South on Main is a fun and unusual southern restaurant in Little Rock Arkansas‘ SoMa neighborhood. It’s one of those old neighborhoods that experiences new life in many cities thanks to the arts and some hard-working entrepreneurs and independent restaurants.
Oxford American magazine, an icon of southern culture, has built a cultural center and performance venue to showcase musicians, poets and artists of diverse media. Of course, any culture is clearly defined by its food, so a restaurant featuring southern cooking is a key component to the Oxford American vision.
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What to Expect at this Little Rock Restaurant
That restaurant is South On Main and Matt Bell is the owner and chef, who buys his produce from Dunbar Community Garden, serves drinks in blue Mason jars and who sits down to eat with his staff each night before the restaurant opens for dinner.
He invites guests to submit their favorite recipes. He might give it a modern flair and then place on the menu attributing it to the family who submitted it.
The menu is all southern featuring boiled peanuts, catfish, and entrees featuring pimento cheese. Of course, the Sunday brunch starts out with cheesy grits and biscuits and gravy. I had an egg salad sandwich and a side of black-eyed peas. I just love black-eyed peas and I was not disappointed with my meal.
But guests have started bringing something else to Matt Bell and South on Main.
Old Typewriters at South on Main in Little Rock
As you see, the logo for South on Main, because of its relationship with the Oxford American Magazine, includes a typewriter. So people have started bringing old typewriters to the restaurant.
There’s nothing uniquely southern about typewriters, but there is something comforting about an old manual Smith-Corona. Guests of a certain age reminisce about pounding away at these old keyboards. Guests of other ages are fascinated by their presence, how they work and how people every got anything done without auto correct and spellcheck.
The typewriters add something charming and welcoming to the decor. I dare you not to run your fingers across a keyboard as you pass by one setting on a counter or table.
Southern Food, Music, Poetry in Little Rock
But South on Main is more than a restaurant. It’s also a popular Little Rock club, a performance venue that showcases the music, literature and performing arts of the south. A kudzu boogie band one night, followed by a poetry reading the next, a blues guitarist the next.
It’s a pretty cool thing they’ve got going here in the 1300 block of Main. If you’re looking for original and authentic in your southern travels, South on Main and Oxford American delivers in Little Rock Arkansas.