Restaurant News: Cheers at the OPO, Ronda’s Roadhouse, TacoHolic, and more

There have been quite a few developments in the world of Fayetteville restaurants recently.

If you pay close attention to the Flyer, you may have read about several of these already, but we did find a few new items as well.

Here’s what we know about restaurants that have opened, closed, or plan to open soon in Fayetteville.

Cheers at the OPO

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For the first time in nearly a decade, the center of the Fayetteville square will soon be occupied by a restaurant again.

A sign recently appeared on the door of the building known locally as the Old Post Office at 1 E. Center St. on the square indicating that someone has applied for a Restaurant Mixed Drink license with the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control board at the location.

ABC records indicate that Curtis Arnold applied for the permit, under the name Cheers at the OPO.

We reached out to Curtis recently, who said he couldn’t go into a ton of detail on the project just yet, but confirmed plans to open a restaurant at the location.

“We are so excited for this project, and to be bringing this restaurant to this special building in Fayetteville,” he said.

Curtis today confirmed that he has partnered with the group behind Cheers in the Heights for the Fayetteville project.

“Our menu will include all of those items, and some other things,” he said. “It’s all really good food.”

Curtis told us if all goes well, he hopes to have Cheers at the OPO up and running sometime early next year.


Qdoba

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Remember when Qdoba closed their Dickson Street location, and vowed to eventually return in a new location on Joyce Boulevard in the future? That appears to be happening soon.

According to documents filed with the Arkansas Department of Health, Qdoba is working to open a location at 637 E. Joyce Boulevard, in the shopping center that also includes Slim Chickens, Newks, and several other businesses.

The San Diego-based chain, which operates more than 600 locations nationally, had operated a location at 603 W. Dickson Street for several years before closing down in the fall of 2017. Qdoba specialized in build-your-own burritos, tacos, and other dishes.

No specific suite number is listed on the health department application, but there is an empty space in the building next to Slim Chickens facing Joyce Boulevard that is a good bet for the future home of the restaurant.


Hog Haus

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After 14 years, Hog Haus Brewing Company, located at 430 W. Dickson Street, closed for good at the end of October.

Owner Julie Sill told us at the time she planned to move to Maryland to be closer to family, and focus on her health.

According to Washington County property records, the building at Dickson Street and West Avenue was sold for $3.17 million on Oct. 25.

Three House Ventures LLC, an Arkansas company created earlier this year and registered by attorney Jason Bramlett of Fayetteville, was the buyer of the building. The property was previously owned by Margaret Gilliam of New York.

An address on the warranty deed led us to Mark King of Fayetteville, who confirmed involvement in the project, but was not ready to talk about his specific plans for the building.

“There isn’t really anything to report at this time,” King told us earlier this month. “We’ve simply completed the real estate transaction. As far as next steps, we have just begun the planning phase of the project and we don’t currently have anything set in stone.”


Waffle House

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Waffle House closed their Dickson Street location for good on Nov. 11. A note posted on the door simply stated “closed” (with a sad face drawn as inside the “o”).

The restaurant opened in 2011 on the ground floor of The Dickson. It was a bit of an unconventional location for the chain that had more typically focused on stand-alone buildings around the country near interchanges, though at the time, more urban-style Waffle Houses were popping up around the country.

Waffle House still operates a location in Fayetteville at 2311 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


Insomnia Cookies

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Next up, it appears as though a company called Insomnia Cookies is set to move into the former Waffle House location on Dickson Street.

The New York-based company that operates around 100 locations nationally, recently announced plans for a Fayetteville location on Facebook. According to an application filed with the Arkansas Department of Health, the shop will be located at 609 W. Dickson Street, Suite 202 inside a space on the ground floor of The Dickson.

The menu focuses on cookies sold individually, in packs, as cookie sandwiches, and in the form of cookie cakes for special occasions. Most locations are open late, and offer delivery. The company was founded by then-University of Pennsylvania college student Seth Berkowitz in 2003, according to the company’s website. Berkowitz ran the company from his dorm room, before eventually opening his first brick-and-mortar location in Syracuse, New York in 2006. According to reports, Krispy Kreme (the doughnut company) acquired a majority stake in the company over the summer.

No timetable for opening of the new place has been announced.


CJ’s Butcher Boy Burgers

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Russellville-based CJ’s Butcher Boy Burgers is getting close to opening their location at 3484 W. Wedington Drive in Fayetteville.

Crews recently installed a sign on the space, and renovations have been progressing.

For those who aren’t familiar, the restaurant specializes in hand-pattied, in-house-ground burgers and fresh-cut fries, along with milkshakes and malts. It will be just the second location for CJ’s, though some family members have opened similar concepts around the state, including David’s Burgers at a couple locations in central Arkansas, and Patrick’s Butcher Boy Burgers in Fort Smith and Alma.

Comments on the restaurant’s Facebook page indicate CJ’s is shooting for a mid-December opening date.


Ronda’s Roadhouse

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There has been some action at the former home of Bear’s Place on 15th Street.

According to the marquee outside the building, a restaurant called Ronda’s Roadhouse is coming soon to the location.

Arkansas ABC documents indicate Fayetteville resident Ronda Tester has applied for a restaurant beer and wine license at the location. Tester also happens to be one of the owners of the legendary south Fayetteville dive bar, White Star Tavern.

We sent Ronda a message, and we’ll add any info she can share with us here if we hear back from her.

Update: We heard from Rhonda, and she shared some info on her plans.

Our menu will include Soul food and all of your basic BBQ sandwiches i.e. pulled pork, brisket, smoked ham. Also, we will have homemade hamburgers, pulled pork tacos, pulled pork sundaes, loaded fries, loaded frito pies, BBQ dinners pulled pork, brisket, ribs along with the basic sides coleslaw, baked beans and mustard potato salad. We will have daily specials and plan on updating our menu often and branch off into other dishes We will offer a full line of homemade pies and desserts. All of our smoked meat items will be prepared on premises using fresh herbs from our garden.

Rhonda said she hopes to be open to the public sometime in January.


First Watch

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There has been some movement on the First Watch restaurant coming to College Avenue.

The restaurant this week appeared on the city’s planning commission agenda seeking a parking variance, indicating that the project is starting to move forward.

First Watch is a Florida-based chain that operates over 200 locations around the country. According to the company’s website, National and Battlefield Investments, led by James Tillman and Joseph Hulston, have committed to open at least five First Watch restaurants in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. The first of those locations – in Springfield, Missouri – opened last fall.

From the looks of the menu, the restaurant will serve traditional breakfast fare, along with some healthier-looking options like superfood bowls, granola bowls, some sandwiches, and salads. The restaurants are typically open daily from around 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

A timetable for opening the new restaurant hasn’t been announced, but we’ll keep you posted.


El Taquito

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There’s a new taco truck in town.

A new place called El Taquito popped up at the Yacht Club mobile business park on College recently.

The restaurant specializes in tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. We haven’t tried it yet, but the food they’ve posted online looks pretty legit.

Anyone tried it yet?


Burrito Loco

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Speaking of tacos, we noticed that one downtown taco destination has closed its doors recently.

The Burrito Loco location formerly located at 1 E Center Street has moved out of their space on the square.

Burrito Loco got its start in the back of the Columbia Mex convenience store at 2155 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and eventually grew to take over most of the space. The restaurant specializes in tacos, burritos, tortas, and other authentic Mexican cuisine.

That original location, however, also closed recently, and reopened under new ownership earlier this month.


TacoHolic

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The original Burrito Loco, aka Columbia Mex, also closed recently.

According to a Facebook post from earlier today, a new owner has reopened the restaurant under the new name, TacoHolic in late October.

The menu looks pretty similar to the one Burrito Local was serving to us.

The restaurant is located at 2155 W Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.


Restaurant News from our Sponsors

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Bordinos’ annual gift card special is here! Get $5 free for every $50 you spend on gift cards through Dec. 31.

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Pick up a Fiesta Pack of build-your own tacos from Flying Burrito Co, and invite some friends over!

Grub’s has $2 well drinks every day for happy hour from 3-9 pm!

Lights of the Ozarks + dinner at Hugo’s = the perfect Fayetteville holiday-season evening.

Thirsty? Kingfish has $2 cans every night of the week!

Wednesdays are for wings. Get delicious smoked wings for just 69¢ every Wednesday at Lucky Luke’s! $1 drafts, too!

There is a cure for the cold weather blues. It’s the hot drink menu at Maxine’s Tap Room!

Ozark Natural Foods has fresh cut Christmas Trees for sale!

Getting folks together this season? Penguin Ed’s can cater for any size gathering.

Razorback basketball season is here, and so is Mike’d Up, the Mike Anderson Radio Show, live at Sassy’s!

Love the brunch at Southern Food Co? You’ll also love their breakfast, served daily at the restaurant (with locally roasted Onyx coffee).

Show off your Slimthusiasm with some of the new merch at the Slim Chickens shop. Just in time for the holidays!

It’s soup season, and Taziki’s has some delicious options. Try their Hot Tomato Basil Soup with a Grilled Pimento Cheese sandwich!

Thursdays are martini night at Wasabi, featuring music by DJs E-Yo and Baby Armie, and $5 martinis!

Draft beers and wine are $2 off, and garlic parmesan breadsticks are $3 daily for happy hour from 2-6 p.m. at Wood Stone!