Restaurant news: Sunny’s Stir Fry, City Park, Pesto’s by Lance, and more

It has a little while since we rounded up some restaurant news for y’all. 

Here’s what we know about the places that have recently opened, closed, or are planning to soon open in Fayetteville.

The Daily Beet

(Staff photo)

A mostly-vegetarian restaurant and juice bar with two locations in New Orleans is set to soon expand to Fayetteville. 

The restaurant, called The Daily Beet, will be located in the Ice House Building on West Avenue, just off Dickson Street at 339 N. West Ave. 

Owner Dylan Maisel got his start running a bicycle-based juice bar called JuiceNOLA in 2015. A couple years later, that business moved into a food hall called St. Roch Market, which led to Maisel eventually opening his first Daily Beet location in New Orleans’ Central Business District in 2017. Just two years later, the restaurant opened its second location.

The Daily Beet’s menu varies a bit by location, but generally focuses on healthy breakfast and brunch items, salads, bowls, along with smoothies, cold-pressed juices, coffees, and teas. The only meat we spotted on either menu was a lox dish served for breakfast. 

Maisel is no stranger to the restaurant business. According to a article, his parents operated vegetarian restaurants in New York and Vermont.

The restaurant sources much of the produce it serves from local farmers, according to the company’s website.

“We partner with local farmers who share our purpose: to provide sustainable nutrition to promote a vibrant community, and our belief that healthier bodies means a healthier planet,” the site states.

Maisel said he and his family plan to relocate to Fayetteville to open the new business, but will continue to also operate his New Orleans-area locations.

If all goes well, Maisel said he hopes to be up and running sometime in the spring of 2024.

Pesto’s by Lance

(Todd Gill, Flyer Staff)

Pasta will once again be served from the little building at 1830 N. College, formerly home to Pesto Cafe

Private chef Lance Corbin is planning to open an Italian restaurant in the space under a slightly different name, Pesto’s by Lance.

Corbin announced he was taking over the space on Facebook recently. From the post:

I know lots of locals are missing this Fayetteville favorite since they closed in December.

Today the keys were turned over to me, and I promise to bring Pesto’s back to life, just as delicious as you remember and better than ever. I’ll provide updates here as we get the restaurant ready to reopen!

According to his website, Corbin got his start at 19 as a pantry chef for a resort in northern Michigan called Marsh Ridge. He worked with with Chef Lynn Allen who encouraged him to pursue his apprenticeship through the American Culinary Federation. Later, he worked as executive chef of Sarasota, Florida restaurant, Mama Leone’s

He moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2018 to work for Tyson Foods, and has also offered personal chef services. 

It is unclear whether Corbin has purchased the business from the previous owners.

Corbin said he has some ideas for a few changes. A lot will stay the same as well. 

“We are planning to stay true to the heart of Pesto and what is so loved about it,” he said. “We will be cleaning, doing some light renovation improvements, and giving her a new coat of paint to freshen her up.  We intend to work with the décor that is there but may shift things around a bit.” 

As far as the menu goes, he has similar plans to build on the foundation already in place at the restaurant. 

“We will keep many of the same dishes, plus add a few more classic Italian entrees as well,” he said. 

The new menu is listed on the restaurant’s new website,

According to the site, the restaurant plans to open sometime in May.

Alamo Drafthouse

(Project rendering)

First we broke the news that an Alamo Drafthouse was in the works for Fayetteville. Now we know even more.

Austin-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse recently revealed plans for a new cinema and drive-in theater on the former 112 Drive-In property in Fayetteville.

The new 38,000-square-foot facility will be part of a new 19.5-acre mixed-use development called The Aronson, which will feature a mix of commercial and residential units anchored by what will be the first Alamo Drafthouse in Arkansas and the company’s first permanent drive-in.

“Our mission at Alamo Drafthouse is to preserve, celebrate, and innovate the cinema experience,” said Shelli Taylor, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse. “Drive-in theaters deeply influenced the Alamo Drafthouse preshow, programming, and design from the very beginning, but we have never managed to incorporate a permanent drive-in into any of our theaters. We are beyond excited to launch the first Alamo drive-in screen in Fayetteville!”

The new theater is set to open in 2024, and will include both Hollywood blockbusters and first run releases next to independent and art house titles, according to a website update.

Similar to other Drafthouse locations, menus will be available at each seat where patrons will use paper and pen to order food and drinks after pressing a call button to contact a server. Menus will include appetizers, entrees, desserts, plus full bar options including cocktails, spirits, milkshakes and draft beers. A kids menu with a la carte options is also available.

The Fayetteville location will include a standalone cocktail bar and outdoor beer garden with a view of the drive-in screen.

The indoor cinema will include a total of 800 seats across eight 4k digital theaters, all equipped with 7.1 Dolby surround sound. One of the theaters will include Dolby Atmos spatial sound technology.

All seating is assigned and can be reserved both in person or online.

Alamo Drafthouse first opened in Austin in 1997. Since then, the theater chain has grown to include locations in more than 25 cities. The Fayetteville project will be the 39th Alamo facility to open.

The 112 Drive-In held its final showings in late August after 42 years in operation on the property. With its closing, there are now only two remaining permanent drive-in movie theaters in Arkansas – the Kenda Drive-In in Marshall and the Stone Drive-In in Mountain View.

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.

The Central BBQ was the first of three restaurants to announce their plans to open at the new South Yard developments, and it appears as though they will also be the first to open.

A representative for the development told us recently Central BBQ is still on track to be up and running at the new location sometime this spring.

Their space at South Yard will include a large dining area, full-service bar, and outdoor patio, and will be located near the center of the main building. You can get a look at their menu here.

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. 

Central BBQ 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.

Fayetteville Taco & Tamale

(Project rendering)

A popular central Arkansas restaurant group will soon open their first Fayetteville location. 

Yellow Rocket Concepts, the group behind Lost Forty Brewing, Local Lime, Big Orange, and other restaurants, on Tuesday announced plans to open a Fayetteville Taco & Tamale last summer, and that restaurant appears on track to open this summer.

The group operates a handful of restaurants around the region, including the Big Orange and Local Lime restaurants in Rogers, and the Bentonville Taco & Tamale that opened up north in the spring. 

The concept coming to Fayetteville is a version of the chain’s Height’s Taco & Tamale restaurant that originally opened in Little Rock in 2015. Fayetteville Taco & Tamale will occupy the space in the South Yard deveopment closest to MLK, and will also include a large dining area and outdoor patio. As the name suggests, the menu will focus on a variety of tacos, delta tamales, and other Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Here’s a draft of their Fayetteville menu.

The restaurant joins Memphis-based Central BBQ as the second commercial tenant to be announced at the new South Yard development, located on the property formerly home to Farmers Cooperative at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South School Avenue.

A representative for the South Yard development told us recently the restaurant will open sometime in the early part of this summer.

The Meteor Cafe

(Rendering showing the interior of the new Meteor Cafe (Courtesy))

A popular cafe and bike shop is coming to Fayetteville.

The Meteor, which operates locations in Austin, Texas and Bentonville, will open its third cafe at the South Yard development under construction at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South School Avenue in south Fayetteville.

The cafes serve specialty coffee, natural wine, craft beer, house-made baked goods and other foods, like breakfast tacos, burgers, and sourdough-crust pizza. Meteor locations also include a bike shop with a boutique retail environment that specializes in service along with a selection of bikes, apparel, and accessories.

The Meteor will be located in the free-standing building on the west side of the property. Here’s a first look at their menu.

If all goes well, they’ll be open sometime in late summer/early fall.

Uncommon Egg Rolls

(Staff photo)

There’s a new(ish) egg roll truck in town. 

Uncommon Egg Rolls opened late last year, and have been parked outside Fossil Cove Brewery (1946 N. Birch) for a few months now. 

As the name suggests, the restaurant focuses on a host of creative egg roll dishes including savory items like a reuben egg roll, chicken fajita egg roll, Philly cheesesteak eggroll, and others, along with dessert eggrolls like a cheesecake, pecan pie, cinnamon roll, and other flavors. They also offer waffle fries with various toppings, in similar flavors to their savory egg roll dishes. 

They are open Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., and on Mondays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. 

For a bit more info, check out their Facebook page.

Snack Lab

(Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer staff)

A local restaurant offering smoothies, bowls, pre-made items, and more has closed its doors. 

According to a recent social media post, Snack Lab has permanently closed its Fayetteville location at 2341 N. College Ave. 

The restaurant originally opened in March 2020, just before things started shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The building had been listed as available for sub lease on local commercial real estate sites, and it appears as though another restaurant is on the way. 

“We fought hard to live out our mission in the Fayetteville community, despite the uncertainties of that time,” according to the post. “We’ve worked hard to serve both the Fayetteville and Bentonville communities with real, nourishing food, unlike anything anyone else is doing in NWA. But, we now have an opportunity to pass along our beloved Fayetteville space to another restaurant concept.”

Snack Lab’s Bentonville location at 102 SE 28th Street will remain open, the owners said, and will continue to make meal plan and catering deliveries to Fayetteville.


(Staff photo)

A popular Mexican restaurant chain opened their first Fayetteville restaurant this week. 

Chuy’s officially opened a new location at 642 E. Millsap Road in Fayetteville on Tuesday, Feb. 28. 

The restaurant 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 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. Chuy’s currently operates about 100 restaurants across 20 states, mostly concentrated in Texas and around the South.

The new Fayetteville restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. according to the hours on their Facebook page.

Nautical Bowls

(Staff photo)

 A new chain restaurant serving Açai bowls and other items is now open in Fayetteville. 

Nautical Bowls officially opened recently at 1113 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the shopping center next to Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

The restaurant’s menu features a variety of options including various bases such as cacao, pitaya, mango, chia pudding, and others topped with grains, fruit, seeds, and more. 

According to the company’s website, there are 37 locations open for the chain, with several others currently in the works around the U.S. 

According to the company’s Google listing, the restaurant is open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. 


(Staff photo)

A restaurant chain that specializes in smoked ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and other items will soon expand to Fayetteville. 

According to recently-installed menu boards inside the restaurant visible from the exterior, a Rib Crib restaurant will open at 2190 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in the location formerly home to DQ (and before that, Hardee’s.)

The Tulsa-based chain currently operates around 60 locations primarily in Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas. 

The new restaurant would be the first in Fayetteville for the chain, that also operates a location nearby in Springdale. 

According to a spokesperson for the restaurant, they plan to be up and running in the new location sometime in May.

Mr Gatti’s Pizza


A Texas-based pizza restaurant and arcade chain is planning to open a location in Fayetteville. 

According to the company’s website, Mr. Gatti’s Pizza has plans for several restaurants in Arkansas, including locations in Fayetteville, Bentonville, Fort Smith, and Little Rock. 

No specific information was given on any of the Arkansas locations, but all four were listed as “coming soon” on the company’s site as of Monday evening. 

The restaurant was founded in Austin in 1969. Since then, the chain has grown to operate more than 70 locations. 

The restaurant offers a variety of pizzas, and most locations include arcade areas with video games and redemption-style games to earn tickets for prizes.

According to a press release issued this week, the Arkansas restaurants will be opened by franchisee Brent Swadley, founder and president of Swadley’s BBQ restaurants in Oklahoma as part of a 17-unit deal in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri over the next six years.


(Staff photo)

A new food truck offering Ecuadorian food and other items is now open in Fayetteville. 

The new truck, called Chuzos, is located at The Yacht Club mobile business park (617 N. College Ave). 

The restaurant specializes in chuzos, which are meat kabobs (also known as pinchos in some parts of Latin America, according to their Facebook page). 

Steak, chicken, pork, sausage, shrimp, and potato chuzos are listed on the menu on their website, along with sandwiches and other items. The food photos on their Instagram profile look delicious. 

They are open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. for lunch, and from 5-8 p.m. for dinner, and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. for lunch, and from 5-8:30 p.m. for dinner.

For a bit more info, visit their website.

Scooter’s Coffee


An empty lot at a busy intersection in south Fayetteville will soon be home to a Scooter’s Coffee.

A franchise location from the Nebraska-based coffee chain is set to be constructed at 1519 S. School Ave. at the southwest corner of 15th Street, according to a company spokesperson. It’s tentatively set to open in late 2023.

A conceptual plat was submitted to the city which shows a 664-square-foot drive-thru-style coffee shop with a dedicated off-street drive-thru lane that could hold up to 11 cars. The plans show nine other parking spaces with landscaping and associated infrastructure.

Access is proposed on the north side of the property onto 15th Street just west of the stoplight, while traffic from the south could enter through the parking lot of an existing building with access off of South School Avenue.

Founded in 1998, Scooter’s has nearly 600 locations in 28 states, according to information posted on

The company on its website lists five locations in Arkansas, including two in Bentonville, one in Rogers, one in Fort Smith and one in Harrison.

Sunny’s Stir Fry

(Staff photo)

It looks like a new stir fry restaurant is coming to Fayetteville.

According to health department records, a restaurant called Sunny’s Stir Fry is in the works in the building at 2335 North College, formerly home to Best Sports.

We don’t have much info about this one just yet, but we stopped by to see that a buildout of that space is currently underway.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

City Park

(Todd Gill, Fayetteville 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 last summer, and we’ve noticed quite a bit of progress on the construction has already been made since then.

The restaurant also has its social media presence set up, and the first couple posts on their newly established Instagram account outline some information about their plans, the reasons for the name, and more. There’s also some info about the name on their website, which is a nod to “City Park,” the original name for beloved Wilson Park in Fayetteville.

In 1908, an anonymous writer going by the name “City Park Poet” penned a tribute to the natural beauty of this new addition to Fayetteville. In the poem “Athens of Arkansas,” the author tells the audience that 

“By being more friendly with Nature and Art,” we “have added to town a beautiful park” and: 

To sum it all up – to come to the test, 
There’s but one addition that we can call best, 
The one by Mt. Nord through Englewood shade, 
The place of all places that Nature has made, 
The place she has made and sealed with her mark 
The beautiful place we call CITY PARK.

According to one of the posts on Instagram, the restaurant will be entirely outdoors and will have a full bar outside, covered patios, and an open yard area. As far as the food goes, they’ll offer breakfast and coffee, barbecue, tacos, smash burgers, appetizers, salad bowls, drinks, and other local food.

Co-owner Lewis Chase told us that the initial phase including much of the covered outdoor seating, container bar, and food offerings will be open sometime in May. A second phase of construction that will include the yard area, trail connection, and other cool features will be completed sometime before football season in the fall.