STORY – Bluebell Country Store and Cafe wraps up 2019 with yet another culinary accomplishment after being informed the store has been nominated for the 2020 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame People’s Choice Award.
The local landmark in the northern part of Montgomery County has become a lay over destination for bikers, hikers and cyclists alike. The business’s location at the intersection of Highways 27 and 298 make it a nexus point for visitors to the Ouachita National Forest and Lake Ouachita. Bluebell Country Store’s location makes it an oasis along the Ouachita Trail and the Womble Trail. The store offers a place of rest for all travelers. Whether passing through or beginning a journey, the Bluebell Country Store has helped make many a journey a memorable one.
Owner Lori Carly shared a letter she received form the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism which informed her of her nomination. The letter states that food has a rich tradition throughout Arkansas and the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was created to help celebrate the state’s unique foods, legendary restaurants, remarkable chefs, influential food entrepreneurs and culturally significant festivals and events.
“The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame is our way of recognizing the ‘taste-setters’ statewide who provide an extra helping of good ‘ole Arkansas Hospitality.” The letter reads.
The People’s Choice Award goes to the restaurant or food truck that received the most submissions during the nomination period in October. The winner will be announced Monday, February 24, at the 2020 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Ron Robinson Center in Little Rock.
Bluebell’s menu is a full service menu which provides a wide variety of items to choose from. Lori’s kitchen is known for the burgers cooked there, but they are not the only thing worth eating while you are there. Whether it be early in the morning, lunchtime, or dinnertime, you can find something to eat at Bluebell Country Store and Cafe.
The food is just the tip of the iceberg at Bluebell Country Store and Cafe. The hospitality and friendly people you encounter remind you why people choose Montgomery County as a vacation destination.
The store is also home to a long-standing weekly jam session. Most Saturday evenings pickers and grinners from all across the region gather at the small store around a microphone and play until the store closes. The jam session has been featured on PBS and has been written about in multiple publications.
Earlier this year Bluebell Country Store and Cafe was named one of the “20 Best Restaurants on America’s Long Distance Hiking Trails” by the website thehikinglife.com.
The website published a list of the top 20 restaurants based upon thehikinglife.com’s creator Cam “Swami” Honan’s personal visits to eating establishments across the country. He was called “the most travelled hiker on earth” by Backpacker Magazine in 2015. His website is an effort to share his experience with the world.
The list of top restaurants spanned the gambit of eating establishments from all corners of the United States. Bluebell Country Store in Story came in at number 15 on the list. They are the only eating establishment in Arkansas and one of only four in the south to make the list.
Honan says of Bluebell Country Store, “Dropped in during my winter thru hike of the OT (Ouachita Trail) in 2012. Situated about half way along the OT , the Blue Bell is equal parts restaurant, grocery store, gas station, live music venue and de facto community center all rolled into one. The cafe’s meals are well priced, the servings are large, and if there is any place that encapsulates the South’s legendary hospitality along the OT, it is the Bluebell. They will even shuttle you back to the trail for a small fee if you ask nicely!”
The Bluebell Country Store is open seven days a week. They are open 4 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday; 4 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday; and from 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday.
To contact the store call (870) 867-3999
You can find more information on the Bluebell Country Store at bluebellcountrystore.com