Well a couple of years ago, Daddy Warbucks moved down to the Key West, Fla., to escape the waning days of Houston Dale Nutt’s tenure as the Head Hog.
Daddy bought a sailboat and sailed away.
He was living that Jimmy Buffet lifestyle — until Hurricane Irene caught him and his little boat, The Warbucks Escape, on the North Carolina coast.
Now, he’s back.
“Boy, what changes have gone down in and around Fayetteville town and the ensuing world of Northwest Arkansas since I left,” Daddy said as he offered up his first serving of commentary to The Free Weekly.
Daddy thinks the Northwest Arkansas building boom, though stalled, has yet to burst as folks here tend to say. Just a bit of the Recession that’s saddled out nation. But Daddy opines it’s not as bad here as other spots in the United States of America.
There’s still no first-class hotel across from the John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building. Poor ole Dan Coody, (is he even around any more?) promised Daddy W. some New Year’s Eve bubbly there. Guess that is not gonna happen.
Uncle Gaylord’s Mountain Cafe is closed up and for sale. How sad. One of the best waterin’ hole and eatin’ joints in recent history — gone.
Taco Bueno seems to have taken root and flourished in the region and is about to open yet another cookie-cutter taco joint out on Martin Luther King Boulevard. The rebuilt Taco Bell, which burned in a fire a year or so ago, seems to be doing as much business as ever, but watch the Taco Bueno.
Up on North College Avenue, there seems to be a little bit of a food revival — thanks to Flying Burrito having the vision and courage (at the time) to open in the old IHOP. The Feltner Brothers have staked out a place as have others wanting to cash in on the fast-food trends up there. Even an old bank (one of many financial institutions have been there) now serves as an Einstein Bros. bagel shop in the Evelyn Hills Shopping Center.
But enough food. On to money, money, money.
In case you have not heard, the Bank of Fayetteville has sold.
Yes, Virginia, that is correct. S-O-L-D.
The holding company, the new owners of the Bank of Fayetteville is the First National Bank of Fort Smith — the same holding company that owns the Bank of Rogers. All the details that Daddy knows is that few things will change at first. Regulators and all the stock deals are working themselves out as this is being written. Few, if any, branches are expected to be closed. And the name, for appearances sake, will remain the same.
Parking for Dollars: Daddy W. must admit when hearing of the paid-parking on Dickson Street, I thought city fathers had lost their marbles. But since the hijacking of the Walton Arts Center to Central Rogers — well, the million earned in the past year — will help build a parking structure and possibly a hotel down there. It is one of those conundrums — can it, will it, should it be?
Dollar General sure played its hand quietly to get the permit to sell beer in its stores. Yes, last week the Alcohol Beverage Commission in Little Rock granted some 50 Dollar General Stores in Arkansas permission to sell beer.
Fifty stores will now sell the carbonated yeast drinks. There are lots of Dollar General Stores all over the region and state.
The price of beer, since Walmart and convenience stores started selling it in Northwest Arkansas, has fallen like the stock market.