38: Meet Ben Thielemier

Yeah, so maybe it’s his job to love Little Rock, but I have a feeling Ben Thielemier might have come around on his own anyway.

1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Ben Thielemier, Communications and Marketing Manager for the City of Little Rock, 5.5 years, Downtown.

2. What drew you to not only live in Little Rock, but to work FOR Little Rock? I originally moved to Little Rock because it was the political center of the state, but I quickly found that it’s so much more than that. It’s full of great people. I can be in my kayak on the water in 15 minutes or at the top of Pinnacle Mountain in 45. There is amazing food, fun and festivals (of the Greek Food, Cheese Dip, Food Truck and every other food kind) here. Yet Little Rock is small enough that you don’t feel isolated and you can access city, business, and community leaders very easily. I quickly fell in love with Little Rock and I’m trying to help more people do that by working FOR Little Rock.

3. Where do you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? There are so many solid, innovative local restaurants in Little Rock. I encourage people to eat local whether it’s a weekend brunch at The Root, truffle fries and beer at Big Orange Midtown, or a nice dinner at South on Main or Natchez. In addition to food, I show folks our 6,000 acres of city parks and abundant natural areas because they are so close to the city center and woven into our city fabric.

4. If you could only eat at one local restaurant for a month, what would it be? It’s definitely not in my budget, but I could eat at Terry’s Restaurant all the time. One word: Butter.

5. What do you think is LR's best kept secret? Fourche Creek and the dozens of trails that are blazed across the city. Put your kayak or canoe in at Interstate Park and you only have to paddle up Fourche Creek a little ways before you forget that you’re in the middle of Arkansas’s Capital City.