Popular Dining Destination for Truckers is Closing its Doors After 47 Years
Benton, AR – A popular dining destination for truckers in Arkansas has announced it will be closing its doors after 47 years in business.
In a statement on Thursday, owners of Brown’s Country Store & Restaurant, Phillp and Cissy Brown, announced their retirement and the closing of the restaurant and store.
“We have enjoyed serving local patrons, friends, tourists, and celebrities over these many years,” the Browns said.
“We have heard memorable stories from locals who have talked to people all over the world who have experienced Brown’s Southern hospitality and delicious food,” they continued.
Brown’s Restaurant, located just off Interstate 30 at exit 118 in Benton, has been a long-time favorite for truckers traveling through the area, particularly because of its trucker-friendly attitude and massive all-you-can-eat buffet for under $12.
Brown’s 100′ buffet boasted comfort foods such as fried chicken, roast beef, chicken and dumplings, fried fish, along with a slew of classic Southern sides and desserts.
In addition to four large dining areas with enough seating to accommodate 400, guests also enjoyed a gift shop and candy store on-site.
Trucker and YouTuber Keith Lawson (also known as PaleriderTV) was sad to hear of the closing.
He said he’ll remember Brown’s as a place with both great food and great service.
As an owner-operator leased to Little Rock, AR-based Central Hauling, Lawson travels through the area frequently.
He tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) he always saw trucks parked there.
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In fact, Brown’s was also known in the trucking community as being a safe place to park.
“There is an old abandoned gas station next door [truckers] could park at,” Lawson said.
In a March 17 social media post, Brown’s Restaurant posted it was going to provide a to-go option (one meat plus three veggies) for $7.99, and assured patrons there was plenty of room to “spread out” for those who still desired a dine-in option.
However, on March 20, the restaurant made the announcement it was forced to close to be in compliance with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s orders pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have ceased operations until further notice,” the post stated. “We will take this time to be at home with our families and pray for our nation. Thank you for your business and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.”
It has been closed since that time.
The Brown’s made no mention in their farewell if the pandemic was the catalyst for the abrupt closure.
The Brown’s opened the restaurant in June 1973, fulfilling a “young dream” when they were 18 and 19 years old, respectively.
In their farewell message, the Brown’s thanked their customers for the privilege to serve them for the past 47 years.
“It has been an adventure, our first year in business we had guests from all 50 states and nine countries,” they recalled.
Additionally, since its opening, the Brown’s said the restaurant has been able to donate enough food to feed over half a million people in need.
Photo courtesy of Brown’s Country Store & Restaurant