Bugsy’s bar planned at former Flying Possum Leather shop on Dickson Street

A construction crew works on the interior of the former Flying Possum Leather location on Dickson Street.

Staff photo, Fayetteville Flyer

Construction of a new bar is underway inside a former leather shop on Dickson Street, and the owners have settled on a name.

“It’s going to be called Bugsy’s in honor of Bruce (Walker) and Flying Possum Leather,” said Travis Smith, who will manage the bar for owners Sarah and Christopher Varga.

The name is a nod to Walker’s dog, a fixture on the sidewalk in front of his custom sandal store for many years before Walker died in a fire at the shop last year.

Photo: Dustin Bartholomew

“We considered some other things to pay tribute to Bruce, but we thought Bugsy’s fit best,” Smith said. “Everyone knows there can only be one Bruce Walker.”

The new bar, located at 526 W. Dickson St., will feature a vintage Razorback decor once construction is completed later this summer. A new deck is also being built on the rear side of the bar where Smith says he plans to locate a 14-foot BBQ trailer called Taste Buds.

“We’ll serve smoked pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ nachos, and wings,” he said.

Smith said the BBQ cart area will be for 21-and-up patrons of Bugsy’s, but will include a walk-up area for non-bar patrons to order from. “It will be open late, probably until 3 a.m,” he said.

If everything goes according to plan, Bugsy’s will be open for business in time for the start of the fall semester at the University of Arkansas.

Bugsy the dog found a new home just up the street at Condom Sense where owner Bil Jett adopted him shortly after Walker passed away in March 2011.

If things go well for the new watering hole, Bugsy’s presence on Dickson Street could remain for years after he’s gone.