Second downtown restaurant in as many weeks closes doors

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The doors were locked and chairs still on the tables at Vino's 305 Monday afternoon.

Signs of yet another Downtown Jonesboro restaurant to close its doors, the second in as many weeks. Bennigans posted a sign last week saying they were temporarily closed.

"It's all a part of the growth process in Jonesboro," Hailey Knight told Region 8 News

Knight is the Executive Director of The Downtown Jonesboro Association. She said this can happen in thriving areas all over Jonesboro.

"But when one business closes, another fills the void," Knight said.

She also explained that not every business fails to make it.

"We have several locally established and owned downtown restaurants that have been here for," Knight said.

One of those is Skinny J's. The restaurant has been downtown since 2010 and recently opened up another downtown location in Paragould.

"There is no guide to a downtown Jonesboro business or a downtown business at all," Manager Sarah Reeves said. "You just have to get out there and put yourself into it."

Reeves said many factors play into the success of a business, like location.

"You have to know where you're going and if your location is going to fit the demographic."

Another key factor is establishing yourself with your customers.

"A lot of places you can go to for just a meal and nobody has to treat you like family and nobody has to hug your neck when you walk in the door."

Reeves said for many who come to eat downtown, they do so for the local feel.

"I think in this environment, people come for all around experience, food, music, the whole works, they want the total package."

Regardless, Reeves and Knight agree that you get what you put into it.

"It takes a lot of heart and it takes a lot of effort," Reeves said.

"You have to dedicate your time and energy to making the business or the restaurant successful," Knight explained.

Knight tells us she doesn't feel this is a trend that will continue in downtown. She couldn't go into details, but said she received a call Monday of a business looking to relocate to Downtown Jonesboro.

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