Restaurant news: Smitty’s Garage, Mayflower, Packard on Block, and more

It’s been a while since we wrote an update on what’s new in the restaurant world in Fayetteville.

They kind of stacked up on us as a result.

Here are over 20 restaurants and food trucks that have opened, closed, or will soon be up and running in Fayetteville.

Smitty’s Garage

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A new burger joint called Smitty’s Garage is going in at the old Louie’s Grill & Bar location at 100 E. Joyce Boulevard.

The restaurant is a chain out of Oklahoma from the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, the same group behind the Louie’s restaurant concept.

According to the owners, The Garage will have a relaxed environment with lots of big TVs for watching sports, and a simple menu with burgers starting at about $5.

In addition to beef burgers, The Garage will also offer turkey burgers, garden burgers, and bison burgers. For more info about what to expect from The Garage, visit

City Pizzeria and Salad Company

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Theo’s owner Scott Bowman is now in the pizza business.

The restauranteur, who also owns East Side Grill and Deluxe Burger (as well as the now defunct Union Kitchen + Drinks), recently opened a concept called City Pizzeria & Salad Co. at 1641 W. 15th St. in the space formerly home to Salty Dog (and before that, Pig & Whistle BBQ).

The restaurant is kind of a hybrid coffee shop / pizza restaurant, with early-open hours at 6:30 a.m. for coffee and pastries, followed by lunch and dinner service from 11 a.m. until closing every day. The pizza is served fast-casual-style, where you order at the counter, and then your food is brought to your table.

For more information about City Pizzeria, visit

Mayflower Restaurant / Nibbles

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Longtime Fayetteville restauranteur Suzie Stephens has closed Nibbles once again.

The restaurant, which has gone through several iterations over the years, including experimenting with odd hours and different names such as Mondays and Just Lunch, officially closed for business a couple weeks ago.

A new group of local foodies have already taken over the space, however, and held a soft opening for a new eatery called Mayflower Restaurant last Friday.

Locals Ethan Altom, William McCormick, and Christopher Sky, who all have pretty extensive experience in the local restaurant scene at places like Greenhouse Grille, Ella’s, Farrell’s Lounge, The Hive, and others, are partners in the new venture.

Sky told us the group plans to focus on a simple, small menu of “progressive Ozark cuisine” that will change often. “We’re going to take some of the dishes we all know, and make them fresh and new,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, the new restaurant will be open to the public on May 21.

Ginger Rice & Noodle Bar

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The owner of some well-established sushi restaurants in Fayetteville plans to open a new concept on the south side of town.

Ginger Rice & Noodle Bar, a concept by Wasabi and Shogun owner John Pak, is in the works at 1163 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the space formerly home to Burger Shack.

John’s son Sam, who manages the restaurants, said the new place will serve traditonal Japanese Ramen and Korean mixed rice bowls.

If all goes well, the restaurant will be open in early June.

Red Kite Coffee Company / Arsaga’s

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Arsaga’s on Crossover Road is under new ownership, and has a new name.

Andrea and Jon Allen, who bought the coffee shop from the Arsaga family in 2009, have sold the location to local residents Ben and Susan Upchurch.

The Upchurch family rebranded the location as The Red Kite Coffee Company, but according to a Facebook post announcing the new ownership, the menu will remain mostly unchanged.

The Upchurch family also owns local bike shop, The Bike Route.

The Allens still own the other former Arsaga’s location they purchased on Gregg Avenue, which they rebranded as Onyx Coffee Labs in August.

Packard on Block

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Someone is working to open a sandwich and soup restaurant in the old Beaver Electric building at 208 N. Block Avenue.

A local couple is planning a new spot called Packard on Block, named after a tenant who occupied in the building in the 1920s.

The restaurant will focus on sandwiches and soups made with farm-fresh ingredients and a few traditional Indian dishes.

The Farmer’s Table Cafe

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The Farmers’ Table Cafe is now open at 1079 S. School Ave., in the space formerly home to Brick House Kitchen.

The restaurant, created by former US Pizza general manager Rob Shaunfield and his wife Adrienne, focuses on farm-to-table breakfast and lunch.

The Farmer’s Table is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To see a menu, visit

Frickin’ Chicken

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What was once a fried chicken truck is now a fried chicken restaurant.

Frickin’ Chicken moved into the old Feltner Brother’s location at 509 W. Spring St., where it has been open since mid-March.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more info, or to check out their menu, visit

Natural State Sandwiches

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A new lunch spot is coming to the Yacht Club on College.

Natural State Sandwiches, a new food truck by local resident Amber Cafourek, will feature a rotating menu of sliders and Pittsburgh-style all-in-one sandwiches (meaning everything – the meat, the cheese, the fries, etc. is in between the buns).

If all goes well, the new truck will open the first week of July.

Shulertown Food Truck Court

Future home of the Shulertown Food Truck Court

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As mentioned last week here on the Flyer, as many as seven mobile vendors could set up shop inside the Shulertown food truck court between Jose’s Mexican Restaurant and the former Phoenix Club on Dickson Street.

Owner Zac Wooden, who also owns Roger’s Rec and 21st Amendment, said seven food truck owners have agreed to lease space inside the courtyard including Mamma Deans, Greenhouse Grille, Feltner Brothers, Baller Foodtruck, Shakedown StrEAT Grill, Burton’s Comfort Cremery, and Great Dang Pies and Tamales.

Wooden said if Fayetteville planning commissioners approve his permit application for the new food truck court on May 27, he plans to open the next day.


As expected, plans for northwest Arkansas’ first Whataburger were finally approved this week.

The Texas-based restaurant chain will build a 3,100-square-foot Whataburger with double drive-through lanes at 1920 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The site, which was once home to an E-Z Mart gas station and convenience store and a former Shelter Insurance agency, is located between Braum’s and Town & Country Liquor.

Whataburger currently operates one other Arkansas restaurant on Stateline Avenue in Texarkana.

Aquafire Restaurant and Bistro

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It appears as though Aquafire Restaurant and Bistro has closed.

The restaurant has been vacant for over a week, the website and Facebook pages have been taken down, and there’s been no answer at the phone number associated with the restaurant for several days.

The restaurant was owned by chef Ryan McGuffin and Sherri Simpkins.

Charlie’s Chicken

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Charlie’s Chicken lovers, we’d advise you to get your fix while you can.

University of Arkansas officials confirmed last week that the UA is in the process of purchasing the property where the restaurant is currently located. The plan, according to spokesman Steve Voorhies is to spruce up the corner, which serves as a major gateway to campus, and to build a couple of teaching labs on the land and adjacent property already owned by the UA along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Voorhies did not have further information on the closing date on the sale.

Jeff Parker, who owns the restaurant, declined to comment on the status of the deal, or on whether he plans to reopen Charlie’s Chicken at another location once the sale is final.