JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Downtown Jonesboro is now bustling with life as more and more businesses are calling the area home.
Behind several open signs you will now find restaurants of all styles, giving residents more choices and a new reason to come downtown.
"You just want that destination where people don't have to make that decision right off the bat. They can go, let's go downtown and eat. Then they can figure it out when they get here," said Wayne Odom, General Manager of Brickhouse Grill.
New restaurants like Sai Thai Cuisine say even in their short time open, they've noticed an influx of people.
"I see it picking up. It seems like this is the place to be," said owner Sai Kattaviravong.
And as more and more businesses begin planting their roots in the downtown area, they are also going after a liquor license, but they all say that's just one more step they are taking to give back to their patrons and really create the atmosphere of downtown.
Sai Thai is one of the newest applying for a liquor permit with hopes of giving customers what they are asking for.
"It's not like I'm going to have a bar where people come in and get drunk. I don't want that in my restaurant. I want to keep the theme as a classy restaurant where people can come in and enjoy a bottle of wine, a glass of beer, and stuff like that," said Kattaviravong.
Wayne Odom of the Brickhouse Grill, one of the first alcohol serving establishments in downtown, says it's all about giving customers what they want, but doing so in a controlled manner.
"If they want a beer or a cocktail they are going to get it somewhere. If you can control the environment and maintain a good atmosphere where it's regulated well and accepted by the people that are around it that's fine," said Odom.
Restaurants like Godsey's which just reopened on Main Street and recently obtained their liqour license says downtown businesses have worked closely with police to keep it a safe environment for everyone.
"It is not becoming a party place by any remote means. I feel very comfortable about being out on the street at 11:00 or whenever because I feel very safe down here," said owner Lisa Godsey.
And safety combined with the atmosphere that is turning downtown into an arts and entertainment district is what has become a major factor for all business looking to make the area home.
"This is exactly what we wanted to open in the very beginning; something that's small, cozy. People can just come in here and have a good time and talk," said Godsey.
Aside from Sai Thai, "O's" the new Omar's estaurant opening soon in downtown has also applied for a liquor license.
Meanwhile, El Matador has applied to have the location of their license changed, and has plans to move their facilities to South Jonesboro near the Hollywood Cinemas.