If you’re a taco fan, I have good news. Tacos 4 Life will open in early June. If you’ve been keeping up, you may recall that the owners are Austin and Ashton Samuelson. They are the same entrepreneurs who started Pitza 42. Each meal you purchase at either restaurant will provide a meal for a hungry child in a third-world country through Feed My Starving Children. And based on what I’ve seen so far, they are really good cooks, so it’s win-win. I look forward to seeing what Tacos 4 Life has to offer.

New retail on roundabout

On the northernmost roundabout on Harkrider Street, the little house that used to be home to The Gathering is undergoing a bit of construction in preparations for a new retail store that will open there in July.

Rumor has it the store will be a dress shop, but I’ll have to let you know the full details when I get more information.


Just for kicks, I thought I would make a list of vacant buildings — or "available properties" or "business opportunities" — all of which I’m wondering why someone hasn’t snapped them up. They seem like perfectly good locations for the right tenant. If you’re on the lookout for a location, here are a few suggestions.

• New China 2 — also known as the former Western Sizzlin’ building, located on Oak Street near Interstate 40. What a tragic story. This building was gutted, revamped, painted, the whole nine yards, only to open as a new restaurant for about 25 minutes and then close. Some folks might be turned off by its placement back from the road, but a brave, classy restaurant might make a go of it. Maybe turn about half the building into a gift shop.

• Beef O’Brady’s — the building that was home to El Chico for so many years and then housed "Beef’s" for a while would be a great spot for a restaurant wanting to draw the movie-going crowd. And it, too, has recently been remodeled. What is the problem, folks?

• Stage — this has been vacant for so long, some people don’t even know what I’m talking about. This is the very large space next to the movie theater — key words — right next to the movie theater. Why not put in some kind of a department store? People could come in and browse at dresses and dishes and wallets and ties between dinner and the movie. Or put another cool restaurant in there. I bet someone in this town is doing big business and wishing they had more space.

Well, those are my thoughts, for whatever they’re worth. Come back next week for (I hope) an update on downtown and more.

(Rachel Parker Dickerson may be reached at 501-505-1236 or rachel.dickerson@thecabin.net)