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Little Rock's Shorty Small's back in business after closing two years ago

Shorty Small’s served the Little Rock community for decades before closing its doors in 2021. Two years later, they’re back and taking their food on the road.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Shorty Small's served the Little Rock community for almost 45 years before closing its doors in December 2021 for several reasons.

The restaurant was considered a staple to many Arkansans.

"It opened at the corner of Rodney Parham and Shackleford as a little Cajun wharf [and] in 1978, It was converted to Shorty Small's," CEO Paul Kreth said. COVID was a big hit to many people, but it was just the right opportunity to sell that piece of property and take a little break."

Two years later, Shorty Small's is back in business and ready to serve the community as a food truck rather than a brick-and-mortar.

"We're back, and we're going to do it with a vengeance," Kreth said. "It allows us to move the trailer around to allow different communities to try some of our food."

For now, they don't have a full menu, just one item they're known for: cheese sticks.

"It's our number one item," Shorty Small's managing partner David Rackley said.

People who grew up going to the beloved restaurant like Stefan Johnson are happy to know they're back.

"I remember going there when I was a kid," Johnson said.

Johnson made sure he got in line today to get some cheese sticks.

"I was at work, and the Facebook notification popped up," Johnson said. "They were downtown, so I left my meeting. I dropped what I was doing... anywhere these cheese sticks are, I will be."

Kreth said to keep an eye out for more locations across the state.

"We're looking at franchising, so it's a lot easier to get into a food trailer than a full-service restaurant," Kreth said. "The overhead is much less, so you can run less and people can start their own business and be entrepreneurs."

They are still looking for another brick-and-mortar and posting social media updates. You can find them Sunday at the Main Street Food Festival.

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