|The restaurant inside the Oark General Store is excellent,|
but the general store hasn't always housed it.
|The Hinderliter Grog Shop still stands; it's now part of the|
Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock.
|One of the dining rooms at Williams Tavern Restaurant at|
Historic Washington State Park near Hope.
Want to have a menu item that’s been offered for more than 100 years at one place? Go to Pocahontas and have a sundae at Futrell Pharmacy. That location opened up in the 1890s. The oldest non-dessert item still on the same menu anywhere would be the corned beef sandwich at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs – and it’s been served since 1904.
But you’re wondering about restaurants. So here’s a rundown of the oldest continuously operating restaurants in the state.
|The White House Cafe in Camden, before it was painted white.|
|Cool bar at White House Cafe.|
323 S Adams * Camden * (870) 836-2255 * Facebook
|Inside the Ozark Cafe in Jasper, historical image.|
2. The Ozark Cafe (Jasper). The original place in 1909 serve just one dish each day, soup or stew served out to people who came in for a quarter a bowl. It grew over the years to offer just about anything you could imagine getting in a diner, family restaurant or soda fountain. The restaurant still sits in its original location on the Jasper square across from the courthouse, and today it’s best known for chocolate gravy and The Excaliburger.
107 E Court Street * Jasper * (870) 446-2976
|Jones Barbecue Diner in 1964.|
3. Jones Barbecue Diner (Marianna). Long before the Jones family moved the joint to its current location in 1964, they operated The Hole In The Wall in downtown Marianna. The recipe dates back to around the Civil War, but no one can clearly determine the place’s original opening date. The first barbecue was believed to have been scooped out of that washtub in the 1910s.
219 W Louisiana * Marianna * (870) 295-3807 * Facebook
|Slices of pie at Franke's Cafeteria.|
|This was the front of the Hot Springs Franke's location.|
400 S Broadway (in the Regions Bank Building) * (501) 372-1919 * Website
11121 N Rodney Parham (in the Market Place Shopping Center) * (501) 225-4487
|Buffalo Ribs at Lassis Inn, Little Rock.|
518 E 27th Street * Little Rock * (501) 372-8714
|The White Pig Inn in North Little Rock.|
5231 E Broadway * North Little Rock * (501) 945-5551 * Website
|The counter at the Broadway Cafe in Prescott.|
123 W 1st Street N * Prescott * (870) 887-8817
Broadway Cafe has recently closed.
|Fried chicken at Myrtie Mae's in Eureka Springs.|
207 W Van Buren * Eureka Springs * (479) 239-5538 * Website
|The Skyline Cafe in Mena in the 1920s.|
618 Mena Street * Mena * (479) 394-5152
|Chicken Parmesana and spaghetti at Mary Maestri's.|
669 E Robinson * Springdale * (479) 756-1441 * Website
Mary Maestri's is closed while its owner looks for a new location.
|The Dixie Pig in Blytheville.|
701 N 6th Street * Blytheville * (870) 763-4636
810 Main Street * Van Buren * (479) 471-3335 * Facebook
Brother's Cottage Cafe has closed.
|Magnolia Bake Shop still stands here today.|
13. Magnolia Bakeshop (Magnolia). Originally opened in 1928, this bakery on the downtown square is Arkansas’s oldest, best known for its rich layered cakes and such, was started by Carmie Schobel Stroope, and it’s remained in the family ever since.
103 N Jefferson * Magnolia * (870) 234-1304 * Facebook
|McClard's Barbecue in Hot Springs.|
505 Albert Pike * Hot Springs * (501) 624-9586 * Website
I could go on all day about different places that are far older than the restaurant at the Oark General Store, but I believe I have made my point. Want to share your favorite old-time Arkansas eatery? Post your suggestion in the comments below.
P.S. A few more restaurants that would have made this list, had they been in continuous operation, and others commonly asked about:
Kitchen's Corner Cafe (Heth) -- formerly Boles Grocery. The building at the corner of Highways 70 and 79 south of I-40 and north of the town of Heth has always held a grocery store and counter. But whether that counter has always operated is up for conjecture.
Wilson Cafe (Wilson). The little place simply known as The Tavern to locals has held a restaurant most of its 100 year existence. However, it's also been closed for long periods as well.
Futrell Pharmacy (Pocahontas). Not an actual restaurant, per se, but this Pocahontas shop has a soda fountain and has reportedly been serving ice cream and sodas since the 19th century.
George's Majestic Lounge (Fayetteville). George's isn't a restaurant, but it's almost always HOUSED a restaurant. That's why the Dickson Street mainstay, which dates back to 1927, is also on the record for northwest Arkansas's first pizza delivery.
Asher Dairy Bar (Little Rock). Once located on the highway between Little Rock and Benton, the capital city grew its way out to encompass the classic dairy diner. In operation since 1929.