With one of the state’s most acclaimed revitalized downtown areas, a host of restaurants, shops, and ongoing attractions, this Northeast Arkansas destination offers something for both residents and tourists alike
EATS & SWEETS
If you’re looking to dine in Jonesboro, head downtown. For lunch, we recommend stopping in at Skinny J’s (870-275-6264, skinnyjs.com) located on South Main Street. Started in nearby tiny Cash, Arkansas, by chef James Best, the casual, laidback restaurant moved to Jonesboro in 2010 and now has two sister locations in Paragould and North Little Rock. Order from their oyster bar, try a burger, or their selections of steak and chicken— which are known as Cow and Yard Bird at Skinny J’s.
For a more upscale dinner, try Omar’s Uptown (870-336-3001, omarsuptown.com), open Monday-Saturday from 4 – 10 p.m. Chef Omar Barry, who was the chef at Omar’s Steakhouse at The 501 Club starting in the late 1990s, oversees the fare, which includes delights such as snapper creole, Crown Royal chicken, and a Portobello New York strip steak. With weekly features and customized menus as well as themed parties and wine tastings, it’s easy to see why Omar’s remains an institution in the area.
While you’re in the downtown area, schedule an appointment (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at Sara Howell Studio & Gallery (870-935-6336, sarahowellgallery.net) located on Main Street. Featuring nearly a dozen artists, including works from Howell herself, the gallery is a place to draw inspiration and find a piece you are sure to love for a lifetime.
If cooking, baking, and entertaining are your forms of art, Jonesboro has a destination that you’ll not want to miss: The Everyday Chef (870-933-2665, theeverydaychef.net). The enormous store stocks an endless selection of china, serving ware, linens, pots and pans, small appliances, and gourmet items. Their bridal registry features all the latest trends, colors, and brands, including Haviland, Mottahedeh, Arte Italica, and more. They also offer a great selection of MacKenzie-Childs’s home accessories and a complete color range of Le Creuset cookware. Located on Red Wolf Boulevard, the sweet staff is eager to help you narrow down your selection and provide you with every detail needed to ensure you enjoy your purchase.
MAKE IT HOME
If you’re looking to create a dream home in Jonesboro, Gilmore’s Custom Kitchens and Baths (870-932-7638, gilmoreskitchens.com) should be your first stop. It’s the place to go to see the best in kitchen and bath cabinetry available in Northeast Arkansas. The showroom is set up with fully installed kitchens to give you an idea of exactly how your new space could look. Owner Doug Gilmore and his staff will take the time to help you find the best selection for your style and budget. Located on Stadium Square Road, Gilmore’s Custom Kitchens and Baths also carries a wide selection of appliances and countertops. If you don’t see what you are looking for in the showroom, be sure to ask to see their portfolio. You’ll be amazed by Gilmore’s design team’s talents, and they are more than happy to work wonders in your home.
When it comes to furnishings, head to a local staple on Southwest Drive—blu d’or Interiors (870-336-1435). The shop is filled with transitional pieces that can be used in many different design schemes for your home—whether your taste leans towards traditional or more contemporary. Owner Leigh Montgomery scours markets to bring the latest styles to the Jonesboro area. As an exclusive dealer for Lee Industries in this part of the state, they have a number of gorgeous upholstery pieces, many of which can be customized to your specifications. In addition to furniture, you’ll find lamps, rugs, home accessories, and one-of-a-kind art pieces by artists throughout the region. We especially loved the new pieces by local artists Sean Shrum and Allison Smith that we saw on the day we visited. If you are in Memphis, blu d’or Interiors has a sister store located in Laurelwood Shopping Center.
Swank (870-336-1620, pure-swank.com) is known for “Uncommon Home Décor,” as their tagline suggests. They offer the latest looks in contemporary furnishings and accessories. Young and vibrant, the store stocks colorful items for all areas of the home, including pieces from Norwalk Furniture and Phillips Collection to name a couple. On the day we were there, we enjoyed trying out their new selection of comfortable upholstered pieces and could have lingered in the chairs for hours talking with the helpful and professional staff. They are more than happy to assist you in narrowing down the selection from their seemingly endless options. Swank also offers free interior design services for any budget. Stop in at their Johnson Avenue store to learn more about this and find out-of-the-box pieces for your space.