We may be living in the dog days of summer at the moment, but as they say in the Restaurant News business (probably), “The Restaurant News must go on.”
Here’s a roundup of openings, closings, coming soons, and relocations in the Fayetteville restaurant scene that we know of.
If you have restaurant news you’d like to share, feel free to send us a tip.
Demolition is complete, and construction is underway on the new Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant, coming to 642 E. Millsap Road in Fayetteville.
Chuy’s Opco, Inc, the parent company for Austin-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s, have filed for permits for work on the building at 642 E. Millsap Road in north Fayetteville, according to state health department records at the site of the former Colton’s Steakhouse location.
Chuy’s got its start in 1982 in Austin, Texas, and was founded by entrepreneurs Mike Young and John Zapp who, according to their website, had “had a vision of a fun and funky Tex-Mex restaurant that served authentic and fresh food in an atmosphere that appealed to everyone.”
The restaurant’s menu focuses on traditional Tex-Mex fare, including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and other items.
The chain opened its first Arkansas location in Little Rock in 2013, followed by a location in Rogers in 2014. At the time, Chuy’s officials said they were looking for a spot for a Fayetteville location. Eight years later, it looks like they may have finally found one.
The restaurant chain currently operates about 100 restaurants across 20 states, mostly concentrated in Texas and around the South.
Girls Gone BBQ
A new barbecue joint will soon open in east Fayetteville.
The new place, called Girls Gone BBQ, is owned by self-described “humble pitmistress” Dana Neely. The restaurant is set to open in the Kantz Center, next to El Sol Mexican Restaurant at 2630 E. Citizens Drive.
Neely, originally from Des Arc, Arkansas, opened a version of the restaurant in Seattle before moving back to Arkansas in 2020.
Here’s a description of her style, according to a recent post on her Facebook page.
Our specific style includes hickory-smoked meats, tangy pre-sauced pulled pork sandwiches, Eastern Arkansas Staples like crunchy apple Arkanslaw, classic corn bread & seasonal fruit cobbler. The casual shop will highlight local beers. Having started the business in Seattle in 2008, there will be some Pacific Northwest influence on the menu: vegan & vegetarian BBQ offerings will definitely set us apart; smoked black eyed peas, grilled greens (collards & kale) & smoked vegan beans to name a few items.
Renovations on the new space appear to nearly complete. The restaurant is currently hiring, and it looks like they’ll be open very soon.
Velvet Taco on Broadway in Nashville / Photo: Velvet Taco
Dallas-based Velvet Taco plans to expand into Fayetteville.
Site drawings were recently submitted to city planners which show a proposed Velvet Taco restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The plans, produced by the Atwell Group in Texas, include a 2,200-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru lane and associated parking at the southeast corner of Beechwood Ave.
The site is mostly undeveloped, but includes a small building to the east next to Take 5 Oil Change. The restaurant would have access from MLK across from Zaxby’s and King Burrito. The site is also about 150 feet west of Torchy’s Tacos.
A representative for the company confirmed to the Flyer back in the spring that Velvet Taco officials are indeed exploring an expansion into Fayetteville, and are targeting an early 2023 opening.
“We believe that Fayetteville is an amazing city with entertainment, culture and diversity and is a great fit for the Velvet Taco brand,” according to a statement provided to the Flyer. “We are actively participating in conversations about site specifics and therefore cannot confirm any other details at this time.”
Velvet Taco currently operates in over 30 locations in Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The fast-casual restaurant specializes in a variety of meat and vegetarian tacos made from fresh ingredients. Online menus also show several side items and red velvet cake, along with margaritas and other tequila-based beverages.
A beloved Fayetteville pizza joint is back in business.
Mojo’s Pints & Pies reopened their the original midtown location at 1200 N. Garland Ave. on Thursday, May 26.
“It’s been awhile, but we haven’t forgot about you,” read a post on the company’s Facebook page at the time. “Thank you, Fayetteville, for not forgetting about us.”
The restaurant closed last year due to staffing issues, around the time Mojo’s opened an east Fayetteville location at 2630 E. Citizens Drive.
The Garland Avenue location will be open limited hours at first due to a still somewhat limited staff, though the hope is to expand those hours as the restaurant hires more employees.
Photo: Courtesy, Noble Graze
A new shop offering charcuterie boards for get-togethers and parties along with home decor items and gifts is planning to open a new Fayetteville location.
Noble Graze owner Suzanne Billings recently announced plans to open a new brick-and-mortar location in east Fayetteville for her charcuterie creations, in partnership with a local home decor store called Haven.
The shop will be located at 2526 E. Mission Blvd. Suite 130.
Noble Graze got its start making charcuterie boards in 2016. The company also recently made a national splashwith their miniaturized ‘jarcuterie’ options packaged in Mason jars that led to appearances on Today, Pop Sugar, Bloomberg, and other media outlets.
Renovations of the space for the new business are currently underway. If all goes well, the shop will open sometime in August.
A new Thai restaurant is now open in Fayetteville.
The new place, called Siam Cuisine, is located at 318 Archibald Yell Blvd., in the space most recently home to House of Taste.
From the looks of the company’s menu, the restaurant serves dishes you’d expect to find at a Thai establishment, including Pad Thai and other noodle, rice and curry dishes.
The restaurant isn’t the first Thai place to give it a go at the location. Twin Kitchen and Taste of Thai also operated previously in the cozy space.
According to the restaurant’s website, Siam Cuisine is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
The Jersey Mike’s Subs location planned in Fayetteville is getting closer to opening day.
The New Jersey-based fast casual restaurant chain is planning to open its first restaurant in Fayetteville at 160 E. Joyce Blvd. near Guitar Center.
The location has been under construction, and the owners had originally hoped to open in December, but those plans were delayed a few times over the last year. Tornado damage to the building back in late March probably didn’t help.
Signs for the new restaurant are now up, and officials said the new plan is to have the restaurant open next week on Wednesday, July 20.
The restaurant focuses on “fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs,” and was named one of the fastest-growing chains in the country by Nation’s Restaurant News. The company currently has more than 2,500 locations open or in development.
Jersey Mike’s opened their first Northwest Arkansas location in Bentonville in 2018, and has since opened restaurants in Rogers and Springdale.
A local wood-fired pizza restaurant has closed its doors.
The owners of Z’s Brick Oven Pizza announced they closed the restaurant for good on Saturday, June 25, according to a recent post on the company’s Instagram page.
“From all of us at Z’s, thank you for making us a part of your family,” the owners wrote.
The post announcing the closure hinted at pandemic-related challenges as part of the reason for the closure, but mainly focused on gratitude to local suppliers, customers, and staff.
“The last few years have been a rollercoaster of experiences and challenges, many of which were unforeseen,” according to the post. “However rather than focus on the state of the industry at the moment, I would like to show my appreciation for the people who make this job worth it.”
The restaurant opened in 2013 at 2730 N. College Ave., in the building that had been home to a Tim’s Pizza location for years before that.
A new ice cream and burger joint is open in west Fayetteville.
Icescreams opened in the building formerly home to Flying Burger & Seafood at 4220 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
From the looks of the he menu section of the website, the new restaurant will offer handcrafted burgers and desserts, chicken meals, sides, ice cream, milkshakes, and other items.
From the looks of the Instagram account linked to the website, a previous version of the concept was once open in Elizaville, New York until a little under a year ago.
According to the website, the restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.
The Hills Hideaway
A new restaurant opened recently in the Dickson Street area in Fayetteville.
The new place, called The Hills Hideaway, is located in the Legacy Building at 401 W. Watson St., in the space formerly home to The Grillhouse, Table on the Hill, and Legacy Blues.
Lindsey Slifer, one of the owners of the new restaurant, today told us the place is open for lunch and dinner. Slifer and her partner have made some small, but necessary upgrades to the building to modernize the space, she said, including adding some televisions for cheering on the Razorbacks on game days.
The restaurant officially opened on Monday, June 27.
According to their menu, the restaurant serves sandwiches, a few entrees (catfish, steak, pasta, and chicken) along with appetizers, salads, and more, according to an online menu.
The Hills Hideaway is open Monday – Sunday from 11 a.m. until 12 a.m.
Longtime local coffee shop and restaurant Jammin’ Java has moved into a new space on the Fayetteville square.
The restaurant re-opened in the building at 1 W. Mountain St. on June 29, at the southeast corner of the downtown square. The building had for years been home to offices, and has undergone renovations for the past several months.
Jammin Java re-located from just on the other side of the Town Center Plaza, where they had been in business for two decades.
The new location includes indoor seating as well as a patio space on the plaza.
Jammin’ Java is open Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., according to the company’s Facebook page.
A Nashville-based restaurant and live music joint working to expand into Fayetteville is on track to open on Dickson Street soon.
Signs appeared on the building recently advertising that the business is currently hiring for all positions, and a Facebook post this week indicated that the venue is already seeking musicians to play at the venue when it opens up soon.
Tin Roof first opened in 2002 on Demonbreun Hill, near Nashville’s famed Music Row. The idea was to create a place for musicians to perform, and also a place to hang out when they weren’t on stage.
Venue owner Bob Franklin told us earlier this year that Tin Roof’s Fayetteville location will include live entertainment on both levels, with patio seating available both upstairs and downstairs. A parking area out back will also be converted into a patio and beer garden, he told us.
Franklin said the plan is to host live music seven nights a week from a variety of genres. In addition to the music, Tin Roof is also a restaurant, with a full menu including tacos, quesadillas, burgers, and other fare.
Patrick Nietzer, director of Facilities for Tin Roof, told us this week the venue is still on track to open later this summer.
“We are shooting to be wrapped up with construction and opening the very end of July/early August,” he said. “Currently our construction is tracking with these expected dates.”
Courtesy photo/Central BBQ
Memphis BBQ is coming to Fayetteville.
The owners of Memphis-based restaurant Central BBQ are planning to open a location at 417 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at the corner of South School Avenue. Permit information for the new restaurant was submitted to the state Health Department this week.
The restaurant is one of at least three concepts expected to set up shop in the commercial spaces at South Yard, a new development by locals Specialized Real Estate Group on the site of the old Farmers’ Coop in Fayetteville.
“Memphis has always had a love for Razorback Nation, and so it wasn’t a matter of “if” but “when,” said Brian Wyatt, COO of Central BBQ. “We could not be more thrilled to partner with the great team at Specialized to add some smoke to South Yard and the Fayetteville BBQ experience.”
The menu at Central BBQ focuses on all the staples you’d expect at a barbecue restaurant, including ribs, brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and of course, barbecue sandwiches topped with their signature coleslaw. They are also known for shipping their ribs right from the restaurant directly to consumers around the country.
The restaurant company opened its first location in 2002 after founders Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp met and became friends on the barbecue circuit in the mid-80s. Since then, Central BBQ has grown to operate four locations in Memphis along with two Nashville locations. The restaurant chain has received national attention, including features on television shows such as Pitmasters, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, BBQ with Bobby Flay, and others.
A new investment group is currently working to expand the restaurant chain, and has plans for several new Central BBQ locations around the southeast, a company representative told the Flyer.
The Fayetteville location will likely be the first Central BBQ in Arkansas, though it might not be the first to open outside of Tennessee. A location currently under construction in Southaven, Mississippi may earn that distinction.
The South Yard development will also include commercial space for retail, offices, and other types of businesses. South Yard Lofts are also located on the site, which include studio apartments as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments that are currently available for lease.
“We are thrilled that South Yard will be home to Central BBQ’s first location in Arkansas,” said Jeremy Hudson, CEO of Specialized Real Estate Group. “Central BBQ will be easily accessible through the Razorback Greenway and is an important partner in our effort to create unique, walkable places for our community.”
Construction of the site is currently underway. If all goes well, the new restaurant will open sometime in early 2023.
Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff
A new outdoor restaurant from the folks behind Feed and Folly is coming soon to Fayetteville.
The new concept is called City Park, and will be located in the former AT&T truck station at 1332 N. Leverett Ave. We first wrote about the project when it was up before the Planning Commission in January.
Since then, more details – including a name for the restaurant – have been decided on. Co-owner Lewis Chase, who purchased the property along with Feed and Folly business partners Michael and Matt Sutton, told us the name is a nod to another local community space.
“City Park is actually the original name of Wilson Park from back when my Mom was a kid,” Chase said “We decided it would be cool to pay homage to that.”
The idea for the new business, he said, is to create a concept similar to what you might find in Dallas, Austin, and other cities, that serves food and local beers, all in an outdoor space with easy access to the trail system.
Chase said the kitchen will be located in the existing building on the property, and will serve a variety of food options.
“Our original idea was to have three or four kitchens serving different foods, but it turned out we weren’t going to be able to update the building that much,” he said. “So we’ll have one kitchen with 3-4 types of food coming out. As of now, we are thinking Texas-style barbecue with specials Thursday through Sunday, smashburgers, street tacos, and a trailside snack menu with healthier items so you can grab a bite and keep riding.”
If all goes well, construction could be complete by the end of the year, though the owners may wait until things warm up in the spring of 2023 before they officially open to the public.
DQ Grill & Chill
The DQ Grill & Chill restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Fayetteville is now closed.
Online listings for the restaurant have been marked permanently closed, signs on the building were recently removed, and a note on the door also confirms the closure while directing customers to nearby locations.
The restaurant opened in 2019 in the building formerly home to a Hardees.
DQ restaurants focus on burgers, fries, and ice cream products. There are several DQ restaurants still in the area, including one at 2091 N. Crossover Road in Fayetteville, and in at 310 W. Main St. in Farmington.
Mediterranean food is once again being served from the building located at 3379 N. College Ave. Suite 8 in Fayetteville.
This time, it comes from a restaurant chain called CAVA, a company that acquired Zoe’s Kitchen in 2018.
The restaurant operates around 150 locations in 16 states, primarily on the east and west coasts and in Texas, according to the company’s website.
The restaurant menu focuses on build-your-own dishes including a base of rice, salad, grain, and pita bread, then topped with spreads like hummus and harissa before adding a Mediterranean protein like falafel, lamb, or meatballs. Veggies, cheese, and other toppings are also available.
The brand offers products in Whole Foods stores around the country, including a lineup of about 10 Mediterranean spreads.
The restaurant is open daily from 10:45 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Domino’s Pizza is opening a new location on Garland Avenue.
The new store will be one of the chain’s “Pizza Theatre” locations, an open-concept store that allows carry-out guests to watch their pizza being made while they wait.
The restaurant will be located on the site of the former Arvest Bank location at 1113 N. Garland Ave. The old Arvest building has already been demolished to make way for the development, and construction is underway.
We’d guess that the Dominos location across the street at 1065 N. Garland Ave. will be moving into the new digs, but we haven’t been able to confirm that just yet. We reached out to the company for more info, and we’ll add that info here once we hear back from them.