for a project valued at $2.7 million. The project was described as a complete renovation along with an addition. A new kitchen was listed among the changes.

Stephens is a senior vice president at Stephens Inc. and son of Warren A. Stephens, the company's president and CEO.

The younger Stephens' Kavanaugh Restaurant Properties LLC purchased the former Cafe Prego site from General Enterprises Co. for $540,000 in April. 

Cafe Prego closed in late 2020 after being in business for about 20 years.