Foodies hungry for another option in the Heights might not have to wait much longer.
John Stephens, senior vice president at Stephens Inc. of Little Rock, gave a brief update last week on his and his wife Mary Olive Stephens’ new Italian restaurant, George’s, at 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock.
At last check, the restaurant, named as a tribute to some of the couple’s favorite restaurants abroad, was to open late last year after the renovation of the former Cafe Prego, worth at least $2.7 million.
Appearing on a panel at the Rotary Club of Little Rock on Tuesday, Stephens hinted that George’s, owned by his Kavanaugh Restaurant Properties LLC, is coming soon.
“I’m under strict instructions from my business partner that I can’t give any specifics, or openings,” he said to a laugh from the audience. “I’ll just say, warmer weather, summer 2023 — soonish — so, within a couple of months.”
Stephens, the son of Stephens President and CEO Warren A. Stephens, bought the former Cafe Prego site from General Enterprises Co. for $540,000 in April 2021.
George’s menu will feature “fresh, homemade Italian classics with a local spin.” But it’s not the only restaurant concept the couple is mulling.
Stephens said they also own property at the corner of Kavanaugh and North Fillmore Street, and it’s possible they’ll draw on their years living in London, when Stephens was an associate director of Stephens Europe, as inspiration for something new here.
“But we did have a great time in the U.K.,” he said. “I mean, I loved pub culture. I didn’t love pub food, and I’ll just leave it at that. Something maybe along those lines one day on that property.”