Restaurant News: Kraken Killer Seafood, John Daly’s, Mockingbird Kitchen & more

You know how we know it has been too long since we’ve done a roundup of restaurant activity in Fayetteville? When we sit down to write one, and realize we have news to share on 16 local places that have opened, closed, or plan to soon open.

That’s the case this time. Here’s what we know about what’s going on in the restaurant world.

Kraken Killer Seafood

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A new seafood restaurant is coming to Dickson Street.

Kraken Killer Seafood, a project by local resident Cory Tran, will soon open in the former Green Submarine location at 402 W. Dickson Street.

According to their Facebook page, the new restaurant concept is a “backyard style seafood bar.”

A post from last week indicates the new restaurant will be open in a few weeks.

Bocca Italian Eatery & Pizzeria

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The new Italian restaurant by locals Mike and Jill Rohrbach, Angela Vanhook, and Keith Burmylo is now open on College Avenue.

Bocca Italian Eatery and Pizzeria specializes in handmade pastas and sauces, and wood-fired pizzas.

The restaurant has been in a soft-opening phase for about a week or so, but the word is starting to spread that they’re open for business.

Here’s a link to their full menu.

El Matador

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Mexico Viejo El Matador is building a new restaurant on Wedington Drive in west Fayetteville.

The restaurant will be located next to Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, and construction has been underway for several months.

Arkansas Business reported in September 2014 that the restaurant would be the new home of El Matador, a restaurant owned by the same family and located nearby at 1290 Steamboat Drive, but it sounds like the owners have decided to go with their Mexico Viejo name once they re-open in the new building.

The family also operates the La Huerta restaurants around the region, among others.

Update: According to owner Meliton Montes, the restaurant will continue to operate as El Matador in the new location. He said the target date for the new restaurant is sometime in late March.


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Construction is underway on the city’s second Whataburger location at the corner of Joyce Boulevard and College Avenue.

Crews have already demolished the buildings on the property, and the framing for the new restaurant has been going up quickly these last few days.

Whataburger officials told us last summer that they play to open the new restaurant in March.

Pho Thanh II

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The folks behind Bentonville Vietnamese restaurant Pho Thanh are expanding to Fayetteville.

Signs for Pho Thanh II were installed on the space located at 637 E. Joyce Blvd. in the building also home to Slim Chickens and Newk’s.

Here’s a link to thfeir full menu.

Ma Mere’s

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The owner of The Green Goat Gourmet Food Truck has gotten into the breakfast business.

Erin Walsh, who founded The Green Goat back in the spring, recently opened a second truck in the Yacht Club on College called Ma Mere’s.

The new place focuses on both sweet and savory crepes, beignets, and smoothies. Here’s a photo of their menu.

Rafa’s Mexican Food

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It looks like there’s a new taco truck in town as well.

Rafa’s Mexican Food truck has been sitting at The Yacht Club for a few weeks, but as far as we know, they haven’t yet opened.

According signs on the truck, it will serve tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and burritos. We couldn’t find much more info about this one, though. Anyone know anything?

Raising Cane’s

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Louisiana-based chicken finger chain Raising Cane’s is working to open a second location in town.

The company has been advertising on Facebook seeking a general manager for an unspecified location in south Fayetteville.

Company officials wouldn’t conform any specific plans, but city planning documents released this week show a large-scale development request for a 3,500-square-foot Raising Cane’s restaurant at 1740 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on the lot currently home to J.D. China Chinese Restaurant.

Raising Cane’s opened its first Fayetteville location in August at the corner of College Avenue and Millsap Road next to the new Whole Foods Market.

Con Quesos

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A new taco restaurant is open on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Con Quesos, founded by recent UA graduate Omar Kasim and interior design students Natalie Banister and Amanda Burge, is now open at 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The restaurant specializes in “fusion tacos,” inspired by cuisine from around the world. Here’s a link to their menu.

John Daly’s

Rendering of John Daly’s Conway

Courtesy, Taggart’s Architects

Golfer, entrepreneur, and Arkansas legend John Daly is working to open a chain of steakhouses, and a recent report indicates he is targeting Dickson Street for a future location.

The flagship location, called simply John Daly’s, will be located at 912 Front Street in Conway, and will feature “memorabilia and signature menu items from the PGA Tour golfer of the same name.”

Sam McFadin, the CEO for the venture, told ArkansasOnline that Daly is planning to open 10 locations in the next five years, and that a Dickson Street restaurant is next on their wish list for development once the Conway store is up and running.


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Herb-N-Elk is closing their location at 509 W. Spring Street, and will be operating out of Nomad’s Music Lounge at 1431 S. School Ave. for special events.

According to a post on the Herb-N-Elk Facebook page, the restaurant served its last meal on Spring Street on Jan. 8.

The restaurant will be serve a full menu at an upcoming one-year anniversary celebration for Nomad’s on Jan. 15.

Marlo’s Taco Shack

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Longtime local restaurant Marlo’s Taco Shack recently closed its doors.

A post on the business’ Facebook page indicates that a family dispute and some issues with the landlord of the property are partly to blame for the closure.

Signs placed at the entrance and on the drive-thru windows, however, suggest the restaurant will soon re-open.

Mockingbird Kitchen

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Former Bordinos chef Chrissy Sanderson and partner Leigh Helm are working on a new project in Evelyn Hills Shopping Center.

According to a recently established Facebook page, the two are planning to open Mockingbird Kitchen at 1466 N. College Ave. in the space formerly home to Cardamom & Curry.

The new restaurant will serve “New American Cuisine,” and they’re already taking applications for employees.

Cowgirl’s Espresso

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There’s a new(ish) drive-thru coffee shack located on Razorback Road.

Cowgirl’s Espresso, which actually opened back in the fall, is located at 731 S. Razorback Road.

Be prepared. The gimmick is that the baristas are dressed provocatively, with themed days like “military Monday” and “bikini Wednesday.”

Ramblin’ Man Food

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Ramblin’ Man Food is the newest food truck at the Shulertown food truck court on Dickson Street.

The truck opened in October, and focuses on Italian food and Gyros.

Orange Leaf

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It looks like the frozen yogurt craze is coming to an end in Fayetteville.

The owners of Orange Leaf closed their Dickson Street location recently, leaving (as far as we know) 3 Crazy Berries as the last bastion of fro-yo-ness left in town.

It was delicious while it lasted.