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mcheiss

Restaurant Development in NW Arkansas

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A new Italian restaurant is going in to the old Bizzy's location. It is owned by the group that owns Theo's.

Thanks for the info and welcome to the forum. :D

Pesto Cafe- best in town IMO.

Oh yeah, how could I forget that one. Thanks. :)

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Good points. I do admit better access to that area would certainly help. But I think some people tend to use that reason too much. As you pointed out there's got to be other reasons. In this case all of the above probably did them in. I always wondered what if Noodles had picked a location further away. While their current building is nicer than the old one. I can't help but wonder if they could draw some people away from the Olive Garden if they had picked a location away from it and might be more accessible. You can't really take people away from the Olive Garden if your restaurant is pretty much right next to it. I'm sure Noodles does alright for itself. But might be able to do more if they had managed another location. Outside of Bordino's is there any other location in Fayetteville for Italian food?

Actually, restaurants tend to do better when they locate near other restaurants. As my friend Kirby Walker who owns Noodles will tell you, "you have to go where the fish are biting." Their business increased by $1 mill a year when they moved to their current location from their old location on College.

As to the failures--lack of differentiation and mediocrity are the reasons for failure. When speaking of Friday's, Chili's has the same fare, as does Ruby Tuesday's/Colton's/Red Robin/Applebee's. Same stuff. We don't need any more of those. We need something different. Gullet's Gourmet in downtown Fayetteville is just an example of a bad idea. The place was supposed to be a gourmet take-out place but had no dedicated parking! It's so obviously flawed I cannot believe they lasted as long as they did. There is always a reason for failure besides the economy!

Edited by mzweig

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Saw some more updates on restaurant closures in the newspaper today. Railhead Saloon will be closing later this week near Dickson. Also over in downtown Mariachi's has closed as well as Bizzy's over in east Fayetteville. And apparently in uptown Ichiban has closed. I believe it was another operation that the family of Shogun ran. The only opening mentioned was Tiamo Italian Restaurant opened over in Evelyn Hills. The owners originally had a restaurant in Ft Smith and decided to close it and open one up here in NWA.

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Speaking of Noodles. I'm assuming they were just doing some work on the sign, not taking it down. But there was a crane out doing something with the sign on Noodles. Although restaurants seem to be having a hard time right now I'd be pretty surprised if a restaurant like Noodles had to close.

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Speaking of Noodles. I'm assuming they were just doing some work on the sign, not taking it down. But there was a crane out doing something with the sign on Noodles. Although restaurants seem to be having a hard time right now I'd be pretty surprised if a restaurant like Noodles had to close.

They are simply relocating their sign.

M

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The Fayetteville Flyer is reporting that ROTC caught on fire early this morning and has sustained some damage. They also said that they did not have fire insurance and that they might not be opening back up. The news gets worse by the hour for Fayetteville restaurants.

Also, the new JJ's Chill and Grill in Fayetteville will be honoring TGI Fridays gift cards. Seems like a good idea to bring more people into the restaurant. As anyone been there yet?

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The Fayetteville Flyer is reporting that ROTC caught on fire early this morning and has sustained some damage. They also said that they did not have fire insurance and that they might not be opening back up. The news gets worse by the hour for Fayetteville restaurants.

Also, the new JJ's Chill and Grill in Fayetteville will be honoring TGI Fridays gift cards. Seems like a good idea to bring more people into the restaurant. As anyone been there yet?

Thanks for the info, hadn't heard about ROTC yet. Also I heard the TGIF franchise was offering refunds as well. But still great to see another restaurant honoring them.

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Lot of activity going on with restaurants lately. Now apparently Oseguerra's is going to be re-opening in Fayetteville. They're going to be taking the Mariachi's former location on Center St in downtown Fayetteville.

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I don't recall ever officially hearing anything, but it looks like Hogwild Pizza in the Oak Plaza shopping center has closed. The sign is down and they've shut off all the windows. Although I noticed some people going in. Maybe they're working on the space for another restaurant. Either that or Hogwild is just temporarily closed and set to re-open at some point. But if that's the case I don't know why they'd take the sign down outside.

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El Chico closed last night. Signs were taken down first thing this morning.

Thanks fir the update. As I said the other day, a lot of activity recently. I don't know if I can recall such heavy activity like this before. Unfortunately a lot of is negative, places closing rather than opening. But there have been openings as well.

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I don't recall ever officially hearing anything, but it looks like Hogwild Pizza in the Oak Plaza shopping center has closed. The sign is down and they've shut off all the windows. Although I noticed some people going in. Maybe they're working on the space for another restaurant. Either that or Hogwild is just temporarily closed and set to re-open at some point. But if that's the case I don't know why they'd take the sign down outside.

Don't know exactly when but that place closed months ago.

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Don't know exactly when but that place closed months ago.

Thanks, someone might have mentioned it and I may had just forgotten it.

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Anyone been to the Bliss Cupcake Cafe in the EJ Ball Building? I'm trying to decide if it's a bakery or a actual cafe. I've heard it offers specialty cupcakes, which sounds like a very narrow niche for a business in this area.

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Looks like a new bar is going up near Dickson St. Kingfish will be modeled on an '70's dive bar', going for that old Dickson St feel before the WAC came and changed the street. It will be located at the old Smiling Jack's off of Dickson. Food delivery is going to be available from Flying Burrito.

I had heard about Mariachi's closing on Block St. I had assumed they were just shutting down, but apparently they're moving. They'll be moving to the NWA Mall taking over the spot Garcia's and before that Garfield's.

Primo Pasta House & Pizzeria will be taking over the old Bizzy's location in east Fayetteville. It will be run by the same guy who owns Theo's American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge near Dickson.

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El Chico closed last night. Signs were taken down first thing this morning.

First post here. Very interesting subject with all of the recent closures of restaurants.

I worked at El Chico for a couple of years and it was hilarious how bad management was at this restaurant. The restaurant was never very busy during my time, but it fit my need for a random job to make a little bit of spending money while in college. Unfortunately, outside of one or two people, it was impossible for anyone to make a decent living if they had bills and responsibilities. As a result, the turnover was incredibly high. This often resulted in rushing new employees through training, who didn't know the menu well, weren't familiar with the computer system, and were generally incompetent. I'm genuinely shocked that El Chico stayed in business as long as it has. The most recent general manager was fired, which was the last in a long line of management changes [none for particularly good reasons] at the particular location. I figure that the company that owned the franchise felt it was not worth training a new manager to take over the store.

Additionally, the entire El Chico chain seems to be dying/struggling, as I can think of several locations around the region that have closed over the past few years.

With regards to TGI Friday's, it seems like the prices became incredibly inflated for the value you were receiving at the place. $9.29 for a Chicken breast sandwich and fries? In a time where every restaurant/fast food chain seems to be reducing prices, it seemed like every time I went into Friday's the prices were going up.

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First post here. Very interesting subject with all of the recent closures of restaurants.

I worked at El Chico for a couple of years and it was hilarious how bad management was at this restaurant. The restaurant was never very busy during my time, but it fit my need for a random job to make a little bit of spending money while in college. Unfortunately, outside of one or two people, it was impossible for anyone to make a decent living if they had bills and responsibilities. As a result, the turnover was incredibly high. This often resulted in rushing new employees through training, who didn't know the menu well, weren't familiar with the computer system, and were generally incompetent. I'm genuinely shocked that El Chico stayed in business as long as it has. The most recent general manager was fired, which was the last in a long line of management changes [none for particularly good reasons] at the particular location. I figure that the company that owned the franchise felt it was not worth training a new manager to take over the store.

Additionally, the entire El Chico chain seems to be dying/struggling, as I can think of several locations around the region that have closed over the past few years.

With regards to TGI Friday's, it seems like the prices became incredibly inflated for the value you were receiving at the place. $9.29 for a Chicken breast sandwich and fries? In a time where every restaurant/fast food chain seems to be reducing prices, it seemed like every time I went into Friday's the prices were going up.

In the last fifteen years I thnk I went to El Chico one time- the food and service was so bad that one time that I never went back. There are so many choices for Mexican food in the area that a place really has to stand out and offer great food. Cafe Santa Fe was my favorite and I don't know that I have one now. Jose's is reliable and has a great history. Qdoba is good for a chain as is On the Border in Rogers.

I think TGI Friday's was competitive with the other chains around town price wise. I guess for me I associated it with some good times and that familarity kept me going back. That and the fact that with chains you usually know what to expect both in the food and service. It's great trying new foods and places but it's also nice to not get bad surprises.

Edited by zman9810

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In the last fifteen years I think I went to El Chico one time- the food and service was so bad that one time that I never went back. There are so many choices for Mexican food in the area that a place really has to stand out and offer great food. Cafe Santa Fe was my favorite and I don't know that I have one now. Jose's is reliable and has a great history. Qdoba is good for a chain as is On the Border in Rogers.

As you mentioned, I was surprised El Chico lasted as long because of the big variety of Mexican restaurants to choose from in the area. El Chico was around before most of the big Hispanic influx came. For me I always wanted to go for a more 'authentic' Mexican restaurant, rather than the Tex-Mex influenced ones that the chains seem to be to some degree.

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As you mentioned, I was surprised El Chico lasted as long because of the big variety of Mexican restaurants to choose from in the area. El Chico was around before most of the big Hispanic influx came. For me I always wanted to go for a more 'authentic' Mexican restaurant, rather than the Tex-Mex influenced ones that the chains seem to be to some degree.

A lot of people seem to like the more authentic Mexican places- La Huerta's parking lot seems full every night. I like them also but the all seem to be about the same- no one of them stands out for me.

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A lot of people seem to like the more authentic Mexican places- La Huerta's parking lot seems full every night. I like them also but the all seem to be about the same- no one of them stands out for me.

i think they likee them because they are really cheap compared to the chains. the quality seems low to me, but the price is right.

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i think they likee them because they are really cheap compared to the chains. the quality seems low to me, but the price is right.

Actually I think the food is better. If La Huerta and El Chico's was the same price I still would have picked La Huerta. In fact I'd probably even be willing to pay more for food at La Huerta than El Chico. Not slamming El Chico but to me all the 'chains' seem to be more Tex-Mex.

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Has anyone tried the new Indian restaurant in Fayetteville where the Greenhouse Grill used to be?

Actually someone posted about it. Took me a while to figure out what topic that it was in. Didn't get good a good review.

Oh, yeah, BTW, the new Indian/Pakastani restaurant in the former Greenhouse Grille location is horrible. The worst food ever, sterile atmosphere, bad service, etc. WHY cannot someone do a decent Indian restaurant around here??? This one will never make it I am afraid.

Mark

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Actually someone posted about it. Took me a while to figure out what topic that it was in. Didn't get good a good review.

My Bad I should have searched for it.

Well, the review won't stop me from trying. Although Aroma in Bentonville was not a great restaurant, the food was a good fix of Indian food.

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Has anyone tried the new Indian restaurant in Fayetteville where the Greenhouse Grill used to be?

I tried it out the first day it opened. Good food at the buffet. They were out of a couple of items and the waitress was very green and unorganized. It was definitely worth going back and hopefully it will smooth out as the chef and staff get more experience. The only downside was a rather steep price for a lunch buffet - think it was around $9.

On the Indian cuisine note, made back to Aroma in Bentonville for the 4th time. They continue to improve their food and presentation. Still a bit stark in the interior, but they have lots of commercial food warmers, very tasty food on the buffet and had started offering Mango Lassi! The owner is quite soft spoken and it is sometimes difficult to find a person to pay, but the food is well prepared.

I hope that these evolve to the level of Star of India in Little Rock. My 6 and 8 yo beg to stop there every time we take a road trip in that direction.

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