Restaurant news: The Meteor, House of Games, Spice Road, and more

We found a few bites of restaurant news for y’all. Here’s what we know about several places that have opened, closed, or plan to soon open in Fayetteville.

The Meteor

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The sign is up for the Fayetteville location for cafe and bike shop chain, The Meteor Cafe.

The Meteor, which operates locations in Austin, Texas and Bentonville, will soon 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 shop is targeting an August 2024 opening date, officials told us today, though that date could shift a bit between now and then depending on how construction and permitting goes in the coming weeks.

House of Games

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A new pool hall offering drinks, snacks, and other gaming options is in the works on College Avenue.

The business, called House of Games, is in the works in the building at 427 N. College Avenue.

Signs for the new business went up recently, though we haven’t been able to track down additional information about the business thus far.

We stopped by and spoke to an artist working on a mural inside, and left a card with our contact info for the owner. While we were there, we saw a large open space with a bar toward the back filled with pool tables and other gaming tables already set up inside.

We’ll update this post if we’re able to track down more info.

Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q

(Courtesy Rudy’s Bar-B-Q)

Plans for a Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q on the southwest side of town appear to be moving forward.

Health department records indicate the new restaurant is being proposed at 4084 W Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, near the intersection of Rupple Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard about a mile west of Walmart.

Plans submitted to the city over the winter show a 10,797-square-foot building with associated parking at the northeast corner of the intersection.

Rudy’s serves a variety of barbecue, from brisket to smoked turkey, chicken, ribs and pulled pork. Meats are sold by the half-pound — ranging from $7.49 for sausage links to $11.99 for brisket. The menu also includes sandwiches, sides, breakfast tacos and desserts.

Founded by Rudolph Aue in 1929 as a one-stop gas station, repair shop and grocery store in Leon Springs, Texas, the company added barbecue to the menu in 1989. The company has since grown to include 51 locations across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Arizona, according to the company’s website.


This image released by Specialized Real Estate Group shows the construction site where a boutique hotel is being built atop Markham Hill in Fayetteville. (Specialized Real Estate Group)

A new restaurant that will open soon on Markham Hill has hired an executive chef.

Stonebreaker, a new restaurant and hotel project also being built on the Markham Hill property announced earlier this spring that the restaurant has hired Tyler Rogers as executive chef.

Rogers, an Arkansas native who grew up in Magnolia, has studied under renowned chefs including Thomas Keller at The French Laundry (Yountville, CA), Grant Achatz at Alinea (Chicago, IL), and Iliana Regan at Elizabeth (Chicago, IL).

Rogers most recently worked as Executive Chef for Hail Fellow Well Met! restaurant in Johnson.

Stonebreaker is a collaboration between Specialized Real Estate Group (SREG) and Hay Creek Hotels

If all goes well, the restaurant will open sometime in August. The 78-room hotel and an event venue in the restored Pratt Place Barn are slated to open in the months to follow.

The Collective

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A new restaurant is in the works in the space formerly home to Cannibal & Craft tiki bar on Dickson Street.

The restaurant, called the Collective is described as “an upscale restaurant offering a collection of Americana and world cuisine,.” Chris Tanner, owner of Cheers in the Heights, The Oyster Bar, and Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill, will partner with Cannibal & Craft owners William and Don Ray on the new restaurant project.

Don posted a draft menu for the new restaurant on social media last week that features prime rib, along with some seafood dishes, a seared pork entree, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and other items.

The other half of the space recently became a coffee shop, which is set to remain open. Ben’s Apartment, the speakeasy-style bar located near the back of the space, will also continue to operate as normal.

If all goes well, the Collective is set to open in August.

Cheba Hut

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A marijuana-themed sandwich shop is now open soon in Fayetteville.

Cheba Hut, a Colorado-based chain specializing in submarine sandwiches named after marijuana strains, opened on May 20 at 1947 N. College Avenue, in the building formerly home to Arvest Bank.

Cheba Hut got its start in 1998, and has been growing rapidly in recent years.  According to their website, there are roughly 50 Cheba Hut restaurants currently open in around 15 states, including Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Wisconsin, and others.

The chain opened their first Arkansas location in Little Rock on April 20 of 2022. The Fayetteville location, however, will be owned by a different franchisee.

The restaurant is open Sunday-Thursday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 10 am. until 12 p.m.

Spice Road Kitchen

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A new Indian Food truck is open on the south side of town.

The truck, called Spice Road Kitchen, has been parked for the last couple months in the 514 Filling Station mobile business park, located at 514 M.L.K. Jr Blvd. in Fayetteville.

According to their menu, the truck serves a variety of Indian food staples, including chicken tandoori, butter chicken, samosas, kebabs, and more.

The truck is open for lunch and dinner every day except for Thursdays, according to their Facebook page.

Cronuts Donuts

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A new donut shop is in the works on College Avenue.

According to banners recently placed on the building, Cronuts Donuts plans to move in at 2050 N. College Ave., next to Bocca.

Cronuts Donuts also operates a store on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fayetteville. The logo on the banner at the new store matches the sign at the MLK location, though it is unclear if the College Avenue restaurant will be a second store, or if the MLK location will move. We left a message at the MLK location seeking clarity, and will update this post once we hear back from them.

The building on College Avenue has been vacant for several months. It was most recently a B.M. Tacos location.

Cronuts’ other Northwest Arkansas locations serve a variety of donuts, breakfast sandwiches, kolaches, and other items. The Fayetteville location also offers smoothies.

Five Guys

Eliot Blondet/Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images)

A restaurant chain specializing in burgers and fresh cut fries will soon expand to Fayetteville.

Washington DC-based Five Guys is renovating a space at 1229 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in the former laundromat space next to 7Brew in the Arena Village Shopping Center.

Five Guys opened its first location in Arlington, Va. in 1986. The company opened its first franchise locations in 2002, and has been rapidly expanding ever since. Five Guys currently operates more than 1,700 locations in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, with another 1,500 currently in development.

The restaurant’s menu focuses on a simple menu of burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, shakes, and fries.

The company currently operates locations in Bentonville and Rogers, and has a total of seven restaurants in Arkansas.

A company spokesperson told us last month the new location is tentatively slated for a late June opening if all goes well with construction.

The Leroy

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A new restaurant, bar, and sporting lounge is now open on Dickson Street. 

The restaurant, located at 644 W. Dickson in the old UARK Bowl building, is called The Leroy Sporting Lounge and offers craft cocktails, upscale lounge food, personal lounges, simulators, duckpin bowling, and classic darts.

The Bentonville-based restaurant operators behind Tusk & Trotter are running the kitchen and operations for The Leroy.

According to, the building was built in 1947 by W.F. Sonneman as one of the city’s first bowling alleys. It remained a bowling alley until 1978, when it became The Boardwalk Shops, home to businesses like Boardwalk Jeans and Boardwalk Cafe. It was remodeled again in around 2000 to resemble the most current configuration. 

The Leroy is open daily from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Damgoode Pies

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The last remaining Damgoode Pies location closed its doors last month.

The marquee outside the Fayetteville Damgoode location was changed to read “RIP Damgoode Pies – Thank you pie eaters” officially the week of May 10.

The future for the restaurant had been a bit uncertain after founder Jeff Trine announced the closure of his original restaurant in the Hillcrest neighborhood in Little Rock at 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. last October. Not long after that, Trine posted a video online to let customers know he would also close his other Little Rock location at 6706 Cantrell Road about a month later. The last Damgoode Pies in Little Rock closed on Nov. 22.

That left the Fayetteville location, a franchise owned by Bill Karsten and his family at 37 E. Center St., as the sole remaining store for the restaurant.

Karsten told us over the winter that he didn’t plan to renew his lease for the restaurant on the square, but he was hoping to find a new location for the restaurant in an effort to keep it running even after he had outlived his franchisor.

Things have just not worked out the way he’d hoped since then, he told us.

Karsten said the Covid-19 pandemic, which Trine also cited as a major contributor to the closure of the Little Rock locations, caused a significant drop in sales for the restaurant in 2020, and those sales have never recovered.

Damgoode originally opened in Little Rock in 2001, and became a fast hit in Central Arkansas for its “stuffy” pizzas with double-stuffed crust, it’s “pink sauce” with a hint of spice created by mixing its spicy white sauce and marinara, and it’s witty menu, signs, and social media posts.

The restaurant expanded to Fayetteville in the summer of 2009, with franchisee Brendon Maxwell opening in the space formerly home to Hoffbrau just off the downtown square. Karsten purchased the Fayetteville franchise in 2015.

Xuma Kitchens

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A restaurant that has served Mexican cuisine and brunch items just off the Fayetteville square for several years also closed last month.

Xuma Kitchens owners announced plans to officially close on May 26 on the restaurant’s social media pages.

“We are profoundly grateful to each and every one of you who walked through our doors,” read the closing announcement. “Your support has been the cornerstone of our existence. From our loyal customers to our incredible staff—both past and present—your enthusiasm and commitment have turned Xuma into a community, not just a restaurant.”

The restaurant, located at 25 E. Center St., opened under the name Axis Lounge as a restaurant, craft cocktail bar, and VR lounge in 2017. The restaurant dropped the VR lounge and changed its name a few years later. Xuma Kitchens their cuisine as “authentic Mexican meets modern American kitchens,” and were known locally for their made-from-scratch food, fresh margaritas, unique brunch, and large patio overlooking the street.