Landmark Arkansas restaurant Cotham’s Mercantile burned down this morning, the AP reports. A fire broke out early Tuesday morning, and as of 7 a.m., the blaze has destroyed the 100-year-old structure and all of the memorabilia therein, leaving only “charred pillars of brick,” according to Arkansas Online, the online edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Cotham’s Mercantile opened in Scott, Arkansas in 1917 and served as general store for farmers and plantation owners, as well as a military commissary and jail, before adding a restaurant in 1984, according to its website. In 1999, the restaurant expanded, opening a Little Rock location called Cotham’s in the City.
Cotham’s was famous in the area for its “hubcap burger,” and the eight-inch, stackable burger gained national recognition after an appearance on the Travel Channel show Man vs. Food. Popular with locals in Scott, a farming community, Cotham’s also had a few famous Arkansas visitors, including Bill Clinton who was particularly fond of the restaurant’s chocolate fried pies, according to the Arkansas Living YouTube channel.
Cotham’s in the City has shared local coverage of the “devastating news” on Facebook. Officials, meanwhile, are still determining what caused the early morning fire, which also left the surrounding area without power.
• Well-Known Arkansas Restaurant Destroyed in Fire [USN]
• Cotham's, landmark Arkansas restaurant, destroyed in fire [ArkansasOnline]
• Let's Eat September - Cotham's Mercantile in Scott [YouTube]