What's New for 2019 in Southwest Arkansas
Fine dining restaurant in Hot Springs on Central Avenue. The building it is housed in was constructed in 1909 and in the past was home to various banks. It is also home to one of the oldest bank vaults in the state.
CONTACT: 723 Central Avenue, Hot Springs; 501-596-8800; facebook.com/vaulthotsprings/
Northwoods system of biking trails
Phase One of a planned 44.6-mile system of mountain biking trails on the city-owned Northwoods/Cedar Glades properties in the northern section of Hot Springs is complete. Phase Two of the trail system will result in a system of first-class biking trails on the property, which incorporates forested hills and three lakes.
CONTACT: Visit Hot Springs, www.hotsprings.org.
Murphy Arts District in El Dorado
The Murphy Arts District, MAD, is a two-phase creation of an entertainment district aimed a reviatlizing downtown El Dorado. The first phase is complete and involved 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. The lawn outside The Griffin is now an outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate 8,000 people, with an adjacent farmer's market and two-acre, free-admission playscape for kids.
The second phase will entail renovating the 1920s 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.
CONTACT: 100 W. Cedar St., Suite A, El Dorado. 870-363-4547; www.eldomad.com.