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Murphy Arts District

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What to know

MAD, as it's called, short for Murphy Arts District, is a two-phase creation of an entertainment district aimed at revitalizing downtown El Dorado. It involves turning the 1928 Griffin Auto Co. Building, once a fuel station and showroom for Model T Fords, into The Griffin, a farm-to-table restaurant flanked by a cabaret lounge and a 2,000-seat music hall with a stageside elevator, multiple bars, a VIP loft, a concession area, dressing rooms and a patio adorned with a 110-foot statue of an oil derrick, a bombastic homage to the black gold from which El Dorado sprang. The lawn outside The Griffin has been carved into an outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate 8,000 people, with an adjacent farmer's market and two-acre, free-admission "destination playscape" for kids.

That's just the part MAD calls "Phase I." Phase II, set to begin in two years, involves renovating the 1920s-chic Rialto Theater (on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the Griffin Building) and turning the adjacent McWilliams building into a 10,000-square-foot art gallery with artist-in-residence quarters.
100 W. Cedar St., Suite A
El Dorado, AR 71730
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