Bentonville planners to consider microbrewery, Aldi grocery store

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 9,017 views 

The Bentonville Planning Commission will consider at its regular meeting Tuesday (April 17) a conditional use permit and large-scale development plan for a restaurant, microbrewery and outdoor recreation space at the southeast corner of Arkansas Highway 102 and Southwest I Street.

The 3.02-acre project, with a working name of Bentonville Brewing Co., is being developed by Ropeswing Hospitality Group, the Walton-backed firm behind downtown Bentonville restaurants The Preacher’s Son and Pressroom and the event venue Record. Tom Walton, grandson of Walmart Inc. founders Sam and Helen Walton, is the managing principal of Ropeswing.

The land is owned by an LLC controlled by the Walton Family Foundation, and the majority of the property is being planned for development into a nature preserve project called Osage Prairie Park.

According to the CUP request, the brewery would include a full kitchen, but the primary activity will be the production and sale of beer. Food service will be secondary. The brewery will be part of a 21,600-square-foot building that will include indoor and outdoor seating, bike racks, an outdoor playground area and fenced dog run. Design renderings also indicate a beer garden, an area for food trucks and kayak access from nearby Lake Bentonville, a 20-acre park that’s a half-mile south of Highway 102.

The microbrewery project is being proposed to the west of Climb Bentonville, a 22,000-square-foot indoor climbing, fitness and yoga facility, which has already been approved. The two developments will share a parking lot, according to development plans.

Among the other projects city planners will consider Tuesday is an application to build a 22,000-square-foot Aldi grocery store. It’s being proposed near the northwest corner of the Highway 102/Southwest I Street intersection. The discount grocery chain currently has nine stores in Arkansas, including Northwest Arkansas locations in Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs and Springdale.

The meeting starts at 5 p.m. in the Community Development Building on Southwest A Street.

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