A new owner for That Bookstore

posted by rexnelson on May 15th, 2014

Chris Crawley came home to Blytheville to die. Now, he is healed and running the most famous bookstore in the state.

Read More

Arkansas Delta food tour: Part Two

posted by rexnelson on April 24th, 2014

From the Johnny Cash home at Dyess to the strawberry shortcakes at the Bulldog in Bald Knob, the great Arkansas Delta tour rolls on.

Read More

The great Arkansas Delta food tour

posted by rexnelson on April 23rd, 2014

The excursion into the Arkansas Delta took us more than 400 miles and allowed us to eat at 10 places before dusk on Good Friday. Barbecue. Catfish. Tamales. Shrimp. Strawberry shortcake. Yes, we did it all in one day.

Read More

Examples for the Spa City

posted by rexnelson on April 17th, 2014

Hot Springs business, civic and political leaders: You’ve neglected the state’s most noted stretch of street for far too long. People across the state are watching to see if you take advantage of this window of opportunity or squander it. History will not judge kindly those who were on the wrong side at this critical juncture in the history of Hot Springs.

Read More

Little Rock’s downtown renaissance

posted by rexnelson on March 13th, 2014

Artisanal cheese, expensive bicycles, boutique hotels, ballet studios, hip restaurants, cigar bars. Is this downtown Little Rock or is this Portland?

Read More

Hot Springs: Up from the ashes

posted by rexnelson on February 28th, 2014

It won’t be cheap. It won’t be without its headaches. It won’t happen as quickly as some of us would like. But out of the ashes of the Majestic Hotel, a better downtown Hot Springs can arise.

Read More

The three Rs for downtown Hot Springs

posted by rexnelson on February 26th, 2014

The response to the previous Southern Fried post shows that there is a deep love across this state for downtown Hot Springs. All Arkansans have a vested interest in seeing that downtown Hot Springs is renewed, refreshed and revived. Here are some suggestions from someone who grew up down the road and has watched the changes in downtown Hot Springs for more than four decades.

Read More

The shame of Hot Springs

posted by rexnelson on February 21st, 2014

They nailed plywood over the windows of the old Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs this week. Every Arkansan — all 3 million of us — should be ashamed of what we’ve allowed to occur in downtown Hot Springs. It’s our Bourbon Street, our Beale Street, our Canal Street, our San Antonio Riverwalk. And it needs to be saved.

Read More

Little Rock’s Lafayette Hotel

posted by rexnelson on February 18th, 2014

Chad and Jessica Gallagher of De Queen and Scott and Deborah Ferguson of West Memphis hope not only to sell the remaining 10 condos and rent the remaining office space in the downtown Little Rock building that once housed the Lafayette Hotel. They also want to make the Lafayette the gathering spot it was in its hotel days with a restaurant, retail establishments and private functions. With nearby Main Street now filled with ongoing developments than promise an increased number of people on the sidewalks at all hours, they might just pull it off.

Read More

Building Pine Bluff — Ramsay, May, Makris

posted by rexnelson on February 5th, 2014

It was a delight to open the newspaper early Sunday morning and see George Makris Jr. gracing the front of the High Profile section. I had noted in my weekly newspaper column just four days earlier how Makris fell in line with his predecessors as CEO of Simmons First National Bank. Those predecessors were Arkansas business legends Louis Ramsay and Tommy May, both members of the state’s Business Hall of Fame.

Read More