Have you ever been to a theme restaurant? A theme restaurant is a restaurant where the ambiance and menu are centered around a certain theme (think ‘50s-style diners). The popularity of theme restaurants tends to rise and fall depending on the mood of the dining community, however they can be a truly enjoyable experience if you ever have the chance to visit one. The Fort Smith area has a few theme restaurants. This examiner can think of three off the top of his head: Big Jake’s Cattle Company, Ed Walker’s Drive Inn and Main Street Ice Cream Parlour. All three of these restaurants make one feel like they have stepped into another era, but all three offer a great ambiance and food that will thrill all.
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Big Jake’s Cattle Company
Big Jake’s Cattle Company will appear to most as a Western-themed restaurant, however that is not exactly accurate. Big Jake’s is actually a John Wayne-themed restaurant but focuses primarily on his Western films (you will find a few posters of his war movies like The Green Berets here and there). In addition to movie posters, the interior of Big Jake’s is designed to look like a 19th century restaurant or saloon (for those who sit in the central dining room look up and watch the toy train go around on tracks). The menu is limited, but the items that they have are delicious. For customers on a budget, visit Big Jake’s during lunch. You will find most of the same items that are on the dinner menu, only at a more reasonable price.
Big Jake’s Cattle Company is located at 1702 Fayetteville Road Van Buren, AR 72956.
The dining room of Ed Walker’s
Ed Walker’s is a restaurant reminiscent of diners and drive-ins from the 1940s and 1950s. In a sense it is not fair to call this a theme restaurant because Ed Walker’s has been around since the 1940s. The owners chose not to remodel the restaurant, but rather to maintain the motif that it has always had. Sit on a stool at the lunch counter or amble into one of their many booths and listen to music from the 1950s and early 1960s. You can also enjoy your meal in the comfort of your own vehicle (remember Ed Walker’s is still a drive-in), as well as any of the beers served at the restaurant. Customers are not allowed to leave the premises with an open beer, but they can enjoy one as long as they are on Ed Walker’s property.
Ed Walker’s is located at 1500 Towson Avenue Fort Smith, AR 72901.
If you loved old-fashioned ice cream parlors when you were growing up, or would have loved the chance to experience one first hand, then Main Street Ice Cream Parlour is the place for you. Redesigned to look like an ice cream parlor and soda fountain from the 1950s, Main Street Ice Cream Parlour evokes memories of a simpler time. You can choose a cup or cone of your favorite ice cream or have that as a malt or shake, then sit back and watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show or Gomer Pyle USMC. The owner has full DVD sets of both shows and broadcasts them daily. After a delicious frozen treat, head to the back of the parlor and explore the owner’s museum of sports memorabilia. Main Street Ice Cream Parlour is the place to go when you are looking for a true 1950s experience. Take the time to visit this unique place.
Main Street Ice Cream Parlour is located at 703 Main Street Van Buren, AR 72656.