Little Rock landmark Uncle T’s Deli Market will celebrate the grand opening of its second location Saturday in Conway, and the family behind the business aims to open five more in the next three years.
The Conway location, open since Friday, is Donaghey Hall, a $16.3 million mixed-use project owned by the University of Central Arkansas.
There, Uncle T’s is leasing 3,722 SF for five years. It will pay a base rate of $15 per square foot annually — or about $55,890 a year, or $4,657 a month.
Uncle T’s co-owner Ron Woods said his son, Bené, will manage the store and restaurant, which boasts a full delicatessen, including sandwiches, soups and salads; fresh produce; convenience store items; party trays; and free Wi-Fi.
Ron Woods said that, since the last big development for the businesss was moving to 1509 W. Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock 35 years ago, it was about time to expand.
“We had to choose between this location in Conway and a location we were looking at in west Little Rock,” he said. “We’ve already run that west Little Rock location through the Planning Commission. This location was a kind of a no-brainer. We didn’t have to build the building. We only had to do the finish-out.”
Woods said the owners thought that, given the foot traffic from UCA, students living in the hall’s upper floors, and traffic from the surrounding neighborhood coming by, the Conway site had the best chance of being a quick success.
Students moved into the dormitory-style second, third and fourth floors of the four-story, 67,500-SF hall in August. The first floor is home to other commercial tenants and a 1,000-SF “maker space” that is part of a public-private initiative called “Conductor” designed to drive entrepreneurship and innovation.
Uncle T’s is open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturdays.