Starving Artist Cafe
411 Main Street
North Little Rock, AR
Owner: Paula and Jason Morell (restaurant) / New Argenta Fund (building)
Developer: Vanadis 3
Architect / Designers: HDMS Architects
Contractor: Dave Grundfest Company
Owners: Starving Artist Café, in the 400 block of downtown Main in the Argenta Historic District, is build behind a historic storefront. The restaurant revolves around tasty, healthy food and beautiful artworks by local artists. Owners Paula and Jason Morell frequently invite artists in to set up shop, work on their art, and even sell their art in person.
The Morells are talented artists in their own right. Paula is an artist and writer, while Jason has been a chef in New Orleans and also helped to open Sonny Williams in Little Rock.
The Morells operated the Starving Artists Café in Little Rock for a time, but they relocated to the current location to take advantage of outdoor dining and greater seating capacity. The Café boasts 2600 square feet of space, without counting the courtyard.
Scope of Project: Vanadis 3 worked with the architects, contractor and owners on this unique redevelopment project. The building, originally built in 1927, originally housed a retail store; it stood vacant for a number of years before being renovated (in compliance with National Park Service guidelines for historic rehabilitations) into the Starving Artist Café.
The renovation team preserved the building’s original pressed tin ceiling, plaster walls and historic windows, while repairing significant water damage and installing new electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems and a new roof. Also, the back portion of the building, which had been an addition to the historic structure, was removed, making way for an open-air outdoor dining courtyard. Exposed stone walls and an exterior pressed tin ceiling add to the charm of the outdoor area.