Arts Place founder Jerry ‘Art’ Stiles dies

Longtime local businessman Jerry “Art” Stiles died over the holidays on Dec. 27.

Stiles was born and raised in the Fort Smith area, but made a name for himself in Fayetteville in the food industry as the owner of restaurants like Tacos n Spuds, Good Stuff, Jerry’s Hickory Pit, Soup, Salad and Subs, and most recently Art’s Place bar and restaurant on College Avenue.

From his obituary.

Shortly after graduation he enlisted into the Air Force and was stationed in the Philippines. When his tour of duty was up, he moved to Fayetteville to begin a long career in the food industry. It was at this time he learned the fine art of the burger, something he would become locally famous for in the future. He spearheaded the food truck movement in Arkansas, long before it was the fashionable thing to do. He and his brother, Bill, served the fraternities, sororities, and dormitories all over campus at the University of Arkansas. Like his mother Grace, he too worked in kitchens and catering, Baldwin Piano, and Hearns Electric.

He met his future wife, Cheryl, and they began a marriage and business partnership that would last the next 40+ years. They ran many businesses in the Northwest Arkansas Mall in the 80’s and early 90’s, including Tacos n Spuds, Good Stuff, Jerry’s Hickory Pit, and Soup, Salad and Subs. Mall rent increased substantially in the mid 90’s and Art and Cheryl decided to venture into new territory, the bar business. Art’s Place was born in 1995 and still survives and thrives today. Art’s place is known for its famous burgers, reasonable prices and tight-knit clientele. Art loved Fayetteville, the Hogs, playing cards, enjoying libations with friends, and being generous with anyone who was in need.

Arts Place is still in business, and expects to remain in business, we’re told.

A funeral for Stiles is set for 2 p.m. today (Jan. 3) at Brashears Funeral Home in Huntsville. A shuttle from Fayetteville to the funeral will depart from Art’s Place at around 12:30 p.m.