Leverett Lounge restaurant, bar, and patio to open near UA

Bravissimo, a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin on a bed of Shaksuka red pepper sauce with feta, one of the featured small plates coming to the new Leverett Lounge

Courtesy photo

A new restaurant and lounge focused on a rotating menu of small plates, entrees, craft beer, and wine is set to soon open near the University of Arkansas.

Leverett Lounge, which will be operated by the creators of Little Bread Co. and the revitalized Maxine’s Tap Room, will share the building with Sit & Spin Launderette at 737 N. Leverett Ave.

The restaurant will take the place of the slider and donut concept that originally opened in the location.

Co-owner Ben Gitchel, who trained as a chef in New York’s French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center), said creating specials for the slider concept has rekindled his desire to get creative in the kitchen.

“I love to cook, and we have a staff made up of folks who really know their way around the kitchen,” Gitchel said. “It just seemed like we were limiting ourselves a little bit. I’m excited to put together a menu again, and kind of showcase what we can do.”

Gitchel said he plans to rotate the menu every few weeks with new seasonal creations.

Hannah Withers, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Gitchel, said getting to know the neighborhood these last several months also prompted the change.

“As we’ve gotten in touch with the character of this neighborhood, we felt like this is more in line with what the people who live around here want,” she said. “We want to create a gathering place for the neighbors, but also a destination for people from all over Fayetteville to get together for dinner or drinks, or just to hang out and share some small plates.”

A new patio with plenty of outdoor seating is in the works this week, along with some other remodeling projects to give the space a fresh look.

The restaurant will be open daily from 5-10 p.m. to start. The adjoining eco-friendly laundromat, still called Sit and Spin and owned by AB Merrit, will remain open 24/7 as before.

Withers said if all goes well, the new concept will be up and running in the next couple weeks.