Fayetteville-based restaurant owner Jody Thornton is a busy man these days.
Thornton, you may know, is the owner of the popular JJ’s Grill franchise, which already has six Arkansas locations. A seventh is just about ready to open in Little Rock on West Markham Street.
In Fayetteville, Thornton has two construction projects going on — one to transform the former Jose’s on Dickson Street into a JJ’s restaurant, which will open later this fall. The other development is new construction at the corner of Van Asche Drive and Steele Boulevard and will house a restaurant, bar and brewery called JJ’s Beer Garden and Brewing, as well as the restaurant chain’s corporate offices.
Thornton, like seemingly everyone else, now has his eyes on downtown Bentonville. Through his JET Enterprises LLC, Thornton recently paid $500,000 for a 1,900-SF building at 208 N.E. Third St., formerly the 3rd Street Eatery and Bakery.
That business, led by owner/chef George Flynn, abruptly closed in January after being open less than a year, and the building had been listed with Bentonville commercial realtor Steve Fineberg.
Whispers was unable to track Thornton down to ask about his plans for the property, but from what we hear elsewhere, this business model won’t be a typical JJ’s Grill, but rather something more in line with a pub concept.