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.

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:

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.