By Bear State Bank

Local Stories

So You Want to Open a Bar

We’re suckers for other businesses that carry the name “Bear,” so we were drawn to a bar and hamburger joint in an industrial section of Fayetteville called “Bear’s Place.” There you’ll find chainsaw-carved wooded bears holding American flags guarding the entrance. Another wooden bear peers down from the roof as if it’s ready to leap on unsuspecting prey. Bear’s Place sounds like our kind of place.

DeLuca’s Pizzeria Napoletana

DeLuca’s Pizzeria Napoletana in Hot Springs opened its doors four years ago. During this time, proprietor Anthony Valinoti, who had no previous restaurant experience, grew the business from a fledgling restaurant to the establishment hailed by the Arkansas Times as having the best pizza in Arkansas and receiving recommendations from The Food Network and Time Out New York.

Michel Shay, 2017 Gold Buckle Gala Honoree

If you want a meeting with one of the more successful business owners in the Springfield area, don’t go looking in a high-rise building with glassed-lined corner offices with city views. Instead, you will have better luck by knocking on the door of a modest, metal office building with nothing more than an address on the front door. There you will find Michel Shay, whose business portfolio includes more than a dozen restaurants, a convenience store, two wildlife ranches and a farm.

That Darn Rob

“Hi, I’m Rob and I’m a wood turner. I make traditional shaving gear and other wooden goods.” Rob handcrafts and sells traditional shaving gear, mostly wet-shaving brushes made of acrylic. The brushes sell for $40 to $70 apiece and are highly valued for both their functionality and collectability. 

The Waters

Historic downtown Hot Springs has a new jewel in her crown. The Waters, a new 62-room boutique hotel across from Bathhouse Row, opened in the renovated Thompson Building. The Waters, which has quickly become a favorite retreat in Spa City, retains many features of the original historical building while providing a modern experience.

So You Want to Start an Urban Farm

Once a stress-release hobby for white-collar city dwellers, urban farming has blossomed into a big business accounting for one fifth of the world’s food supply. Urban farming and community gardens are not new concepts; the Victory Gardens of WWII supplied 40% of the vegetables grown in the U.S. 

Five to Follow with Mike Pettey

Five to Follow asks The Ohio Club owner Mike Pettey to share his five favorite media sites. Read all about Mike’s unique success story, and how his club’s history became it’s biggest asset. “The history has been a big draw. It’s been fun to develop The Ohio Club into a destination. People come to Hot Springs from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee, and part of the reason they come is The Ohio Club.”

Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Café Crafts a Recipe for Success

If you asked Karin and Mike Nabors, founders of Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Cafe, what makes their bread so good, they’ll tell you it starts with the best ingredients as well as a commitment to the time and expertise required to produce something remarkable.

Mountain Biking and Photography Drive Novo Studio Head

“Thanks for calling Novo Studio. This is Philip Thomas. I’m currently on the phone, on a photo shoot, on a bicycle or currently unavailable.” -voicemail, Novo Studio

Every Dog Has His Day in Front of Abby’s Camera

When Abby Malone was a young child, her family traveled from Arkansas to Ocean City, New Jersey, to visit her grandfather. Accompanying her were her pet raccoon and a sugar glider, a small pocket-sized marsupial native to Australia. She was an animal lover through and through. So it was no small leap for the child to grow up and become a pet photographer.

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