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The 112 Most Missed Restaurants in the History of Fayetteville

Hoffbrau Fayetteville
Hoffbrau, formerly located at 31 E. Center Street in the space currently occupied by Damgoode Pies, as seen in 2005. Photo: Rod Jacobs

Maybe it’s that semi-transient population, or maybe it’s just the way the world works in a capitalist society, but just as the influx and students ebb and flow into the city like the rising tide, so goes the world of eateries, cafes, and diners that make up the local food landscape of the city.

Our popular Restaurant News column is pretty solid evidence of this fact, and thinking about that ever-changing world led to a post on our Facebook page earlier this year that prompted a pretty interesting discussion.

We asked, simply, “If you could bring back any restaurant from Fayetteville’s past, what would it be?”

The post netted 600 comments, mentioning 112 restaurants in total, and at least for us, brought back some pretty great memories.

We compiled the list, tabulated the votes, and added some of our own recollections about a few of the 112 most missed restaurants in the history of Fayetteville.

Obviously, our methods are not scientific, but the resulting list is fun to look at, reminisce on, and discuss.

Feel free to add your favorite stories in the comments. What restaurant from Fayetteville’s past would you bring back if you could, and what do you remember or miss most about the places listed below?

Wes Hall's Minute Man

1. Hoffbrau

Steaks, burgers, a good salad bar, and crazy drink specials are what we remember most about Hoffbrau, formerly located at 31 E. Center Street off the square in the space currently occupied by Damgoode Pies. The restaurant closed in the early 2000s, but apparently still lives on in the minds of several Fayettevillians. Of the 600 responses on Facebook, Hoffbrau was mentioned over 50 times as the restaurant locals most wanted to bring back from the great restaurant beyond.

2. Fuzzy’s

Former burger and barbecue joint Fuzzy’s came in as the second most missed restaurant in Fayetteville. It was located on Garland Avenue, across from Fast Tracks in a building that has since been demolished as part of the still-underway street widening project. It was the place where I ordered my first legal beer. They had crazy good battered fries, nachos, a delicious barbecue burger. They closed sometime in the early 2000s.

3. Coy’s Place

Another steakhouse comes in as the third most missed restaurant in town. Coy’s Place, the project by charismatic and well loved restauranteur Coy Kaylor, was located on College Avenue in a building that has since been demolished across from Herman’s Ribhouse. It had a large porch out front for folks waiting for a table, and an intimate bar area off the dining room where Coy frequently could be found chatting with customers. I remember they had good steaks and prime rib. My grandfather once took the whole 1996 Prairie Grove Tiger basketball team there, fulfilling a promise to do so if we made it to the state tournament. The place closed not too long after that. We’re not sure of the exact year.

4. ROTC on Dickson

Restaurant on the Corner, known locally simply as as ROTC (pronounced “rot-see”) is still open at 3582 N Hwy 112, but locals miss the restaurant’s original home. For years, ROTC was located on the corner (hence the name) of Dickson Street and Rollston Avenue. It had a great diner-style atmosphere, focusing on a menu of sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, good brunch items, and more. When developers for the 3 Sisters Building purchased the property in the 1990s, the restaurant, along with across the street neighbors The Grill had to relocate, leading to the consolidation of the two restaurants in their current location. It was one of the first places we frequented for coffee with friends in high school (Sorry waiters and waitresses. We most likely overstayed our welcome on more than one occasion.)

5. Muley’s

We barely remember Muley’s. It was on the south side of Colt Square in a relatively large building, and it’s heyday was probably the mid-to-late 1980s-early 90s. We don’t remember much about the food, because we were probably eating from the kids menu back them, but it seems like they served some pretty standard American fare of burgers, sandwiches, a few steaks, and salads. We also remember it nearly always being packed. What do you guys remember about Muley’s?

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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