Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hey man, sorry about your...uh...nevermind

Sorry I've been gone for a day or two, but it's been a busy week.

I saw this monstrosity this morning on the Bentonville Square. He made about five loops through downtown looking for that special parking spot that was big enough for his....uh, what do you call this anyway?

"Excuse me ma'am, there must be some mistake. I believe I ordered the "Large" SUV."

On another note, the Bride and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Icehouse's VIP party last night (see yesterday's post for a small picture of the Icehouse). My mother is in town, so last night we all walked over to the Icehouse and finally got to see the end product of all their hard work. And the free food wasn't bad, either.

I should say one thing, though. They are NOT open yet. They still have to pave their parking lot and submit some plans through the planning office, I believe, but as soon as they get that done, they'll be ready to open. Everything inside except for the extra patio room is ready to go. And MAN, did it look good in there last night.

We had some beef tenderloins that were so soft that they almost melted in our mouths, and some kickass caramel covered cheesecake that will no doubt be the cause of me running two miles at the gym this afternoon rather than my usual one. After eating, we meandered over into the bar/music area, and listened to the rock cover band that one of the owners plays drums for. The Bride loved it, as they played a bunch of cheesy rock songs from the 80's and 90's. Good stuff, though. They've really done the inside of the place right. There's an ice bar built in to one of the bars, where the top surface of the bar is frozen, keeping your frosty beverages frosty. And there's pool tables and comfy chairs all over the place. Tons of beers on tap, and their menu that we got to look at is very reasonably priced. I think they're going to have a diverse crowd, which will work out fine because the inside is made up of four different rooms. They had 20 dollar steaks, down to a 6 buck burger, so they haven't priced themselves out of downtown like the Bristol did, (which, incidentally, isn't NEARLY as nice as the Icehouse.) The Sanctuary is a different story; it's an extremely nice restaurant where you feel like you get what you pay for with a 28 dollar entree.

I'll let everyone know just as soon as they're open, because you'll have to check it out. There's definitely no place like it in Bentonville or Rogers, and I'd put it up against nearly any place in Fayetteville. Definitely distinct, with more character than anything on bland "restaurant row."

And Matt, getting their liquor license was the hardest part for them. They had to go before the ABC board in Little Rock, because of the fact that the old icehouse building sits in the middle of a neighborhood, but was zoned neighborhood commercial. There was some heavy opposition to them getting a license, but mostly because they thought it was going to be a rowdy, Dickson street-type college bar. They were always aiming to be a much more classy place than that. The most vocal opposition to them lives right behind the building, and she's changed her tune a little bit after seeing that they've been good neighbors so far, but I'm sure she's still not crazy about it. I talked to one of the owners last night, and he said they've tried to kill her with kindness and it's really helped to smooth things out.

Rita, I think all of our fears about it being a rowdy place will probably prove to be unfounded. The band was playing LOUD last night, and once we got outside, we couldn't hear a freaking thing because of the 3-foot-thick concrete walls. The patio ended up getting closed-in, and they allow smoking inside, so there's no need for people standing around in the parking lot smoking and making lots of noise. I wouldn't imagine there would be tons of foot traffic, although people who live within a reasonable distance of the place may choose to walk. (Like us) I'd give it a month after they open and see if it gets rowdy. I'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt, but I guess we'll see. Sounds like you live closer anyway.

Isn't it nuts how far the sound travels from the football stadiums on Thursday and Friday nights? I can hear the PA announcer as clear as day.

Worth reading today:

• Check out Matt's take on the first grand jury in Benton County in 25 years that convened this morning in the Hamley case. They started jury selection after Prosecuting Attorney Robin Green declined to indict Trooper Larry Norman, instead placing that decision in the hands of the people.

• The U.S. raised fuel standards on SUV's and pickups significantly. Big trucks still appear to be exempt, but you can read more about it right here.

• The Max Emfinger high school all-star football game is coming to Tiger Stadium in Bentonville. I'll have more on this later.

That's it for me. Have a good one people.