Springdale businessman Brian Smith sees a possible opportunity in Fayetteville.
Smith, a veteran restaurant franchisee, closed a $1.05 million deal recently to buy the vacant Ruby Tuesday restaurant at 1031 S. Krupa Drive in Fayetteville.
“We purchased it as an investment, so we’re not real sure what we will do on it,” Smith told Talk Business & Politics-Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “We will seek a tenant, likely.”
Smith and Rodney Coats, his business partner of nearly 30 years, acquired the 4,372-square-foot building on 1.42 acres through their Heaven Sent Properties LLC, backed by Arvest Bank.
Ruby Tuesday is headquartered in Maryville, Tenn., and closed 95 underperforming restaurants last summer, after reporting declining revenue. Among the closures were seven locations in Arkansas, including Bentonville and Fayetteville. The Bentonville property at 1402 S. Walton Blvd. sold earlier this year to Leon Capital Group of Dallas for $2.15 million. The building has been demolished and the 1.52-acre site cleared, but a development plan has not yet been filed with the city.
Smith and Coats have built and acquired numerous restaurant franchises through the years including Subway, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen and, most recently, Captain D’s. They’re also commission-based franchisees for real estate business Mossy Oak Properties, with 16 offices throughout Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. They are the brand developers for the brand in those states and own the rights to the brand there as well.
Smith, though, said he and Coats recently sold all 10 of their Popeye’s restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith, Joplin, Mo., and Springfield, Mo.
He said they still plan to develop five new Popeye’s restaurants annually “for the foreseeable future” in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Green Bay, Wis.