Inspire • Equip • Restore

Developing Thriving Downtown Communities

In 2009 I was approached by the owner of a Mediterranean restaurant in a much larger city and he was looking to expand. He was actually recruited by our newly appointed Main Street Director. This was great news for Siloam Springs which was still looking and hoping for the opportunity to finally have a black tablecloth fine dining establishment. Within one year I had found the partners needed to pull this off, and had purchased and completely restored a 1940’s car dealership into the nicest restaurant in town! Unfortunately, within another 2 years they had to close their doors, not from a lack of community support, but from a lack of management listening to the public to expand their menu! One can only eat so much Babakanoosh in a week!

About that same time one of my partners had been “Courting” Chef Miles James from James at the Mill, one of the finest restaurants in Arkansas. They were discussing how Chef Miles could take his ‘Ozark Plateau Cuisine™’ and make it more casual to fit the demographics of Siloam Springs. The challenge we faced at this point was this…it was January 2012, and we had already promised our Main Street organization they could host their largest fundraiser there, the Main Event, hosting 150 people on the first Friday of May. We didn’t fully know the scope at this time, so we decided to go for it. On the first week of February we started demo of the previous restaurant, and by the first of March we were starting to put back the new restaurant…yet we had a new challenges in store for us.

The scope had changed from just a few hundred thousand dollar remodel unto building a world class restaurant with a spectacular open kitchen! I was ready and able to face the challenge, as I knew then this project could make the single biggest impact on the downtown to date. The appliances were delivered and installed one day before the event, and the paint was still drying. The next day was one of the greatest celebrations our community has ever shared downtown, as we were able to pull off the impossible, all with the collective energy that comes from downtown revitalization.