Little Rock Loop
riding the trolley to River Market
Getting around downtown and the Rivermarket is easy! Little Rock has three replica vintage trolleys operating on the 2.5-mile route. The River Rail route includes Alltel Arena, the Statehouse Convention Center, the River Market itself, both state houses, the historic Argenta neighborhood, numerous restaurants and hotels, the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Museum of Discovery, the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System, two Chambers of Commerce, courthouses, the Robinson Auditorium Concert Hall, the Riverfront Amphitheater and more. Hotels that can be reached on the River Rail include the DoubleTree Hotel, the Capitol Hotel, the Peabody Hotel (home of the ducks) and the Courtyard By Marriott.
In 1980s and 1990s, the Little Rock River Market area was a run-down, desolate part of Arkansas’ capitol city that few people ever visited. Like many cities around the country, Little Rock struggled for years with problems of its downtown business district losing businesses and restaurants to the ever-expanding suburbs. The downtown Little Rock area could very easily have been described as a ghost town.
at river market
The vision of the current River Market District has been attributed to mainly one man – Jimmy Moses of Moses Tucker Real Estate based in Little Rock. The original idea for a riverfront downtown area was crafted, like all great ideas, on the back of a napkin as he traveled back from a visit to Pike Place Market in Seattle in the early 1980s.
Touch the Sky
The need to create an area in downtown Little Rock which would serve as a cultural and entertainment district led Moses to take the idea to the city board in 1990. Moses, convinced of the necessity of this downtown district, strongly advocated to the city board a proposal for what was named the Diamond Center – an idea similar to the current River Market District concept, but when it came before Little Rock voters in October of 1991, the $42.1 million proposal failed 57 percent to 43 percent.
The River Market Pig
Eventually, a grassroots campaign and many long planning sessions to refurbish the plan and public opinion were undertaken along with a new pioneer, Dean Kumpuris, Little Rock City Board Director and longtime downtown advocate. Kumpuris led the taskforce for the new development while Moses led The Downtown Partnership, as it geared up to advocate for the changes. The Downtown Partnership is non-profit, membership-based organization charged with developing and promoting Downtown Little Rock as a vibrant national and international tourist destination, as well as a high-energy urban environment to live and grow businesses.
St. Vincent Plaza
The new proposal consisted of a comprehensive redevelopment project for an 8-block area adjoining Riverfront Park. Little Rock-based advertising agency Stone Ward was brought on, along with Baltimore planning firm RTKL to work together to develop the concept, its new name and brand – The River Market District.
Looking North across the Arkansas River
Looking toward the Peabody (ducks) and the DoubleTree
Eventually, over $5 million in funding was derived from a number of sources, including $1.2 million from the federal government, $1.1 from the Capitol Improvement Bond Fund, $200,000 from related city street programs, $170,000 from The Downtown Partnership, $100,000 from Riverfest programs, and $80,000 from the Central Arkansas Library System. Additional funds were paid by local property owners and the city to improve sidewalks and lighting in the area.
Discovery Museum Center
Many private and public companies have made contributions to make the District what it is today, including St. Vincent Health System who was the lead investment underwriter for the River Market areas known as “St. Vincent Plaza”, located adjacent to the Underground Pub, and its extension dubbed “Medical Mile” which will serve as the gateway to the River Trail now under construction.
Clinton Museum Store
From 1996 to 2006, the River Market District has seen almost $780 million in development since its inception.
The Alltel Arena, Riverfront Amphitheater and Robinson Memorial Auditorium are located in the Rivermarket District. Most concerts and special events are held in one of these places. After the show, a lot of people head out on the town for some more fun.
Text from Wikipedia
making the sandwiches
Pizza in the oven
Boscos(500 President Clinton Ave., Suite 105, 501-907-1881) Boscos is the restaurant for beer lovers. Beside the beer, they offer a menu of items you wouldn't find in a typical bar like seafood, steaks, pastas and sandwiches.
The Underground Pub (500 President Clinton Ave, 501-707-2537) - The Underground offers live music here on some nights and karoke on others. It's a British themed bar with fish and chips, pool tables and dart boards. It's a fun place to hang out!
People and Places