The Heart of Downtown Little Rock Favorites - Bella Vita Jewelry's Picks

Welcome to the first entry in my Little Rock blog series, where I share some of my favorite local spots by neighborhood. Wandering through Downtown Little Rock is one of my favorite activities. It's a way for me to get fresh air and explore every nook and cranny of our city! Every local shop, restaurant and par ofk has their little story—kind of like the chapters in a book. I really love being part the "Heart of Downtown" neighborhood. It's amazing to connect with these places, each one just around the corner from where I craft my jewelry.

Sixth House Yoga Studio

Imagine the place where every stretch and every breath falls into the right rhythm with the rest of the world. That's Sixth House for me. It is next door to my shop, the place I get to find peace. The Fire class on Wednesday nights, with SaraAnn, is where I get my balance and weekly fill of energy. Their classes mix a challenging workout with a sense of inner calm and it is next door, so win-win in my book!

Image taken in Sixth House Studio. From the yoga mat.
The view from my mat. I love watching the seasons change throughout the year. My favorite season is when the sunset is developing during the 5:30 classes. Its always fun to watch in the transom windows. 

Three-Fold Dumpling

And just across the street is Three-Fold, always great-tasting, and now that I think about it, it brings me back to the beauty of handcrafted labor. Their insistence on making everything from scratch—dumpling dough to sauces—shows. It's a local gem that does bring a quality of home-style cooking to our bellies.

I swear that broth has healing powers. Pro tip: order the dumpling soup to go. I sip the broth while I eat my dumplings and slaws/chutneys. then I have enough broth take home and to sip on later. 

Handle Barbershop

Located right next door is the Handle Barbershop is where our one place our community comes together. Even I pop in there to get my hair cut from time to time. Walking into Handle is a blend of classic barbering mixed with a modern vibe. It's a place for more than just a trim; located at the intersection of 6th & Main Streets, it's where one can feel a bond with Little Rock.

The barber shop is also right next door to us. Its so fun to walk by and see all the barbers working hard! Plus, its very beautifully designed. We even had a photoshoot there recently!

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts

Just down the street, a fifteen-minute walk from Bella Vita (or a quick drive), the recently renovated Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts shows how much impact can be brought about by art and architecture. It stands as a creative and historical landmark in our city. The combination of old and new at the museum typifies the walk both me and my work take: respectful of what was done before but living in the present.

My friend Heather and I ran in to each other at the Grand Reopening last Spring. The Museum is such a treat for our city! Keep an eye on all the programming, concerts, and the Art School classes. Also, the ever evolving exhibits! So happy to have this place back in action. Bigger and better than ever. 

Flora Jean's

Rounding off our tour is the charming Flora Jean's, a true gem nestled in our community. More than just a vegetarian restaurant, it's a canvas of creativity and wellness painted by the same friends who bring us Sixth House and @thecorner. Here, every meal is a celebration of nature, crafted with the finest organic ingredients. It's a place where sustainable, plant-based living isn't just a practice, but a shared philosophy, making every visit feel like stepping into a welcoming, mindful home. Plus, it's gorgeous inside! They knocked it out of the park with the design of this space.

The owners, the staff, the food, the drinks, the atmosphere, Flora Jeans is the breath of fresh air that Little Rock needed. Just GO!

Follow along with and continue to explore with me as the places of interest in Little Rock start to come alive with activity. Remember, each place is so much more than a place; it's part of a life woven with community, art, and personal growth and stories. Come along in search of more stories and favorite spots in this vibrant town! 

March 31, 2024 — Brandy McNair

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