The word is out - two of Arkansas' classic restaurants that have disappeared, will soon reappear in new digs in downtown Hot Springs.
Both of these longstanding establishments have a place in the hearts of Arkansas food lovers, and both have been gone more than ten years. The effort to bring them back is much appreciated.
Chef Derek Nowell will oversee thee implementation of appropriate decor, associated menus and the atmosphere surrounding both of these grand locations. Both restaurants are expected to open in the first quarter of 2024.
Coy Theobalt, Sr. opened the restaurant way back in 1945, after coming up with an excellent seasoning for steaks. He worked at Myer's Bakery in Hot Springs
In 2017, Brown's son Clay Caffey resurrected some of the famed recipes from Coy's Steakhouse, including the steak seasoning and house dressing, with his new brand Coy's Southern Eats.
One dipped cracker later, and I can confirm: that dressing is right on point.
For those of us who were lucky enough to enjoy the Satellite, it was a respite from busy days, with mellow music matching with a lush decor and a staff of ever-attentive waitpersons. Special orders from repeat customers would sometimes arrive at the table when those regulars would drop by.
The coffeehouse will be reimagined within the Hotel Hot Springs as a place for breakfasts and brunches, with the addition of dinners that will reflect the flavors the Satellite Cafe became known for over time.
"I think we see the investment that's being made in these iconic restaurants, the investment Keith (Holland) is making in the Hotel Hot Springs, and I think there's a bigger story here," Nelson shared. "I truly believe that Hot Springs is on the verge of a new golden era. Steve (Arrison with Visit Hot Springs) will tell you about the record tourism numbers that Hot Springs is already experiencing this year. We've seen the hundreds of millions of dollars that Oaklawn has been putting into its facilities. Now we are seeing those investments come downtown with investments like the Hotel Hot Springs, and with the redoing of the Arlington's exterior. There are millions of dollars now being invested in downtown Hot Springs!" Nelson went on to share that traffic from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, which may surpass the size of Chicago's metropolitan area to become the third largest population center in the U.S. by 2030, is expected to bring tourists by the thousands to the Spa City.
The Hotel Hot Springs is located at 305 Malvern Avenue in Hot Springs. For more information about the hotel, call (877) 623-6697 or visit hotelhotsprings.org.
Kat Robinson is an Arkansas author and food historian, covering all of The Natural State's highways, byways and pieways. Her 12th book, The Great Arkansas Pie Book, is now available nationwide.