Richard Davidson, founder and owner of the coming revival of German restaurant Mr. Dunderbak’s, has set an opening date: Dec. 10.
The restaurant was a popular feature of McCain Mall in North Little Rock from 1973 to 2000. Davidson is leaving retirement to reopen at the mall.
Davidson’s contractor was about 75 percent finished with renovating the restaurant’s new home in the mall last week, putting up awnings, installing countertops and doing other cosmetic work.
Despite popular demand, the restaurant will not have a loft as it did in its previous incarnation. There just wasn’t space for a loft, Davidson said.
Davidson has hired a restaurant manager, family friend Dan Simpson, and expected to start other hiring last week.
He’s also ordered the food. “We hope to open with full inventory,” Davidson said.
“Full inventory” includes bratwurst, soft pretzels, coffees, beer, wine and hard apple cider.
Dec. 10 will be the date of a soft opening, and a grand opening will follow the weekend after, complete with German musicians playing polkas to “get the people dancing out there,” he said.
Mr. Dunderbak’s new opening date is about three weeks behind its pre-Thanksgiving target date, Davidson said, due to early contractor trouble.
The original contractor he hired, Jim Norris with Little Rock’s Sphere Building Services, didn’t do much work and skipped town with $31,000 of Davidson’s money, he said.
“That just put us back three weeks, I guess. That’s another thing he did to us,” Davidson said. “We feel he’s out of state and nobody can find him.”
He and about five other similarly cheated customers in Arkansas want to sue Norris, if they can find him, Davidson said.
Whispers hasn’t been able to find a working phone number for Norris or Sphere Building Services. The Arkansas Better Business Bureau has issued an “alert” about the company, which first came to its attention in January.
“This business has a pattern of serious complaints alleging that consumers paid the business, in each case, over $20,000 for remodeling services which were never completed. Consumers have reported that the business abandoned jobs after completing only a portion of the projects contracted for. One consumer reported that the business caused substantial property damage in the course of providing services prior to abandoning the project,” according to the BBB’s website.