Torchy’s Tacos, Tony’s New York Style Pizza and Hill Coffee Company are just a few restaurants that opened locations across Fayetteville ahead of the fall semester.

A coffee shop, Hill Coffee Company, has replaced Au Bon Pain in the Union. In contrast to Au Bon Pain’s self-service kiosks and orange-toned tables, Hill Coffee Co. seems more like a coffee shop, senior Faith Raun said.

Raun usually goes to study in coffee shops that have more of a relaxed, cozy feeling, and she is excited to have a new option on campus that provides that for her, she said.

Other students are not happy with the replacement of Au Bon Pain. 

Senior Araceli Gonzalez went to Au Bon Pain almost every day and was a big fan of their soups. Gonzalez was not impressed with the drink she ordered from Hill Coffee Co., but she is still willing to give it a chance, she said.

“I’m hoping the food is just as good because the soups and sandwiches were what I really liked about Au Bon Pain,” Gonzalez said. 

Some items from the menu that students recommend include the Old Main, a latte with vanilla, honey and cinnamon and the Hillacino, a latte with vanilla and caramel. Many of the drinks are Razorback-themed.

Tony’s New York Style Pizza, located on Dickson Street where Taco Bell Cantina was previously, opened the first week of August. When students returned to campus, Tony’s, along with other new restaurants in Fayetteville, was open and ready to serve.

The idea behind Tony’s centered around bringing new options to Fayetteville’s restaurant market, kitchen manager Zach Hager said. 

“There hasn’t been a well-established by-the-slice place around here, so the idea was bringing that New York style by-the slice to Fayetteville,” Hager said.

Before Tony’s moved into their location on Dickson Street, Taco Bell Cantina occupied the space. It closed Dec. 24, 2018.

“Once we found out this Taco Bell was going out of business, the place just made sense,” Hager said.

Hager hopes that Tony’s will provide a unique restaurant serving food made with the freshest, local ingredients. He recommends the Fat Tony’s pizza, which is a specialty pizza with homemade alfredo sauce topped with spinach, feta, bacon and chicken, he said. 

Another restaurant, Torchy’s Tacos, added a location on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that opened Aug. 5.

The demand for a Torchy’s in Fayetteville has been around for years. In 2016, alumnus Evan Moussaid tweeted Torchy’s requesting they open a store in Fayetteville. In a playful response, the restaurant’s Twitter account said they would begin “scouting locations.” Three years later, Moussaid likes to think he had something to do with Torchy’s opening a location in Fayetteville, he said.

A local coffee shop, Doomsday Coffee and Roasterie, opened its second location in Downtown Fayetteville on West Watson Street, near Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese. The new location will serve the same items as the original, like various coffee and espresso beverages.

Baba Boudan’s Espresso, located on College Avenue, closed its doors in March after an SUV crashed into the building. The coffee shop reopened five months once workers completed repairs.

Ohana Poke is a restaurant that serves food inspired by traditional Hawaiian cuisine and is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Ginger Rice and Noodle bar and 7Brew. Restaurant guests may choose to create their own bowl, or they may choose one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.

Project 7, a bar and grill that opened July 5, serves modern American food and cocktails, according to its menu. It is located on West Avenue behind Kream and Teatro Scarpino in Downtown Fayetteville.

A national chain of breakfast restaurants, First Watch, opened a location in Fayetteville on College Avenue near Flying Burrito and Village Inn. The restaurant serves various breakfast plates and sandwiches and serves salads and sandwiches for lunch, according to the menu.

Juice Palm, a locally-owned juice bar and cafe, opened its third Northwest Arkansas location on Dickson Street in Downtown Fayetteville. Juice Palm serves cold-pressed juice as well as acai bowls, sandwiches and salads, according to its Juice Palm.

The Good Cajun is a food truck located on Prairie Street near Mamaka Bowls. The restaurant serves authentic cajun food inspired by cuisine from Acadiana, Louisiana, according to its website.

Mess Hall 45, located on Crossover Road near Harps and the Walmart Neighborhood Market, opened its doors in August. It serves various diner-style sandwiches as well as other miscellaneous American dishes.

Andrew Elkins is the associate news editor of the Arkansas Traveler. He worked as a reporter and photographer from 2018-2019.

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