Restaurant news: Flying Burger and Seafood, Theo’s, East Side Grill, and more

Restaurant news is a little harder to come by than normal these days, but there’s still a little bit to be had.

Here’s what we know about a few new places that have opened, closed, relocated, or changed hands recently.

Flying Burger and Seafood

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A regional burger and seafood chain is now open to the west side of town.

Flying Burger & Seafood opened last week in a new location at 4280 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, next to the giant Hog statue near the Fayetteville/Farmington border.

The restaurant got its start in Magnolia, and began franchising last year. According to their website, they also operate locations in El Dorado, Arkansas, Ruston, Louisiana, and Caddo Valley, Arkansas.

Their menu focuses on burgers, catfish dishes, po-boy sandwiches, boiled seafood, and other items.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Theo’s / East Side Grill

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Local restaurants Theo’s and East Side Grill, formerly owned by longtime local restauranteur Scott Bowman of The Bowman Group, have been sold to Todd Martin, who owns Southern Food Company. Martin plans to reopen both concepts in the coming months.

Martin said both concepts bring something unique to Fayetteville that he is excited to bring back to the restaurant landscape.

“East Side Grill has become a staple on the east side of town, and we love the food and the location there,” he said. “I’ve always thought of Theo’s as a stalwart of the fine dining scene in downtown Fayetteville. I have done a lot of traveling over the years, and I think Theo’s, and the ambiance and atmosphere there, is as good as anything you can find in he county.”

His first order of business, he said, is to try and re-hire as much of the team as he can from those restaurants. He already has a few key members in place, including general manager Jeff Gabbard and director of marketing and finance Kelly Brown.

The three restaurants expect to employ a total of nearly 100 people.

Read our full story from last week about Martin’s plans for the longtime local places here.

If all goes well, East Side Grill will reopen first in early August, with Theo’s Fayetteville to open a week or so later, and Theo’s Rogers to follow sometime after that.

Mi Mexico

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A new Mexican restaurant is now open at 3120 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd.

The new place, called Mi Mexico Restaurant, took over the building most recently home to King Burrito, Lucy’s Diner, and a few other places over the years.

Mi Mexico specializes in street tacos, tamales, nachos, burritos, and other Mexican food.

The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

King Burrito

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Speaking of King Burrito, they moved from the spot above to another location a little closer to the UA.

The restaurant recently moved into the vacant spot formerly home to Taco Bueno at 1634 M.L.K. Jr Blvd.

The restaurant, as the name might suggest, is known locally for their giant burritos. The restaurant chain owns locations in Rogers, Bentonville, and Springdale, and once operated a location on College Avenue before changing the name of that location to El Taco Loco. The menu at that location, however, has remained the same as the one King Burrito was serving.

King Burrito is open Sunday-Thursday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Little Caesars

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Little Caesar’s Pizza has permanently closed their Fayetteville location.

The restaurant was located at 1130 N. Garland Avenue., and officials recently removed signage and equipment from the building.

They served pizza.

Fresco Restaurant & Cocktails

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A nearly nine-year-old restaurant just off the Fayetteville square has permanently closed.

Fresco Restaurant & Cocktails owners posted the news on their Facebook page last month.

The restaurant opened in 2011 as Fresco Cafe and Pub, and rebranded a few years later. Their focus was on sandwiches, paninis, flat bread pizzas, soups and salads.

The business also operated a late-night bar called Club Lush at the location.

The restaurant was located in the building at 112 W. Center Street, formerly known as the EJ Ball building.

Apple Blossom Brewing Co.

Photo: Brian Sorensen

A local brewery and restaurant that opened in 2013 has permanently closed.

Apple Blossom Brewery co-owner Evan McDonald announced the closure in a video posted to the brewery’s Facebook page last month.

“We tried to do what we could with the reality that we are living in, but we couldn’t make work,” he said.

McDonald encouraged viewers of the video to continue to support other local businesses during this time, and warned that other closures like this could be coming.

“I want to encourage y’all to buy local when you can,” he said. “Please continue to spend your money on local businesses, because this is not going to be the last one of these messages that y’all hear.”

Apple Blossom was the brainchild of Smoke & Barrel Tavern founders Evan McDonald, Sammie Stephenson, Joe Utsch and Al Schaffer, along with brewery partners Ching Mong and Daniel Smith.

The partners opened the brewery and restaurant in January 2013 at 1550 E. Zion Road in north Fayetteville.