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The Oldest Restaurant In Arkansas Has A Truly Incredible History

The good people at Thrillist compiled a list containing the oldest restaurant in every state. In this article, Thrillist says that Arkansas’s oldest restaurant, “has done everything right in its almost 125 years.” We have to agree with Thrillist. Oark General Store is a fantastic place with great food and tons of history.

It was established in 1890 because the small, isolated Ozark Mountain community of Oark needed supplies and groceries. In addition to being the oldest restaurant in Arkansas, it is also the oldest continuously running store in the state. That’s right—though other businesses came and went in the 126 year period of this restaurant’s history, Oark General Store has survived world wars, the Great Depression, and global recession. That alone makes the place incredible, but add to it that this restaurant is also on the Register of Historic Places, serves delicious home-style food, and is located in the wondrous Ozark National Forest, and it becomes an absolute must-visit for every Arkansan.

In the last 20 years, the Oark General Store has transitioned from a true general store where locals could come for groceries and supplies into a full-service restaurant that draws patrons from all over. It’s open seven days a week, from sun up to sundown, and it’s well worth the trip on those winding Ozark byways to the tiny town of Oark with its 233 souls, which can be credited for keeping alive this century-old mom-and-pop eatery out in the woods.

While you’re up that way, find more amazing treasures in the Ozark National Forest.

You’ll find more old restaurants in this article.

For a foodie road trip that will make your taste buds explode, you’ll want to visit these places.

J.B. Weisenfels
J.B. Weisenfels has lived in rural Arkansas for three decades. She is a writer, a mom, and a graduate student. She is also an avid collector of tacky fish whatnots, slightly chipped teapots, and other old things. In her spare time she enjoys driving to the nearest creek to sit a while. If you were to visit her, she'd try to feed you cornbread.