JJ’s Grill to replace longtime Dickson Street restaurant

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A Dickson Street staple is moving out, but another thriving local restaurant will soon take its place.

Jose’s Mexican Restaurant owners Joe Fennel and Doug Allen this week announced a plan to close the longtime establishment at 324 W. Dickson Street, and reopen as JJ’s Grill as part of a new partnership with JJ’s founder Jody Thornton.

Allen said he’s excited about the change.

“It seems like the timing is right,” he said. “And JJ’s seems like a perfect fit for Dickson Street.”

JJ’s menu focuses on burgers, sandwiches, salads, and wraps, served in a casual atmosphere, with frequent live music in the evenings.

Thornton opened the first JJ’s Grill in Rogers in 2008. Since then, the business has expanded to operate six restaurants across Arkansas, with the Dickson Street location expected to be the seventh.

The company is also working to open a new restaurant and brewery in north Fayetteville which will supply house beers to JJ’s locations, including the new restaurant on Dickson Street.

Allen, who still owns and operates Jose’s in Springdale, and Fennel, who also owns Bordinos on Dickson Street, will each have a stake in the new restaurant, but JJ’s management will take over day-to-day operations.

The partnership will allow Allen and Fennel to remain active in the Dickson Street Merchants Association, where Fennel serves as president.

“Dickson Street is a special street,” Allen said. “I look forward to continuing the Jose’s tradition of being involved in activities and festivals on Dickson Street, and continuing to be involved in the Dickson Street Merchants Association.”

Jose’s closed officially on Sunday to allow for immediate renovations.

“We’ve going to be doing a pretty extensive remodel,” Thornton said. “It’s going to take some time, but we’re excited about the possibilities, and we’re happy to be bringing JJ’s to Dickson Street.”

Thornton said if all goes according to plan, he hopes to open sometime in late spring or early summer 2016.