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MAIN

1200 - 1500

Project Main Street

1100 to 2500

Sometime in early summer, the city plans to resurface and restripe South Main from I-630 to Roosevelt. The restriping will see the main traffic lanes drop from four to two. One of the old lanes will become a turning lane, and the space the other occupied will be split between two designated bike lanes. The estimated cost is $460,000. Ninety percent of that will be funded through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department’s State Aid Street Program. The city will pay for the remaining cost. Ed Sergeant, an architect with Polk Stanley Wilcox, conceived Project Main Street, pro bono, after the SoMa group asked him to consider it. Sergeant said that the typical way to make a street more pedestrian friendly involves moving curbs closer to traffic lanes or adding speed tables. Those sorts of measures also cost a lot. Instead, Sergeant drew inspiration from Madison Avenue in Memphis, which implemented a similar scheme in 2011. It’s a relatively quick and easy method for making roads more pedestrian and bike friendly that he hopes the city will use in other areas as well.

Joe Fox

Community Bakery

1200 S. Main St.

Community Bakery is South Main’s Rock of Gibraltar. The business began in 1947, moved to 14th and Main in 1952 and to the sunny corner of 12th and Main in 1993. Owned by Joe Fox since 1983, the bakery anchors the sprightly, grass-roots development in SoMa, Southside Main Street, which has taken off in the past few years thanks to neighborhood boosters, the Downtown Little Rock Community Development Agency and private investment.

Harris: New program director for the Oxford American's South on Main

The Oxford American

1300 S. Main St.

The Oxford American magazine signed a five-year lease in 2011 on the building that formerly housed Juanita’s Restaurant for its business offices, a restaurant and special events programming. Chef Matthew Bell will serve, not surprisingly, Southern dishes in the restaurant, South on Main, though a February opening date has come and gone without even a bit of grits. OA publisher Warwick Sabin and new program director Ryan Harris have big ideas for the venue: a film series, musical events, readings and more in an urban chic setting.

Bernice Sculpture Garden

Bernice Sculpture Garden

14th and Daisy Bates S. Main

Anita Davis is a SoMa angel investor who has brought the east side of the 1400 block of South Main to life. One of her first projects was to turn an empty lot where a fast-food restaurant once stood into the Bernice Sculpture Garden in 2008; she hosts a sculpture competition every year for the public (but privately owned) garden. The Bernice also hosts a Farmer’s Market on Sundays in summer, the annual Cornbread Festival, artisan markets and other special events.

StudioMain

StudioMain

1423 S. Main St.

The Green Corner Store, in the 1905 Lincoln Building, is literally on the corner, its front door facing the point where 15th and South Main meet. It’s green too, serving locally-made Loblolly ice cream from the soda fountain that operated there for 60 years and selling Arkansas-made T-shirts, clothing and jewelry. It opened in 2009 and for years was catercornered to the empty Sweden Creme burger joint. No more. Now you can go straight from the store to the Root Cafe (or vice versa) at 1500 S. Main St.

StudioMain grand opening, February 2012

Former home of Pleazures, Job Corps Center

1324 S. Main St.

Cassie Toro, a Jonesboro native who moved to Little Rock from Charlotte, N.C., three years ago, bought these properties last year from the Lendermon family; Lendermon Paint once occupied the corner building. A total of 3,300 square feet in the back of 1324 Main is leased to fitness studio Krav Fit; Toro is not sure how she will develop the 3,000 or so square feet in the front of the building and the 7,000 square feet in the two-story 1318 building (once home to Community Bakery), which has tin ceilings and “lots of potential.” In removing the old facade of the building Toro discovered Art Deco glass tiles; she hopes to find more as the remainder of the facade is torn down.

The Green Corner Store

The Green Corner Store

1423 S. Main St.

The Green Corner Store, in the 1905 Lincoln Building, is literally on the corner, its front door facing the point where 15th and South Main meet. It’s green too, serving locally-made Loblolly ice cream from the soda fountain that operated there for 60 years and selling Arkansas-made T-shirts, clothing and jewelry. It opened in 2009 and for years was catercornered to the empty Sweden Creme burger joint. No more. Now you can go straight from the store to the Root Cafe (or vice versa) at 1500 S. Main St.

Working the counter: The Root's Corri Bristow Sundell.

The Root Café

1504 S. Main St.

Jack and Corri Bristow Sundell opened The Root Cafe in 2011, and since then it has not only brought fame and the hungry to SoMa but has made a national splash as well in Garden & Gun magazine as THE place to eat in Arkansas. The Sundells labored for years to get their business plan just right, so it’s no wonder it’s a smash hit. It’s tiny too, adding a bit of suspense and excitement to the city’s prime, genuine locavore locale: Will we be able to eat inside? Will we get a table outside? Will it be OK to eat the Root’s fabulous hamburgers and fit in a homemade ice cream sandwich at the Green Corner Store across the way?

The Purse Museum

The Purse Museum

1510 S. Main St.

Anita Davis is putting her pocketbook into the former Stageworks Building — literally. She bought the building in 2011 to put on display her collection of purses, a museum that will use handbags from the turn of the century to today to tell the story of women. Little Rock designer Kwendeche is putting together the museum, which Davis hopes to open by late spring.

Taggart Architects' rendering of a possible development at Main and Roosevelt, "The Gateway."

Main and Roosevelt

St. John Baptist Church, which owns property on all four corners of the intersection of South Main and Roosevelt and is located on the southeast corner, is in the early planning stages for a project called The Gateway, a development that would tie in with SoMa design and include retail, live-work space and a park with bandstand. It’s all in the conceptual stage now; TAGGART Architects is helping with the design.