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Prep Continues as David’s Burgers Flips River Market Location

2 min read

The David’s Burgers location in Little Rock’s River Market District has run into some delays, but David “Alan” Bubbus Jr., owner of the burgeoning restaurant chain, is hoping it will be open by spring, maybe in April.

Bubbus is still working on all the necessary city permits for the old Dickinson Hardware Co. building, the space formerly occupied by Boulevard Bread at the east end of Ottenheimer Market Hall.

The Dickinson Hardware building, constructed in 1894, is adjacent to and part of Ottenheimer Hall, built in the 1990s.

“When you’re dealing with a building that old, utilities for a high-volume restaurant, like a grease trap, electrical, plumbing, making sure that everything is up to current code and specs — it’s a huge headache,” Bubbus told Whispers.

“Just talking about it out loud, it hurts my head. I normally like to go into buildings that are already done for that reason.”

David’s Burgers has three locations in Little Rock, one in North Little Rock, one in Maumelle and one in Conway. The River Market will be the chain’s seventh location. And Bubbus expects it to be a popular one.

“I’m hoping so. I’m really excited about it. The Flying Fish does great business down there,” he said.

Bubbus, the son of David Bubbus Sr., himself a long-time Arkansas restaurateur, expects David’s Burgers to appeal to families.

“You know, if you’ve got a family of five and you go to the River Market to eat, it’s very difficult to go somewhere that’s family-oriented and also where you can eat for 50 bucks,” he said. “And you can take a family of five and eat for $40 at our place.”

The River Market location will have the same menu as the other David’s Burgers, Bubbus said.

The remodel is on track to cost him more than $250,000, he said.

David’s Burgers’ sales were $6.7 million last year, and Bubbus, a member of Arkansas Business’ 2015 class of 40 Under 40, employs more than 150 workers.

(Unfortunately, Act 1102, which went into effect in June, exempts local option taxes, also called hotel-motel-restaurant or HMR taxes, from public release under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. That means Arkansas Business can no longer provide restaurant sales figures, including the latest figures on David’s Burgers. The act was sponsored by state Rep. Micah Neal of Springdale, owner of Neal’s Café.)

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