Thirsty Fayetteville folks will soon have a new place on Block Avenue to wet their whistles.
Longtime local businessman Archie Schaffer, who co-owns Kingfish Bar in Fayetteville as well as successful restaurant chain The Flying Burrito Co., is planning to open a new bar at 208 N. Block Ave., in the building formerly home to Beaver Electric.
The new spot will be called Big Star, after the critically acclaimed 70s Memphis rock band and the Paragould, Arkansas grocery chain of the same name, Schaffer said.
Schaffer said the feel of the bar will be a little more upscale than Kingfish, with a 1950s decor and a focus on cocktails and craft beer.
There will be a turntable at the bar for record nights, where patrons will be encouraged to bring their own music to spin, as well as jukebox to provide music at first, and Schaffer said live music is definitely in the bar’s longterm plans.
“That’s something we want to do in phase two,” he said. “There’s room for a patio in the back, and music is something that is really important to me. That is definitely going to be a big part of the place.”
Schaffer pointed to the success of The Lightbulb Club, Maxine’s Tap Room, and Tables & Ale on the street as a reason why he wanted to jump on the opportunity to become part of the growing entertainment scene on Block Avenue.
“Block Avenue has a great thing going,” he said. “I think it is really becoming its own entertainment district with the cool bars that are already there, and that is something we want to be a part of.”
As far as renovations, the bar is currently in the design phase, but the plan is to keep as much of the character of the old building intact as possible. Schaffer said he plans to build a large L-shaped bar near the building’s front windows, and add tables and booths toward the back of the room along with a pool table and some dart boards.
Just under a year ago, the building was set to become an Indian restaurant called Packard on Block, but plans for the restaurant fell through.
If all goes well, the new bar could be open sometime in early spring.