Denise and Shawn Hipskind of Valhalla Restaurant & Axe Throwing, the popular pizza joint at 226 West South St. in Benton, have sold to business neighbors Craig Roe and Heather Baber-Roe. Those names should be familiar to most folks who follow the local food scene. The husband-and-wife duo own Baja Grill, with one location in Little Rock and another that currently shares the same building with Valhalla. The deal is anticipated to go through on Oct. 1. However, don’t expect big changes, at least not in the food department.
“There will be no changes to the pizza recipes,” Baber-Roe says. “We’re not crazy. We might want to add a couple items down the road or see if the kitchen crew has any items they’d like to add, but we definitely want to let the dust settle first. We think it’s a pretty solid menu, as is.”
Diners will eventually see updates on the operation side.
“We will be going full service, hopefully by mid to late October. We want to make sure we figure out the logistics and the Valhalla crew feels comfortable,” Baber-Roe says. “We’re excited and nervous. There are so many little details to think about and prepare for, but we love this business, so we are beyond thrilled to dive in head-first.”
The two will remain busy building their restaurant empire, as Rōber, another one of their concepts, is set to open sometime in 2022 in the Bryant/Benton area. While a location isn’t finalized, we do know that the restaurant will focus on tasting menus and a charcuterie bar.
“We will have a beautiful meat slicer from Italy and boards will be built behind glass in guests’ view,” Baber-Roe says. “We also expect to do wine and whiskey flights, chef dinners, and a burger I’ve been working on for over a year.”
Exciting times, indeed.