DARDANELLE, Ark. – A restaurant along the Arkansas River is preparing to close its doors. Catfish N will be shutting down in Dardanelle. It was originally known as “Riverside Restaurant”.
It’s been in operation for nearly 50 years. It first opened in 1971.
Tim Tackett has been the longtime owner of the popular catfish buffet. His story is just as unique as the menu.
“I had been a dishwasher here. It was my first job in high school,” Tackett explains.
He bought the shop when he was 21 and has owned it ever since.
Tim says he and his wife Carol have been thinking about retirement. They finally decided after the Arkansas River’s historic flood.
“I started here in July 1976. We were kind of thinking about ending it in July and the flood was probably the final decision point, because of all the clean up, and almost starting from scratch with a lot of this again.”
The back of the restaurant is a simple sandbar now. Before the swift water, it was once so much more.
“It caused a lot of damage to the grounds. We have a volleyball complex that’s completely destroyed. We have to clean that up,” Tackett said.
Tim and Carol are making the tough decision to lock the doors of the restaurant and focus on their separate catering company.
“We wanted to go out on top. It’s time to slow down. Spend more time with the grandkids. Spend some more time with our church,” he said.
They are leaving the restaurant business behind and cooking up something new.
“What the future brings? We don’t know. It’s been a great ride,” Tackett said.
Catfish N will be opened until 9:00 pm Friday and Saturday from 4-9 pm.